Asia Hits an Oil Slick

Jayanta Dey / Reuters

Oil recoil
Opposition party activists wave placards depicting cooking-gas cylinders in Agartala, India

Indians know the news is bad when the Prime Minister takes to the airwaves to address the nation. That's what founding father Jawaharlal Nehru did before India's war with China in 1962, and just under a decade later Indira Gandhi confirmed on television that Pakistan had launched military strikes against Indian airfields. So when current Prime Minister Manmohan Singh stared down a camera to deliver a message earlier this month, there was no doubting the gravity of the situation. India was losing a battle of sorts: due to soaring oil prices, Singh told viewers, New Delhi was forced to...

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