The Economy: The OPEC Cartel: Price by Ukase

When they first gathered 14 years ago in Baghdad, almost no one noticed. Few even saw the reports in Iraqi newspapers that representatives from Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Kuwait and Iraq had decided "to create an organization for regular consultation and for the coordination of oil policies." Yet from this modest and seemingly innocent beginning, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries has become the toughest and most powerful cartel in history. OPEC has grown to 13 members,* and its ukase sets the export price for oil, thus exercising an unprecedented influence on the economies of almost all countries. Its recent success...

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