Business: The Market v. OPEC

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries is a cartel so powerful that it has seemed able to set prices wherever and whenever its 13 members pleased, regardless of market forces. But at a stormy meeting in Vienna in September, OPEC decided to raise oil prices 10% effective Oct. 1, rather than the 25% that some members had urged earlier. Now it appears that the actual increase will be smaller still. Experts at the Petroleum Industry Research Foundation reckon the weighted average of price boosts by all OPEC members so far at less than 9%—equal to a rise of about a penny...

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