The Meltdown

Oil Below $50 a Barrel

Get the Hummer out of the garage: The price of oil has fallen below $50 a barrel. It’s the cheapest oil has been in 3 1/2 years, and could fall as low as $40 a barrel early next year. OPEC is scheduled to meet next week in Cairo and will discuss cutting production, despite having already cut production by 1.5 million barrels a day last month. This should ease financial pressures on families this holiday season, but cheap oil prices are likely to slow down the transition to alternative-energy sources. In July, oil was priced at an all-time high of $147.27 a barrel. In other news from the financial apocalypse, the Dow dropped 150 points in early trading before rebounding slightly.