The plummeting price of crude oil, down from $80-or-so a barrel to $50-or-so in just six months, caught the attention of CBS' Anthony Mason yesterday. ABC and NBC chimed in, with markedly different takes. CNBC's Carl Quintanilla stated that retail gasoline prices have not fallen nearly as fast as the underlying crude: since November a barrel of crude is $7 cheaper while a gallon of gasoline costs only one penny less. ABC's Betsy Stark celebrated how the cuts in crude costs have a beneficial ripple effect across the economy as a whole. She cited the ratio used by economists that each $10 reduction in the cost of a barrel, accelerates the growth of the GDP by 0.5%. Stark accounted for the high price then and the low price now: she conceded that changes in supply and demand have some impact; yet the majority of the swing "is the work of speculators" in global financial markets.
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