Swenson: Saudis and Russia playing chicken

March 23, 2020

David SwensonDavid Swenson, associate scientist, was interviewed for a March 20 Gazette story, "Eastern Iowans get a break on Gasoline Prices."

“Just about two weeks ago, Saudi Arabia got into an oil war with Russia. The Saudis are playing chicken with the rest of the oil producers in the world. They can produce oil for as low as $15 a barrel. Nobody else can produce oil at that price and still make a profit. They are trying to drive out of business or constrain production of any other oil producer, including frackers in the United States. It also will include Iraq, Iran and especially the Russians.”

He was also interviewed in the March 26 Quad-City Times story, "Weekly jobless claims surge in Iowa, Illinois as coronavirus idles workers."

Dave Swenson, an economist and professor at Iowa State University, called Thursday’s numbers “unprecedented” for a one-week spike.

He said the average Iowa monthly unemployment during the Great Recession, so 2007 to 2009, increased to 47,000, and Iowa just saw nearly 42,000 claims filed last week alone.

Swenson was also interviewed by Donnelle Eller, Des Moines Register, about which industries and areas of the state could be potentially most affected by Covid-19 economically.

And Tyler Jett, Des Moines Register, about the sharp spike in national and Iowa unemployment insurance claims.

And by Tom Cullen, Storm Lake Times, about expected spring flooding on the Missouri and Mississippi, and whether those consequences would seriously worsen the economic impact of Covid-19.

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