The Price of Oil Didn’t Fall to -$40 Yesterday

Sure, that looks like a lot of storage. But it's mostly already spoken for.Shane Bevel/ZUMAPRESS

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We’ve all had our fun, but after watching the evening news today I have to ask: Everyone knows that the price of oil didn’t really fall to negative $40 yesterday, right?

All that happened was that the price of one particular futures contract fell below zero. This contract comes due on Tuesday and requires the buyer to take physical possession of the oil. Unfortunately, thanks to the COVID-19 oil glut, there’s little storage available and its price has skyrocketed. Under these extreme conditions, taking delivery of the oil and buying storage for it would be a guaranteed huge loss. This caused many investors and speculators to panic and dump their contracts at any price—even if they had to pay someone to take it off their hands.

Anyway, that’s it. The price of one particular futures contract, late in the day, was a victim of panic selling. The price of oil in general was largely unaffected. It’s still dropping, mind you, but not in any kind of dramatic way.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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