By Ed Crooks, December 2, 2016
In 451 CE, the great Roman general Flavius Aetius rallied a motley army of imperial troops and barbarian allies, and halted the advance of Attila’s Huns at the Catalaunian Plains in Gaul, buying the empire some time and temporarily interrupting its long-term decline. This week’s Opec meeting in Vienna had something of the same feel about it.
Opec’s power peaked in the 1970s, and the US shale oil revolution of the past half-decade has threatened to consign the cartel’s influence to history. But by agreeing a deal to cut production on Wednesday, the Opec ministers showed that if they all acted together they could still bend the oil markets to their will, at least for a while.