With the global economy already slowing over coronavirus uncertainty, oil markets and stocks plunged even further Monday morning (March 9) after Saudi Arabia launched a price war against Russia over the weekend, dissolving their OPEC+ alliance. 

Michael Noel, a competition economist and associate professor of economics at Texas Tech University, is available to discuss the situation. 

His research focuses on price fixing, collective dominance, coordinated behavior, predatory pricing, price discrimination, market definition, mergers, vertical contracts, damages and regulatory issues. He pioneered the now-large professional literature on price cycles and price volatility in gasoline markets and is internationally known as a leading competition expert in the industry. 


Michael Noel, associate professor of economics 

Talking points

  • The stock market’s record volatility in recent days reflects extreme uncertainty about how widely the coronavirus outbreak will spread.
  • If it continues to spread, the economic consequences could be more severe in the short run than during the Great Recession or the period after 9/11.
  • The outcome likely depends on how quickly the virus can be contained, either by taking extreme precautions now or extreme measures later.
  • Empty streets in major American cities are a possibility.
  • The oil price crash and OPEC+ turmoil are good for consumers, if they have the chance to benefit from it, but bad for Texas producers.