Economic optimism? It’s a good bet

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Five years ago, when oil was selling for $65 a barrel, what would you have predicted the price would be in 2010?

Sure, U.S. oil prices climbed to a 26-month high of $91.88 this week, but the average price for 2010 has been just under $80, which is the equivalent of about $71 in 2005 dollars, according to a column in the New York Times.

Written by journalist John Tierney, the column chronicles a $5,000 bet he made with Matthew R. Simmons, then a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the head of a Houston investment bank specializing in the energy industry.

Simmons bet that on Jan. 1, 2011, the U.S. would see the average price of oil over the course of 2010 be at least $200 a barrel in 2005 dollars.

Tierney paints it as optimism vs. pessimism and was he confident in putting his money where his mouth is.

Click here for the full column.

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