Or both? The recent plunge in the price of oil indicates that this most recent price hike was nothing more than a ruse, and that the oil tycoons are now putting down the prices just to keep us alive long enough to pay them exorbitant prices once again. The recent financial disasters including the Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac fiascoes and the utter failure of Lehman brothers prompted yet another price plunge in the oil sector as well as the retail sector. What this basically means is that people are afraid consumers will now buy less now that they have less.
Lehman brothers was an age old company with a place in the New York Stock Exchange since 1887 and went IPO in 1899. A few days ago it filed for bankruptcy protection, and is currently in the process of liquidation. Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae were originally government organizations that helped the banks finance mortgages. Recently Merrill Lynch was purchased by Bank of America at a cheap price thanks to the recent home mortgage crisis.
In any case, there will be a lot of financial folk about on the street looking for jobs. Alan Greenspan says that the events in this past month will be recorded as the most important in the last 100 years.