Could the sliding oil prices create a financial crisis?

Several months ago it would have been unthinkable. Oil prices continue its slide and hovering less than $50 a barrel for West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude. However, due to various factors, price at the pump not correlate with the sliding crude prices. What will happen if the prices continue to go lower?

A similar slide in 1998 caused a default by Russia impacting global finances. Fast and unexpected changes could bring similar disasters. This time the slide could bring disaster for the Venezuelan economy more than any other. But Russia still sits on more than $400 billion in currency reserves that will prevent it from another disaster. Venezuela will think twice before it default on its financial obligations because it owns refineries that are located outside the country.

Even with ever rising productions from shale in the U.S., it is still a major oil importer. US consumers are benefiting from the glut of shale oil and the falling prices at the pump. This is also good news for the US economy which contains about 70 percent of consumer spending. Lower gas prices continue to add benefits to the US economy. Continued price drop may eliminate marginal producers causing the prices to go up again.