By Alan Murray and Geoffrey Smith
April 18, 2016

Stock markets took a tumble around the world this morning, after oil producers meeting in Doha failed to reach an agreement to stabilize oil prices. The pact fell through because Iran refused to participate, which of course meant that Saudi Arabia, its main rival for geopolitical influence in the region, also pulled out. Oil prices dropped 4%; markets in Asia fell around 1%; European markets dropped about a half percent.


The one exception to the market downdraft is in Brazil, where investors are cheering the fact that Congress has voted to begin impeachment proceedings against leftist leader Dilma Rousseff .


Also this morning, two earth-shaking events. The magnitude 7.8 earthquake in Ecuador has claimed the lives of more than 270 people. President Rafael Correa cut short his trip to Italy, where he was attending the same Vatican economic confab as Bernie Sanders, to deal with the crisis.


And in the Kumamoto region of Japan, a manufacturing hub, some 250,000 people have been told to leave their homes amid fears of further earthquakes, after Saturday’s magnitude 7.3 quake which killed 42. Toyota, Sony and Honda are all suspending production because of critical disruption in their supply chains.


By the way, I guessed wrong about Bernie Sanders in Friday’s CEO Daily. He did meet Pope Francis, for five minutes on Saturday morning in the Vatican guest house where the Pope lives and Sanders was staying, and where no photos are allowed. The Pope later said that “if anyone thinks greeting someone is getting involved in politics, I recommend that he look for a psychiatrist.”


More below.


Alan Murray


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