Trade and travel restrictions associated with the coronavirus are negatively impacting global financial markets (Reuters, March 8, 2020). Stock markets around the world, including in the United States, have been spiraling down for the past several weeks as fear of the virus spreads. And now, as oil prices drop, markets continue to be affected.
Russia and OPEC nations led by Saudi Arabia continue to go to war financially with each other in the oil arena. Russia and OPEC nations were working together on global oil output (CNBC.com, March 9, 2020). However, with global economies stagnating due to the coronavirus outbreak, these countries need more revenue. In response to Russia’s refusal to lower oil output, not only has Saudi Arabia lowered oil prices but the Middle Eastern kingdom is also reportedly considering an increase in oil production—pushing oil prices even lower. Economists predict that a price war over oil may negatively impact U.S. oil revenue—and, together with other effects of the coronavirus outbreak, may trigger a global recession.
It is difficult to know how low world economies will tumble and for how long they will remain suppressed. But, as national economies decline, there could come a time when nations will begin to look for an economic savior. Bible prophecy indicates that a future European “beast” power will develop a powerful economic engine by which nations of the earth will be made rich (Revelation 17–18). For more insights into Europe’s future role, be sure to read “Growth of a Strongman: Germany Rising Again!”