Solid story in the Times today looking at thow Venezuela, Iran, and Russia, who were all riding high during the oil price boom, promising lavish new social spending and feeling confident enough to butt heads with the United States and Europe, might now be affected by the recent drop to $70 per barrel (though that's still three or four times more expensive than oil was just six years ago).

Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal detects at least one possible danger for Iraq: "If Baghdad finds itself in financial straits because of significantly lower oil revenue, its ambitious economic projects—which U.S. officials say are key to stabilizing the country—could be threatened."

--Bradford Plumer