I believe it is possible that the huge profits made from gasoline hitting 4.50 a gallon in the United States and and a barrel of oil staying well over a 100 hundred dollars, even between 115 and 135 dollars for a sustained period of time, may have falsely propped up the stock market for several months while also creating huge profit streams in the credit card industry as well. The credit card profit streams resulted from increased use of credit cards to pay for higher priced food and transportation items, plus the rising cost of transporting those goods.
When falsely inflated oil prices started descending, the stock market "mad money" spending began drying up and was no longer available to keep stock prices artificially inflated, and everything came crashing down. The sub-prime mortgage fiasco may have actually been masked by the oil profits money going into the stock market, actually making the crash that much worse when the cost of oil began dropping.
I don't want to oversimplify this, but one can make a correlation between huge oil profits driving the credit card industry into short term profitability, which in turn excites other stock market sectors into a short term rise in perceived value as well.
Beginning from June 2009, the next several months and perhaps even longer, if oil prices keep creeping up and somehow magically the stock market share prices also keep rising, be very careful about investing because there could be a very insidious relationship between rising oil profits and a rising stock market that is built on "mad" oil profits money versus true stock market stability.
What I find frustrating is that I think the world needs higher oil prices and oil profits to invest in the development of alternative forms of energy. However, in a capitalistic society, we don't force people into spending their profits in a way that may benefit the planet, that is something a socialistic society might do. (gasp).
Here is one simple economic rule to cling to, there can be no true economic recovery if consumer credit card debt remains near one trillion dollars and interest rates on this debt remains at 20 to 30% interest.
So there you have the gift of the Magi. Capitalism can create higher oil profits that can lead to helping to solve future energy problems if the profits are spent wisely, but it probably takes a non-capitalistic approach to actually enforce how the oil profits money is spent.
Clearly, capitalism needs a "friend".