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Top 10 Words of the '70s

Goto next slide#7: Petrodollars

One defining event of the decade was the "oil shock" of 1973.

Oil prices quadrupled – in part because of the embargo against the United States imposed by Arab members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) during the 1973 Arab-Israeli War.

This led to the rise of petrodollar. The term referred technically to a dollar's worth of foreign exchange received by an OPEC nation through its oil sales abroad. More generally, it referred to the vast new wealth of OPEC nations that became a source of concern for world monetary authorities.

As the Wall Street Journal reported,

"A host of high-salaried people in Washington are worrying about how the Arab and other oil-rich nations are going to spend all those dollars they are going to accumulate in the years ahead by peddling oil. There are plans to tempt more of these petrodollars into the United States, and also plans to keep them from buying up too much of the United States." —¬†August 29, 1973

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