Blackstone's Byron Wien Unveils His 'Ten Surprises' For 2015

Jan 7 2015 | 1:39pm ET

8. Brent slips into the $40s.  The low price of crude oil, which continues throughout the first part of the year, has a major impact on Russia.  A peace settlement with Ukraine is signed, giving Eastern Ukraine substantial autonomy but guaranteeing the sovereignty of the rest of the country.  President Putin seems to be trying to win back the respect of the international community as the country reels from its economic problems, but the Russian citizenry finally turns on him. His approval rating plummets and he resigns by year-end.  During the second half of the year, West Texas Intermediate and Brent crude are both above $70, as emerging market demand continues to increase.

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