The Asian Development Bank (ADB) said sliding prices for oil should help economies in the region push through with growth reforms. So while countries like Iran, Venezuela and Russia are reeling from the oil recession, the rest of us, especially China, are looking at a good year.

What is happening in the Gulf is the most interesting so far. The Saudis are actually okay with the fall in prices. They have good reserves and can go as low as $30 a barrel. They are not cutting government spending and will be fine once the ride ends. Iraq, Libya and Iran… not so much. This could leave Saudi Arabia with a monopoly in the region once the dust settles. More power to the kingdom. Another Saudi aim appears to be to slow the North American shale boom, even at the cost of undermining the Organisation of Oil Producing Counties (OPEC). Shale extraction has helped boost US oil production to about 9 million barrels a day, which puts the country on track to surpass the Saudis by 2016. But getting oil from shale is expensive, and the Saudis know that a big drop in oil prices could de-incentivize investment in US shale projects if prices are at $80 or below. The US might be celebrating its newfound oil and the potential political and economic victory over Russia, but oil prices have to rise for the venture to be sustainable.

The sudden fall of Gulf share prices as the price of oil slides has made governments in the region improve financial regulation to decrease the credit-fuelled volatility that has afflicted stock markets. Banks have been liquidating big portfolios that were collateral for margin trading in Kuwait, Qatar and UAE and the Dubai stock market has suffered the most. UAE is to come up with better rules on bank lending against shares. Falling global oil prices are a great opportunity for oil importers like Indonesia and India to reform their costly fuel subsidy programs. Pakistan, should as well, if it can even breathe, buried under political crises.