If the global economic engine was so weak I think oil would be trading much much lower. Perhaps decoupling is real; that the BRIC economies can stand on their own now. If this is true than we should see a faster outflow of money from the US. This outflow would mean higher interest rate, lower asset prices like homes, and higher unemployment, but also higher wages for those employed; etc. among other things. I think this cycle will increase the wealth gap as well. I think when the FED steps off the accelerator after Bernanke steps down in 2010 the interest rate will shoot up.