There's not much demand pressure on oil right now, but the main reason it is down is because the Saudis are cutting their margins to discourage new, more expensive wells in places like the Bakken and the Permian Basin.
Copper, on the other hand, has been below $3.00 for some time now. That would normally be a sign that we might be in a recession -- except that we never came out of the last one.
I don't know what this chart will show later, but right now, copper is at $2.89.
I'll take a wild guess and say that sometime in the next few months, say by June 2015, we get a declaration of recession from Those Who Are Supposed To Know.
Tomorrow or next week, copper may be four bucks, and I'll be wrong again. Fortunately, I'm not worried about my reputation.
People who were heavily invested in commodity futures -- notably oil, are probably taking some hits right now. I'm not sure it will have the same impact as the collapse of subprime real estate because commodities do have intrinsic value. There is no replacement for oil or metals. A single-family tract house is not a means of production. An investor can afford to hold oil because -- whatever the price -- it's still a barrel of oil. A house with a mortgage is less liquid.