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Oil prices have dipped below $60 a barrel for the first time in five years, and gas prices at many stations here in L.A. are below $3 a gallon. What’s going on? And how are falling crude prices affecting local drillers? Next, personal finance gurus say extreme frugality is the key to saving and financial stability. But one expert says that advice misses the point. In our weekly film roundup, we look at big releases this weekend including “Inherent Vice” and “Top Five,” as well as the Golden Globe surprises and snubs. And finally, what are the ethical implications for news outlets that publish the hacked emails between Sony studio head Amy Pascal and producer Scott Rudin?

Understanding Oil Prices 9 MIN, 7 SEC

The price of oil has dipped below $60 a barrel, a five-year milestone. Meanwhile in the L.A. area, the price of regular gas has dropped below three dollars a gallon. What’s going on? With U.S. production way up, are the Saudis trying to drive U.S. oil producers out of the market? Can the U.S. continue to frack oil from hard-to-access shale deposits at such low prices? And why do different gas stations -- often in close proximity to each other -- charge different rates?

Patrick DeHaan, GasBuddy.com (@GasBuddyGuy)

What Do Falling Gas Prices Mean For L.A. Oil Producers? 8 MIN, 16 SEC

Oil and gas prices are obviously a big concern for Angelenos who drive everywhere. But we don’t just consume oil -- we also produce a lot of it. What do falling crude prices mean for the business of getting it out of the ground? We hear from a local industry representative and take a look back at L.A.’s long history as an oil town.

Rock Zierman, California Independent Petroleum Association
Char Miller, Pomona College (@charmillerfour)

The Myth of Extreme Saving 8 MIN, 2 SEC

Despite an improving economy, Americans aren’t saving much money. According to one recent survey, as many as 40 percent of adults in the country are living paycheck-to-paycheck. Many personal finance gurus say the key to saving more is adopting more frugal habits. But we talk to one expert who says that advice misses the point.

Helaine Olen, journalist and author (@helaineolen)

Pound Foolish

Helaine Olen

Movie Awards Season in Full Swing 14 MIN, 16 SEC

In our weekly film segment, we take a look at the latest big screen releases. Coming into the home stretch of the holiday season, some of this weekend’s most-anticipated releases include a 1970s stoner noir; a biblical epic with equally epic special effects; and a romantic comedy that delivers on the comedy part. And it’s awards season! We look at the surprises and snubs.

Christy Lemire, What The Flick?! (@christylemire)
Kyle Buchanan, Editor (@kylebuchanan)

Sony Email Hacking Scandal Deepens 7 MIN, 42 SEC

Angelina Jolie hasn’t had the greatest week. Not only was she snubbed by the Golden Globes for her movie “Unbroken,” but producer Scott Rudin called her a “minimally talented spoiled brat” in leaked emails to Sony studio head Amy Pascal. But should we be criticizing the news outlets that published the correspondence? What are the ethical implications of publicizing private, hacked emails?

Anne Helen Petersen, BuzzFeed (@annehelen)

The Messy Media Ethics Behind The Sony Hacks

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