It's not odd to me that every time energy prices spike, a recession is not far behind. There is a cause and effect. Why do they spike? Growth, greed, arrogance, perhaps. Nonetheless, until policy changes, more of the same. i.e. if you have investments, protect them future forward.
I cite both energy spikes in the early 70's and early 80's - oil embargoes and IRAN hostage crisis among others, again in the early 90's... remember IRAQ 1?, and again in the early 2000's. Recession followed. Every time. Regardless of their cause or other events. Again, in 2008, prices spiked really bad! Other circumstances are involved. BUT the result is still the same. RECESSION!
I won't even pretend to discuss why, it's not important to the average investor... I'm not an economist or politician. But my observation is valid - energy spikes... recession follows. That's real value for everyone. Economics are far more complex, but I am suggesting that better energy management and policy will help smooth things out. But that alone won't stop future trouble. I have no solution to that.
I'm affected by this economy, but not nearly to the degree as some. I don't own a home, so I am not faced with declining equity or value. I have tiny debt. Only my retirement account took a small hit. -3.16% for last year. No money lost on CD's or regular savings of course. I ended up moving 80% of my balances into fixed value/income accounts one year ago at the height of the energy spike. Pay attention!
The collapse or significant correction of energy pricing would normally signal a recovery is on the way as in each of the examples I cited above... but with so many other problems... I doubt anytime soon. I stand pat. From an investment view. The thing is, when things start to recover, move investments around into stocks and commodities... and if energy spikes, move it back into fixed value. It's been working good for me. I ain't rich, but retirement isn't something I'm worried about.
ADDED: Move everything into savings or fixed value - retirement accounts included. It will save your money and keep value. If you are in a position to create wealth, start a business, now is really a good time. Housing market will bottom out by late this year.