Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Democrats Demand CFTC Punish Oil Speculators

During the 2008 oil price spike pointy headed academics swore that supply and demand was the cause while market participants as varied in approach as Paul Tudor Jones and Wilbur Ross said it was a bubble (which by definition is caused by speculation).
After the price collapsed Goldman pulled their $200 buy rec and themselves admitted that the move was artificial.

One of the arguments voiced by the likes of Paul Krugman was that as there was no evidence of hoarding, that it couldn't be speculative. I wrote an internal memo guessing that the hoarding was being done by producers at the wellhead, that by restraining production just a bit, and keeping their oil in the ground, that they could give the market a feel of impending tightness.

The price collapsed, not what you'd expect from a permanently high plateau.

Now, although he hasn't come out and said it, Krugman is backed into the corner of blaming speculators to defend President Obama's policies.
Mark my words, he's going to say it.
In the meantime here's the Greek chorus.

From Reuters:
Lawmakers urge crackdown on oil speculators

Democratic members of Congress have urged the futures regulator to crack down on excessive speculation in oil markets as retail gasoline prices rose toward $4 a gallon and pain at the pump gained prominence in the U.S. election campaign.

The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission should stop "dragging its feet" on implementing new regulations to stop Wall Street from dominating the oil market, 23 senators and 45 members of the House of Representatives said in a letter to the CFTC.

The lawmakers complained that gasoline prices are soaring, despite plenty of supply and low demand.

 "As the cost for American people to fill their gas tanks continues to skyrocket, the CFTC continues to drag its feet on imposing strict speculation limits to eliminate, prevent, or diminish excessive oil speculation," the members of Congress told the commissioners in a letter.

The letter was signed by Senators Barbara Boxer, Bernie Sanders and John Rockefeller and Representatives Rosa DeLauro, among others. All the signers were Democrats except for Sanders, who is an independent....MUCH MORE

Good fun, John Rockefeller demanding Ida Tarbell get on the case