Friday, February 24, 2012
Here we go again...are speculators driving up the price of oil?
I thought we cleared this up back in 2009, when independent reports concluded that speculation was largely to blame for high oil prices and again last year when a Congressional investigation concluded the same thing. Even Fox News reported that speculation was to blame. I remember, because I was there on Neil Cavuto's show when he did the story on it.
The controversy (and I don't know why it should still be controversial) was reignited yesterday by Nancy Pelosi, when she blamed speculators for the rise in oil and gas prices.
First, the facts: oil production is up and demand for crude and gasoline is down, but prices keep rising. This goes against the most basic law of economics.
Second: According to the CFTC, large specs (funds and swap dealers) are long NYMEX WTI and ICE to the tune of nearly half a billion barrels! And that's only in one type of crude. That's about 50 days worth of global consumption. In other words, take 50 days worth of oil off the market and see if the price doesn't go up. Are you kidding???
Let's be honest; the debate about speculation cuts right through party lines--Republican and Democrat. Repubs claim it has nothing to do with speculators (even though the GOP admitted that speculation was part of the reason) while Dems claim it's mostly about specs.
I'll be arguing on the case for speculation (causing it) on Fox News, tomorrow at 10:00am ET. Bulls & Bears.