Streetwise Professor

March 6, 2012

Shocked! Shocked!

Filed under: Commodities,Derivatives,Economics,Energy,Politics,Regulation — The Professor @ 8:50 pm

Reprising his role as Captain Renault, Obama has order Attorney General Holder to “reconstitute” the oil and gas task force in order to round up the usual suspects: oil speculators.  You know, the one he constituted (I guess) last April.  Yeah. That one.  The one that found so much evidence that speculation had distorted prices.  Just like the numerous other FTC investigations that had turned up zero, zip, nada during previous gasoline price spikes.

In other stunning news, 70 nitwit senators and representatives (but I repeat myself) sent off a letter demanding the CFTC “immediately enact strong position limits to eliminate excessive oil speculation.” Apparently they don’t have newspapers, TV, or internet in DC, because these Einsteins and their myriad staffers overlook the fact that the CFTC passed a position limit rule almost 5 months ago18 October, 2011, to be exact.  But never let the facts get in the way of an opportunity to strike an indignant pose. (I won’t even bother to ask these geniuses to present a coherent explanation of how speculation distorts prices, or how position limits will eliminate these putative distortions. To them, limits are some sort of talisman.)

As I’ve said repeatedly, these anti-speculator frenzies are a hardy perennial, dating well back into the 19th century.  Prices go up, prices go down-blame it on the speculators. They are a convenient whipping boy for poseur politicians (again, apologies for the redundancy).

And as I’ve also said before: no theory, and no evidence. (And no, Bernie, quoting the Saudis doesn’t count as “evidence”.) But I’ve long since given up any expectation of seriousness about energy.  Demonizing speculators is all to easy, and all to successful, and hence appeals to the lazy demagogues who infest DC.

Well, at least Claude Rains was acting.  I sometimes wonder whether Obama, Sanders, Levin, Pelosi, and on and on are. And I honestly don’t know whether it would be worse if they were, or if they weren’t.

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1 Comment »

  1. Will more campaign contributions follow? To bad the Dems no longer have Oscar Wyatt to fund them from profits from Saddam’s sweet Iraqi crude he imported illegally.

    Comment by sotos — March 7, 2012 @ 7:34 am

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