Wikinvest Wire

Obama targets oil speculators

Monday, June 23, 2008

The Washington Post reports on a four-pronged approach by presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Senator Barack Obama to tame speculation in oil markets with the intention of bringing energy prices back down to earth.

Understandably, closing the "Enron loophole" is the main element in the plan.

Has there ever been a more perfect target for legislative action than this?

All you have to do is recall high electricity prices back around 2001 and 2002 combined with images of the Ken Lay and Jeffrey Skilling perp-walks and the word "loophole" (loosely translated as "more money for the fat cats") and you just know that this thing, whatever it is, has got to be stopped.

Here's the rest of the plan:

The three other components of the plan, as described by Obama economic adviser Jason Furman, are to ensure that U.S. energy futures cannot be traded in offshore, unregulated markets; to work toward international regulation of oil futures markets, in cooperation with like-minded countries; and to have both the Federal Trade Commission and the Justice Department investigate the oil markets.
The Obama team must have seen the Bill O'Reilly segment from last week about speculation in the energy futures market.

Fortunately for oil traders, the Obama plan contains no mention of forcing speculators to take delivery of crude oil as proposed by Rep. John Larson of Connecticut.

Neighborhoods in the New York area breathed a sigh of relief that backyards would not be piled high with barrel upon barrel of the black goo.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button


Mathlete said...

Everyone keep quiet and don't mention that Enron was lobbying hard for cap-and-trade...because trading and speculation are EVIL.

At least in 1984, Big Brother had the courtesy to stick to one message at a time. These clowns give us two conflicting messages at the same time, betting on voters ignorance. Sadly, it appears to be a winning bet.

Anonymous said...

That's right, high oil prices are the fault of unregulated markets. If only the government could control everything, it would be much better. See: Soviet Union; cf. China (having realized totalitarianism works better in the social sphere than the economic one and doing quite well economically as a result).

So let's blame the Saudis (they don't produce all the oil they can - the fact that the US doesn't either, well, let's focus on the Saudis, OK, they're Arabs, aren't they? gotta be their fault!), and the speculators (if the market clears, it's not speculation, it's supply and demand), but let's not point the finger at the most obvious culprit: high demand from the excess and wasteful consumption by Americans. SUVs being driven 60 miles a day with a single occupant, b/c Americans can't be bothered with mass transit, living close to work or a reasonably-sized vehicle - heck, only LOOSERS drive a moped, right, America? See: . Gotta have it all! Not to mention: using trucks for long-hauling goods, which consumes four times the oil (never mind about 50 times the manpower) of rail.

But I digress from Obama's brilliant economic schemes. It's always easy to blame the fall guy, then the voters that are causing the problem. Gotta love democracy in action!

dearieme said...

When one of the Fellows of King's College Cambridge asked John Maynard Keynes what would happen if the grain that he was speculating in was ever delivered, Keynes said that they could store it in the College Chapel.

Anonymous said...

There seems to be a conspiracy of neglect in US public education that has led to a severe knowledge deficit of basic market economics in the voting public that makes them an easy prey to the demagoguery of our manipulative political class. Even if it is only grand-standing by the politicians, it diverts attention from our true problems -- easy credit leading to too rapid consumption rates relative to time needed for resource exploitation and lack of resolve in pursuing a diversity of energy sources, partly, again due to demogoguery that has taken off the table any viable options.

fat_tail_rider said...

Enron's shenanigans during the California brownouts rank right up there with the discovery and development of the North Sea and Prudhoe Bay oil fields just as Americans were beginning to perceive, however dimly, that energy resources are finite. It has to be the speculators, right? It can't possibly have anything to do with our fondness for 12-mpg SUVs and far-flung suburbs filled with 3,000 SF McMansions.

Bevo said...

Combined with today's story in the NY Times that Obama is in the bag for ethanol and we have the makings for the worse Democratic presidential candidate since Michael Dukasis.

If this joker gets elected (yes, Anonymous, the public are simpletons), then he will surely go down as the worse Democratic president just behind Jimmy Carter.

My friends and I use to keep a Dukasis Line. If you ran for president in the '88 Democratic primary, then you should be barred from seeking higher office. I guess we will need to update that to the Obama Line.

What a joke. But he sure does talk nice.

  © Blogger template Newspaper by 2008

Back to TOP