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Why Is Oil At $100 A Barrel?

By The Reverend Published: January 2, 2008


Now that the home-mortgage-credit-derivitive-gambling-vehicle-bubble has burst all over the American and world market scene....and Wall Street rollers are looking for more lucrative gaming tables to play on.....where to turn? There's always oil. It's always good for a quick bubble...

Crude Futures Hit Record $100 a Barrel on Supply Concerns After Violence Breaks Out in Nigeria

Crude prices, which have flirted with $100 for months, have risen in recent days on supply concerns exacerbated by Turkish attacks on Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq and falling domestic inventories. However, post-holiday trading volumes were about 50 percent of normal Wednesday, meaning the price move was likely exaggerated by speculative buying.

"I would imagine the speculators are the biggest drivers today," said Phil Flynn, an analyst at Alaron Trading Corp., in Chicago.

It's hard to say whether prices would have risen as quickly on a normal trading day, Flynn said. While oil has soared on mounting supply concerns in recent months, speculators have often been cited as a reason for the swiftness of oil's climb.

Moreover, many of the concerns about supply disruptions have yet to materialize, but that hasn't stopped buyers from driving prices higher. Link

It's a bit interesting, I think, to realize that legalizing gambling on future prices of stuff came about to prevent uneven and disruptive fluctuations in the market. Remember how Enron manipulated electricity rates in California? Enron traders were buying electricity futures, that is, they were gambling that electricity rates would go up so they could make a quick profit. Then Enron manipulated the supply by shutting down power plants. Prices went up, traders cashed their chips. Today's oil speculators can't control supply like the Enron criminals did....but they can surely gamble, I mean speculate, the price of oil up.

A Speculator... according to Investopedia....

A person who trades (i.e. derivatives, commodities, bonds, equities or currencies) with a higher-than-average risk, in return for a higher-than-average profit potential. Speculators take large risks, especially with respect to anticipating future price movements, or gambling, in the hopes of making quick, large gains.

That definition would fit most any professional gambler.

Naked capitalism, the kind the Republican Party endorses, can never be satisfied until every product or service in America is gambled over in what greed cultists call an "open and unfettered marketplace". Imagine a future where all prices on all products or services are instantaneously calculated according to the demand that very second. It seems like that would be an open invitation for abuse. Perhaps that's why some people find such a system attractive.

We see the way gasoline prices change now, we're getting used to it. Think about not knowing what dinner at your local franchise steakhouse is going to cost until worldwide demand determines the price for you the hour you visit. Why would we want such a society? Other than the handful of people who get fiflthy rich off of stuff like this.....what good purpose does setting prices by gambling....really serve?



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