March 13, 2010

Déjà vu: Energy Prices

Ed Wallace:
It's hard to believe it's been two years this month since this column first revealed that speculators were running riot in the oil futures market. I pointed out that unrestrained commodities speculators were causing the oil price climb we were seeing, which would send the cost of crude to a peak of $147 a barrel by the summer of 2008. At the time most "experts" quoted in the media were saying that oil prices were skyrocketing because world supplies couldn't keep up with demand, or because we had passed the point of Peak Oil. Neither position was true, of course; just looking at tanker shipments and worldwide oil supplies on hand, those concepts were obviously invalid.

Many of the columns I wrote for BusinessWeek in the spring and summer of 2008 debunked all the excuses being given for oil prices' suddenly doubling. Today it has come to be considered common knowledge, even common sense, and that's good for my track record.

Unfortunately for the country's track record, however, knowing the truth hasn't changed a thing.

Hegel, Call Your Publicist

Last October, in a follow-up column for BusinessWeek, "How Wall Street Will Kill the Recovery," I pointed out how investment banks were again profiting from taxpayer-funded bailout benefits.

They were taking those near-zero-interest loans and, instead of using the money to restart lending (and thus, it's hoped, the economy), they were pumping much of it into equities and commodities. There they were profiting from the ever-rising paper prices caused by the huge influx of cheaply borrowed money.
Posted by James Zellmer at March 13, 2010 9:56 PM | Subscribe to this site via RSS:
Posted to Current Events | Energy | Investing | Politics | Technology