Should commodites rules be changed so speculators can’t drive the price of oil up?

Getting to be quite clear that there was manipulation to had driven up the price so high. Demand didn’t go up so much to drive proces so high, demand hasn’t dropped so much to drop the proces so quickly. This a failure of the "free market" to run freely over people and businesses?

6 Responses to “Should commodites rules be changed so speculators can’t drive the price of oil up?”

  1. Says:

    No. In the first place, you are contradicting yourself–you claim the market was manipulated and then that it’s a "failure" of a free market. You can’t have it both ways–if the market is subject to deliberate manipulation, it’s not a free market in the first place.

    In fact the oil market WAS manipulated–but that’s because it isn’t a fee market and never was. Not when the suppliers consist of a) a small group of governments who act openly as a cartel and b) a handful of large corporations who do the same–and some are owned by those same governments. Go look it up in an economics 101 textbook–thaat is by definition NOT a free market.

    Regulations won’t help. Those corporations and governments are the ones that make–and more to the point, enforce, any regulations. Nor can you take oil off the commodity market entirely–it will make no difference. The oil producers are a cartel–they will simply return to the old practice of setting whatever price they want directly. They created the "commodities market" a few years ago to create an illusion of a free market–which you’ve fallen for, hook, line , and sinker.

    Nor will "drilling for oil" help. As you did figure out, the price increas didn’t result from rsiing demand. Putting more oil on the market won’t change anything–the producers still set the price as they please.

    Nor will "" energy independence" help All the producers are part of a global network. They can and will set he price as they please, wherever the oil is produced.

    So what’s to be done? Well, I’m a liberal, so I want to try something really radical. It’s called capitalism–REAL capitalism. Here’s what I mean:

    Stop all regulations, subsidies, or anything else that protects oil companies and allows them to keep competitors off the market. Open up the energy industry–ALL fo it, not just oil–to anyone who has an idea or money to invest. Take the money and fund any energy technology research that the engineers say can help (engineers, not some CEO in a Wall Street penthouse). If you want tax breaks , give them to small start-ups with innovative ideas or to home owners to install energy efficient systems or solar energy.

    In short–do what America does best. Tell the fat cats to go STFU and let entrepreneurs, risk-takers, and innovators do their thing.

    And learn some history, will you? What I described is what capitalism is really about. It’s NOT–as the current "conservatives" say, about catering to any large firm sut because they are big and have a lot of money.

    And READ Smith’s Wealth of Nations. Guess what? Those subsidies and protective rules the GOP has given the oil companies? THAT’S the kind of government interference Smith condemned. Not exercising oversight over the markets and companies–that he supported.

    Go find out what capitalism really is. What a free market really is.

  2. vindikat Says:

    I didn’t understand that, but YES DEFINITELY

  3. Jimmy Jazz Says:

    I get what you’re saying but I honestly don’t know enough. On the face it, it seems like speculators had more to do with it than actual supply and demand but I don’t really know.

  4. Justin B Says:

    Like a couple of other posters here, I don’t know enough about that market to say for sure, but I think it needs more over-site at the very least. That over-site can then make appropriate recommendations for any rule changes…

  5. ha l Says:

    Part of the problem is the power of the suppliers. When there are a lot of fragmented buyers who are dependent on the supply, the suppliers gain more power. Then add the consolidation of suppliers (in the form of OPEC) and buyers are basically powerless.

  6. Call Me Bwana Says:

    No. Speculation has its part to play in the free market, and any interference by the government would only cause a dangerous distortion in the market.

    When the price of a commodity goes up, usually based on demand v supply, the speculation increases the cost of the commodity so that the resources go to where they are needed most. It’s a necessary function.

    Because, it is this speculation that actually prevents a supply issue from becoming a shortage crisis.

    For the same reason anti-gouging laws are fundamentally idiotic because it prevents proper pricing of scarce resources and thus the allocation of resources, so is the belief that interferening with speculation will be a good thing.

    It isn’t the speculators who are the bad guys in this little episode, though some politicians have decided to make them convenient scapegoats.