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Oil price speculation unchecked
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of Miami Herald/McClatchy News

Miami Herald/McClatchy News, April 1, 2010
Posted: April 5th, 2010

Oil consumption has fallen, demand from U.S. motorists for gasoline is flat at best and refiners that turn crude into fuel are operating well below capacity. Yet oil prices keep marching toward $90 a barrel, pushing gasoline toward $3 a gallon in many markets, and prompting American drivers to ask, "What gives?" Blame it on the same folks who brought you $140 oil and $4 gasoline in 2008: Wall Street speculators. Experts attribute much of the recent rise in prices to flows of speculative money into oil markets. Rising oil and gasoline prices are deja vu all over again for Michael Masters. The hedge fund manager has crusaded for legislation that would prevent so much speculative money in the oil markets. Wall Street is "gaming" the price of oil, he warns. "If you're a bank, and you know there is going to be a large amount of investor inflows into the commodities market, you are going to position yourself ahead of them. You want to be a seller at a higher price," explained Masters, noting that large Wall Street banks invest for themselves in these markets even as they also broker the oil investments of others. What's abundantly clear, he and others argue, is that an oil contract's price today has little to do with the supply of and demand for oil.

Note: For lots more from reliable sources on the hidden realities and destructive impacts of Wall Street speculation, click here.

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