Rant time - Those evil speculators! How dare they run up the price of ouil!
Who is getting tired of this argument? Energy traders do not cause trends, they exploit them. Energy traders do not make the price go up although they may exacerbate it. Funny how they do the same thing when prices fall.
Did evil stock market speculators drive up the price of the Dow? Nobody is going there, are they? Its the economy, they say. Free market good!
I can only roll my eyes when even conservative commentators say that oil should be at $75 per barrel. Only the free market can determine what oil should be and the free market now says it is 111. Free market bad!
Yes, this hurts people in the pocketbook and I am not exempt. But clamping down on futures trading is not the answer. Energy users - such as transportation companies, power generation companies, heavy manufacturing companies - use the futures market for its intended purpose - to control risk. Who do you think these commercial interests lay the risk on? Why, the speculators, who expect to be paid for taking this risk.