Washington Post, Staff Writer David Cho, has written an article on Thursday, August 21, 2008; Page A01, titled... A Few Speculators Dominate Vast Market for Oil Trading
It will be the first of many reports from newspapers and blogs that want to report truthful facts rather than manipulated propaganda fed by devious sources. It will endorse the articles I have been writing for the past two years on how the public has been hoodwinked by clever fallacies that hide true facts.
It takes time to take a misrepresentation of authentic facts, turn it into propaganda and then hear prestigious and distinguished voices talk their truth which has grown out of the original fallacy. History is littered with examples of how cults, religions, financial skullduggery and political parties succeeded in fooling most people, for a period of time. There are numerous other past examples in many areas of mortal existence that brought misery and suffering to humanity.
In the past twenty years many financial markets have brought agony and distress to millions of people who bought into the notion 'It is different this time.' The fact is it is never different, rather, the intellectual cleverness of a few experts managed to convince the majority of investors to follow what seemed to be financial reason and logic. Certainly, it is very hard for the average person to question folks who are well respected leaders in their field of expertise.
So how can anyone determine what is truth and what is just propaganda dressed up by people with the mastery to induce people to follow their advice? Even many experts have been hoodwinked into believing oil prices should go to $200.00 if oil supply keeps outstripping demand.
The dot com boom and bust, the housing boom and bust are two up-to-date examples of how people got sidetracked. Now we are at the pinnacle of the oil boom and the bust is yet to materialize. All fallacies in the monetary world depend of fear and greed to feed their audience. That is why greed makes for strange bedfellows. The are a few select groups who are making piles of money while economies all around the world are facing increasing hardship.
The experts and speculators will argue we need free markets and any interference will take away free trade. Well, in many cases they may be correct, however, when it comes to essential commodities of food and energy they are completely out of order.
The criteria they base their rationale on is, supply outstripping demand, so prices have to rise. Well, under the present method of commodity pricing they have a point. But the question nobody is addressing is, how fair and proper is the commodity market system at balancing the scales of what is deemed to be ethical and moral.
At the end of World War Two, in the UK, people were given ration books so that nobody went hungry. Everyone got their fair share and there was no price gouging. If we do have a future shortage of oil, (which may be twenty years from now if no new discoveries are made) then hiking the prices will not stop it. It will only make the speculators rich and the rest of the world poorer in wealth and spirit.
Just for clarity for the folks who state there is no excessive speculation in oil, any futures contract in the oil market, no matter where is comes from, is a speculation on future prices and in truth, can only be classed as a speculation. Essential commodity markets require new legislation and here are some home truths that are not spun from greed and fear:
1. There has been no shortage of gas at any filling station for the past 10 years yet prices are up 1200% because of futures trading going out more than eight years. Even the Saudi oil minister has recently stated the price of a barrel of oil should be no more than $70.00. Demand from China and India is still far less than that of the USA. The Chinese stock market is down 50% signifying a sharp slow down. This news still is not enough to stop the wild speculators hiking the oil prices.
2. When hurricanes hit Florida many gas stations are closed and there is a real shortage of gas for a few days. However, if a gas station increases its prices it will be prosecuted for price gauging. Therefore, if we take the experts argument that there is a shortage of oil then that still does not give anyone the right to profit from the shortage as this is deemed to be prices gauging. How can the USA governments have double standards and prosecute gas station owners who price gauge and not treat commodity markets in the same manner?
3. Oil is an essential commodity for every day living in the same way as water is an essential commodity. It makes no sense to trade water so why leave oil in the hands of anyone who wants to make a quick buck gambling on prices.
4. Pension and hedge fund managers have invested billions of dollars in oil futures. The futures markets are very volatile, thus, no place for pension funds to risk the money for people who trust them to build future wealth. The fiduciary duty of a pension fund manger is to find reasonable returns with low risk and the commodity markets is not that place.
5. If the price of oil was regulated between $40.00 - $80.00 a barrel, the price could go up and down on supply and demand. This would be fair to everyone, for even when supply was plentiful, the price would not drop below $40.00 which will still give a fair profit to most oil related industries. When oil is in short supply the price would be limited to a ceiling of $80.00 which is more acceptable to world economies.
6. There is a moral issue that greed cannot come before people's basic needs ... No right-minded, ethical, principled government can allow starvation and financial ruin because of a system of trading that is completely out of control.
7. The price of a barrel of oil affects transport, food supply, industrial production and every part of modern day living. If terrorists or rogue governments wanted to devise a plan to destroy the world economies what better way than finding a method to allow oil to trade at $140.00 a barrel. Why play a game that makes terrorists and rogue countries happy?
8. Goodwill to all people is the credo every democratic country is built upon. $140.00 a barrel oil delivers no goodwill. It only brings hardship and political uneasiness.
9. Noble deeds and fair dealing is the hallmark of success for every truly prosperous person. Since the world is made-up from people, where are the noble deeds and fair dealing in the commodity pits.
10. We are all put on earth to help each other succeed in the pursuit of freedom, liberty and happiness. There is no freedom when people are slaves to greed. There are only liberty takers when oil trades over $80.00 a barrel. And finally financial hardship brings misery and discontent.
The time for change in essential commodity trading is now. To quote a few voices from the past...
"Experience demands that man is the only animal which devours his own kind, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor"_Thomas Jefferson
"For greed all nature is too little."_Seneca
"He who is greedy is always in want."_Horace
"What shall it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul."_Jesus Christ
"Cultures suffer because they journey through life in differing circles with only the surface connecting the wheels."_ Michael Levy
Stock position: None.