Does CFTC's Investigation Signal a Peak in Crude Oil Prices?

by: David Enke

The Inspector General for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission [CFTF] has begun to investigate an earlier report on the commodity markets (see Reuters article). At question is the CFTC's role in an inter-agency task force report that came to the conclusion that supply-and-demand, and not speculation, was responsible for the increase in energy prices. Since the report came to a conclusion that some in Congress did not like, and came at a time that was a few days ahead of a Senate vote on the bill, various senators, including some on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, allege that: "the CFTC knowingly included "seriously flawed" data and the timing was "suspicious."

Interesting. The Senate is debating an important issue, a major regulator provides a report and data in a timely manner, and yet the reaction is to question the timing of the report because it came to a conclusion that did not support their initial assertions. Of course, none of this is surprising, and the report may in fact be flawed, but you have to wonder if they had come to another conclusion if an investigation would be occurring. Of course, usually when action is finally taken, it often is too late. Maybe this is just another indication that crude oil prices have indeed peaked, Gustav notwithstanding.

Disclosure: None