Why we're paying more for petrol & other commodities

Discussion in 'Fred's House of Pancakes' started by zenMachine, Jun 5, 2008.

  1. zenMachine

    zenMachine Just another Onionhead

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    ICE, ICE, Baby, conclusion | Ed Wallace | Star-Telegram.com

    Record high prices without record low oil inventories, analysts saying that so much money flows into oil commodities that it gives the impression of shortages, when in fact no shortage exists.

    ... That’s right; food, oil and gasoline have become an "asset class." No longer are you fighting a neighbor at the supermarket over the last box of Cheerios®; now you’re fighting the futures traders, who are actually determining what you will pay for that cereal.

    .... The late, infamous Enron head, Ken Lay, realized in the eighties that he could make more money bidding up energy in the futures market than by actually creating and selling energy. But, under then-current rules, how much you could make swapping paper was limited. Fortuitously, Lay had excellent Texas political connections; and in November of 1992, the head of the Commodities Futures Trading Commission moved to exempt energy-derivative contracts and related swaps from any government oversight.


    A vote was hurriedly put together before the Clinton White House would take over, and so Lay could finally start "dark" – unregulated – futures trading. The head of the CFTC was Wendy Gramm, wife of Texas Senator Phil Gramm; five weeks after she left, she became a board member of Enron in Houston.


    Fast-forward to late 2000 and H.R. 5660, the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000, sponsored by Republican Congressman Thomas Ewing of Illinois. That bill went nowhere, even though Tom Delay’s wife Christine was then working for a Washington lobbying firm, Alexander Strategies – which Enron had paid $200,000 to push through legislation for permanent energy deregulation in these "dark" markets.


    Six months later came Senate Bill 3283, also named the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000. This time around the sponsor was Republican Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana, and now Phil Gramm was listed as one of the bill’s co-sponsors. Like it had in the House, this bill was destined to go nowhere until, late one night, it was attached as a rider to an 11,000-page appropriations bill – which was signed into law by President Clinton.


    Now traders had an officially deregulated market for energy futures. Worse, that bill also deregulated many financial instruments – including the collateralized debt obligations that are at the center of today’s mortgage crisis, which may well cost us more than $1 trillion before it’s over...
     
  2. FL_Prius_Driver

    FL_Prius_Driver Senior Member

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    11,000 pages? Did I read that right?
     
  3. daniel

    daniel Cat Lovers Against the Bomb

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    Yep. It was an omnibus bill. The deregulation of derivative contracts was just a bit of it.
     
  4. rfruth

    rfruth Member

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    What happened today (Thursday 06-05) - the price of a barrel of crude had been coming down the last few days then today it shot up $ 5.49 ! (biggest one-day gain in dollar terms on record, U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) and Nymex) no storm in the gulf, relatively ok in the mid east ;)
     
  5. duanelaugh

    duanelaugh New Member

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    What happened today (Thursday 06-05) - the price of a barrel of crude had been coming down the last few days then today it shot up $ 5.49 ! (biggest one-day gain in dollar terms on record, U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) and Nymex) no storm in the gulf, relatively ok in the mid east ;)



    I think I read that some of the traders discovered that a group of monkeys in Africa came in heat !!!
     
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