----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Gary Hurst" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
> pretty much.  prices drop and they uphold the contract and make lots of
> money. prices rise, and they "go broke" and make a lot of money.
> it looks like nonsense from here as well
> On Fri, Jun 6, 2008 at 1:14 PM, Rolf <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
>> I can't help but think its a scam. They will reap all their money now
>> and close the doors as soon as they start losing money.
>> -Rolf
(From another list:)

There is a lot of chatter about speculators driving up crude prices
I don't doubt that some speculation goes on but how do we know how much?
And how much influence does this have on retail prices?
Oil futures are thought to be a major field for hedge funds.  Not 
And even lone speculators can operate off a computer which can be
located anywhere on earth so it is hard to regulate by law or taxation
There are opinions everywhere on speculation but few reliable data

It is more than "chatter".  Think about it.  If oil prices were set by 
discussions that only included those who pump oil and those who refine it, 
the price would be very different than the current situation where oil is 
purchased and re-sold by all sorts of entities that have no ability to 
actually accept delivery of the product they are buying.  The futures market 
concept simply brings a lot more players to the table, and that means more 
volatility in prices, mostly upwards.   These futures are sold and resold 
many times, and ultimately the refiners have to pay whatever price the last 
holder of the future wants.

It seems to me that it would be in the USA's interest to ban the practice. 
OPEC of course does not mind selling oil to some guy on Wall Street who 
doesn't know shit about refining it (nor does he have the equipment) instead 
of selling at a lower price to some refinery in Texas.   And the refinery in 
Texas doesn't mind that the guy on Wall Street bought the oil from Saudi and 
they have to buy from him at a higher price because they just pass the cost 
along to the consumer.

Speculators can operate from any country  How can US ban their activity?

It would have to be a coordinated international regulation in order to work.
Alternatively, if the refineries worked together, they could surprise the 
futures traders by suddenly not buying from them.  Then a bunch of oil would 
get delivered to those Wall Street parasites.  That would teach them.   I 
would love to see a few hundred 18 wheelers pull up to the stock exchange 
and a few hundred drivers shout at those stuffed suits "where the hell do 
you want us to put your oil!"

Note:  "C" is an American executive working in Europe and "D" is a retired 

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