I certainly can't explain fuel market speculating, but it's interesting to note that this year's efforts to re-employ Americans will probably stall if/when gas prices hit $4.00 a gallon. Recently Stanford University, Rice University, the University of Massachusetts, and others blamed 2008's painfully high gas prices on market speculators. Those academic researchers were joined by the US government's own Commodity Futures Trading Commission in blaming speculating -- not supply & demand, for 2008's high prices.
What if today's gasoline pricing isn't directly related to supply & demand? Last week Bloomberg BusinessWeek ran an article, "Rising Gas Prices: Not Demand Driven." The article begins by pointing out demand for oil and gas in America hasn't been this low since 1997 (15 years). All this is interesting and somewhat eerie, as I've recently been following the oil & gas industry and learned:
- Exxon & Conocco are doing Great
- US Oil & Gas production is doing Great, too
- America's major O&G retailers are seriously profitable
- American O&G receives the bulk of US government subsidization
- O&G looks to be, perhaps, the wealthiest industry in the world
Rising prices for American consumers during an era of high unemployment -- really??? Isn't everyone, except the oil and gas industry, hurt by this?