Crude awakening

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Do you remember my letters in June, 2008, about the run-up in oil prices, which I attributed largely to Wall Street speculation on OTC markets deregulated by Bush and McCain’s crony Phil Gramm? Well, almost three months later, an independent study by Masters Capital Management, as recently reported in the Los Angeles Times, stated that investors poured $60 billion into the oil futures markets during the first five months of 2008, as oil prices soared from $95 a barrel in January to $145 in July.

The study went on to report that since then, large institutional investors have withdrawn $39 billion from those markets, as crude oil prices have declined to under $100 a barrel. Michael Masters concluded that “we have clear evidence the fund flow pushed prices up and the fund flow pushed prices down,” as investors “began a massive stampede for the exits” on July 15.

Some of your readers sent in letters dumping on me for taking the public position I took on oil speculation, and some of Malibu’s most prominent citizens called me “naive” to my face for saying what I did in your paper about the oil speculation. Well, folks, I hope you lost money speculating on the price of crude oil over the last few months.

Ted Vaill