Minnesota senators target oil traders

  • Article by: KEVIN DIAZ and JIM SPENCER , Star Tribune staff writers
  • Updated: March 24, 2012 - 11:24 PM

Lawmakers say "excessive" speculation drives up gas prices

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greatg90Mar. 24, 1210:02 PM

As much as I want to blame the speculation of oil on the rise in prices, according to this report from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis economic synopsis, "Speculation was the second-largest contributor to oil prices and accounted for about 15 percent of the rise." So even though I have great admiration for Senator Sanders, I don't know where he gets his 80% figure and does nothing to help the passage of the bill if that figure is overdone.

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greatg90Mar. 24, 1210:08 PM

Sorry - I re-read it. "oil speculators now make up more than 80 percent of the energy futures market" and they cause about 15% of the rise in prices (thus 56 cents per gallon) ;-)

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whirlpooloffMar. 24, 1210:18 PM

Unbelievable! No perhaps not unbelievable at all since our MN senators have no clue how the markets work. Oil or anything else. I still remember Amy's first chance to ask Fed Chairman Bernanke questions at a committee hearing. She couldn't come up with her own questions - she had to present sixth grade level questions (if that advanced) lifted from the Star & Sickle. And now they team up with the socialist senator from Vermont to legislate how the markets should work.

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mall0108Mar. 24, 1211:38 PM

How about the trillions of liquidity the Fed has dumped into the market? Where does the inflation go? Is it "speculators" that have driven natural gas prices to a record low? They have absolutely no idea what they are talking about. Embarrassing. The whole "lets start by picking out our scape goat, then manipulate stories around that" is getting really tired in Washington and the public is getting sick of it.

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mall0108Mar. 24, 1211:41 PM

PS. A futures contract is not an asset that you can bid up, similar to a stock. Futures contracts are between two parties, so for every "speculator" that is buying a contract there is another "speculator" selling a contract. The breakdown of participants by volume is irrelevant in the futures market.

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gloatorventMar. 25, 1212:14 AM

MN Senators - please stay out of it - you will only make it worse. Let supply and demand drive the market. When it makes good financial sense to buy a new car that gets great mileage, people will buy one. Look at the competition in the smart phone arena - there is always a newer, shinier product that people are willing to buy, and people will find the best deal for them and spend the money. Speculators can make a great deal of money but also lose a great deal of money.

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jralvigMar. 25, 1212:15 AM

Make trading in oil FUTURES ILLEGAL!! WHO really benefits?? NO one but the traders!!

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garagewineMar. 25, 1212:26 AM

Ah yes, the "excessive speculation" fairy. Always seems to show up around election season. Maybe while they're at it, Al and Amy can track down Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny.

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twinman55Mar. 25, 12 1:05 AM

re:Minnesota senators target oil traders...I'd rather they work on things under their control. Try spending their efforts curtailing the deficit and the monetization of the debt that debases the U.S. dollar. This has added more cost to a gallon of crude oil than any speculation. Might want to also eliminate the drilling restrictions that have been enacted over the years. Always easier to blame someone else, but that's not leadership.

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comment229Mar. 25, 12 6:28 AM

whirlpooloff How does the market work? Demand is down, and production is up. Now, you go back to economy 101 and what is supposed to happen? No, in this case, some people have finally figured it out. Follow the money.

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