One merely has to be breathing in order to know that gas prices are running upward with no end in sight. Everybody is affected by the upsurge in prices. And not favorably.
I have wondered, for a while, why the prices are swinging upward so rapidly. I have been hearing that the Saudi's have increased their production of oil in order to keep world production levels stable - so why are prices going up if supply is actually exceeding demand? Oil production is, at this point, exceeding demand, by the way.
The answer is simple - and the answer pisses me off. Royally.
The answer is Speculators. Hedge Funds and Pension Funds have jumped into the oil market and their speculation in oil is what is driving up the prices - their speculation based on the assumption that unrest in the Middle East makes supply to the rest of the world shaky, at best - and an inability on the part of the Middle East to keep supplies steady means that prices will go up, and they want to be in the market when the prices go up. Of course, their speculation in oil drives up the prices even in the face of, not only steady, but increasing supplies.
Hedge Funds? Pension funds? Now comes the part that REALLY pisses me off.
Hedge Funds typically have large buy-in figures. You and me? We can't afford to buy in. You and I don't have a million or so to throw into the Fund. So we can't participate in the profit taking - we can't hedge against the increase in prices. And the Pension Funds? They jump into the market with hundreds of millions, if not billions, of dollars and, along with the Hedge Funds, lock up large amounts of oil by outbidding the oil companies that would otherwise purchase and process the oil into the various products that oil makes, including gas.
It's time to license the ability to buy crude on the 'open' market. It's time to sell those licenses to Oil Companies and not to Hedge Funds and Pension Funds. Their only purpose in oil speculation is to make money - and they make that money by reaching into your pocket and mine - and by stifling this fragile recovery from recession.
They are making it harder for you and me - in the name of making a buck - and you can't tell me that they care WHAT the impact is on the national economy.
And one more thing ... does anyone, besides me, see the irony in Pension Funds making it more difficult to get to the point one can actually retire?