5-07-08 by dugan
Oil prices are in Alice in Wonderland territory. Today’s new futures-market record, above $122 a barrel, occurred despite a substantial rise in both crude oil stocks and gasoline stocks in the U.S., as reported by the federal Energy Information Administration. In any vaguely normal market, both of those events would drive down oil prices. But today, the speculators just shrugged, said "what the heck," and kept the upward spike going. Pardon my suspicious mind, but I connect it to "predictions" of $150 or even $200 a barrel crude oil.
Goldman Sachs, the source of the $200 a barrel prediction, holds major energy hedge funds, which are blamed by many analysts for at least part of the rise in oil prices. $200 a barrel sounds suspiciously like a self-fulfilling prophecy, intended to draw even more speculative money into Goldman Sachs funds. Arjan Murti, the Goldman Sachs director who spouted the $200 prediction, also made a prediction of $105 a barrel oil back in 2005. On the same day, the price of oil spiked 2.6% to $55.40.
So today’s spike in oil futures, at a moment when they should have gone down, may be Mr. Murti’s gift to both Big Oil and Goldman Sachs energy-fund investors.