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Letters to the Editor

We created

our oil mess

Professor Michael Greenberger is a former board member of the Commodities Futures Trading Commission. Until President Bush was sworn into office, the CFTC acted as the cop on the street, making sure that buyers in the market were not manipulating prices past what supply and demand does in a normal marketplace.

Prof. Greenberger had this to say about the fact that the CFTC has not done its job under President Bush, and the results are too obvious when we buy gas or groceries today:

"Should we have an economy that's based on whether people make good or bad bets? Or should we have an economy where people build companies, create manufacturing, do inventions, advance the American society and make it more productive? We are rewarding people for sitting at their computers and punching in bets. That's not the way our economy is going to be built, and India and China, with their focus on science and industry and building real businesses, are going to eat our lunch, unless the American public wakes up and puts an end to an economy that praises and makes heroes out of speculators."

The Republicans clamor with a full-throat roar that we must drill for more oil. My answer to that is a question: "Why should we have more oil drilled, when we can prove that the recent spike in gas prices is because of speculation in the commodities markets?"

Exxon-Mobil executives have been on record saying that the fair market value of crude oil in 2008 is between $55-80 per barrel. The oil companies themselves know that there is no oil shortage! What is stopping the public from waking up and realizing that the current energy markets are being distorted and manipulated on paper, which should be a criminal act in my opinion.

Representatives of the Federal Reserve, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the CFTC all warned Republican President Bush and the Republican Congress that this country lived under from 2001-2006 not to deregulate energy because "the market was ripe for manipulation." Their warnings fell on deaf, uncaring ears.

I ask the public to look themselves in the mirror and pat your collective selves on the back for allowing Bush to have two terms to run (ruin?) this country. I've said it before and I'll say it again, we asked for the mess we are in today.

Randy O. Olson