Federal Officials Examine Role Of Oil Speculators

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – Federal officials are investigating what part oil speculators may play in the skyrocketing price of oil.

LISTEN: WCBS 880’s Sean Adams reports on oil speculators

Regulators say it’s not just supply and demand, and it’s not only attributable to world events like the crisis in Libya, but oil speculation.

Everyday investors—big and small—trade contracts for future oil shipments, and even though they don’t intend to use the oil themselves, they’re hedging their bets that the price will go up.

“Their concern is not whether or not crude oil is going to $110 or $105 today or tomorrow,” Bart Shelton, commissioner for the Commodities Future Trading Commission, said. “Their bet is that crude oil will be worth $115 or $120 in two years.”

The commission is considering some restrictions to reign in oil speculators and to limit how much of the market they can control.

Still, a certain amount of speculation is good for the commodities market, Shelton said. Regulators want to keep it in check.

“We can institute as Congress has directed us to do position limits—that is a limit on the amount of speculation that can occur for an individual trader,” he said.

More from Sean Adams
  • Mark A. Weinberger

    Ken…says it all!…Our entire economy is being destroyed by Wall Street Speculator GREED…They hide behind the facade of the “Free Market Sytem” while they, the oil companies, and their big-bucks investors get filthy rich. In the mean time the other 99% of Americans suffer trying to make ends meet. Crude Oil should NOT be “traded” as a “COMMODITY”…as it is an absolute necessity to our way of life. EVERYTHING goes UP based upon the price of vehicle fuels. The GREED needs to be stopped by taking the purchase of crude oil away from Wall Street Criminals…period!

  • Bushelfoote

    There used to be some measure of control over these speculators until the Bush Administration removed the rules and deregulated it…..When are we gonna get it thru our HEADS what the republican agenda REALLY IS…….Keepin the rich Richer and the ranks of the poor swell to ever larger and larger numbers…which ends up destroying our middle clases……DUH!!!

  • United air

    Long over due…We have heard every excuse why gas is high, but these bottom feeders are the main reason. They should all be taken away from the stock market period. Forget limiting how much they can trade, just eliminate them period. Watch oil tumble down to about $50.00 per barrel then..

  • chuck PaGE

    Wall St the reason for our doomed economy

  • chief

    the little man is the one that gets the shaft. he has to pay for the rich man.

  • Ken

    They are the reason for the huge spike in oil prices just as they were back in 2008. GREED nothing more !

  • TOM


    • Trishe

      I AGREE.

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