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Peak Oil Revisited

lunk
post May 30 2008, 11:30 AM
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Too bad oil wasn't as frivolous as diamonds.
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Timothy Osman
post May 31 2008, 09:19 PM
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The ABC's Unleashed page of their website has an article actually defending these oil speculators, Unbelievable.

QUOTE
The Federal Government is under serious pressure over rising fuel prices. Kevin Rudd yesterday blamed road congestion for soaring fuel costs. Is it only a matter of time before they try and shift the blame to an obvious target: speculators? That's already happened overseas; in Germany, the US and Asia there have been growing calls from politicians to restrict oil speculation to halt surging fuel costs.

Whenever people have to pay more for a commodity, the much-maligned speculator is always a target. There are political, historical and social reasons for the fact speculators are reviled characters.

But blaming them for higher oil prices ignores fundamental factors, including low supply, and diminishes the important role speculators play in a successful modern economy.

T Boone Pickens, an infamous corporate raider in the 1980s who has become a billionaire betting on rising oil prices, recently summed up why prices are surging. "Eighty-five million barrels of oil a day is all the world can produce, and the demand is 87 million," he said. "It's just that simple." It's a matter of supply and demand - largely from China and India.

But that hasn't stopped politicians from blaming speculators, most likely to deflect the heat from angry voters who are being forced to pay up at the bowser. In the US a senate hearing discussed making it harder to trade oil, with one senator referring to an "orgy of speculation". In Germany, there are calls for the G8 countries to ban leveraged energy trading.

Henry Kissinger wrote an opinion piece, published in today's The Australian blaming economic crises on "profligate speculation".

There is nothing new about speculators being used as scapegoats for rising commodity prices. Since trading of goods began they have been held in low esteem.

Speculation, particularly in the US, was how many young Jewish and Irish Catholic men made their fortunes in the early part of last century. When they were discriminated against in the wider business field, speculating allowed them to pit their wits against a market which didn't know what their religion was.

The ethnicity of successful speculators played into the notion, most strongly held by Protestants, that speculation produced no good and merely preyed on the hard work of others. This view, though not widely stated, is still widely held today.

Many famous economists have also criticized the economic role speculators play. John Maynard Keynes, a pin-up boy of the left, spoke out against the destabilizing impact of speculation.

"Speculation may do no harm as bubbles on a steady stream of enterprise," he wrote. "But the position is serious when enterprise becomes the bubble on a whirlpool of speculation." Interestingly this didn't stop him from making a massive fortune speculating in currencies and stocks.

In the 1970s the Nobel Laureate economist James Tobin proposed a tax on international currency transactions to deter speculation, but it was quickly recognized that it was un-enforceable.

But speculators benefit us all. They make the economy operate better by moving prices more quickly to their optimum levels, which means resources are allocated more efficiently. They also bring much-needed liquidity to markets so we can all buy and sell when we like.

Speculators are blamed for being selfish and swearing allegiance to no one (including no country) but themselves. In an article The Speculator as Hero, hedge fund manager and former finance academic Victor Niederhoffer said this results in general good.

He wrote: "The miracle is that in taking care of ourselves, we speculators somehow ensure that producers all over the world will provide the right quantity and quality of goods at the proper time, without undue waste, and that this meshes with what people want and the money they have available."

Successful speculation also requires noble personal traits. As Dickson G Watts wrote in the classic Speculation as a Fine Art, it requires, "Prudence and courage; prudence in contemplation, courage in execution." It is about using one's intellect and looking into the future, then having the courage to put money on the line.

We also shouldn't forget that some speculators are courageously risking huge sums - and so far losing - betting that oil prices will fall.

At the moment there is a shortage in the supply of oil relative to demand. The best way for that to be remedied is for prices to rise. That will attract investors who will try to discover and process more oil as quickly as possible (if the supply problems are short term) or develop alternatives (over the longer term). We can thank speculators for that.


http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/stories/s2...25.htm#comments

It's obvious that this scumbag lives in some sort of alternate universe or has recently visited a street in Manhattan which truly does operate in another dimension.
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mrodway
post May 31 2008, 10:52 PM
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QUOTE (ABC Unleashed)
Ben Power is a writer, journalist and investor. He launched and edited The Review Independent Monthly, a journal of opinion and the arts, before becoming a reporter. He has written on politics, economics, finance and investing for The Sydney Morning Herald, The Australian Financial Review, The Australian and the Financial Times' Investors Chronicle magazine


Looks like another suckhole journalist, crawling before his masters!
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lunk
post Jun 1 2008, 10:37 PM
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Next thing we should see is someone advocating
buying diamonds for carbon credits!

lol, lunk
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dMz
post Jun 9 2008, 03:19 PM
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There's a show on [Hearst Publications/Disney] History Channel on right now about Peak Oil.

"Mega Disasters: Oil Apocalypse", 2007

http://www.history.com/minisite.do?content...mp;mini_id=1401

It is also listed for 06:00 P.M. tonight, Mon. June 9, 2008 (and could likely be on late tonight too).
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