Protesting Speculators Scares Big Finance...oh, gee!

Saturday, July 12, 2008 at 11:13 AM

In what seems like one of those "this was gonna happen eventually" deals, some of America's major airlines are begging customers to nail the oil future speculator's tail rotors.

And this worries somebody?

Okay, from The Wall Street Journal we rock, dudes:

WASHINGTON -- Strapped by rising fuel prices, the airline industry, gasoline retailers and an array of transportation interests are enlisting thousands of travelers to pressure Congress to reign in oil markets speculation -- a campaign that has triggered a lobbying war with the financial-services industry.

The effort launched this week by the major airlines includes appeals to motorists at the fuel pump, in-flight announcements by pilots, newspaper and Web advertising, and tens of millions of emails to frequent flyers, signed by the chief executives of 12 airlines.

12 airlines? Includes the big bird set: Delta, USAirways, United, on and on. These guys complain, yeah, something is wrong.

Why? What component goes into an airplane that costs more and more and more and more and more lately? Fuel. Duh.

In a draft letter to Congress, the financial-services industry calls the airline coalitions' claims "inaccurate," and it plans to counter them with more advertising and personal appeals to House and Senate members.
"Tom? Marv! Look, you have any idea how much money we're making off oil speculation? Do you, ever since the housing industry went tits up?"

"We have already announced 30,000 job losses and 100 airports that had commercial aviation service in 2007 that do not have it today," said David Castelveter, spokesman for the Air Transport Association, which is coordinating the campaign. "We need to stop this speculation now."
And no mention of other industries generating job losses due to increased fuel costs. At the least, the ATA gets my vote for most creative lobby to date.
Many economists join financiers in saying the attacks on speculators, while politically appealing, make little economic sense. They say speculation is less responsible for spiraling oil prices than is turmoil in supplier countries and the weakness of the dollar on world markets.
HELLO! Aren't those things exactly what the speculators blame for price increases? Every time I read a deal on this, that's what they blame, including the weather, UFO's, and what Korn's next CD will sound like.

The airline industry email to frequent flyers urges them to learn more on a campaign website, "Twenty years ago, 21% of oil contracts were purchased by speculators who trade oil on paper with no intention of ever taking delivery. Today, oil speculators purchase 66%" of all oil futures contracts, the frequent flyer letter reads. "Some market experts estimate that current prices reflect as much as $30 to $60 per barrel in unnecessary speculative costs."
Ah, interesting. 21 versus 66 percent. What doth that tell thee?

It's simple: The ATA has the culprit nailed, and said culprit is scrambling, quietly, at that, to keep things where they are, even if speculation becomes one of the big triggers to The 2nd Great Depression. Big Finance, yes, is making big money on futures, and they do not want the apple cart upset.

Small problem: Big Finance has yet to discover they're not exactly on anyone's mailing list. Consumers fed up with crap housing loans, insane credit card policies, banks that smoke reefer...and now using oil futures to make more wealth...gee, what friends do they have left?

21 percent versus 66 percent. And this is an election year.



Great post. i find it funny that many of the leading newspapers are running articles, and unfortuantly influencing people, saying that speculators aren't moving the price up and its all supply and demand.

If you look at the people the interview for these articles its always analyst that work for the speculating firms and for the energy firms. in other words, the very people who are profiting form this price hike.

It's the speculators. Too many who know the truth have already said that if oil was sold on supply and demand, the current price per barrel would not top $70. So, we're seeing a 100 percent markup. Based on? Greed.

The hedge funders, and others, cut their losses with housing loans, the markets and went to oil futures. Simple. It's then a matter of buy cheap, sell high, pocket the difference. They get filthy fucking rich, and we slide towards financial Chernobyl.