The Problem of Speculation

Saudi Arabia seeks oil price curb – Jun. 9, 2008

The Saudi announcement comes just three days after the biggest single-day price leap ever, when oil surged more than $11 to surpass $139 per barrel.

Retail gas prices rose further above $4 Monday in the United States, the world’s largest oil consumer, following the unprecedented price rally.

The kingdom will work to ensure there will be no “unwarranted and unnatural oil price hikes that could affect international economies, especially those of developing countries,” said Madani.

“There is no justification for the current rise in prices,” he said.

There isn’t any market justification for the prices right now, at least in the fundamental sense.  However, with all the strangeness going on and the way the market works, the prices now have spiked tremendously which is exacerbating some very real problems in developing countries.  When people are already rioting in the streets, run away oil prices have the ability to be a very nasty catalyst.

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