Thursday, October 05, 2006

Tinfoil Hats And Black Helicopters?

What's up with gas prices, anyway? Is there a Bushian conspiracy to drive prices down before the November elections? Daniel says "almost certainly not". On the other hand, there might be a couple of thumbs on the scale. Daniel Gross (10.04.06):
"These days, gas prices interest political consultants as much as they do truckers. Politicos believe there is a direct relationship between the price of a gallon of gas and the fortunes of Democrats at the polls. High gas prices during the fall campaign season? Hello Speaker Pelosi. Falling gas prices in the post-Labor Day period? Crank up the Karl Rove Political Genius Machine again." The Oil Conspiracy
"So, let's weigh the conspiracy theories. The first actually concerns the 2004 election. Bob Woodward claimed on 60 Minutes that Saudi Ambassador Prince Bandar Bin Sultan told Bush the Saudis could help bring oil prices down before the presidential vote by increasing production by several million barrels a day." "The 2006 theories are more subtle. The administration has taken steps recently to remove a marginal, but important, buyer from the marketplace. After having delayed the summer's deposits to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve until the fall, the Wall Street Journal Monday reported that, 'The Energy Department will hold off purchases of oil for the government's emergency reserve through the upcoming winter.'" "And then there's the strange case of how Goldman Sachs, the investment firm formerly run by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, this summer shifted the weighting of gasoline in the Goldman Sachs Commodities Index in such a way that forced investors to dump speculative positions in gasoline, hence pushing down prices."


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