May 22, 2013
They launched the 'Arab Spring' but now yearn for the good old days of a strongman
May 20, 2013
Richard A. Serrano: Is Meir Kahane's assassin now a changed man?
Genetic copies of living people from embryos no longer science fiction
Jewz in the Newz by Nate Bloom :
The Kosher Gourmet by Cathy Pollak:
Jews Inducted into Rock Hall of Fame; Anton Yelchin co-stars in New "Trek" film; Kutcher (but not Kunis) visits Israel; Jewish TV Star Praises Jewish Rap Star
WARNING: This WALNUT CAKE WITH PRALINE FROSTING, perfect for afternoon coffee, is addicting
May 13, 2013
Rabbi Nathan Lopes Cardozo: Why the giving of the document that would permanently change the world could only be done in desolation
David G. Savage:
Church-state, literally? Supreme Court weighing public school graduation in a church
May 10, 2013
Rabbi Berel Wein: Be all that you should be
May 8, 2013
Peter Ford: Why China is welcoming both Israel's Netanyahu and Palestinians' Abbas
Obama administration quietly backs out of appeal over new contraceptive mandate
At Kerry-Putin meeting, US-Russia relations thaw --- a tad
The Kosher Gourmet by Leela Cyd Ross :
Almost too pretty to eat, this colorful salad with Sicilian inspiration will tickle the taste buds and delight your visual sensibility
May 6, 2013
May 3, 2013
Kids, kittens the Same?
With employee perks at struggling Internet pioneer Yahoo! it's hard to tell
Artificial kidney offers hope to patients tethered to a dialysis machine
April 29, 2013
Poland's new Jewish museum celebrates life, doesn't revisit Holocaust
Terrorism in America: Is US missing a chance to learn from failed plots?
Boston Bomber's 'Svengali' Revealed
Tiny satellites + cellphones = cheaper 'eyes in the sky' for NASA
April 26, 2013
Clifford D. May:
Defense in the Age of Jihadist Terrorism
Sharon Palmer, R.D.:
How to feel your best -- with plenty of energy, a healthy weight and optimal mental and physical function -- without driving yourself batty
April 24, 2013
Jewish World Review
July 10, 2008
/ 7 Tamuz 5768
Despite Congress' periodic hauling of weak-kneed oil executives before their committees to charge them with collusion and price-gouging, subsequent federal investigations turn up no evidence to support the charges. Right now oil company executives are getting a bit of a respite as Congress has turned its attention to crude oil speculators, blaming them for high oil prices and calling for tighter control over commodity futures trading.
Let's look at the futures market and for simplicity use corn futures discussed in my May 28th column titled "Futures Market." While corn is different from oil, both obey the laws of supply and demand, just as humans are very different from bricks but both obey the laws of gravity.
Say that today's price of corn is $7 a bushel. I have a hunch that because of Midwest flooding, higher demand due to droughts and war in other parts of the world, that in May 2009, corn will sell for $12 a bushel. I stand to make a lot of money by buying corn now for $7 a bushel, holding it, and in May 2009 selling it for $12 a bushel. If many speculators share my hunch and buy more corn now, today's price, sometimes called the spot price, is going to rise let's say to $10 a bushel.
Higher prices for corn, and everything made from corn, might give rise to consumer complaints. While Congress can't stop the Midwest rain, droughts and wars in far off places, it can scapegoat speculators. Let's say that Congress outlaws the corn futures market, or makes futures trading more costly. Doing so will definitely lower the spot price of corn. The price might return to $7 a bushel, making corn consumption once again "affordable." You might exclaim, "Isn't Congress wonderful?" But what about May 2009?
Suppose the Midwest floods have a significant impact on corn production; there's drought and war in far off places raising the demand for corn exports. What do you predict will be the availability and prices of corn in May 2009 after Congress has outlawed, or made futures trading more difficult? If you answer less corn and much higher prices, go to the head of the class. By outlawing or impeding futures trading in corn, Congress encouraged Americans to ignore the future. Had Congress not interfered, people would use less corn now, making more available in May 2009. Thus, one of very valuable functions performed by the speculator is the allocation of resources over time. It makes sense to take the future into account when making consumption decisions today. The futures market, by the way, is no bed of roses. My hunch about corn supply and demand conditions might be dead wrong. Its May 2009 price might be $3 a bushel and I would have to sell at a loss. Futures trading is risky business.
Congressional attacks on speculation do not alter the oil market's fundamental demand and supply conditions. What would lower the long-term price of oil is for Congress to permit exploration for the estimated billions upon billions of barrels of oil domestically available, not to mention the estimated trillion-plus barrels of shale oil in Wyoming, Colorado and Utah. Some politicians pooh-pooh calls for drilling, saying it would take five or 10 years to recover the oil. I guarantee you we would begin to see a reduction in today's prices even if it took five to 10 years for us to get the first barrel. Put yourself in the place of an OPEC member knowing there would be a greater supply of U.S. oil five or 10 years, hence maybe driving oil prices lower to say $40 a barrel. What will you want to do now while oil is $130 a barrel? You would want to sell as much oil now and OPEC's collective efforts to do so would put downward pressures on current oil prices. Right now the U.S. Congress is OPEC's staunchest ally.
Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.
Walter Williams Archives
© 2006, Creators Syndicate.
Richard Z. Chesnoff
Frank J. Gaffney
Victor Davis Hanson
A. Barton Hinkle
Judge A. Napolitano
Cokie & Steve Roberts
Debra J. Saunders
J. D. Crowe
Ask Doctor K