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Page added on October 30, 2008

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Credit crisis to spur futures market oversight

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. lawmakers’ zeal for new regulations will soon spread beyond the battered financial sector to futures markets as a newly elected Congress pounces on the credit crisis to expand government oversight.

With oil prices surging to record levels above $147 a barrel this summer, many in Congress blamed speculators in futures markets for run up in fuel prices.

During that time lawmakers unsuccessfully attempted to increase the powers of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to rein in excessive speculation, but the global financial crisis has breathed new life into the issue.

“The credit crisis has only strengthened the resolve of many people to go back and look very hard at this energy speculation issue,” said Michael Greenberger, a professor at the University of Maryland. “Even though they’re two different issues, it’s the same cast of characters,” he added.


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