From The RampartsJunious Ricardo StantonThe Real Deal Behind Rising Gas Prices“We are being ripped off, gouged by speculators who are exploiting global imbalances and geopolitical tensions to push up the price of oil. They have duped us into believing that oil prices are being driven by unusual circumstances—increased demand from China and India while supplies have remained stagnant and geopolitical tensions in the Middle East. While these factors have certainly helped raise the price of oil, they are not the dominant factor behind its rise. Speculation has driven energy prices higher. Large pools of speculative capital managed by commodity traders, hedge funds, brokers, trading desks of oil and financial companies that can leverage their capital into the trillions of dollars, have bilked us for hundreds of billions of dollars(Click to read analysis) . Not only have speculators personally profited by hundreds of billions of dollars but their price manipulations have created even greater windfall profits for giant oil companies and OPEC nations.” Speculators Manipulation’s Behind Oil’s Rise by Madis Senner year consumers were bludgeoned by rising gas and fuel prices. In some places around the nation gas pump prices hit or topped $5 a gallon. Locally prices hovered around the $4 + range. Would it disturb you to know the real reason for the steep rise in prices was not supply shortage, war, or transportation problems but the collusion and greed of speculators, commodities traders and certain Wall Street banks? The truth is there is no shortage of oil at least not yet. In fact, global production is up but consumption has dropped significantly due to the high costs consumers have had to pay in tough economic times. Just as the stock market is rigged by rampant insider trading and wholesale fraud, so too is the commodities market. Of course the shills and front men for the system, the media talking heads on CNBC and Bloomberg will never tell us the truth. Mainly because their job is to keep the con game going so more suckers continue to fall for the okey-doke of “free market capitalism”.“Organizations supporting speculative trading will tell you about the benefits that futures/derivatives trading provide to facilitate the smooth operation of markets and the economy. They will point out how futures trading increases liquidity and provides a valuable resource for farmers and commodity producers to hedge their products. They will vehemently state that futures/derivatives trading do not increase costs. They would point out that this is because the trading activity of futures traders does not alter the underlying supply/demand balance. To the industry the idea that speculators are manipulating prices is a non-starter. Futures/derivatives trading definitely increases liquidity, but who benefits from increased liquidity? Certainly not those dependant on a salary, or fixed income, who struggle to pay for their gas or utility bill. The beneficiaries are those with large pools of money--large financial institutions, agri-businesses, corporations involved with the production or sale of commodities, speculators and the wealthy. Simply put, increased liquidity helps the rich get richer by having their wealth earn more and helps fleece the poor and working classes of America who do not have enough money to speculate.” Speculators Manipulation’s Behind Oil’s Rise by Madis Senner are the people with so much money and influence that they can manipulate the stock and commodities markets like that? The large Wall Street banks, Hedge Funds and syndicates who created a multi-trillion dollar derivatives based Ponzi scheme. These players are the ones who created the deflating debt bubble that caused the recent/current economic crash. One major player in the manipulation of oil prices is Goldman Sachs the Wall Street investment bank recently turned holding company. Goldman Sachs because of its insider status was a major player in the recent economic melt-down. Now they have moved into commodities speculation specifically oil. “While the global supply of oil will eventually dry up, the short-term flow has actually been increasing. In the six months before prices spiked, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the world oil supply rose from 85.24 million barrels a day to 85.72 million. Over the same period, world oil demand dropped from 86.82 million barrels a day to 86.07 million. Not only was the short-term supply of oil rising, the demand for it was falling - which, in classic economic terms, should have brought prices at the pump down. So what caused the huge spike in oil prices? Take a wild guess. Obviously Goldman had help - there were other players in the physical-commodities market - but the root cause had almost everything to do with the behavior of a few powerful actors determined to turn the once-solid market into a speculative casino. Goldman did it by persuading pension funds and other large institutional investors to invest in oil futures - agreeing to buy oil at a certain price on a fixed date. The push transformed oil from a physical commodity, rigidly subject to supply and demand, into something to bet on, like a stock. Between 2003 and 2008, the amount of speculative money in commodities grew from $13 billion to $317 billion, an increase of 2,300 percent. By 2008, a barrel of oil was traded 27 times, on average, before it was actually delivered and consumed.” The Great American Bubble Machine By Matt Taibbi Sachs is the consummate insider. Their former CEOs and alumni have popped up in numerous administrations and Goldman CEOs or their acolytes have been the US Treasury Secretary in the Clinton, Bu$h II and Obama administrations. You can’t get more cozy than that. It’s not like only Goldman Sachs alums are intelligent enough to run the economy. No so, the G-S boys have been smack dab in the middle of every crash, scandal and collapse the US has experienced in recent memory. This arrangement makes for fat pockets, enormous accounts and compensation. But while the Goldman boys get rich Joe and Jane Sixpack take it on the chin and pocketbook. “The bank's unprecedented reach and power have enabled it to turn all of America into a giant pump-and-dump scam, manipulating whole economic sectors for years at a time, moving the dice game as this or that market collapses, and all the time gorging itself on the unseen costs that are breaking families everywhere - high gas prices, rising consumer-credit rates, half-eaten pension funds, mass layoffs, future taxes to pay off bailouts. All that money that you're losing, it's going somewhere, and in both a literal and a figurative sense, Goldman Sachs is where it's going: The bank is a huge, highly sophisticated engine for converting the useful, deployed wealth of society into the least useful, most wasteful and insoluble substance on Earth - pure profit for rich individuals.They achieve this using the same playbook over and over again. The formula is relatively simple: Goldman positions itself in the middle of a speculative bubble, selling investments they know are crap. Then they hoover up vast sums from the middle and lower floors of society with the aid of a crippled and corrupt state that allows it to rewrite the rules in exchange for the relative pennies the bank throws at political patronage. Finally, when it all goes bust, leaving millions of ordinary citizens broke and starving, they begin the entire process over again, riding in to rescue us all by lending us back our own money at interest, selling themselves as men above greed, just a bunch of really smart guys keeping the wheels greased. They've been pulling this same stunt over and over since the 1920s - and now they're preparing to do it again, creating what may be the biggest and most audacious bubble yet.” ibidGoldman Sachs is one of the major speculators who are driving up oil prices while supply is actually up but demand is down. Today Wall Street is not in the capitalization game; lending money for economic expansion, innovation, research and development. It’s real claim to fame is casino capitalism; gambling, massive debt leveraging and fraud but with the proviso when they get overextended the US taxpayers will bail them out. “ By 2008, at least three quarters of the activity on the commodity exchanges was speculative, according to a congressional staffer who studied the numbers - and that's likely a conservative estimate. By the middle of last summer, despite rising supply and a drop in demand, we were paying $4 a gallon every time we pulled up to the pump.”Don’t fall for the governments lies and media okey doke about foreign competition and Islamo-fascists being the reason oil is so high, look to Wall Street and Goldman Sachs as the real culprits.-30-

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