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Robert Bryce on Oil Speculation

By Robert Murphy -- January 6, 2009

Robert Bryce is one of the leading journalists on energy issues.  He is Managing Editor of Energy Tribune, and in a recent article gave a mea culpa on oil speculators:

Back in June, I wrote a piece for The American in which I argued that oil prices were being driven higher by the immutable law of supply and demand. Today, with prices plunging to near $40 instead of the $145 level seen in mid-July, it’s abundantly obvious that speculators were a key driver, probably the main driver, of the surge in oil prices that occurred between late 2007 and July.

So, to be clear, I was wrong. The leaders of OPEC were right. So, too, was my pal, Ed Wallace. In May, Wallace, a savvy journalist from Fort Worth who writes for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and Business Week, published several articles [in] which he showed how the unregulated futures market was being used by speculators to push prices upward.