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According to Rep Peter DeFazio (D-Or), the entity that owns the most oil in the United States right now is not ExxonMobil or Chevron or Valero: it’s Morgan Stanley. So what’s Morgan Stanley doing with all that oil? Speculating on the petrofraud bonanza.
The problems with the short-sightedness of this utterly stupid investment pattern are many:
1. The faster they ratchet up the cost of oil, and, in turn, the gasoline that comes from it, the faster the public will change its patterns of consumption, the demand will go down, and the bottom will fall out of the market.
2. There is no reason for oil prices to be what they are, because there is no shortage. If there were a shortage, there would be rationing and/or gas lines. We have been through genuine shortages, most recently in 1979. In 1979, the price of gasoline increased from 69¢/gallon to 99¢/gallon, while an OPEC embargo was keeping the flow to a trickle. That was an increase of 43%. With no embargo, why has gasoline gone up over 100% in the past year (it is roughly $5/gallon in Los Angeles today, and was less than $2.50/gallon a year ago)?
3. The curves of a bubble are predictable, and this one, as was discussed here last month in Blowing Bubbles, is following in the pattern of several previous bubbles. Only this bubble, according to the economists at Bloomberg happens to be exceeding the curve of the dot.com bubble, which, when it burst, caused a loss of SIX TRILLION DOLLARS. Let me repeat. This bubble exceeds that one.