Monday, September 22, 2008

Airline Group: Today's Oil Price Surge Proves Intense Market Speculation

The Air Transport Association takes note of today's remarkable jump in the price of oil and says it's the smoking gun proving its contention that speculators are intensely manipulating the oil market.

On the other hand, the Financial Times has a more nuanced explanation.

Here's the ATA statement:

"The Air Transport Association (ATA), the industry trade organization for the major U.S. airlines, today reacted to oil’s largest one-day price gain in NYMEX history, stating that this record increase reaffirms that speculation is playing a significant role in driving up the price.

"Reversing recent price decreases, today oil spiked at $130 per barrel, closing at $120.92 per barrel – the largest one-day price gain in NYMEX history. Although ATA recognizes the impact of the financial crisis on Wall Street, the weak dollar and the aftermath of Hurricane Ike, the unprecedented 16 percent jump over the weekend – from $104.55 per barrel last Friday to $120.92 per barrel today – also reflects the impact of excessive energy speculation.

"'The market’s extreme volatility suggests that speculators, who withdrew tens of billions of dollars from the commodities markets when Congress threatened to tighten oversight of excessive and harmful speculation, breathed a sigh of relief last week when action in the Senate seemed unlikely, and returned to the energy markets in full force,” said ATA President and CEO James C. May. “Well, speculators are back and prices are up.'"

"May again called for a bipartisan approach to reining in excessive energy speculation, stating that Congress must pass a comprehensive energy plan or all Americans will pay the price as oil prices return to or exceed this summer’s record levels."


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