Strong opinions, weakly held

Speculators and oil prices

What role have speculators played in the rapid rise and then decline in crude oil prices? Andrew Leonard cites a book that argues that commodity index speculators were a driving force behind the price fluctuations.

And from elsewhere in finance, Tyler Cowen explains why the government must bail out Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.

1 Comment

  1. Let the Govt bail out Freddy and Fanny, but give all the officers of both a ‘scarlet letter’ (i.e., they may no longer hold a officer position at or sit on a board of any publicly-traded company) and withhold any and all bonuses they may receive.

    Otherwise, the fools that got those companies into that mess (see also, Enron, Bear Sterns, and any and all the ‘prime-rate’ mortgage lending firms) will continue to practice company-killing mis-management.

    Any why should they change their ways, otherwise? The only “consequence” is one would have to collect one’s ‘termination’ bonus check. Oh, and have one of your buds get you a position in a different company.

    If the captains were required to go down with the ship, so to speak, what do you think would happen (besides the rats trying to leave before the music stopped)? Would they actually try to avoid the icebergs instead of plowing full speed into them?

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