Wednesday, September 27, 2006

The price of oil, again

I predicted before the last American Presidential election that Bush would have to reduce the price of gasoline or he would lose.  He didn’t force the price of gasoline down and, of course, he did lose. He ‘won’ only because of electoral crookedness (which appears to be the strategy for the upcoming election cycle in November).  There is only so far that you can rig the computer voting machines before everybody notices and the hue and cry for reform removes the crooked machines permanently, thus making it difficult for Giuliani to win the next Presidential election, so Rove has apparently decided it will be necessary to temporarily reduce the price of gas until the elections are over.  We are seeing this now at the pumps (stock up before November!).  You might think this would be tricky to do, but the way that commodities are priced makes it surprisingly easy to manipulate the price of gas.  Undernews quotes the goldbug site Le Metropole Cafe:

“In yesterday's WSJ in Section C there is a very, very interesting item in the article, Some Investors Lose Their Zest For Commodities. The article notes that over that past few months, commodity funds have been liquidating commodity holdings. But here's the stunner: ‘Consider the Goldman Sachs commodity index, one of the most popular vehicles for betting on raw materials. In July, Goldman Sachs tweaked the index's content by cutting its exposure to gasoline. Investors tracking the index had to adjust their portfolios accordingly  ‘which sent gasoline futures prices tumbling.’

Prior to Goldman's July GSCI revision, unleaded gas accounted for 8.45% of the GSCI. Now unleaded gas is only 2.30%. This means commodity funds had to sell 73% of its gasoline futures to conform to the reformulated GSCI. . .

Here we have Goldman, qua keeper of the commodities index, manipulating markets simply by adjusting index components. It is noteworthy in several respects. First, we are used to the notion of them front running market sensitive information announced by third parties, but here a glorified hedge fund - albeit one dominating central banks and finance ministries worldwide - maintains market-moving indices itself. . . . Second, it lends credence to the theory that the current well-publicized commodities decline is just a well-timed, well-orchestrated head fake to benefit the incumbents in the run up to the midterm elections - someone noted recently that Bush's ratings vary inversely with gas prices. . .”

As Undernews notes in its headline, the American Treasury Secretary moved to his current job directly from being Chairman and CEO of the Goldman Sachs Group.  He took a $38 million pay cut to change jobs.  John Bolton was instrumental in convincing him to do so.  He replaced John Snow, who committed the unpardonable sin of being more interested in the health of the American economy than being completely loyal to the Bush regime.

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