The Commodities Futures Trading Commission is charging two traders and the Swiss company they work for with rigging the oil futures market by controlling 85% of the available delivery contracts for the month of April 2008. They apparently did this not just from buying actual oil contracts but by manipulating derivatives based on the oil market. This pushed oil over $147/barrel three years ago all the while they were short selling the market to cash in when they dumped their holdings. Derivatives can be had for mere tenths of a penny on the dollar and if you are willing to bet enough money all on one side you can shift the entire market. This was why the CFTC opposed allowing the creation of derivatives in the first place.
In the end these two traders “only” made 50 million off their scheme and the government wants 150 million in penalties. The real damage of course ran into the many billions but the really big players get to keep that money because what they did doesn’t count as a crime (they are smart enough to make their crimes legal or at least make sure the law isn’t enforced).
If you would expect a criminal charge with a 150 million dollar fine attached, based on a crime that helped tank the entire world economy would make the evening news, your expectations are to be dashed. Only the business pages covered it and were weighted heavily with the denials of wrongdoing.
Obama’s recent pledge to go after illegal oil trading was met with derisive remarks from the right and the left as nothing but empty political rhetoric so of course there will be no reporting of this. After all if the peasants hear about it they might expect to see more. The aristocracy knows that once the blade is lifted on the guillotine there is no turning back.
The right has successfully indoctrinated most of America with the notion that what markets do is a force of nature that you can no more resist than an F5 tornado. You can’t do anything about the weather, that’s why Republicans want to halve the funding for weather warnings. The Republicans introduced a bill today provide a billion in emergency storm relief but the bill requires a 1.5 billion cut in green energy.
Global warming is a myth you know, rigged markets are a myth too and as long as we cut taxes on the rich the weather will be fine. If you lose your house to Wall Street bank or to a global warming driven storm it was all just nature and you should just pull yourself up by your bootstraps. You couldn’t afford that house anyway on what your job pays now, if you have a job. www.prairie2.com