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Steve Foss

How are gas prices set? Here's a primer

50 posts in this topic

This from the Associated Press a few minutes ago.

**********

By JOHN PORRETTO and JOHN WILEN, AP Business Writers

So how exactly are gas prices set? What determines the hair-pulling figure you see displayed in large electronic or plastic numbers? Why is a gallon of gas, say, $4.11 — not $4.10 or $4.12? Why is the price different across the street?

It all starts with oil.

The biggest factor in the skyrocketing price of gasoline is the historic ascent of crude oil, which has surged from $45 per barrel in 2004 to more than $135 this past week, setting new record highs all the while.

In the first quarter of this year, based on a retail price of gas that now seems like a steal — $3.11 a gallon — crude oil accounted for all but about a dollar, or 70 percent, of the cost, according to the federal government.

The rest is a complex mix of factors, from the cost of turning oil into gas to taxes to marketing costs to, sometimes, nothing more than the competitive whims of your local gas station owner.

Not that understanding the breakdown makes it any less cringe-inducing to fill 'er up.

___

First a primer on how gas gets to your tank:

Once oil is pumped from the ground, it can be sold on the spot market, a last-minute trading arena where oil companies and distributors buy and sell to each other, or straight to refiners. After it's brewed into gasoline, the product can again be sold on the spot market, or directly to wholesalers, who in turn can supply their own stations or sell it to other retailers.

Each step of the way, buyers and sellers negotiate a price until, finally, drivers pay the ultimate tab at the pump.

At the starting point of all this is the price of oil — which, like the oil itself, is nothing if not crude.

The knee-jerk-bait villains are the oil companies, fat with multibillion-dollar profits, frequent targets of populist anger. But wait: The oil companies don't set the price of oil or the cost of a gallon of gas.

Prices are a function of the open market, the result of futures contracts being traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange, or Nymex, and other exchanges around the world.

Buying the current July crude oil futures contract means you're buying oil that will be delivered by the end of July. But most investors who trade futures have no intention of ever accepting the underlying oil: Like stock investors who frequently buy and sell their holdings, they're simply betting that prices will rise or fall.

Of late, on the Nymex, oil futures have been rising.

Why? Blame the falling dollar. Oil is priced in U.S. dollars, and the weaker the dollar gets, the more attractive dollar-denominated oil contracts are to foreign investors — or any investor looking for a safe haven in the turbulent stock market.

The rush of buyers keeps pushing oil futures to a series of new records, and the rest of the energy complex, including gasoline futures, has followed. That pushes up the price of gas that goes into your tank.

"Crude is the driver," said Jim Ritterbusch, president of energy consultancy Ritterbusch and Associates in Galena, Ill. "As long as it stays up there, gasoline's not going to be able to decline much at all, even if demand slips. That's just the way it is."

There is some evidence Americans are buying less gas as the price marches higher, and common sense suggests they would cut back even more if gas rose to $4.50 or $5 a gallon.

Lower demand should mean lower prices — but it takes time for that to happen, given the enormous scale of refining operations that produce gasoline.

"Once demand begins to slow, that needs to translate into inventories, then you get some price weakening," Ritterbusch said. "But it takes a while."

Oil and gasoline prices often move in the same direction, but they aren't linked directly. In fact, while oil prices have more than doubled in the past year, gasoline is only up about 19 percent during the same time.

Oil prices often fluctuate with production decisions from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, which supplies about 40 percent of the world's crude, or when conflict in the Middle East or Nigeria threatens supplies.

For example, oil prices rose $2.46 in one day last month amid reports a ship under contract to the Defense Department fired warning shots at two boats in the Persian Gulf that may have been Iranian.

A Navy spokesman later said the origin of the boats was unclear, but the news raised concerns that a conflict between U.S. and Iranian forces could cut oil supplies from the region. That same day, gas prices rose another 2.1 cents to a then-record national average of $3.577 a gallon on other supply concerns.

And the rise has only grown more dramatic. Oil sprinted higher this past week, rising more than $4 a barrel on Wednesday alone and past $135 on Thursday.

As for gasoline prices: They're closely tied to demand from U.S. drivers and how efficiently refineries are operating. Falling production or inventories often send prices skyrocketing.

Those prices can vary greatly depending on the region.

The Gulf Coast is the source of about half the gasoline produced in the United States, and areas farthest from there tend to have higher prices because of the cost of shipping gas via pipeline and tanker truck all over the country.

Some of those places, like California and New York, also have higher local taxes that push the price higher.

Oil companies may not set the price of oil and gasoline, but not everyone is willing to sit back and let them claim to be innocent bystanders.

In particular, for the second time this year, Big Oil's biggest executives were on Capitol Hill in recent days getting pummeled by many in Congress for their record profits while Americans struggle with record fuel prices.

"Where is the corporate conscience?" Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., asked the top executives of the five largest U.S. oil companies.

___

Soaring gas prices have led to cries for a variety of answers, from Hillary Rodham Clinton and John McCain's suggestion to suspend the federal gas tax this summer to President Bush's call to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska and some offshore waters that are now off limits to oil development.

Others have suggested a windfall profits tax on oil companies, although some economists say that might actually hurt supply. Oil companies say they're not to blame for spiking fuel prices, and their earnings, measured against revenue, are in line with other industries.

On top of that, rising oil prices have sharply cut profit margins for refining, and that hits the major oil companies — which both pump oil and refine it for use as gasoline.

A giant like Exxon Mobil can handle the blow. Its refining and marketing profits for the first quarter were down 39 percent from a year ago, but Exxon still banked a nearly $11 billion profit because of the hefty prices earned on crude it pumped out of the ground.

Smaller refiners aren't so fortunate. Sunoco Inc.'s refining and supply business lost $123 million in the first quarter, hurt by lower margins. Tesoro Corp. lost $82 million for the same period.

In any case, huge profits at big oil companies like Exxon Mobil and Chevron aren't because of high prices at the pump. Their massive profits are tied to their exploration and production arms, which are benefiting from record crude prices.

Higher crude costs also have squeezed profits at the refining arms of companies like ConocoPhillips, which don't produce enough crude themselves to refine at full capacity without buying more oil from other producers.

CEO Jim Mulva said ConocoPhillips, the second-largest U.S. refiner behind Valero Energy Corp., buys about 2 million barrels of crude a day at market prices to refine into gasoline and other products.

"If oil costs us $30 a barrel or $40 a barrel or $120 a barrel, that's why the cost of gasoline is what it is," he said. "It's not because of taxes. It's not because of ... refining and distribution. It's because of the cost of oil."

___

But it's not only about the price of oil. Other costs are a factor — though they've remained relatively stable.

For example, federal and state taxes added 40 cents to a gallon of gas in the first three months of this year, roughly the same amount as they added four years ago.

California's 63.9 cents of tax is the nation's highest, Alaska's 26.4 cents the lowest. How the money is used varies from state to state, though the federal take helps to build and maintain highways and bridges.

Marketing and distribution costs — the tab for delivering gasoline from refiner to retailer — were 27 cents to start the year, only 6 cents above the cost four years ago.

The cost of refining added 27 cents to a gallon in the first quarter of this year, a nickel less than what it added in 2004, according to the Energy Information Administration.

That refining occurs at sprawling industrial complexes across the U.S., with most of the biggest along the Gulf Coast. Barrels of crude arrive each day by pipeline, ship and barge. The refineries, by heating, treating and blending the raw oil, turn out products like diesel and lubricating oil.

And, of course, gasoline.

___

What happens when that gasoline makes its way to your neighborhood gas station?

Major oil companies own fewer than 5 percent of gas stations. Most are owned by small retailers — and many of them say they're struggling these days to turn a profit on gas. That's because wholesale gasoline prices have risen sharply in recent months — again, blame it on crude — but station owners have been unable to raise pump prices fast enough to keep pace.

And you can't keep jacking up the price when drivers are buying less.

Gas station owners face a balancing act: They must try to maintain a price that allows them to afford the next shipment of gasoline but not give the competition an edge.

Stations pay tens of thousands of dollars for each gas shipment before they see a cent in the register. Eventually, many make only a few cents on a gallon of gasoline, a margin that can disappear altogether when credit card fees are added in.

Thank goodness for beef jerky and sodas.

Most gasoline retailers long ago got past any illusion they can make money by selling gas. They rely on gas sales to drive traffic to their shops, where they hope auto repairs or food and drink sales will help them turn a profit.

"You're always out there competing with the guy next door — literally with the guy across the street — and worried too about how you're going to pay for your next supply," said Rayola Dougher, a senior economic adviser at the American Petroleum Institute, the oil industry's trade association.

In the Philadelphia suburb of Havertown, Pa., earlier in the week, Sunoco station operator Steve Kehler received a load of gasoline — 9,000 gallons — which, at a wholesale price of $3.729 a gallon, cost him 4 cents more than the previous load.

That left him in a sticky situation: Should he raise prices right away to recoup some of his higher gasoline expenses, or should he hold off for a couple of days in hopes his competitors will also have to raise their prices?

"I'm surrounded by $3.89's, and I'm already at $3.91," said Kehler, referring to his prices and those of some nearby competitors. "I'm going to play a little waiting game right now."

The $33,600 Kehler must pay for his overnight gasoline delivery won't be debited from his bank account for a few days. That gives him a little breathing room, time to hold prices steady. Hiking prices too quickly will hurt sales.

"I'll probably change it tomorrow night, at closing," Kehler said. "I'll go up 4 cents."

That will put Kehler at a gross margin of about 20 cents a gallon. After paying credit card fees, labor and rent, Kehler will be lucky to break even on his gasoline sales.

But many times, he loses money selling gas. Kehler, like most other service station operators, relies entirely upon his car repair business for income.

Of course, the plight of retailers is little consolation for drivers.

Mayra Perez said she works two fast-food jobs to help support her family, and gasoline is becoming harder to afford. She said perhaps the government should step in to help ease the burden, possibly by placing price limits on gasoline.

She was filling the tank of her compact car in Miami this past week to the tune of $3.89 per gallon for regular gas.

"This is horrible," she said. "On the weekend, my husband and I use only one car to save on gas.

"But then there's the cost of food, milk, eggs, the rent."

___

AP Business Writer Adrian Sainz in Miami contributed to this story.

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Man, you sure cleared up a lot of the mud for me. My thoughts, as it turns out, were not too far off the mark but I had never done the research to back up what I believed. Thanks for the info.

Bob

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Put into simple terms......gas prices rise because taxes are percentage based. The higher the initial cost, the more the government takes.

Gas stations make about 3-4 cents per gallon, if they make that. The oil companies make pennies compared to what our government makes on fuel. Then they tax them on that.

It will never decrease in price. The thing to work on is our economy to try and boost the value of our dollar.

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I think you are partly mistaken. Gasoline taxes are not percentage based. That's why the state increased the tax recently. It had remained at a fixed amount for years. If it was percentage based they wouldn't have had to increase it because it would have naturally. Actually, it would have been a much more substantial increase for the state since gasoline prices have increased three-fold in the last 5 years. We can be glad they aren't percentage based in that respect.

Also, I believe the state law requires retailers to gross a minimum $.05 per gallon although I think there are occasions where they are allowed to undercut that amount but to my knowledge there are limitations.

Bob

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I have read that taxes are 18 cents on the dollar for fuel. That's 18%. If it wasn't percentage based, it wouldn't be a tax. It would be a fee.

.05 for fuel may be true, but the owners I have talked to say 3-4 cents. And that is per gallon, not per dollar.

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Gas taxes are per gallon, not a percentage of the cost. If they are set at 18 cents, that is 18 cents per gallon...doesn't matter if the rest of the cost is $1.50 per gallon or $3.50 per gallon.

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I have read that taxes are 18 cents on the dollar for fuel. That's 18%. If it wasn't percentage based, it wouldn't be a tax. It would be a fee.

There's a federal excise tax of 18.4 cents/gallon on gasoline. Per gallon, not per dollar. That excise tax is the same whether gas costs $4/gallon or $3/gallon at the pump, so it is not a percentage that rises or falls based on the retail cost of a gallon of gasoline. The term for this, according to the feds, is an excise tax.

On top of the 18.4 cents the feds tag onto a gallon of gas, the state of Minnesota adds 22 cents/gallon in excise taxes of its own, for a total of 40.4 cents/gallon. At least one small portion of that 22 cents is a fee, not a tax, but again the state of Minnesota uses the language "excise tax" to describe most of the 22 cents. That tax will increase to 22.5 cents/gallon in August and to 25.5 cents/gallon in October.

All it took me was five minutes on Google to find the above information from state and federal sites.

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Corrected post, to align with the correct numbers stfcatfish posted...This goes to show how naive and underinformed people are... blush

The Federal Tax is currently at; 18.4 cpg/cents per gallon, for Gasoline, 24.4 cpg for Diesel...

Minnesota Tax is at; 22 cpg for Gasoline, 22 cpg for Diesel...

Wisconsin Tax is at; 32.9 cpg for Gasoline, and 32.9 cpg for Diesel...

So, that's a total Tax in MN of; 40.4 cpg in MN for Gasoline, and 46.4 cpg for Diesel...

In WI, those Tax totals are; 51.3 cpg for Gasoline, and 57.3 for Diesel...

That took about 10 seconds to find, when I Googled "gasoline taxes in minnesota", and the first site on the linked list was, Minnesotgasprices.com/taxinfo.aspx... whistle

That site will give you the high-down, with Federal and State Taxes combined, for all fifty States, plus the Ditrict of Columbia...

There is also a 2 cpg tax/fee buried in at the Wholesale level...

Don't forget, if you are using these fuels on the roads, and not for business or employee miles, unless you are doing some fancy Tax Return deductions, you are also paying Federal and State Income Taxes on top, though these Governments might contend these are accounted for in Standard Deductions, it simply isn't true, as you might use none, a little, or a lot of fuel, and still receive the same standard deduction...in other words, you are likely paying 35%-50% Income Tax upon the Fuel Tax... shockedcry

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Moby, Minnesota's total of 40.4 cpg includes the 18.4 cpg federal excise tax, according to the state site I visited, so if you add the 18.4 to the 40.4, you are adding in the fed tax twice.

If you'd like information directly from the state on how much excise tax/fees the state levies on a gallon of gas, go here.

And then you can add 18.4 cpg to the Minnesota rate to include the federal excise tax and come up with -- WHALLA! -- 40.4 cpg.

Here's information from a site dedicated to informing people about Minnesota gas prices.

"After crude oil costs, taxes are the second largest contributor to the price paid at the pump. Rates include Federal excise taxes 18.4 cpg for gasoline and 24.4 cpg for diesel. cpg = cents per gallon

Minnesota 40.4 (gas) 46.4 (diesel) includes 2 cpg UST cleanup fee"

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Your information is correct, you caught me... in my eagerness to catch you, before some one else did, I neglected to read the inclusive language at the top...my bad... blush

I added some info on my first post pertaining to Income taxes on top of these taxes, I hope these are correct, as I try to give accurate numbers... eek

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This goes to show how naive and underinformed people are... blush

If you already knew, why did you do a google search. smile

I must have been mis-informed. This explains why every company or person who invents a fuel saving devise outside of government mysteriously disappears or gets killed. blush

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Don't forget, if you are using these fuels on the roads, and not for business or employee miles, unless you are doing some fancy Tax Return deductions, you are also paying Federal and State Income Taxes on top, though these Governments might contend these are accounted for in Standard Deductions, it simply isn't true, as you might use none, a little, or a lot of fuel, and still receive the same standard deduction...in other words, you are likely paying 35%-50% Income Tax upon the Fuel Tax... shockedcry

Very true! And people blame the big oil companies rather than the government who makes much more from fuel than anyone.

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Your information is correct, you caught me... in my eagerness to catch you, before some one else did, I neglected to read the inclusive language at the top...my bad... blush

At least you're honest about it.

At any rate, the OP was simply for educational purposes. There's so much opinion and hand-wringing about who's getting rich off gas prices I thought the piece might have some value. But of course, a digression based on inaccurate information quickly followed . . .

Why does that happen so often in here? confusedconfused

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I did not research this lately, but there was and I think still is a minimum that fuels can be sold at, I see the post up farther about the .05 above wholesale, plus taxes of course...

But when one goes to look at buying one of the retail outlets, they tend to show a much higher profitability per gallon...

I came across a California site showing Averages...

Jan-Feb; Highs and Lows profits per gallon, for the two months.

Branded; +.05 to +.26

Unbranded; -.08 to +.38

Mar-Ap; Highs and lows,

Branded; +.06 to +.11

Unbranded; -.02 to +.11

May so far;

Branded; +.06 to +13

Unbranded; -.02 to +.09

Apparently they can sell below cost...

There may be some additional Subsidies, Rebates, Volume Incentives or Bonuses, etc., from the Refineries or Oil Companies, that would be hard to discover... shocked

I wonder if the oft quoted 3 cents per gallon profit, is also a net profit rather than gross... confused

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There's so much opinion and hand-wringing about who's getting rich off gas prices I thought the piece might have some value. But of course, a digression based on inaccurate information quickly followed . . .

Why does that happen so often in here? confusedconfused

Not saying you were wrong or I was right, but I'll tell you why. It's because not everyone believes everything that is printed in the paper. It's a discussion forum, right?

I believe the main point still stands......Government rakes us over the coals three fold what the Big oil companies do.

Thanks for the info, and sorry to completely ruin your post with horrible info.

Sheesh, I admitted I was mis-informed.

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The reason I Googled is, so I wouldn't be quite as wrong as you... wink

Up 'til a few years ago, they used to be required to post Tax on the pump, and I remember when it was about 40 cents, and someone had erroneously told me this was only the MN tax and there was another 15 cents on top of that, so I wanted to get the current numbers, that I thought were much higher than stfcatfish's...so I goofed up too... cry

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Thanks for not biting my head off.

Maybe this will ease the tension.

duty_calls.png

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That's a good one...with all the baloney on the Net, it's a wonder we get any sleep...ever...except when there's a long boring post...though none of mine of course... sleep

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All I know is that yesterday 1/2 tank of gas in the truck and 10 gals in the boat cost me $78. That, bait and a few jigs and it was close to $90 to make and afternoon trip to the lake for the wife and I. OUCH!!

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Yeah, the cover's not coming off my boat near as often this summer as before. frownfrown

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It has been my understanding that the reason the minimum requirement exists is to prevent gas wars. Funny, this is the only "non-regulated" retail business I'm aware of that the government requires they sell at a minimum amount above wholesale. Don't want to take this thread off course but this sounds a little like government once again poking its nose into the affairs of private enterprise.

I believe one method used by retailers to get under the minimum income per gallon requirements is the use of coupons. This way their price per gallon is legal but then consumer can get it for less.

Bob

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MN Minimum gas price

Here is a snippet from the above site.

Quote:
Minnesota law prohibits any retailer from engaging in unfair discrimination and competition by selling, offering, or advertising gasoline below cost. Minnesota law defines "cost" as the "average terminal price on the day, at the terminal from which the most recent supply of gasoline delivered to the retail location was acquired, plus all applicable state and federal excise taxes and fees, plus the lesser of six percent or eight cents." There is no governmental control on the maximum retail price of gasoline.

Kinda jerk-baits my chain that they would quell competitive pricing. It may help the small station owner from the big boys, but it is not helping us!! Not exactly a "Free Market", instead of protecting the consumer they are protecting the pricing for the small business owner.

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Its not gas stations playing with pennies & nickels or State or Federal tax driving up the price.

Commodities Prices: Speculation Exposed

by: Philip Davis posted on: May 21, 2008

That was a nice dip yesterday!

We were so well covered that we spent the day in member chat discussing World Hunger as we ho-hummed the sell-off, but we did get a little bullish towards the end of the day and started picking off some callers, looking for at least a bounce in the morning but willing to roll down or add to some of our stronger long positions.

The most exciting thing that happened Tuesday was the testimony of Michael Masters to the Senate Committee on Homeland Security (who have sweeping powers) as he spilled the beans and gave the Senate a very detailed inside view of exactly how speculators are the primary cause of high commodity prices.

Don't look for any commentary on this in the WSJ or most media outlets, you would think this entire investigation isn't going on as you watch CNBC wearing their Oil $130 party hats this evening!

What we are experiencing is a demand shock coming from a new category of participant in the commodities futures markets: Institutional Investors. Specifically, these are Corporate and Government Pension Funds, Sovereign Wealth Funds, University Endowments and other Institutional Investors. Collectively, these investors now account on average for a larger share of outstanding commodities futures contracts than any other market participant.

With very bold categories in his presentation like "Index Speculator Demand is Driving Prices Higher" Masters lays out a simple and compelling case that illustrates how over $250Bn of speculative money has poured into the commodities markets since 2003, driving the average cost of commodities indexed up 183% WITHOUT ANY SIGNIFICANT INCREASE IN ACTUAL DEMAND.

It's not just oil, there is a chart on page 4 of his presentation that shows how on Jan 1st 2003 sugar futures stockpiled totaled 2.3Bn pounds. On March 12th of this year, speculators had stockpiled 48Bn pounds of sugar. Soybean oil went from 163M pounds to 4.5Bn pounds, corn from 242M bushels to 2.4Bn bushels, coffee from 195M pounds to 2.4Bn pounds. wheat from 166M bushels to 1.1Bn bushels. Even cattle and hogs have had 10-fold increases in speculation. This is your "demand," 10 month supplies of commodities removed from the markets over 5 years and held by speculators who point to the "demand" as evidence of a tight supply - A TOTAL CROCK!

Speculators "consumed" as much additional oil as China in the past 5 years (848M barrels) while gasoline stockpiles have risen from 1.1Bn gallons to 3.5Bn gallons and natural gas stored by speculators has gone up from 331M BTUs to an insane 2.3 Billion BTUs. Aluminum - 10x, Nickel - 5x, Zinc - 10x, Copper - 7x, Gold - 10x, Silver - 15x — Madness!

In fact, Index Speculators have now stockpiled, via the futures market, the equivalent of 1.1 billion barrels of petroleum, effectively adding eight times as much oil to their own stockpile as the United States has added to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve over the last five years.

Demand for futures contracts can only come from two sources: Physical Commodity Consumers and Speculators. Speculators include the Traditional Speculators who have always existed in the market, as well as Index speculators. Five years ago, Index Speculators were a tiny fraction of the commodities futures markets. Today, in many commodities futures markets, they are the single largest force. The huge growth in their demand has gone virtually undetected by classically-trained economists who almost never analyze demand in futures markets.

I urge you to set aside the time to read this full report, it is an excellent presentation of pretty much everything I've been "ranting" about for 2 years put together by a guy who trades commodities for a living and is, as I am, totally fed up with the destruction of our economy and the suffering that is being caused by this rampant commodity speculation. In order for Goldman Sacks to make $1Bn, every driver on Earth needs to pay another $1 per gallon for gas this year - is that an efficient market? If all 2Bn of us just send GS a check for .50, THAT would be efficient. Unfortunately, as we discussed last week, Goldman's partners in crime who got together and formed the ICE back in 2003 (when all this started) also want their Billions - no matter what it costs you.

One particularly troubling aspect of Index Speculator demand is that it actually increases the more prices increase. This explains the accelerating rate at which commodity futures prices (and actual commodity prices) are increasing. Rising prices attract more Index Speculators, whose tendency is to increase their allocation as prices rise. So their profit-motivated demand for futures is the inverse of what you would expect from price-sensitive consumer behavior.

When Congress passed the Commodity Exchange Act in 1936, they did so with the understanding that speculators should not be allowed to dominate the commodities futures markets. Unfortunately, the CFTC has taken deliberate steps to allow certain speculators virtually unlimited access to the commodities futures markets.

Masters closes with the key issue, that:

The CFTC has granted Wall Street banks an exemption from speculative position limits when these banks hedge over-the-counter swaps transactions. This has effectively opened a loophole for unlimited speculation. When Index Speculators enter into commodity index swaps, which 85-90% of them do, they face no speculative position limits.

The really shocking thing about the Swaps Loophole is that Speculators of all stripes can use it to access the futures markets. So if a hedge fund wants a $500 million position in Wheat, which is way beyond position limits, they can enter into swap with aWall Street bank and then the bank buys $500 million worth of Wheat futures. In the CFTC's classification scheme all Speculators accessing the futures markets through the Swaps Loophole are categorized as "Commercial" rather than "Non-Commercial." The result is a gross distortion in data that effectively hides the full impact of Index Speculation.

Additionally, the CFTC has recently proposed that Index Speculators be exempt from all position limits, thereby throwing the door open for unlimited Index Speculator "investment." The CFTC has even gone so far as to issue press releases on their website touting studies they commissioned showing that commodities futures make good additions to Institutional Investors' portfolios.

This is how the current administration, through the "Enron Loophole" and other directives to the CTFC, has perverted an organization that is supposed to be CONTROLLING speculation and turned them into more than an enabler, but an actual cheerleader for the commodity markets. You would think this would be news but the same people who are sucking over $2Tn a year out of our pockets (over and above what we paid for the same commodities 5 years ago) are also the people who control the mainstream media and the very government that is listening to this testimony.

In order to put a stop to this YOU have to act. YOU have to get mad, YOU have to tell people what is happening because no one else is doing it are they? Feel free to copy this, Email it, print flyers - whatever - this is something that needs to be talked about and what better time than the day oil hits $130 a barrel while you drive less than you did last year, when it was $51.03 in January!

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    • Slowly getting the outside buttoned up 
    • Yea I had that idea too 
    • I saw three or four huts in the little wet area in the lake vadnais area just off country road F.   But they would probably get upset if you set traps there...    right next to the new path that goes south along the east side of the lake. 
    • In the olden days, pigs were fed garbage.  Trichinosis was a problem.  Then laws were passed so any garbage fed to pigs had to be cooked first.  Problem went away.   According to CDC there hasn't been a case of trichinosis except from eating wild game like bear meat for many years.  
    • From a quick google search it looks like waveinn.com or the bay of e might be your best bets, if you don't want to buy from shimano.
    • Does anyone know of a place you can get spare Shimano Sedona spools?? I run braid in the summer and don't want to run it on the ice.
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