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Speculation Matters More in the Price of Oil Than NPR Tells You

We have seen a number of sharp swings in oil prices over the last two decades. Clearly the underlying fundamentals of the market are the main factor in determining the price, but the fact that Wall Street types spend tens of billions of dollars speculating on the stuff can also play a role. NPR assured us otherwise in a Morning Edition segment today. They gave a comment from an economist who said the impact of speculation was essentially zero, effectively mocking all the folks who complained about it.
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