(Image source: The New York Times)

 

 

BY ZACH TOOMBS

 

 

With the average price of a gallon of gas in the U.S. reaching an 11-month high near $4, President Barack Obama unveiled a new plan Tuesday to target oil speculators. Bloomberg has his comments from the White House.

 

“We can’t afford a situation where some speculators can reap millions while millions of American families get the short end of the stick. That’s not the way the market should work.”

 

Mr. Obama accuses some speculators of buying up oil to create the perception of a shortage — therefore driving up prices and giving them a chance to sell for a higher profit. The Washington Times writes he called on Congress to draft his $52 million plan into law.

 

“The White House plan would increase sixfold the surveillance and enforcement staff at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, improve technology to help investigators monitor energy markets, and impose dramatically stiffer civil and criminal penalties against firms that engage in market manipulation, from $1 million to $10 million a day.”

 

The GOP was quick to respond, with House Speaker John Boehner citing the Federal Trade Commission and the Security Exchange Commission as two agencies already charged with monitoring illegal market manipulation. Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney echoed the criticism on CNBC:

 

“Any issue that he faces, he tries to find someone to blame, other than taking responsibility himself … People guessing the future of stock prices or gasoline prices are playing a role in our market.”

 

But according to The Washington Post’s Ed Rogers, Tuesday’s proposal shows the president is doing what he can to affect a global market — and it could pay off politically.

 

"President Obama did something smart today by targeting oil-market speculation … it shows that he is doing something rather than nothing on oil prices … he has shown some action and therefore, some concern, and he instantly produced good headlines."

 

The president won’t have an easy time getting this proposal through the Republican-controlled House and into law. And Politico writes — although the plan focuses on strengthening the Commodities Future Trading Commission’s market oversight — Mr. Obama once assigned a similar task to a different group.

 

“The president has blamed oil speculators for rising prices before, and created a task force a year ago to deal with the issue. But the task force has met only a handful of times and has not issued a public report.”

Obama Pressures Oil Speculators on Market Manipulation

by Zach Toombs
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Transcript
Apr 18, 2012

Obama Pressures Oil Speculators on Market Manipulation

(Image source: The New York Times)

 

 

BY ZACH TOOMBS

 

 

With the average price of a gallon of gas in the U.S. reaching an 11-month high near $4, President Barack Obama unveiled a new plan Tuesday to target oil speculators. Bloomberg has his comments from the White House.

 

“We can’t afford a situation where some speculators can reap millions while millions of American families get the short end of the stick. That’s not the way the market should work.”

 

Mr. Obama accuses some speculators of buying up oil to create the perception of a shortage — therefore driving up prices and giving them a chance to sell for a higher profit. The Washington Times writes he called on Congress to draft his $52 million plan into law.

 

“The White House plan would increase sixfold the surveillance and enforcement staff at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, improve technology to help investigators monitor energy markets, and impose dramatically stiffer civil and criminal penalties against firms that engage in market manipulation, from $1 million to $10 million a day.”

 

The GOP was quick to respond, with House Speaker John Boehner citing the Federal Trade Commission and the Security Exchange Commission as two agencies already charged with monitoring illegal market manipulation. Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney echoed the criticism on CNBC:

 

“Any issue that he faces, he tries to find someone to blame, other than taking responsibility himself … People guessing the future of stock prices or gasoline prices are playing a role in our market.”

 

But according to The Washington Post’s Ed Rogers, Tuesday’s proposal shows the president is doing what he can to affect a global market — and it could pay off politically.

 

"President Obama did something smart today by targeting oil-market speculation … it shows that he is doing something rather than nothing on oil prices … he has shown some action and therefore, some concern, and he instantly produced good headlines."

 

The president won’t have an easy time getting this proposal through the Republican-controlled House and into law. And Politico writes — although the plan focuses on strengthening the Commodities Future Trading Commission’s market oversight — Mr. Obama once assigned a similar task to a different group.

 

“The president has blamed oil speculators for rising prices before, and created a task force a year ago to deal with the issue. But the task force has met only a handful of times and has not issued a public report.”

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