President Obama’s announcement Tuesday that he wants to go after people who may be affecting oil prices by gaming the markets for personal gain was completely ignored Tuesday by the markets themselves, which promptly bid the price of oil up another dollar.
In fact, the price shot up upon opening at 9 am, just after Obama’s initiative was announced by the White House. By late afternoon Eastern Time, Oil had gained $1.26, or 1.2 percent, to $104.19 a barrel, according to Bloomberg, settling at its highest level in two weeks.
Obama’s announcement was clearly designed to suggest that he’s on the case with respect to gasoline price hikes. But White House Press Secretary Jay Carney Tuesday could not even say that the effort would directly affect prices.
There are so many things that go into setting the price of oil on a global — on the markets when you have a commodity like oil, which is traded globally. So it is hard to know what the impact will be of the specific measures you take. And of course, in this case … we obviously have to see what kind of actions is taken specifically with regard to potential manipulation or potential speculation. So it would be pure speculation.
So, who knows? At least Carney was honest. And then he went into political attack mode …
I think the question that has to be asked of members of Congress is, why are you against putting more cops on the beat? Why are you opposed to ensuring that the agencies involved here that regulate this market have the tools they need and the manpower they need to make sure that American consumers are not getting ripped off?
Because the only numbers the White House is truly hoping this will move are the president’s poll numbers.