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Why blame 'speculators' for oil price run-up?

Business Times - 25 Jul 2008

Their upward pressure on prices drives down demand; falling demand leads to lower prices

By LEON HADAR
WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT

DEMOCRATIC and Republican lawmakers in Washington, led by the two presumptive presidential candidates, have been blaming 'speculators' for some of America's current economic problems.

They indict these people for rising energy prices and the housing market mess. And they want the government to take action against energy traders, short-sellers and other evil-doers.

Senator Barack Obama has promised voters that as president he would strengthen government oversight of energy traders. He has blamed them for the skyrocketing oil prices.

Senator John McCain has called for a 'thorough and complete investigation of speculators' to see if they have been driving up energy prices.

At the same time, responding to pressure from Capitol Hill where lawmakers have placed the responsibility for some of the turmoil in financial share…