Monday, September 22, 2008

Crazy commodities and financial markets

Wow. What a crazy ride. The market crashes 1,000 points or so last week. Then it gains 800 points. And then today it drops another 300+ points. What is going on?

Well, I'll tell you what's going on. People are freaking out. They are freaking out that all the banks are going to collapse. They are freaking out about all these sub-prime mortgage securities. And honestly, why the banks ever started lending these sub-prime mortgages is beyond me. But they did. And now we have a nice little mess because of it. A $700 billion dollar mess to be exact.

Oil prices have also done a whiplash of sorts. In July, oil topped out at around $147/barrel. The last week or two it has dropped down in the low $90's. Today it went as high as $130/barrel, but dropped back down to about $120/barrel. Oil never should have gone beyond $50 - $70 per barrel. But it did. And you can thank speculators for that.

If you're like me, you're just an average person out there trying to make an honest living. You're probably sick of paying $50 to fill a 13 gallon gas tank. And you've probably noticed that food prices have gone through the roof. Problem is that you food isn't grown where you live (unless you're a granola person and you buy at the local farmer's market). And because it isn't grown locally, it has to be trucked in. The farmers have to spend more money on fuel so that they can harvest their crops. So they have to raise their prices to cover their production costs.

Well, the oil speculators have rained on our parade enough. Now its time to rain on their parade. There is a web site called . It is a great little site. You can send letters to Congress via the site. The US House of Representatives recently passed HR 6604. The Senate has failed to vote on a similar bill. If you are sick of paying the high prices, I suggest you write/email you Senator and put the screws into them. If you have a Senator up for re-election, tell him you'll vote for someone else unless they get off their duffs and do something about this problem. People are hurting. The economy is hurting. Let's get it fixed ASAP.

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