Drunken Gas

Has anyone else seen all those social media posts blaming the high price of gas on President Obama? Experts have pointed out that the causes for the rise and fall of gas prices are complex and have little to do with the President, but that doesn't seem to deter people from believing what they want to believe. Here's an interesting story that might help persuade some folks that the President, or anyone else for that matter, is really in control of the oil industry:

On June 30, 2009, oil mysteriously jumped by more than $1.50 a barrel during the night, to reach its highest price in eight months, the kind of swing that is caused by a major geopolitical event…

Although not authorized to invest company cash in trades, Steve Perkins, a long standing, senior broker at PVM Oil Futures, had managed to spend $520 million on oil futures contracts throughout the night, the FSA said.

On the morning of the 30th, an admin clerk called Perkins to ask why he had bought 7 million barrels of crude during the night. Perkins had no recollection of the transactions, and it turned out that he had made the trades during a “drunken blackout," according to the FSA.

By the time PVM realized the transactions had not been authorized by a client, they had incurred losses of $9,763,252.

Between the hours of 1:22 a.m. and 3:41 a.m., Perkins gradually bought 69 percent of the global market, while driving prices up from $71.40 to $73.05, by bidding higher each time.

Here's the crazy thing: the authorities only suspended this guy's trading license for five years and said they might give it back if he can prove he's conquered his drinking problem. If this is how the world works how can any one leader be held responsible for the outcome? The inmates are truly running the asylum.

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