Our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy have changed.

By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

2 of 13
BACKNEXT
Limiting Wall Street money into oil markets
Government economists have said they have found no evidence that speculators -- investors like pension and hedge funds who don't end up using oil -- are to blame for the rising prices. They say trading information shows no correlation between investment activity and price swings.

Others, such as the International Energy Agency, have also said speculators are not to blame. They've pointed to other non-traded commodities that have risen in price even faster than oil, and to the fact that there is no evidence of a bubble, such as excess oil sitting around in storage.

Many people say speculators are good -- saying they allow users to more easily buy and sell contracts -- and that oil price would actually be higher without them.

Still, the correlation of a four-fold increase of investment money into oil futures and a four-fold increase in oil prices since 2004 has not gone unnoticed. Many lawmakers, consumer rights advocates and even some oil industry analysts say speculation is at least partly to blame.

In addition to requiring more information on who owns oil futures, several proposals in Congress want to limit how many oil contracts speculators can buy.

NEXT: A windfall profits tax on Big Oil

Last updated September 25 2008: 3:43 PM ET
More Galleries
Driving Bentley's new SUV Spending an afternoon in Bentley's luxurious new $230,000 SUV. More
Best cars for the super-rich The Robb Report has selected these as the best new cars and SUVs for anyone who doesn't have to worry about how much they spend. More
Banned! 10 things you won't find in China China says it wants to open its economy more to the rest of the world, but Beijing keeps a tight grip on technology and access to media. These 10 items are still off limits. More

Special Offer