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
Best-loved new cars of 2016 These cars are the most beloved among American drivers based on JD Power's annual survey of new vehicle buyers. More
This Indian university cranks out top-tier tech execs Many graduates from the Indian Institute of Technology have gone on to start and lead global tech companies. Here are a few of the most notable alums. More
Most valuable American car up for auction Carroll Shelby's own very first Shelby Cobra will be sold in August. It's almost certain to be the most valuable American car ever sold. More

Special Offer