With oil prices skyrocketing toward their $147-a-barrel high in July, people smell a rat. Oil traders, hedge funds, Wall Street types...they're all to blame for artificially inflating the price of crude and reaping huge profits at the expense of drivers everywhere.
Or so the thinking (and Congressional hearings) goes until prices suddenly collapse throughout the fall, bringing oil down to about $37 a barrel. The culprit this time? Softening demand amid a reeling global economy. So much for thinking fundamentals don't matter. -- By Steve Hargreaves, CNNMoney.com staff writer
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Last updated December 31 2008: 10:36 AM ET
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