When it comes to evil, evil speculators driving stocks higher on endless gobs of cheap zero-cost liquidity, one will hear nary a peep out of the administration: after all: wealth effect or bust. However, when someone hears oil speculators, run and hife. Indeed, now that Obama's uber-central planning mandate has proven completely powerless to redirect the flow of zero-cost money from acquiring real, as opposed to paper-based, assets (read crude), the Teleprompter in Chief will have a sit down with the nation at 11:10 am and in the latest sermon from the White House mound, will "confront" oil speculators once and for all. His plan: why encourage margin hikes of course - the same principle that crushed the spine of the gold and silver spike in 2011. Unfortunately, unlike gold and silver, whose trading is still dominated by the Comex, energy has numerous alternative venues, such as the ICE, and increasing exchanges in China, which also happens to be the marginal demand setter with 3 consecutive months of near record imports. Which is why we are 100% confident that just like every failed attempt at central planning, all Obama will achieve is another spike in crude prices, just in time for the next global reliquification cycle, just in time for 2012's debt ceiling scandal, and just in time for the reelection.
The White House plan, which Obama was to unveil Tuesday, is more likely to draw sharp election-year distinctions with Republicans than have an immediate effect on prices at the pump. The measures seek to boost spending for Wall Street enforcement at a time when congressional Republicans are seeking to limit the reach of federal financial regulations.
Obama plans to spell out his $52 million proposal Tuesday at the White House, where he will be joined by Attorney General Eric Holder.
Republicans have been hammering Obama on his energy policies, recognizing the political cost of high gas prices on the president. Obama’s plan would turn the tables on Republicans by taking aim at Wall Street’s role in the oil price chain.
Eric Holder? Out of carbonite again? And no mention of Bernanke? Ah yes... can't have the curtain lifted on he who runs it all...
So back to the evil, evil speculators:
Senior administration officials who put together the proposal said it aims to detect and deter illegal manipulation by energy speculators, the type of practices that many Democrats blame for the high cost of gasoline. The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the plan ahead of Obama’s announcement.
They would not go as far as to say that market manipulation is responsible for rising gas prices, but the officials said they wanted to curtail the ability of speculators to take unlawful advantage of oil price volatility.
At issue is the increasing role of investment in oil futures contracts by pension funds, mutual funds, hedge funds, exchange traded funds and other investors. Much of that money is betting that oil prices will rise. Analysts say it is possible that such speculation has somewhat inflated the price of oil.
And specifically, here is what Obama will do:
Obama’s plan this time calls on Congress to:
— Increase six-fold the surveillance and enforcement staff of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to better deter oil market manipulation.
— Increase spending on technology to provide better oversight and surveillance of energy markets.
— Increase civil and criminal penalties against firms that engage in market manipulation from $1 million to $10 million.
— Give the Commodity Futures Trading Commission authority to increase the amount of money that a trader must put up to back a trading position. The administration officials said such authority could help limit disruptions in energy markets.
That's right: Obama is about to become the Margin Hiker-in-Chief: a swiss watch plan if there ever was one.