Originally Posted by meese
BTW, the oil is out there, even with the increased demand from China and India. The only real energy "crisis" is cause by speculators pushing oil futures way beyond what's normal, while the US and Arab oil consortiums laugh all the way to the bank, and the rest of us suffer.
Speculators are, at most, a short-term, minor problem. They serve a valid market function. They are part of a market signaling mechanism that helps the market see the increasing prices, and drives investment in that sector to profit from it, thereby reducing prices over the long term. That's how free markets work.
The fundamental problems are the continual inflation of the US dollar (caused by the fed "printing" money), which makes it weaker against foreign currencies, reserves that are harder to get physically, and are blocked by government regulations, and as you said, increased demand from other countries that are finally getting more developed.
The government likes to shift blame from their own failings by trying to find a bogey man to focus people's attention on (it's the speculators, it's the illegal aliens, it's the oil companies), and on and on. Every villain probably has some role to play, but the biggest problem is the government.
That said, oil prices are going to stay high and our way of life will adjust, whether we like it or not. Want to profit from the next speculation boom? Look to invest in profitable alternative energy. Not that ethanol cluster**** that is only "profitable" due to the government forcing taxpayers to pay for a ethanol solution you couldn't sell to anyone without putting a gun to their head. Real, cost-effective solutions, like geothermal, and low-flow hyrdro. In the future, energy will be more local, lots of small generators. There are a lot of neat things on the horizon. Go make some money, so you can be blamed for the next crisis, when the dollar will be worth 1/2 of it's current value (you didn't just put that paper in a bank, I hope)