August 13, 2005


Oil traders say bubble could burst (EDITH BALAZS and WILL LESTER, 8/13/05, The Associated Press)

Traders, however, said purely speculative buying was a big factor behind the $10 per-barrel surge in three weeks.

“This is a bubble that will have to burst at some point,” said Mike Fitzpatrick, an oil broker at Fimat USA in New York. [...]

Richard Curtin, director of consumer surveys for the University of Michigan, said high gas prices could dampen enthusiasm even when the rest of the economy is good.

“It has a rather large effect on the public’s mood about the economy, especially among lower-income households,” he said. “It directly reduces their spendable income because they are not able to conserve their use of gas very easily — their trips to work and to the store.”

When asked whom they blame most for the rise in gas prices, poll respondents were most inclined to blame the oil companies, followed closely by politicians and countries that produce oil.

So when do we expect to see Paul Krugman's first column on how the economy and the President's poll numbers are being held down by the artificial oil bubble?

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 13, 2005 6:26 AM

dubya doesn't need any help from the oil bubble to keep his poll numbers down.

Posted by: lonbud at August 13, 2005 12:30 PM


Bingo! That's why it won't be written--it contradicts your faith.

Posted by: oj at August 13, 2005 12:38 PM

the bubble hasn't even started --if there's going to be one. there's a quite instructive graphic in today's Times' web article about gas prices, showing they are, in real terms, a full 30% below where they peaked in the late 70s, which was still below what they were in the 20's. if anything at all, the economy, about which there is a raft of misplaced optimism, has been propping up the connecticut cowboy's poll numbers. when the other shoe drops from his malfeasance, he and the GOP will get the boot.

Posted by: lonbud at August 13, 2005 1:16 PM


Yes, the natural cost of gas is quite low.

Posted by: oj at August 13, 2005 1:22 PM

OJ, I thought you didn't believe in bubbles.

Posted by: Robert Duquette at August 13, 2005 1:39 PM


Malfeasance? When all is said and done, this will have been the cleanest administration since Eisenhower's. And compared to the previous edition, it is positively angelic. Wouldn't you agree?

Posted by: jim hamlen at August 13, 2005 3:01 PM

He means Original Malfeasance, Jim.

Posted by: joe shropshire at August 13, 2005 3:04 PM

by what measure are you judging the administration's cleanliness, jim?

just because no one gets indicted doesn't indicate an absence of wrongdoing.

nevertheless, the damage bushco shall perpetrate has as much to do with incompetence as it does criminality.

Posted by: lonbud at August 13, 2005 3:51 PM


Actually, it does, as does the absence of resignations.

Posted by: oj at August 13, 2005 3:54 PM

Lb reminds me of the Serpent in the Garden.

Like the serpent, He admits he doesn't have ANY tangible proof.

Like the serpent, he has no company seconding his accusations, since no media powerhouse has any solid evidence of wrongdoing.

So like the serpent, he is reduced to making dark, ominous assertions in the hopes of arousing the natural caution of people to act in a non-rational manner (i.e. in a manner unsupported by any facts): sorta like the way some manufacturers attempt to arouse natural sexual urges to sell cigarettes or snuff or sunglasses.

Unlike Eve, we are aware of the existence of con-artists. Like the serpent, he hopes we won't think that there are con-artists in the intellectual realm.

Looked at it that way, no wonder I loathe such people with a passion, for they take on the spirit and motives of the most ancient enemy of the human race.

Posted by: Ptah at August 13, 2005 4:22 PM


You know what they say, "pennywise, pound foolish."

Posted by: oj at August 13, 2005 5:01 PM