A lot of economically illiterate people have blamed speculators for driving up oil prices. Will they now thank speculators for driving prices down?

Crude Oil Long Change Short Change
Large Speculator 198,019 -11,994 201,659 14,028
Commercial Hedger 641,265 -28,870 626,528 -60,219
Small Trader 55,452 -39,045 66,549 -33,718

Speculators can go short as well as long. If they weren’t in the crude oil market right now, prices would be higher. Commercial hedgers are actually net long oil and as you can see, they are much bigger than the speculators who are net short.

I have no expectation that Congress will lay off the speculators though. If they admit that this was all just a witch hunt, they’ll have to actually do something in an election year. And we can’t have that.

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