On July 8 we blogged on a commentary published in the Wall Street Journal under the joint bylines of UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown and French President Nicolas Sarkozy. The two European leaders alleged that speculation had damaged the world crude oil market by making it “dangerously volatile.” We surmised that the sudden interest in oil market speculation, which seemed to have come out of the blue, was instead highly coordinated. There is now more evidence supporting that hypothesis, but some indication that it is encountering resistance.
Category Archives: Independent Commissions
New York Times reporter Matt Richtel seems to have set off a pandemic news stories and commentaries with his profile of “otherwise respectable people” who use jamming devices to illegally obstruct the cell phone conversations of people nearby. Based on groundswell of support that appears to have formed for jammers, this looks like a problem worthy of a small amount of economic analysis.
As it happens, there are simple market-based solutions. The real problem is that the federal government has preempted them by disallowing market forces to work. One thing should be clear: jammers have appeared on the market because there is considerable consumer demand for them. That means there used to be a “market failure,” and this market failure will persists as long the federal government insists on sustaining it.
We’ve posted several times on “carbon neutrality” — how it’s defined, how environmentalists are split between CO2 Puritans and Pragmatists, and further ramifications of their conflict centering on the nascent market carbon offsets (see here and here). Supporters say buying offsets is an effective and justifiable way to compensate for CO2 emissions. Opponents liken carbon offsets to the indulgences sold by the pre-Reformation Roman Catholic Church.
The Gasoline Crisis
Part 11: Gasoline prices are down, bill to eliminate the ethanol tariff is filed, buried insights from the FTC, and an essay on celulosic biomass (!)
Bits and pieces from today’s news, including more than you probably wanted to know about switch grass. Also, Neutral Source has dredged up November 2005 Federal Trade Commission testimony in response to the last time Members of Congress alleged nefarious conduct in the gasoline business.