Publications: Papers

Regulating Oil Prices to Infinity (August 2012)


Economic policymakers in the major industrialized countries have worked tirelessly to moderate the impact of high oil prices for decades. The goal of all was to break the monopoly control held by multinational oil companies such as ExxonMobil and then OPEC. The policies have had some success. Surprising as it may seem, prices today are lower than they would be had thousands of actions not been taken over the last half century. Now, though, a US government agency—the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC)—and the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) want to undo this effort. At a minimum, the IOSCO/CFTC proposal will add $300 billion per year to what the world pays for oil. It could add as much as $1 trillion. This short paper in a last ditch effort to stop the CFTC and IOSCO from taking the steps they propose.


(Note: This paper is available on request.)