"Producers and consumers should “wrest control” of trading in the oil by agreeing to restrict prices, Chidambaram told energy ministers in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, according to speech notes e-mailed from his ministry.
Crude oil touched a record $139.89 a barrel on June 16 as investors bought commodities to hedge against a weakening dollar and concern mounted that demand is growing faster than supply. Chakib Khelil, president of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, said today there isn’t a supply shortage.
“Surely demand and supply cannot explain what has happened over the last 12 months,” Chidambaram said. “Oil prices were $70 a barrel in August 2007 and how is it that they’ve doubled when there has been no dramatic change in demand?”
Oil prices surged as financial institutions invested in the commodity through “unregulated and highly opaque” transactions, he said. " Bloomberg
Chidambaram is a socialist to be sure, but his emphasis on the role of "concern" in this matter is well placed. Engdahl’s article is good background on this whole business. pl