For straight five weeks in a row Americans have bought less gas than last year. And 20% of the current US price of $110/barrel is ascribed to oil speculation.
Driving less does not mean that everyone is ordering online and calling in the pizza. Instead, folks are cutting back on driving to lunch and that's not good news for the pizza place or the economy. Food prices are up right from the farm to retail with costs going up for fertilizers, diesel for tractors and distribution trucks that carry produce to retail. If gas prices does reach $5/gallon inflation will rise and slow the economic recovery and even result in a double dip recession.The problem is that we can't do much about Libya, but what about the 20% contribution of oil speculators ?
In fact the Commodities and Futures Trading Commission is supposed to bring out the rules to curb speculative energy trading, they need to do so quickly, before the oil speculation bubble becomes like the mortgage bubble.