August 04, 2009
Not long ago we marked the one year anniversary of $147 oil. Today oil is in the $70?s. Earlier this year it was in the $30?s. The fact that it has risen so rapidly from its low has raised the eyebrows of various CNBC personalities. These presumed market defenders have inched right up to the line of blaming speculators and hedge funds for oil?s rise. They have even gone so far as to kvetch that this speculating and the coincident spike in gas prices could stunt the recovery; further cementing the narrative of marauding speculators suffocating the little guy.
Let?s assume CNBC is right. Strange then that when home prices were skyrocketing, they didn?t indulge in much speculator bashing. Home ownership, which at least then was being labeled the new ?American dream,? was being made totally unaffordable as home prices were bid up. Accordingly, the only way for Americans to attain this ?dream? was through self-destructive borrowing. Was any of this pinned on evil real estate speculators? Remember many rants about black hearted hedge funds placing the American dream out of reach for the average American?
CNBC exists to talk stocks. Its guests and advertisers are primarily stock focused. It?s basically QVC for day traders. So it?s okay for the NASDAQ to be in a bubble. And it?s okay for there to be a housing bubble, so long as homes are used as ATMs and company earnings experience a kick from that extra consumer spending. But the minute a bubble forms with the potential to weigh on stock prices?like a bubble in oil—out come the pitchforks. Hell hath no fury like a stock tout scorned.
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