The blame game

Institutional investors were widely blamed for the rise in oil prices earlier this year, with many pointing to the popularity of commodity indexes. Are the futures markets still being blamed now the price of crude oil has fallen towards $50 a barrel? John Ferry reports


High oil prices were at the centre of a political storm earlier this year. With the active-month futures contract for West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil on the New York Mercantile Exchange (Nymex) reaching $147 a barrel in July, politicians had just one question on their mind: why? Attention quickly zeroed in on the role played by speculators. Specifically, institutional investors were accused of distorting markets by massively upping their allocations to commodity indexes. This, argued

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