The role of speculation in the ongoing boom in commodity prices is hotly debated. President Obama recently waded into the debate, stating that, “It is true that a lot of what’s driving oil prices up right now is not the lack of supply. There’s enough supply. There’s enough oil out there for world demand The problem is ... speculators and people make various bets, and they say, you know what, we think that maybe there’s a 20 percent chance that something might happen in the Middle East that might disrupt oil supply, so we’re going to bet that oil is going to go up real high. And that spikes up prices significantly.”

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