Thursday, July 03, 2008

In praise of speculation

Then sometimes you don't race to the computer because the evening has been so pleasant and rich. There's the anticipation of a three-day weekend -- and an honest one in that the fourth falls on a Friday rather than the ersatz ones our government gives us by tweaking historical dates and divorcing us ever so slightly from an appreciation of our history. And when I came home tonight, Jen asked if I would like salmon for dinner. She does it simply but deliciously, pan-frying with onions, lemons, lots of dill a little olive oil and other seasonings I'm not sure about. Of course I said yes, and we enjoyed it with spinach and a glass of nice Pinot Grigio, which has become pretty close to my favorite white wine. We had a leisurely talk, planned some of the weekend, and caught up on a few things we hadn't had much time to tell each other over the last few days.

Anyway, there's been talk of the evil role dastardly speculators might have played in the dramatic run-up in oil prices. In this column John Stossel rather nicely debunks that old populist canard (and wonders why the Republican presidential nominee has such an anti-capitalistic mentality -- nice reference to von Mises). In fact speculators tend to level out potential volatility in the market, performing a valuable function.

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