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Doug Krizner: The other big story is oil. Overnight, we closed in on $110 a barrel.

Let’s bring in Rob Laughlin of the London office of MF Global. Rob, what’s the story behind these high prices?

Rob Laughlin: Fundamentally, I don’t think we’re going to justify these high levels. I think what you’ve got to look at is the fact the equity markets across the world have performed so badly. As we edge closer to recession — certainly in America, you’re closer to it than perhaps we are in Europe — but we’ve seen a volley of money that’s been pulled out of equity markets as stock markets around the world have been going off, and they’ve been going into commodities. And oil, or the black gold as we would refer to it, is certainly been one of those commodities that’s attracted a lot of that buying money coming in to the complex.

Krizner: Can you give any words of comfort to the American consumer? Is there some relief in sight, or are we destined to see high prices for awhile longer?

Laughlin: Two things I would say to the American consumer is one, in the U.K., where I am, we are talking at the moment of paying imagine up to 5 pounds per gallon — that equates probably to around $9 a gallon. So there are people obviously a lot worse off than say the American buying public. But for the time being, stick with it — I think prices are going to hold at these sort of numbers. They will come off later in the year, but I think we are talking probably well into the third quarter.

Krizner: Rob Laughlin is senior energy broker with MF Global in London. Rob, thanks so much.

Laughlin: Pleasure.

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