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Steve Chiotakis: We’re also being reminded today about gas prices. For nearly six months, they’ve been on the decline. Part of that from dramatically falling oil prices since the summer, part from less volatility in the energy market. Here’s Marketplace senior business correspondent, Bob Moon.
Bob Moon: For many months, Energy Intelligence Group’s Barbara Shook blamed speculators for artificially driving up prices. Now she’s relieved those days appear to be over, for a simple reason:
Barbara Shook: Those players are broke right now. Those are the ones who are in Washington saying, “Oh, gee, you know this free enterprise system that we were talking about six months ago? It doesn’t work and we need a handout.”
Wall Street investors have stopped jumping into the oil market looking for a bargain as they once did whenever the price started falling.
Oil analyst Stephen Schork says even with sharply weaker demand, prices are unrealistically low now. But it seems nobody has the money to change that.
Stephen Schork: People that made the money on the way up, you know what? They lost it on the way down. So a lot of people are on the sidelines licking their wounds, and I don’t think they have the appetite to come back into this environment.
Schork says that’s why there’s not much chance of a sudden price jump anytime soon. He believes the demise of rampant speculation has brought some stability. And with much less available “silly money,” as he calls it, Schork says there’s much less chance for funny business.
I’m Bob Moon for Marketplace.
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