AirTran got ahold of my email address somehow or other over the years and sends me occasional doses of spam. Normally, it's to promote some deal or something. But now they're giving me rants against the evils of oil speculators:

Speculators buy up large amounts of oil and then sell it to each other again and again. A barrel of oil may trade 20-plus times before it is delivered and used; the price goes up with each trade and consumers pick up the final tab. Some market experts estimate that current prices reflect as much as $30 to $60 per barrel in unnecessary speculative costs.

Over seventy years ago, Congress established regulations to control excessive, largely unchecked market speculation and manipulation. However, over the past two decades, these regulatory limits have been weakened or removed. We believe that restoring and enforcing these limits, along with several other modest measures, will provide more disclosure, transparency and sound market oversight. Together, these reforms will help cool the over-heated oil market and permit the economy to prosper.



I've found the arguments of Paul Krugman and other skeptics of the "blame the speculators" story pretty convincing. But if I were an airline, I would badly want it to be true.

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