Targeting Commodity Speculation
This chapter examines a series of Levin-led investigations into how commodity speculation sparks volatile prices for vital staples such as oil, natural gas, and electricity. It focuses on instances of price manipulation and excessive speculation that forced American families and businesses to pay more than they should for basic necessities like fuel and raw materials. The case studies feature oil companies like BP discussing ways to elevate gasoline prices; a hedge fund named Amaranth that spiked natural gas prices, while losing billions; and three banks—Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, and Morgan Stanley—that gained control of billions of dollars of physical commodities without protecting U.S. taxpayers from accompanying risks. The chapter also recounts how the Levin investigations fueled new safeguards.