Varun Sivaram

Energy, Security, and Climate

CFR experts examine the science and foreign policy surrounding climate change, energy, and nuclear security.

(Some) Speculators Are People Too

by Michael Levi Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Here’s an iron rule of oil politics: when gasoline prices go up, calls to crack down on speculators increase alongside them. The current situation is no exception. Some who are calling for an SPR release argue that it would succeed by punishing, and thus deterring, speculation. (In the memorable words of one man interviewed by the New York Times, an SPR release would “spank the speculators”.) Others are calling for direct restrictions on speculative activity. Read more »

Could Oil Prices Stay High?

by Michael Levi Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The jump in oil prices over the past month or so has clearly been driven by what’s going on in the Middle East and North Africa. That’s why most analysts assume that when things (presumably) calm down, oil prices will drop back to previous levels too. And so long as oil prices don’t stay high for a prolonged period, the economic impact should be relatively small. Read more »