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Kimberly Amadeo

New Task Force to Examine Commodities Trading Role in High Gas Prices

By June 19, 2008

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Two Democratic senators, Jack Reed of Rhode Island and Carl Levin of Michigan, said that the White House agreed to set up a new task force to determine the extent of speculation in the commodities markets. The task force would include members from the Treasury Department, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the Federal Reserve Board and the departments of energy and agriculture. (Source: IHT, Limits Sought on Commodity Trading, June 13, 2008) This is in addition to a hearing on June 24 proposed by Senator Joe Lieberman, chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee. He is proposing legislation to place prevent large institutional investors from investing in commodities markets.

Unlike the leading Presidential candidates, Senator Lieberman is addressing the root cause of recent high gas prices. He is directly targeting the commodities traders who use commodities futures to hedge against swings in other investment instruments like stocks and the dollar. (Source: IHT, U.S. Congress could ban speculators from commodities, May 21, 2008)

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