There are no real libertarians – How Koch Became An Oil Speculation Powerhouse, From Inventing Oil Derivatives To Deregulating The Market
– December 12, 2000: Sen. Phil Gramm (R-TX), after being lobbied by Koch and Enron, creates the infamous “Enron Loophole” vastly deregulating the oil speculation market. On the night of December 12, 2000, Gramm attaches a 262-page amendment to the Commodities Futures Modernization Act, which is then attached to an omnibus spending bill that is signed into law by President Clinton before leaving office. The Gramm amendment, which received absolutely no public scrutiny or committee hearings, radically expands and codifies the energy deregulation agenda began by Gramm’s wife during the first Bush administration. The Gramm amendment allows so-called “over-the-counter” energy derivatives not only to be traded outside of regulated exchanges, but for private unregulated exchanges to deal in these sorts of financial products. Thus, massive “dark” oil speculation markets are born, including Enron’s platform for trading energy futures, and the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) — an online speculation exchange founded by BP, Shell, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and other firms. Private e-mails reported by the New York Times reveal that members of The Energy Group, led by lobbyists at Enron but including at least two lobbyists from Koch and several more from Goldman Sachs and Sempra Trading, wrote Gramm’s amendment and pressured him to slip it into the bill.
– 2008: Rampant oil speculation spikes prices to unprecedented levels. As academics from the Peterson Institute, the James Baker Institute at Rice University, and others conclude, non-commercial speculators begin to dominate the market, forcing up prices. Although the evidence was abundant that speculators caused the massive price spikes during the summer of 2008, regulators were toothless to act. A bipartisan majority in the House overwhelmingly passed legislation to award powers to the CFTC to oversee rampant oil speculation, but Republicans in the Senate — acting with help from Koch lobbyists — killed the bill, called the Energy Markets Emergency Act.
[ ]…In comments to the CFTC, the reform-minded nonprofit Better Markets noted that, “the history of these markets is a history of anti-competitive, self-interested, predatory conduct that serves the interest of the exclusive few at the expense of the many and the system as a whole.”
When the John Galt fan-boys rule the world they first have to put the fixes in so they reap the greatest rewards made possible by those who work and create the demand, thus the wealth. When plutocrats like the Kochs say “liberty”, its code for the right to rape the poor rubes known as the masses.
I guess this is one way of looking at it, ARE ARTISTS LIARS?
The wider significance of this condition is what it tells us about ourselves. Evidently there is a gushing river of verbal creativity in the normal human mind, from which both artistic invention and lying are drawn. We are born storytellers, spinning narrative out of our experience and imagination, straining against the leash that keeps us tethered to reality. This is a wonderful thing; it is what gives us our ability to conceive of alternative futures and different worlds. And it helps us to understand our own lives through the entertaining stories of others. But it can lead us into trouble, particularly when we try to persuade others that our inventions are real. Most of the time, as our stories bubble up to consciousness, we exercise our cerebral censors, controlling which stories we tell, and to whom. Yet people lie for all sorts of reasons, including the fact that confabulating can be dangerously fun.
It is probably worse to lie to others than it is to lie to ourselves, but only marginally so. A little self-deception can be comforting. maybe even a life saver under certain types of stresses. Though some people seem to have done it for so long and so frequently self-deception becomes their new reality. Since I took a block quote the least I can do it plug the book that inspired the article, “Born Liars: Why We Can’t Live Without Deceit”. That is a pretty huge generalization. So big that I can’t subscribe to it. Some lies are necessary and inevitable. They are the low-level lies we tell our children about what mommy and daddy were doing. Where the cat went when it died. You definitely look like you’ve lost weight. No, really I love watching your home movies. The big lies. Those are not inevitable or acceptable. Art might be a lie. A cynical view. Most artists can separate their imagination from their utility bill. If the day comes where they cannot. Its time for a talk on the nice sofa in the quiet office.