So I followed a link from Glenn Reynolds to a piece from the always worthy David Goldman (aka, “Spengler”) on oil prices, namely, that today’s high oil prices are owing to simple supply and demand rather than the Middle Eastern “risk premium” that everyone (including me) supposes:
It’s complete and utter nonsense. Oil is trading in lockstep with expectations for economic growth, as reflected in stock prices. There’s not a shred of evidence that geopolitical uncertainty has added a penny to the oil price. Obama’s $20 to $30 per barrel risk premium is a number pulled out of a hat, without a shred of empirical support. In effect, the President is blaming Israel for high oil prices.
He makes an interesting case, noting the close correlation with the stock market, which may also correlate with a weak dollar and paltry bond returns as much as improving economic prospects. See David’s nifty charts at the link.
But that’s not the most interesting part of this post. More curious to me was the site where it appeared: The Gatestone Institute. What’s this? I had never heard of it. And why is Goldman now blogging there? Ah—go check the “About” page, where you find this description:
Human Rights Activists, Moderate Muslims and Expert Investigative Reporters to:
- Amplify dissident voices worldwide that stress the need for reforms in rule of law, property rights, free-market opportunities, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and other institutions of democracy
- Monitor Russia and China’s economic and military offensives, evaluating their implications to the West.
- Examine the use of oil as a political weapon against the West, and promote the urgent development of alternate sources of energy.
- Divest Iranian holdings from pension plans, banks and foreign subsidiaries.
- Press for transparency and accountability in non-governmental organizations, The United Nations, and other international institutions.
- Counter lawsuits intended to intimidate and silence critics of religious extremism, and combat States which train children to be suicide killers.
- Track the funding of terrorist cells and their systems of communication, and disable them when possible
Sounds good to me! Sign me up. And bookmark this page.