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Bankers Used Tarp Money To Prop Up Price Of Oil

This article is "...not about your local gas station not getting a loan from its bank to keep it in business," Raymond Learsy, a former commodities trader blogs on Huffington Post. "It is about hundreds of millions of TARP monies being spent on oil speculation."

"Billions upon billions of TARP dollars have been made available to the likes of Morgan-Stanley. And you know what the money was meant to be for -- to finance business and to take pressure off the housing market by helping homeowners avoid foreclosure."

For months everybody has been asking where that money went. Quoting from an item on Bloomberg News in January of '09, Learsy follows the money:

"Morgan Stanley hired a supertanker to store crude oil in the Gulf of Mexico, joining Citigroup Inc. and Royal Dutch Shell in trying to profit from higher prices later in the year, two shipbrokers said."

What does that mean? "Well Morgan Stanley as but one example, simply took off its bankers hat, and donned a speculator's hat putting down some $80,000,000 at today's prices to buy 2 million barrels of oil. No, they didn't store the oil in their bank vaults. They went out and chartered a supertanker, the "Argenta" at some $68,000 a day, and they just have it sitting out there floating at anchor day after day. And that doesn't include finance charges (But hey! Finance costs? That's cheap if you have a friendly government agency to fork over the loot), insurance costs, and all those other ancillary costs attendant to it."

In 2003, Raymond J. Leasrsy, a former commodities trader who currently heads his own international trading firm, Brimstone Exports, wrote an impressive volume about the oil industry. "Over A Barrel: Breaking the Middle East Oil Cartel," was published to rave reviews for its richly informed analysis of the international oil trade, OPEC and its impact on the American and World economy.

Learsy now blogs for the Huffington Post, and in perusing his articles we came across this piece written back in January 2009. We find his analysis of the relationship between TARP money and the price of oil informative, provocative, and frankly, more than a little frightening. Whatever happened to the idea "United We Stand, Divided We Fall?"

We don't have a solution to the strangle hold that big oil and big banks have over our economy, but we do have a solar space heating solution that can free property owners from the cost of heating their building with oil, natural gas and propane.

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