Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Pulp fiction

This is a short post but a point I really wanted to make.

Reading news headlines here Friday, Oct. 10, oil prices have dipped below $80 a barrel, settling lower than we’ve seen oil at since September 2007.

It’s hard not to remember June and July, when Goldman Sachs analysts and others were quoted saying oil would likely hit $200, and that $500 per barrel wasn’t out of the question.

I won’t pretend to be an investment expert. I will point out, however, that many financial institutions (like Goldman Sachs) that have been pushing things like privatized highways and other infrastructure sell-offs, seem to be as neck-deep into this market drop as anyone.

The same investment experts who are trading futures of commodities like oil at 2:30 a.m. on unregulated markets halfway across the world are feeling the effects of our reactionary climate.

Had many U.S. highways and toll roads been privatized when this market did hit, how would our highways, bridges and toll roads have been affected? Would the future expenditure for maintenance be overlooked as financial gurus directed all resources into more profitable ventures?

Fortunately, these major world banking powers haven’t purchased the majority of our infrastructure – yet.