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Raymond J. Learsy
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Raymond J. Learsy is the author of several books, the most recent, Ruminations on the Distortion of Oil Prices and Crony Capitalism, is now available at A graduate of the Wharton School, he made his life in the fast-paced, risk-filled world of commodities trading, beginning in 1959. In 1963, he started his own firm and over twenty years expanded from the U.S. into Canada, the United Kingdom, Europe and Asia, trading in an array of bulk raw materials and commodities including oil and gas, shipping to customers worldwide. In the 1980s, he became a private investor, and from 1982 to 1988, served as a Reagan appointee to the National Endowment for the Arts. Learsy's analysis of the international oil trade, OPEC, and its impact on the American and world economies has been featured in the National Review Online, the New York Times, the Pipeline and Gas Journal, the Huffington Post and on CNBC.

Also by Raymond J. Learsy
Oil and Finance: The Epic Corruption 2006-2010, Oil and Finance: The Epic Corruption Continues 2010-2012, and the updated version of Over a Barrel: Breaking Oil’s Grip on Our Future.

He currently resides in Connecticut and can be reached at or visit his website at
Author photo: Timothy Greenfield-Sanders

Entries by Raymond J. Learsy

Our Next Fed Chair, A Proven Fighter for All Americans: Sheila Bair

(17) Comments | Posted September 17, 2013 | 11:45 AM

Phil Angelides is a man who should know. He served as Chairman of the 10-member bipartisan Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission appointed by the United States Government to investigate the causes of the 2007-2010 financial crisis which was to become known as the Angelides Commission. In a recent opinion

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The Smoking Gun of Higher Oil Prices

(61) Comments | Posted September 15, 2013 | 8:31 PM

There, in plain sight for all to read, the highly influential New York Times, in an article about the manipulative speculation in ethanol markets and the obscure but phenomenally profitable ethanol credits (having skyrocketed more than 20 times in the last six months) and in turn its impact...

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Syria as Russia's Oil Price Tool

(19) Comments | Posted September 9, 2013 | 5:28 AM

The opening paragraph in the Financial Times' May 31, 2013 review of Thane Gustafson's history of the Russian oil industry, Wheel of Fortune: The Battle for Oil and Power in Russia, says it all:

In no other big economy do oil and gas play such a vital role...
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France's "Cri de Guerre"

(95) Comments | Posted September 2, 2013 | 10:26 AM

Ironically it is America's first ally, France, that has held firm to the precept of holding the Syrian regime accountable for their slaughter of innocents in breach of international law by the indiscriminate use of poison gas, and at that the most gruesomely deadly agent in the lexicon of gas,...

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Blatant Distortion and Manipulation of Oil Prices Laid Bare

(115) Comments | Posted August 26, 2013 | 7:04 AM

Friday was a red letter day for the oil producers. In the space of three hours, from 9:00 a.m. to noon, the price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil as traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange leapt from $104.30/barrel to $106.94/bbl., finally closing the day at $106.42/bbl. A...

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JPMorgan Chase's Culture as Economic Parasite

(13) Comments | Posted August 22, 2013 | 12:40 PM

The culture of what we expect from banks is not overly complex. They are institutions meant to safeguard our deposits and are meant to anchor and enhance our economy by lending to viable businesses, finance trade and receivables, finance business expansion, help people purchase their homes, and where their charter...

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Egypt's Darkness and Weapons Into Plowshares

(18) Comments | Posted August 18, 2013 | 10:12 AM

America's military aid to the current military government of Egypt is the focus of criticism from many sides. Here in the United States both Senator John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina have called on President Obama to suspend all military aid to the interim government given...

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Banker Lies and Misrepresentation -- The Present and Lessons From the Past

(172) Comments | Posted August 15, 2013 | 5:46 AM

Yesterday U.S. prosecutors accused two low-level JPMorgan executives with criminal charges of wire fraud and falsifying regulatory filings of risky and complex credit derivatives that led to the bank's massive loses in the 'London Whale' scandal. JPMorgan, as do all banks, had the obligation to honestly report its assets on...

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The Cost of Nearly Everything Is Rigged, Enriching the Bank Fixers

(266) Comments | Posted August 12, 2013 | 5:46 AM

That banks are able to manipulate became clear as a bell with the findings of the Libor interest rate fixing scandal ("Everything is Rigged: The Biggest Price Fixing Scandal Ever" Rolling Stone 04.25.13) whereby some sixteen too big to fail banks were accused of colluding to manipulate interest rates tied...

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The Price of Oil Is Rigged

(386) Comments | Posted August 5, 2013 | 7:13 AM

The U.S. oil market is well supplied, with U.S. commercial crude oil inventories near all time highs, with production of U.S. oil increasing by some million barrels/day from a year ago, with weekly inventory of gasoline jumping by 800,00bbls equivalent last week alone, while Chinese demand is flat to down...

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JPMorgan Exits Physical Commodity Trading

(23) Comments | Posted July 29, 2013 | 9:10 AM

Quite dramatically, being the biggest bull in the China shop, JPMorgan Chase made the striking announcement this past week that it would quit trading in physical commodities. This in a week during which a Senate panel held hearings on whether banks such as Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan are...

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After Costing Americans Billions, Federal Reserve Reexamines Banks' Commodity Speculation

(37) Comments | Posted July 24, 2013 | 8:14 AM

"The Fed regularly monitors the commodity activities of supervised firms and is reviewing the 2003 determination that certain commodity activities are complimentary to financial activities and thus permissible to bank holding companies" comments from Fed spokeswoman and reported by Bloomberg ("Fed Reviews Rule On Big Banks' Commodity Trading after Complaints"...

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JP Morgan Accused of Rigging Energy Markets. A Feather Duster Anyone?

(49) Comments | Posted July 18, 2013 | 2:35 AM

There they go again. First there was Enron rigging energy markets. Now the sights are set on JP Morgan Chase, where the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday, "JP Morgan, Energy Regulator Near Record Settlement." Record settlement, really? The number bandied about is $1 billion, or one sixth of the...

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You Will Be Paying Higher Gasoline Prices. It Is Essential You Begin to Understand Why!

(261) Comments | Posted July 16, 2013 | 2:49 PM

In the face of escalating gas prices, the oil patch, their allies and Wall Street are counting on your ignorance permitting them to pick your pockets, spoon-feeding you nonsense while they cash in massively. The only defense we have is a vigilante public calling on our government to level the...

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Your Price of Gasoline Is Going Up! How Sweet It Is!

(79) Comments | Posted July 14, 2013 | 12:38 PM

Over the past weeks there has been a dramatic, near inexplicable rise in the price of crude oil with direct impact on what you are paying for gasoline. The price of oil has increased over 10 percent -- that is over $10 per barrel. Considering U.S. consumption of...

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Americans Pay at the Pump While Speculators Profit and Play

(87) Comments | Posted July 11, 2013 | 1:52 PM

Incredibly, since the later part of June, the price of crude oil has spiked by $12 a barrel to close at $107/bbl oil yesterday, a jump of close to 15 percent over three weeks. The impact of the rise of oil prices on gasoline prices is already being felt and...

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The Price of Oil: Speculation, Manipulation Or a Deeply Broken System

(105) Comments | Posted July 8, 2013 | 9:13 AM

Much of this you may have read here before, but it is worth repeating because the dramatic distortion in oil prices over the past weeks and their potential impact on the economy is becoming acute, and nothing is being done about it.

Some two weeks ago the Federal Trade Commission...

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Is Saudi Arabia's Trojan Horse Spiking Gasoline Prices Americans Are Paying at the Pump?

(116) Comments | Posted July 1, 2013 | 7:53 AM

Sorry, this is going to be on the longish side. Consider the following one-year price fluctuations:

On June 27, 2012 the price for:
Gold - $1561.80/oz one year later $ 1235.50 oz.
Silver- $ 26.48/oz one year later $ 18.84 oz
Copper-$ 3.32/lb one year later $...

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WSJ Gets It Right -- Highlights Italy Probe of Soccer Clubs, Ignores FTC Probe of Oil Price Fixing

(9) Comments | Posted June 26, 2013 | 1:37 PM

The Wall Street Journal provided us with a sterling example of our mainstream media's willful ignorance and paucity of coverage on one of the core economic issues of our time -- the perversion and distortion of oil prices and its cost in billions to consumers in the U.S. and throughout...

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FTC to Probe Oil Price Fixing. Saying So Doesn't Make It So

(16) Comments | Posted June 25, 2013 | 11:01 AM

In a compelling headline today we learned that "U.S. Federal Trade Commission Said to Open Probe of Oil Price-Fixing After EU."

Finally, is our government waking up to the perversion of oil prices? Perhaps. But we have learned that saying so doesn't make it so. Amazingly, amid much...

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