iOS app Android app

Raymond J. Learsy
GET UPDATES FROM Raymond J. Learsy
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

OPEC Is Over

(0) Comments | Posted October 27, 2014 | 11:51 AM

In the real-time commodity market, where commodities are traded as actual physical products, whereby title is taken, financed, shipped and consumed, it has been received wisdom that cartels seeking to impact the price and distribution of a given commodity, that commodity needed to be either in short or near balanced...

Read Post

Oil Prices Plunging! President George H.W. Bush Where Are You As We Need You!

(219) Comments | Posted October 21, 2014 | 7:31 AM

To the deep consternation of the oilogopoly and their kindred and influential allies in government and finance the price of oil has been dropping precipitously: Venezuela, where a gallon of gasoline costs pennies, is reeling; Saudi Arabia, where their current national budget is under strain, not to speak of the...

Read Post

"Israel" Got It Wrong

(0) Comments | Posted September 29, 2014 | 8:38 AM

Today Israel is being held to a higher standard. When it is attacked and has the audacity to defend itself, it is termed 'genocidal' by those who are not only quick but also pre-programed to cast the most disingenuous and inflammatory accusations that all too often extend far beyond the...

Read Post

Extremism: Its Supporters and a Voice of Reason

(0) Comments | Posted September 8, 2014 | 8:30 PM

Today's New York Times carried an in-depth article about one of the myriad supporters of extremist Islam ("Qatar's Support of Extremists Alienates Allies Near and Far")

The article goes into expository detail citing Qatar's support of "Islamist groups around the region by providing safe haven, diplomatic mediation,...

Read Post

Saudi Contrition Fighting Terrorism: Much Too Little, Much Too Late

(0) Comments | Posted August 18, 2014 | 5:40 AM

Last week the New York Times ("Saudis Give $100 Million To U.N. Fight On Terrorism" 08.14.14) informed us that Saudi Arabia, increasingly concerned about the spread of Islamist militant extremism reaching its own doorstep, had donated $100 million to the United Nations counterterrorism agency the day before. Thank you, Saudi...

Read Post

The Crisis With Russia and the Unspoken Link

(0) Comments | Posted August 10, 2014 | 4:54 PM

Riveting as always at the Aspen Institute, which hosted a stellar, deeply informed panel this past Friday bringing together Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and moderated by Harvard Kennedy School Professor Nicholas Burns. It would have been...

Read Post

John Kerry Raises a Beacon to the Spirit of the Saint Louis

(0) Comments | Posted August 4, 2014 | 12:38 AM

Lindbergh's historic flight on "The Spirit of St. Louis" is one of the great icons of American History and American initiative. Charles Lindbergh and his flying machine's triumphal crossing of the Atlantic in 1927 was one of America's greatest adventures, an event for which the nation stood tall and in...

Read Post

Warren Buffett as Market Manipulator -- Impossible?

(0) Comments | Posted July 28, 2014 | 9:56 PM

Warren Buffett the very icon and dean of the America's trust in the stock market and our economic process whose example has been a beacon of achievement and trust in the system. Is it possible that even Warren Buffett has clay feet, stooping to the very actions whose cynicism and...

Read Post

'NYT' Op-Ed Militates for Higher Oil Prices and Fewer American Jobs

(0) Comments | Posted July 26, 2014 | 8:51 AM

The NYTimes Op-Ed Militates For Higher Oil Prices and Fewer American Jobs in Thursday's NYTimes Op-Ed "Let Our Oil and Gas Go"

Mr. Steven Rattner demonstrates that he lives in an oil industry induced fantasy whose preachments have seduced the public, our government, our press in the misguided...

Read Post

Does Obama's Iraq "All Options on the Table" Include The Strategic Petroleum Reserve?

(2) Comments | Posted June 13, 2014 | 9:11 AM

The Iraqi regime is engaged in a fratricidal struggle with segments of their nation falling under the heel of the Qaeda inspired Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

Mosul, Iraq's second largest city with a population of 1.6 million has fallen to the ISIS marauders. Tikrit, Hussein's hometown is...

Read Post

Jimmy Carter, John Kerry and Their Best Friends

(29) Comments | Posted April 28, 2014 | 8:10 AM

When it comes to opining on Israel and the ongoing tensions and deliberations between Israelis and Palestinians, the views of the likes of President Jimmy Carter (his book Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid) and Secretary of State Kerry among other dignitaries and pundits are not far apart. Their host of scribbles...

Read Post

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

(17) Comments | Posted September 17, 2013 | 10:45 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

Read Post

The Smoking Gun of Higher Oil Prices

(61) Comments | Posted September 15, 2013 | 7:31 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...

Read Post

Syria as Russia's Oil Price Tool

(19) Comments | Posted September 9, 2013 | 4:28 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...
Read Post

France's "Cri de Guerre"

(95) Comments | Posted September 2, 2013 | 9:26 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,...

Read Post

Blatant Distortion and Manipulation of Oil Prices Laid Bare

(115) Comments | Posted August 26, 2013 | 6:04 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...

Read Post

JPMorgan Chase's Culture as Economic Parasite

(13) Comments | Posted August 22, 2013 | 11:40 AM

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...

Read Post

Egypt's Darkness and Weapons Into Plowshares

(18) Comments | Posted August 18, 2013 | 9:12 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...

Read Post

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

(172) Comments | Posted August 15, 2013 | 4:46 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...

Read Post

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

(266) Comments | Posted August 12, 2013 | 4:46 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...

Read Post