The Ghost of Enron

By Jack Hoffman

Five years ago today I was invited to speak at an anniversary party for ICT. Rose Tirella, the publisher, editor, delivery girl, and chief bottle washer of the paper asked me to write something- just anything will do. Being an author, network investigative producer and part time speechwriter writing a column seemed challenging.

Since that first meeting there certainly has been lots of pot- holes on this journalistic road. But thanks to Rose and her tutelage, the freedom without censorship to express my opinions that she gave me I stayed with her mostly out of respect and admiration for her work and belief in an alternative news source.

To the many that have given their time without financial compensation only love of the paper and its philosophy a special thank you. The paper could never have worked if it wasn’t for the loyalty of the advertises. Throughout the years when myself or other writers challenged the boundaries of the other mundane print media leaving Rose in a state of nervousness you folks still remained. And even when I or some other writer dared challenge the mundane boundaries set by the other local print media that certainly touched some nerves- you remained.

Happy seventh Rose

If I were to say that at the stroke of Bush’s pen and in a matter of hours the price of oil would be reduced anywhere from 20% to as much as 50% – Translated at the pumps it could mean a saving of almost $2.00 per gallon- Impossible, but sadly true.

The question of the day is who and what is determining the price of oil, your gasoline and home heating bills. Welcome to the big tent the public knows little about. You are about to read about the biggest fraud perpetrated on the world and a classic example of pure capitalist thievery out of the pages of the Enron playbook.

The truth is this administration and the bought politicians were responsible for legalizing the price fixing scheme on the price of oil that we are paying dearly for. This legalized game of consumer screw ball, maybe one of the most important reasons why oil has spiked so much- Second only by America’s insatiable love for cars. Something we can talk about later.

Remember the movie Jaws when the local Chamber of Commerce insisted to the press there were no sharks. Better still the phony reports by the Cape C h a m b e r about how successful the 4th was- Hardly I c o u n t e d only 2 nov a c a n c i e s out of 30 motels that I surveyed f r o m Hyannis to Dennis. Never mind how much was lost in the restaurants- Next time you read or hear the news ask your self who is being quoted in the story. .

We hear oil is in short supply. The law of supply and demand that has brought China and India into the oil rush is consuming too much. Truth is the two don’t even use 25% of our daily needs.

According to the National Commission on Energy policy nearly 70% of the 21 million barrels of oil consumed in the US every day goes for transportation. According to recent ads by Boone Pickens, former oilman now environmentalists, almost 70% of our fuel needs are imported. In return we send $70 billion dollars every month to foreign suppliers- the result being a weaken dollar that makes oil costs higher and contributes to a struggling economy.

When you hear those nightly business reports about oil it’s the BS pablum that’s fed to the media by none other than the oilmen and Wall St that are in this conspiracy together. After all who has more credibility, or a criminal mind set on boosting their agenda. When Wall St says oil could reach $200 per barrel they have ulterior motives for this prediction. They already own contracts at $100pbl.

We already know the stories of money being made by the oilmen, but you won’t hear is that they are not spending the money they claim they are for new sources. They still have yet to explore and drill on 60,000 million acres of land our government so generously gave them at bargain basement rates.

According to many oil executives in testimony before congress, the U.S. reserves off our shores, we hear so much about, maybe greater than the reserves of almost every country in the mid-east and Russia, excluding Saudi Arabia Don’t let anyone kid you there is plenty of that black gold.

Dave O’Rielly, C.E.O. of Chevron on a recent Charlie Rose show claimed that most experts agree if the reserves were opened today it would take almost 5 years to construct the platforms and another ten before they would recover a drop of oil. According to O’Rielly we would reduce are consumption by only 7 %.

Around 1989 Bush 1 set up the Commodity Future Trading Commission (CFTC). Wendy Gramm, former Senator Phil Graham’s wife, the whimpy name caller and our new Dr. Phil on the block, was given the chairmanship. Her goal was deregulation of the commodity market.

In case you’re interested commodity markets set the prices on delivered goods on just about every commodity that’s bid up or down by screaming traders in New York, London, Singapore, and now Dubai.

It wasn’t until 2001 that her husband, still in the Senate, along with the Repugs favorite lobbyist Charlie Black, lobbyist for Exxon, pushed for the final chapter of de regulation. The opponents appropriately titled the final amendment the Enron Loophole. After all Enron paid most of the tab to get rid of the governments watchdog role in the commodities market.

Remember those secret energy meetings with Cheney? Just days after the meetings Enron used their new, and paid for uncontrolled power with no government oversight handed to them by Wendy and Phil and others to set up phony companies that would be undetected and immediately began buying up as many electric future contracts headed for California. You all know the rest of the story something those in CA will never forget.

Do you think the investment houses weren’t paying attention to the Enron scheme? The reality is Wall St. has perpetrated on the consuming public the biggest fraud of all including the stocks they sell and now they had a free hand in the commodities market without any government intervention. Wall St. had one and only one commodity in mind— oil. They first began hiring former Enron employees who knew the screw shuffle. After all who was there to see what was happening? Who knows another Enron could even be happening. What’s even more incrediable the Enron loop allowed commodity buyers to margin futures with only putting up 7% of the value. The stock market requirement is 30%. I will stand corrected on the latter if less.

In recent testimony before the Senate, Mark Cooper and other former members of the CFTC testified before Congress about the effects of the Enron loophole. It was estimated by them and others, that almost 70% of the increase in oil in the past year is the fault of these commodity criminals who were controlling oil delivery contracts. The real amounts we will never know because of the secrecy. According to their expert testimony the price of oil could drop as much as 50% and gas back to a $2-$3 levels at a minimum- It’s that simple. Just on their testimony the price of oil on the exchange that day dropped $10per barrel. Why? the Wall St boys would sell short all their contracts and run like the chicken rat thieves that they are.

Talk about morality. – Some baseball players are a bunch of cheatsand some players may even go to jail while Wall Street’s legal thieves will buy more expensive cars filled with our blood.

I especially want to thank all of those that have sent me get-well greetings for a quick recovery from a personal health problem. And to all those that send me love letters that disagree with me, but in some cases take it a stretch characterizing me as some hater of capitalism, or a dirty commie I say to them I’m really a Trotskyite. That’s short for a socialist commie Jew. Sorry guys my doctor has assured me I will live until at least November to witness the slaughter of the Repugs.