I read the April 1 editorial and an April 9 letter on the deleterious influence of speculators on the price of gasoline. This doesn't track with any of the economics courses I've taken. What I recall learning in those courses is that speculation can indeed influence the price of a commodity but only slightly (at least in the case of a huge, worldwide commodity like gasoline) and in ways that are as often benign as malignant.
Some experts have even claimed that gas prices today are roughly 60 cents per gallon higher than they would be in the absence of speculation.
While admitting that I haven't run the numbers, that strikes me as absurd, and I would like to be shown some proof for such wild-eyed assertions. My guess is that while some speculators have made huge profits on gasoline futures, just as many have lost their shirts, and that we're probably paying about the same for a gallon of gasoline as we would be without any speculation.