More from the 'oh dear me' department

In the US, in the light of the recent rise in the price of crude, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission has decided that there is a threat to the " integrity and oversight of our nation's futures markets." A statement last week declared: "All Americans are significantly affected by high energy prices – whether it's paying more at the pump, or higher costs for farmers and entrepreneurs.

Today, the Commission is taking important steps to ensure that the US energy futures markets function properly and operate free from manipulation and abuse.

With these initiatives, we are improving our oversight capabilities and bringing greater sunshine to these markets."

A big probe is promised, with information being shared with London's Financial Services Authority as well as all the relevant US regulators. The primary aim is to root out and punish all those who are supposedly manipulating the oil price. This delusional nonsense is, of course, playing to a political lobby in US. The crude price is high – and forecast to stay high – because the economic balance of power in the world has shifted in favour of emerging, populous economies. But please! "Bringing greater sunshine to these markets?" Let's hope they also provide suitable screen protection.

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