|Oil Hit $140/bbl because of (choose 1 or more)|
|US politics||14 votes|
|The Strategic Reserve||1 vote|
|Oil Companies||14 votes|
|Oil Exporting Nations||10 votes|
|Supply-Chain Problems||11 votes|
|Politics elsewhere||4 votes|
|Surges in Demand||26 votes|
|Animal Spirits||13 votes|
These poll results are pretty clear. The thing that confuses me about the speculators answer is this: If they bought oil on the spot or futures market, but did not intend to take delivery, then how did they sell the oil at a profit? Or were they dumb speculators who ended up selling the oil cheaply?
OTOH, maybe "normal" market participants started to speculate because they bought into the whole narrative of peak oil, Chinese demand, etc. They put a lot of money on the table until everyone realized (very quickly!) that Price was wearing no clothes...
Oh -- and those of you who worry about such bubbles forming in the water market (should one exist), need not do so. "Peak water" is meaningless, and local water markets would not accrue the same excesses as a single global market.
Bottom Line: Markets can be hard to understand.