WARNING - this links contains facts and evidence. Political posturing, hot air, and ignorant soundbites will not be found therein. Open-minded and rational individuals may actually have their economic and political views changed by this read. Click to read this link at your own peril: http://www.energypulse.net/centers/article/article_display.cfm?a_id=894fin Summary of the effects of speculation: 1) Quick, cheap, effective risk transfer (a "free lunch" net gain to both parties in the transaction) 2) Increased liquidity (reducing transactions costs and improving hedging ability for producers and consumers) 3) Superior price discovery, leading to more efficient incorporation of information into prices (this results in more accurate pricing for producers and consumers to make their investment, production, consumption and hedging decisions with - another free lunch that benefits both producers and consumers) 4) Reduced market volatility (benefits everyone except speculators) In other words, speculation has 4 beneficial effects to all end-users of a market. The only people harmed by speculation are speculators (competition reduces volatility and improves market efficiency and thus makes it harder to turn a profit). Read the link for the evidence. If anyone disagrees, I welcome fact-based rebuttals on this thread. Please provide evidence, either from research or logic, as to the harmful effects of speculation.