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A Wasteful Investigation
The FTC has completed its investigation of high gasoline prices in the summer of 2006 and concluded that oil companies did not conspire to raise prices:
Quelle surprise. What a waste of taxpayer money. Any economist worth their salt could've predicted this outcome. This investigation was politically motivated grandstanding, as have been similar investigations in the past. It's outrageous that taxpayers have to fund this stuff.
The full report is available online, and is very interesting reading. For example, would you believe that ethanol was responsible for a significant part of the higher gasoline prices? Read the report!
There was one dissenter on the commission: Commissioner Leibowitz's dissent is also available online. It is one paragraph long and reads like a petulant sneer:
Commissioner Leibowitz presents no empirical support for his narrative, and not even a "theoretical model" to explain what happened. He simply asserts that "there was profiteering at the expense of consumers" despite evidence to the contrary, catapulting him into the pantheon of political gasbags drifting without tether to reality.
Well, it's as I said three years ago… anger over "price gouging" isn't about economics.