Friday Rant: Supply & Demand? — The Consumer Fuel Price Conundrum

As we all know, daily life can be trying and difficult for a plethora of reasons. It's also why we should all do our best to not sweat the small stuff. I try, for instance, to not go crazy over the cost of gasoline, but my patience is running on empty.

When it comes to cars, I save on hardware. My newest ride is 24 years old and I haven't had a monthly car payment for over 20 years. And while I don't drive much, my downside is poor mileage and a big old sedan that demands premium gas – now hovering near 4 bucks a gallon. And yes, I know that pump prices are pegged to crude-oil futures and Iran loves to play havoc with the market by threatening to close the Strait of Hormuz which results in a European Union embargo threat and so on and so on. But what about the good old "law" – as it was once called -- of supply and demand?

Today's WSJ reports that "Crude-oil prices tumbled to a six-week low, settling below $97 [per barrel] for the first time since Dec. 19 on weak demand and rising supplies." Additionally, "U.S. oil use posted the biggest single-week drop in 14 years to set a 13-year average daily low..." So if we can still trust the lessons learned in Economics 101 and your tank is low, try to wait a few days before filling up. On the other hand, supply and demand factors have a mysteriously difficult time navigating their way to our local gas pumps.

- William Busch

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