Retail gas price chart (updated 9/10/08)

Last night on CFN, FAR put up some excellent stuff about gas station shenanigans observed locally:

 Ha! Forget the Gulf region — we’re having a little mini-CF right here on Planet Georgia tonight! Gas jumped from $3.55 to $3.79 earlier today, but that wasn’t enough to trigger good ol’ demand destruction. Cars started lining up and pumps started running dry. There was one place (of six) at the retail district that had gas as of 8:30 tonight, and people were lining up to pay $4.29. In town, there was also one (of three) station open, still $3.79, and quite the line there too. A car went into a ditch behind me, which was fun since nobody got hurt.

Mrs. Fetched overheard a cop working the scene say they had to shut down the Kroger because fist fights were breaking out. While we were at the Kroger, picking up a few necessities, I asked the cashier when they’d run out. “About 8,” she said, which figures because we got there about 8:30. “We’ll have more in the morning, but it’ll be $5 a gallon.”

I saw an H2 cruising the Shell lot; there were a couple cars at the gas pumps but all the nozzles were bagged up. That guy’s gonna have a coronary in the morning.

Oh, I almost forgot. We were talking to someone this evening; her step-mother had just told her that gas had hit $4.79 in Blairsville (up in the mountains) but had retreated to $4.09. We’re having a Katrina-plus style freakout here.

Updated retail gas price chart as of Wednesday evening. The three marked lines are Memorial Day and hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

4 Replies to “Retail gas price chart (updated 9/10/08)”

  1. The run on gasoline and resulting high prices are so far nothing but hysteria and hording, and a response to television news hype, with very little concrete information available yet. I’m betting that refinery infrastructure in the region is generally in good shape.

  2. One thing I’ve picked up from you is regarding the pointlessness of predictions, however the three Hs – hype, hysteria and hording – are so annoying to me that I couldn’t resist.

  3. OK class, tonight review the reaction to Orson Well’s classic “War of the Worlds” and write a short review with reference to current oil-storm events.

    I’ll be passing out gold stars for the best papers, so you won’t want to miss this assignment!

  4. Here is a comment copied from “Steve from Virginia” over on the TOD Drumbeat, I think for today. The subject is the economy in relation to borrowing from foreign countries and global oil supply problems. I think this guy gets it.

    “Deflation and sector piracy.

    ‘The world is no longer on a gold standard. And central bankers are free to print money whenever they want.’

    The amount of currency available has to be put into a credit context. Money that is created by central banks doesn’t ‘travel well’. It remains in the close circle of banks and financial institutions that have credit with each central bank. Credit may be available … but nothing can compel lending or borrowing. Today, lending and borrowing is shrinking. Tomorrow, it will shrink more, the trend is a decline in credit that takes place across the length and breadth of the economies, worldwide.

    For instance the US Fed has opened several auction facilities to provide liquidity to finance companies while keeping the ‘discount window’ open to commercial banks. The purpose of this liquidity is to maintain balance sheet ‘integrity’. The banks have bad loans that have little market value; the loss of market value is replaced with Fed credit. What this means is the money created by the Fed simply replaces credit already destroyed in the markets.The market value ‘shrinkage’ is exponential growth – compounding – in reverse. This gearing – of all the banks and finance houses that are serviced by the central banks – is working against them. Increasing service to more and more banks – bailing Fannie and Freddie, for instance – exposes the central bank(s) to even more credit unwinding.

    The banks can emit more money than there is collateral to trade for it … but that liquidity will never gets anywhere important … at least it will never get to me!

    The only way that fiat money can get into the hands of citizens is in ‘Stimulus Packages’ that are budgeted by US Congress or other governments. Think public works projects and subsidies. Even if these are massive – as were the make work projects in 1990’s Japan – they amount to a small fraction of the credit destroyed by reverse gearing.

    Just because there is less and less credit doesn’t mean that prices can’t rise. Certain sectors of the economy have more traction on individuals than other economc sectors. Food and energy sectors that have decided to get while the getting … is possible. The fuel sector has more economic clout over customers than does the home furnishing sector. The ‘vital’ sectors are raiding other sectors. People choose between gas … or … drapes and a sofa.

    This is a terrible bear market indicator. Exxon-Mobil is profiting at the expense of the airlines. All companies are profiting (relatively) at the expense of their employees. In an inflationary context all the sectors would be increasing relative to each other … to reflect the rise in credit availabliity.

    As for Foreign central banks reducing their holdings of US securities … this is quite complicated with many feedback loops. The institutions that hold our paper have an interest in keeping the ‘growth machine’ running. Other countries export to us and if we don’t buy, they have problems. This pretty much requires recycling Dollars into Dollar denominated treasury paper. Another issue is the relative value of other currencies. If one ‘Get’s Out’ of Dollars, they have to ‘Get Into’ something else. The last time there was a surge into ‘something else’, oil spiked to $147/bbl. Better to have Saudi Arabia buying T-Bills rather than crude futures contracts …

    Other currencies are tied to economies with just as many problems than the US has; a recession in Europe and UK, possible recession in Japan, a bubble economy starting to unravel in China (and a currency that does not trade, so it is TRULY fiat). Brazil is a ‘force in being’ but is not large enough to carry the economic future of the world and Russia is acting like they are run by Mafia dons … Even with consumer spending declining and a government bent on socializing Wall Street, things look better here than in a lot of other countries, so betting on the Dollar is pretty safe … for the moment.

    In deflation, credit shrinks. Not necessarily currency. There is an entire ‘Greatest Generation’ of WWII- era citizens who are passing away and leaving their savings to their children and grandchildren. “To invest in a new energy infrastructure,” you ask? No .. to pay credit card balancess and mortgage arrears on houses that are worth half of the cost … to banks that are insolvent.


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