BUFFALO, N.Y. - Speculation, yes. Manipulation, probably not.
At least that's what financial experts may tell you when asked if fraud is fueling the sudden spike in oil in gasoline prices.
There seems to be widespread agreement that the price of oil is rising far faster than demand. This week, the Obama Administration asked for the formation of a task force, under the guidance of the Attorney General, to investigate whether fraud or manipulation is driving the run up on oil prices.
Local prices at the pump were a dollar less per gallon as recently as September of last year.
Financial Analyst Ryan Ficorilli, of the Georgetown Capital Group, said more and more investors are betting oil prices will climb, and it's having a dramatic effect on the market. Ficorilli does not believe that fraud is a factor in the price climb.
"Manipulation, no," he said. "There could be some speculation. But I don't think there is any manipulation going on. It's just too difficult now to manipulate a market of that size."
REPORTER: What seems to be driving, in your opinion, all of this speculation on oil?
FICORILLI: The biggest driver is the federal reserve. Printing money The easy money policy of our government is leading to dollars that are entering the markets and they can't control where they're going to. And it's driving prices across the board in all types of commodities higher.
Ficorilli said there are potential signs of a speculation slowdown, although it's possible we could see $5.00 gas before there's a retreat.