Make room on the Goldman conspiracy bandwagon. As you may or may not be aware, oil pipeline giant Semgroup Holdings took $2.4 billion in losses last summer following the oil price spike. Semgroup had been short crude and paid for it dearly. The firm went under, filing for bankruptcy protection in July. At least one voice is blaming Goldman:
But now some of the people involved in cleaning up the financial mess are suggesting that Semgroup's collapse was more than just bad judgment and worse timing. There is evidence of a malevolent hand at work: oil price manipulation by traders orchestrating a short squeeze to push up the price of West Texas Intermediate crude to the point that it would generate fatal losses in Semgroup's accounts.
"What transpired at Semgroup was no less than a $500 billion fraud on the people of the world," says John Catsimatidis, the billionaire grocer turned oil refiner who is attempting to reorganize Semgroup in bankruptcy court. The $500 billion is how much the world would have overpaid for crude had a successful scam pushed up oil prices by $50 a barrel for 100 days.
We love a good conspiracy theory and this one has all the ingredients:
Target of the theory is a powerful and somewhat mysterious entity? (Check)
Claim is difficult to (dis)prove? (Check)
Well known names attach to various tentacles of the theory? (Check)
The Daniel Pipes Criteria (the perpetrator always gains power, fame, money, and sex) is satisfied? (Check)
Did Goldman Goose Oil? [Forbes]