Without the gamble of futures markets, the oil industry might be ready to fold

The bizarre news on April 20 that oil was selling for negative $30 per barrel means exactly what you think it means: the pandemic is taking our economy into a strange and dark new place. This has never happened before.

But the news also means something else: so far at least, some of our most important financial institutions have shown they can deal with the madness. The fact that markets drove oil prices negative is actually a good reaction to a bad situation. If that hadn’t happened, we’d…

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