CNBC Blog Credits Obama with Oil Drop

     The price of oil continues to plunge – off more than $25 a barrel from its high. Naturally, someone was bound to credit … Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama. Only one problem, the financial expert who did so is also a recent Democrat donor.


     Chief Bond Market Strategist Tony Crescenzi, of Miller Tabak + Co., LLC, wrote on the CNBC “Guest Blog” August 4 that “expectations of an Obama win could knock $40 off the oil price.” According to, Crescenzi gave $687 to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee in late 2007.


     He claimed Obama’s August 4 energy speech reaffirmed that position because the candidate “might tap the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR)” if elected. He gave Obama’s speech partial credit for the $3.69 drop in the price of a barrel of oil the same day.


     “Obama said ‘we should sell 70 million barrels of oil from our Strategic Petroleum Reserve for less expensive crude, which in the past has lowered gas prices within two weeks,’” Crescenzi wrote. He went on to claim: “If Barrack Obama wins the presidency, the price of oil could fall $40 per barrel.” [sp]


     CNBC’s on-air experts didn’t exactly agree. John Kingston, Platts’ director of oil, told the network Obama’s speech had a questionable impact on the decline in oil prices. “Well, I question whether in fact it has had the impact, actually,” he said. Kingston explained much of the day’s sharp drop was technical and had occurred prior to the speech.


     Another CNBC expert, Stuart Frankel broker Steve Grasso agreed Obama had nothing to do with the drop. “I don’t think it has anything to do with Obama,” he explained. Grasso said there were a “bunch of different catalysts” impacting the market including the end of a threat from Tropical Storm Edouard and changing geopolitical realities. “I think the oil play near term is over,” he added.