Just yesterday Treasury Secretary Paulson called for increased regulation of the mortgage market thereby winning the "Let's close the barn door now that the horses are about five miles down the road" award. So far no one seems concerned with the dangerously under-regulated commodity speculators and hedge funds. The auction analogy for the commodities markets holds only when the auctions are honest. Currently, they are anything but. Operating with billions of dollars and almost no oversight, the hedgers and speculators can manipulate prices (thus 3.60+ for heating oil) as well as play the international exchange rates. They earn additional billions by exploiting the rest of us. No, heating oil and gasoline are not ever going to be as cheap as they were two years ago, but there is no reason why the already wealthy few should be allowed to further enrich themselves at the expense of everyone else. Our 30 or so year experiment with laisezz-faire capitalism and "perfect" market regulation is all around us and it's been an enormous success for the wealthiest 1 to 5%. For the rest of us it's been a disaster. For our moderator: the eBay example may be more apt than you intended. eBay is the largest purveyor of stolen goods the world has ever seen. One large bookstore chain employs 20+ people just to monitor eBay for merchandise stolen from their stores. They estimate their yearly losses at more than 20 million dollars.