The Media's Top 10 Economic Myths of 2008 (No.3)

Equidex President Phillip Gotthelf pointed out on Bloomberg TV on Oct. 7, "I think that the commodities really outlived their, their useful rallies because they've exceeded the elasticity of the consumer."

 "And commodities are consumables, they're not investments. They're speculative equals sometimes, but they're certainly not investments."

According to Gotthelf, those commodities include oil, which he said was poised to go to $40 a barrel or lower in the wake of the global economic turmoil.

 "I'm somewhat amused. Goldman Sachs was forecasting $200 a barrel for oil," Gotthelf said. "I see that their forecasts are getting more and more conservative. I said $200 a barrel was ridiculous. Even $150 I thought was ridiculous. We were looking at $24 a barrel in 2004. Everybody is now making comparisons in the financial sector to the implosion of stocks in 2002, 2003 – the last stock recession. Why shouldn't we see oil return to $40, maybe even below $40 a barrel?"


3. Oil prices will skyrocket to $200 a barrel, gas to $15.

Media myth: Journalists warned of super-high oil and gas prices, but then the bubble burst.

Originally published by the Business & Media Institute

Journalists predicted skyrocketing oil prices in 2008 up to $400 a barrel.

NBC News chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel warned on the July 1 "NBC Nightly News" an attack by Israel could send oil prices soaring – sending gas prices into territories never imagined.

 "I asked an oil analyst that very question," Engel said. "He said, 'The price of a barrel of oil: Name your price – $300-$400 a barrel.'"

What would oil at those levels mean? A June 11 Time magazine story by Robert Baer put the price of a gallon of gas at $12 if oil goes to $300 a barrel. In May, Management Information Services Senior Energy Advisor Robert Hirsch told CNBC's "Squawk Box" the oil at those prices could mean $15-a-gallon gas.

NBC "Nightly News" asked CNBC's Jim Cramer about those $12-15 predictions. Cramer said "I think that $12 isn't in the cards. I do see $5 to $6-a-gallon by end of the summer." But even that prediction turned out to be wrong. Gas prices peaked at $4.11 on July 11 and have since fallen to $1.68 according to AAA.

The news media didn't anticipate the end of the oil bubble with prices sinking from about $147 at its peak to around $45 Dec. 10.

But there were experts who disagreed. [Click 'read more' to continue]