The point I make is that the speculation would never have existed to that extent absent the government policies that preceded it. Mass-Speculation wasn't the problem - it was a side-effect. And blaming oil price rises on speculation is a HUGE misconception largely promoted by media outlets and a lot of "liberal" talk as well. Any research into how the oil futures market actually functions will explain how these oil prices aren't a result of speculation. And yes, earlier I was absolutely talking about a "natural" monopoly, which would only form under a legitimate free market system. That's the point. The kind of monopoly you're worried about simply wouldn't exist in a free market to begin with As far as housing goes, I'm still convinced that housing prices have nowhere to go but down (in terms of real value at least). Holding on to these properties longer isn't going to help anyone out, unless we see massive inflation and prices for EVERYTHING start to explode and housing prices rise nominally. That will bail everyone out who acted irresponsibly and made awful speculative decisions on real estate. Of course, this comes at the expense of punishing people who actually saved their money and acted responsibly while everyone around them was gulping from the punch bowl.