Keynes and oil

Liz Cameron, chief executive of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce (your report, 24 July) holds strong positive views on the role that government can play in the oil industry.

Presumably it’s the kind of state intervention in the oil market Bruce Crichton (Letters, 24 July) would find anathema.

What does he make of the US government protecting stocks by banning exports of crude?

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“We are all Keynesians now,” blazoned Time magazine when it featured Maynard Keynes on its cover.

However, oil is a global geopolitical resource and any single national government’s intervention is severely limited.

Surely Bruce Crichton wouldn’t advocate an absolutely free market in oil production either “conventional” or “unconventional”. Even if he did, it would have no effect on Opec or Russia, China or the US.

Keynesian pragmatism measures administered through global institutions could bring price stability to the oil industry.Arguably, the global oil industry is a market failure but bringing order to it is extremely difficult.

Ellis Thorpe

Old Chapel Walk