Do financial speculators and commodity index funds drive up prices of oil and other essentials, ultimately costing consumers? Since 2006, Mr. [Craig Pirrong, a professor of finance,] has written a flurry of influential letters to federal agencies arguing that the answer to that question is an emphatic no. He has testified before Congress to that effect, hosted seminars with traders and government regulators, and given countless interviews for financial publications absolving Wall Street speculation of any appreciable role in the price spikes.
What Mr. Pirrong has routinely left out of most of his public pronouncements in favor of speculation is that he has reaped financial benefits from speculators and some of the largest players in the commodities business, The New York Times has found.
But any professor who teaches orthodox economics (who goes on about general equilibrium, efficient market hypothesis, random walks, the representative agent, and all the rest of it) is essentially the same as this professor Pirrong—being paid by Wall Street. You only got your teaching position because neoclassical theories systematically provide justification for the interests of those who rule and extract wealth from the financial markets. These are your one and only representative agents.