Monday, December 19, 2005

Fuel shortage

There is/was a petrol shortage in parts of the country, and Vaz Lube puts the blame squarely at the feet of government regulation.

I have no reason - and I don't know enough about the causes of the shortage- to dispute his claim.

On the plus side though, the panic buying didn't seem as bad as one would have expected, at least in Gauteng. There was also no price gouging (because it isn't allowed).

It would be interesting for someone versed in economics to explain whether panic buying is better dampened by the higher prices that would follow a shortage or by the knowledge that the government will control prices, so there is no need to rush to the pump.

See also, my previous post on the topic, where I explain my somewhat irrational reasons for supporting for petrol price regulation.