Editor's note: Matt Zeman is a principal with LaSalle Futures Group and chief market strategist for Time Means Money.Com.Government regulators are discussing curbing speculation in commodities, particularly in the energy complex. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission is said to be considering imposing position limits on futures traders, exchange-traded funds and index funds. Was the rise in crude oil to $145 a barrel and gasoline to over $4 a gallon last year based on market fundamentals (i.e., supply and demand) or something else? The rise was not justified by fundamentals alone. Other forces were at work, driving market prices higher. Many people blamed the rise on large trading firms as well as index funds and ETFs. But we need look no further than what crude oil has done over the past couple of months, to see that markets, especially crude oil, are susceptible to huge price swings without any justification other than rampant speculation. The climb in oil this year also has been dramatic. Oil was trading at $45 a barrel in February before it jumped to nearly $74 per barrel in June, all in the midst of a deteriorating economy, falling demand and rising supplies! In the ever-increasing demand for portfolio diversification, these large funds have become increasingly involved in the commodities sector in recent years. The extremely large amount of funds these funds command can move markets, sometimes to artificially high levels.