By now everyone is aware that come February, and those January electricity and heating bills arrive, a substantial portion of any discretionary income the average consumer may have had will go out the window, once again hitting the US economy where it hurts the most: the 70% of it that comprises consumption. And while the cold weather persists, there is little probability of a quick return to normalcy for natgas prices, which is where the CME comes in. Having hiked natgas margins by 20% six days ago – a move which did nothing – moments ago the mercantile exchange resorted to tactics which are all too familiar to gold bulls circa the summer of 2011 when the CME was hiking gold margin not by the day, but sometimes by the hour. Sure enough, here is the second natgas margin hike in one week, this one by 26%. It remains to be seen if this follow up attempt to spook speculators achieved much if anything.