Commodity price, Hedging, Market research, Market trends

Do markets move in trends?

Do markets move in trends – I find it baffling and fascinating that this question is still even debated, but there are individuals – usually in the academia – who, in all seriousness, will maintain that price fluctuations are random, and that we essentially hallucinate trends. I’ve tackled the issue in some detail in my, any-day-now-to-be-published book, but perhaps a few charts could help settle the issue: Continue reading

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Economics, Policy, Social development

Economic growth is not a sustainable policy objective

It goes without saying that the key policy objective of fiscal and monetary authorities world over is to achieve and sustain economic growth. This unthinking adherence to orthodoxy is very unfortunate. We cannot hope to solve society’s problems unless we formulate the problems correctly. And we can’t formulate them correctly if we set inappropriate goals.

A while back, Jeremy Grantham made an illuminating projection: suppose that in 3030 B.C. the total possession of the people of Egypt filled a box measuring 1 cubic meter. Suppose further these possessions grew at a rate of 4.5% per annum. How large should this hoard get 3000 years later, in 30 B.C.?

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Commodity price, Economics, Market research, Oil market

Market facts vs. market narratives

So the economy is in the doldrums globally and demand for oil languishes. At the same time, oil producing countries are pumping the stuff out as hard as they can with no let-up in sight. So how does it make sense that oil price surged nearly 60% from its January lows? Today’s news and rumors may explain today’s advance, but what about previous three months’ rally? The answer is that over time, it is the price that leads the narrative, not the other way around. I’ll try to elaborate.

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