28 Jan 2009

Poll Results -- Oil Prices

Hey! There's a NEW POLL (water wasters!) to the right ---->
Oil Hit $140/bbl because of (choose 1 or more)
US politics 14 votes
Iraq 3 votes
The Strategic Reserve 1 vote
Spectators 46 votes
Oil Companies 14 votes
Oil Exporting Nations 10 votes
Supply-Chain Problems 11 votes
Politics elsewhere 4 votes
Surges in Demand 26 votes
Animal Spirits 13 votes

These poll results are pretty clear. The thing that confuses me about the speculators answer is this: If they bought oil on the spot or futures market, but did not intend to take delivery, then how did they sell the oil at a profit? Or were they dumb speculators who ended up selling the oil cheaply?

OTOH, maybe "normal" market participants started to speculate because they bought into the whole narrative of peak oil, Chinese demand, etc. They put a lot of money on the table until everyone realized (very quickly!) that Price was wearing no clothes...

Oh -- and those of you who worry about such bubbles forming in the water market (should one exist), need not do so. "Peak water" is meaningless, and local water markets would not accrue the same excesses as a single global market.

Bottom Line: Markets can be hard to understand.

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