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The $100m bonus question: what drives the oil price?

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posted on Aug, 4 2009 @ 10:35 AM
Interesting to see the MSM asking questions:

...when I start reading about Andrew Hall, the Citigroup energy trader fighting for his $100m bonus, there is always a vague, unanswered question floating around at the back of my mind: what does this person actually do to earn so much?..

...These simple wagers are what netted the senior trader approximately $23,000 per hour, $274,000 per day, or $100m per year.

...Now here comes the most interesting bit: Mr Hall appears not just to have been shuffling abstract pieces of paper or playing with numbers on a computer screen. Phibro, now a division of Citigroup, was buying up oil and stockpiling it on floating depots. This was worth the investment if the price of oil rose more than the cost of storage. In fact, many investment banks, from Morgan Stanley to Goldmans, have in recent months been removing supply in a similar way to OPEC, the cartel of oil producing countries that tries to support prices by cutting production.

Most experts think the volatility of the oil price has nothing to do with speculators pushing up prices by hoarding. Traders heap scorn on the US government’s Commodity Futures Trading Commission for scrutinising the role of those who buy up oil as an investment and do not need to use the commodity in their line of business. But CFTC officials are currently conducting hearings with industry players, and in the UK, the Financial Services Authority is taking a close look at the oil market.

The experts and analysts are most probably right. Plenty of things affect the oil price, not least supply and demand. Speculation is likely to cause only small swings in the market, most studies conclude.


Right questions, wrong answers? Are reports of large-scale stockpiling to manipulate the market being underplayed here?

I remember many months ago reading reports about a vast covert investment fund being used as a vehicle to buy up oil for release only when the price was deemed right. Did the truth ever come out?

I claim no expertise in this area, but it would be interesting to hear your views.

And how about those earnings? That's just one guy! You can see the motive, can't you?

But guess who funds those earnings...

[edit on 4/8/09 by pause4thought]

posted on Oct, 11 2009 @ 07:33 PM
What is happening here is that companies that have nothing to do with the product itself are raising the prices for their own profit.

Think about it on a smaller scale.

A farmer supplies his society of 20 people food for a dollar a week. Well, if a big company comes in with a LARGE sum of money from the ancient times, buys the food for 25 dollars a week, and then resells it to the people for a total of 30 a week, what is happening here?

The farmer is making more profit. The investor is making a profit - by price inflating. Not by actually doing anything productive. If someone can somehow tell me how this is productive, please tell me.

Now, I do not blame people making a crap load of money and living the fabulous life with the expense of the working class being underpaid (which is essentially what happens if prices get inflated). But as a consumer myself, this is BS!


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