Browsing: Commodities

Commodities

Agtech: Comfort Zones and Value Chains

Dec 11th, 2018 | Filed under: Newly Added, Real Estate, Agriculture, The A.I. Industry, Investing in Commodities, Debt Types of Private Equity, Liquid and Fixed Income Real Estate, Venture capital, Farmland, Equity Types of Private Equity, Natural Resources and Land, Commodities, Other Issues in Private Investments, Private Investments, Real Estate Equity Investments, Real Assets

An agtech-focused venture firm has issued a report about global VC activity across agtech and its subsectors. The firm, Finistere Ventures, which describes itself as in the business of helping “ambitious founders transform food and agriculture,” collaborated with Pitchbook in preparing the review. Finistere looks specifically at: (a) macro trends,Read More


National Market System: What to End; What to Mend

Oct 14th, 2018 | Filed under: Newly Added, Algorithmic and high-frequency trading, The A.I. Industry, Regulatory, Regulatory Environment, Commodities, Business News

The Principal Traders Group of the Futures Industry Association (FIA PTG) recently offered its thoughts on market structure, outlining one direction of reform for the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Reg NMS. Reg NMS (National Market System) was promulgated in 2005, in order to ensure competition among markets, and in theRead More


The View from Las Vegas: Quiet Buying? Aggressive Buying?

Sep 23rd, 2018 | Filed under: Newly Added, The A.I. Industry, Emerging Alternative Investments, Emerging markets, Digital currencies, Commodities, Personalities in AI, Alternative Investments in Context, Commodities: Examples, Gold

On Sept. 24, the 9th Annual Inside Alternatives and Asset Allocation event convenes at Wynn Las Vegas, with CAIA sponsorship. The purpose of the event: to look beyond traditional alternative investments and strategies, to take the measure of a new breed of alternatives, including impact/SRIs, cryptocurrencies, and the application ofRead More


Oil Trading and Round Number Effects

Sep 13th, 2018 | Filed under: Newly Added, The A.I. Industry, Investing in Commodities, Financial Economics Theory, Behavioral finance, oil, Commodities, Commodities: Examples, Finance & Economics

The “round number effect” is an endless source of fascination in the worlds of both trading and statistics. Human brains, after all, tend to think in round numbers. A market pundit on television may say, “If the price of stock XYZ gets below $8.00, it’ll be worth buying.” He won’tRead More


The Connection between Audit Fees and Derivative Hedging

Sep 11th, 2018 | Filed under: Newly Added, Hedge Fund Operations and Risk Management, The A.I. Industry, Risk management, oil, Commodities, Commodities: Examples, Risk Management Strategies & Processes

It is generally acknowledged that there exists a positive association between business risk and audit fees. There is room for dispute as to what that means. On the one hand, the riskier clients for whom an audit firm works might simply be the ones that have the most complicated books,Read More


Hedging or Trading? Why Italian Banks Use Derivatives

Aug 23rd, 2018 | Filed under: Newly Added, Derivatives, The A.I. Industry, Risk management, Hedge Funds, Credit Derivatives, The Global Economy & Currencies, Commodities, Economics, Institutional Asset Management, Risk Management Strategies & Processes, Risk Management & Operations

A recent report by the Bank of Italy looks at why the various banks of Italy use derivatives. Specifically, the central bank of that country wanted to know: is it a matter of hedging? Or is it a matter of keeping a proprietary book? Hedge fund managers and other pursuersRead More


Hedge Funds Arms Race for Alpha

Aug 10th, 2018 | Filed under: Newly Added, Consultants, Hedge Fund Strategies, The A.I. Industry, Institutional Investing, Hedge Funds, Commodities, Endowments & Foundations, Institutional Asset Management

By Don Steinbrugge It is no secret that the vast majority of investors, including hedge funds managers, have underperformed market indices over time. However, some managers have distinguished themselves generating very strong risk adjusted returns. Outperforming an index requires an information advantage over what is broadly available in market.  ItRead More


New SEC Commissioner Dissents on a Bitcoin ETF

Aug 9th, 2018 | Filed under: Newly Added, The A.I. Industry, Regulatory, Crowdfunding, Regulatory Environment, Emerging Alternative Investments, Commodities, Other Topics in A.I.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission recently (on July 26) disapproved of proposed rules changes that would have greenlit listing of the Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust on the Bats BZX Exchange.  In essence, the SEC has now rejected the listing of a Bitcoin exchange-traded product (ETP) on a national exchange. TheRead More


Volatility Arbitrage and Cross-Border Options

Jul 29th, 2018 | Filed under: Newly Added, Hedge Fund Strategies, Investing in Commodities, Alpha Strategies, Risk management, Hedge Funds, Commodities, Macro and Managed Futures Funds, Risk Management Strategies & Processes, Risk Management & Operations

A new paper, by Adriano Tosi, of the University of Zurich, Switzerland, looks at the mispricing of a cross-section of international option returns, which suggests that there is money to be made (in more decorous language a “positive risk premium” may be “commanded,”) by selling exchange-traded products and buying theRead More


Centralized Exchanges and Cryptocurrencies

Jul 26th, 2018 | Filed under: Newly Added, Currencies, Investing in Commodities, Financial Economics Theory, Emerging Alternative Investments, The Global Economy & Currencies, Digital currencies, Commodities, Finance & Economics

Cryptocurrencies are increasingly traded on centralized exchanges, such as Gemini and Coinbase. This fact itself has generated some resentment in the crypto world, because the very idea of  centralized exchange seems to violate the original anarchic animating spirit of the cryptocurrencies, even of “Satoshi” himself. Vitalik Buterin, who as the creatorRead More


BarclayHedge Numbers Show Cryptocurrency Dive

Jul 19th, 2018 | Filed under: Newly Added, Currencies, CTA, The A.I. Industry, Emerging Alternative Investments, The Global Economy & Currencies, Digital currencies, Commodities, Macro and Managed Futures Funds, Other Topics in A.I.

BarclayHedge says that its flash estimate for the Barclay CTA Index shows a 0.05% loss in June, and a 2% loss year to date. More remarkably, the flash estimate shows a 16.23% drop in June and a 45.43% drop YTD for the CryptoCurrency Traders Index. The founder and president ofRead More


Using the Variance Risk Premium to Predict Futures Markets

Jul 15th, 2018 | Filed under: Newly Added, Commodities, Hard metals, Risk management, oil, Commodities, Risk Metrics and Measurement, Commodities: Examples, Energy, Risk Management Strategies & Processes, Gold

A new study of volatility in commodity prices indicates that both the total and the decomposed variance risk premiums of at least certain commodities markets contain information with predictive power. The variance risk premium is the pay-off of the synthetic variance swap contract. Specifically, it’s the difference between the floatingRead More


Stein’s Law and Rising Production Costs

Jun 26th, 2018 | Filed under: Newly Added, Commodities, Investing in Commodities, Insolvency, Commodities, Business News

Herbert Stein, who was President Richard Nixon’s chairman of the Counsel of Economic Advisors, is often quoted as saying, “If something cannot go on forever, it will stop.” This statement, known as “Stein’s Law,” has the right ring of profundity about it, a mixture of tautology and empirically verifiable generalization.Read More


The CBOE and VIX: The Appearance of Manipulation

May 6th, 2018 | Filed under: Newly Added, Commodities, Business News, Finance & Economics

On April 23, 2018, the chairman and the president of the Chicago Board Options Exchange issued an open letter to address concerns that the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is subject to manipulation. There were at least two incitements behind this letter. First, its authors, Chairman Ed Tilly and President ChrisRead More


What Constitutes Price Manipulation?

Apr 24th, 2018 | Filed under: Newly Added, The A.I. Industry, Regulatory Environment, Commodities, Commodities: Examples, Energy

The two commissions that serve as market enforcers in the United States, the Commodity Futures Exchange Commission and the Securities Exchange Commission, agree on a lot. (As, indeed, one would hope, since their work has considerable overlap.) One of the points on which the commissions have general agreement is theRead More


Oil Price Shocks and Economic Growth

Apr 19th, 2018 | Filed under: Newly Added, Commodities, Investing in Commodities, oil, Commodities, Commodities: Examples

The U.S. is withdrawing from a multilateral agreement with Iran that was aimed at dissuading the Iranian regime from further progress toward nuclearization. In the meantime, the U.S. and its allies have bombed Syria in retaliation for that country’s chemical attacks on its people, and a shake-up in the topRead More


Eurekahedge: Greater China Mandates Pay Off for January

Feb 20th, 2018 | Filed under: Newly Added, Hedge Fund Industry Trends, Commodities, Hedge Fund Strategies, The A.I. Industry, Investing in Commodities, Indexes, Hedge Funds, Emerging Alternative Investments, oil, Digital currencies, Commodities, Commodities: Examples, Energy, Gold, Other Topics in A.I.

A new Index Flash Update from Eurekahedge says that hedge funds are off to a positive start to 2018. The industry globally gained 2.26% in January. Among developed world mandates, North American hedge funds were up 1.89%, followed by those of Japan and Europe, which gained 1.28% each. Higher numbersRead More


Gold as a Strategic Asset

Feb 11th, 2018 | Filed under: Newly Added, Commodities, Investing in Commodities, Commodities, Commodities: Examples, Gold

The World Gold Council has recently posted its analysis of the continued relevance of gold. As one might expect from the source, the WGC finds that gold is a strategic asset that can play several valuable roles in a portfolio. Toward this end, the paper offers a chart of gold’sRead More


Ceres Report Evaluates Value of Early-Stage Clean Energy

Feb 4th, 2018 | Filed under: Newly Added, Private Equity, Venture capital, Socially responsible investing, Emerging Alternative Investments, Alternative energy, Other Issues in Private Investments, Commodities: Examples, Energy, Private Investments, SRI and Clean Energy, Other Topics in A.I.

A recent publication from Ceres, a nonprofit organization devoted to promoting sustainability as a goal in both investing and corporate governance, looks at the value that early-stage clean energy products offer venture capitalists. The publication is the work of a team of five “lead authors and key contributors,” including threeRead More


What CTAs Think about Bitcoin Futures

Jan 25th, 2018 | Filed under: Newly Added, Currencies, CTA, Emerging Alternative Investments, The Global Economy & Currencies, Digital currencies, Commodities, Macro and Managed Futures Funds, Finance & Economics, Other Topics in A.I.

A new BarclayHedge study indicates that the majority of commodity trading advisers surveyed are unenthusiastic about the new Bitcoin futures. Specifically, asked “do you consider Bitcoin futures to be a valuable/useful addition to a diversified futures portfolio?” nearly three quarters (73%) said “no.” The sample for this survey included firmsRead More


Aquila Asks: Who’s Afraid of Pricey Markets?

Jan 18th, 2018 | Filed under: Newly Added, The Global Economy & Currencies, Commodities, Commodities: Examples, Gold, Finance & Economics

A new paper from Aquila Capital Group looks at managed futures, and makes the case that they offer investments tools with which one can achieve a “robust and diversifying risk/return profile.” The paper begins with the concerns many investors have at present. Record long bull markets, high asset prices, andRead More


Top 5 Alpha Stories of 2017

Dec 31st, 2017 | Filed under: Newly Added, The A.I. Industry, Insolvency, oil, Commodities, Business News, Commodities: Examples, Finance & Economics

In surveying this year for dramatic alpha-related stories, we have much whence to choose. This was the year in which the Murdoch family announced its intention to sell some of their highest value holdings to Disney. Also, in 2017 the EQT Rice merger (contested, unsuccessfully, by one prominent hedge fundRead More


Regulatory Challenges Posed by Crypto Funds

Dec 5th, 2017 | Filed under: Newly Added, Currencies, Hedge Funds, Emerging Alternative Investments, The Global Economy & Currencies, Digital currencies, Commodities, Finance & Economics

A forthcoming paper in the Stanford Journal of Law, Business, and Finance looks at the cryptocurrency markets (bitcoin and its kin), the hedge funds that look to make money from them and the operational issues involved. Two independent scholars collaborated on writing the paper: Edmund Mokhtarian and Alexander Lindgren. AlthoughRead More


China and a Reduced Form Bayesian VAR

Oct 29th, 2017 | Filed under: Newly Added, The Global Economy & Currencies, Commodities, Finance & Economics

What the heck does the forbidding phrase “reduced form Bayesian VAR” mean? Let’s break this down. The VAR in question isn’t VaR (Value at Risk). It’s Vector Autoregression. This is a stochastic process model employed to understand the linear dependences among multiple time series. Each variable in a VAR hasRead More


EC and US CFTC Reach Agreement on Venues

Oct 26th, 2017 | Filed under: Newly Added, The A.I. Industry, Regulatory Environment, Commodities

The European Commission and the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission have agreed on a “common approach on certain derivatives trading venues.” The idea is that parties in the U.S. should be able to do business with counter-parties in Europe in such a way that the latter comply with Article 28Read More


AIMA and SGPS on Managed Futures and CTAs

Sep 28th, 2017 | Filed under: Newly Added, Algorithmic and high-frequency trading, CTA, The A.I. Industry, Investing in Commodities, Commodities, Business News, Institutional Asset Management, Macro and Managed Futures Funds, Allocating to A.I.

The Alternative Investment Management Association and Societe Generale Prime Services have together put out a white paper about managed futures funds and the commodity trading advisers who manage them. A key themes of the paper is that managed futures strategies aren’t as risky as are typical investments in equity markets.Read More


Barnes on Swaps Transparency under  MiFID II

Sep 19th, 2017 | Filed under: Newly Added, Investing in Commodities, Operations, Commodities, Structured Products, Risk Management & Operations

A recent blog in the TABB Forum, by Chris Barnes of Clarus Financial Technology, looks at recent developments in the realm of MiFID, and looks forward. The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority in August of this year authorized certain Approved Publication Arrangements (APAs) for reporting under MiFID II.  The authorization ofRead More


Below the Black: A Review of Risk Reduction Strategies

Sep 13th, 2017 | Filed under: Newly Added, Commodities, Hedge Fund Strategies, Investing in Commodities, Risk management, Hedge Funds, Commodities, Risk Metrics and Measurement, Macro and Managed Futures Funds, Risk Management Strategies & Processes, Risk Management & Operations

Excerpted from the Alternative Investment Analyst Review, Volume 1, Issue 4 The Alternative Investment Analyst Review is the official publication of the CAIA Association. Access to the most current issue is an exclusive benefit of CAIA Membership while archived issues are available to the public in the Perspectives section atRead More


High-Frequency Trading and Spoofing   

Aug 31st, 2017 | Filed under: Newly Added, Algorithmic and high-frequency trading, Investing in Commodities, Commodities, Business News, Risk Management & Operations

Six years ago Michael Coscia placed orders through the CME Group’s Globex platform via a trading algorithm that amounted to “spoofing.” He placed both large and small orders in the copper market, for example, with the large orders (cancelled within milliseconds) designed to create the illusion of market movement inRead More


Til and Heckinger on Commodity Debacles, Part I

Aug 3rd, 2017 | Filed under: Newly Added, Commodities, Investing in Commodities, Commodities, Commodities: Examples, Energy

A new paper available at SSRN looks at two infamous commodity industry melt-downs: Amaranth and MF Global. It offers a diagnosis of each. Hilary Till, of the EDHEC – Risk Institute, and Richard Heckinger, of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, share the by-line. They acknowledge research assistance from KatherineRead More


How Do They Get Those Non-Correlated Returns?

May 30th, 2017 | Filed under: Newly Added, Due Diligence Process, Investing in Commodities, Commodities, Risk Management & Operations

In a recent paper Mark Shore, of Shore Capital Management, has discussed overlaying of strategies in managed futures, saying that it is something he covers in his course on managed futures at DePaul, but that in general it “is not discussed as much as it should be.” Behind that question,Read More


Broad Commodities: Value, Inflation, Implementation

May 29th, 2017 | Filed under: Newly Added, Investing in Commodities, Commodities, ETFs

ETF Securities (US) LLC, a New York-based asset manager and manufacturer of ETP’s (Exchange Traded Products),” has issued a white paper written by its Director, Investment Strategy, (Maxwell Gold), on “broad commodities,” that is, on the use of a broad basket of commodities, as a way of allowing an investor’sRead More


The Return Characteristics of Gold Mining Stocks

Jan 3rd, 2017 | Filed under: Newly Added, Investing in Commodities, Commodities, Equity-linked Structured Products, Commodities: Examples, Gold, Structured Products

Two Maryland-based scholars have reviewed the evidence of the performance of gold mining stocks. The title of their article, which appears in the Alternative Investment Analyst Review, November 2016, puts the central question bluntly: are such stocks “more like gold or like stocks”? Let’s get the answer to that queryRead More


Commissioner Piwower and Alpha Seekers

Nov 15th, 2016 | Filed under: Newly Added, Operations, Hedge Funds, Event-Driven Hedge Funds, Commodities, Risk Management & Operations

With a new administration in the making, thoughts in the world of asset management naturally turn to the issue of appointments to the Securities Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Who is likely to get what position and what difference might it make? Recent practice has been thatRead More


Dakota Access and the Army Corps of Engineers: An Odd Mistake?

Nov 13th, 2016 | Filed under: Newly Added, Commodities, Infrastructure, oil, Commodities, Operationally Intensive Real Assets, Commodities: Examples

On November 7, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers put out a statement that said that the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) had agreed to halt its controversial ongoing construction in North Dakota. The following day, which happens to have been Election Day, [so non-election news went largely uncovered], the ownersRead More


Massad: Where the U.S. and the World Stand on Margins & Cap Requirements

Oct 27th, 2016 | Filed under: Newly Added, Investing in Commodities, Forex, The Global Economy & Currencies, Commodities, Finance & Economics

The chair of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Timothy Massad, addressed the Outlook Conference of the Managed Funds Association on October 21, and spoke about the global implementation of uncleared margin rules, which he called a critical component of “the new regulatory framework for swaps trading that the leaders ofRead More


Eurekahedge: Exodus from the Event-Driven Funds YTD  

Oct 23rd, 2016 | Filed under: Newly Added, Equity Hedge Funds, Hedge Funds, Event-Driven Hedge Funds, Commodities, Relative Value Hedge Funds, Allocating to A.I.

The event-driven hedge fund space is the most troubled in a generally troubled time for the industry. According to the new Eurekahedge report, the event-driven strategy “has seen US$14 billion investor redemptions over the past nine months,” and $10.7 billion over just the past six months. The first nine monthsRead More


Venezuela: Thinking of Cromwell and Crude

Oct 13th, 2016 | Filed under: Newly Added, The Global Economy & Currencies, Emerging markets, oil, Commodities, Commodities: Examples, Finance & Economics

Hedge funds, among them some of those the unsympathetic call “vultures,” bought into the bonds of the Petróleo de Venezuela SA (PDVSA) early this year. PDVSA is Venezuela’s state-owned oil company, the consequence of nationalization forty years ago. Its fate turns on (a) the vagaries of post-Chavez politics in thatRead More


Eurekahedge on Outflows, Performance and Tail Risk

Sep 27th, 2016 | Filed under: Newly Added, CTA, Equity Hedge Funds, Hedge Funds, Commodities, Macro and Managed Futures Funds, Relative Value Hedge Funds

Eurekahedge, a provider of hedge fund industry news since 2001, has released its report about the state of the industry in August 2016. Among the key points: August was the fourth consecutive month of outflows. Although preliminary, the data for the month suggests a net asset outflow of $7.5 billion.Read More


Investors in Extractive Industries: Practice Your Forced Grin

Sep 15th, 2016 | Filed under: Newly Added, diamonds, oil, Commodities, Commodities: Examples

A new book comes to us this year from the Mapungubwe Institute for Strategic Reflection (MISTRA), a think tank founded in March 2011 “to create a platform for engagement around strategic issues facing South Africa.” Unsurprisingly, this report suffers from the generic weakness of books written by committee—it reads asRead More


On Aluminum and Other Metals: A Thought on Physicality 

Sep 13th, 2016 | Filed under: Newly Added, Hard metals, Investing in Commodities, Commodities, Business News, Commodities: Examples, Finance & Economics

Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (HKEx), the company that bought the London Metal Exchange four years ago, has further expansion plans. At a recent event on the commodity markets of East Asia, Charles Li, the CEO of HKEx, spoke on this point. Li wants to create a physical metals tradingRead More


Eurekahedge: Redemptions Exceeding New Investment for HFs Worldwide

Sep 5th, 2016 | Filed under: Newly Added, Commodities, Hard metals, Hedge Funds, Commodities, Commodities: Examples, Energy, Relative Value Hedge Funds

Hedge funds have now seen three consecutive months in which redemptions have exceeded new investment, for a net outflow. The net outflow for July alone was $5.7 billion. Fortunately, July also saw performance based gains of $10.5 billion, so the total assets under management grew slightly. The table below adaptedRead More


The Shale/Fracking Revolution: 1998 to 2011

Aug 23rd, 2016 | Filed under: Newly Added, Commodities, Investing in Commodities, oil, Commodities, Commodities: Examples

A critical revolution in the crude oil and natural gas markets began 18 years ago. Gary Sernovitz, who has given the world his thoughts on this revolution in the new book The Green and the Black, has had some convenient seats whence to observe, most recently as a managing directorRead More


Headline vs. Core Inflation: We Shouldn’t Have Laughed

Aug 4th, 2016 | Filed under: Newly Added, Investing in Commodities, Hedge Funds, Commodities, Structure of the Hedge Funds Industry

I’m old enough to remember the 1970s, and to remember the economic debates in the United States at the time concerning the inflation of that era. The U.S. left the Bretton Woods system near the start of the decade, thus ushering the “free float” of currencies against one another inRead More


Volatility Spillover Effects: India, Korea, China

Jul 21st, 2016 | Filed under: Newly Added, Currencies, Investing in Commodities, The Global Economy & Currencies, Commodities, Finance & Economics

Last year, two scholars writing in the Journal of Alternative Investments looked at the volatility spillover effects in the Chinese stock index futures and spot markets.  The question for them was whether there is spillover from spot markets into futures markets and back. I propose to give you their answer,Read More


Crude Oil at Mid-Year: IEA Assessment

Jul 17th, 2016 | Filed under: Newly Added, oil, Commodities, Commodities: Examples

As this year began, crude oil prices were stuck at their lowest level in twelve years. The world seemed to be bulging with surplus of the stuff. In January, the International Energy Agency estimated that the excess of supply over demand through the first half of the year would beRead More


Factor-Based Asset Allocation

Jun 19th, 2016 | Filed under: Newly Added, Alpha & Beta, Investing in Commodities, Asset allocation, Asset Allocation Models, Commodities, Smart Beta, Allocating to A.I., Other Topics in A.I.

A paper by Xiaowei Kang and Daniel Ung, published in June 2014, remains timely because risk parity and related approaches remain the center of controversy and some confusion. The Kang & Ung paper looked at three approaches to risk factor based portfolio construction, studying specifically the practical aspects of theRead More


The Case Against a Bearish Argument on Crude Oil

Jun 2nd, 2016 | Filed under: Newly Added, oil, Commodities, Commodities: Examples

  A recent Bloomberg story indicates that in a world  awash in cheap crude oil, traders are now storing the stuff at a loss, at sea, on board vessels in the Straits of Malacca. Further, they are going into debt so they can bear this loss. Citing Morgan Stanley analysts,Read More


A Review of the Commodity Index/Global Hunger Controversy

May 24th, 2016 | Filed under: Newly Added, CAPM / Alpha Theory, Investing in Commodities, Financial Economics Theory, Commodities, Finance & Economics

The consensus in market scholarship seems to be not only that “still waters run deep” but that deep waters run still. The greater the depth of volume in a commodity, the lesser the volatility of that commodity’s price. (This of course requires the usual “other things being equal” caveat.) ThisRead More


Platts Windows and Cash Settlements

May 19th, 2016 | Filed under: Newly Added, oil, Commodities, Commodities: Examples

The “Platts window,” a metaphorical structure named after the influential provider of benchmark price assessments in various energy markets, consists of the final few minutes of trading, the period in the operation of an exchange when an aggressive player can have a big effect on the closing price.  A recentRead More