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Commodities: Examples

Is it Time for the Gold Bug to Bite?

Aug 27th, 2019 | Filed under: Newly Added, Commodities, Hard metals, The A.I. Industry, Investing in Commodities, Commodities, Commodities: Examples, ETFs, Gold

Diane Merritt, of the Closed-End Fund Association (CEF) spoke recently with Axel Merk, of Merk Investments, about precious metals as part of a portfolio, and specifically the role these metals can play late in the business cycle: which, according to a rather broad consensus, is where we now are. TheRead More


Oil & Gas: Where is the Capital Flowing?

Jul 7th, 2019 | Filed under: Newly Added, Private Equity, Commodities, The A.I. Industry, Investing in Commodities, Equity Types of Private Equity, oil, Commodities, Other Issues in Private Investments, Private Investments

The last two years have seen record low levels of mergers and acquisitions activity in the oil and gas sector in the United States. There are other signs of lassitude in the field: a record low volume of PE deals, (more of that in a moment), and only six initialRead More


The Two Faces of Investing in Renewables

May 27th, 2019 | Filed under: Newly Added, Hedge Fund Strategies, The A.I. Industry, Investing in Commodities, Equity Hedge Funds, Socially responsible investing, Hedge Funds, Event-Driven Hedge Funds, Emerging Alternative Investments, The Global Economy & Currencies, Emerging markets, Alternative energy, Commodities: Examples, Energy, Frontier markets, SRI and Clean Energy, Other Topics in A.I.

Renewable energy, however defined, is widely seen as a sustainable and socially responsible (and, if the investing is done right, very profitable) addition to one’s portfolio. Indeed, such entities as the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, an Ohio based research-and-analysis shop, exist to show that renewables are theRead More


Commodities are Beginning to Resemble Equities

Apr 7th, 2019 | Filed under: Newly Added, Commodities, The A.I. Industry, Investing in Commodities, oil, Commodities, Energy, Gold

Observers have long noticed that the relationship between return shocks and equity price volatility is asymmetric. That is, positive shocks do not have a marked effect on volatility; negative shocks do. Fischer Black wrote on the subject more than 40 years ago. Recently there has been a good deal ofRead More


Do the Capital Markets Reward Low-Carbon Business Models?

Jan 15th, 2019 | Filed under: Newly Added, Commodities, The A.I. Industry, Investing in Commodities, Socially responsible investing, Natural Resources and Land, Emerging Alternative Investments, oil, Alternative energy, Commodities, Commodities: Examples, Climate change, Real Assets, SRI and Clean Energy, Other Topics in A.I.

A new study by two scholars, an American and an Italian, presents evidence that financial markets are pricing the risk of reliance upon carbon, penalizing carbon-intensive assets and rewarding low-carbon assets. Irene Monasterolo and Luca de Angelis, respectively of Boston University and the University of Bologna, begin with the ParisRead More


Financialization and the Volatility of Commodity Prices

Dec 20th, 2018 | Filed under: Newly Added, Commodities, The A.I. Industry, Industry Size & Managers, Investing in Commodities, oil, Commodities, Energy, Risk Management Strategies & Processes, Risk Management & Operations

A recent article in the Journal of Risk and Financial Management  takes a fresh look at a familiar issue:  whether the development of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and related instruments tracking the commodities industry (or, in short, the financialization of commodities) has had an impact on the volatility of the pricesRead 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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Dry Bulk Shipping Recovery: Three Causes

May 5th, 2016 | Filed under: Newly Added, Hard metals, Equity Hedge Funds, Hedge Funds, Commodities, Commodities: Examples

The value of the equity of Star Bulk (SBLK) has risen since the start of the year from $0.616 to just above an even dollar per share.  This is part of a broader trend. The dry bulk shipping industry, long in free fall, may have found its bottom. This isRead More


Proposed Reg AT: Comments Pile Up at the CFTC

Mar 22nd, 2016 | Filed under: Newly Added, Commodities, The A.I. Industry, Regulatory Environment, oil, Commodities, Commodities: Examples, Energy

The CFTC received a last-minute pile-up of comments on proposed rule 80 FR 78824, on automated trading. The commenters generally are not in a mood to pat the agency on its intangible back and congratulate it on a job well done. Quite the contrary. The notice of proposed rule-making (NPRM)Read More


Wrestling with the Bifurcation of Crude Oil Pricing

Mar 13th, 2016 | Filed under: Newly Added, oil, Commodities, Commodities: Examples

Platts, the provider of physicals and futures markets prices affiliated with McGraw Hill Financial, says that it is going to launch a new price reference for Dated Brent CIF Rotterdam.  That’s not obviously a stop-the-presses moment, even for the oil markets, but it is worth a pause. The problem forRead More


FCStone Financial on Grains and Volatility

Mar 10th, 2016 | Filed under: Newly Added, Commodities, Investing in Commodities, Forex, The Global Economy & Currencies, Commodities, Commodities: Examples, Finance & Economics

A new white paper written by Arlan Suderman, chief commodities economist for INTL FCStone Financial, discusses the consequence of the strong dollar of the last two years on the volatility of grain prices, focusing especially on corn. Before this period, there was the global financial crisis, and the “quantitative easing”Read More


Gold Markets Get a Leap Day Surprise from India

Mar 8th, 2016 | Filed under: Newly Added, Hard metals, Investing in Commodities, Commodities, Commodities: Examples, Gold

According to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Commitment of Trader’s Report, released Friday, February 26, speculators in gold recently increased their long position by 30,350 contracts.Read More


More about Arch Coal and the Dusty Trail Ahead

Jan 24th, 2016 | Filed under: Newly Added, Commodities, Investing in Commodities, Socially responsible investing, Commodities, Commodities: Examples, Energy, SRI and Clean Energy, Other Topics in A.I.

I wrote here last week about the demise of Arch Coal.  I was reminded of the incompleteness of my treatment there by the commenters on that piece, and I’ve been reminded again by subsequent developments. More then: in December 2013 Arch made a tender offer for its $600 million ofRead More


Arch Coal: Another One Bites the Coal Dust.

Jan 13th, 2016 | Filed under: Newly Added, Commodities, Investing in Commodities, Alternative energy, Commodities, Commodities: Examples, Energy, SRI and Clean Energy, Other Topics in A.I.

Arch Coal, one of the biggest coal companies in The United States, entered Chapter 11 Monday morning, Jan 11. A prominent law firm, Davis Polk & Wardwell, will be taking it through the process, as will financial advisor PJT Partners. Arch (NYSE:ACI) hit its recent high stock price on AugustRead More


Commodities: Catching a Falling Knife on the High Seas

Jan 5th, 2016 | Filed under: Newly Added, Equity Hedge Funds, Hedge Funds, oil, Commodities, Commodities: Examples, Energy

The problem with a Star Bulk play or with analogous plays in the equity of dry bulk shippers is that the bottom of this bargain basement may not yet have been found. The problem behind the problem is China, which has fallen out of love with imported coal. Read More


The Hunts’ Silver Play, and Other Stories from the Recent Past

Nov 19th, 2015 | Filed under: Newly Added, Hard metals, Commodities: Examples

In January 21, 1980, the Comex board declared the Hunt silver corner an emergency, and the members voted to allow liquidation-only trading. This had its intended consequence of changing the direction of price moves, and a perhaps-unintended consequence of setting off a panic two months later. Read More


The End of the Oil Major?

Oct 21st, 2015 | Filed under: oil, Business News, Commodities: Examples

The latest industry reports indicate that oil majors’ spending on exploration and development projects will drop by at least half, casting doubt over near-term future discoveries.Read More


The Canary in the Coal Stocks and Fossil Fuel Divestment: the Portfolio You Save May Be Your Own

Sep 14th, 2015 | Filed under: Commodities, Energy, Climate change

A Wall Street analyst recommends bottom fishing in fossil fuel stocks and does an excellent job in analyzing all the market forces EXCEPT the primary one, rapidly increasing climate change. If he is typical of Wall Street expert analysis on fossil fuel stocks, be afraid. Be very afraid. Read More


Study Says The Gold Bugs are Right

Aug 23rd, 2015 | Filed under: Currencies, Hard metals, Risk management, Forex, Gold

Gold seems, to a larger extent than silver, and even more so to an extent larger than is true for palladium or platinum, to work as a true financial asset: decoupled from price developments in the commodity markets. It succeeds as a hedge against currency and stock-market trouble.Read More


Copper Prices: Why the Downslope?

May 26th, 2015 | Filed under: Commodities, Hard metals, Risk management, Technology

How long will it take before the world again sees copper at around $10,000 a ton, the going price it touched (though briefly) in early 2011? Perhaps several more years and another full business cycle. There may be a lot of down before an upturn gets us there. Read More


Some Assets are Hard to Ignore

Apr 23rd, 2015 | Filed under: Currencies, Infrastructure, Hard metals, Alpha Hunters, Alpha Strategies, Gold

Guest columnist Diane Harrison looks at the world of alternatives to alternatives, including stamps, cars, farmland and more...Read More


Down Memory Lane: That WTI-Brent Divergence

Feb 18th, 2015 | Filed under: Commodities, Infrastructure, oil

For one professor, the surprising divergence in the prices of WTI/Brent crude in the period 2010-2012 was a case study in how commodity prices can teach us about supply chain conditions. Faille looks back at his article, and forward past today's calmer but still-fluctuating spread. Read More


Don’t Blame the Swiss: Results Discounted Days Before Vote

Dec 8th, 2014 | Filed under: Commodities, Currencies, Hard metals, Forex, Gold

The price of gold took a swan dive as November ended, just as Swiss voters formally nixed an initiative that would have required the central bank to buy a lot of the stuff. Faille argues that this is not a matter of cause and effect. It is, on the other hand, a fascinating case study in the discounting machinery that is a market. Read More


The need-to-knows of Master Limited Partnerships (MLPs)

Dec 7th, 2014 | Filed under: Alpha Strategies, Energy

Guest columnist Andrew Smith, CAIA, deep dives the Master Limited Partnership (MLP) structure.Read More


The Undead Enron Model Returns to the World above Ground

Nov 2nd, 2014 | Filed under: Commodities, Regulatory, Legislation/Court rulings, Energy

Enron was once the leader in a category of merchant traders that mediated in the world of energy commodities. Enron died, and banks largely took it over. Yet in spirit, at least, Enron is back. Read More


November Vote: Do the Swiss Believe in Gold?

Oct 22nd, 2014 | Filed under: Currencies, Hard metals, Gold

The Swiss National Bank and the government oppose a pending referendum that would drastically change the country's policy on gold. But of course the anti-establishment nature of the petition is the whole point. Read More


The Bubble This Time: Oil & Gas Energy Stocks?

Oct 15th, 2014 | Filed under: Commodities, Indexes, Energy

If we look for the recent peak in Dow Jones U.S. oil & gas stocks we’ll look to the start of the summer. In June of this year the energy sector got above $850. The fall from that height puts the size of our correction in the neighborhood of 16%. It is possible these stocks are leading the rest of the market down. Read More


Old-Line Oil and Coal are Techno and Exciting These Days

Oct 1st, 2014 | Filed under: Venture capital, Alternative energy, Energy

Revolution is underway in the energy world. For investors, one of the most unexpected facts about this revolution is that it permeates precisely those portions of the energy sector long thought sleepy and conventional: the fossil fuels. Read More


Death of the Dollar: Consequences Worldwide

Aug 21st, 2014 | Filed under: Hard metals, Alpha Strategies, Gold

Rickards' new book expands on some of the themes of his 2011 publication, Currency Wars. The new book is, specifically, about the end of a particular phase in the history of money, the reserve significance of the U.S. dollar. Read More