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Ferdinand E. Banks  

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  • How To Build A Futures-Free Commodity Portfolio [View article]
    For those who want to avoid futures, you say.

    I taught futures for ten years in Sweden. I also taught them in Prague, Australia, Bangkok etc etc. I cant think of anything easier to teach, although there are some dumb experts out there. In a local Swedish paper one of them talked about a 5 year futures contract for wind, and a year or so ago Helicopter Ben said that there would be no problem with the oil price, because a 3 year futures indicated that everything was cool and groovy.

    A futures-free commodity portfolio. What's next?
    Sep 28, 2012. 04:51 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Natural Gas Is Between Two Walls [View article]
    Paulo, please dont be offended by the opinion of the leading academic energy economist in the world, and also a great teacher who has published books on natural gas and coal, but I don't believe for a minute that the flexibility you talk about - the (short run) 'switching' between natural gas and coal inputs - takes place anywhere except at the margins. Put another way, it's not a big deal.

    Of course, nuclear and oil are my thing now, and I certainly don't know as much about coal as I used to know and want to know, but the kind of switching you talk about sounds like something that would be taught in Econ 101 by the parasites and charlatans who - conventionally - teach graduate studies here in Sweden
    Sep 12, 2012. 10:15 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Value Plays And Traps In The Coal Space [View article]
    I published a book once about the economics of coal, in which I talked about other resources as much as coal. But if I decided to look at coal again I would study this article carefully, because having also taught finance I consider it a very impressive piece of work.

    There are a lot of crazy opinions going around at the present time that coal is finished, while shale gas is blah blah blah. But regardless of what happens on the shale front, it is going to be impossible to ignore the energy content of coal, especially in a world in which population increases by almost a billion every decade.
    Sep 11, 2012. 09:04 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Today In Commodities: Trading Range For Crude [View article]
    netbluesky, you could be right. Notice the usage 'could be'. I taught finance in Sweden for ten years, and rubbed shoulders with a few of these gents in Singapore. I'll accept that I am out of date where trading is concerned.
    Sep 10, 2012. 03:36 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Today In Commodities: Trading Range For Crude [View article]
    Strange isn't it, but I just got through telling a certain gentleman what he knows and doesnt know about oil, and the first thing I see in this article is "a $4 trading range".

    That expression sounds like geechee (or worse) to me, and so it will not be incorporated into the brilliant lecture on oil that I hope to be asked to give by the charlatans I have to deal with on the energy front here in Sweden...and elsewhere.
    Sep 8, 2012. 08:51 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Commodity Investing In A Time Of Rising Resource Nationalism [View article]
    I've mentioned resource nationalism in my energy economics textbooks, and many articles. The point is however I am only concerned with one example, and that is oil. It is said in this article that resource nationalism puts a floor under the price of a commodity, however the resource nationalism that I write and talk about is not concerned with floors, but with 'calculating' (if that is the right word) and then establishing the highest price that makes economic sense.
    Sep 7, 2012. 10:17 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Economy's New Boss: Demographics [View article]
    I stayed out the US because I didn't like the idea of spending what some people call my declining years in an Old Soldiers Home, because that's where I was heading. I deduced that because later I couldn't get a job in a university OR a community colleage because my 12 books published internationally, my visiting professorships and my brilliant lecturing had no meaning: I wasn't a woman and gay and a foreigner and a rotten teacher and a rotten researcher.

    As for what went wrong in the US, it isn't/wasn't demographics but the reelection of George W Bush. The voters have themselves to blame. But believe me folks, the machine can be fixed. The problem is that it can't be fixed by amateurs, and those are what the drowsy and celebrity loving voters prefer.
    Sep 6, 2012. 10:40 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • No, Peak Oil Is Not Going To Happen [View article]
    You got one thing right Shaun. Population growth is not a problem - it's population movements, and the ignoramuses who think that immigration is fun.

    And Starkoski, there is a problem with ASPO. Some of its members are parasites and charlatans. I'm not going to tell you who they are, although I will say that Dr Hirsch is not one of them, and there ARE a few other genuine experts associated with that organization. But please be careful with your use of the word expert when commenting on energy matters.

    As for the present article, I think that Shaun is just playing with the folks in the cheap seats, because nobody with half a brain could fail to understand that the issue is not the peak but the price of oil, Regardless of the amount of oil in the crust of the earth, and when or if it peaks, OPEC is going to do what is necessary to make their trillion dollars this year, and if you don't understand what that mean for the price, ask some of the...experts in.....
    Sep 5, 2012. 09:15 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • The Economy's New Boss: Demographics [View article]
    When I went into the (American) army, some young gentleman addressed us as follows: "Many of you men play sports, well the U.S. is a team that has never lost." In other words, a team of winners.

    Americans don't want to hear that kind of thing now. They find that kind of sentiment hateful. Instead, everything has become some kind of insoluble problem. I'm a Democrat, but I would never vote for Obama because he is too dumb to understand that the money that went into the war in Afghanistan should have gone to American primary and perhaps secondary schools. That would have been a key play in securing the American future.,

    You say that the Japanese have a demographic problem. I dont believe it. If they do it is because they want one. The fewer the numbers the better, with a limit of course. The thing is to make sure that the population has an 'optimal' education.
    Sep 5, 2012. 08:56 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Peak Oil Myth: Debunking The Peak Oil Theory [View article]
    Well, one thing is certain. There are a lot of smart guys out there where oil is concerned, although I am not sure that Shaun is one of them. There are a lot of smart guys and this is a very different situation from just a few years ago. I only hope that Dr Chu's foot soldiers are just as smart, because he is hopeless.

    Speaking of hopeless, give it up, Shaun. You lost this one. Spend a few month in the library and leave the Maugeris of this world to dream their nutty dreams about oil.
    Sep 5, 2012. 05:25 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Peak Oil Myth: Debunking The Peak Oil Theory [View article]
    Did I say Hubbard instead of Herbbertus. Gee, how could I make a mistake like this. Makes those comments of mine very untrustworthy.

    I dont know if your reply was meant for me, Shaun, but let me put it this way. In a classroom, seminar room or conference, you would get a few lessons about oil that you wouldn't believe. That a paraphrasing of John Rambo by the way. I failed math my first year in engineering school, but was able to get on the winning team just by solving more math problems than anyone. That won't work in energy economics. You need a strategy for studying, and you cant waste time with research by questionable (i.e. half baked)researchers.

    On the other hand, your willingness to study energy economics and write about it is exactly what we need. What can't happen however is that you read stuff by Maugeri and similar no-hopers and then think that you can call out people like the Fitzman and a number of others in this forum. As those folks outside the gate of our camp in Japan used to say, "it never happen GI".

    About my work for those people who think that they have some advice for me. I'm probably the best teacher of energy economics in the world, going back to Adam and Eve, but you can find mistakes in my books. Given the parasites and charlatans that I have to deal with here in Sweden, I'm surprised that I haven't made more. But where oil and nuclear are concerned, I'm the man. In the matter of natural gas and coal, well....I'm not first, and so I'll have to work harder.
    Sep 4, 2012. 04:50 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Peak Oil Myth: Debunking The Peak Oil Theory [View article]
    Why make a mountain out of a molehill. Shaun is wrong, and the fact that he found Leonardo Maugeri's work quotable shows that he is basically an amateur. At the same time I'm ready to approve of him as a reader of my textbooks, assuming that he NEVER quotes anything by Signor Maugeri.

    AND, peak oil is no longer of interest to yours truly. What difference does it make if or when the peak comes if the price of oil suddenly escalates up 40 or 50 dollars. Don't the people who find Shauns approach credible realize what that will mean for the international macroeconomy. Incidentally, somebody said something about hedging the oil price by purchasing long term futures. That is off-the-wall advice. I once taught from a macro book by Ben 'Helicopter Ben' Bernanke, and had considerable admiration for that book, and accordingly the good doctor. But when he started talking about 'plenty of oil being available' because of the situation on the long term futures market, I realized that he was a man who knows less about energy than Dr Chu or his boss. In case you find these remarks disgusting, buy a good book on the futures and options markets and see what they say about long-term futures. (Hint: there is little or no liquidity in that market.)

    There was a mention of the work of Dr King Hubbard above. I like his work because I have a long discussion of his mathematics in one of my recent papers, and it so happens that his prediction that US oil would peak in 1970-71 was right on the money. The logistic curve Dr Hubbard employed makes a lot of sense to me, and since it probably is valid for natural gas also, the claim that the US now has 100 years of gas on the basis of present statistics strikes me as absurd.

    Lets fact another fact. Oil and gas are too valuable to the countries of the Middle East to sell at bargain basement prices. Starting with that fact it would be an enormous mistake to expect any sort of decline in the oil price in the near or not-so-near future.
    Sep 3, 2012. 10:04 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Peak Oil Myth: Debunking The Peak Oil Theory [View article]
    You are on the wrong track Shaun - you miss the point. You should read the above comments very carefully, because most of the guys who made them know what they are talking about. The issue is not the peak but the price. We were further from the peak in 2008 than probably - PROBABLY - we are today, but even so at that time 'they' were talking about oil reaching $200/b, and the global macroeconomics was starting to implode because of it.

    Let me add the following though. I am impressed that you take an interest in this topic, because there is a shortage of credible opinion. If you stick with it I doubt whether you will be sorry, because Mr Obama and his Energy Secretary could use some informed say the least.
    Sep 2, 2012. 01:26 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Peak Oil Myth: Debunking The Peak Oil Theory [View article]
    Shaun, you take Harvard - I'll take the Fitzman, which is the first comment in this string.

    Now listen carefully to the leading academic energy economist in the world, who is yours truly. THE REPORT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT IS NOT HARVARD, BUT SIGNOR MAUGERI, AND HE HAS ALWAYS BEEN WRONG. ALWAYS!

    The leading oil economist in the US is Professor James Hamilton of the University of California (San Diego). Write him, and ask him to give you his opinion of Mr Maugeri. Unfortunately Hamilton is not negative enough, so I will put it as follows: Anybody who believes Maugeri or the present article, should make sure that they do not find themselves in a classroom, seminar room or conference with my good self.

    Please note carefully what Mr Fitzsimmons said. Peak oil has become irrelevant. Who cares whether there is a peak or not when the US is paying enormous amounts of money for foreign oil? 'An Engineer' just above indicated that the cost of energy is becoming "infinite", which is almost correct: infinity is not a number but a direction. Let's just put it as follows: the cost could eventually become very high, which means a repetition of the present macroeconomic situation, possibly multiplied by something greater than unity..
    Sep 2, 2012. 10:03 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • On QE3: Buy Oil And Gas, Sell Obama Re-election Odds [View article]
    Nole, it wasn't George W. but the voters. Instead of thinking seriously about what presidential candidates have to offer, they turn to some lousy soap opera on TV that is filled with gutter language. If the voters had dumped Bush in 2008, we could have avoided the incompetent Mr Obama.
    Sep 1, 2012. 08:43 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment