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The timing of the release of 60M barrels of oil is a puzzle: The war in Libya, the purported...

The timing of the release of 60M barrels of oil is a puzzle: The war in Libya, the purported cause of the move, has been raging for months, and prices had already fallen ~10% since April. So why the release now? This isn't really about oil; it's the economy, stupid. Some see it as "a sign of desperation" with prices recovering after a few months.
Comments (67)
  • montanamark
    , contributor
    Comments (1434) | Send Message
     
    its about politics - duh
    23 Jun 2011, 06:27 PM Reply Like
  • Joe Eifrid
    , contributor
    Comments (336) | Send Message
     
    JAPAN ECONMIN YOSANO: IEA DECISION TO RELEASE OIL STOCKS IS WARNING AGAINST SPECULATIVE BUYERS
    23 Jun 2011, 09:27 PM Reply Like
  • bearfund
    , contributor
    Comments (1534) | Send Message
     
    I really struggle to understand his thinking. If I'm an existing speculative buyer, I've presumably hit my position limits during spikes, so I can't realistically do anything next time around that would generate a bigger spike. If I'm on the sidelines but looking to become a speculative buyer, all this does is decrease the extent to which government-controlled reserves can be used to render my position unprofitable in the future. The best thing for me in that case would be for them to release ALL the reserves right now. That would give me the best entry point and make future intervention impossible. So regardless of who I am, there is nothing they are doing that harms me. Even if they bust me completely (suppose I'm foolishly using a lot of leverage to maintain a large naked long position), that only increases the profits that prospective longs who DON'T go bust can make later in my absence. Absolutely everything about this move is bullish. Hugely bullish. If there's a conspiracy here, this is someone repaying a debt to OPEC. Bizarre.
    23 Jun 2011, 10:25 PM Reply Like
  • J 457
    , contributor
    Comments (947) | Send Message
     
    I'll say it again. If Obama really wanted to lower oil prices, he would TODAY force, in the interest of national security, the CFTC to mandate the CME to raise oil future margin requirements and limit contracts that can be purchased by non-transport commercial banks; ie GS, MS.

     

    That would send price per barrel down to $75-$80 in 2-3 days.

     

    And then TOMORROW he could introduce funding/bill to convert all over the line transports and fleets to Nat Gas, paid for with a tax credit. This would be a bridge fuel to supplement oil. Price per barrel would then go down further to $65-$70 range.

     

    Then next week, he could boost domestic production (regulated of course- especially mystery fracking fluid) and make another push at alternatives, such as algae, lithium battery etc.. This would push oil down to $55-$60 range and allow Main St to start spendig some money again on discretionary goods instead of gasoline.

     

    But most important, this would decrease our dependence on foreign imports and cut of trade deficit by about $250 BILLION per year
    23 Jun 2011, 11:58 PM Reply Like
  • apberusdisvet
    , contributor
    Comments (2861) | Send Message
     
    Ghadafi made a mistake by telegraphing to the world that he wanted to set up a new African Union with a common currency backed by the gold dinar. The Global Banking Cartel didn't like this one bit. That's why we are in Lybia. I guess now there is no longer any true US sovereignty with the UN calling the shots on US foreign policy. Did the American people get to vote on this, or did Congress? If it walks, squawks and acts like a duck, it must be........dictatorship?
    23 Jun 2011, 06:33 PM Reply Like
  • bob adamson
    , contributor
    Comments (4555) | Send Message
     
    apberusdisvet -

     

    Two others to date either agree with you or like your wild imagination. Where do you get this information about Ghadafi?
    23 Jun 2011, 08:03 PM Reply Like
  • Joe Morgan
    , contributor
    Comments (1500) | Send Message
     
    Bob, that guy has some imagination....he sent me an email, telling me that Bank of America paid Mexican thugs to kill themselves or something like that....

     

    By the way, 60M barrels is a fraction of the daily consumption...this is just a joke, people that think this is going to make a change in the long term are just delusional.....
    23 Jun 2011, 08:19 PM Reply Like
  • 1980XLS
    , contributor
    Comments (3314) | Send Message
     
    Joe,

     

    Right you are.

     

    Short Term. History has proven that market manipulation only works for short periods.

     

    Just ask the Hunt brothers.

     

    If Obama actually had a brain, he may have been able to fool the Sheeple and buy some votes with other people's assets in the Summer of 2012 at least.

     

    But that would be too sensible.
    23 Jun 2011, 08:31 PM Reply Like
  • Adjusted Return
    , contributor
    Comments (355) | Send Message
     
    30 million barrels. They will have to be refilled anyway. Have you forgotten when oil traders used many more than 15 VLCCs for storage playing the contango? Time for governments to show that physical supply is actually steady.
    23 Jun 2011, 06:36 PM Reply Like
  • wyostocks
    , contributor
    Comments (7647) | Send Message
     
    It is all about power.
    That is, the power the currently elected politicians enjoy (I don't mean Khadafi) and have no intention of giving up, no matter how many people have to die.
    23 Jun 2011, 06:38 PM Reply Like
  • Credible Clarity
    , contributor
    Comments (160) | Send Message
     
    It is a misappropriation by the IEA - driven by powers we are not "sure" of yet - but since 50% of the oil released is from the USA's SPR, you can be confident that our gov't/Treas/Fed was made aware or influenced this decision in advance.

     

    The Strategic Petroleum Reserve is meant to help the USA when there is a catastrophic supply disruption (ie. following Katrina). It was not structured nor intended to be for price manipulation to aid the economy by spurring consumer consumption.

     

    This will backfire.
    23 Jun 2011, 06:51 PM Reply Like
  • Duude
    , contributor
    Comments (3360) | Send Message
     
    Prices had come down 19.3% from the top in late April. By making this announcement now, the Obama administration can manage it down a few more points and then point to how they helped bring it down from $114. Unfortunately, this is only temporary but the SPR will have a lower residual volume and in need of replenishment later. In all likelihood we'll be replenishing it at the same or higher prices. It will only be done at lower prices if this administration can manage our economy into a full-fledged depression.
    23 Jun 2011, 06:53 PM Reply Like
  • Jeremy Johnson, CFA
    , contributor
    Comments (778) | Send Message
     
    The only practical purpose the SPR serves is as a deterrent to an oil embargo -- it was in fact the reason it was created. It's also useful when there are temporary supply disruptions.

     

    It cannot even remotely handle a sustained decline in production, and it is not especially useful as a wartime reserve since the government would have first call on U.S. based production and would be loathe to dip into at that juncture irreplaceable reserves of very finite quantity.

     

    Taking that as a given, it may be a reminder to OPEC that the developed world does have tools available to make their lives uncomfortable in the short-term and it certainly helps that there is a real supply disruption in the case of Libya, the cumulative effect of which grows larger every day.
    23 Jun 2011, 06:58 PM Reply Like
  • Bozerdog
    , contributor
    Comments (464) | Send Message
     
    If you are going to stick it to the oil speculators seems like you would do it about the time folks expect oil to start to rise. I like the move by the iea. It's not just the U.S.
    23 Jun 2011, 06:58 PM Reply Like
  • Joe Morgan
    , contributor
    Comments (1500) | Send Message
     
    Obama is playing with fire...the cure of high oil prices is higher oil prices....

     

    The rubber band would be stretched and then there would be a big snap ....

     

    Instead on fixating on ridiculous short term fixes,and more political pandering....get drilling back on the GOM, relax regulations, convert government fleet to natural gas, and boost nuclear energy....

     

    But, unfortunately we have Carter redux, so invest accordingly...
    23 Jun 2011, 07:00 PM Reply Like
  • Monngie
    , contributor
    Comments (928) | Send Message
     
    Regrettably, as much as you want to denigrate former President Carter, he was the last President to have an energy policy. If we had listened to him we would probably be energy independent now. Except for the fact that Reagan gutted anything resembling an oil policy when he got into office. Jimmy Carter had it right 40 years ago and we are paying the price for not listening to him now.
    23 Jun 2011, 09:01 PM Reply Like
  • Joe Morgan
    , contributor
    Comments (1500) | Send Message
     
    What the heck does the Department of Energy has done to help us cut energy imports? NOTHING...imports have ballooned.....

     

    What we have created is a mass of parasites, who think they deserve more benefits and pay for their nonexistent contributions to energy policy....

     

    Eliminate completely the Department....
    23 Jun 2011, 10:43 PM Reply Like
  • TomasViewPoint
    , contributor
    Comments (4845) | Send Message
     
    Maybe we would be pouring Billy Beer in our gas tanks by now and wearing cardigan sweaters.
    23 Jun 2011, 10:48 PM Reply Like
  • nobby73
    , contributor
    Comments (1177) | Send Message
     
    Carter tried to tell Americans the truth and was slaughtered for it at the ballot box. Americans prefer to their politicians to lie to them and make unaffordable promises and tell them to keep on consuming with abandon.

     

    Too much debt, finite reserves of oil, excessive consumption - these are terms most Americans cannot understand.
    24 Jun 2011, 02:45 AM Reply Like
  • TomasViewPoint
    , contributor
    Comments (4845) | Send Message
     
    Carter was killed for being a poor leader and not speaking to America's strengths rather than its weaknesses. He was a negative energy guy and that is death for a leader. Reagan looked like sunshine and hope next to Carter's dour and negative point of view.

     

    The challenge we are having is finding leaders with the positive outlook but the leadership abilities to address and solve problems.
    24 Jun 2011, 07:45 AM Reply Like
  • Duude
    , contributor
    Comments (3360) | Send Message
     
    Jimmy Carter's energy policy was one that led to the department of energy, which has turned out to be a boondoggle of a department. It only added more government employees and still today we're without an energy policy. He also pushed for the development of shale oil which eventually led to synthetic oil. It was of some success, but due to price, its a minuscule part of energy today. Additionally, if we had mined the shale oil in the Rockies that Carter was pushing for, the technology of the day would have left the Rockies a desperately polluted wasteland. Thank God, Jimmy's energy policy failed.
    24 Jun 2011, 09:00 AM Reply Like
  • Monngie
    , contributor
    Comments (928) | Send Message
     
    Tommy, he wasn't negative energy. He was pro using domestic energy resources (coal, nuclear, NAT, solar) and reducing our dependence on foreign oil by encouraging more efficiency into the way we use our energy.

     

    en.wikisource.org/wiki...
    28 Jun 2011, 09:25 PM Reply Like
  • Monngie
    , contributor
    Comments (928) | Send Message
     
    What don't you guys like about getting off of foreign oil.
    1. The part about waging unnecessary wars to insure our oil supply. 2. The part about getting our kids killed and maimed to insure the oil supplies.
    3. The part about killing innocent people to insure our oil supplies.
    4. The part about sending 600-800 billion dollars a year to people that hate us because we unnecessary wars on them and kill innocent people.
    ect ......etc.....etc.

     

    I'll take a hundred Jimmy Carter's over the likes of GW.
    28 Jun 2011, 09:33 PM Reply Like
  • 1980XLS
    , contributor
    Comments (3314) | Send Message
     
    Anybody that hates the US is not innocent, and deserves to be bombed accordingly.
    28 Jun 2011, 09:39 PM Reply Like
  • Derek A. Barrett
    , contributor
    Comments (3534) | Send Message
     
    What if they hate us because we bombed them first?
    28 Jun 2011, 10:09 PM Reply Like
  • TomasViewPoint
    , contributor
    Comments (4845) | Send Message
     
    Mon

     

    You cannot read. The sentence is referring to his energy as a person and what he gave off for energy.
    29 Jun 2011, 12:39 AM Reply Like
  • sr1977
    , contributor
    Comments (319) | Send Message
     
    I heard some comments on CNBC that a move of this sort at the right time rattles speculators and that is what drives the price down and can keep it down for months. So it is more the timing of the release of strategic reserves, rather than the volume of oil released that has the intended effect. Reportedly, oil speculators were just recovering from getting hammered by the reduced growth forecasts (as witnessed by the decline in crude prices prior to the release of SPR). This release of SPR whacks them again in the hopes of keeping them out or at least making them skittish about driving the price up, because now they know that further releases of SPR could occur at any time without warning.

     

    This could be a vote getting measure, but it may just be what main street needs at this time.

     

    I think at this point most folks in DC are so desperate about helping our economy that they would piss on a spark plug if they thought it would help...
    23 Jun 2011, 07:02 PM Reply Like
  • Windsun33
    , contributor
    Comments (4254) | Send Message
     
    The total release amounts to less than 24 hours of world petro usage. How much effect can it really have for more than a few days? If it had any effect on speculators, I am sure it was both accidental and temporary.
    23 Jun 2011, 07:43 PM Reply Like
  • Joe Eifrid
    , contributor
    Comments (336) | Send Message
     
    Does the govt sell this oil into the market? if so, maybe they just need another day away from hitting the debt ceiling.
    23 Jun 2011, 07:05 PM Reply Like
  • tigersam
    , contributor
    Comments (1711) | Send Message
     
    Puzzle for republicans only!
    23 Jun 2011, 07:26 PM Reply Like
  • 1980XLS
    , contributor
    Comments (3314) | Send Message
     
    Tigerscam,

     

    More political Comments?

     

    I doubt Blankfien is a republican.

     

    And BTW, Wall St (including GS) gave most of their money to Obama's 2008 campaign, not the republicans.
    23 Jun 2011, 08:07 PM Reply Like
  • bearfund
    , contributor
    Comments (1534) | Send Message
     
    The biggest tragedy of this site is that they took away the thumbs-down option just after you appeared. Now we have to hope other readers recognise you for a high-volume no-content poster with no useful ideas or knowledge to share. What would it take to convince you to take your act to Yahoo and leave us alone?
    23 Jun 2011, 09:05 PM Reply Like
  • tigersam
    , contributor
    Comments (1711) | Send Message
     
    BF:

     

    Same here. I would suggest you should not go to Yahoo also. You should retire. Bears are going get killed soon! This market is going up!
    24 Jun 2011, 06:00 AM Reply Like
  • Monngie
    , contributor
    Comments (928) | Send Message
     
    No content in your comment Bear! And your headed for high volume!
    28 Jun 2011, 09:35 PM Reply Like
  • DVW
    , contributor
    Comments (157) | Send Message
     
    The US Govt bought that oil for $30/bbl, and sold it for $95/bbl. Not a bad investment, if you ask me! What... $4 billion? We need the money!
    23 Jun 2011, 08:20 PM Reply Like
  • 1980XLS
    , contributor
    Comments (3314) | Send Message
     
    No, actually during the Bush administration in the Summer of 2008, they were still adding and filling it up, despite the price.

     

    So now even our Government are a bunch of Traders too?

     

    Perhaps they'll make money in money, but in nominal terms over time?

     

    Don't Bet on it.
    23 Jun 2011, 08:27 PM Reply Like
  • 2PP
    , contributor
    Comments (349) | Send Message
     
    Do you really think that $4B went toward the national debt? Where is this money going, as corrupt as this administration is it probably is funding more smuggled guns to Mexico to kill more border security officers. Why hasn't Holder been fired? That is all.
    23 Jun 2011, 08:33 PM Reply Like
  • 1980XLS
    , contributor
    Comments (3314) | Send Message
     
    Perhaps I will prove to be right after all.

     

    www.valuewalk.com/comm.../
    27 Jun 2011, 11:59 AM Reply Like
  • WMARKW
    , contributor
    Comments (10260) | Send Message
     
    I think you meant to say, "now even our Government is a bunch of traitors too? Didn't you?
    28 Jun 2011, 01:58 AM Reply Like
  • TomasViewPoint
    , contributor
    Comments (4845) | Send Message
     
    DVW

     

    Assuming you are correct and the $4 Billion is a savings then we only have $996,000,000,000 to go to save $1 Trillion. Should be a slam dunk with that kind of progress :-)

     

    Of course if we buy oil at higher prices to replace it then we are going the wrong way.
    28 Jun 2011, 02:57 PM Reply Like
  • WMARKW
    , contributor
    Comments (10260) | Send Message
     
    So once again, something happens that doesn't make any sense...but low and behold, the announcement of the oil release sure beat the price of gold down from an important $1550 point. Hmmmmmm.
    23 Jun 2011, 08:29 PM Reply Like
  • Bear Bait
    , contributor
    Comments (664) | Send Message
     
    www.cnbc.com/id/43514254
    This is the explanation I like....
    23 Jun 2011, 08:36 PM Reply Like
  • Bear Bait
    , contributor
    Comments (664) | Send Message
     
    sr1977 read the same story. I don't know if it is true or not; but, I hope to H there were a bunch of speculators that took the full 4 bucks a barrel drop on millions of barrels.
    23 Jun 2011, 08:52 PM Reply Like
  • WMARKW
    , contributor
    Comments (10260) | Send Message
     
    And who do we think told the "brilliant" Obama to execute this strategy. You think it was his staff....or his friends at JPM/GS?
    24 Jun 2011, 03:13 AM Reply Like
  • kaa1016
    , contributor
    Comments (175) | Send Message
     
    Listen, if they really wanted oil lower, all they had to do is increase the margin requirements so the "evil speculators" would get flushed out. Look no further than what they did to silver. No this is a 100% political move that screams desperation and whose intended targets are the average American citizen that wouldn't understand how raising the margin requirements would lower gas prices and that's exactly what they want. All of them, Repubs and Dems. Free markets my ass...
    23 Jun 2011, 08:44 PM Reply Like
  • KJP712
    , contributor
    Comments (437) | Send Message
     
    Watch the employment numbers change as someone in the Government Statistics Department believes jobs will be created by the moving of all those barrels....
    23 Jun 2011, 08:45 PM Reply Like
  • 1980XLS
    , contributor
    Comments (3314) | Send Message
     
    Jobs,

     

    They must have created some new jobs alright.

     

    Gov't Market Manipulators.
    23 Jun 2011, 08:50 PM Reply Like
  • HiSpeed
    , contributor
    Comments (1063) | Send Message
     
    This was a stupid move - oil was already trending down, and with QE ending, the near future for commodities was looking to trend lower.
    23 Jun 2011, 08:50 PM Reply Like
  • mike mohr
    , contributor
    Comments (451) | Send Message
     
    They still don't get it. Only temporary band aid fix. Stop Goldman from manipulating the oil and it will go to $60.
    23 Jun 2011, 09:17 PM Reply Like
  • Joe Eifrid
    , contributor
    Comments (336) | Send Message
     
    JAPAN ECONMIN YOSANO: IEA DECISION TO RELEASE OIL STOCKS IS WARNING AGAINST SPECULATIVE BUYERS

     

    This headline just came across. Seems like this guy would know.
    23 Jun 2011, 09:41 PM Reply Like
  • 1980XLS
    , contributor
    Comments (3314) | Send Message
     
    Mohr,

     

    I more than anybody would like lower oil prices.

     

    That said, you say GS manipulates them to the upside, but it is OK for Obama to manipulate them to the downside.

     

    Manipulation is manipulation whomever may be involved.
    And it will either lead to bubbles or shortages should it persist either way.

     

    One thing is certain, Obams wants to manipulate them to the downside.

     

    I'm sure however, GS could give a rat's ass which way it goes provided they bet on the right direction.

     

    Given that, I'll go with free market forces, which are likely more aligned with GS's interests vs Obama's.

     

    By the way, please provide data as to how GS would prefer Oil to go up vs down, and how they are the key significant factor in determining oil prices.
    23 Jun 2011, 09:41 PM Reply Like
  • dividend_growth
    , contributor
    Comments (2878) | Send Message
     
    Oil bulls must be very very careful now. The US had released SPR 7 times since its existence. With the exception of 2005, all other releases were nothing but MASSACRES for oil bulls.

     

    With respect to future oil productions, die-hard bulls should listen very carefully to conference calls from American independent producers such as CHK or EOG, and find out exactly what they said about their future oil production plans. Combined this development with Obama's sudden U-turn on domestic oil production policies, you can get the idea.

     

    Also, we already know that shale gas is abundant. Even China has as much of these as the US. If large amount of shale oil follows shale gas, then the world might be swimming in oil!
    23 Jun 2011, 09:44 PM Reply Like
  • Buddy Canuspare
    , contributor
    Comments (398) | Send Message
     
    Dividend,
    Meet Gregor:
    seekingalpha.com/artic...
    I suspect the truth is somewhere between the two, eh?
    23 Jun 2011, 10:57 PM Reply Like
  • okiepoor
    , contributor
    Comments (11) | Send Message
     
    Did anybody notice the slide in WTI started about an hour prior to News Release?????
    23 Jun 2011, 10:47 PM Reply Like
  • Joe Morgan
    , contributor
    Comments (1500) | Send Message
     
    "Obama sudden U-turn on domestic oil production policies"....

     

    He is bluffing, he is throwing a bone so voters are sucked up into voting for him....

     

    EPA is more powerful than ever, and they are trying to squeeze hydraulic fracturing.....
    23 Jun 2011, 10:48 PM Reply Like
  • Dennis Schump
    , contributor
    Comment (1) | Send Message
     
    This is QE3 in disguise.
    23 Jun 2011, 10:59 PM Reply Like
  • buyitcheap
    , contributor
    Comments (1848) | Send Message
     
    Hells bells - because Goldman was short - that's why. They closed their positions below 90 today and went long. (So expect a number of tanker disasters or disruptions somewhere in the supply chain y'all.) They already knew that there was tremendous oversupply, called their minions in the the MENA etc., waited for them to establish short positions and then directed the IEA to make their announcement. It's all vampire squidiness my friends. Why is this so difficult? Doesn't matter how the game is fixed, so long we WE know how and can trade accordingly. (hat tip to Philstockworld.com a regular here.)
    23 Jun 2011, 11:58 PM Reply Like
  • zhellc
    , contributor
    Comments (58) | Send Message
     
    Great move to punish those fking greedy manipulators who careless about our economy and well being of the ordinary middle class people.
    24 Jun 2011, 01:10 AM Reply Like
  • WMARKW
    , contributor
    Comments (10260) | Send Message
     
    I guess you disdain is equal for those manipulators that are short and want to push the price down to make a buck....right? You can make money on either side of the transaction so long as you place your bet and then call your friends at the Fed or elsewhere to pull the trigger on the event.
    24 Jun 2011, 03:18 AM Reply Like
  • Windsun33
    , contributor
    Comments (4254) | Send Message
     
    You are making the mistake of assuming that all traders are on the same side. I bet a ton of money was made by those speculators betting on more downside.
    24 Jun 2011, 11:06 AM Reply Like
  • Derek A. Barrett
    , contributor
    Comments (3534) | Send Message
     
    Hey! Only JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs are allowed to manipulate commodity prices. Someone call Hank Paulson and straighten this crap out.
    24 Jun 2011, 01:19 AM Reply Like
  • Herr Hansa
    , contributor
    Comments (3079) | Send Message
     
    Actually, it is about revenues. The Treasury probably gave the okay on this, or may have even suggested it. The only things I wonder about is who is buying, and where does it go.
    24 Jun 2011, 02:05 AM Reply Like
  • WMARKW
    , contributor
    Comments (10260) | Send Message
     
    It's about revenues????? Pls Explain?
    24 Jun 2011, 03:17 AM Reply Like
  • Herr Hansa
    , contributor
    Comments (3079) | Send Message
     
    It's really a small amount in the overall scheme of things, but it can be enough to restore consumer attitudes, leading to increased gasoline usage.
    28 Jun 2011, 02:15 AM Reply Like
  • WMARKW
    , contributor
    Comments (10260) | Send Message
     
    So are you saying they released oil from the SPR to generate revenues for the US Treasury.

     

    Vielleicht sind Sie richtig?
    28 Jun 2011, 02:46 AM Reply Like
  • Herr Hansa
    , contributor
    Comments (3079) | Send Message
     
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...

     

    Figure how many barrels of refined products, mostly gasoline, and it's not much on the time of usage. My feeling is that it will get people to buy more oil, which generates tax revenues. As the "deadline" approaches, any increased revenue eases the hard date cut-off. Whether I am write would be seen in an increased usage of gasoline over the next month. The released oil would not become gasoline in a short period of time, but the average person does not understand the time lags, they only see the change in prices.

     

    In a similar manner, I think that the recent speed-up of drilling permits in the Gulf of Mexico is more a result of revenue generation needs, than any legal wrangling, or any pressures from political posturing. At this point anything that increases revenues would be welcomed in the short term. Your Treasury Secretary can see these things easily. Unfortunately it is too early to see if any of this will work.
    28 Jun 2011, 01:33 PM Reply Like
  • Windsun33
    , contributor
    Comments (4254) | Send Message
     
    It appears that oil is back almost to the "pre release" prices...
    29 Jun 2011, 09:29 AM Reply Like
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