The Great Debate

from Breakingviews:

Rob Cox: Fragility bigger worry than volatility

October 21, 2014

By Rob Cox

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own. 

A shifting global economy brings Australia to a crossroads

By Dan Steinbock
November 29, 2013

Australia is no longer immune to the stagnation in the West. Despite a resilient housing market, Australia’s economy is slowing. With a worsening labor market, consumption is eroding, along with business confidence.

An agenda to boost Africa’s economy

By Eliot Pence
August 30, 2013

A lot can happen in a year. This time last year, U.S. businesses and NGOs bemoaned the Obama administration’s perceived indifference to Africa. Now, they’re trying to find out how to catch the wave of interest. Major new initiatives, including Power Africa and Trade Africa, unveiled during President Obama’s first true trip to Africa this summer, as well as a reinvigorated push to renew the African Growth and Opportunity Act fully two years before it’s due to expire, have given U.S.-Africa watchers a lot to consider. But what — and when — is enough for U.S. policy in Africa? What more can be done in the year ahead? How do things really shake out for investors, civil society and Africans? Here are three additional areas the Administration should consider as it deepens its commitment to the continent:

Quantitative easing and the commodity markets

October 29, 2010

-The views expressed are the author’s own-

A warning by an International Energy Agency (IEA) analyst this week that quantitative easing (QE) risked inflating nominal commodity prices and derailing the recovery drew a withering response from Nobel Economics Laureate Paul Krugman, who labelled the unfortunate analyst the “worst economist in the world”.

Wanted: more commodity hedgers

September 13, 2010

For the last decade, investors such as pension and hedge funds have been the fastest-growing segment of commodity derivatives markets. The most successful banks and dealers have been those which marketed themselves most effectively to this new group of customers.

Roll losses swallow up commodity inflows

July 30, 2010

Total assets under management in commodity-tracking indices and exchange-traded products (ETPs) have stalled over the last nine months, as roll losses swallow up fresh money inflows.

from The Great Debate (Commentary):

Commodities should be short-term investments

July 28, 2010

Commodity indices and exchange-traded products (ETPs) should be regarded as short- to medium-term investments rather than long-term strategies, as a quick glance at performance over the last 10 years shows.

Goldman slashes risk-taking in commodities

July 20, 2010

John Kemp is a Reuters market analyst. The views expressed are his own

Goldman Sachs cut the amount of risk it staked on commodity trading during Q2 2010 by almost 35 percent, part of a broad-based reduction in risk across the bank’s trading book. Value-at-risk (VaR) linked to commodity prices fell to an average of just $32 million per day between April and June, down from $49 million in the prior quarter and $40 million in the same period a year earlier, according to the firm’s earnings release. Cuts in VaR allocated to commodities were in line with reductions elsewhere, including interest rate risk (down just over 20 percent) and equities (down just over 30 percent). Only currency trading saw a slight increase in risk taking (up 3 percent). Commodity VaR was reduced to its lowest level since the three months ended September 2009, and before that November 2007.

The darkest period before dawn?

July 12, 2010

Commodtrader

Abandon hope all ye who enter here was the inscription written above the gates of Hell in Dante’s Divine Comedy.

from The Great Debate UK:

Facebook group defends “harassed” BP

June 18, 2010

OIL-SPILL/

BP’s chief executive Tony Hayward branded “the most hated man in America” may be surprised to find himself cast in the role of victim by a growing clan of web-based supporters on Facebook.