The Great Debate

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.

Anti-Keynesians and falling commodity prices

June 8, 2010

Policymakers’ new enthusiasm for cutting budget deficits will slow growth across the advanced industrial economies, cutting the outlook for commodity consumption and prices over the next 2-3 years.

Real commodity prices and the U.S. rate cycle

February 10, 2010

— John Kemp is a Reuters columnist. The views expressed are his own. —

Commodity prices exhibit a strong cyclical component — though it can be masked when producers are carrying a lot of excess capacity.

from Commentaries:

CFTC prepares to recant speculators’ influence

July 29, 2009

johnkempcrop-- John Kemp is a Reuters columnist. The views expressed are his own --

Like Archbishop Thomas Cranmer before he was burned at the stake for heresy, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) seems about to make a dramatic recantation.

Africa and the global economic crisis

April 1, 2009

– Jorge Maia is head of Research and Information for Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa, established in 1940 to promote economic growth and industrial development. The opinions expressed are his own –

Should there be limits on commodity investment?

March 9, 2009

John Kemp Great Debate— John Kemp is a Reuters columnist. The views expressed are his own —

The commodity boom and bust in the last 5 years suggests there is a natural limit on how much investment money these markets can absorb before price-setting mechanisms become distorted and prices unmoored from supply and demand fundamentals.

Commodities send coded clues on inflation

February 23, 2009

John Kemp Great Debate— John Kemp is a Reuters columnist. The views expressed are his own —

After an 8-year period of remarkable stability, the ratio between gold and oil prices has broken down spectacularly.

Commodities and the Great Conundrum

November 3, 2008

John Kemp— John Kemp is a Reuters columnist.  The views expressed are his own —


By John Kemp

LONDON (Reuters) – By driving up long-term real interest rates, the forthcoming flood of U.S Treasury borrowing threatens to crowd out the amount of capital for investing in other asset classes, creating a much tougher environment for commodity prices over the next two to three years.