Kevin's Feed
Jul 8, 2013

Commodity traders need to show they’re crisis-proof

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

By Kevin Allison

LONDON, July 8 (Reuters Breakingviews) – It was July 2015,
and Global Materials Partners (GLOMP), an unlisted Swiss
commodities trader, was in trouble. Data showing a rapid
slowdown in the Chinese economy had pushed the copper price down
15 percent in two days. Then one of GLOMP’s star traders came
clean: over the past several months, the former back office
worker had built up a huge, unauthorised long position in copper
derivatives.

Jun 7, 2013
via Breakingviews

Leave it to a hedgie to take on Einstein

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By Kevin Allison

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

Eric Weinstein, a New York hedge fund manager, thinks he has cracked one of the biggest mysteries in physics. The science establishment is rightly sceptical, but intrigued enough to admit Weinstein’s theory deserves further study. Even if he is wrong, it’s nice to see for once a Wall Street boffin applying his intellectual firepower to questions of beauty and truth.

Jun 4, 2013
via Breakingviews

Efficiency revolution would put shale to shame

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By Kevin Allison and Christopher Swann

The authors are Reuters Breakingviews columnists. The opinions expressed are their own.

Move over, shale. Fracking might produce roughly the equivalent of 15 million barrels of oil (boe) a day by 2050 in the United States, more than Saudi Arabia’s crude output. But investments in already available technologies to boost energy efficiency could save 23 million boe per day in the United States, according to a lobby group. Bad information and skewed incentives are keeping most of this low-hanging fruit on the tree.

May 24, 2013
via Breakingviews

Frackers ignore German beer angst at their peril

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By Kevin Allison and Olaf Storbeck

The authors are Reuters Breakingviews columnists. The opinions expressed are their own.

Contemporary Germans tend to be open-minded and tolerant. Their permissiveness ends when it comes to beer. It must be eight degrees cold, with a decent head and brewed only with the purest water, barley, hops and yeast. Gas drillers eyeing potential shale opportunities in Europe ignore at their peril this centuries-old fastidiousness, which dates back to the famous Reinheitsgebot of 1516.

May 16, 2013
via Breakingviews

Glencore should just name Ivan Glasenberg chairman

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By Kevin Allison

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

John Bond’s ouster is an opportunity for Glencore Xstrata to make a fresh start in the boardroom. Best practice would dictate that the departing chairman’s permanent replacement be a strong outsider. That precludes tapping Ivan Glasenberg, the newly-merged miner’s CEO and its biggest shareholder. However, a dual mandate might better reflect corporate reality.

May 9, 2013
via Breakingviews

ENRC board needs to summon its poker skills

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By Kevin Allison

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

ENRC’s independent directors need to practice their poker skills. They face the task of recommending or rejecting a possible bid for the hapless miner from a consortium of its biggest shareholders. The directors’ hand is weak, but they shouldn’t just fold.

May 2, 2013
via Breakingviews

Shell must hope Voser successor mimics his ways

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By Kevin Allison

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

When a chief executive unexpectedly leaves to spend more time with his family, it’s usually a cue to start a post-mortem into a failed tenure. Shell looks like an exception. Actually, it is shame Peter Voser is leaving. The Anglo-Dutch oil major could do worse than hope his successor mimics his ways.

Apr 16, 2013
via Breakingviews

Gold miners still look expensive

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By Kevin Allison

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

“Sitting on a gold mine” doesn’t have the ring it used to. Shares of leading gold miners fell sharply along with the routed yellow metal on April 15. Even so, the sector doesn’t look cheap. If the gold bubble has truly burst, miners’ earnings will be crushed as high costs meet falling prices. Management has few levers to pull.

Mar 22, 2013

Analysis: Cypriot gas no fix for country’s funding gap

LONDON (Reuters) – Cyprus’ gas is worth less than $2 billion based on reserves found so far and there may be too little to develop anyway, leaving plans to mortgage them against a $13 billion bailout unlikely to fly, Reuters research has found.

So far, an estimated 200 billion cubic metres (bcm) of natural gas worth $80 billion at current prices have been discovered in the Aphrodite gas field in Cypriot waters.

Mar 22, 2013
via Breakingviews

Cyprus will struggle to make gas math work

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

Cyprus’ latest ideas for wiggling out of its financial fix include bundling future gas revenues into a national “solidarity fund”. But Breakingviews calculations suggest the gas discovered to date isn’t worth enough to plug the country’s 5.8 billon euro ($7.5 billion) funding gap.