Best of the Week
Most Popular
1. Will Gold Price Breakout? 3 Things to Watch… - Jordan_Roy_Byrne
2.China Invades Saudi Oil Realm: PetroDollar Kill - Jim_Willie_CB
3.Bitcoin Price Trend Forecast, Paypal FUD Fake Cryptocurrency Warning - Nadeem_Walayat
4.The Stock Market Trend is Your Friend ’til the Very End - Rambus_Chartology
5.This Isn’t Your Grandfather’s (1960s) Inflation Scare - F_F_Wiley
6.GDX Gold Mining Stocks Fundamentals - Zeal_LLC
7.US Housing Real Estate Market and Banking Pressures Are Building - Chris_Vermeulen
8.Return of Stock Market Volatility Amidst Political Chaos and Uncertain Economy - Buildadv
9.Can Bitcoin Price Rally Continue After Paypal Fake FUD Attack? - Nadeem_Walayat
10.Warning Economic Implosion on the Horizon - Chris_Vermeulen
Last 7 days
How Long Does it take for a 10%+ Stock Market Correction to Make New Highs - 21st Apr 18
Sheffield Ruling Labour Party Could Lose 10 Council Seats at May Local Elections - 21st Apr 18
Crude Oil Price Trend Forecast - Saudi Arabia $80 ARAMCO Stock IPO Target - 21st Apr 18
Gold Price Nearing Bull Market Breakout, Stocks to Follow - 20th Apr 18
What’s Bitcoin Really Worth? - 20th Apr 18
Stock Market May "Let Go" - 20th Apr 18
Overwhelming Evidence Against Near Stock Market Grand Supercycle Top - 20th Apr 18
Crude Oil Price Trend Forecast - Saudi's Want $100 for ARAMCO Stock IPO - 20th Apr 18
The Incredible Silver Trade – What You Need to Know - 20th Apr 18
Is War "Hell" for the Stock Market? - 19th Apr 18
Palladium Bullion Surges 17% In 9 Days On Russian Supply Concerns - 19th Apr 18
Breadth Study Suggests that Stock Market Bottom is Already In - 19th Apr 18
Allegory Regarding Investment Decisions Made On Basis Of Government’s Income Statement, Balance Sheet - 19th Apr 18
Gold – A Unique Repeat of the 2007 and How to Profit - 19th Apr 18
Abbeydale Park Rise Cherry Tree's in Blossom - Sheffield Street Tree Protests - 19th Apr 18
The Stock Market “Turn of the Month Effect” Exists in 11 of 11 Countries - 18th Apr 18
Winter is Coming - Coming Storms Will Bring Out the Best and Worst in Humanity - 18th Apr 18
What Does it Take to Create Living Wage Jobs? - 18th Apr 18
Gold and Silver Buy Signals - 18th Apr 18
WINTER IS COMING - The Ongoing Fourth Turning Crisis Part2 - 18th Apr 18
A Stock Market Rally on Low Volume is NOT Bearish - 17th Apr 18
Three Gold Charts, One Big Gold Stocks Opportunity - 17th Apr 18
Crude Oil Price As Bullish as it Seems? - 17th Apr 18
A Good Time to Buy Facebook? - 17th Apr 18
THE Financial Crisis Acronym of 2008 is Sounding Another Alarm - 16th Apr 18
Bombs, Missiles and War – What to Expect Next from the Stock Market - 16th Apr 18
Global Debt Bubble Hits New All Time High – One Quadrillion Reasons To Buy Gold - 16th Apr 18
Will Bitcoin Ever Recover? - 16th Apr 18
Stock Market Futures Bounce, But Stopped at Trendline - 16th Apr 18
How To Profit As Oil Prices Explode - 16th Apr 18
Junior Mining Stocks are Close to Breaking Downtrend - 16th Apr 18
Look Inside a Caravan at UK Holiday Park for Summer 2018 - Hoseasons Cayton Bay Sea Side - 16th Apr 18
Stock Market More Weakness? How Much? - 15th Apr 18
Time for the Gold Bulls to Show their Mettle - 15th Apr 18
Trading Markets Amid Sound of Wars - 15th Apr 18
Sugar Commodity Buying Levels Analysis - 14th Apr 18
The Oil Trade May Be Coming Alive - 14th Apr 18

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

Trading Lessons

A Short Tale About the Grand Manipulation of Crude Oil Prices

Commodities / Crude Oil Nov 26, 2014 - 05:56 PM GMT

By: Money_Morning

Commodities

Dr. Kent Moors writes: Happy Thanksgiving from Dubai.

I’ll have much more to tell you about my meetings in Paris, Frankfurt, and here on the Persian Gulf coast next week.

But today I’d like to fill you in on an interesting wrinkle I’ve uncovered dealing with the ongoing saga of why oil prices are so low.


Certainly much of this has to do with supply and demand. Yet, there’s one thing pushing the price down that has nothing to do with the oil itself.

The truth is there has been a concerted shorting strategy underway…

And while the money involved is being sourced from other places like Asia and the U.S., this game is being played out through surrogate companies made to sound European, with the trades taking place on European stock exchanges.

A Viable but Dangerous Strategy

Consider the news that hit over the weekend about Tiger Global.

This $15 billion hedge fund has been shorting European stocks through shell companies located in the Cayman Islands. These surrogates have European sounding names with Gmbh (German), N.V. (Dutch), and other designations to make them sound as if they are based on the continent.

But that is not the case. Tiger Global is a New York City-based entity with the trades coming out of the Caribbean.

Recent revisions in European trading regulations were introduced to make the disclosure of operators like this more transparent. And, at a minimum, what Tiger has been doing is against the spirit of those changes, if not the letter.

Now don’t get me wrong. Shorting is a viable strategy during times of high volatility when the dominant trajectory seems to be pointing downward.

Yet, it also is a very dangerous investment approach, because theoretically there is no limit to how much money can be lost.

A short position essentially works this way. An investor who believes a specific stock is going to decline (or continue declining) borrows shares from a broker (usually paying a small premium), and then immediately sells those shares on the open market.

However, the caveat is this. Later the same investor has to then buy those shares back on the open market and return them to the loaning agent.

If the investor is correct and the stock moves down, a profit is earned on the difference in price.

For example, let’s say a stock is trading at $10. If I short it and the price goes down to $8, I can then buy it back at the new market price, return the borrowed shares to the broker, and pocket a $2 profit on the spread.

On the other hand, if I’m wrong and the stock increases in value, I have to make up the difference. If the same stock from my example jumped to $20 a share, I would incur a 100% loss in a brief period of time.

The most dangerous approach is to run “naked shorts,” a practice discouraged or prohibited on some exchanges. In a naked short, the investor places the trades without actually having control over the shares being shorted. You can lose the farm quickly if the strategy backfires and the stock advances during the period in which the short is held.

Because of this uncertainty, I do not recommend my subscribers short stocks, and certainly would never recommend they use naked shorts.

Nonetheless, times like these have made some companies prime candidates for short activity.

Any stock in question would require enough market capitalization, adequate daily trading volume, and enough accessible shares (a traded company having most of its shares owned by holdings keeping them long-term would provide too much uncertainty).

Oil Prices: Hundreds of Billions in Big Bets

All of which brings me to what I have been talking about in some of my meetings over the past week.

The shorting activity that has been hitting company shares has also been taking place in commodities’ future contracts as well – especially in crude oil.

However, in this case, there are two ways to make a short followed by a long trade more powerful. Of course, you need access to a great deal of money, and need to have a trading position to accomplish both of these moves.

In the first case, bets for lower oil prices on futures contracts are made, usually accompanied by “objective” sounding analysis being released claiming the sky is about to fall. Driving the price of the oil down merely allows the practitioner to short into an already falling pricing scenario.

Of course, these shorts, like all the rest, still have to contend with the possibility that the price may suddenly rise for a reason the trader cannot control. When that occurs, one better “cover” a short quickly (by buying it from the market earlier than anticipated), or a substantial loss could follow.

This is the situation in oil today, as traders await a coming OPEC decision.

Short artists are now pressing the price of crude down to maximize their positions, but that could end, causing those positions to be unwound if the cartel decides to cut production in their meetings beginning in Vienna tomorrow.

That introduces the second part of this grand market manipulation.

There is a mantra being conveyed by pundits that the supply/demand balance is holding up because of the new supply coming on line and sluggish demand (which, by the way, has not been the case globally for some time).

But a period of declining prices will always result in a rebound, simply because of the basic principle of petroleum economics. Cheaper prices discourage production but entice end usage.

There’s a really attractive way to make money here, but you need to be a very big player to pull it off. Like a large oil trading company or, better yet, a state-controlled oil producer.

In this case, you would simply yo-yo the availability as the price is going down and move it back when the situation warrants. By withholding supply, a greater profit margin is assured once the price starts moving back up.

After a series of meetings in Paris ending on Tuesday, I can tell you this is what’s happening, and I have a good idea which entities are the main players in both ends of this game.

And surprise!… They are rolling out the double squeeze in European trading, using shell companies that are made to sound European in which the money is actually coming from elsewhere. But what is taking place here makes the Tiger Global move against selected companies look like peanuts.

This one has a price tag in the hundreds of billions, once substantial margin buys are factored in. It also has one other huge difference.

The financing is coming from nationally-held and administered sovereign wealth funds, several residing in the countries producing the oil itself.

This is going to make my Dubai meetings starting on Saturday really interesting.

Because I plan to ask some of the guys pulling these strings to comment… before I release some of what I know – next week, right here in OEI.

Source : http://oilandenergyinvestor.com/2014/11/short-tale-grand-manipulation-oil-prices/

Money Morning/The Money Map Report

©2014 Monument Street Publishing. All Rights Reserved. Protected by copyright laws of the United States and international treaties. Any reproduction, copying, or redistribution (electronic or otherwise, including on the world wide web), of content from this website, in whole or in part, is strictly prohibited without the express written permission of Monument Street Publishing. 105 West Monument Street, Baltimore MD 21201, Email: customerservice@moneymorning.com

Disclaimer: Nothing published by Money Morning should be considered personalized investment advice. Although our employees may answer your general customer service questions, they are not licensed under securities laws to address your particular investment situation. No communication by our employees to you should be deemed as personalized investent advice. We expressly forbid our writers from having a financial interest in any security recommended to our readers. All of our employees and agents must wait 24 hours after on-line publication, or after the mailing of printed-only publication prior to following an initial recommendation. Any investments recommended by Money Morning should be made only after consulting with your investment advisor and only after reviewing the prospectus or financial statements of the company.

Money Morning Archive

© 2005-2018 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

6 Critical Money Making Rules