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Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Bubble - Forget about Economics Rules, it´s the Stock Market my friend, The stock Market!

They're wrong about oil, by George

Rip up your textbooks, the doubling of oil prices has little to do with China's appetite

Excelente e muito interessante artigo no Times online sobre a relaçao/especulaçao dos mercados financeiros e com a subida dos preços dos commodities, entre eles o petroleo:

O autor do texto, inspirado no novo livro de George Soros (The New Paradigm for Financial Markets, 2008) onde questiona que as leis fundamentais da economia de equilibrio atraves da oferta e procura nao se aplicam em situaçoes de Boom´s ou Borbulhas Economicas de certos productos/serviços. Toma como exemplo a situaçao de subida galopante do petroleo nos ultimos tempos e a procura do mesmo (que aparentemente nao é assim tao diferente em alta de há uns anos para cá).

Um pequeno excerto...

Now consider the situation today in oil markets: the Gulf, according to Mr Rothman, is crammed with supertankers chartered by oil-producing governments to hold the inventories of oil they are pumping but cannot sell. That physical oil is in excess supply at today's prices does not mean that producers are somehow cheating by storing their oil in tankers or keeping it in the ground. All it suggests is that there are few buyers for physical oil cargoes at today's prices, but there are plenty of buyers for pieces of paper linked to the price of oil next month and next year. This situation is exactly analogous to the bubble in credit markets a year ago, where nobody wanted to buy sub-prime mortgage bonds, but there was plenty of demand for "financial derivatives" that allowed investors to bet on the future value of these bonds.

In short, the standard economic assumption that supply and demand drive prices is only a starting point for understanding financial markets. In boom-bust cycles, the textbook theory is not just slightly inaccurate but totally wrong. This is the main argument made by George Soros in his fascinating book on the credit crunch, The New Paradigm for Financial Markets, launched at an LSE lecture last night. In this book Mr Soros explains how financial bubbles always start with some genuine economic transformation - the invention of the internet, the deregulation of credit or the rise of China as a commodity consumer.

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