Oil Bubble?

My friend Paul points to this report by Factset, titled:  An oil bubble to rival the internet boom.

The difficulty with the bubble moniker is determining exactly how much of the price is being driven by purely speculative factors. With Crude, a variety of forces are driving prices: A combination of both fundamentals (increasing demand, constrained supply, pipeline problems), technicals (Trend, money flow, etc.), along with the geopolitics of two Middle East wars — as well as some speculation.

Additionally, we have seen the general perception of commodities shift, where they are now seen as a more legitimate asset class for portfolio managers, along with Equities, Fixed Income, REITs, cash, etc. than it has been previously.

Even If I disagree with the bubble thesis, I love any report festooned with lovely charts, and this one is no different:

5_year_perf_energy_it

   

>

Source:
An oil bubble to rival the internet boom (PDF) 
FactSet, 3 May 2008
http://www.factset.com/websitefiles/PDFs/outlook/english/03-05-2008english.pdf

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

What's been said:

Discussions found on the web:
  1. John Navin commented on May 9

    “…as well as some speculation.”

    Some speculation? Ya think?

  2. Pool Shark commented on May 9

    Oil Bubble?

    I don’t think so. The trouble is, everyone got too used to cheap oil in the late 90’s and early 00’s.

    As I like to point out:

    In 1964 (long before embargoes, oil shocks, and gas lines) gasoline was $0.30 per gallon; three dimes.

    Today, the US national average price for a gallon of gas is $3.67.

    Also today, the value of the silver in those three 1964 dimes is, coincidentally, $3.68 (this is after the March precious metals price corrections).

    Energy, by historical standards, is not expensive; US dollars are cheap.

  3. larster commented on May 9

    I cannot see how speculation can last as long as it has in crude. If speculation is rampant, the good ol boys in the pits will hand the speculators their rear ends eventually. However, the oil bubble keeps going, which should tell us that fundamentals are the real story.

  4. Ed Miller commented on May 9

    Sadly, the only way I believe the “energy bubble” will pop is if the “population bubble” is popped. World population is the demand driver. Demand is real, especially ex-US.

    The next US generation will suffer badly.

  5. Greg commented on May 9

    The difference between Oil and Pets.com, is that oil is no service, it’s a good that’s being consumed at an ever-increasing rate.

    Meanwhile, with Cantarell and the North Sea, for example, it’s getting harder and harder to pump the stuff out.

    If anything, we ought to be seeing higher oil prices.

  6. rww commented on May 9

    Demand and “peak oil” are old stories, heard endlessly over the past 40 years. One of these decades they might even be true.

  7. Mista B commented on May 9

    I do think we’re in an oil bubble. The real question is how high and for how long will it go. We could be getting close to the end. We could be years away. Does it double or triple from here? I have no idea. Usually bubble talk doesn’t mark the end of a bubble. All bubbles are caused by overinvestment, thus when John Q. Public is raving about how well his investments in oil are doing, that’s probably the top. Jmo, but I don’t think we’re there yet. Just as for houses, demand is a factor. A lot of supply is being created–just not enough to satisfy the demand. If the demand were to drop, we’d then see the price drop.

  8. Joshua commented on May 9

    Is it just me or does anyone want to see Dennis Neil off of TV. Every time he speaks, it gives me the feeling akin to fingers scraping a chalkboard. I can’t believe that CNBC thinks he is good for their programming. Down with Dennis Neil!!!!

  9. Stock Market Beat commented on May 9

    I’d like to see the chart extend back further a few years. If I recall correctly, relative outperformance for IT stocks persisted for several years. If making a comparison, why wouldn’t the same hold true for energy?

  10. RW commented on May 9

    Not to sound wishy-washy but it’s quite possible both views are partially correct: We are heading into a period of rising commodity prices, a culminating long-wave of inflation, but there is also a lot of money looking for a new home (pardon me) and a mania, or bubble of you insist, has resulted w/ many commodities becoming rather seriously overbought.

    Just wish I could have figured out a way to go long volatility on some of ’em.

  11. Rob Dawg commented on May 9

    Additionally, we have seen the general perception of commodities shift, where they are now seen as a more legitimate asset class for portfolio managers

    Asset class? Trading class perhaps. Trade it or consume it. There isn’t really any middle ground. Oil is in a classic bubble. The only reason futures contracts are trading at $125+ is because people are buying futures at $125+. When the time comes for people to start paying $125 for oil they will use rather than trade there will be at some point a refusal and the whole speculative bubble will pop. Consumption demand data is slower than price signals, a classic bubble scenario. Some poor schmuck is gonna have a tanker off Galveston and the storage field is gonna say “No, not at that price. Sit out there at God knows how many hundred thousands per day or give me a better price to take it off your hands. There’s another ship 10 hours behind you with a worse problem.”

  12. michael schumacher commented on May 9

    hmmmm let’s see.. demand at a 5 year low according to the EIA…

    and the best part of it is this little snip from it’s website:

    “OECD commercial inventories at the end of the first quarter stood at an estimated 2.54 billion barrels, 22 million barrels above the previous 5-year average level”

    and then this:

    “Based on projections of weak economic growth and record high crude oil and product prices, consumption is projected to decline by 190,000 bbl/d in 2008, a sharper drop than the 90,000 bbl/d decline projected in the previous Outlook. After accounting for projected increases in ethanol use, U.S. petroleum consumption is projected to fall by 330,000 bbl/d.”

    I’d say that speculation is the ONLY reason we are at this level. Remember they had that neat little electricity “shortage” in 2000-01…this is absolutely the same thing on a much larger scale…volume trading aimed at creating the perception of demand.

    BR-

    Call a spade a spade……you look at the data as well as I do….what does it say to you??? Not anything about rising consumption at all….the chindia thing is just another smokescreen.

    Rob Dawg-

    I’m sure the harbor master in Houston in already on the payroll….

    Ciao
    MS

  13. styron commented on May 9

    The commitment of traders report doesn’t show speculators as being heavily long oil.

  14. Jodie commented on May 9

    There are so many shorts in USO my borker won’t let me short it(thank god!).

  15. michael schumacher commented on May 9

    jodie-

    we are one flare away from staring at $200 oil…. (meaning that is all it would take to start another war-a flare from the “wrong” side).

    Shorting oil at this point is suicide.

    After we invade Iran and Syria (or have Israel do it for us) oil will become a possible candidate for shorting. But even then I would still be hesitant..only after January 20th, 2009 would it make “sense” however by that time………..

    Ciao
    MS

  16. Michael commented on May 9

    Is there anyway to see the short interest for an ETF (USO or OIL)?

  17. Lord commented on May 9

    If you are going to compare ‘bubbles’, wouldn’t you compare it to the 70s oil ‘bubble’? Perhaps even the 70s gold bubble.

  18. Chuck Ponzi commented on May 9

    Pool Shark Said:
    Oil Bubble?

    I don’t think so. The trouble is, everyone got too used to cheap oil in the late 90’s and early 00’s.

    As I like to point out:

    In 1964 (long before embargoes, oil shocks, and gas lines) gasoline was $0.30 per gallon; three dimes.

    Today, the US national average price for a gallon of gas is $3.67.

    Also today, the value of the silver in those three 1964 dimes is, coincidentally, $3.68 (this is after the March precious metals price corrections).

    Energy, by historical standards, is not expensive; US dollars are cheap.

    Hmmm.

    While I don’t know the average price of gas in 1964, California stated that in 1970, it was $.34 Nominal. (That’s $1.34 in 2007 dollars). Gas is now 3X as expensive as it was in 1970, adjusted for inflation. The previous peak inflation adjusted price in 1981 per California was $1.43 (2.90 in 2007 dollars). We’re now 30% above the previous peak during the great inflation of the 70’s/early 80’s.

    Besides, that doesn’t take into account that it only contributes to a minority of the cost of gasoline, as is evidenced by this current blow-off of oil prices and the price at the pump have not moved in lock-step. You can view the official gasoline and inflation adjusted stats here:

    http://tinyurl.com/2kkur

    In the prior 40 years, the cost of gasoline and silver has not correlated to your “silver dimes hypothesis”, and I’d wager will not do so in the future.

    Simply said, you can draw only one conclusions from this: prices go up over time. Sometimes faster than inflation, sometimes slower. Sorry, but that’s a no brainer and doesn’t require me to calculate the silver content of a dime and compare it to spot rates.

    BTW, by your calculations (if correct), I should be able to buy gas in california for $3.32 today.

    Chuck Ponzi

  19. cinefoz commented on May 9

    It’s utterly amazing how so many people can confuse gouging with high prices due to scarcity of an item with inelastic demand.

    When the dollar falls, oil rises and the dollar is blamed. When the dollar rises, oil still goes up and scarcity is blamed. If oil goes up 10% then another 10% in a few weeks and demand changes negligibly, scarcity is still blamed.

    When refinery capacity is blamed as a bottleneck, then that should put an upper limit on the demand for oil since nothing beyond that point can be refined. Supply beyond refining capacity should mitigate prices for oil, but increase the prices of refined products if demand for refined products increases. Oil still goes up in price. Thus, refining capacity is more than adequate AND demand is exploding for refined products or the price of oil is in a feedback loop.

    When oceans of money speculate in the oil markets without risking delivery of the physical commodity, efficient pricing is praised.

    The simple fact is that a lot of people are getting rich on a pricing bubble – feedback loop and nobody wants to ask any questions. The fox is guarding the hen house and the watchdog is stupid and lazy. So are lot of the bystanders.

    My God, what part of Stupid do so many of you live in? Why do so many placidly accept the gouger’s explanation of ‘High demand, scarce supply … Sorry’. You are sheep and dumb as dirt.

  20. AGG commented on May 9

    CHART TRANSLATION:
    In the year 2000 some oil men got into the White House. They stayed there for 8 years.

    When the thief knows he’s running out of time to steal, he takes bigger risks so he can “retire” after the really big haul. In the movies this is when they get caught and sent to prison. Oh but that reality was more like the movies.

  21. BuffaloBob commented on May 9

    In no way is this a valid comparison. On a value basis energy stocks remain cheap. BP at less than 10 P/E with a 4.25% dividend. XOM at 11 P/E. These valuations do not reflect the additional earning power of $125 oil and $4 gas.

    During the internet bubble valuations relative to sales, earnings, and assets were ridiculous. That is certainly not the case with energy stocks today.

  22. RW commented on May 9

    “In the year 2000 some oil men got into the White House.”

    Frankly that beats most of the explanations I’ve heard (but I confess I’ve heard some really wild ones and, of course, I could also be living on Stupid Street or something).

  23. wunsacon commented on May 9

    >> Demand and “peak oil” are old stories, heard endlessly over the past 40 years. One of these decades they might even be true.

    Yes, 40 years ago, various people predicted peak oil at different points in the future. But, c’mon, just because some of them picked wrong dates doesn’t mean we should scoff at the whole concept. ;-)

    That’s like the climate-scoffers saying AGW can’t be real because 40 years ago 1 or 2 scientists wondered aloud whether the earth was cooling.

    So, have you read “Twilight in the Desert” yet? Please do.

  24. DoctorOfLove commented on May 9

    It’s fun to watch the comments on this bubble. Because nobody ever sees the bubble when it’s happening. There are always a thousand arguments as to why This Time, No Really, It’s different. Remember dot.com’s the new economy that always went up? Remember way back when (say 12 months ago) housing prices always rose?

    It’s not different. It’s just another bubble.

    Oil will hit $70 per barrel long before it hits $200.

  25. Mr. Obvious commented on May 9

    These valuations do not reflect the additional earning power of $125.
    ————
    The “additional earning power of $125”? XOM is selling so much gas that they can’t pump enough oil, and need to buy it on the open market. $125 oil is killing XOM.

  26. Paul Jones commented on May 9

    Are we extracting more from the ground than we want to consume? Then yes, this is a colossal bubble.

    Otherwise, no.

  27. cinefoz commented on May 9

    wunsacon,

    I read “Twilight in the Desert” a couple of years ago when peak oil was considered a joke. I made a lot from oil.

    Today the gullible believe peak oil theory is the correct explanation for all oil price increases. In addition, the ‘weak dollar’ is another powerful tool that confuses the masses.

    In actuality, peak oil is true, but prices today are a reflection of price bubbles and feedback loops and not the dire scenario the gougers would allow you to believe. In actuality, people such as yourself are BEGGING speculators to take more of your money because you accept their explanation that you must open your wallet and empty it into a bucket handily provided by them.

  28. cinefoz commented on May 9

    To put it another way, the most successful cons occur when those being fleeced argue in strong support of the con artist. Those being fleeced insist on paying whatever the con artist asks because they have made the choice to strongly identify with their victimizer. They have ‘no choice’ and are ‘powerless to resist’ is one self delusion. Others just need to ‘join the crowd’ and be a good follower. To close the circle, denial from the victim becomes the powerful ally of the victimizer.

    Now, please empty the contents of your wallet into the bucket, and come back in a few days when you are told to pay more. It’s all peak oil theory. You can’t do anything about it, sucker.

  29. Max commented on May 9

    All the arguments for the strong oil fundamentals are word-by-word corresponding to those made during the real estate bubble to justify the parabolic rises in prices. “Tight supplies”, “we’re running out of oil (land)”, “growing population”, “we’re all gonna die (we’re all gonna live in Hondas)”, etc…

    IMO, all there is to is the freshly printed Fed dollars refusing to go into repairing the banks’ balance sheets, and instead pouring into commoditties. Couple that with the multi-year course on devaluing the dollar, and the explosive instability in the Middle East.

  30. catman commented on May 9

    wait, its just the naughty speculators putting oil up. But after our short and shallow recession, when the economy once again becomes robust in the third quarter and our exports boom, demand for oil in the US will keep prices up. It’ll be okay then, right?

  31. pikertrader commented on May 9

    Oil will drop to $50 a gallon once they start to price it with Euros

  32. patrick commented on May 9

    Cinefoz,

    Where is the “con” here? Can you demonstrate oil speculation on the part of prominent and respected peak oil theorists? More importantly can you name a supplier (because they ultimately benefit from the rising price) who chalks up the high cost of oil due to peaking? Until you can, your allegations of some wide-scale con-job are paranoid and asinine.

    Not all speculation is irrational, and most successful speculators base their judgments on available information. I do not believe that they’re cynically perpetuating a scheme to “gouge” end-use consumers via a decentralized, amorphous propaganda.

    If you had read Matt Simmons closely you’d realize that he predicted this run up in crude price, but not abstractly. He showed the data and rationale behind his thinking, opening it up to refutation and critique, of which I note that you offer none. Now, he’d be the prime candidate for your greedy speculator who’s dishonestly perpetuating fear of oil production flattening to justify the near doubling in price since 2005, so why don’t you call him out on it? You concede that Peak Oil theory is legitimate, but offer no explanation as to why it can’t possibly be driving the fundamentals of oil right now.

    I’m entertained by your emotional dramatization of speculators laughing while they drain consumers’ bank accounts, but nothing you’ve said has grounded that characterization in reality. Until you bother to do that, your contributions will be viewed as trite and vapid.

    – patrick

  33. patrick commented on May 9

    correction: near doubling in price since this time in 2007.

  34. rickrude commented on May 9

    I’ve been listening to these Bubble rants since 2004, keep them comming folks.
    the top is nowhere near.

  35. PeterR commented on May 9

    New last chart at link looks pretty parabolic to these eyes, albeit on a linear scale. Doesn’t mean a top is in by any means, but increasingly IMO the next move down gets scarier by the day.

  36. Mongo commented on May 9

    An uninformed observation: Speculation may be just that, but in the Tech boom there was plenty of it on behalf of simple blue sky and air.

    It seemed many internet-related businesses and VC’d startups failed because they offered services, ‘new business’ concepts, rather than products. Brick-and-mortar businesses which had developed an internet presence suffered too, not because they had no product to offer — but from the fallout of the bubble-burst on the consumer economy.

    Oil, on the other hand, is a commodity, dependant on specific physical factors in establishing a price. It’s hard to believe there’s any similarity between 2000 and 2008 between tech and Oil beyond pure speculation — but, given how much the Street runs on it, who knows?

  37. a guy called john commented on May 9

    The difference between Oil and Pets.com, is that oil is no service, it’s a good that’s being consumed at an ever-increasing rate.

    you mean like electricity was a good being consumed in california circa summer ’00 and ’01, right?

  38. Stephen Keith commented on May 9

    The oil boom/bubble, whatever, is just another example of a broken financial system.

    When investment banks lever up 32 times to invest in houses predicated on the assumption that their prices always go up…

    …imagine how many investment banks/hedge funds/SIV’s, what have you, will have to be rescued (again) by the fed when oil prices crash because they all bet prices would go up forever.

    The point is that a financial system that is so readily able to slosh one way and then the other hardly does what you want from it, which is the efficient allocation of a capital to its best and highest uses. The oil markets are just another Vegas crap shoot.

  39. Chuck Ponzi commented on May 9

    I’ve been listening to these Bubble rants since 2004, keep them comming folks.
    the top is nowhere near.

    Posted by: rickrude | May 9, 2008 5:00:52 PM

    And…

    There’s absolutely no bubble in housing. Bubble believers would have had you believe there was a housing bubble in 2002, and we’re more than double that price since then.
    Gary Watts, 2005

    It’s different this time, right?

    Oh, yeah, it was different last time too. And the time before. My memory is not that bad. Some major groupthink is posessing some online forums. I’d hate to see this one fall too.

  40. jackal commented on May 9

    I thought at it’s beginning (i.e.the rapidity of the rally back up above $115) it looked and felt like a somewhat common albeit giant run of-the-mill short squeeze (or marker corner if you will). But, I’ve also realized during this leg up there could be another bigger picture view [ :) ] to be considered and prepared for. Over the years I’ve learned when the producer/dealer community “acts different than normal”, or “goes quiet” (as I term it to myself) and becomes less involved than usual, it’s a “tell” that something else is up. Nothing nefarious, just a “flow clue” if you will. My thought or suspicion as I’ve followed the moves in these commodity and financial markets along with the various stories around and about them recently is people or parties closer to the middle east scene (and much higher up than my paygrade) are laying in supplies/covering open positions, establishing new positions in anticipation of an increase in hostilities in the middle east. The markets are doing their job and providing an outlet for the discounting of this possibility or some other “unexpected” event. I honestly don’t think hostilities are going to flair up further in the middle east, but until the ‘event risk’ passes oil will not be going down much either…just my 2 cents, good luck

  41. wunsacon commented on May 10

    Cinefoz, your argument makes sense — at a certain price point. I don’t know that we’re “there” yet.

    I can’t prove you’re wrong. And I’m certainly not sure I’m right (or else I’d be all in, wouldn’t I?). But, I do think we have a ways to go.

    What would really kill oil price is a fundamental improvement in electric vehicles or in alternative energy. For instance, some MIT professor makes the bold claim that with significant capital investment he can build enough manufacturing capacity to drive solar power costs as low as coal. Hopefully, that day comes.

    And hopefully I get out of oil some time ahead of the rest of the crowd…(Okay, okay…I’m still working on my exit strategy.)

    ;-)

  42. jan commented on May 10

    Comparing the price of gas/price of silver…what happens when taxes are backed out of the price of a gallon of gas? I don’t believe I ever seen any figures showing that.

  43. DollarPro commented on May 10

    it is speculation. Lots of monies flowing in from Funds, simply b’cos there are no other avenues to tap the vast amount of liquidity.

    Gold ? IMF is selling
    Equities ? lots of doomsayers around

    Hence the best way to speculate is Oil.

  44. DoctorOfLove commented on May 10

    “It’s hard to believe there’s any similarity between 2000 and 2008 between tech and Oil beyond pure speculation — but, given how much the Street runs on it, who knows?”

    Any similarity between the Great Housing Bust of 2007 and the Great Oil Bust of 2008?

    We all need [places to live/heat and power]. They aren’t making any more of it. (Actually, the peak oil malarky applies undeniably to land, and if you believe the the Great Global Warming Scare of 2007, then we are soon to have much less land than we used to). Prices of [housing/oil] never go down. Demand for [housing/oil] is inelastic. Speculators in [housing/oil] aren’t always wrong, some of them make money and the fundamentals are with them [see above]. This [housing/oil] bubble isn’t like the [insert previous bubble here, tech 2000, housing 89, oil 73, florida land 29, tulips, overseas investment companies, whatever] because this bub, er, secular price level change is based on real fundamentals…. Blah de blah de blah.

    Oil will hit $70 long before it hits $200. And since no doubt the dumbass banks are somehow exposed to this, helicopter ben will be busy bailing out multi-billion dollar commodity losses at the various “banks” real soon now. Bankers not only don’t seem to be able to avoid landmines, they appear to think you are *supposed* to step on them.

  45. D. commented on May 10

    Of course it’s a bubble. But like all bubbles we don’t know how much longer we must tolerate it. Is it 150$? 200$? It probably depends how fast the world economy slows or if the markets tank.

    Break even cash flow = 40-50$ per BOE. That’s how much it costs to extract a barrel in Canada right now.

    When speaking of commodities, companies always end up producing up to the cost of oil price. So they can go from 40-50$ to 100$ if they believe 100$ will stick.

    We might have burnt many barrels over the decades but we still have room for a couple more cycles before we run out.

    Governments are not letting write downs happen as fast as they should. But they will.

    Consumers have not slowed down enough YET for demand to drop off. But it will.

    Nobody knows where to put their money, so into oil and commodities it is going.

  46. Greg commented on May 10

    “you mean like electricity was a good being consumed in california circa summer ’00 and ’01, right?”

    No, I mean like how the Chinese, Indian, and other Third Worlders are consuming way more oil than they did in 2000/1, which was way more than they consumed in 1990/1, and which is still way below the per capita consumption for Western nations.

  47. Retirement Investment Advisor commented on May 10

    Judging by the behavior of investors, I believe there is a bubble. Though it is hard to predict when it will burst. The last bite is the sweetest – we may see oil at $200 within a year.

  48. Andy Tabbo commented on May 10

    Ladies and Gentleman.

    This is most certainly a bubble. These tiny little markets have seen a massive rush of pension/mutual/retail fund buying in the last several years….with most of the increase coming in the last 18 months. There was less than 5bn of investor dollars in the commodities in the mid 90’s. That figure is closing in on 500bn right now….almost all in the past few years.

    The crude curve is going into contango as we speak. This crude bubble will be over as soon as speculators have to start paying large dollars to roll their positions month to month….then you will see a liquidation the likes nobody has ever seen.

    There is a quasi-fundamental factor at work here as well…gasoil/heating oil cracks and spreads to gasoline are blowing out viciously right now as some large players are getting stopped out of some large trades. When we see the final capitulation of the gasoil/heating oil shorts (soon), then energy will come undone.

    AT.

  49. rickrude commented on May 10

    Ladies and Gentleman.

    This is most certainly a bubble. ………………………………………..energy will come undone.

    AT.

    Posted by: Andy Tabbo | May 10, 2008 4:23:58

    PM

    Andy, you just a talking head with no money to back up your mouth. If you truly believe, then surely, you should/have short the futures. Atleast Phyll Flynn backs up his rhetoric with money.

    So did you short ??? put up 200ks and short the futures or the oil stocks, Atleast you have some conviction.

  50. Andy Tabbo commented on May 10

    rickrude.

    You have not idea about my experience trading commodities, specifically energy. I can tell you this: I manage futures accouts for various accounts as well as my own accounts. I shorted crude oil heavily at 120 via July and August 110 and 110 puts. I was wrong.

    I’ve lost money. It’s the not the first time I’ve lost money on a trade, nor will it be the last.

    I’m also short the clm/z spreads….on which I’ve made money….although..all in all…it’s a slow bleed right now….admittedly. My entire livelihood is based on futures trading.

    I’m almost stictly a counter trend trader…top-picker, bottom-picker…which of course is “not the thing to do” according to trading books….however….that’s been my entire career….and I’ve never had a down year.

    Regards,

    AT.

  51. rickrude commented on May 11

    Great Andy, you are backing up your words like
    Phyll Flynn, Great stuff.
    Just admit you are a trader and not
    an expert in the field like Boone Pickens ,
    Groppe, ETC.

    If you know your limitations, you will do no
    harm to yourself.

    The speculators have been blamed in the media for causing Crude to rise.
    So you are a “moral speculator” because you shorted the futures ??

    Personally, I don’t give a $#@@!!! what momentum guys like you try short term, I have 80% of my free net worth tied up in them oil and gas stocks, I will holding regardless of whether you guys feel bullish one day or bearish the next day.

  52. D. commented on May 11

    Personally, I don’t give a $#@@!!! what momentum guys like you try short term, I have 80% of my free net worth tied up in them oil and gas stocks, I will holding regardless of whether you guys feel bullish one day or bearish the next day

    The tulipmania lasted a century so a couple of generations did well by putting 100% of their net worth in bulbs and could laugh at everyone else for not doing the same.

    I just don`t want to be the sucker in the last generation.

    ~~~

    BR: I do not believe tulipmania lasted a century — it bult up slowly over many years, but not THAT many.

    By the early 1630s, it was a raging bull market, and what is widely considered the bubble period was 1636-37. (Sound familiar?)

    Check out Harper’s New Monthly Magazine. No. CCCXL, of April 1876 on the subject

  53. rickrude commented on May 11

    the real bubble will start when the majority of poster here start to buy into the oil stocks and futures. So far, we got a long way to go…. until the last bear becomes a believer.

  54. D. commented on May 11

    BR: I do not believe tulipmania lasted a century — it bult up slowly over many years, but not THAT many

    ———
    Just opened up A Short History of Financial Euphoria from Gailbraith to refresh my memory…

    The bulbs arrived in Western Europe in 1562 from Constantinople. Over time, prestige was attached to the possession of these bulbs. It took 75 years for this adornation of bulbs phenomenon to culminate and the bubble burst in 1637. Considering life expectancy was around 33 years of age at birth in those days, we can say that it lasted quite a long time. Enough time to prove to a couple of generations that putting 100% of your money in bulbs was a foolproof investment.

  55. jackal commented on May 11

    rickrude…”the real bubble will start when the majority of poster here start to buy into the oil stocks and futures. So far, we got a long way to go…. until the last bear becomes a believer.”

    you couldn’t be more right…hope you’re long a lot of gamma :)

  56. rickrude commented on May 11

    thanks Jackal,
    I am long with most of my savings. I am a health professional and had been squirreling it away into commodities, mostly energy stocks. Alittle research / understanding of the dilemmas facing the E&P energy companies
    with peak oil makes me a long term bull
    and a believer in peak oil

    What surprises me is how little reading and
    thought goes into some of the momentum traders in the energy markets/ talking heads in the media. When I realised how dumb
    the crowd is out there, I have no fear holding the energy stocks.

    Eg. Hilary recently making comments to the effect that the oil companies will be investigated for the sin being committed to the avg JOE
    at the gas pumps.

  57. regeya commented on May 23

    More to the story on Chinese oil demand

    http://www.econbrowser.com/archives/2005/08/more_to_the_sto.html

    Been smelling this one for a long time. People keep expecting China’s double-digit growth to just keep going, when the unofficial news coming out of China is that they subsidize and prop up everything to an extent unheard-of even in America. Every first-hand account I see and hear suggests they’re going to have major problems very, very soon.

  58. Say no to drugs… eh oil commented on Jun 28

    Catman,

    You mean $50 a barrel. Right?

    Because $50 dollars a gallon is up not down.

    Posted by: catman | May 9, 2008 3:21:46 PM

    Oil will drop to $50 a gallon once they start to price it with Euros

  59. Say no to drugs… eh oil commented on Jun 28

    Catman,

    You mean $50 a barrel. Right?

    Because $50 dollars a gallon is up not down.

    Posted by: catman | May 9, 2008 3:21:46 PM

    Oil will drop to $50 a gallon once they start to price it with Euros

  60. Me commented on Jul 2

    If you are old enough, you will know that once again we are being used and abused. If you aren’t old enough to remember the last times this has happened, then remember this one when it ends. There is absolutely no end to oil in your life time, your children or their children. Trust me, there is no oil shortage now just like there wasn’t one in the 70’s! If you think there is then why aren’t we rationing. That would bring prices crashing!

Read this next.

Posted Under