Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Oil prices at $44 -- Dennis Gartman must be dead!

In January, Dennis Gartman, a market prognosticator (and a bit of a right wing nut) said to Bloomberg that "we would not see oil prices at $44 in his lifetime" -- so Dennis my boy you must be dead (he's not dead...).  You see if you are going to be a good pundit (aka Trump is done, or Trump is gona win), you have to be categoric and aggressive with your opinions.

Denis of late has been a bit of YoYo and somewhat exhausting one at that!  On Monday he's "Short the dollar then go long gold" on Tuesday he's sell gold by dollars.  You may see a trend there.  

Anyway, I have always been a good economist: I have no idea where gold or oil prices are going.  I contemplate that there's a lot of oil siting around, but there too you have to be careful; yes oil reserve levels are high but its not like there's 20 years of oil sitting around doing nothing, no we are talking a few weeks that's it; as an example "there is 100 million barrels of oil sitting in tankers right now, twice the level of last year and a historical high"  How many days of global consumption are we talking about? A month, a week?  Its actually a day (according to Wikipedia the world consumes 96 million barrels of oil per day).  A trick question...

The oil market is however very inelastic -- which means that a small change in the demand supply equilibrium will have a huge impact on prices.  So a small shift in demand -- and oil price go from $100 to $28 in the space of 18 months.

Now oil price are up dramatically off its lows -- 57% so that's going to boost inflation expectations too (and we are seeing that too, with inflation numbers that are).  The Saudis announced that they were going on a market share ware with Iran -- not entirely clear what they are getting there.  Nevertheless, oil prices are going crazy, down 4% in the morning, up 3% by the end of the day -- a 7% movement over the day.

So oil price were are they going?  In short I don't know, there's a lot of market speculation -- false rumors move the intra-day market by large numbers, but the overall trend, if it continues is up a bit but it remains that the real issue is what happens in China and America in the second half of 2016.  Stories about China are not good -- but who knows.  As for America some signals are negative others are positive.  It could go either way, we are looking right now at the longest market rally (almost 9 years) without a real correction.

So take your money and take you chances, as for Dennis, well although he's made some spectacular wrong calls (I think he's for Ted, I believe Christ is on his way, Cruz), the fact that he speaks well, sounds authoritative makes him a very attractive pundit.


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