September 16, 2008

Dumping commodities for cash

It wasn’t that long ago hearings on Capitol Hill, airline letters to frequent flyers and the like were pointing fingers at speculators for helping to drive up the cost of commodities - from grain to oil.

Well, that money and more has been leaving the commodity pits in big ways over the past few months – and it’s sped up some this week. Hurried along by all the problems on Wall Street. Along with that money exiting the pits comes lower prices. Oil is hanging on to $90, corn is around $5.30 and, according to this article, gold is teetering on nine-month lows.

From the article: "Everyone was worried about a black hole developing under the Swiss Alps, but it's in Wall Street," said one London broker.

The jitters in the financial world may have everyone scrambling for cash, and one way to get cash is to dump commodities. (The other is to sell yourself to a bank that has lots of stock to share.)

This doesn’t answer the question as to whether outside money - speculators, “funds” and such - were simply playing a roll in the markets or if they were controlling the markets to some degree. But it is nice to see oil continue to drop despite the oil cartel’s efforts.

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