Oil's Endless Bid: Taming the Unreliable Price of Oil to Secure Our Economy


Why does it cost $40 to fill your gas tank one year and $80 thenext?

What caused oil and gas prices to soar 600% from 2003–2008,only to take a nosedive and soar again over the next couple ofyears?

Why, if cheap energy sources are more abundant than ever, are webankrupting our economy in order to make foreign oil producers evenricher than they already are?

While there seems to be no shortage of "expert" ...

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Why does it cost $40 to fill your gas tank one year and $80 thenext?

What caused oil and gas prices to soar 600% from 2003–2008,only to take a nosedive and soar again over the next couple ofyears?

Why, if cheap energy sources are more abundant than ever, are webankrupting our economy in order to make foreign oil producers evenricher than they already are?

While there seems to be no shortage of "expert" opinions as towhy oil prices have been behaving so erratically, the three mostcommonly given blame either the decline in the value of the U.S.dollar; China's insatiable hunger for oil; or investor fears ofinflation.

Thoughtful people sense there is something wrong with thisconventional wisdom about the oil markets, but they are hardpressed to say what it is. Are they correct? Is there another, moresinister force driving the oil's crazy pricevolatility—something glaringly obvious that the experts aremissing or, worse, deliberately glossing over?

The short answer, according to author Dan Dicker, isyes—and that missing "something" is, quite simply, that theoil markets are terribly broken. What broke them, and how can theybe fixed before they drag us all down into an economic black hole,is the subject of Oil's Endless Bid.

Few authors are as qualified as Dan to write such a book. Duringhis two decades as a NYMEX oil trader, he watched a clubby nichemarket explode into a firestorm of financial speculation fueled bya high-octane mix of unbridled greed, the malignant growth ofexotic financial instruments, and a near-total lack ofoversight.

Interweaving personal accounts with expert analysis, Danreflects on his life as a trader before and after passage of theCommodities Futures Modernization Act opened up the oil markets toa flood of "dumb money." According to him, the "assetization" ofoil, and the rapid growth of oil index funds and ETFs, has createdan incessant upward pressure on the price of oil—the lifebloodof American industry. And that pressure has severed it from thepractical realities of oil and the oil industries. Hence, "oil'sendless bid."

The biggest victim of this latest speculative feeding frenzy isthe American consumer, who pays the price at the pump and in theinflated costs of everything—from food and clothing toelectric power and even lifesaving medications.

Oil's Endless Bid offers a unique insider's look at the modernface of oil trading, along with expert advice on how to immunizeyour assets from unpredictable price volatility in the markets. Butperhaps, more important, it explains what corporate and governmentleaders can and must do to address this dire problem . . . beforeit's too late.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780470915622
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 4/12/2011
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 338
  • Sales rank: 446,973
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Dan Dicker had more than twenty years' experience on the floor of the New York Mercantile Exchange, where he traded crude oil, natural gas, unleaded gasoline, and heating oil futures contracts for his own accounts. He is currently President and partner of MercBloc LLC, a wealth management firm, as well as a senior contributor at Jim Cramer's TheStreet.com, where he writes on the energy markets and investing in the energy space. He has lent his expertise as an oil markets analyst in hundreds of live radio and television broadcasts on CNBC, Bloomberg, Nightly Business Report, and ABC News. Dan lives with his wife and family in New York.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: The Oil Market Is Broken.

Chapter 1: A Brief Look Back at the Good Old Days of OilTrading.

Part I: Oil's Endless Bid: What Caused It?

Chapter 2: The Assetization of Oil, Part 1: Commodities Aren'tStocks.

Chapter 3: The Assetization of Oil, Part 2: The Problem withCommodity Indexes and the Exchange-Traded Funds.

Chapter 4: The Rise of the Investment Banks and Their FinancialFinagling.

Chapter 5: Increased Access to Trading Oil: The Trading FloorGoes Online.

Part II: The Destruction of Reliable Fundamental Pricing ofOil.

Chapter 6: Why Oil Traders Don't Care about the Price of Oil—orthe Value of the Dollar.

Chapter 7: Oil Traders Couldn't Care Less about Peak Oil.

Chapter 8: Alternative Sources of Oil—and Why InvestorsShould Care.

Chapter 9: Proof of Oil's Endless Bid: Crack Spreads.

Chapter 10: The Fuel that the Endless Bid Forgot: NaturalGas.

Part III: Where Are We Headed?

Chapter 11: What Needs to Be Done.

Epilogue: Oil's Endless Bid Appears in the Gulf of Mexico.


Appendix A: A Brief Review of the History of Futures.

Appendix B: An Extreme Example of Intervention in the FuturesMarket: How 3 Dallas Oil Tycoons Tried to Corner the SilverMarket.


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