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Black Gold and Fool’s Gold: Speculation in the Oil Futures Market

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  • John Parsons

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Abstract

This paper addresses the question of whether the oil price spike of 2003-2008 was a bubble. We document and discuss what is known about the level of speculation in the paper oil market. We then analyze the dynamics of the term structure of futures prices, both during the earlier period of 1985-2002 and during the spike. The dynamics of the term structure changed in important ways during this latter period, and we explain how this may have contributed to generating a bubble. We also explain how this answers the puzzle of the lack of accumulating above-ground inventories. Finally, we discuss the implications for regulatory reform of the paper oil markets.

Suggested Citation

  • John Parsons, 2010. "Black Gold and Fool’s Gold: Speculation in the Oil Futures Market," ECONOMIA JOURNAL, THE LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION - LACEA, vol. 0(Spring 20), pages 81-116, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:col:000425:008582
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    Cited by:

    1. D'Ecclesia, Rita L. & Magrini, Emiliano & Montalbano, Pierluigi & Triulzi, Umberto, 2014. "Understanding recent oil price dynamics: A novel empirical approach," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(S1), pages 11-17.
    2. Papież, Monika & Śmiech, Sławomir, 2015. "Dynamic steam coal market integration: Evidence from rolling cointegration analysis," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 510-520.
    3. Gatfaoui, Hayette, 2016. "Linking the gas and oil markets with the stock market: Investigating the U.S. relationship," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 5-16.
    4. repec:eee:finana:v:54:y:2017:i:c:p:176-191 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Chiou-Wei, Song-Zan & Linn, Scott C. & Zhu, Zhen, 2014. "The response of U.S. natural gas futures and spot prices to storage change surprises: Fundamental information and the effect of escalating physical gas production," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 156-173.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    oil; futures; speculation; bubble;

    JEL classification:

    • G13 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Contingent Pricing; Futures Pricing
    • G15 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - International Financial Markets
    • G18 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • Q43 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Energy and the Macroeconomy

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