On the Edge Again

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Many things in life float my boat. I find excitement in most every experience I choose. Coming to Europe is a broad example, and coming to Ireland defines that more explicitly, but visiting Trinity College in Dublin to see the Book of Kell focuses the 'float' part of my boat sharply. The texts are hand-written copies of the four gospels of the New Testament. For me, the experience is not the content, it is the exquisite workmanship that went into the book and the age of the writings. The texts date back to the 9th century and the writing and drawings are so precise they look as if they were typographically set. In fact, the lettering looks eerily similar to fonts on my computer. Yes, many things float my boat and the Book of Kell is one of those ...

Officials estimate Greece could run out of money as soon as next month if it does not stick to the aid package terms, which kept the country solvent and in the single currency bloc.

The above is one big reason I believe the anti-bailout crowd newly elected in Greece will tow the line and not tear up the agreement with the EU. If they do that, the game is over for Greece. The country will go bankrupt in June and that will be that. If those who voted for the anti-bailout crowd get their way, things will be far worse than they are now. Yes, the newly elected may force some changes, but overall, the deal will remain intact. It seems inconceivable that the Greeks would, as my mother used to say, cut off their noses to spite their faces. Then again, that saying came from somewhere and it would not be the first time the pursuit of ideology acted against the best interest of a country.

Mainstream media spent much of early 2012 selling consumers on the idea that $5 per gallon gas was inevitable. Not wanting to seem insensitive to genuinely cash-strapped consumers, pundits and politicos blamed Iran, energy policy and speculative "gambling" as the cause of the march towards all-time high prices at the pump.

You see, I am not a lone voice crying in the wilderness about the breathless media. It is true that the media strongly suggested gasoline prices would hit $5 per gallon by summer. Anything is possible, but with the price of both WTI and Brent dropping, the likelihood of $5 gas is dissipating. As to the second part of the above quote, excessive speculation has been and still is a large part of high oil prices as the supply of oil has been on the high side for quite some time and demand has lessened on a global scale. Finally, the supply and demand equation is coming into play, and as I wrote the other day, this could be just the jolt the US economy needs.

You're going to see more significant downside pressure on gasoline; there's a good chance we could test $3 a gallon on a national average pretty soon. This would be nearly a 20% drop from the current price level.

The above prediction seems a bit rosy, even for me, but if it should come to pass, we are talking about serious money going back into the economy as opposed to the pockets of the oil barons. My guess is that if gas drops below $3 for a few months or more, the dollar differential could be in the trillions, a tremendous economic benefit for the US consumer. What a catalyst that would be for the US economy.

Trade in the day; Invest in your life ...

Trader Ed

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About the Author

Hello, I am Trader Ed.  No, not Mister Ed, although at times I feel a bit like a talking horse.  You see, my job is to educate folks about the market, which means talking about (or writing in this case) anything and everything that affects the market.  This means the world is my oyster.  Every day, I read for about an hour or so about the happenings in the world.  Every day, I look for leading indicators that will help me “see the future.”  No, I am not an oracle, nor do I pretend to be, but I do look for macro trends that point in a direction, and I am more than happy to share my “vision” with you.  Keep in mind, though, my vision derives from analyzing the fundamentals of the global economy, as well as looking at current movement in the market.  I shun the doomsayers and I embrace the realists.  I look to the positive without denying the negative.  In short, I paint as realistic a picture of the market as I can.  So, if you have a question in this realm, feel free to ask me.  I will answer you in this column and I will do that to the best of my ability.

Hoping to hear from you.

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