Inversion: Fuel Oil (Bunker) prices > Crude ?

A possible upcoming inversion. Fuel oil/bunker prices approaching and expected to surpass crude.
[1] [2] [3]
Prices: crude/bunker.

Of course this is very much influenced by refinery capacity adjustments.

On the back of the above, the West-East arbitrage cargoes trade has been booming for the last several months and is expected to continue for the rest of the year.

Nonetheless, a market tell ?
Ouch’nd indeed…

[Wonder what it will mean for all the knock-in-knock-out swaptions that risk managers at the producers/shipping lines have been ‘hedging’ themselves with. This would surely be a major exercisable event.

Will this translate into even more crimped bonuses for friends in the oil brokering business…


Wagers of Salvation. But…

Pascal’s Wager.

Another instance of localized Man reaching for the infinite One. Strenuous and extraneous debate for and against is unnecessary; and eventually, shall necessarily balance out.

But lucid observations can be made, like this one by GM Davies on the existential premises assumed within said Wager. And a further remark on “unified individuals” by another commentator is also appreciated.

Still, might there not be more to be said, on wrestling with Belief and Faith in fear & trembling… …

Thich, tea, seeds and markets

John Hussman of Hussman Funds seems to have gone rather existential in his latest market commentary; speaking of seeds, actions, thoughts, consciousness and quoting from the Tathāgata/Buddha, the Vietnamnese chan master Thich Nhat Hanh and the French existentialist Jean Paul Sartre.

Reading and with my cup of tea in hand, am reminded of Thich Nhat Hanh’s familiar sayings on everyday actions and the potential seeds of every moment.

“Drink your tea slowly and reverently,
as if it is the axis
on which the world earth revolves
– slowly, evenly, without
rushing toward the future;
Live the actual moment.
Only this moment is life.”

-Thich Nhat Hanh

Thich has interesting things to say about other everyday actions as well, like washing dishes.
As with my own stack awaiting in the kitchen sink, I think I’ll get to that later…

Reading James Grant on Spore, 1989

James Grant, from his article upon visiting Singapore, in 1989.

Singapore Fling
March 31, 1989

Westward winged the jet across the wide Pacific. Eastward lagged the body. The destination was Singapore, that Switzerland by the equator, mecca of thrift and orchids and humidity, a city-state even less accessible than Fargo. The flight from New York took twenty-two hours, or rather the flight of the aircraft took twenty-two hours. The body, unkempt and feeling sorry for itself, straggled in later.

The purpose of the trip was to deliver a lecture on finance, but a glance at the local papers suggested that the visitor had more to learn than to teach. The interest rate situation, for starters, seemed just about perfect. Prime rate: 5.5 percent; thirty-year mortgage rate: 5.75 percent; five-year auto loan rate: 4 percent; five-year “business loan” rate, 7 percent. The ninety-day Treasury bill was quoted as 3.25 percent, and the five-year government note yielded 5.5 percent. Stocks changed hands at about twenty times earnings.

Other economic vital signs appeared in order. The warehouse occupancy rate last year was 93 percent. The consumer price index rose by less than 2 percent, and economic growth was a steamy 11 percent, up from 8.8 percent in 1987. […]

It goes without saying that, if the government wishes to undertake a certain course of action, that policy is necessarily wise and just, whatever it may be, but the ambition to create a local government bond market seemed a mystery. […] The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the national central bank, contends that the market will serve as a useful benchmark for pricing public corporate debt. It will provide a safe and handy investment for Singapore’s banks and savers and “a means of hedging interest rate risk.” It will help propel the city-state into the first ranks of world financial centers. […]

Probably not every Singaporean will rush out to lock in 5.5 percent in government bonds. Cab drivers play the stock market, and DBS Land recently changed hands at 109 times earnings. […] Also, it must be stated for the record that the Singaporeans put their pants on one leg at a time. There was a recession as recently as 1985-86 — a salutary reminder that, even in a land that has apparently attained nirvana, cycles turn.

-James Grant, Singapore Fling.

Some things have changed since Grant’s visit in 1989, especially the numbers.
But some things remain the same. And the cycles continue to turn.

Tiny red dot

Don Chu on June 1, 2009 1:33 pm:

While I doubt that Raffles and the British East India Company had “Give us your poor, your tired, your huddled masses longing to be free…” in mind when they ‘finagled’ that treaty to establish a trading settlement on pre-modern Singapore, the largely unrestricted immigration policy in the early years did lead to a melting pot immigrant population reminiscent of America. And with any bubbling cauldron of huddled masses, the double toil and trouble of seething tensions and volatility (ethnic or otherwise), will always be boiling just beneath the surface.

True, the achievements of modern Singapore is heartening; and like the obedient automaton that so many view it’s citizens to be, I raise my stringed arm to hail and herald the contributions made by our dear Doge. But in truth, it was the unstinting hard work and thrift of generations of stoic immigrants that built this city-state.

And as Mr Jovanovich alluded to, the fortunes of sparkling, bejeweled city-states rarely overstay their welcome and have never been more than an interesting appendix (or indeed, a sour-graped dismissive footnote) in the capricious pages of History.

Decrepitude or not, perhaps this may be why this ‘tiny red dot’ of just 4 million-plus spores have often been accused of having a siege-mentality; whether it be born of a genuine fear of losing its much-vaunted racial cohesion amidst the growth pressures of a shrinking island, or the induced paranoia of being in an encircled (see map above) sea of potential fundamentalism.
Awaiting then, the inevitable…

Dead philosophers

Its always safer to read dead writers/thinkers than the livelier species.

Just when you think you have wrapped your head around the fantastic ideas of a dazzling contemporary mind, you never know if he’s going to do an about-turn and recant/trivialize his earlier thoughts and leave you stuttering like an idiot caught with fool’s gold — just ask the logical positivists of the Vienna Circle when the later Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Investigations was published, some thirty years after his Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus.

Applying this advice, I finally got round to reading Richard Rorty in more detail in the last two years since his unfortunate passing.
(Though in reality, the two years hardly provide enough of a distance towards approaching his thoughts)

Was not disappointed:
Rorty’s topical range has been a refreshing read (notwithstanding some of his bias…) and serves as a useful and thoughtful balance against the dual extrema of continentalism and analytics (and particularly as a reasonable Derrida-check).
[But while I appreciate Rorty’s explication of his ‘ironist’, was forced to wonder whether Rorty was making liberal applications of ironism when reading+cringing through yet more postulation on ‘Wittgensteinian therapeutic methods’.]

Hence, it is with some trepidation that I recently started sampling a little of the thoughts of yet another French (and still very much alive!) thinker; apparently known as the current ‘Bad-‘ boy of continentalist philosophy.
Have only been browsing, but I have to say, his mathematical ontology is proving to be very seductive. His use of Cantor (one of my favourites — the Apostle of Prophetic Matheme) certainly doesn’t hurt.

At 72, our frenchman is apparently still going strong and publishing, as recently as two years back.
[Sacrebleu! What if he does a ‘retour’ and returns to his original ideas and erases/traces over them!]

Will show restraint and wait it out for ‘finality’ to be conferred onto his works before reading on. Just not sure how long one has to wait… or even if the waiting will be in vain.

[One should know better than to indulge, but sometimes its hard to resist taking a few turns on the “purgatorial treadmill…(of) the great themes of Western philosophy”.
Ah well, at the very least, it gives this twitching hamster some exercise…

{For the sake of balance and paying respects, lets raise our glasses and give a toast to the dead philosophers: