Q&A: Oil prices

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Russel asks:

Any reason why the Saudi’s are allowing the price of oil to slide?

Just a guess. The futures liquidations were large enough such that holding spot prices up and letting futures free fall would have made it obvious the Saudis are price setter.

There also could be some liquidation of physical inventory going on in which case they would have to let inventories fall before resuming control of prices, or else actually buy in the spot markets which is out of the question of course.

It’s like if some pension fund had a hoard of NYC subway tokens and decided to sell them ‘at the market’. The price would go down from the current $2 price until that selling pressure abated. Then the price would go back to whatever NYC was charging.

So most likely they just let this inventory liquidation run its course, and then work prices higher again.

Much like happened in Aug 2006 with the massive Goldman liquidation and again in a smaller way at year end back then.