Oil Bubble Talk is Back
By Arnold Kling
CNBC quotes Peter Beutel,
I honestly think that if there were no investors using oil as an asset that the price of oil right now would be $10 or $15 or $18, but it wouldn’t be anywhere near where it is
He sees high inventories of oil. Anyway, talk of speculators driving up the price of oil brings back memories.
The cost of carrying oil inventories is the cost of storage plus the real interest rate. The short term real interest rate is low, that lowers the cost of inventory, and that should lead to higher inventories. Beutel says that inventories are much higher than when he started in the business in 1980. But that was when the bond market vigilantes and Paul Volcker sent interest rates soaring, which raises the cost of inventory and should lead to lean inventories.