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Oil's Endless Bid: Taming the Unreliable Price of Oil to Secure Our Economy

ISBN: 978-0-470-91562-2
338 pages
April 2011
Oil
Expert analysis of rising oil prices and the out-of-control oil markets that jeopardize both national security and the economy

The price of oil is negatively impacting both companies and consumers. In Oil's Endless Bid: Taming the Unreliable Price of Energy to Secure Our Economy, energy analyst Dan Dicker recalls his experiences as an oil trader and reveals the changes that have taken place in the oil markets during the past twenty years, and particularly the last five, as investment banks, energy hedge funds, and managed futures funds have come to dominate energy trading and wreak havoc on prices.

  • Reveals why oil prices cannot stabilize without dramatic action on the part of both government and business
  • Details how the novel, but wrong, idea of oil as an asset class took a sleepy, club-like market into the national spotlight
  • Describes how the United States is unnecessarily handing its wealth over to foreign oil producers during a time when the potential supply of oil is greater than ever

Written by an industry insider, Oil's Endless Bid analyzes the biggest financial story of the last ten years how we lost control of our oil markets.

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Introduction: The Oil Market Is Broken.

Chapter 1: A Brief Look Back at the Good Old Days of Oil Trading.

Part I: Oil's Endless Bid: What Caused It?

Chapter 2: The Assetization of Oil, Part 1: Commodities Aren't Stocks.

Chapter 3: The Assetization of Oil, Part 2: The Problem with Commodity Indexes and the Exchange-Traded Funds.

Chapter 4: The Rise of the Investment Banks and Their Financial Finagling.

Chapter 5: Increased Access to Trading Oil: The Trading Floor Goes Online.

Part II: The Destruction of Reliable Fundamental Pricing of Oil.

Chapter 6: Why Oil Traders Don't Care about the Price of Oil--or the Value of the Dollar.

Chapter 7: Oil Traders Couldn't Care Less about Peak Oil.

Chapter 8: Alternative Sources of Oil—and Why Investors Should Care.

Chapter 9: Proof of Oil's Endless Bid: Crack Spreads.

Chapter 10: The Fuel that the Endless Bid Forgot: Natural Gas.

Part III: Where Are We Headed?

Chapter 11: What Needs to Be Done.

Epilogue: Oil's Endless Bid Appears in the Gulf of Mexico.

Appendices.

Appendix A: A Brief Review of the History of Futures.

Appendix B: An Extreme Example of Intervention in the Futures Market: How 3 Dallas Oil Tycoons Tried to Corner the Silver Market.

Index.

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Dan Dicker had more than twenty years' experience on the floor of the New York Mercantile Exchange, where he traded crude oil, natural gas, unleaded gasoline, and heating oil futures contracts for his own accounts. He is currently President and partner of MercBloc LLC, a wealth management firm, as well as a senior contributor at Jim Cramer's TheStreet.com, where he writes on the energy markets and investing in the energy space. He has lent his expertise as an oil markets analyst in hundreds of live radio and television broadcasts on CNBC, Bloomberg, Nightly Business Report, and ABC News. Dan lives with his wife and family in New York.
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April 01, 2011
Oil’s Endless Bid

Oil and gas prices soared 600% from 2003–2008, only to drop and rise unpredictably over the past few years, a cycle that continues today.  With so many alternative, cheap energy solutions coming to fruition in recent years, many Americans now wonder why the country  is bankrupting its economy paying foreign oil producers, why the price of oil continue to rise and fall so dramatically, and why the health of our economy depends so heavily on global oil markets.  

Oil’s Endless Bid: Taming the Unreliable Price of Oil to Secure Our Economy (Wiley; Hardcover; April 2011; $34.95; 978-0-470-91562-2), a new nonfiction book by veteran oil trader and commentator Dan Dicker, addresses these issues and more. A timely and trenchant analysis of the extreme volatility of oil prices, Oil’s Endless Bid illuminates one of the most important financial stories of the last decade, examining the changes that have taken place in the oil markets in recent years as investment banks have come to dominate energy trading and wreak havoc on consumer prices.

Drawing on his 25 years of experience as an oil trader, Dicker shows in Oil’s Endless Bid how the increased financializiation of oil markets by investment banks, energy hedge funds, managed futures funds and other vehicles has fundamentally transformed the oil markets, driving the unsustainably high prices of oil. Reflecting on these tremendous changes, Dicker argues that oil’s endless bid has created a new financial market altogether, one overwhelming the physical realities of the natural oil market.

Most urgently, Dicker shows how the burden of these out-of-control cost fluctuations falls squarely on the American consumer, who pays higher prices even without ever choosing to invest in oil. Finally, Dicker turns his analysis towards solutions, laying out how swift federal recognition and action, with an increased U.S. focus on natural gas for our energy needs, may begin to lessen the pain at the pumps.

“I wrote Oil’s Endless Bid to show how the treatment of oil as a stock by investors, far more than any number of globally significant competing factors, causes the dramatically higher prices that we’ve seen in recent years,” said Dan Dicker. “I’ve witnessed seismic changes to the oil markets during my many years as a trader, and it’s the everyday consumer who shoulders the burden.” 

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