Commodities: 50 Things You Really Need To Know

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Pronoun, Nov 7, 2015 - Business & Economics - 217 pages
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“In this building, it’s either kill or be killed. You make no friends in the pits and you take no prisoners. One minute you’re up half a million in soybeans and the next, boom, your kids don’t go to college and they’ve repossessed your Bentley. Are you with me?”
Louis Winthorpe III (aka Dan Aykroyd), Trading Places

Commodity markets can provide the basis for a Hollywood movie, be the spark that ignites revolutions, engender fear of shortages in business and within government, force us into making difficult choices about how we spend our money and inspire innovators to come up with better, cheaper ways of doing things.

Whether you are involved in producing commodities, buy them for your business, want to trade or invest in them or simply – like the rest of us – consume them on a daily basis, this book should have something for you. Peter Sainsbury, economist and blogger at Materials Risk, introduces and explains the essential things you really need to know about commodities in a series of 50 accessible and engaging essays.

Beginning with the basics, such as the price elasticity of supply and the role of expectations, and concluding with the latest thinking on speculation and commodity markets and how to trade or invest in commodities, he sheds light on all the essential topics needed to understand commodity super-cycles, resource scarcity and security, and the way the world of commodities affects us every day.

Packed with real-life examples and quotations from key thinkers and market players “Commodities: 50 Things You Really Need To Know” is a lively and relevant exploration of how commodities and commodity markets influences every aspect of our lives, from what impact the latest geopolitical crisis will have on the supply of wheat to how a hurricane in the United States (US) Gulf affects the price of oil.

From the Contents Page

The basics. Income and population. Stocks. Costs. Interest rates. Weather. Commodity cycles. The role of expectations. Fossil fuels. Low carbon energy. Ferrous metal. Base metals. Precious metals. Agriculture. Livestock. Biofuels. Rare earth elements. Secondary commodities. Commodity prices and the economy. China. The resource curse. Commodity volatility. Comparative advantage. The “Fifth Fuel” and the Jevons Paradox. Malthus. Peak oil and resource scarcity. Resource nationalism. Geopolitics. Strategic reserves. Refining commodities. Managing commodity risk. Commodity transportation. Commodity trading firms. Cartels and commodities. Technology and innovation. The shale revolution. Subsidies and taxes. Climate change. Will fixing the climate leave fossil fuels stranded? Water. Sustainability. Commodity futures markets. Physical commodity markets. Speculation and commodity markets. Commodity market manipulation. The arguments for and against investing in commodities. How to trade or invest in commodity markets. Technical analysis, seasonality and noise. Market psychology. Don’t begin an argument with the price.

About the Author
Peter Sainsbury is an economist and blogs about commodities and commodity markets at Materials Risk. He lives in Worcestershire, UK.

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