Streams

Please Explain: Futures

Friday, May 30, 2008

Have no idea what a futures market is, and how it affects your life? Tune in to Please Explain to find out! Charles M. Jones is Associate Professor of Finance and Economics at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business.

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Charles M. Jones
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Comments [8]

Manny from Leesburg, FL, (retired)

The normal way to set the price of anything is to know how much it costs to produce and what the demand is for the product. Why should this be so difficult to do with the oil market? I have some ideas about that, but there isn't time or space here to discuss it. As far as supply and demand goes, demand should grow gradually with the prosperity of the nations involved. If it spikes rapidly, then it's easy to surmise that there might be a rat in the cheese larder! I would love to discuss this with some smart person who deals in facts only!

Jun. 18 2008 08:56 PM
Joe from New Haven CT

Interesting show. Economist William Cronon's book "Natures Metropolis" about the history of Chicago and the US's 19th century western expansion gives a great history on the creation of the Chicago Board of Trade and it's relationship to railroads and efficiently bringing vast amounts of agricultural commodities to markets in the East and Europe. The interelationship between railroads, grain elevators, feed lots, wheat grading and associated speculators futures trading is explained. Also...for the leftist minded, Brecht's "St Joan of the Stockyards" among other things gives a pretty good dramitization of a "corner" in some branch of Chicago's meatpacking commodities market.

May. 30 2008 04:18 PM
Tom from Park Slope

Excellent! Wish that you would do this more often. Derivatives! Wish that you would have asked about a 'hedge' fund's ability to borrow all the money it can from banks, and then trade on margin in the commodities markets. I think that the margin requirements needed more explanation.

May. 30 2008 02:08 PM
MichaelB from UWS of Manhattan

And then there are commodities such electricity which exist in set time increments (hours) on the grid.

May. 30 2008 01:57 PM
Tony Bruguier from San Jose, CA

But how could you manipulate the market for oil futures without hoarding and storing it somewhere, which is pretty conspicuous?

May. 30 2008 01:50 PM
Christopher

Do all farmers in a certain area participate in the futures market? Do all oil producers (refineries?)?

May. 30 2008 01:44 PM
Michal from brooklyn

When we talk about the price of oil or pork bellies, how can there be only one price? Isn't the price of oil from OPEC different than from an Alaskan company?

May. 30 2008 01:33 PM
Michal from brooklyn

it's not as closely related, but could I ask, how do we 'know' the value of the dollar related to the Euro or Yen any given day?

We can't possibly count all of the dollars and all of the Euros in the world, right, so who determines these values?

May. 30 2008 01:29 PM

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