Tuesday, June 27, 2006

All's Quiet

As I watch CNBC and listen to Bloomberg radio, I hear the guys that get paid to talk about the stock market saying the same thing I was thinking last night: the markets are trading within a range while it waits for the Fed announcement. Well, hey, maybe I'm doing something right.

Should the Fed really be such a driver of the stock market? Fed rates have always been a factor before, but I don't see what makes it such a big deal now. Heck, even the price of bonds have already moved to 5.25% in anticipation of a rate increase on Thursday. We've become so distracted with what Big Ben Bernanke is going to say that we've overlooked the fact that oil is just plain overpriced. Crude oil prices have long been subject to the slightest speculation because of the volatility of the nations that produce most of it.

Frankly, I think we've been getting the short end of the stick for several years now, to the benefit of OPEC and commodity traders. They're making HUGE profits now, and have enjoyed the good times while it lasts. Oil is a cyclical business, and prices will fall again. OPEC knows it, just listen to them talk. And the Middle East will struggle to cope when all their hundreds (thousands?) of Sultans suddenly find themselves without an income to support their very excessive lifestyles. Only the United Arab Emerates seems to have built an infrastructure to support non-oil industries. It's risky, but I would like to look there for places to put my money.

No comments: