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The collapse in oil prices has now reached historic levels.
Tuesday's 7% plunge in West Texas Intermediate (WTI) – the largest slump in more than 30 years of futures contracts – marked the 12th consecutive daily loss for the New York benchmark. Before rebounding slightly, crude was down more than 22% in less than a month.
Now, we've spoken many times before about the numerous reasons why crude prices can plunge: artificial manipulation from short sellers and institutional monkeyshines, geopolitical tensions, distortions in supply and demand, even outright oversupply – we've seen it all before.
In this present case, some of this current decline is warranted, given the market's overestimation of Iranian sanction impacts and, to a far lesser extent, some weakening in underlying fundamentals.
But to be sure, the leading cause of the plunge has been a combination of what I have called the "lemming fixation" (a penchant for jumping off the cliff en masse) and some outright market manipulation.
I'll have more to say on this shortly, in a more extensive analysis my team and I are preparing right now.
But it's the completely counterintuitive – yet entirely predictable – effect of the recently re-imposed sanctions on the Islamic Republic that I want to explore today…
About the Author
Dr. Kent Moors is an internationally recognized expert in oil and natural gas policy, risk assessment, and emerging market economic development. He serves as an advisor to many U.S. governors and foreign governments. Kent details his latest global travels in his free Oil & Energy Investor e-letter. He makes specific investment recommendations in his newsletter, the Energy Advantage. For more active investors, he issues shorter-term trades in his Energy Inner Circle.