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Petromania

Black gold, paper barrels and oil price bubbles

By Daniel O'Sullivan

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About the Author

Daniel O'Sullivan

Daniel O'Sullivan is a journalist who has covered the energy and mining sectors for the past decade. He is currently employed by the Investors Chronicle magazine, part of the Financial Times Group.

Contents Listing

Table of Figures
Acknowledgements
Preface
Introduction

1. The Ascent
2. Paper Barrels
3. The Financialisation of Oil
4. The Peak Weeks
5. A Bubble by Any Other Name
6. Petromania Redux

Sources & Bibliography
Index
Table of Figures
Acknowledgements
Preface
Introduction

1. The Ascent
2. Paper Barrels
3. The Financialisation of Oil
4. The Peak Weeks
5. A Bubble by Any Other Name
6. Petromania Redux

Sources & Bibliography
Index

Jacket Text

The spike in the oil price to almost $150 per barrel in summer 2008 was the last great excess of the crazed noughties bull markets, staged even as stock markets crumbled worldwide. Contrary to entrenched establishment opinion still embraced by many, 'Petromania' proves this oil price blowout was a classic speculative bubble, but driven primarily by new modes of financial speculation.

Demolishing widespread, oft-repeated but incorrect arguments that such trade in paper barrels cannot move oil prices, 'Petromania' details how this financialisation of the oil markets meshed with other trends to create a moment that saw investment banks and hedge funds collectively wield more power over the price of black gold than OPEC or any multinational oil company. It also shows how regulatory blindness to the 'dark matter' of modern finance caused so many to confuse fantasy with reality for so long.

'Petromania' matters not just because fortunes were won and lost in oil's dizzying ascent and crash, but because this bubble spelled misery for ordinary people worldwide, destabilised developing world governments, and delayed interest rate cuts desperately needed to address the ongoing global recession. 'Petromania' matters because while all eyes are on the crippled banking system, we risk ignoring valuable lessons about twenty-first century markets from this other great boom-and-bust - even as the forces that blew the bubble are once again at work.

And 'Petromania', this tale of black gold, dark matter and paper barrels, is written by one of the few commentators who correctly called the bubble before it burst.

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Petromania
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Media Coverage

UK Analyst

Petromania by Daniel O'Sullivan is an engaging account of how the financialisation of oil trading drove the speculative bubble of 2008. Crude hit $100 per barrel for the first time ever on the very ...

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CA Magazine

Was it speculation rather than economic fundamentals that caused the boom and bust in the oil price in 2008 and 2009? According to Daniel O?Sullivan, the statistics make a convincing case for that ...

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Petroleum Review

Petromania - black gold, paper barrels and oil price bubbles

This book argues that the spike in the oil price in summer 2008 was the last great excess of the crazed 'noughties' markets, staged ...

Read more

City AM

Traders can no longer pretend that supply and demand alone are responsible for driving the oil price
Daniel O?Sullivan

THROUGHOUT the great oil price bubble of 2008 ? which saw black gold first ...

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Stumbling and Mumbling - Chris Dillow Blog

WHEN SPECULATION FAILS

Tim Worstall?s defence of oil speculators is an immaculate exposition of neoclassical thinking. It is also deeply questionable. He says:
This is the point about ...

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Moneymorning.com

"If you're looking to educate yourself about the "new" global energy market, take a look at Daniel O'Sullivan's Petromania: Black Gold, Paper Barrels, and Oil Price Barrels. Although he ...

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Media Review

"Engaging...a must read for anyone interested in the finance and politics of oil in the 21st Century. I highly recommend it." - UK Analyst29th August 2010

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Media Review

Reviewed in Petroleum Review, January 2010

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Cityam.com

New figures prove that speculation drove the great oil bubble of 2008- Daniel O'Sullivan, City A.M.10th December 2009

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Investorschronicle.co.uk

Oil speculation strikes again- Daniel O'Sullivan, Investors Chronicle23rd October 2009

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Cityam.com

Speculation is driving the price of oil: The value of the black gold is not reflective of its fundamentals- Daniel O'Sullivan, City A.M.22nd October 2009

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Stumblingandmumbling.typepad.com

Prices, then, can be moved by "noise traders" - those who have no knowledge of (or even interest in) the "fundamentals". For an analysis of how this has happened in oil markets, I commend ...

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