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that's an inaccurate name.  They just have the freedom to be both long and short and to use leverage beyond what mutual funds can do.
by HiD on Tue Mar 27th, 2007 at 04:03:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I know "hedge fund" is a misnomer. What I'm asking is how do honest hedgers lose out?

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Mar 27th, 2007 at 04:43:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
specifically the IPE where a lot of game playing has gone on especially at the close in the past.

A real hedger doesn't lose.  say you wish to buy oil next month at $50 and that's where the future is trading.  You go buy your hedge.  Then come the day you want the physical oil you buy at noon and then sell his hedge off simultaneously (or just does an efp -- trades oil for futures) he at most loses the bid/ask.  No harm.

Some big sellers (say a Scandihooligan) sell large quantitiies of physical oil off of the IPE settles on a derivative basis.  That is, they use the settle to price a physical sale without going through the futures for most of the oil.  So another player(the buyer) can trash the settle with a much smaller quantity and gain a profit.  The problem is letting the other side have leverage.

there are easy solutions to the problem

  1.  Actually hedge.  Sell the oil on the exchange as they see fit and then take back futures on an EFP when they actually sell the oil

  2.  sell the oil fixed price and avoid the exchange all together.

But they won't.  They'd much rather piss and moan and blame manipulation than take responsibility.  So they price off of Platts (journalist "assessments" of the market based on trying to sort through the lies) or market settles.  And wonder why the settles get moved against them on an exchange with low volume and no physical delivery requirements.  Not to mention they try to sell to traders at real value + a few cents thinking their average oil is always worth more than average.
by HiD on Tue Mar 27th, 2007 at 05:10:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A real hedger doesn't lose.

Thanks, exactly what I wanted Chris to ackowledge.

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Mar 27th, 2007 at 05:14:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So if I buy an option that is overpriced because the volatility is entirely manufactured then I haven't lost?

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson
by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Tue Mar 27th, 2007 at 07:26:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A real hedger SHOULDN'T lose for sure.

But the real hedgers don't have the advantages of the guys sitting in the middle in terms of access to data and order flow.

And if a Big Oil company is in cahoots with a Big Investment Bank - a not unlikely scenario - then other market players can get doubly screwed.

All you have to do is:

(a) add up the profits made by Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley energy desks - not to mention BP's trading profits - and ask yourself why the top people in the Banks got where they did; and
(b) why every other investment bank is queuing up to poach energy teams from their competition; and
(c) why star energy traders head for hedge funds, because they don't see why their employer should get so much of the profit THEY are making; and the $64 billion question
(d) at whose expense are these multi billion "super-profits" (I don't begrudge trading profits, by the way) being made?

The answer to that is hedging "end user" producers and consumers, and, increasingly, hedge funds.


"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Tue Mar 27th, 2007 at 07:42:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
though I've tried a number of times.  
by HiD on Tue Mar 27th, 2007 at 05:24:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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