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Forbes warns of oil bubble [price could return to $30-35]
Herald Sun (Australia) ^ | 31aug05 | James McCullough and Mandi Zonneveldt

Posted on 09/05/2005 7:39:23 AM PDT by cloud8

PUBLISHING billionaire Steve Forbes has predicted that soaring oil prices will lead to a crash that could make the hi-tech bust of 2000 "look like a picnic".

Mr Forbes, publisher of Forbes magazine, said the price of oil, which peaked at more than $US70 a barrel on Monday as Hurricane Katrina headed for the US Gulf Coast, was unsustainable.

He said factors such as inflation and increased demand for oil from China and India accounted for only a small part of the price hike from $US25-30 a barrel three years ago.

"The rest of it is sheer bubble speculation," he said.

Mr Forbes, who was speaking at the opening of the Forbes Global CEO Conference in Sydney yesterday, said the higher the oil price rose, the harder it would eventually crash, creating more pain for hedge fund managers and their clients.

"I don't think it's going to go to $US100 but if it does the crash is going to be even more spectacular," he said.

"It will make the hi-tech bubble look like a picnic -- this thing is not going to last."

He predicted that oil would fall to $US30-35 a barrel within a year.

Mr Forbes's comments came as the price of oil eased following US Government comments that it could release some of its Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

The 700 million barrel stockpile is set aside for emergency use and could be used to counter oil shortages caused by Katrina's impact on the Gulf of Mexico, which accounts for about a quarter of US output.

After leaping nearly $US5 a barrel to $US70.70 on Monday, US oil futures retreated more than $US1 a barrel yesterday.

more


TOPICS: Business/Economy
KEYWORDS: gasprices; oil; price
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To: savedbygrace

No, you don't understand. I'll leave you to just hate me.


101 posted on 09/05/2005 1:58:05 PM PDT by jwh_Denver (Damn the MSM, the truth full speed ahead!)
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To: rwfromkansas
If the price of gas gets too high, the market will correct as you and I curtail driving or buy less of other goods and services.

What is "too high"? I don't know, but I bet we haven't reached it yet, too many folks in my town are lined up around the block to pay $3.19 a gallon.

102 posted on 09/05/2005 2:07:45 PM PDT by Sam's Army (USA 2 Mexico 0, get over it.)
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To: pissant
Now the US better get busy and get some more refining capacity though!!

It's a perfect time to press our legislators to do something about this.

103 posted on 09/05/2005 2:22:53 PM PDT by SuziQ
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To: jwh_Denver

You're right. I don't understand. You're not making sense.


104 posted on 09/05/2005 2:23:08 PM PDT by savedbygrace ("No Monday morning quarterback has ever led a team to victory" GW Bush)
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To: Zarro
Trouble is, the oil companies have already racked up huge profits

Investment money to be drilled back into the ground. Nobody funds oil companies, nobody pays for their research, nobody does their prospecting for them, nobody develops their oilfield leases but them. They even have to build their own port facilities, refineries, and pipelines, and buy their own oil tankers. Who is going to pay for the $30 billion TransAlaska Natural Gas Pipeline?

105 posted on 09/05/2005 2:27:52 PM PDT by RightWhale (25 degrees, clear, frost and birdshot, Fairbanks)
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To: winodog
[ However I am suprised that the oil companies were not prepared. I would have thought they would have extensive plans in place for this when they knew it was going to happen. ]

They WERE and ARE prepared to reap windfall profits from this event.. They will MILK this cane' for all its worth.. Bad news for consumers is good news for oil companies..

The Oil companys are suffering all the way to the bank..

106 posted on 09/05/2005 3:16:17 PM PDT by hosepipe (This Propaganda has been edited to include not a small amount of Hyperbole..)
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To: winodog
I am suprised that the oil companies were not prepared

It is not the nature of business to act as a public utility. In Communist countries they nearly are public utilities, but then, they don't work well under a command economy even without hurricanes.

107 posted on 09/05/2005 4:13:55 PM PDT by RightWhale (25 degrees, clear, frost and birdshot, Fairbanks)
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To: Sam's Army
Since when is a corporation making a profit "trouble"?

When it is due to deliberate manipulation of the market in derogation of ameliorative effects of competition on prices.

108 posted on 09/05/2005 4:23:14 PM PDT by JCEccles
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To: JCEccles

"Since when is a corporation making a profit "trouble"?"

{When it is due to deliberate manipulation of the market in derogation of ameliorative effects of competition on prices.}

Just a fancy way of saying you are a socialist.


109 posted on 09/05/2005 5:22:14 PM PDT by FastCoyote
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To: rwfromkansas
you have links to these profit reports?

Normally, I'd say "Google is your friend", but what the heck?

Here's one for Exxon: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/07/28/AR2005072802085.html $7.64 billion in PROFIT for the QUARTER

A general article on several companies from MSNBC: http://msnbc.msn.com/id/8646744/ "When major oil companies report their quarterly profits next week, they're once again expected to post record numbers. With crude trading around $60 a barrel, the oil industry is enjoying one of the biggest windfalls in its history."

Forbes comments on $7B and $5B profits and thinks that it's not enough: http://www.forbes.com/home/feeds/ap/2005/07/28/ap2163629.html

I'm amazed at how energetically some of you defend the big oil companies. I have nothing at all against profits and capitalism, but if you think this is going to fund and strengthen the economy, I think you're sadly mistaken. I suggest you go get a minimum wage job and see how many times you can fill your tank at $100 a week. You may say "ride the bus, then". So, see what happens to fares, when transit companies have to pay 3x for what fuels them.

I'm not gonna beat this dead horse any longer. Personally, I believe if these prices remain this high or go higher yet, we'll see a huge transition to alternative sources of transport.

Good luck.
110 posted on 09/05/2005 5:30:48 PM PDT by Zarro (We Support Governor Rossi)
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To: Zarro

Sorry, I embedded the links, but was in a hurry. A little quick cut/paste and you, too, can be enlightened.


111 posted on 09/05/2005 5:31:47 PM PDT by Zarro (We Support Governor Rossi)
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To: pointsal
What is Soros' position in the market?

Same that it has been since before the election. This fellow is a master at futures manipulation. He wants oil prices as high as they can be for as long as is possible to sustain. Anything to hurt Bush. The effects on the rest of us just don't matter as long as blame can be pushed to the evil republicans.

112 posted on 09/05/2005 9:48:08 PM PDT by zeugma (Muslims are varelse...)
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To: Zarro

I am not saying you are wrong. I am against obscene profits.

I was only asking because when you say something on FR that may disagree with, it would be wise to directly cite the info right then so people can't question it.

I have been suspicious about the oil companies myself.


113 posted on 09/05/2005 10:23:37 PM PDT by rwfromkansas (http://www.xanga.com/home.aspx?user=rwfromkansas)
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To: HawaiianGecko

want more news links for your website ? check out my FR homepage


114 posted on 09/05/2005 10:37:00 PM PDT by ATOMIC_PUNK (secus acutulus exspiro ab Acheron bipes actio absol ab Acheron supplico)
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To: rwfromkansas

Sure, no problem. I almost missed the reports, myself. Heard them on the radio and my jaw hit the floor. All those weeks of "we're just passing our higher costs along" appears to have been a load of bull.

Your point's taken about giving a reference. That's a good thing to remember for the future. Since it'd only been radio reports, it allowed me to find some printed references of my own. Only made me angry all over again!

Seems like I touched a nerve with some FR folks. I am relatively new to FR and don't really understand the reaction. It's like I'm questioning capitalism, in general, and I'm not.

Anyway, thanks for the dialogue and lets hope things ease up, one way or another.


115 posted on 09/05/2005 10:37:20 PM PDT by Zarro (We Support Governor Rossi)
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To: rwfromkansas
You are making obscene profits and hurting people in the process.

That make you feel good, you bastard?

It is inherently obvious you do not know diddley sh!t about me. For starters, I was the second child, and mommy and daddy were married before my older sibling was started...

Second, I am a consultant, not an owner.

While that distinction may be lost on you, let me put it this way. I only have work when we (the oil industry) are drilling oil wells.

Think about that.

Think about raising three grandkids and having YOUR paycheck completely dry up, and worse yet, having virtually everyone jubilant about it, even though you KNOW the time will come when they will have to pay more because the reserves they are depleting today are not being replaced.

Yeah, I feel good.

I can provide things for my family without worrying for the moment where the money is coming from.

Nothing exotic, just the basics. We have never had a new car, but it is nice for Grandma to be able to own a stove that has all the burners in working order.

I can afford to send the grandchildren we have raised from infancy to parochial school without having to apply for tuition assistance.

It is really nice for the loss of $50 to be an inconvenience instead of a financial crisis.

I can begin to replenish the savings which were consumed during the last price bust just keeping the lights on and food in the cupboard, while I went out and worked construction jobs as a laborer--in a glutted local labor market.

I live in a 1580 square foot house bought for $31,500, back in 1987, and built in 1912, not some Mc Mansion.

Remodeling can again proceed (like everything else, on a cash as we go basis), even though it costs extra to drive the 130 miles to the nearest equivalent of a Home Depot, because we buy gas at the same pumps as everyone else.

YEAH, I FEEL GOOD!

Think about being a patriotic American in good company in a highly conservative industry which is constantly berated in the media (Why do you believe them now?) for providing a strategic commodity, one essential to our county's national security.

According to the Socialist Media, we are evil for drilling at all (ecowhackos), and then evil for not having drilled enough!

This is industry, not some government program. If it does not show a profit for the investors it will not be happening long, if at all. If the prices are too low, no one is going to raise a derrick.

Think about spending long (12-14 hour) days on remote locations, sometimes not getting home for months.

AND YOU HAVE THE UNMITIGATED GALL TO TRY TO MAKE ME FEEL GUILTY ABOUT EARNING A PAYCHECK? YOU SNIVELING PISSANT, IF YOU DON'T LIKE THE PRICE, DON'T BUY IT! F'n WALK!

As for me? I am working, and I feel GREAT!

116 posted on 09/05/2005 11:24:33 PM PDT by Smokin' Joe (If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.)
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To: Smokin' Joe
The education of some here at FR is very disturbing to me, but that is what FR is good at. If I find out, as a share holder of an oil company(or any other) they they deliberatly cut back on my profits,(as a share holder, I own the company), then my only recourse is to sue the bastid! He/she has a fiduciary responsibility to ME! This is not a "feel good" exercise, It's my income, money, savings, retirement, etc. If that person wants to limit my profits, he/she better get a proxy vote on that. This is no different than some of the court cases we are watching on TV now. If the CEO decides to go to Vegas and put a billion or two on red 8 because he feels it's a good investment, he/she goes to jail. They get the big bucks to make me money, and they better make a stab at it.

You will find that corps make charitable donations and other philanthropic gestures with a tax accountant looking over their shoulders. If limiting profits can be proved to increase the bottom line in some way, it may be the move to make, but that is rare. Throwing money away is a criminal offense(at least a civil offense).

117 posted on 09/05/2005 11:44:41 PM PDT by chuckles
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To: Dave Olson
I am on a land rig in the US. When we are done, this well will have cost between $150.00 and $200.00 per foot to drill.

Note that does not include preliminary expenses (title searches, leases, permits, reclamation bond, archaeological, rare plant, paleontological, rare animal or raptor surveys), nor does it include the cost of well stimulation, production equipment, pipeline or other operating costs.

Just earthwork, moving the rig in, drilling the well, running production casing and liners, and moving the rig out.

This is over nearly 20,000 feet, and only 40% of that will be productive, thanks to this being a horizontal well.

In a vertical well, you are fortunate to get 300 ft. of good pay.

Drilling costs offshore are far, far higher, and when you go somewhere like Saudi, workers live in company compounds to reduce problems with the local culture.

More expensive yet, but offset in part by the use of cheaper foreign labor in some of the grnt jobs.

Lift costs (the $1.50/bbl is Saudi) are just the cost of getting the oil out once the rest of this is in place.

They vary depending on the field, and often from well to well. Six dollars per barrel on average, sounds about right, but only factors in what it costs to get that barrel out of the ground (to operate the well as a producer), not everything required to put the well there in the first place.

In the last 5 years, the company I have been working for has spent over 100 million just drilling wells, (not counting preliminary costs or infrastructure/production investments).

My take over those 5 years? .00375, roughly, of the total drilling cost, paid as a day rate. Keep in mind that when I went back to work after the late '90s price crash, we all worked more cheaply than today (1995 rates), and day rates have gone up some, too (but not as far or fast as oil prices).

118 posted on 09/05/2005 11:48:43 PM PDT by Smokin' Joe (If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.)
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To: chuckles

Some folks here just do not get that...


119 posted on 09/05/2005 11:49:55 PM PDT by Smokin' Joe (If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.)
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To: cloud8

Interesting.


120 posted on 09/05/2005 11:50:54 PM PDT by Sam Cree (absolute reality - Miami)
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To: chuckles
BTW, The Chinese and Indians are driving Buicks now, I don't think they are going back to mopeds. True, their is economy of scale involved,(they have just started to grow), but they should continue to grow until a worldwide recession takes over. Even then I don't think we will see the bottom side of $50 oil again, unless we hit a recession, or we switch fuel sources.There may be $5 of speculation now, but I don't see that changing, unless the economy goes down, or a change in fuel source.
121 posted on 09/05/2005 11:51:18 PM PDT by chuckles
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To: Smokin' Joe

I get free enterprise perfectly. There is a difference between the market working and price gouging.


122 posted on 09/06/2005 5:24:37 AM PDT by rwfromkansas (http://www.xanga.com/home.aspx?user=rwfromkansas)
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To: rwfromkansas
You are right. I think oil should go to 100.00 a barrel, and let the price of everything else catch up, instead of the other way around. When I started in this industry, oil was 20.00 a bbl, and a Four wheel drive (antecedent to the SUV) Toyota Land Cruiser was about 4500. What went up more? How long ago?

If someone is charging $6.00 a gallon for gas, that is price gouging (depending, of course, on where you are--but in the CONUS, price gouging.)

But considering that few remember the industry in anything but the starving coyote look, it is no wonder that you think it fat when the ribs no longer show.

I remember 30 cent per gallon gasoline, but I made a whopping 16 bucks a day before taxes, too. Quarters were silver then, as well. A really nice new car could be had for a mere $2000.00.

Prices have gone up. Wages have gone up, housing has really gone up (where are the price gouging people there?).

Welcome to the world of long term inflation. Oil proces are just catching up.

123 posted on 09/06/2005 5:37:00 AM PDT by Smokin' Joe (If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.)
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To: Smokin' Joe
Lift costs (the $1.50/bbl is Saudi) are just the cost of getting the oil out once the rest of this is in place.

But the link doesn't say lift costs. It says production costs. In every other industry, production costs includes a lot more than merely transporting the product out the door; it includes all the costs that came before that time. So wouldn't the oil production costs include all of them -- explortation, drilling, lift, etc.?

124 posted on 09/06/2005 7:20:09 AM PDT by Dave Olson
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To: Smokin' Joe
I think oil should go to 100.00 a barrel,

I heard a commodities broker say that oil can't go above $75/barrel, because at that point it becomes economically feasible to turn coal into oil. If he's right, oil could spike to $100, but it couldn't be sustained at that level.

125 posted on 09/06/2005 8:44:26 AM PDT by Dave Olson
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To: Smokin' Joe
In the last 5 years, the company I have been working for has spent over 100 million just drilling wells, (not counting preliminary costs or infrastructure/production investments).

Since you are so close to the oil industry, what would you say is the cost it takes to produce a barrel of oil?

126 posted on 09/06/2005 8:47:45 AM PDT by Dave Olson
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To: Dave Olson
No, exploration is exploration, drilling is drilling, production is production. Different departments, different budgets, in most oil companies.

Production departments are concerned with taking an existing well (new or not) and getting the oil out. Production costs include well stimulation, surface equipment, pumpjack and production equipment maintenance, workover costs, electical power, and personnel solely concerned with those functions.

Drilling costs are separate.

That distinction carries right into job titles and duties: Drilling engineer vs production engineer, for example.

You could only with difficulty be able to take the fixed (once it is done) cost of drilling and spread it over the total production of a well on an ongoing basis as a cost per barrel and report as an average because it would be constantly changing. That would not reflect the cost of producing a barrel of oil today. A good well reaches payout (preliminary, drilling, and completion costs paid off), and continues to produce oil which translates to profit if the price of oil exceeds the lift (or production costs).

During the last price crunch (late '90s) a lot of stripper wells were plugged because the lift costs exceeded the price per bbl. The only guy I knew who had steady work was a Canadian who spent a year gearing down Canadian pump jacks to cut losses.

Your cost to lift (or produce) a barrel of oil is something you can readily calculate as an ongoing expense on a per barrel basis--it is the operating cost of the well.

One of the reasons I like this industry is the fact that it is like no other, save in the respect that at the end of the year, the books better be in the black or the stockholders won't be happy campers.

127 posted on 09/06/2005 9:50:27 AM PDT by Smokin' Joe (If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.)
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To: Dave Olson
The fallacy is that in order to produce oil from coal, you have to produce the means of production first. There are lag times involved, and a relatively volatile commodity market which has been known to crash periodically.

While those means could be built, not many are going to rush out and invest in a processing plant that is guaranteed to lose 1/4 of its projected revenue, just by virtue of going into production and causing the price to drop, and may well cause speculators to bail out and leave the plant incapable of recovering its construction costs.

In a way the quandry is similar when drilling oil wells, but the investment to drill a well and bring it on line is so much less than that for a synfuels plant, there is usually time to recover the venture capital before the well (or a large number of them) impact commodity prices.

If oil prices crash, the derricks are laid over and the drilling rigs mothballed until prices come back up and operators want to drill wells again. You can't do that with a synfuels plant if it has not reached payout unless you have verrrry deep pockets.

Would the plant pay for itself at $75 per barrel? $65? and what rate of return would that bring on the initial investment? Given a choice, I'd build an oil refinery.

128 posted on 09/06/2005 10:08:08 AM PDT by Smokin' Joe (If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.)
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To: rwfromkansas; Grampa Dave; SierraWasp
There is a difference between the market working and price gouging.

Can you define price gouging?

129 posted on 09/06/2005 12:00:31 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (History is soon Forgotten,)
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To: Sooth2222

T Bone says oil demand = 87 million barrels per day
and oil supply = 85 million barrels.

My advice to freeper over the past 15 months has been to trade you wheels for an econo box and use the insurance/tax/gas money you save to dollar cost into a good energy fund like vanguard. At a minimum this will hedge your gas consumption expenses.


130 posted on 09/06/2005 12:44:52 PM PDT by fooman (Get real with Kim Jung Mentally Ill about proliferation)
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To: cloud8

If our economy crashes under the weight of energy-caused inflation, it will trigger a global recession. Oil will be much less in demand as the economies China and India, dependent on our consumers having the money to buy their products, implode. If you know anything about the "all bidness" as we say in Texas, you know a boom is ALWAYS followed by a bust. Forbes is correct. The bigger the boom, the deeper the bust.


131 posted on 09/07/2005 2:52:15 PM PDT by kittymyrib
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To: Zarro
I'm amazed at how energetically some of you defend the big oil companies.

What do you suggest they do? Donate their "excess" profits to charity? Price their gas below the market rate, in which case it will rapidly be bought up by traders, not "minimum wage" consumers?

I suggest you go get a minimum wage job and see how many times you can fill your tank at $100 a week.

I'd prefer to develop my knowledge of economics, so I'm worth more than that to potential employers.

I'm not gonna beat this dead horse any longer. Personally, I believe if these prices remain this high or go higher yet, we'll see a huge transition to alternative sources of transport.

Certainly--isn't the market great? If oil prices never increased, we'd never see development of fuel-efficient alternatives.

132 posted on 09/07/2005 3:15:56 PM PDT by Young Scholar
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To: cloud8
He predicted that oil would fall to $US30-35 a barrel within a year.

Well, Mr. Forbes still has five months for his prediction to occur, but I rather suspect that he still isn't going to take a public short position in oil futures in this market.

133 posted on 04/30/2006 10:50:10 AM PDT by snowsislander
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To: snowsislander

LOL you waited almost a year to reply? Steve's a nice guy, but.......

If the Russians ever get their petro act together, and if Nigeria manages to stem the rebellion in her oil delta, and if we ask China and India pretty please not to use so much oil, and if America can arrive at a concensus on her energy policy which takes into account crazy Hugo Chavez along with ANWR, new refineries, nukes, etc. etc...maybe we'll see prices return to the mid to high fifties.

But don't hold your breath ;)


134 posted on 04/30/2006 1:24:55 PM PDT by cloud8
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To: cloud8

Still waiting for this to happen


135 posted on 05/22/2007 11:02:24 AM PDT by Fast Ed97
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To: Fast Ed97

LOL. Hope springs eternal..


136 posted on 05/22/2007 11:08:12 AM PDT by reagan_fanatic (Put illegal immigrants on ICE)
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To: Fast Ed97

> Still waiting for this to happen

See you in ‘08 :-)


137 posted on 05/23/2007 6:23:06 AM PDT by cloud8
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To: cloud8
PUBLISHING billionaire Steve Forbes has predicted that soaring oil prices will lead to a crash that could make the hi-tech bust of 2000 "look like a picnic".

It's a good thing for Mr. Forbes that he didn't decide to act on his prediction and short oil back in 2005.

138 posted on 05/06/2008 3:52:38 PM PDT by snowsislander
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To: snowsislander

NYMEX crude oil 121.80
When it crashes to $30 the fall will echo around the world.


139 posted on 05/06/2008 3:56:07 PM PDT by RightWhale (It's still unclear what impact global warming will have on vertical wind shear)
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To: RightWhale

That’s $30 in 2005 dollars. Adjusted it is now $118.72.


140 posted on 05/06/2008 4:04:46 PM PDT by MARTIAL MONK (I'm waiting for the POP!)
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To: xkaydet65

I would wager that we don’t see $100 barrel oil again and we will have $300 oil. Anyone that has a few million barrels is sure free to sell it for $30 if he chooses.


141 posted on 05/06/2008 4:13:13 PM PDT by Big Horn (I am bitter, I just want to eat my waffle.)
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