Thanks to the Oil Drum‘s Peak Oil Media Watch I recently came across this fascinating video clip from the “Fast Money” programme on American business news channel CNBC. In the extract the studio panel are discussing the rise in oil prices and – as is the show’s theme – how to make money from it.
Their studio guest is Joe Terranova, who appears to be a typical energy investment type (though with an incredibly expressive face!), but their phone linkup is to Matthew Simmons, Chairman of Simmons & Company International Ltd, who is one of the very few high-profile figures to have predicted the current oil price rises, and who has been raising the peak oil issue for some years now. The mismatch in their perspectives is spectacular, especially from 4 minutes in.
I can’t make a better comment on this than that made by the ever-insightful Nate Hagens:
The CNBC video is a prime example of the juxtaposition of people’s time horizons and boundaries. Simmons eloquently outlined the bigger picture of that society is facing dramatic institutional and structural change, and then the conversation was brought directly back to short term profits. June highs mean July lows, etc.
The reason there is no international, national, or regional body looking at WIDE boundary SYSTEMS analysis is that there is no money in it. If the markets are designed to produce profits measured in dollars, how will the markets solve problems of the global commons? How can the viewers/guests on CNBC even begin to analyze the depth of this problem beyond how higher oil prices affect their portfolio allocations? There will come a day when a ‘paradigm allocation’ will leapfrog modern financial portfolio allocation. That’s why the quizzical looks on those guests faces – energy and ecology are not topics ingrained in most traders pattern recognition banks.
I can only hope that our next crop of national leaders surround themselves by wide boundary thinkers – to surround themselves by the current crop of salespeople will lessen our chances dramatically.
And I agree with PG – this is difficult to do – to present facts about the situation as best as possible while remaining positive. What if the situation is worse than even some of the pessimists predict? The sooner we close off avenues that are dead ends, the better we can save high quality resources.
Well done by Matt Simmons.