Thursday, March 20, 2008

Inflation or Deflation

The steep fall in commodity prices in last few days, especially for gold and oil was not entirely expected. At least by the inflationists. Is it possible that this is the beginning of the unwinding of the ‘great commodity bubble?’

The simple scenario could play out this way- If we get deflation instead of inflation, commodities are going to fall. It may take a while for them to unwind, but they will fall. How fast and how hard is difficult to say.

On the other hand, commodities will be a good play if inflation or inflation expectations remain high. This has been the primary reason for recent run up in gold, oil and other commodities.

Should the US enter a severe recession, the demand for oil is likely to fall quite a bit (the 3.2 per cent YOY fall is an example). The BRIC economies have been around for a long time and still consume less than the US.

What will happen to the real estate prices here if the only support Alberta prices have got disappears? The answer may not be pretty for some people. Especially those who are leveraged and have huge debts. We are in uncertain times, and no body really knows how things are going to unfold in the coming weeks and months.

What do you think is the oil price above which ‘nothing terrible’ will happen here? What is the threshold below which we could be in the same territory as the last bust?

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