Tag Archives: contango

From a guy who knows everything

My cousin Ed Fountain not only knew, way before I learned it, the meaning of “contango”, but just called to inform me that “Kontanta” means “cash” in Esperanto. Is it possible that those Somali pirates were confused or are they really natural-born commodities traders?


Update: even Public Radio’s on to the contango thing. Reminds me, in a way, of the late 1970s when people discovered they could play arbitrager with the dollar against the Swiss franc. But by the time ordinary Americans caught on and started playing the game using American Express Travelers Checks in franc denominations, the music had just about stopped and that was that. Come spring, when all these supertankers filled with crude start showing up in our ports, someone will probably discover that they own Swiss cheese, not Swiss currency.

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Not much to do with real estate, I’m just delighting in the new word I learned. Anyway, here’s another 1,000,000 barrel tanker filled with oil and anchored off Scotland – buy oil at $40, contract to sell it at $57m keep it ready for delivery until then, presto! Locked-in profit.

If the traders are right about where the price of oil is headed, however, this story may have an effect on real estate when you try to heat your home next winter.


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