Publications: Notes at the Margin

Look East Young Man (and Woman), Look East (June 17, 2019)


Horace Greeley, the famous editor of The New York Tribune, penned the phrase “Go West young man, and grow up with the country.” Greeley may have been paraphrasing the advice “To West, Young Man, Go West,” which first appeared in the Terre Haute Express in 1851. He does get credit, though, for the second part of his quote. He and others writing at the time wanted to point out that the economic future of the United States was in the west. They were right.


Today, we offer slightly different advice to those who follow energy markets. Our point is that market prices are being determined in the Far East in general and China in particular. We instruct readers to “Look East” because those focusing on oil and oil prices seem to be fixated on US shale oil production and OPEC.


This emphasis can be seen in a Bloomberg interview with Ed Morse, who follows commodities for Citigroup. Morse was just back from Russia’s grand St. Petersburg conference. There, the oil ministers of Saudi Arabia and Russia met to work on an extension of their production agreement. Morse was impressed and left the meeting optimistic about crude prices. He should not have been. The confab was but a sideshow. The real action was occurring thousands of kilometers to the east in China.


To receive the full report along with futures issues of Notes at the Margin and/or The Petroleum Economics Monthly, please Contact Us or send us an Information Request for subscription information.