Publications: Notes at the Margin

Oil Market Observers as Rip van Winkles (July 10, 2023)


Washington Irving wrote a short story called “Rip Van Winkle.” Van Winkle is “a simple, good-natured man…a kind neighbor, and an obedient henpecked husband…with an insuperable aversion to all kinds of profitable labor.”[i] One day, Van Winkle goes hunting, encounters a small, stout stranger, and helps him carry a keg of liquor through the mountains until they come upon “a company of odd-looking personages playing at ninepins.” When “these folks” are not watching, Rip sneaks a drink of their liquor and falls asleep for twenty years.


Those who follow oil markets have been asleep for at least six months, maybe even two years. There may be as many as one hundred oil Rip Van Winkles. (We will call them “RvWs.”) Last week, they began to wake up to the fact that interest rates are affecting crude oil and product inventories.

[i] Washington Irving, “Rip Van Winkle” (full text), [].


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