All this extra money being printed and put in the global economy, including the recent moves by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke to implement another round of quantitative easing, also known as QE2, has consequences.
Those consequences include irregular price increases from precious metals, like record gold prices. And though commodities haven’t seen quite the same increases, they are still on the upside, including oil at a two-year high of $87.51.
So where do you go from here? That was the question CNBC “Strategy Session” host Gary Kaminsky posed on Nov. 9 to Mark Fisher, founder of MBF Clearing Corp, the largest clearing firm on the NYMEX and author of “The Logical Trader.”
“Talk about what's happening in the crude oil markets – in terms of what's happening in overall commodities, the movement in the crude oil market has not been – obviously it’s been one-directional since the summer but it has not been to the extremes we've seen in the other commodities,” Kaminsky said. “So give us your take and your outlook, what you see there.”
Fisher said that making gold part of the “quasi-currency basket,” as suggested by World Bank President Robert Zoellick to the Financial Times on Nov. 8, wasn’t the way to go. Gold is just a store of value without utility.
“I think, you know, if you look at the message that the World Bank delivered where they wanted to go ahead and include gold in this quasi-currency basket, I think that in reality the hydrocarbon market is going to be part of the solution going forward and it's not going to be gold because the gold market really has no end use other than you're just collecting an asset that everyone values,” Fisher said. “But you know, to some degree – whether it goes to $1,500-$2,000-$2,500-$5,000 – whatever it is there's no use for it. You can't use it.”
Fisher alluded to an investment from CONOOC, China’s national oil company, in Chesapeake Energy (NYSE:CHK), a drilling project, which was proof that other governments like China are looking beyond investments like currencies as a store of value, or a hedge against inflation.
“The hydrocarbon market, look at what’s going on with China, just what happened with Chesapeake and everything else,” Fisher said. “The bottom line being is, I think to some degree, a hydrocarbons are going to be part of currency solution. I just really haven’t figured out --”
Based on that, Fisher explained that if these currencies were backed by hydrocarbons, it would deter China from divesting of currencies and investing in energy.
“I think all this currency that you're going to have currencies based with, backed up with some type of hydrocarbon,” Fisher continued. “I mean, think about it – if China keeps going ahead and taking all these paper currencies and just buying every commodity asset there was – if these currencies were backed by some type of hydrocarbon, why would anybody have to get rid of currencies?”
What could that mean?
“The ExxonMobil dollar?” asked “Strategy Session” co-host David Faber.
“Yeah, the ExxonMobil dollar to some degree, yes,” Fisher replied.