The Financialization of Oil Markets: Potential Impacts and Evidence

The financialization of oil futures markets has been held responsible for a variety of phenomena including changes in price volatility, increased co-movement between oil futures prices and other financial asset and commodity prices, a breakdown of the statistical relationship between oil inventories and the price of oil, and an increased influence of the decisions of financial investors such as swap dealers, hedge funds and commodity index traders on the oil futures price. Most importantly, there is a perception that oil futures markets no longer adequately perform their functions of price discovery and risk transfer. In this presentation, Dr Fattouh reviews the evidence in the academic literature and evaluates to what extent it provides support for the proposed effects of financialization.

By: Bassam Fattouh

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