Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Let the beatings, er, healings begin.

Every bull market has it's popular, cult like figures, and the most prominent one of this oil bull market is Boone Pickens. The bull market in oil dates a long way now, all the way back to 1998 when crude bottomed around $12 or so, and all bull markets get a little ahead of themselves and are subject to corrections.

We hit around $78 last year, and have fallen now down to around $50ish. The crude bears are out and strutting their stuff. Peter Beutel projects $20 crude in a couple of years. [I hear he's going to be interviewed in Playboy next month.. Nah, just kidding.]

Like the public marketplaces of yore, the markets of our day serve as a focal point for the public. Oil prices are now way, way down at $50~, and all kinds of sacrosanct technical trends have been broken.

The oil bulls are on the run!

For the offense of violating a trend, the market demands a sacrifice!

Something public.

Burn a witch, maybe?

Even better - bring out the oil bull and give him a public lashing!

Obligingly, the media dragged Boone Pickens out today [out of his workout, no less] and dropped hints he'd been massacred in the recent selloff (Sample quotes: 'The sharp drop in crude-oil prices is goring T. Boone Pickens, one of the biggest bulls in the energy market.', 'We've seen a huge drop, more than 16% just in the first few weeks of this brand new year. A lot of people have been talking about that steep drop, and kinda wondering what that's meant for you, because you've been bullish for so long. There've been a lot of rumors out there in the market...").

Burn the witch, they cried! Get the oil bull!

This, I believe, is healthy.

Let the healing begin.

CNBC: Boone Pickens on Oil Prices.

WSJ: Energy Bull Keeps the Faith. [$]

PS. Boone Pickens says oil will average $70 this year and would find a floor around $48. My amateur seat of the pants impression suggests to me $45 would be a floor and closer to $60ish a good average through what I think of as a consolidation phase.