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New Commodity Risk – Amateur Traders!

In recent months and weeks, we have talked about unprecedented change in and around commodities. With a 180 degree switch in US political direction, environmental and carbon issues are now facing almost every company that deals in some way with commodities and raw materials now and in the future. Carbon audits, disclosures and so on will mean companies trying to figure out their carbon footprints and price in carbon to transactions as well as looking at credit risk with an environmental lens on too. As if that were not enough, we still have to cope with the fall out of the COVID pandemic and its impact on demand and supply and especially how historical trends have broken down. Then of course, there are the various geopolitical tensions with issues such as Iran, Syria, Russia, China etc. not receding and probably subject to abrupt political changes in direction too. All this on top of increased regulation, increased stakeholder scrutiny, activist investors and trade finance drying up…. what else could go wrong?

Well, add amateur traders acting en masse via social media pointers. Look at the price of silver today. Look at the hedge fund blood running in the streets as they tried to short stocks and were caught in a wave of anti-hedge fund sentiment a followed up by these traders putting their money where their mouth is and causing some wealthy traders real issues indeed. Who knows where this will end although one might expect some regulatory action in the coming days to try to bring it under control? However, there is a new risk in town…….. amateur traders guided by social media.

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