Weekend Reading

Ashby Monk

If you’re in any way interested in SWFs (which I assume you are since you’re reading these words), then you’re probably just as interested in resource management. After all, the overwhelming majority of SWFs in the world are commodity funds of some sort or another, be it a stabilization fund, savings fund or some combination of the two. In short, resource management and SWFs are inextricably linked.

I’m therefore confident you’ll enjoy reading this new paper by James Hamilton entitled “Historical Oil Shocks.” You can think of this article as a bite-size version of Daniel Yergin’s famous tome The Prize, as it’s filled with lots of fascinating details about the development of the oil markets. For example, did you know that — in the years leading up to 1859 and Edwin Drake’s famous Pennsylvania well discovery — oil was selling for $1,900/barrel in 2009 dollars? And, after the well came on line, oil prices dropped to the more “reasonable” $228/barrel in 2009 dollars?

The paper is filled with these nifty nuggets of trivia (which could serve you quite well at a pub quiz). But the real contribution of this paper is putting all the historical oil shocks into perspective. I thought it was well worth reading.

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This website is a project of Professor Gordon L. Clark and Dr. Ashby Monk of the School of Geography and the Environment at the University of Oxford. Their research on sovereign wealth funds is funded by the Leverhulme Trust and The Rotman International Centre for Pension Management.

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