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How betting on oil prices greases the industrys wheels

OF ALL THElines of all the characters in all the scenes in Casablanca, the ones that resonate most are spoken not by Humphrey Bogart, the leading man, but by Claude Rains, who plays Louis Renault, a cynical police captain. Needing a pretext to shut down Ricks, the nightclub owned by Bogarts character, he declares that he is shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here.Renaults line captures the fake distaste for gambling that lives on in polite circles. It finds expression even in impolite circles, such as finance. Take the market for oil futures. Only the gauche would describe it as anything other than a system for transferring risk. Oil producers sell futures to insure themselves against a price rout that would threaten solvency. Investors earn a risk premium by buying them.
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