I heard a tale at a cocktail party last night that had the listeners agog. It seems that one senior trader recently left his company in a bit of hurry, and without troubling to clear his desk. It was not clear whether he had left of his own accord or had been pushed, but some time later, a man from head office arrived to tie up the details and to sort out the desk.
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Did you know that energy markets have a lot in common with football? Yes, I believe that Premiership football in England shares more than a little with, our gas industry, for example. And the ultimate conclusion is that we need to change our attitude towards both. Just as UK football has opened the door to widespread foreign entry from Russia and the Middle East, so too has the gas market. The former may be seen as a good opportunity for foreign investors, while the latter is nothing less than a necessity for our own businesses and homes.
It’s all change in the small world of European aromatics brokers. Tom Smit, formerly of Petrochemical Brokerage (PCB), has set up a new chemicals broking firm called Fusion.
Launched on 1 August 2008, the new broking team comprises Smit, plus two brokers in the US and one in Asia, he told Peter Salisbury at ICIS last week. Smit’s departure surprised the market, as he was 18 years with PCB, which he had co-founded with Wim Beuter.
Following on the surprise news last week that Ross Jones, formerly with Nova Chemicals in Fribourg, had joined Adam Popov at aromatics traders PDIT, comes the news that Mark Robinson, currently at Petrochemical Brokerage (PCB), will also be heading for PDIT in September.
Robinson had been broking styrene for Rotterdam-based PCB from Fribourg, Switzerland.
PDIT (Suisse) SA in Geneva is the trading arm of PDIT Group in Europe.
In a surprise move which rates very highly in the realms of Blog gossip and has set all the yahoo messenger screens buzzing, petrochemical trader Trammochem announced today that Ashok Kishore – well-known trader in aromatics – would “assume the responsibility of Trammochem’s worldwide trading activities”.
A hedge-fund manager told US congress last week that without traders’ speculation in oil futures, the price of crude would drop to $65-70/barrel, according to this article in yesterday’s London Sunday Times. Congress is considering introducing measures to limit futures speculation, although the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) insists it’s nothing to do with the traders and purely a supply/demand issue. US Treasury Secretary, Hank Paulson is in London this week for more talk along these same lines.
I hear today that senior trader Jeroen Baaima has left Interchem to set up a European chemical desk at Vitol in London, which will be handling benzene, toluene, xylenes and pygas. He starts on 1 August and is on leave until then.
Also trading places, is styrene and solvents trader Roy Denneman who has left Vinmar in the Netherlands. No news yet on where he is headed.
A newspaper leader on “The Arithmetic of Crude Oil” made the Blog smile when it cited
Rockefeller’s famous recipe for growing rich – “Get up early, work late, and strike oil”. There were also two other good pieces on “Garbage in, petrol out” and “Diesel from algae”. And a piece about worried oil traders, whose part in the global oil price hike is now under scrutiny.
The Blog has received a nice calling card in this morning’s emails from Kevin, Marcelo and Gerry in New York who are announcing the set-up of their new outfit, Blue Ocean Brokerage. The three ex-Starsupply brokers will be based in their offices on Fifth Avenue, New York.
Traders make more money on days when their testosterone levels are already high, a research study reported on Monday. Researchers from the University of Cambridge, looking at male traders in the City of London, found that daily testosterone was significantly higher on days when traders made more than their one-month daily average. However, constantly high testosterone levels were likely to make traders foolhardy and more prone to taking risks, and generally caused greater volatility in markets.