| Thursday, July 24, 2008 - 03:43 pm |
I built a corporation that produces copper maybe two game years ago. At the time copper was in short supply and it was selling for ~$1600 a unit. The month it was built a HUGE slug of copper hit the market and the price as been falling ever since. Its now down to ~$400 a unit.
So when do you decide to just cut your losses and close a corporation? I have cut production and hiring, stopped upgrading and I am still losing money every month. I see some countries have built NEW copper corporations in the last 18 months....so the problem isn't going to get better anytime soon.
| Thursday, July 24, 2008 - 08:50 pm |
If it's a new corp, cut your losses as soon as the game will let you (unfortunately the game won't let you close until the star disappears).
Sometimes older corps that have already upgraded will ride it out, but new corps will lose money in such conditions.
| Monday, July 28, 2008 - 06:02 pm |
If you build the right corps, you don't have to close them. There are 3 good ways to know the right corps to build.
1. If you have a CEO, you can use the "Purchase a corp" option to look at whole sectors to see if they are profitable. Then build corps in profitable sectors.
2. If you do not have a CEO, your country's investment portfolio and buys and sells will give you a good indication of the profitable sectors, because these are based on the PE's of the corps.
3. The last thing that you can do is to look at each sector's supply and demand figures, then figure the shortage as a percentage of supply. The greater the percentage the more likely the sector will be profitable.
One last thing to keep in mind. Each sector has a target base price and an upper and lower limit on how much the price can move. Because of this range and the materials that are used to make the product, some sectors have a very difficult time being profitable over the long haul.
| Wednesday, September 3, 2008 - 05:47 pm |
When the commodity bottoms out buy a bunch of it and contract all production to yourself. Or put it on the market at 130%.
When the commodity tops sell it. You can place the sale orders at anytime. While the copper is at 400 place the sale at 800. Get some friends in on the action to make the swings larger.
In the real world price scams are felonies. This is a game so it probably isn't even frowned on.
| Thursday, September 4, 2008 - 06:20 am |
"When the commodity bottoms out buy a bunch of it"
"When the commodity tops sell it"
"In the real world price scams are felonies"
That sounds exactly like a commodity trader to me.
| Thursday, September 4, 2008 - 06:31 am |
Buying high and selling low is perfectly legal.
Manipulating the market and forcing the prices is not. Producers are allowed to effect the market but if they trade it is called "insider trading".
| Saturday, September 6, 2008 - 04:17 am |
You wouldn't be able to tell how much real life markets are manipulated. But I'd say a lot. You can get away with market manipulation in real life if you have the power to do so.
Nothing is stopping politicians investing in sectors that they were working as a public servant. Even look at the Iraq war, a country is invaded and some oil drilling contracts are given to Haliburton, that looks really suspect. What if these said producers are countries, like OPEC they effect the oil market hugely but they also trade it. Also buying power has shifted somewhat, you have examples of massive retailers effecting the market of certain goods not the producers simply because they control a massive chunk of that market consumption.
Insider trading is everywhere, its only frowned upon the small fish that we can take down.
| Saturday, September 6, 2008 - 05:40 pm |
I hear a lot of Americans talking about conspiracies to manipulate the commodities markets, especially oil. There is more of fear and envy than real economics in those theories.
The scales involved in real life market manipulation make it impractical. The Hunts did it with silver, but that is a relatively small market. And OPEC has been able to do it a couple of times, but the Saudis were paying other producers to cut back production then.
Real examples are few and far between because of capital cost and potential for huge losses against relatively small profits. The idea of market manipulation does make for fun movies though.
Just my thoughts.
| Sunday, September 7, 2008 - 12:03 pm |
OPEC extreme VII: A bureaucrats nightmare.
| Monday, September 8, 2008 - 07:48 am |
It is not fear or envy. It is denial. In elementary school I learned that oil was running out on the same day that I learned gasoline came from crude oil. In the 90's I recall hearing more exact dates. Oil would reach peak production around 2008 to 2010. Geophysicists working in the 1960s said we didn't have to worry because oil production could increase for at least 30 years. OPEC managed to stretch the supply a few extra years. Despite easy access to the information Americans still decided to shift the auto industry to SUVs and the government expanded interstates, underfunded rails and subsidized the airline industry.
Since no other country has SUVs in every garage envy could not be the cause. I would say caution was thrown to the wind. Fear and worry often make people think ahead.
Given that we have nearly reached peak oil production it becomes difficult to continue denying that we will eventually have to use less oil. Creating conspiracy theories to explain the high prices is one way to remain in denial a little longer.
| Monday, September 29, 2008 - 07:51 am |
Ah, the commodities and controlling the market.
Silver was an example of why you can't monopolize a non-perishable commodity. They accurately concluded that the world's supply of silver could not meet the demand when they bought all the silver reserves. What they didn't count on was the millions of pounds of silver already produced that would be melted down to meet that demand. The commodity price climbed for a while, peaked, and then crashed. I hear gold had a similar experience.
Oil is special because you can't hold on to it forever. You can't (and wouldn't want to) reverse gasoline into crude oil. We (Americans) subsidized the price of oil (for the rest of the world) during the 70s and 80s because we wanted to make sure nobody would buy Russian oil. The same way Saudi Arabia paid their partners to produce less, we paid an excessive price for Arab oil so that they would sell it to everybody else for less than the Russians were offering. In that way and many others, we were able to collapse the economy of the Soviet Union.
As for the amount of oil in the ground... technically it's supposed to have already dried up. The theories that say OPEC delayed that outcome still say that the oil ran out a few years ago. My theory? They're all liars. Besides, we're finding new deposits of oil all the time (it was always there, we just didn't know it). Also, there's plenty of deposits that we are just now becoming able to drill (advancing technology does that ). So the world's oil supply running out makes many assumptions: primary is that we have already detailed the entire volume of oil in existence. Obviously that's not true.
| Monday, September 29, 2008 - 10:44 am |
No matter how much oil you can't find in the ground, it still takes years to setup drills and start getting that oil onto the market. In this time (now specifically) of setting up the drill, the price will have risen that the increased supply will not even negate the price rise in this time frame. And that is why I think McCain saying that he will solve American energy security by drilling for more oil, is a counter productive policy. Its sounds nice to a lot of people, but is actually the opposite of a benefit to the US. But thats shirt term politics for ya.
| Monday, September 29, 2008 - 02:13 pm |
Don't worry, we wealthy nations can just produce more and more bio-fuel now swallowing up huge proportions of food producing land and if we maintain or increase food poverty, starvation even, in the inferior peoples then well we've still got Quicky-Mart down the block.
| Tuesday, September 30, 2008 - 01:58 am |
Does biofuel even decrease price though?
| Tuesday, September 30, 2008 - 10:10 am |
I wouldn't have thought so, I think it is just a disgusting way of maintaining our consumption, market price will be manipulated to accomodate oil/gas/bio supply. (See the history of "cheap, clean" diesel oil fuel). BTW, remembering the common conception of conservation of energy, ie you can't destroy energy, just change its form, this I understand is now not quite true, in fact there can be a matter-energy-matter transference currently for very short times (nS) at a quantum level, maybe we could go get a few asteroids and turn them into fuel? Sorry, I need to get out more, (self flagellation starts...)
| Tuesday, October 7, 2008 - 10:58 am |
There is a significant difference between a "production peak" and "running out". It is currently unclear if we already reached peak production or if we will see a year with higher production.
There is a second issue involving what is produced and at what cost. In the 70s companies were consuming less than 1 barrel for every 50 produced. The ratio was closer to 1:7 a few years ago. Once you get to 1:2 all the alternatives are highly competitive. Coal to oil, biomass, or synthesis/hydrogen from solar/nuclear will work fine. There is no doubt that people could suck tar out of the sand for a very long time.
Converting mass to energy is quite doable. Nuclear fission has been demonstrated and it is currently powering my computer. If you get out in the daytime and look up you see a huge fusion plant. The technical challenge is creating a portable liquid that stores the energy. There are many ways to do that but none of them are cheaper than light petroleum that shoots up out of the ground under its own pressure.
| Tuesday, October 7, 2008 - 07:29 pm |
PS, this is obvious, my contemplating involves the conversion of energy to mass, for storage, transportation and later re-conversion etc. As E=mc^2 will show you,(c being very large) a little matter will give you loads of energy (see fission) but we are not that efficient at doing it yet (waste - radioactive - nasty) but if you look at the incredulous amount of energy hitting us (cosmic radiation - neutrinos, photons etc) then the reverse transition of E > mass (loads of E to create little mass) begins to make some sort of looking into sense. Matter for nothing and your energys free! Why liquid? and where did you you get an atomic computer, I want one. And this resource is relatively (no pun intended) sustainable, a few billion years worth at least at no cost to mother earth. I can't remember the last time I got out to see the big fusion plant in the sky, probally owned by EDF by now anyway. Anyway, when I pick up that Nobel prize I'll buy you all a new empire.