Sunday, March 09, 2008

Pass the Parcel

Music is gonna stop playing any moment and nobody wanna own that loathsome parcel.

China, burdened with greenbacks, is nervously trying to get rid of the paper as soon as possible. Almost into the penultimate time, China is on buying spree with bags full of dollars and we see this unprecedented pressure on commodity prices in last few days. Iron ore, coal and crude prices are at all time high during a relatively weaker period. Yes, it makes sense to hoard commodity rather than the shrinking paper parcel.

This nervous rally has given a fresh boost to trade and thus shipping. But it is time to contemplate for shipowners. Who do they pass on the parcel? Go in for expansion? Unfortunately, ships are not like piles of iron ore or coal. Shipping fleet has a huge daily cost attached to it, employed or unemployed. Music is not going to play on forever.

There is already a whisper in the corridors of the trading hall prompting them to change the paper back. It has to be seen, if this whisper blows out of proportions followed by a coup d'etat.

I remember keeping a us$ 20 bill in my wallet as a memento of my sea service, which I finally disposed off last year. The new breed of business leaders, who deleted words like patience, curing, gestation etc from the vocabulary and invented magic serum to convert seed into fruit overnight, is responsible for the life threatening weakness and instability in the markets today.