Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Carbon Derivatives to Become World’s Largest Derivatives Market?

President Obama is talking up the benefits of his Carbon plan as I type. Somehow I think this has the hallmarks of the central bankers all over it. Talk now is that this would immediately become the world’s largest commodity derivative market and may surpass all individual derivatives types in size.

And who do you suppose will trade these? Who will assess and collect fees? Who will ultimately pay for all those fees? That’s right, you and me. And will it truly help the environment? While I support the notion of controlling pollution, creating a “carbon market” to accomplish it sounds to me like it is just letting the investment banks and market makers control another new false derivatives market. We already know how well that’s worked out in the past… Call me a skeptic.

“Wall Street has already hired 130 lobbyists?” Are you kidding me? And Obama is selling this? When are the people going to wake the heck up?

U.S. Prices Carbon Dioxide at More Than $13 a Ton in Draft Plan

By Simon Lomax

April 22 (Bloomberg) -- A proposed law to limit U.S. greenhouse gas emissions would price carbon dioxide permits in a range of $13 to $26 a metric ton by 2015, according to a preliminary government analysis.

Permit prices would nearly double if the U.S. banned greenhouse gas reduction projects in developing countries from selling so-called “offsets” to domestic industry, the Environmental Protection Agency said in a report late yesterday.

The agency included the carbon price estimates in a study of a draft climate change bill which is under debate in Congress. The proposed law would create a “cap-and-trade” program to cut U.S. greenhouse gas emissions to 83 percent below 2005 levels by 2050.
The study was released at the start of a week of hearings on the proposal, written by Democrats Henry Waxman of California and Ed Markey of Massachusetts.

The price range of $13 to $26 a permit was the result of five rounds of economic modeling that each used different assumptions. For 2020, the estimated permit price range is $17 to $33, the agency said. Each permit, also known as an allowance, would give the holder the right to emit the equivalent of one metric ton of carbon dioxide.

In Europe, carbon dioxide permits closed yesterday at 13.22 euros ($17.09). Permits issued under a cap-and-trade program in the U.S. Northeast known as the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative closed yesterday at $3.70 each.

The modeling “does not reflect the full range of possible allowance prices” that could result under a U.S. cap-and-trade program, according to the executive summary of the report. The agency said its estimated carbon dioxide permit prices rose 96 percent when the model assumed international offsets would be banned.

Carbon credits from offset projects in countries such as China and India are accepted in Europe’s cap-and-trade program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from power plants and factories. Lisa Jackson, the Energy Protection Agency’s administrator, is expected to testify before the House Energy and Commerce Committee today.

Note the use of the term “modeling.” That’s something they have a great track record of doing, eh? Is this scheme really more efficient than just creating limitations? I doubt it.

Seems to me they are creating a huge derivatives market for the sake of benefiting traders. Remember that Obama has more banking industry “advisors” than any president in history. Somebody is gullible here, I don’t think it’s me. Someone’s going to pay for this nonsense; I’ll bet it’s you and me. When it comes to derivatives the line of thought seems to be “Take it to the Limits.”

Eagles – Take it To the Limits: