Morton Fox (mortonfox) wrote,
Morton Fox

The Enduring Iranian Oil Bourse Myth

I can't believe that Chuck Butler is the latest Internet commentator to perpetuate the myth that the Iranian oil bourse and the pricing of oil in euros will be the end of the dollar. I mean he writes about the currency markets every day so he should know a lot about them, right? Anyway, the figures:
Daily forex trading volume: Up to $2.5 Trillion
Daily global oil consumption: 80.7 million barrels
Oil price: Around $61
Daily oil consumption in dollars: $4.9 billion
Daily oil consumption as percentage of forex trading volume: 0.2%
Yes, so even if the Iranian oil bourse started tomorrow and the NYMEX and London IPE followed suit and switched over to euros, in terms of the huge and very liquid forex markets, that's still only a drop in the bucket!

But you don't have to take my word for it. See what the Director of the London IPE has to say on the subject:
"It is therefore with wry amusement that I have seen a myth being widely propagated on the Internet that the genesis of this "Iran bourse" project is a wish to subvert the US dollar by denominating oil pricing in euros."

"As anyone familiar with the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will know, the denomination of oil sales in currencies other than the dollar is not a new subject, and as anyone familiar with economics will tell you, the denomination of oil sales is merely a transactional issue: what matters is in what assets (or, in the case of the United States, liabilities ) these proceeds are then invested."
No matter how they get paid for their oil, Middle Eastern oil producers can turn right around and trade it for another currency, or gold, or port terminals in major US cities. :) They actually have been buying quite a bit of gold over the past year.

In addition, Mish reported that Venezuela has moved its reserves into euros. The pricing of oil in dollars hasn't stopped them from doing so, nor, I suspect, have they had any difficulty trading oil since then. If they can do that, so can any country, Iranian oil bourse or no Iranian oil bourse, and more will join the bandwagon if we piss them off or if they realize that the dollar is now being supported mostly by an increasingly-frail interest rate differential.

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