April 11, 2011

Ivory Coast's Laurent Gbagbo Surrenders

ivory coast president Laurent Gbagbo surrenders to UN, French, and Opponent forces
There have been interesting developments in the world over the past several days. The Ivory Coast Strongman Laurent Gbagbo surrendered to French, UN, and Political opponent, Mr. Alassane Ouattara's forces. I have been watching these developments since back in November 2010, when the disputed elections took place. The Man surrendering today was unwilling to give up power even though he lost the presidential election. As this drama unfolded, I began watching the price of Cocoa. Since Ivory Coast is the worlds Largest Cocoa producer, I figured that unrest and political gridlock could lead to an increase in prices. I watched as Cocoa went from 2700 to 3700 in three months. It has since gone down but my initial instinct had been right: Cocoa prices did increase likely a result of the political drama taking place.

Observing Current Commodity Prices

Ivory Coast is the World Leading Cocoa Exporter
I must admit, my development in trading commodities has to this point been just on paper. Meaning, that I am practicing and want to consider that I know what I'm doing, before I venture into the world of Commodity Trading. So far, my hunches, insights, and observations have made me feel satisfied that my hours study, observing prices daily, and taking a close interest into the price behaviors of commodities in general, have filled my ambition to learn the foundations. Now that the Ivory Coast has begun Cocoa Exports again (the Ivory Coast is the world's largest Cocoa exporter) I will expect prices to fall. I will keep an eye on this and will record any observations in my journal that I write in. Obviously the next step will be to venture into the field of Commodities trading itself, which is a whole new environment to learn and build lessons and experience. Don't worry, I'll be sure to write about them. Although I am glad the Ivory Coast conflict appears to be coming to an end, my heart goes out to all those who have to rebuild their lives, and find their hopes and dreams once again. I hope they do just that, and life becomes better for all who have carried the burden of the recent political violence on their shoulders.

New York Stock Exchange Rejects Nasdaq Omx Group offer
The other development I have taken note of recently was the NYSE not interested in the deal proposed by Nasdaq / ICE. The fact that the NYSE Euro-next may be merging with the German Exchange Operator Deutcshe Boerse seems nearly inevitable at this point. What confused me slightly was NYSE reasoning for refusing the offer. Claiming that fears of antitrust related obstacles for passing a deal and concern that a consolidation with Nasdaq could mean job losses as overlapping functions of the exchanges would be aligned. The opportunity to have an Atlantic powerhouse by merging with the German exchange, according to NYSE, would help them expand and reach deeper into the European markets, while resulting in a lower unit costs, benefits that come from adding many new clients. I am watching this only because there seems to be a consolidation in stock exchanges happening right now. The Toronto and London Stock Exchanges were having talks earlier about possible collaboration, and so was the Australian and Singapore Exchanges. Those deals don't appear to be going through but keeping on eye out for emerging deals has been one of my goals. It is time intensive, but well worth the effort!

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