Sunday, July 13, 2008

Should Silas hammer down oil prices?

If you haven't been living in a cave for the last six months, you've heard the big debate about whether we're in a speculative oil bubble. Whether the claims linked (which should guide you to a good discussion of the issue if you follow the links contained therein) are true, I will not comment on.

However, I do have good reason to believe that I have natural "bad luck". I won't get into any specifics, but I have been in the following scenario too many times to have kept count:

Helpful person: Oh, you want to accomplish X? Oh, just do Y, no problem.
Me: I did Y, and Z happened.
Helpful person: WTF????? That's supposed to be like a one in a million event!! That's just not supposed to happen, no no no, I refuse to believe that. That sure must have sucked if it did, but you must be making that up.

So, I was thinking ... should I channel this bad luck for the good of humanity? For example, all I'd have to do is take a good chunk of my portfolio, and use it to go long on oil (i.e. invest in such a way so that it increases in value if oil's price goes up and vice versa). Then, my bad luck attractor would cause oil's price to collapse.

Pros: End pain on the billions of people who buy oil-related products, including the people in countries suffering food riots.
Cons: Would cost me a few thou.

So far, not doing it looks like the more attractive option.

Now, there's a clear potential for pareto improvement here (I take paypal, thanks), but then, maybe creating an explicit contract with me to make up my investment losses would "tip off fate" and make the trick not work. So perhaps I need only vague, unofficial promises to treat me like a king for killing the oil monster? Share your thoughts.

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