John Kingston is President of the McGraw Hill Financial Global Institute and Director of Global Market Insights. He continues to observe energy markets after his many years with Platts.
When you look at a chart of the price of oil during the last six months, it says a lot of things. One of them is that Julian Simon has won again.
I’d long known about the legendary Julian Simon-Paul Ehrlich bet, made in the early 1980’s at the tail end of a commodity boom. What I didn’t know, until I recently stumbled upon an academic paper written by Yale professor Paul Sabin from 2013 that was turned into a book called The Bet, was how much the two of them truly despised each other. Why I thought the bet was sort of friendly is a mystery; it was actually part of a long-standing open hostility.