Opinion

Bullish ? Bearish ? No, just Gnuish

OPINION • Published on LinkedIn, July 2022

In the old days, markets were dominated by bulls and bears. Bulls would bet prices go up, and would buy; bears would bet markets go down, and would sell.

Now bulls and bears are dominated by a third species : gnus.

Simply put, a gnu is a bull that doesn’t have a clue.

Whereas bullish and bearish sentiments rely on fundamental or technical analysis, gnuish sentiment is purely driven by panic. When a gnu sees another gnu jump in the water, it does it, too. And when the other gnus see many gnus desperately swimming in the current despite their little resemblance with ducks, they think it’s the way to go.

It is false to say gnus don’t appoint experts : they do, too. Until they find one expert that tells them to jump, or until other gnus say experts are too slow.

Gnus tend to have a strong persuasive power, because they look very brave and determined, and jump very high. The more gnus see other gnus, the stronger the gnuish sentiment.

A gnu can become a trader and be as successful as a bull. The difference is, when it receives its bonus, the bull will know why.

A gnu though has far more potential to become a politician. Its role is simple : be the first to jump in the water, and pretend it is cool during enough time for the others to follow suit.

Examples of gnuish policies in the energy markets:

1. Shut down nuclear plants and pretend they can be replaced by wind turbines, but then replace them by coal

2. Build a flurry of LNG terminals without wondering how many cargoes are actually available globally

3. Pronounce the word “hydrogen” like a mantra until there is no time left to take FID

4. Subsidize petrol prices so that consumers get a 0.30 discount in a market where next predictable leap is +3

5. Ban domestic mining and drive foreign EVs

6. Leave domestic gas in the ground because it damaged ten houses, and buy gas from a dictator

7. Ask air-conditioned shops to close the doors and trust this is enough to save the planet

When will that gnuish cycle end ? Well, every year part of the gnus drown, and part of them make it to the other side. The difference in 2022 is that the river is much wider and infuriated. But before jumping, every gnu has a pressing gnu behind it. So, it jumps.

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