Candlesticks Predicted $85 Crude Oil - It's Coming True

What a frenzy it was! The flashiest analysts in the flashiest Wall Street investment houses were loudly proclaiming the inevitability of Crude Oil prices at $180 and $200 per barrel. It certainly seemed like a sure thing, because the price of Crude had been steadily increasing for week upon week, with no end in sight. It was a veritable mob scene. Everyone "knew" that there was only one way for prices to go - and that was Up. The Herd was in full cry. The talking heads on CNBC faithfully parroted the party line, reading from prepared script but having little independent knowledge of their own.

There are two lessons that seem never to be learned, even by the highest and mightiest of them all: One, that it is a fundamental error - a fallacy - to project the past and the present linearly into the future; Two, the Herd is usually wrong.

But even in those heady days, Investors and Traders who understood Candlestick technical analysis knew that the days of wine and roses would not last forever. I went far, far out on a limb in predicting that there would be a day when Crude Oil prices had fallen to $85 per barrel. How utterly preposterous it seemed at the time.

Part of what had been forgotten is that high prices are a cure for high prices. We see it now in the form of decreasing absolute demand, not just in the United States but also worldwide. A good part of that may be attributed to the airlines' recasting of their schedules to reflect the oncoming winter, which is of course a slow period for personal travel. Likewise, people are simply driving fewer miles when there is a choice.
Today, September 15, 2008, we see something remarkable happening: Hurricane Ike has devastated the Texas Gulf Coast. The extent of damage to offshore oil platforms is yet to be established. Surely, there will be some; and there may also be damage to the onshore refineries in the general area. Retail gasoline prices have already spiked a bit. But what happened to the price of Crude Oil today? Remarkably, it fell again - to less than $96 per barrel!

What's going on here? Well, to put it simply, demand is off - and it looks as though it may continue to be off.

It only goes to show: Don't blindly project the present and the past into the future, because reality can get in the way. I remember Adlai Stevenson's comment on the morning after he lost the election to the Presidency: "A funny thing happened to me on the way to the White House this morning."