Stop the game – I want to get off!

28 January 2021 — Michael Roberts Blog

Michael Roberts

‘Hedging’ used to be a way of reducing the risk of selling or buying.  Farmers waiting for their harvest to come in are uncertain about what price per bushel they will get at the market: will they get a price that makes them a profit and a living for next year or will they be made destitute?  To reduce that risk, hedge companies offer to buy the harvest in advance at a fixed price.  The farmer is guaranteed a price and income whatever the price per bushel at the time of going to market.  The hedge fund takes the risk that it can make a profit by buying the harvest at a price below the eventual market price.  In this way, ‘hedging’ can smooth out the volatility in prices, often very high in agricultural and mineral sectors.

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