Thursday, June 19, 2008

Making the Rounds in Boston

I have been in Boston the past few days. No, I did not come here to root for the Celtics. I came to give a couple of talks about my book and to attend a Forbes conference.

On Wednesday morning I spoke at the UMass Club in downtown Boston, which boasts a wonderful view. On Wednesday evening, I spoke at the Armenian Library and Museum of America in Watertown. I ran into several old friends at both venues.

On Thursday afternoon I tried to drive into the City to attend the Forbes Leadership Networks Forum. Unfortunately, I got caught up in the Celtics parade. Although the parade was officially over, the police still had not opened several key streets and I could not get to the Four Seasons Hotel where the event was taking place. I had to give up and try again a few hours later. I finally made it to the Four Seasons toward the end of the program.

When I finally got settled, I noticed that oil prices had fallen more than $4 per barrel because the Chinese said they were going to ease gasoline subsidies. It's about time they did this. By keeping gasoline artificially cheap, they have been encouraging consumption. Higher fuel prices in China should take the heat off of demand. Now if we can get the dollar to strengthen a bit, oil prices should fall back down to a level that is more in line with supply and demand considerations. I expect that level is about $80 per barrel.