A Tale of the Wasp and the Tarantula: Mother Nature, El Niño, Interdependence and Co-Variance

Walker, Lewis J.
June 1998
Journal of Financial Planning;Jun98, Vol. 11 Issue 3, p44
Academic Journal
This article examines the interdependence and co-variance between Mother Nature and El Niño. We know that El Niño can cause storms and droughts worldwide, and the pounding of the West Coast, especially California, has been well documented. There have been 26 recorded El Niños in the past 100 years, as of June 1998, and the 1998 edition is the worst in 150 years. during each El Niño, California has suffered at least two severe earthquakes, many in the 5 to 6 Richter-scale range. What is the connection between seismic activity and El Niño? Water weight. Such disasters destroy wealth for some, increase it for others. Construction companies, cement manufacturers, building materials and heavy equipment operators will thrive in the clean-up. Financial institutions with a lot of money linked to the West Coast could get soaked. The cycles of nature offer a good news and bad news scenarios for a range of markets. Following El Niño years, summers in the U.S. tend to be hotter, winters colder. Energy prices can be expected to rebound based on seasonal demand in the post-El Niño period, in addition to efforts by the Organization of Petroleum-Exporting Countries to bolster prices.


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