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Oil Price Volatility, Economic Impacts, and Financial Management: Risk-Management Experience, Best Practice, and Outlook

-Washington D.C.
March 10 - 11, 2008

Cosponsored by George Washington University and World Bank Institute

Oil Volatility

Are oil prices heading towards $150 or $50? As oil prices remain high and volatile, and global current account imbalances widen, the world economy faces heightened risks and volatility.

High and volatile oil prices threaten economies of oil-exporting and oil-importing developing countries, and pose challenges to financial sector stability, growth and poverty. Meanwhile, new players emerged in the oil market such as Sovereign Wealth Funds and oil hedge funds with varying degree of transparency. Policymakers the world over are looking for information and analysis on oil-price dynamics as well as instruments for risk management.

In responding to client demand, the World Bank Institute and George Washington University jointly organized this global finance forum to provide a


platform for global policy dialogue, enhance skills on risk management instruments, and look ahead to likely future scenarios. Invited speakers include world renowned economists, prominent experts and strategists from the energy sector, investment banks, sovereign wealth funds, and major multinationals as well as staff from the IMF and World Bank Group.

The fee for attending this event is US$1,200. This fee includes the expenses of the welcome reception, instructors’ fees, books, training materials, light lunches and coffee breaks during the days of the conference.




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To provide a forum for exchange of views among industry analysts, market participants and development practitioners /policymakers and international financial organizations on the impact of high and volatile oil prices on growth and financial sector risks;

To better understand driving forces of oil-price volatility using analytical tools incorporating the dynamics of technological, productivity and behavioral changes, and their impact on oil prices in the next 15-20 years;

To strengthen the understanding of participants on policy options to mitigate the risks associated with oil price volatility: fiscal /monetary policies, and financial instruments provided by the financial market;

To enhance knowledge by introducing best practices from key market participants in managing risks associated with high and volatile oil prices.

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View the Presentations

Section 1

Implications of high and volatile oil prices for international capital flows and the global economy:

          The first section will motivate the debate and set the stage by discussing the impact of high and volatile oil price on economic growth, with long term consequences to poverty, stability and sustainability. It will also address the demand and supply factors behind the high and volatile oil prices, including the implications of rising giants –BRICs, and transmission mechanism. The fiscal burden for importing countries, and the large foreign exchange reserves accumulated by oil exporting countries all have strong implications to international financial markets.

Section 2

Looking into the future: Are High and Volatile Oil Prices Here to Stay?

          This Section will discuss oil-price dynamics and drivers of future consumption, production, and speculation. Attention will be directed not only to likely future price levels, but also the degree of price volatility, and its implications. The Section will include industry scenarios and identify key challenges.

Section 3

What is to be done? Coping with oil price risks.

          This section presents several policy options, focusing on financial instruments provided by derivatives markets. Topics include: Financial instruments such as commodity hedges, forward/future markets, swaps and options; the role of international capital market and financial institutions; the emergence of oil stabilization funds, Sovereign Wealth Funds, and other approaches to petroleum wealth management; as well as ownership and governance of National and International Oil Companies.

Section 4

Best practices and experience in using financial instruments to mitigate risks.

          Corporate strategists and CFOs from major airlines, power and public utilities are invited to discuss how they are hedging the oil price risks using the financial instruments introduced above. International banks and investment banks are invited to introduce new products and instruments they are providing to trade and distribute risks. International financial organizations are invited to discuss the role they will play in managing global risks. Representative from Brazil, China and India will be invited.

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The World Bank

World Bank Institute

George Washington U.



Supporting Institutions:
University of Colorado-Denver CIBER
University of South Carolina CIBER
University of Wisconsin CIBER

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