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Hunts' Story


Submitted By steelers1313
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Many people do not know that these characters were based on two real life oil princes, Herbert and Bunker Hunt. The Duke brothers fictional corner of the orange juice futures market was meant to mimic the Hunt’s perceived corner of the silver market in the late seventies to early eighties. During this time period, the Hunts accumulated mass quantities of physical and futures positions in silver. The unrealized profits generated slowly grew to a peak of around $3.5 billion dollars over about seven years. It took mere months for that gain to turn into a bankrupting multi-billion dollar loss. We aim to show that poor risk management led to these losses. Sadly, the Hunts received multiple signals to exit their position with handsome profits. Instead, they madly added to their silver stocks without regard to potential future shocks to the market. This was despite the fact that the regulators intervened and started creating a bearish reality for silver. . This paper also intends to question whether this was a true manipulation or just another sad tale of a beautiful investment idea crushed by over exuberance and leverage. Ultimately, the Hunt’s brother’s greed clouded their better judgment just like when poor Mortimer clamored for the exchange to be opened as his brother laid in agony on the floor.

First, we will look at the motivations behind the Hunts bullish position in silver. Figure 1 shows that global inflation was a major concern during their early life. The Hunts believed runaway inflation would mark the end of fiat currency and paper assets and that physical assets of value, like silver, would soar. Since oil is denominated in dollars, they also worried about their wealth being disintegrated by inflation as well. Their father, oil tycoon H.L. Hunt, instilled in his children his controversial ideas of protecting the family wealth from what he

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