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Friday, July 18, 2008

The unwind of the commodity trade?

China closes for the Olympics, and the marginal buyer leaves. Oil drops $16 in three days. Natural gas drops 25%. And the commodity stocks unravel. Chesapeake Energy drops 30 points, along with Devon. US Steel drops 50 points in a month. The coal stocks get obliterated. Cleveland Cliffs bids for Alpha Natural Resources, and ANR drops 20 points in two days.

Every day trader was jerking around oil, and every Investment Bank was one upping their price target. You can't run a business when your costs go up 100% in six months.

So what is Potash still trading at 213 for?

Donald Trump, closed on the $100 million sale of Maison L'Amite to Russian fertilizer mogul Dmitry Rybolovlev. It was actually $95 million, but that doesn't have the cache as deci-billion does.

Last year, he was worth $3.3 billion. This year, according to Forbes he was worth $12.8 billion. He made his money in the same business of Potash.

Potash's current market cap is $66 billion. Last year it was $12 billion.

So Potash's market cap is worth more than the combined market caps of the two US auto companies; General Motors and Ford, the world's biggest casino; MGM Mirage, the national public airplane companies; Delta, American Airlines, Northwest and United, a company to clean up with; Clorox, a place to shop; Saks 5th Avenue, to golf, Callaway, to fill up your tank, Tesoro, and to ship your dry goods, DryShips. You can eat at Panera, get your natural gas from Rosetta Resources, and take care of your skin with Palomar Medical. You can get your home built from Toll brothers and finance it with Freddie Mac. And you can pick up the New York Yankees, and the Washington Redskins and watch the games on a TV from Circuit City (and have Synder throw in the Six Flags amusement park), and still have a few billion of walking around cash.

You can have companies that do combined over $500 billion in revenue, or Potash's $5 billion.

By now you should know how this story plays out.

And you have 95 million reasons why.

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