OPINION: Nickel investing comes with a heavy price – by John Dizard (Financial Times – May 15, 2020)


Financial gloomsters have been in much better spirits lately. While the world’s health and economy are in deep trouble, contrarians can now prove they were right all along.

Momentary self-satisfaction at the extent of predicted ruins, though, must be succeeded by some useful observations, such as, what do we do next? A coherent macro view is a start, but even as the financial system teeters towards destructive deflation, it may be possible to identify a few assets, or industries, where real prices and real returns might increase. We will need the money.

I have thought for some time that it would be impossible to shift the auto industry to an electric vehicle future without moving quickly to increase metals production in an environmentally, financially and socially sustainable way.

Using African children to harvest cobalt for sleek, green European EVs, for example, cannot be accepted as a way to meet environmental, social and governance goals.

EV production and sales have fallen, but a pause in the shift from fossil fuel vehicles will not be enough to see off critical metals shortages. Nickel supplies are running short quickly.

For the rest of this column: https://www.ft.com/content/f884ed56-37db-4833-9cad-643bd968c43f

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