Michael Lewitt has an interesting new book out, called "The Death of Capital".
In it, Lewitt attacks speculative investment activities such as private equity buyouts. He notes that such speculation "has been a prime abuser of capital as it has diverted an inordinate amount of capital into unproductive uses while producing (at best) mediocre returns and charging unjustifiably exorbitant fees."
He also cites naked credit default swaps, leveraged buyouts and quantitative stock trading strategies as cases where capital has been channeled into unproductive use.
Surveying the base metals this week, his point is driven home.
The aluminum price ticked up the last couple of days. The reason? A note from Citigroup analysts reporting that an ETF backed by physical aluminum may be in the works.
Citi predicts the introduction of such a fund would drive aluminum prices up 24%. Some buyers appear to be trying to front-run this appreciation the last couple of days.