Beyond long only

Hedge funds

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Even before Hurricane Katrina shut down more than half the oil production capacity of the US southeast, energy prices were at abnormally high levels. In nominal terms, the $70.80-a-barrel peak that the benchmark Nymex West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil contract reached on August 29 was a record high. Even adjusting for inflation, it comes fairly close to the record of $88 a barrel (in 2005 dollars) reached in 1979. And there is little hope of respite – few expect a return to the $22–28