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It’s only a slight overstatement to say that the ONLY thing that Wall Street has done in the past 30 years is to create and sell new types of derivatives. But financial derivatives are snake oil. Commodity derivatives are not snake oil – they are insurance. It makes good business sense for one company to buy risk from multiple commodity providers: risk buyers provide a useful service, and have a resonable expectation of profit through the use of spreading risk over many risk sellers. Risk sellers give up an increment of profit in exchange for reduced risk that gives them a better chance of weathering literal storms. This is a good exchange for both parties.
Statistical evidence is the kind of data people tend to look for first when trying to prove a point. That’s not surprising when you consider how prevalent it is in today’s society. Remember those McDonald’s signs that said “Over 1 billion served”? How about those Trident chewing gum commercials that say “4 out of 5 dentists recommend chewing sugarless gum”? Every time you use numbers to support a main point, you’re relying on statistical evidence to carry your argument.