Harris to deliver keynote address at World Commodities Week in London


Jeffrey Harris, Dean’s Professor of Finance in the Whitman School, will speak at the seventh annual World Commodities Week, Oct. 25-27 in London. The conference examines commodities investment, commodity trading and alternative investment strategies.

Harris, who teaches investments and derivatives courses and has an extensive background in market microstructure and regulatory issues, will deliver a keynote address, “Examining the role of financial vs. non-financial participants in commodity price inflation—who is to blame?” His address will cover the following topics:

• Analyzing the historical relationship between pricing trends and trading patterns in major futures markets: are speculators largely price setters or trend followers?
• How accurately do commodity futures prices reflect the underlying supply and demand situation?
• How do pricing trends in major commodities compare with those of similar commodities not traded on futures markets?
• To what extent are financial participants to blame for recent “agflation” and systematic commodity price increases and spikes?
• What is driving commodity price rises—fundamentals or investors?

Harris—who recently served as chief economist at the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, with previous regulatory work as visiting academic fellow at the Nasdaq and visiting academic scholar at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission—held faculty appointments at Southern Methodist University, the University of Delaware, the University of Notre Dame and The Ohio State University prior to joining Whitman.

His extensive research on financial markets has appeared in the Energy Journal, Financial Management, the Journal of Finance, the Journal of Futures Markets, the Journal of Investment Management, the Journal of Financial Economics and the Review of Financial Studies.