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Buy or Sell: Speculation in energy markets focus of upcoming UH-Gemi trading conference

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For the fifth consecutive year, the University of Houston’s Global Energy Management Institute (UH-GEMI) will host its Trading and Marketing Conference Jan. 25 at the University Hilton Hotel. UH-GEMI is a part of the Bauer College of Business.

The annual UH-GEMI event brings traders, risk managers, securities analysts, investors, consultants and lawyers together to discuss the changing marketplace. It has developed into one of the leading forums for energy experts to evaluate the current state of the industry.

“Energy trading has come roaring back, but things are quite different,” said Craig Pirrong, UH-GEMI energy markets director. “No longer are merchant energy firms like Dynegy, Calpine, and Williams the focus of the industry. Instead, big financial players including investment banks and hedge funds, now dominate.”

This year’s conference title is “Speculation in Energy Markets.”

“Government reports and private analysts have blamed speculation for recent volatility, and they are advocating tighter regulations,” Pirrong said. “Economists, on the other hand, believe that speculation facilitates the transfer of risk from those who are very averse to it to those who are less averse. Additionally, speculation can provide incentives to collect information about fundamentals, leading to more efficient economic decisions.”

Conference speakers include Walter Lukken, Commodity Futures Trading Commission commissioner; Chuck Vice, InterContinental Exchange chief operating officer; Dan Berkovitz, Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations staff member; George Baker, Williams & Jensen principal; Michael Cosgrove, Amerex Energy president; Kyle Dickard, Merrill Lynch managing director of commodity analytics; Todd Mullins, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Office of Enforcement branch chief for Division 4 investigations.

For more information about the conference, go to

WHAT: UH-GEMI’s Fifth Annual Energy Trading and Marketing Conference
WHEN: 7:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., Jan. 25, 2007

7:30 a.m. Registration
8:30 a.m. Kyle Dickard
9 a.m. Todd Mullins
9:30 a.m. Dan Berkovitz
10:15 a.m. George Baker
10:45 a.m. Chuck Vice
11:15 a.m. Michael Cosgrove
11:45 a.m. Lunch
12:25 p.m. Walter Lukken

WHERE: University Hilton Hotel


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