“I’m going to make sure whoever gambles on this market will be ‘ouching’ like hell’,” Saudi Energy Minister Abdulaziz bin Salman vowed back in September, in a threat aimed at bears.
Promising to make crude prices as “jumpy” as possible for those shorting them, he called on his rivals to “make my day”—a taunt used by Dirty Harry, a maverick cop, on the bad guys in the movies of the same name from the 70s and 80s.
It took a while for the Saudi minister—sometimes referred to by just his initials, AbS—to make good on the promise. But when he did, at least some oil bears must have been ‘ouching.’ Crude prices jumped 25% over the three months to June, rising almost non-stop and up to 5% on certain days.
Now, the oil market is back in a situation where AbS might have to warn short-sellers again. The question is how effective will he be this time.