But the operation of the commodities world continually baffles me. And I actually have a Series 3 commodities license, passed the test and all! For example, recently the New York Mercantile Exchange ditched the old commodity of Unleaded Gasoline for a new commodity entitled Gasoline RBOB. The letters are always pronounced as a true acronym, "Our-Bob," which has become the workplace nickname for a guy in the office named Bob. (Yep, we're that creative.) But nobody seemed to know what the letters actually stood for. They didn't make any logical sense. Today I looked it up since a client asked about it, and here's what I learned RBOB means:
Reformulate Blendstock for Oxygenate Blending
Oh, pleeeeze. What desk jockey in NYMEX dreamed that up? I'm sure they thought they were being specific and this improved immensely over the word "Unleaded," but it's this sort of noodling about that makes big U.S. business incomprehensible to anyone who doesn't watch Bloomberg 24/7.
Before I looked the RBOB up, I conjured up some much more interesting possibilities for those four letters. Wouldn't Gasoline RBOB be far more thrilling if it stood for:
- Rocking Back On the Beat (Dance instructions)
- Randy Bastards Operating Buses (A bus drivers' union)
- Robust? Bloated? Often Barfing? (Slogan for a new infomerical product)
- Radically Bombastic Operas by Bach (An eletronica album)
- 'R Babes Our Bosses? (A misogynistic organization, and the "R" is kind of cheating)
- Rolling Basie on the Blues (A cool new Big Band number)
- Republican Base Or Beelzebub? (A left-wing pamphlet)
- Roasted Brie on Bread (Menu item)
- Run, Big Orville Belches! (Simply good advice)
The commodities business needs to loosen up a bit, I think.