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Commodities Impact: Ask the CEOs

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Commodities have been on a spectacular run until only recently, as crude oil and silver in particular have pulled back.

TheStreet staff this week asked three CEOs what impact commodities pricing has had on their businesses. TheStreet's Alix Steel also interviewed noted investor Jim Rogers about the commodities market.

Randgold Resources (GOLD) CEO Mark Bristow: "I think that it's a sign of apprehension in the market about exactly what the drivers are and where we are in the complete rehabilitation of the economic situation globally," said the boss of the gold mining company in West Africa.

"I think there's lots of nervousness in how China is going to perform. We are definitely seeing signs of inflation. You saw Greece again with its debt. There's still a lot of real structural issues with the Western World economies. Commodity movements and gold are contagious, but not necessarily aligned."


Rackspace CEO Lanham Napier believes that rising commodity prices threaten economic recovery.

Rackspace (RAX) CEO Lanham Napier sees rising commodity prices as a threat to the broader economy.

"I think that, generally, rising commodity prices threaten economic recovery," he told TheStreet in an interview that followed the hosting company's recent first-quarter results. "In an environment of high commodity prices, consumers spend more on staples than on more discretionary items.

"High commodity prices crowd out other forms of expenditure," he added. "I think it slows down advancements in areas that bolster our standard of living, such as technology and health care."


Kosmos Energy (KOS) CEO Brian Maxsted: "Obviously, the oil and gas business is a long-term business, long cycle times; we look way into the future. Long term, we see the fundamentals being extremely strong. We don't take much note of any short-term volatility in the market."


Jim Rogers, contrarian investor, author and financial commentator, is known for his love of commodities and was undeterred by the recent carnage.

"It's just that the CME (CME) (Chicago Mercantile Exchange) raised margin requirements four or five times in two weeks by a painful amount, that's all it said," Rogers said. " Maybe it said something else to somebody else."

Rogers is short emerging markets, American technology and long commodities. He has not bought more silver, but said he would review it over the next few months if prices stayed low or went even lower.


What are America's corporate leaders saying about the issues of the day? TheStreet's reporters, during the course of their weekly coverage, will pose a thematic question to the business executives they interview. Have a question you'd like to see TheStreet ask the CEOs? Send it to tips@thestreet.com. Follow TheStreet on Twitter.

This article was written by a staff member of TheStreet.

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