I rewrote these two questions with numbers and edits. Pls explain like I'm 5. I don't understand any of the comments that just raise more questions! What the heck's "a predictable and arbitrageable discontinuity each month, it's even worse than a random commodity pricing risk."

  1. Why don't banks issue ETNs with indices that track the spot price of commodities (I'm specifically thinking of oil), and reset the price each month based on the front month's futures contract?

  2. Why are most ETNs tethered to a rolling futures contract that is subject to roll yield?

  • Could you please make your question more self-contained, so that people attempting to understand your question do not have to go to the Reddit thread? You could do this by quoting some relevant sentences/paragraphs from the Reddit thread. – Flux Apr 18 at 23:43

In general, When you buy a synthetic product you are getting the price return (or a derivative of it) of the underlying - the seller is the one who actually buys the product to risk manage their exposure. For the ETN exposure, if the seller buys from the spot market they will always end up paying a premium as the spot market will figure out the demand structure. To reduce the cost in managing the risk, the sellers move to futures which implies managing roll. Again, to manage near month volatility, they spread their exposure over many future contracts

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