Thursday, February 24, 2011

Kinda Corny

"The smallest corn inventories in 37 years are a sign farmers around the globe are failing to produce enough grain to meet rising consumption, even as planting expands and food prices surge."
Source: Bloomberg

"Commodities gone wild: Things will rise rapidly in, fuel, gold, oil, grains, uranium, copper."
Random Roving, January 1, 2010

And yes, there is a corn ETF (symbol CORN).

Corn ETF

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

At The Foot Of The Volcano

I always conclude one thing after reading a book or article written by Thomas Friedman, "the guy knows the Eastern geopolitical scene extremely well".  His most recent NY Times article is significant:

"What’s unfolding in the Arab world today is the mother of all wake-up calls. And what the voice on the other end of the line is telling us is clear as a bell: 'America, you have built your house at the foot of a volcano. That volcano is now spewing lava from different cracks and is rumbling like it’s going to blow. Move your house!” In this case, “move your house” means “end your addiction to oil.”  No one is rooting harder for the democracy movements in the Arab world to succeed than I am. But even if things go well, this will be a long and rocky road. The smart thing for us to do right now is to impose a $1-a-gallon gasoline tax, to be phased in at 5 cents a month beginning in 2012, with all the money going to pay down the deficit. Legislating a higher energy price today that takes effect in the future, notes the Princeton economist Alan Blinder, would trigger a shift in buying and investment well before the tax kicks in. With one little gasoline tax, we can make ourselves more economically and strategically secure, help sell more Chevy Volts and free ourselves to openly push for democratic values in the Middle East without worrying anymore that it will harm our oil interests. Yes, it will mean higher gas prices, but prices are going up anyway, folks. Let’s capture some it for ourselves."

Read the remainder of the article

Monday, February 21, 2011

Finally, The Truth

The facade continues to crumble across the world, but we finally have one politician speaking the truth:

“For us, this is about balancing the budget. We've got a $3.6 billion budget deficit. We are broke. Just like nearly every other state across the country, we're broke. It's about time somebody stood up and told the truth.”
Gov. Scott Walker, R-Wisc., on “FOX News Sunday”

Meanwhile the jackasses that the Wisconsin people elected into office have fled the state.  Unbelievable.  Time to organize a sheriff's posse to go find them and put them behind bars.

The unions across the world continue to make the news.  Hmmmmm.
"In a downward trending mass social mood, it's very likely that labor strikes will become very popular again. We might even see a professional sports strike in the next few years. An angry mob loves a strike and a picket line. The cycle will likely bring unions back to strength as fear and anger 'drives the herd closer together'."
Random Roving, "Three Strikes You're Out", November 29, 2009

"Reading about the British Airways strike over the past week made me realize that organized labor strikes don't occur that much anymore. The last significant one that I remember was when The Gipper defeated the air traffic controllers. I quickly had the Google Elves do some research, and sure enough since 1980 (the beginning of the SuperSizeMe Era), strikes have basically been nonexistent....interesting. Does the British Airways strike signal a "change in trend"? The tea partiers probably think so. Stay tuned."
Random Roving, "3 Strikes, You're Out", March 27, 2010

Monday, February 14, 2011

On To Iran

I can't say that I've ever heard a President or VP try to incite a riot in another country.  Ole Joe had this to say:
“I say to our Iranian friends, let your people march, let your people speak, release your people from jail, let them have a voice.”

Source: The Courier Journal

All I can say is, "be careful what you wish for".

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Gates On Rose

I highly recommend that everyone watch this interview.  The first part of the interview focuses on world health, and during the remainder of the interview, Gates speaks very frankly about some key issues facing the world.  Watch and learn.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Contracting Multiculturalism

"Nicolas Sarkozy declares multiculturalism had failed. French president Nicolas Sarkozy on Thursday declared that multiculturalism had failed, joining a growing number of world leaders or ex-leaders who have condemned it.  'We have been too concerned about the identity of the person who was arriving and not enough about the identity of the country that was receiving him,' he said in a television interview in which he declared the concept a 'failure'. Prime Minister David Cameron last month pronounced his country's long-standing policy of multiculturalism a failure, calling for better integration of young Muslims to combat home-grown extremism. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Australia's former prime minister John Howard and former Spanish prime minister Jose Maria Aznar have also in recent months said multicultural policies have not successfully integrated immigrants."
Source: The Telegraph

 "Xenophobia is a powerful force in the down cycle."
Random Roving, October 9, 2007

Xenophobia continues to rise at an alarming rate.
Random Roving, November 6, 2009

"Although the language of race has rarely been explicitly invoked, terms like 'Marxist,' 'Nazi,'extremist', and 'foreigner' have been used to smuggle racism and xenophobia into the public conversation without political consequence."
Marc Lamont Hill, Columbia University professor and FOX News contributor

Friday, February 4, 2011

The Fury

"The mob doesn't think. It has no mind of its own."
Joe Wilson (Spencer Tracy's character in "The Fury")

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Prechter On The Rebellion

"When the bottom is at hand or already in place, the rage will be greater and more widespreead, and there will be no question what the rebellion is about."
Robert Prechter - Elliott Wave Financial Forecast - April 2009

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Relaxed On "Economy"

I've made a few posts over the last few years highlighting Google's cool "Trends" technology.  They provide the ability to chart the volume of searches and news items relating to a search word or phrase.  The chart provides a great insight into what is on the minds of the "masses".  The chart below on the word "economy" presents a few interesting conclusions.  First, it appears that we've greatly relaxed with regards to the economy.  The searches are must lower than they have been over the past few years.  The second insight is that no matter what the economy is, we care less about it during the summer.  Lulls consistently show up during the summer months. The third observation is that in most years, the economy is on our minds more in the early part of the year than the end.  A final observation is on the lower half of the chart where the news reference volume appears.  Note that at the beginning of 2008, there was a significant increase in news stories that ultimately preceeded the great contraction in the fall of that same year. 

So, does our relaxed attitude bode anything about the future??

Google Trends Search on "economy"

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Next Internet Blockage

It appears that Syria is the next to turn off the Internet.  A new ploy for "crowd control".

"Just like Egypt, Syria too is said to have made some similar moves in an attempt to stop the rebellious voices coming up. Syria too has reportedly blocked the internet on the same day as on Egypt."