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The Big Noise Bob Hoye

The Big Noise Bob Hoye Institutional Advisors Posted Jan 22, 2011

One example important to today was registered in late 1973 when the big action in agricultural prices drove the Forecaster to 1.23. That one was a combination of business cycle, easy money and wild weather.

On that one, Stalinist traders in the former Soviet Union got the better of traders in the Western World. A strong El Nino changed the currents off the Peruvian Coast and the anchovy fishery crashed creating a sudden shortage of fishmeal. As this was developing, Communist Russia bought an important amount of agricultural products from any number traders and then on their forward sales tightened the squeeze.

Prices soared to the point where the US Wholesale Price Index doubled. Eventually, this became troubling to the authorities. They did not want people going around saying that prices had doubled so they changed the name to the Producer Price Index and rebased it to 100.

Headlines were about food shortages. Newsweek wrote: “Ominous signs that the earth’s weather patterns have begun to change dramatically” leading to a “drastic decline in food production”.

In another article, the same publication also did the alarmist thing and noted that climatologists were recommending covering the Arctic ice fields with carbon black, which would help end “Global Cooling”.

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