Monday, 2 November 2009

"Food" For Thought

Back in 2008 during food price soaring including grain:
"Reijo Miettinen, 62, never had to worry about going hungry until global food prices soared and he had to join a growing number of Finns forced to turn to charity to fill their bellies.

Miettinen, a pensioner with thinning grey hair, eagerly shows off the day's catch: bread, ham, milk and a couple of ready-made meals -- all for free courtesy of a group called Veikko and Lahja Hursti's Acts of Charity.

"After I pay my rent and buy a monthly bus pass, I don't have much money left. That's why I come here," he told AFP as the food queue behind him circled around the yard before disappearing around a corner
In October 2009, few months after hunger strikes around the world and growing queues in finland (which I suppose still exist but not so much mediatized)
The Finnish economic affairs ministry said in a statement Wednesday it had asked Esa Härmälä, a former head of the Finnish farm lobby, to draw up a report on the feasibility of launching grain-based fuel ethanol production in the country.

Mauri Pekkarinen (centre), the economic affairs minister, said Mr Härmälä's job was to establish whether surplus grain could be used to make ethanol while ensuring self-sufficiency in feed.

I suppose that this time they will use the "environment" reason and manipulate the "lost in translation" green party that are still travelling with big air plane and driving cars to sprout their green ideas...


Andrew said...

I remember getting thru college in the 1970's living on porridge potatos eggs milk peas bread butter chips and beer. Eggs are still great value at only about .9€ per kilo. Chicken has gone up a bit to 1.19 after the recent reduction to 1.15 from the high of 1.25. Reasonable looking Mince meat is 7 per kg.

I also remember my mother carefully chosing every single thing she bought in the 1960's.

Today the supermarkets ensure that weights are dishonestly marketed so that the bigger portions are often more expensive than the smaller and so forth. They wipe out their competition as and when necessary and you pay what they provide.

The system encourages inflation. And yet if you are prepared to live a less exciting life you can survive. Perhaps the government secretly subsidise chicken farmers??

Perhaps it was ever thus and i have until recently never been 'poor' enuf to notice or had the *time* to notice?

Without a doubt the banks and the governments are systematically stealing our money by the hidden tax of inflation which you can only be protected from by being richer by holding assets and/or borrowing money that devalues.

I think when governments get serious about inflation the asset bubbles will no longer exist but right now there can surely be no doubt that the target, by any means possible, is the creation of inflation. The rest is just all talk.

Effectivelty we live in a fascist world where we are dressed up in the uniform of consumers and the big corporations decide how we are going to live. And of course the ruling elite have the most elaborate uniforms and paraphenalia.

It sucks but what can you do??

HousingFinland said...

I agree with you with the fact that inflation (albeit high inflation >5%) is going to be an issue, however I think we have disagreement on the timing of it.

I still think that until 2012, inflation won't be an issue it doesn't mean that asset price won't grow into a bigger bubble before it implodes as past experience as shown (1981, 1991, 2001 etc..).

I think I have been transparent in my views and said that purchasing assets today is very risky however the risk of not doing it by, maybe, 2012 will be a mistake too.

My point is that there is going (has been) a sense that the economy has stabilized and that growth will resume, growth in the economy , growth in asset prices (stocks, housing etc..). What one has to understand is that growth is supported by extreme measure being currently provided and that are not sustainable. So at some point asset prices will bust and it is at that point I would invest/take risks/change my views... not before.

Now It doesn't mean that I will not follow the market and close my eyes until this happen (a bust)(if it ever happens - doubt and pragmatism is important).

Somehow, this blog push me to keep up with what is currently hapenning and ultimately sharing the information that I judge interesting where I would like to see some comments from one that has opposite or additional informations.

Andrew said...

I agree high inflation is very unlikely until pressures build in the economy that are nowhere to be seen at present.

Anonymous said...

The so-far cumulated wealth and part of the huge stimulus created from empty are waiting to protect their purchase power from stealing via inflation. The combined amount is huge. I see the chance that a high inflation (possibly 8%-11% or more) would pop up quickly. It may be so quick that only the inside-traders (e.g., the Finnish Government, big companies) and the creative nation statistics would notice the onset of the jump. HousingFinland, you may not have the chance to buy it at the low. When you read it from the report of the nation statistics, the opportunity may have passed for some weeks or months. Majority of the people would also experience the same surprise created by the highly unsymmetrical information accesses. OK, it is purposefully designed so. Otherwise, how could they make and steal a lot of money?

Therefore, here is the question worth maybe 200,000.00 €, how to know it is the very time (between you said 2011-2014) to buy asset immediately?

Thanks in advance for the clarification!

HousingFinland said...

"a high inflation (possibly 8%-11% or more) would pop up quickly. It may be so quick that only the inside-traders (e.g., the Finnish Government, big companies) and the creative nation statistics would notice the onset of the jump."

I think you give to much power and smartness to governments, companies and institions. In fact, this crisis has highlited that they were pretty shortsighted.

In reality they are too large and not agile to ride a new and fast changing situation.

Let's say you have some stocks, you could sell within a minute if you wanted too, it is another thing with government where decisions and actions go through lenghty process, are audited and need to have consensus.

So to my opinion, since we are dealing with insignificant amount of money compare to large institution, in theory we will be able to move much faster than institutions or other entities.

Now with regard to inflation worries, you don't have to look at statistic institutions (which I agree can clearly manupulate the data, it's easy and they do it. For example Statistics Finland and the dwelling prices, not only they have removed now the comsumer price adjustment but more was done see )

In any case, you should watch indicators set by the markets whidh are independant of Finnish institution and media.

So for example you could refer to the following 3 month Euribor chart provided by the ECB (which by mandate is independant at least relative to other statistical agencies...)

HousingFinland said...

I have added a new post in relation to inflation which I think will major thing to watch in the months to come ....

Andrew said...

I dont see why statistics Finland have to be the bad guys lying about house prices when the ECB are the loan enablers who are going out of their way to support asset prices

The ECB do whatever they are told to do.

HousingFinland said...

Statistics Finland is not "lying", one can gather data in a way that is not really representatif, and mix it in a way that does not show the true reality.

I think this is what is hapenning. Mixing Helsinki Center with Lohja for example (part of Uusimaa)(Half depressed due to their economical situation), I think this is gross enough to say that the data is not be taken as is but instead only the trend maybe correct(?).

andrew said...

so if you mix helsinki with a half depressed area you get a price recovery?

And as i recall you did say prices were underestimated

I am a bit confused now!

HousingFinland said...

I just don't mix apple and orange.