Is Food Inflation Coming Back?

From Paul Mylchreest of Monument Securities

Coffee was up another 12% yesterday! After introducing myself to ADM’s Sugar trading team, I thought I’d better introduce myself to our Coffee team pronto, who were equally friendly I have to say. Feedback  – besides the dry weather in Brazil, there are also unsubstantiated rumours of a trading house getting in to trouble – which might not be surprising given the scale of the recent move. Here is the Coffee chart since the beginning of 2013.

 

Not sure if ADM trades Lean Hogs (must be out of Chicago if we do), but did you see them fly (!) during the last couple of days? Terrible.

 

We highlighted the CRB/BLS Spot Foodstuffs Index last week. It’s continuing to rise but still remains lower year-on-year at this point.

The question is whether this is the start of a broadly-based period of food price inflation?

So what about the Food Retailing stocks?

I was watching the S&P 500 Food & Staples Retailing sector yesterday. It rose 1.3% versus a 0.7% fall in the S&P 500.

After all their travails from intense competition and over-investment, maybe some food price inflation is just what the UK Food Retailers need…if they can pass it on in the current environment!

If we look back to a more “normal” period for these stocks, e.g. from 1996-2007, the Food Retailers did do well during periods of rapidly escalating food prices – although often with a lag.


    



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Smartest Girl Scout Ever Selling Cookies Outside a Medical Marijuana Dispensary

girl scout at green cross

This genius San Francisco Girl Scout came up with the brilliant
plan to take advantage of the munchies for fun and profit.
Mashable.com reports
:

Looking to drum up some new business, 13-year-old Girl Scout
Danielle Lei and her mom set out for a San Francisco medical
marijuana clinic on Monday, armed with boxes of Tagalongs, Dulce de
Leches and other cookie varieties she and other scouts sell
annually.

Any patients at The Green Cross with the munchies didn’t stand a
chance. In two hours on President’s Day, Danielle sold 117 boxes
outside the clinic — people gobbled up all her Dulce de Leches and
blazed through the Tagalongs. According to her mother, Carol,
that’s 37 more boxes than what she sold during the same two-hour
period outside a small Safeway the next day.

Danielle will be back in front of the Green Cross this Saturday,
from 4 to 6 p.m., hawking her wares again. 

In related news, a
Google image search for “girl scout marijuana”
just revealed to
me that there is a strain of marijuana called Girl Scout Cookies.
No word on whether the scouts will be adding “magic cookies” made
with this particular variety to their inventory anytime
soon. 

Also, God bless America.

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Chiefettes 18th at nationals

The McIntosh Chiefettes dance team recently competed at the UDA National Dance Team Championship where they made it to the final round of competition and placed 18th out of 81 teams.

Previously they were crowned 2014 State Champions in Pom and Jazz at the UDA Georgia Dance Championships, the fifth year in a row they have won double state titles.

read more

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Obama Administration Embeds “Government Researchers” To Monitor Media Organizations

Submitted by Mike Krieger of Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

Last week, I highlighted the fact that the latest Press Freedom Index showcased a 13 point plunge in America’s press freedom to an embarrassing #46 position in the global ranking. If the authoritarians in the Obama Administration have their way, this country is set to fall much further in next year’s index.

Incredibly, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is set to roll out something called the Critical Information Needs study, which will embed government “researchers” into media organizations around the nation to make sure they are doing their job properly.

No this isn’t “conspiracy theory.” It is so real, and represents such a threat to the First Amendment, that a current FCC commissioner, Ajit Pai, recently wrote an Op-Ed in the Wall Street Journal, warning Americans of this scheme. He writes:

News organizations often disagree about what Americans need to know. MSNBC, for example, apparently believes that traffic in Fort Lee, N.J., is the crisis of our time. Fox News, on the other hand, chooses to cover the September 2012 attacks on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi more heavily than other networks. The American people, for their part, disagree about what they want to watch.

 

But everyone should agree on this: The government has no place pressuring media organizations into covering certain stories.

 

Unfortunately, the Federal Communications Commission, where I am a commissioner, does not agree. Last May the FCC proposed an initiative to thrust the federal government into newsrooms across the country. With its “Multi-Market Study of Critical Information Needs,” or CIN, the agency plans to send researchers to grill reporters, editors and station owners about how they decide which stories to run. A field test in Columbia, S.C., is scheduled to begin this spring.

The purpose of the CIN, according to the FCC, is to ferret out information from television and radio broadcasters about “the process by which stories are selected” and how often stations cover “critical information needs,” along with “perceived station bias” and “perceived responsiveness to underserved populations.”

I have no idea what country I am living in at this point.

How does the FCC plan to dig up all that information? First, the agency selected eight categories of “critical information” such as the “environment” and “economic opportunities,” that it believes local newscasters should cover. It plans to ask station managers, news directors, journalists, television anchors and on-air reporters to tell the government about their “news philosophy” and how the station ensures that the community gets critical information.

 

Participation in the Critical Information Needs study is voluntary—in theory. Unlike the opinion surveys that Americans see on a daily basis and either answer or not, as they wish, the FCC’s queries may be hard for the broadcasters to ignore. They would be out of business without an FCC license, which must be renewed every eight years.

 

Should all stations follow MSNBC’s example and cut away from a discussion with a former congresswoman about the National Security Agency’s collection of phone records to offer live coverage of Justin Bieber‘s bond hearing? As a consumer of news, I have an opinion. But my opinion shouldn’t matter more than anyone else’s merely because I happen to work at the FCC.

I am simply speechless.

Read the full Op-Ed here.


    



via Zero Hedge http://ift.tt/1ec32EZ Tyler Durden

Obama Administration Embeds "Government Researchers" To Monitor Media Organizations

Submitted by Mike Krieger of Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

Last week, I highlighted the fact that the latest Press Freedom Index showcased a 13 point plunge in America’s press freedom to an embarrassing #46 position in the global ranking. If the authoritarians in the Obama Administration have their way, this country is set to fall much further in next year’s index.

Incredibly, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is set to roll out something called the Critical Information Needs study, which will embed government “researchers” into media organizations around the nation to make sure they are doing their job properly.

No this isn’t “conspiracy theory.” It is so real, and represents such a threat to the First Amendment, that a current FCC commissioner, Ajit Pai, recently wrote an Op-Ed in the Wall Street Journal, warning Americans of this scheme. He writes:

News organizations often disagree about what Americans need to know. MSNBC, for example, apparently believes that traffic in Fort Lee, N.J., is the crisis of our time. Fox News, on the other hand, chooses to cover the September 2012 attacks on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi more heavily than other networks. The American people, for their part, disagree about what they want to watch.

 

But everyone should agree on this: The government has no place pressuring media organizations into covering certain stories.

 

Unfortunately, the Federal Communications Commission, where I am a commissioner, does not agree. Last May the FCC proposed an initiative to thrust the federal government into newsrooms across the country. With its “Multi-Market Study of Critical Information Needs,” or CIN, the agency plans to send researchers to grill reporters, editors and station owners about how they decide which stories to run. A field test in Columbia, S.C., is scheduled to begin this spring.

The purpose of the CIN, according to the FCC, is to ferret out information from television and radio broadcasters about “the process by which stories are selected” and how often stations cover “critical information needs,” along with “perceived station bias” and “perceived responsiveness to underserved populations.”

I have no idea what country I am living in at this point.

How does the FCC plan to dig up all that information? First, the agency selected eight categories of “critical information” such as the “environment” and “economic opportunities,” that it believes local newscasters should cover. It plans to ask station managers, news directors, journalists, television anchors and on-air reporters to tell the government about their “news philosophy” and how the station ensures that the community gets critical information.

 

Participation in the Critical Information Needs study is voluntary—in theory. Unlike the opinion surveys that Americans see on a daily basis and either answer or not, as they wish, the FCC’s queries may be hard for the broadcasters to ignore. They would be out of business without an FCC license, which must be renewed every eight years.

 

Should all stations follow MSNBC’s example and cut away from a discussion with a former congresswoman about the National Security Agency’s collection of phone records to offer live coverage of Justin Bieber‘s bond hearing? As a consumer of news, I have an opinion. But my opinion shouldn’t matter more than anyone else’s merely because I happen to work at the FCC.

I am simply speechless.

Read the full Op-Ed here.


    



via Zero Hedge http://ift.tt/1ec32EZ Tyler Durden

Ed Krayewski on the Tom Brown Show on WEZS at 9pm ET

face for radioI’ll be joining the Tom Brown Show on WEZS in New
Hampshire tonight at 9pm ET, to talk about the Ukraine,
Venezuela,
maybe even Thailand,
and why people who are tired of government abuse are usually
placated by a mere change of government. As economist Rodrigo
Constantino
wrote
of the protests in Brazil, also
still ongoing
, it’s “[n]o use to roar like a lion in the
streets and then vote like a donkey in the polls.” Tune in on the
dial if you’re in New Hampshire, or online if you’re not.

More Reason on Ukraine, Venezuela, Thailand, and Brazil.

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Things That Make You Go Hmmm… Like “Anti-Gold Idiots”

This next paragraph contains what Grant Williams believes is the fundamental principle of investing in gold and silver, which so few people genuinely understand — despite the multitudes of commentators expending countless thousands of words.

"So these anti-gold idiots are just that, idiots, or else they have the memory of a goldfish, because currencies come and currencies go, as sure as night follows day. It is the natural order of things. And as you can see, it's not about trading gold to get rich or getting long gold or buying one by two call spreads or getting fancy, it literally is about protecting yourself in the end. It's not like Williams got rich. He just stayed rich. Everyone else got poor."

It's not like Williams got rich. He just stayed rich. Everyone else got poor.

That's it. Right there.

If you talk to most people in the West about gold, they have no idea about the price or its recent direction. Narrow your sample audience down to those with a passing interest in finance, and they will likely know that gold is an awful investment whose price only goes down. (Had we conducted this little survey in 2011, the results would have been different, but that only illustrates the point.)

Ask a random group of people in the East about gold, however, and the conversation is completely different.

In this part of the world, people talk about how much gold they (or their parents or their grandparents) own. They will tell you stories of the first time they handled a gold coin (usually as a child), and they will know the price but not have much of an opinion on how good or bad gold's performance has been — it will be far less relevant to them. They just know that you don't trade gold; you own it.

To further illustrate this point, let's talk about our old friends the world's central banks.

The chart showing the 25 largest central bank holders of the world's gold looks like this:

If we take a look at the changes in those holdings between 2008 and 2013, an interesting phenomenon emerges: central banks in the East, as their reserves have grown, have been accumulating gold:


 
Since 2008, the central banks of China, Russia, India, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, and the Philippines have increased their gold holdings on average by 119.67%.

Central banks continually rubbish gold as a worthless asset class because it constricts their ability to produce money at the push of a button. Not only that, but it offers their citizens the means to reduce their reliance upon a nation's fiat currency — one has only to look at the goings-on in India last year to see what THAT looks like.

Deep down, though, central bankers know what gold is for and why you hold it. They know.

In 1999, a group of central banks came together through the Washington Agreement on Gold to jointly manage sales of the precious metal.

The Washington Agreement worked when central banks were selling their gold because there were always buyers, at lower and lower prices — those were the investors soaking up the bullion.

NOW we have a bunch of central banks aggressively trying to BUY gold; and what they're finding (unsurprisingly) is that the investors aren't sellers, so the only people left from whom to acquire gold are the traders — and they have a very limited supply of actual metal

When Western central bankers rubbish gold as a "barbarous relic" or, as in the case of Ben Bernanke shortly before he started his job at The Brookings Institution left office in January, admit to a complete lack of understanding of it, does it not strike you as strange that, having accumulated significant stockpiles of gold over the years, they aren't in a hurry to swap any of it for paper money (well, with the notable exception perhaps of the United Kingdom, thanks to the antics of Gordon Brown, King of the Idiot Chancellors)?

It shouldn't.

Gold is held by Western central banks for exactly the same reason individuals ought to hold it: protection.

Central banks are accumulating gold because it cannot go BANG! like fiat currencies do.

Individuals should be doing the same — not being sidetracked by the distractions.

It's not about price. The story Jared shared with us demonstrates that beyond any doubt.

If you own gold, it will do all the heavy lifting for you when the time comes

And that's where Grant Williams gets really deep in his latest excellent letter…

TTMYGH_17_Feb_2014


    



via Zero Hedge http://ift.tt/OguyMB Tyler Durden

Things That Make You Go Hmmm… Like "Anti-Gold Idiots"

This next paragraph contains what Grant Williams believes is the fundamental principle of investing in gold and silver, which so few people genuinely understand — despite the multitudes of commentators expending countless thousands of words.

"So these anti-gold idiots are just that, idiots, or else they have the memory of a goldfish, because currencies come and currencies go, as sure as night follows day. It is the natural order of things. And as you can see, it's not about trading gold to get rich or getting long gold or buying one by two call spreads or getting fancy, it literally is about protecting yourself in the end. It's not like Williams got rich. He just stayed rich. Everyone else got poor."

It's not like Williams got rich. He just stayed rich. Everyone else got poor.

That's it. Right there.

If you talk to most people in the West about gold, they have no idea about the price or its recent direction. Narrow your sample audience down to those with a passing interest in finance, and they will likely know that gold is an awful investment whose price only goes down. (Had we conducted this little survey in 2011, the results would have been different, but that only illustrates the point.)

Ask a random group of people in the East about gold, however, and the conversation is completely different.

In this part of the world, people talk about how much gold they (or their parents or their grandparents) own. They will tell you stories of the first time they handled a gold coin (usually as a child), and they will know the price but not have much of an opinion on how good or bad gold's performance has been — it will be far less relevant to them. They just know that you don't trade gold; you own it.

To further illustrate this point, let's talk about our old friends the world's central banks.

The chart showing the 25 largest central bank holders of the world's gold looks like this:

If we take a look at the changes in those holdings between 2008 and 2013, an interesting phenomenon emerges: central banks in the East, as their reserves have grown, have been accumulating gold:


 
Since 2008, the central banks of China, Russia, India, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, and the Philippines have increased their gold holdings on average by 119.67%.

Central banks continually rubbish gold as a worthless asset class because it constricts their ability to produce money at the push of a button. Not only that, but it offers their citizens the means to reduce their reliance upon a nation's fiat currency — one has only to look at the goings-on in India last year to see what THAT looks like.

Deep down, though, central bankers know what gold is for and why you hold it. They know.

In 1999, a group of central banks came together through the Washington Agreement on Gold to jointly manage sales of the precious metal.

The Washington Agreement worked when central banks were selling their gold because there were always buyers, at lower and lower prices — those were the investors soaking up the bullion.

NOW we have a bunch of central banks aggressively trying to BUY gold; and what they're finding (unsurprisingly) is that the investors aren't sellers, so the only people left from whom to acquire gold are the traders — and they have a very limited supply of actual metal

When Western central bankers rubbish gold as a "barbarous relic" or, as in the case of Ben Bernanke shortly before he started his job at The Brookings Institution left office in January, admit to a complete lack of understanding of it, does it not strike you as strange that, having accumulated significant stockpiles of gold over the years, they aren't in a hurry to swap any of it for paper money (well, with the notable exception perhaps of the United Kingdom, thanks to the antics of Gordon Brown, King of the Idiot Chancellors)?

It shouldn't.

Gold is held by Western central banks for exactly the same reason individuals ought to hold it: protection.

Central banks are accumulating gold because it cannot go BANG! like fiat currencies do.

Individuals should be doing the same — not being sidetracked by the distractions.

It's not about price. The story Jared shared with us demonstrates that beyond any doubt.

If you own gold, it will do all the heavy lifting for you when the time comes

And that's where Grant Williams gets really deep in his latest excellent letter…

TTMYGH_17_Feb_2014


    



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