Monday, August 20, 2007

Warning - loose money!...

The queasiness on Wall Street could surprise LaSalle Street.
Commodity investors may never have a better time to buy corn, cotton and sugar instead of oil and copper.

Sugar, the world's primary source of ethanol, is the cheapest it has ever been relative to crude oil. Corn this year dropped the most since 1998 after U.S. farmers planted the biggest crop since World War II. Cotton is the worst commodity investment over the past three years.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc., the world's biggest securities firm, is recommending corn after correctly predicting a rally earlier this year. Former hedge fund manager Jim Rogers and Marc Faber, who told investors to sell U.S. stocks a week before the 1987 crash, also say agricultural commodities are the ones to buy. Wheat, coffee and corn this month outperformed almost all commodities in the UBS Bloomberg CMCI index. Oil tumbled 8 percent and copper fell to the lowest price since March as loan losses hurt consumer demand. [More]
A price decline in copper would be a welcome relief for many as "copper security" is becoming a major industrial problem.
The culprits were not the typical ones — heat waves, fires or drought — but thieves, who have been stripping the copper wires out of irrigation systems throughout California. The rampant thefts have left farmers without functioning water pumps for days and weeks at a time, creating financial loss and occasional crop devastation in a region still smarting from a spectacular freeze last winter.

Theft of scrap metal, mostly copper, has vexed many areas of American life and industry for the last 18 months, fueled largely by record-level prices for copper resulting from a building boom in Asia. Common in developing counties, metal theft is now committed in nearly every state, largely by methamphetamine users who hock the metal to buy drugs, the authorities say.

Thieves have stripped the wires out of phone lines, pulled plaques off cemetery plots, raided air-conditioning systems in schools and yanked catalytic converters from cars, all to be resold to scrap metal recyclers.

But perhaps no group has been as been as consistently singled out as California farmers, who provide roughly half of the nation’s fruits and vegetables. Irrigation systems, a treasure trove of copper, tend to be in remote places, out of the eyes of farmers and, until recently, law enforcement. [More]

We have wealth splashing around the globe like beer in a plastic cup.

Somebody should drink it just to prevent spillage.

(Sometimes my metaphors get a little surreal.)

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