In the world of money, everything still looks pretty good – that is, if you don’t look too hard. The Dow rose again on Friday. The euro is still over US$1.40. Wheat, soybeans, oil, gold – and a whole host of other items – are at all-time highs.
These high prices are transforming the physical world.
In Brazil, the Amazon jungle is being pushed back so planters can grow soybeans. Environmentalists all over the planet are whining about it, but the Brazilians reply: “Hey, this is our jungle; we’ll do what we want…besides, we need the money.”
In neighbouring Argentina, the poor cattle are being pushed back too – up to the north…to drier, less fertile land. The regular stock often can’t stand the shock…so the breed is being mixed with hardier races, such as the Indian Brahmin. The mixed-breed beasts can cope with the tougher conditions, but they yield a meat of lower quality. Why take the cows off the good land? Because it is being used to grow wheat and soybeans, of course.
Ireland has gotten rich, too – thanks to a property boom. There, the ugly, old cement-grey houses of the pre-boom era are being replaced by ugly, new cement-grey houses.
London seems to change everyday…with new restaurants…new buildings…new hedge-funds. There is so much money bubbling around the city that hustlers work overtime to figure out how to take it from its rightful owners.
Markets and Money