Thursday, October 25, 2007

Double Dipping

Agricultural commodity prices hitting highs. And a new $282 billion 2007 Farm Bill in USA. Hmmmm. A quick review of the bill seems to have a bit for almost everyone, (for how else does one get to $282 billion?). Ummmm, one question though: may I have some, too, please? For I, also, am frequently victimized by the vicissitudes of the market and would clearly benefit from some income support, and some re-training assistance to learn how to cope with momentum-humping stock-jockeys, particularly during times of divergently speculative markets that cane the more value or reversion-oriented investor. And perhaps the US Govt could pay me to set-aside some of my less-successful investment strategies that have recently suffered from alpha decay?? Am I any less deserving than the noble cotton farmer or hard-working tobacco grower?? And like the USDA, Government can buy some of my other, unwanted or unneeded otherwise discarded strategies, for redistribution (in-kind) to those obviously less fortunate who have no investment strategies at all (not even bad ones!). Any troll through the internet employing the keyword "trading stocks" will show just many people must be so disadvantaged, lacking investment strategies of their own. Additionally, as in the farm bill, I could definitely benefit from some research assistance, for lord knows competing against the countless PhDs at Renaissance & DE Shaw, not to mention the Indians, Chinese and Russians, is quite a thankless task. Oh, and don't forget marketing assistance. As a small investment manager marketing is on a ongoing challenge, so I would be grateful please if you could appropriate some funds to help us small HFMs better reach our target market. Maybe the Feds ould even apply the pressure of the USTR to twist the arms of SAFE's SWF to let us little guys manage some of their gargantuan pot of money. But don't get the wrong idea. I don't begrudge farmers recent good fortune (indeed, some of my best friends are farmers!) for lord knows their terms of trade have, errrr, sucked for the last two decades. I just think that from a public-policy POV, we might benefit from a method of reducing the flow of the spigot, or milk descending from the Federal milk-teat, during times-o'-plenty, else simple souls like me will think some are double-dipping, and no-one likes a glutton - whether they are noble farmers, HFMs or PE-weenies.

11 comments:

OldVet said...

No two-scoop cone of ice cream for you?

Charles Butler said...

I've thought many times of refusing to accept that kind of assistance, mostly due to my aversion to standing in lines the reward for which is a session of filling out forms. Fortunately, I don't have to, thanks to the difficulty the Junta's bright lights seem to have in sorting out my slightly convoluted claim to EU alms.

Anyway, congrats on your apparent discovery of the word processor and your flying escape from the death threats. Your total OT was responded to.

Tim Price said...

hello.. I am trying to get in touch.. could you drop me a line pls via http://thepriceofeverything.typepad.com ? many thanks rgds tim.

Macro Man said...

In fairness, though, this is no better or worse than the CAP. €50 billion per year, or $290 billion over 5 years...either way, it's a colossal misallocaiton of resources, especially at current ag prices.

The Olive Oil Gazette said...

Completely agree on the CAP. The co-op liquidated the account last week and, despite the pretty mediocre prices for the last crop, managed to conduct their business well enough to surprise, well, me - the perma-griper. Surprise? No. Knocked me out. My assumption is that the olive oil subsidy is based on prices received for multi-hundred thousand kilo shipments to Lucca to be bottled as 'Italian', being the route of least resistance for a miller. Any kind of approach that adds value clearly negates the need for EU intervention.

"Cassandra" said...

Tim - I sent you an e-mail.

MM - My point stands insofar the mechanism for giving it away is much easier to turn on than the mechanism for stemming the flow.

I was stretching it a bit for Food Stamps are under the Dept of Ag, but this is welfare by any other name. Its only historical accident that this assistance program sits in USDA, mostly because America was so tight-assed it didn't want to give welfare, but Great Society proponents had success with convincing farm lobby to support giving away food beenfit to firm sagging real ag. prices. Then 60's and 70s indexation of benefits saw expenditure balloon, though Boskin fixed THAT chestnut so that govt indexed programs would never again bite the taxpayer.

CB - To be further fair, there are a lot of good and valid reasons why farming and agriculture is different, and I really do not begrudge farmers in US or EU, price stability with some upside. But as it happens, much goes to enterprises that don't "need" it, and to crops that hurt developing nations more than it beenfits either family farms, rural life in our world. But this is vino&tapas talk....

Macro Man said...

May I compliment you also on your newfound photo. The Landlady from Kung Fu Hustle is really a quality character...

"Cassandra" said...

The funny thing is that she wasn't an actress. She'd gone with a friend to the audition who was reading for the landlady part she was just sitting in the waiting room, looking kind of ticked-off hair in curlers, smoking lazily w/cigarette suspended from her lip, and Stephen Chow saw her and said "That's her!!", and they invited her to read and gave her the part.

Anonymous said...

She is /was an actress..stuntwoman and chainsmoker... but yes perfect fit for great character.. seen a few.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yuen_Qiu

Is this then the avatar of "her outdoors" or of your blogging alter ego's minder???

Charles Butler said...

Can we surmise that Pitcairn Island might be plan B, if milk quota proves unviable? Keep in mind the Vancouver resident and farseer that decided, given the inevitability of a nuclear holocaust and after conducting obesessively extensive research into the matter, that the best place to locate his family was the Falkland Islands.

He made the jump in 1981.

"Cassandra" said...

Of course, whether for shockvalue or deep-belief Lovelock says Berlin will climatically resemble Baghdad by 2050. The Faroes might be nice, or even your beloved Labrador which might be plenty inhabitatble by then if only one could tolerate the mozzies and blackflies.

Of course, Lovelock could be wrong, and the salinity change in the north-atlantic might very shut down the conveyor causing everything above 35-north on both side of the atlantic to be plunged into an ice-age of epic proportions that would make it all epically glacial and uninhabitable.

All I know is that I really wouldn't want to put myself or my eggs anywhere near Chittagong...