Tuesday, September 21, 2010

El-Erian speaks bluntly; Investors are Crazy for Farmland; Canadian Farmer can't Eke Out a Profit; plus more Economic News

  1. Mohammed El-Erian makes a rather remarkable statement in this article from Marketwatch, which is about European ineffective country bailout and solvency concerns: “Rather than provide assurances of better times ahead and, thus, encourage new investments, ECB/EU/IMF support funding is being used by existing investors to exit their exposures to the most vulnerable peripheral European countries.” [marketwatch]
  2. Yet another article describing the investor frenzy into farmland and all things ag-related as an imaginary "sure bet" or some kind of new fictional "gold standard". Also, according to the article, foreign investors have doubled their California Ag land holdings in a two-year time period. [LA Times]
  3. Now, contrast the above article to this Canadian one lamenting how difficult it is for a farmer to make a survivable wage. [rocky view weekly]
  4. Ancient wheat varieties from Mexico are drought and heat tolerant, perhaps offering what's needed for climate change conditions. Mexico has experienced extreme drought followed by flooding in the past two years. [Reuters]
  5. Dr. Francis Thicke, Iowa author of "A New Vision for Iowa Food and Agriculture" is running for Iowa's secretary of agriculture. [Grist]
  6. Sharing and bartering garden produce and everything else in Brooklyn. [NYT]
  7. Upon their Chef's suggestion, now 80 employees at Google are caring for four five-story bee hives on their campus. [google blog]
  8. More pie in the sky public pension plan expectations spell more trouble down the road. Unbelievable. [WSJ]
  9. Here is a U.S. interactive map showing state unemployment rates. It is updated with the August numbers. [WSJ]
  10. The U.S. is helping to provide 100 million clean-burning cooking stoves to Asia, Africa, and South America. Unfortunately, they need to be replaced every two to five years. [NYT]
  11. The labeling debate on the fast growing, genetically modified salmon. [WSJ]
  12. Japanese vegetable farm is a hit in Britain. [Japan Times]
  13. BONUS: Pork chops in cider with apples [Seattle Times]