Capital Thinking • Issue #734 • View online
It was after being sent this interview with media tycoon John Malone, and the subsequent perplexed look on Jim Cramer’s face, while grasping what John had said, that prompted me to revisit one of our more interesting investments that I’d like to share today.
It was earlier this year that we started positioning capital for just one of the inevitable consequences of lockdowns – higher food prices.
John, it seems, agrees with us, much to Cramer’s shock, though I’m not sure why – because this is such an utterly simple investment idea to grasp.
Let me show you.
You see, we’ve all been told to stay at home and hide under the bed, and just in case we said…”pah the hell with you, I’m off to Barbados” they promptly shut the borders.
And so given we couldn’t get to Barbados, and instead fancied drowning our sorrows with a pint down at the pub, they shuttered our ability to do that too.
Annoying for sure, but something far more serious than your cancelled Barbados vacation took place… and it continues as I write this today.
I am referring to the completely insane restrictions placed on farming and logistics operators, making it either illegal for farms to operate, (hiring of labour to harvest produce, or deeming them “non essential”) while making it next to impossible for many food producers to move their produce around the world.
We’d all have been forgiven for thinking Governments couldn’t possibly be THAT stupid. Sure they’re incompetent, but intentionally destroying food supply is not only stupendously thick, but murderous.
Well, like so many other things filed under “what the actual f***?!”, we were being too generous.
Here’s what we originally wrote to Insider members, many months ago, when we shared how we were investing ourselves:
The lockdown touted as a “cure” for the virus promises to be a curse and absolutely worse than the Corona would have ever been. Worse by orders of magnitude.
The crowd has failed to appreciate an even greater emerging problem – global food production.
As trade walls go up and governments panic about preserving their own food sources, the government’s actions to this virus threaten to disrupt global supply chains.
Millions of migrant workers involved in agriculture and food production are now immobile due to border crackdowns. This has left produce unharvested and much-needed food left to rot in fields.
Seasonal laborers from Eastern Europe are missing on the farms of Spain, Germany, Italy, and France. India has limited rice exports due to labor shortages.
Russia, the world’s largest wheat exporter, is limiting grain exports from April to June. Egypt, the world’s biggest wheat importer, has ramped up grain purchases and halted all exports of legumes.
Vietnam and Myanmar have banned rice exports and this folks is just an appetiser of supply restrictions.
Did you know all of this is going on? I suspect not.
The hysterical wailing and gnashing of teeth by the hand wringing mainstream media aren’t interested in what truly matters. Certainly not in the truth that’s for bloody sure, and as a consequence market participants from sea to shining sea seem gleefully oblivious to the problems that are coming down the track like a freight train.
We read reports of farmers having to euthanize (pretty word for shoot) pigs that were ready for slaughter and aborting sows in pigs, and gassing countless chickens.
It’s disgusting, maddening and heartbreaking all at once but that is what happens when supply chains are messed with
We sincerely wished we had been wrong in our analysis. Sadly today, it looks as though we are very much correct.
“But wait… Chris, what about the virus which could have killed so many more people if we didn’t do lockdowns!? The virus Chris, the virus!”
Ah yes, the dreaded “Rona”.
This would be the virus that is at least 40x less deadly than the utterly debunked models all these rules were singularly based off.
And the virus that brought all these “temporary” measures that we seem to now enjoy in perpetuity.
The same virus which is now immune from critical discussion, with social media censoring debate, including and especially from a rising wall of dissenting opinions of hundreds of thousands of health professionals.
The virus which is factually not particularly dissimilar to the seasonal flu.
If reading this last sentence caused you to twitch in suspicion that I am some uninformed, ignorant idiot who does not care about millions dying, then I challenge you to keep reading to the end, and, if you disagree with any points below, be brave enough to share them in the comments section.
Productive discussion using reason and logic used to be how we arrived at the truth. Now of course, we have Facebook, Twitter, Google, and that ridiculously inept or just downright corrupt “fact checking” site – Snopes… and all the other fact knowers who do that job for us. Shut up and accept the narrative you damn plebs.
But let’s be generous and say the virus is four times as deadly as the flu, which would place it in the “Ebola on steroids” category which is of course what we were led to believe we were facing. Well how did that turn out?
Here is an approx. average, courtesy of the CDC:
Let’s be generous and say that instead of the number of deaths being wildly exaggerated, the government number crunching boffins undercounted the actual deaths from the virus, and the global death toll wasn’t 1.46m as it is today, but 2m (which would be less than the upper range of the now infamous Imperial College prediction for US deaths alone, but I digress).
Would such a result have still justified the catastrophe we now face?
Here’s where I’d like to introduce you to iatrogenics (the cure being worse than the ailment).
This is from the David Nabarro, a chap neck deep in the upper echelons of the World Health Organisation, Imperial College and the UN, talking to This Week In 60 Minutes in mid October.
“I want to say it again: we in the World Health Organization do not advocate lockdowns as a primary means of control of this virus. [. . .] We may well have a doubling of world poverty by next year. We may well have at least a doubling of child malnutrition because children are not getting meals at school and their parents and poor families are not able to afford it.
This is a terrible, ghastly global catastrophe, actually. And so we really do appeal to all world leaders: stop using lockdown as your primary control method. Develop better systems for doing it. Work together and learn from each other. But remember, lockdowns just have one consequence that you must never, ever belittle, and that is making poor people an awful lot poorer.”
David Nabarro, Special Envoy to the WHO
Wow, it’s like he’s saying that lockdowns weren’t a great idea. How could that be?
Wasn’t Fauci just applauding Australia for taking such “decisive action” and crushing the spread of the disease?
Don’t the CDC and WHO agree on these things?
Apparently a lot of people asked that question, which is presumably why Nabarro then went on to say he was “misquoted”.
His colleague had a less than impressive stab at clearing the confusion on live TV in Australia, which is home to many who didn’t take too kindly to being told they’d spent the last 6 months as prisoners in their own homes for nothing: