Each week, wholesale grower Lloyd Traven of Peace Tree Farm in Pennsylvania sends out an engaging and highly opinionated rant to his garden center customers along with the most current availability, order forms and pictures of plants in the greenhouse. Here is an excerpt from his most recent rant that focused on the struggling economy.
October 14–Ostrich Or An Eagle?
Well, after a long struggle and while you waited for a new rant to appear in your mailbox, your time has finally come! I’ve sat on the sidelines ruminating about just what the heck is going on in our world, in our country and in our industry. We’ve gotten together like lemmings at the various trade shows, regaling each other about how incredibly awful each of our individual situations are, and getting the instant feedback of “Oh yeah? You think YOU have it bad? LEMMETELLYA SUMPIN’!!!”
Sure, it was tough, but we kept telling ourselves this has happened before, it will happen again and we will get through it. Well, weren’t we all surprised by the depth? Even though Paul Krugman said this was coming (he just got the Nobel Prize for economics), even though Warren Buffett said YEARS ago the financial derivatives are an economic weapon of mass destruction, most of us refused to listen. After all, we were all making SO MUCH MONEY on our houses. The problem is you only make the money if you SELL IT, and only at a higher price than you paid.
HMMMMMM. Sounds pretty much like investing in a greenhouse.
For Charlie Hall, the Ellison Chair of Ag Econ at Texas A&M, would an “I told you so” be too forward? The silver lining: Stocks are cheap right now, so I can rebuild my 101K (it used to be a 401K). Seriously folks, pay CLOSE ATTENTION to Charlie’s blog, sign up today and read it religiously–or atheistically if you prefer. But READ IT. It’s called Making Cents. I wonder if it used to be called Making Dollars?
The Dow seems to be gyrating around 1,000 points a day right now, and while it is comforting to see the occasional uptick, we’re still 25 percent down. One thousand points in a day? That’s not informed buying; that a frenzy. Either way it swings, and in my book it just points out that almost nobody has the slightest clue what to do or what will work.
I do know, however, that the government does NOT have an actual TRILLION dollars sitting somewhere that it is writing these checks against–and that REALLY bothers me. Last I looked, when Peace Tree writes a check (and it sure hurts to do that right now), we need to have some money in the account to back that up. I hereby declare us to be the Sovereign Farm at Peace Tree. We will now simply print more fictional money to back our checks–don’t worry, the grandkids will make it good for you.