Daily Speculations

The Web Site of Victor Niederhoffer & Laurel Kenner

Dedicated to the scientific method, free markets, deflating ballyhoo, creating value, and laughter;  a forum for us to use our meager abilities to make the world of specinvestments a better place.

 

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7/30/04
Victor Niederhoffer: The Rain in Siberia...

...falls mainly after the crop has been harvested. For many years, while the Galbraiths and Samuelsons spoke about the Russia economic miracle and how growth there was similar to us. They were victimized by bad weather just before crop time. That was the explanation for why they had to buy from the us. bad crop weather. and the wrong kind of insects. Similarly jim lorie always liked to say when we played squash doubles on same team together that he was definitely the better player because I hit 95% of the balls, which meant the other team was playing the ball to me.

One is reminded of this by the remark today by a speculator friend over dinner, one who is the greatest speculator of any I have ever known, that the weather for the corn crop this year was a horn of plenty, a garden of Eden...and this explained the drop in price. We both had to laugh when I mentioned the two above anecdotes to him, and said simultaneously that "yes, there is always a garden of Eden after price the previous year doubles."

Indeed, a trip to Omaha to visit the Sage indicated the weather was so good that every home owner had planted a victory garden of corn on his own homestead.

7/31/04
Stephen M. Stigler Comments

Nice story. Reminds me of the story in Simon Newcomb's book Principles of Political Economy (1885) of the causative relationship between malaria and quinine. It seems that both are more common in the wetter southern states and that the shipments of quinine into the region predate the peak of the season for malaria by a few weeks.