Thursday, June 07, 2007

The Strategic Pig Reserve

The New York Times Business section is a great substitute for the comics.

Their article titled "In China and U.S., the Fear of Inflation Is Having Fallout Effects" comes with the above photo and the following priceless gem:

The crisis over pork prices in China, like the jolt many Americans feel when gasoline prices jump, offers one example of how prices can suddenly soar. The Chinese government is struggling to cope — including deliberating whether to sell a snuffling, smelly strategic reserve of hundreds of thousands of live pigs kept at special subsidized farms for precisely the shortage the country is now facing.

Beside the bizarre and improbable idea that you can stockpile pigs, the article also implies that rising pork prices have caused Chinese exporting firms to raise their prices:

Steep increases for pork loins and bacon are the most tangible sign that after a decade in which prices have fluctuated but not moved significantly upward, inflation is creeping back into China. In response to this pressure at home, Chinese companies are starting to raise prices for exports, removing what has been a brake on inflation in the West.

As a final comic touch, the article also equates the recent economic performance of Mexico (which has been fairly disappointing) with that of India (which has been astonishing):

With the global economy expanding at a robust pace, and prices rising in fast-developing countries like India and Mexico, central bankers and investors are becoming concerned.

I am not making this stuff up. Who needs Dilbert, when you have the prose stylings of Keith Bradsher??