H/t reader Squodgy.
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Continue to prepare for collapse.
It’s been about a decade since the term “mortgage arbitrage” made headlines. It’s back.
In the clearest sign yet of just how late far the investing cycle the developed world finds itself, the FT writes that wealthy British homeowners are again borrowing against their property to invest in bonds, equities, alternative investments or commercial property as the low cost of debt creates opportunities for “mortgage arbitrage”. And while taking out a mortgage to invest in “safer” arbs like corporate bonds, commercial real estate or private equity would be at least understandable, if not excusable, in the current low-yield regime, some more extreme “investment” decisions suggest that the madness and euphoria that marked the peak of the last asset bubble is back: because while growing numbers are prepared to risk using their primary residence as collateral, some are ready to gamble on extremely volatile assets like bitcoin, wine and cars.
With vineyards being damaged globally because of unusual freeze events and massive hail storms, global wine production is at 20 year lows. Additionally all food prices globally are now being blamed on Brexit and currency valuations, not anything to do with the weather.
Climate changes bring upheaval http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/art…
World wine production down 20% http://www.independent.co.uk/news/bus…
Argentina wine production losses http://www.freshplaza.com/article/148…
French vineyards hail damage http://www.wine-searcher.com/m/2014/0…
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– Mainstream media falls for California wine arsenic HOAX story: wine industry victimized by scientifically illiterate reporting (Natural News, March 23, 2015):
It makes you wonder why the media would sound an hysterical, irrational alarm over 50 ppb of arsenic in wine but remain totally silent about 50,000 ppb of mercury in flu shots which are INJECTED into the body (which is far more toxic than merely swallowing something). It turns out that if you’re concerned about arsenic in wine, you should be at least 100 times more concerned about mercury in flu shots.
– Organic Wine Producer Nearly Imprisoned for Refusing to Spray Pesticides (Activist Post, April 8, 2014):
I still don’t feel guilty. It’s intolerable today to be forced to hide and to be frightened for taking a stand. –Emmanuel Giboulot
Last year I wrote about a major pesticide problem in French wines. One that had unfortunate results. For instance, 90% of those wines, even vintage, were contaminated with unsafe pesticide chemical levels. One farmer died from exposure, and wine farmers there were shown to have much higher rates of brain cancer and dementia.
One would think organic wines would be the way to go. French labels depict organic with the words Vin Biologique. But now, with a new directive that completely undermines “organic” – it is uncertain. That is, if this normally very American, Canadian and English trend on choking out organic small farm freedom continues in France.
– Industry revolts as federal health agency proposes ban on discount booze (The Australian, Oct 13, 2012):
CHEAP wine will be banned under a federal health agency’s plan to make drinkers pay at least $8-$10 for a bottle of booze.
The Federal Government’s Australian National Preventative Health Agency will advise this week that a “floor price” and new taxes be calculated as a way to make alcohol dearer.
The prohibition plan to stop cheap drunks binging on discount drinks – including cask wine and cleanskins – has delighted health groups but sparked an alcohol industry revolt.
Consumers who drink cheap wine are not all drunks, industry groups have told the agency, and not everyone can afford an expensive tipple.
– Gold ‘Divine’ As Chinese Sell Wine (ZeroHedge, July 16, 2012)
– Gold vs Wine: We Have A Winner (ZeroHedge, Nov. 28, 2011):
One may not be able to eat gold, and one can certainly drink wine (in fact, in moderation it is encouraged by the surgeon general), yet when it comes to the age-old competition of which one makes a better wealth-preserving investment, we finally have a clear winner.