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  • Grantham on Limits to Growth Part II

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/60686560/Grant-Ham

    I consider this an absolute ust-read if you have any interest in ag as I do...

  • #2
    Re: Grantham on Limits to Growth Part II

    Sorry, but the more I read of Grantham, the clearer his ideological posturing is revealed.

    The failure to mention anything whatsoever on currency devaluation in this article is one example.

    The attempt to reverse the infamous failed Malthusian/Ehrlich bet via an ex post facto rejiggering of its terms is another.

    And lastly the fact that Grantham is talking his book: his huge 'investments' in all the areas he's touting as going through 'inevitable depletion'.

    It isn't that limits don't exist on available material, it is that the reasons and time frame he puts forth have been repeated ad nauseam without any success for literally a hundred years.

    Soil is put forth, for example, as some type of vanishing resource. Were that true then all of China would be a desert; it has been under continuous and heavy cultivation for literally 3000 years.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Grantham on Limits to Growth Part II

      Originally posted by c1ue View Post
      Sorry, but the more I read of Grantham, the clearer his ideological posturing is revealed.

      The failure to mention anything whatsoever on currency devaluation in this article is one example.

      The attempt to reverse the infamous failed Malthusian/Ehrlich bet via an ex post facto rejiggering of its terms is another.

      And lastly the fact that Grantham is talking his book: his huge 'investments' in all the areas he's touting as going through 'inevitable depletion'.

      It isn't that limits don't exist on available material, it is that the reasons and time frame he puts forth have been repeated ad nauseam without any success for literally a hundred years.

      Soil is put forth, for example, as some type of vanishing resource. Were that true then all of China would be a desert; it has been under continuous and heavy cultivation for literally 3000 years.
      Granthan is not the first I have seen to address these topics (soil/water/fertilizee), but I believe he did a fine job of tossing them all together.

      In Uruguay where I farm they do no-till. It only makes sense. Save soil, save energy, save machiney wear, labor costs, etc. Obviously the cycle of peak oil indicates those are all things one would want to do, yet the "American Way" is usually the opposite.

      Yes, Grantham may talk his book, but don't we all? I talk farmland and gold because i believe in them and I own them thus I believe in them so I own them etc etc.

      Nowadays a "good" goldmine can get 40 grams from a ton of earth. Thats a lot of dirt to move for around a tenth of an ounce. No prospector would have spent his time doing that in the 1800's. They move loads of dirt for some copper, so even though it is still plentiful, what you find is no longer as concentrated and high quality.

      I believe in "peak oil". a decade a go almost no one did, and no one even ventured to addres the idea we ae running up against limits of growth in oil. Today some talk about "peak gold" where it gets too expensive to mine the stuff. We could soon be looking at "peak coal".

      Or, it could all be the rantings of a money manager with a pretty darn good track record making money for his clients...

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Grantham on Limits to Growth Part II

        as prominent and successful people get older, they start thinking about their legacies. grantham has a long history as a value investor and long-term oriented thinker. he was never a trader. his most recent writings reflect his thinking about investments, yes, but also about bigger social and economic issues. he foresaw the bubbles, and now he foresees a much broader and deeper disaster. so he is trying his best to sound the alarm.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Grantham on Limits to Growth Part II

          Originally posted by jk View Post
          as prominent and successful people get older, they start thinking about their legacies. grantham has a long history as a value investor and long-term oriented thinker. he was never a trader. his most recent writings reflect his thinking about investments, yes, but also about bigger social and economic issues. he foresaw the bubbles, and now he foresees a much broader and deeper disaster. so he is trying his best to sound the alarm.
          +1

          You don't need to be older and wiser to understand that we live on a finite planet and are consuming it's resources like they were infinite. You only have to understand simple arithmetic.

          Comment


          • #6
            The 21st century is when everything changes

            Other Economists see it also.

            With government finances still dealing with the aftershocks that are rippling out of the epicentre of the financial credit crunch, the world economy could do with a period of calm in which to heal.

            Unfortunately, it is not going to get it.

            Globally we are in the midst of an even bigger credit crunch. The world is undergoing an environmental credit crunch, and the consequences of this for economies and markets make the financial credit crunch look positively tame.

            Credit is a simple concept. Credit is just the ability to use tomorrow’s resources to raise today’s standard of living. A credit crunch is when that time travel transfer is no longer possible. The financial credit crunch stopped us leveraging off tomorrow’s income to raise today’s consumption. The environmental credit crunch is about the inability to keep consuming finite resources to raise today’s standard of living.

            Those who think that the concept of an environmental credit crunch is an abstract notion or something only for the medium term are missing the point.

            The rise in global commodity prices in recent years is the visible manifestation of an environmental credit crunch – and it matters to investors and economies as wealth is transferred around the world.

            The environmental constraints on economic activity are also visible today. The world is effectively financing a third of its economic standard of living today through the consumption of finite resources. It is like borrowing on credit card for four months of the year to pay for one’s lifestyle. It is not a good idea.

            Why investors need to pay attention to this situation at the moment is the potent combination of a financial credit crunch and an environmental credit crunch. The financial credit crunch is limiting the supply of capital in the world economy, and raising the cost of that capital when it is available. Tackling the environmental credit crunch requires more investment – not to grow, but just to maintain existing standards of living.

            Governments have fewer and fewer resources to shape outcomes, and through their policies may actually be making both the financial and the environmental credit crunch worse.
            http://ftalphaville.ft.com/blog/2011...thing-changes/

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Grantham on Limits to Growth Part II

              Originally posted by doom&gloom View Post
              Granthan is not the first I have seen to address these topics (soil/water/fertilizee), but I believe he did a fine job of tossing them all together.

              In Uruguay where I farm they do no-till. It only makes sense. Save soil, save energy, save machiney wear, labor costs, etc. Obviously the cycle of peak oil indicates those are all things one would want to do, yet the "American Way" is usually the opposite.

              Yes, Grantham may talk his book, but don't we all? I talk farmland and gold because i believe in them and I own them thus I believe in them so I own them etc etc.

              Nowadays a "good" goldmine can get 40 grams from a ton of earth. Thats a lot of dirt to move for around a tenth of an ounce. No prospector would have spent his time doing that in the 1800's. They move loads of dirt for some copper, so even though it is still plentiful, what you find is no longer as concentrated and high quality.

              I believe in "peak oil". a decade a go almost no one did, and no one even ventured to addres the idea we ae running up against limits of growth in oil. Today some talk about "peak gold" where it gets too expensive to mine the stuff. We could soon be looking at "peak coal".

              Or, it could all be the rantings of a money manager with a pretty darn good track record making money for his clients...
              While Grantham may have a fine investment record, this does not in any way qualify him to judge anything else.

              More importantly, when someone like Grantham spends literally hundreds of millions astroturfing, or at a minimum marketing, a specific theme, beware.

              As I noted previously, the transparent attempt to resurrect the failed Club of Rome policies, said policy itself being one of a long line of Malthusian failed prophecies, doesn't inspire confidence.

              That said Malthusian spirits are also being used to justify ever greater concentration of assets like food production is equally suspect.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Grantham on Limits to Growth Part II

                Originally posted by c1ue View Post
                While Grantham may have a fine investment record, this does not in any way qualify him to judge anything else.

                More importantly, when someone like Grantham spends literally hundreds of millions astroturfing, or at a minimum marketing, a specific theme, beware.

                As I noted previously, the transparent attempt to resurrect the failed Club of Rome policies, said policy itself being one of a long line of Malthusian failed prophecies, doesn't inspire confidence.

                That said Malthusian spirits are also being used to justify ever greater concentration of assets like food production is equally suspect.
                How do you feel about Jim Rogers, who has been touting ag now fo about a decade?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Grantham on Limits to Growth Part II

                  Originally posted by doom&gloom
                  How do you feel about Jim Rogers, who has been touting ag now fo about a decade?
                  Jim Rogers touts ag as a theme, but he doesn't attempt to cloak it in some imprimature of saving Gaia.

                  As such if he chooses to highlight the investment opportunities inherent in ag, there's nothing wrong with that. There are many reasons why an ag investment can make sense: 3rd world populations eating more meat, for example.

                  However, this is a far cry from "we're all going to die from overpopulation and soil erosion".

                  Jim Rogers, as far as I've seen, does nothing in terms of spending tens and hundreds of millions funding studies which promote his investment goals.

                  Comment

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