Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Key Trends for '09: Inflation & Food

plus solvency. That's critical...

"The hot trends for 2009 are:

* Inflation. Gold has started to move up. The U.S. dollar has started to move down. Overseas investors are cutting back on their purchases of dollar-denominated debt. And the faithful news consumer can see the beginnings of a tidal wave of articles and editorials worrying about the inevitability of inflation now that the Federal Reserve has decided to pay overtime to the crew that prints paper money.

* Food. Yes, food commodity stocks collapsed in 2008. And, yes, prices for food commodities went into a retreat that turned into a rout; the prices of major grains are down 50% from their 2008 peaks. But don't count on food getting cheaper still in 2009. All the signs point the other way. The United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization has warned that because of the global credit crunch, many farmers lack capital to buy seed and fertilizer for the 2009-10 growing season. That's likely to show up in commodity prices, via the futures market, by mid-2009.

* Stability. Companies able to deliver solid revenue and earnings at or maybe even a little above expectations are rare as hens' teeth at this stage of the recession. Companies with those kinds of results are also in a position to use the current global slowdown to attack weaker competitors, buy market share and aggressively develop new products. That's a combination investors particularly prize in the current uncertainty.

I'd give those three trends green lights right now. "


I just wish I knew a good way to short treasuries.


"The era of procrastination, of half-measures, of soothing and baffling expedients, of delays, is coming to a close. In its place, we are entering a period of consequences." - Winston Churchill, The Gathering Storm

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