Friday, October 9, 2015

The Butter Bubble of 2015

Tyler Durden at Zerohedge reported that butter set a price record of $3.10/lb on the Chicago Mercantile on September 24th, but since then, prices have ... well ... melted down to $2.51/lb by the end of the month.  A very abrupt bubble, probably brought on by concerns over the California drought. 

Now ZH's point is that this sort of inflation is completely disregarded in the inflation numbers that the reports.  According to their hedonics adjustments, because you can get a more powerful computer this year for the same price as the previous models, or a little more, the better/faster computer actually led to a decrease in your cost of living.  Even though you paid more for it. 

Ain't Hedonics wonderful?  As ZH says, channeling Jamie Dimon, "let them eat iPhones." 

I'll just note in passing that at $2.50/lb for butter, my refrigerator has to be worth north of $100,000. 


  1. We all know how The Fed just loves to cook the books about things like inflation and unemployment, and I'm not surprised other industries are doing it now.....

  2. Here in Montana I've seen commercially made butter selling for over $4.50 a pound, with some locally made "organic" butter selling for $5.25 a pound. At this point, finding butter for less than $3.28 per pound is hard to do.

    Your refrigerator must involve a warp or a small black hole. I have 200 pounds of butter in a separate freezer, and at $2.50 a pound, that's only $500. $100,000 divided by $2.50 equals 40,000 pounds. I think we're talking a freezer _warehouse_ here. Do you need a partner?

    Sorry, I wasn't using Hedonics when I did that math. That should be closer to 400 pounds of butter, right?

    That would easily fit in my freezer if I was willing to get rid of the elk, salmon, homegrown beef and hamburger (all of these from friends), plus the odd beef and pork roasts, chicken, frozen coconut shrimp and other stuff I find on sale at the local supermarket. And let's not forget Umpqua Dairy ice cream - like their "Espresso Madness". Delicious coffee flavored ice cream with "espresso chips" - bitter sweet chocolate chips flavored with espresso coffee.

  3. Yes, that is the same "Umpqua" that is in the news. Their dairy is outside of town, but their milk, cream, etc. is processed for sale at their facility in Roseburg, OR.

    Home of the black (half, like our President) psychopathic, Christian-shooting, self-shooting coward named "If I had a son he would look just like me [Obama]" Mercer.

    I no longer live in the Roseburg area, but I know some folks there who - I hope - went to where Obama was speaking and then turned their backs on him, while he was speaking. You'll never hear it on the news, though, if it did happen.

    Apologies for digressing there.

  4. "Your refrigerator must involve a warp or a small black hole. I have 200 pounds of butter in a separate freezer, and at $2.50 a pound, that's only $500. $100,000 divided by $2.50 equals 40,000 pounds. I think we're talking a freezer _warehouse_ here. Do you need a partner?"

    Reg, I must have said a billion times that I tend to exaggerate at times in the name of humor.

    I only have 15 pounds. Maybe 20, tops, I honestly don't know. But it's Kerry Gold, which is a buck or two more.

  5. Oh, by the way, when we were in Israel last August, probably the most temptation I had - and succumbed to regularly - were ice cream bars called Magnum Black, I think. Dark chocolate with espresso streaks in it. My mouth is watering just thinking of it. Of course, any ice cream is good when it's 105 and you're hot as can be, but the combination was fantastic.

    Then I went zero carb diet and I haven't touched ice cream since then...

  6. I've stopped using butter for most cooking. I substitute coconut oil for frying foods and use much less of that instead of butter, and it's cheaper and healthier, too.

  7. Bless both of you. Being healthy - or healthier, at least - is an excellent goal. I truly respect the choices you have made.

    Being 64, with several significant maladies including a bad lower back which just endured two surgeries within six days of each other, I opted years ago for hedonism over health. I wasn't kidding about those 200 pounds of butter. Cooking, sauces, in - and on - homemade breads, even spread across the top of oatmeal cookies (when I'm not using peanut butter), my wife and I (mostly me) consume about two pounds per week.

    Sorry. That was mean of me, but I'm sure you both are made of sterner stuff than I. I was married to a woman before my current, second wife. Six months into that first marriage, I was informed there were two rooms in our home my wife had no use for - the bedroom and the kitchen. I stayed for another eight years (long and boring story, but it involved my current wife of 21 years, who had been my sweetheart before I married the American Princess) before I pulled the pin.

    During that time, the only real pleasure I had was in what I ate. I didn't balloon in weight, because I worked full time, was a volunteer fireman, a reserve police officer, and raised draft horses, dairy goats, free range chickens, fruit trees and a large vegetable garden. I was far too busy to feel sorry for myself or to gain much weight. Bucking ten tons of alfalfa hay into my hay barn each Fall, lifting 60 pounds of harness onto the 18 hands-high back of a Shire draft horse, bucking and splitting the six cords of wood I burned each winter, and other chores probably had a bit to do with how my back turned out, as well :-) I actually enjoyed all of that work, though.

    Hope that wasn't TMI. Once I get started, it's hard to shut me up.

  8. Anon - Yeah, I have about another $100,000 worth of coconut oil.

    Also, try avocado oil. Pricey, but good stuff.

    Reg - no problem. Fits right in.