Report from the editorial meeting

Six times a year, the Agora Financial editors converge from all over the world on Baltimore to exchange ideas about the state of the world and what it means for your investments.   Much of the discussion yesterday was frankly grim.

Of course the floods in the Midwest will only aggravate rising food prices.  But Kevin Kerr of Resource Trader Alert says the worst pain for consumers probably won't make itself felt till next year.  That is, for the moment the cattle and hog farmers have enough corn-based feed in reserve… but once that runs out, they'll slaughter a significant portion of their livestock and do nothing to replace it, because it will simply cost too much to do so.

Energy?  Not much better.  Byron King from Outstanding Investments is watching the rapid depletion of Mexico's Cantarell oil field.  I asked him what the latest estimates are for when Mexico goes the way of Indonesia and becomes a net oil importer.  2011, he said.  Not a good situation for the U.S. #2 supplier (after Canada).

We discussed any number of other matters too, the results of which will show up in the editors' recommendations to their paid membership in the weeks ahead.  You can access all of it with the Agora Financial Reserve.   Membership opens up only a couple of times a year, and one of those times is now. 

In-between meetings I'm still keeping my eye on the nonsense that passes for economic news in the mainstream press.  A front-page story in yesterday's Washington Post marked a severe setback to the burgeoning trend last month in which the accuracy of government economic figures were starting to come under scrutiny.  In the world of the Posties, the economy is just ducky and perception just isn't matching up with reality.  The notion that the books are being cooked wasn't even acknowledged.  Sigh.