Monday, December 1, 2008
Beer, the recession and the great depression
The economy is on life-support said Mike Whitney in Global Research (globalresearch.ca) six months ago, on June 2, 2008. But the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) has been waiting until today (Dec 1st) to declare us in a recession and estimate that the recession is in fact celebrating its first birthday today. It is very nice to hear that on the news because now a lot of people think that they are so much smarter than the NBER itself and we all need a little morale boost.
I think that this group is much too serious: they look at so many complex indicators that they get confused. They should follow the beer market. Even for somebody who has little passion for the economics of beer, it is obvious that the beer market has been in trouble. And if people start buying less beer, isn't it a sure sign of recession?
At random, from the news feed that fall on my desktop, here are a few signs:
1.- Anheuser-Busch has an early retirement program for 1,000 employees (Jeremiah McWilliams, Retirement day at Anheuser-Busch,12.01.2008)
2.- The company that distributes Budweiser to downtown Kansas City, went on strike Monday. (James Dornbrook, Kansas City Business Journal,12.01.2008)
3.- Heineken's S&N hit by consumer downturn (Latest Business News from Times Online,UK, 8.22.2008)
4.- Cobra put on sale by beer peer Bilimoria (Times Online,UK, 11.24.2008)
5.- Some small brewing company had to close its doors in Spain (I cant remember where I read that); I also know that small breweries complain in Texas.
All this, if you pardon the pun, has been brewing for a long time. The signs were there on Wall Street.
So I propose that we get a beer composite index, we call it BCI to look serious and it will tell us early that we are sliding into a real depression.
PS Please look at my list of uplifting movies (Dec on the right or click movies), I gave it my best.