Panic buying 2020-style

The contents of our freezer after most recent grocery trip: Salmon, a small jar of salmon roe, other Alaskan fish, some bone broth, our ground bison, and other odds and ends.

Yesterday we happened to get to Schnuck’s just as they were putting out packages of toilet paper, so we snagged two big packages.

I’m really bemused by what they are and are not out of. Onions were all gone, except a small number of organic white onions. Ground beef all gone (but we snagged a pound of ground bison, which I figure will be much better anyway, at almost twice the price of beef, of course). All the other stuff we buy routinely was there.

I can’t help but wonder what someone from the 1700s would say if we told them that people were panic-buying in the face of a plague outbreak, and then showed them a grocery store where all you could get was unlimited fruit (including tropical fruit), unlimited veggies (except onions), unlimited amounts of all the premium cuts of meat, and unlimited staples like flour, sugar, rice, beans, etc.

We also got a big carton of beer and a big bottle of whiskey, in case of emergency.

2020-03-13 10:52

Vicki Robin of Your Money or Your Life is right about responding to Covid-19 if you’re financially independent:

I wake up every morning asking, “What can I do for others to ease their material or psychological pain as Covid-19 upends our lives?” and “How can I use my leadership in communities of influence to increase vigilance where people are slack and calm where people are freaked?” The privilege of financial independence is the ability to serve.

Source: FI, FIRE and Covid-19; are we better set for this virus?

2020-02-07 10:50

I observed a year ago that post-crisis bank regulation amounted to the Fed admitting that it was a failure, with banks treating reserves like pre-1913 banks treated gold. So I’m pleased to see that at least some Fed officials understand that this is a problem.

it is worth remembering that a principal reason for the Federal Reserve’s creation was to facilitate the movement of reserves when needed from banks with an excess reserve position to those in need of reserves

Source: Federal Reserve Board – The Economic Outlook, Monetary Policy, and the Demand for Reserves

2019-12-18 05:41

Do municipal taxes bring in enough money to maintain our urban and suburban infrastructure? In the densest urban areas, probably yes. Otherwise, generally no.

It might shock most people to learn that in many American cities, the poorest neighborhoods subsidize the wealthiest.

Source: This ‘Ponzi scheme’ surrounding development leaves most cities and towns functionally insolvent