“No Man’s life liberty or property is safe while the legislature is in session”.

- attributed to NY State Judge Gideon Tucker

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Glenn Beck's Faulty- Or Misleading- Reporting On Chocolate Inflation

I love chocolate. I take it sort of seriously.

So a few weeks ago, amidst his earlier programs about George Soros, Glenn Beck addressed the Fed's QE2 and its inflationary consequences.

Among the various commodities he spotlighted for price rises, Beck included chocolate. He reported that pundits with whom he or his staff had consulted forecast a $1.25 (or thereabouts) Hershey chocolate bar would soar to $7.

From the context and arrangement of the program's reporting, it was hard to miss the implication that chocolate prices are going to rise due to a weakened dollar. And maybe....maybe....global demand among newly-enriched nations.

Then, this morning, on CNBC, I happened to catch a much more deeply-reported version of the $7 chocolate bar story.

It seems that some foreign countries which are currently sources of cocoa beans are beginning to take acreage out of cocoa and plant more profitable crops. Meanwhile, global demand for chocolate is rising.

So, in the short term, there might be some upward pressure on chocolate prices, due to upward pressure on cocoa prices. In the very short term, the reported contended, there may even be some shortages.

But, happily, this is a normal economic supply-demand thing. Vietnam is reportedly planting cocoa. Other countries may, too, to replace the lost acreage and reap the higher cocoa prices currently being experienced. Then there are research efforts by trade groups to develop a cocoa bean that can survive in less forgiving environments, i.e., more temperate, less tropical ones.

So any near-term chocolate and cocoa price rises will probably be short-lived. And the source of the price rises have little to do with a weak dollar, although they are partially a function of rising global appetites for the sweet stuff.

I like Glenn Beck, and consider him to often do public service by providing useful information on various political topics. Especially semi- or totally-hidden, Progressive movement antics.

But in this case, on this story, Beck and his staff appear to have gotten it mostly wrong.

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