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The Bet - Defusing the Population Bomb


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The Bet - Defusing the Population Bomb

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Two economists, one big Issue : LIMITS.

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Paul Ehrlich wrote the Population Bomb in the 1970's, predicting that rising population would put up the prices of all resources, including food, energy, metals, and everything else. In fact, he thought a famine was already starting.

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Julian Simon, an economist who had studied the same issue, disagreed with Ehrlich's thesis. And was willing to make a bet. He suggested that they put together a basket of five commodities costing $1,000, and after 10 years, if the price went down, Erhlich was to pay him the downside difference. And if they went up, Ehrlich would get the upside difference. (In effect, it was an early derivatives trade.)

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"Simon even allowed Mr Ehrlich to rig the terms in his favor: Mr Ehrlich was allowed to select the five commodities that would be yardstick."

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Ehrlich consulted colleagues, and chose:

Chromium, Copper, Nickel, Tin, and Tungsten.

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The Bet ended in October 1990,

and Ehrlich sent Simon a check for $576.07, showing that the average price of teh five commodities had fallen by more than half.

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"Although world population had increased by 800 million during the term of the wager, the five metals had dropped by more than 50.%."

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Ehrlich proved to be a poor loser, and went on rubbishing those who diagreed with him. And instead of suffering some penalty for being wrong on important parts of his thesis, he gets kudos and funding from big foundations.

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Ehrlich choose the wrong 10 Years - had he realised that China's emergence would be the big catalyst,

he might have waited a few decades to make The Bet

 

Copper ... Long Term price

 

uzgc.png

 

Platinum ... LT-no lines

 

8kdr.png

 

Palladium ... LT-no lines

 

1ctv.png

 

Silver ... LT-no lines

 

p9s5.png

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From 2000, Moly had a great run

 

20130821_image004.jpg

 

Like a determined tortoise, Tungsten caught up

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