Game Changer: Dwindling Resources

The Wall Street Journal: WSJ MONEY, Fall, 2013


THE GRANTHAM FILE:  A famed bad-news predictor is worried about dwindling resources–but sees opportunity, too. By Jan Salisbury

“Jeremy Grantham’s got a track record that’s impossible to ignore–he called the internet bubble, then the housing bubble.”  According to the article, in early 2009, the week stocks hit their “post Lehman low,” Mr. Grantham advised clients to get back into the market.  “Now, however, the outspoken Yorkshireman, who is chief investment strategist at GMO, is making headlines with a new prediction: Dire, Malthusian warnings about environmental catastrophe…

Question to Jeremy Grantham:  You’ve been ringing alarm bells about commodity prices.  Why all the worry?

Answer: They came down for a hundred years by an average of 70 percent, and then sorting around 2002, they shot up and basically everything tripled–and I mean everything.  I think tobacco was the only one that went down.  They’ve given back a hundred years of price decline and they gave it back between ’02 and ’08, in six years.  The game had changed.  I suspect the game changed because of the ridiculous growth rates in China–such a large country, with 1.3 billion people using 45 percent of the coal used in the world, 50 percent of all the cement and 40 percent of all the copper.  I mean these are numbers that you can’t keep on rolling along without expecting something to go tilt.

I italized sports terms that are used as idioms.  Track record is used in field sports, track and horse racing. It is also used to point out a long term accomplishment, for instance in financial predictions.  Game changer is used  not only in sports, but war, and other life activities.


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