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A Bargain No Matter How You Look At It

I am sick and spreading my illness to all who come close; I’d sit a little further back from the screen if I were you.

  • Worried about the Mayan Doom Prophecy? Rich Stevens has you covered:

    For $2,012, I will personally prevent the end of all life on Earth if the Apocalypse occurs on December 21, 2012. No refunds if by some off chance a religious prophecy was misinterpreted and winds up being bullshit.

    Sounds like the best deal since the invention of post-rapture pet care.

  • For a rebuttal with today’s sign of the apocalypse, let’s go to Robert Khoo:

    For anyone that sells apparel, bad news today. India stopped all cotton exports. Global prices on the white stuff are going up.

    Reuters and the Wall Street Journal treated the story in a somewhat dry manner, but I found a couple of quotes in the WSJ story that may indicate that it’s not necessarily gloom for your favorite t-shirt monger:

    The announcement sent cotton prices on the ICE Futures U.S. exchange higher. But domestic prices will likely plunge, said A. Ramani, secretary of the Indian Cotton Federation. They have already slid over the past year on expectations of a record crop this year.

    This is the second time in nearly two years that India has banned cotton exports in response to concerns about local supplies.

    The front-month ICE Futures U.S. cotton contract, which had dropped from above 200 cents a pound a year ago to less than 90 cents, surged 4.337 cents, or 4.9%, to 92.23 cents midday in New York.

    So let’s recap — cotton prices are up about 5%, but are still less than half what they were a year ago. That drop didn’t result in t-shirts becoming suddenly more affordable, so hopefully a small recoup in prices won’t be used as an excuse to jack up prices now¹. Other analyses remind us that global production and market supply are actually up over last year, meaning this may be a temporary thing.

  • Even if we are heading to a hellish future of all life extinguished/slightly higher t-shirt prices, no reason we can’t laugh along the way — Business Insider magazine will have you meet your doom with some insights from Zach Weiner on how he does what he does. Just in time for his birthday², too. Happy Birthday, Zach — by living one more day, you made the BI headline a total lie.

¹ Since as we all know, large international firms would never engage in such asymmetry in pricing to their profit and the consumer’s detriment.

² Also my sister’s. Happy Birthday, Laura; I hope you’re enjoying those umbrella drinks in the piano bar of that enormous cruise ship you’re on.

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