Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Inflation Lesson

My Kirkland brand battery went soft on the big SUV. Luck for me Costco has an excellent prorata replacement policy. At ~33 months it was 100%. Good thing too. The records show the battery cost $55.61 price + tax + core charge in November 2005. The new battery would have cost $81.20 had I had to purchase it. Yes, 17% per year annualized price increases. Yes, we are entering a deflationary period and yes, commodities bubbles are bursting. Oil never even tried to hold $100, glod is cratering. Me? I'm looking for a distress sale of junk silver in a few more dollars. Still, the deflation is in things you don't need. It is the stuff you must have that are spinning out of control. The Fed has no clue. Money is far too swift to catch in their vice of devaluation.
Update: This is almost exactly what my Expy looks like:


w said...

Imagine being a vendor selling to CostC: "Now pay attention, we demand the right to have our customers return anything for any reason forever if we grant you access to them."

As for gold, you won't be laughing when Lehman, WaMu, Wachovia, Citibank, The State of California, retirement annuities, and pretty much everything goes broke and all of the major economies in the world are printing money faster than they can give it away.

Rob Dawg said...

I'm not laughing now. I'm having a hard time making money and lots of clients are trimming outside expenses like me. Costco is a pretty responsible company. They are tough but fair. Unlike the other big box that squeezes their supply chain til they choke. Things like generous return policies are a business strategm built into the business model. They make it up in loyalty easy.

Oh, side note, I don't work for Tim although I know him and did once work for his dad many years ago.

Casey Serin said...

Hey Bobbo, how about you trim your budget by not drinking 1950's vintage Chateau Latour every night with your fish bucket? ;-)

In other news, check my twitter -- had to sell 100,000 shares of GSPG to pay bills. THE LIQUIDATION OF MY ONLY ASSET BEGINS!! :-p

Son of Brock Landers said...

Thanks for not just shouting your deflation or hyperinflation theme in caps lock for 3 sentences and cherry picking data.

any comment on the horrible tax initiative that might be on the Cali referendum ballots that involves jacking up taxes and adding in an 'exit' tax? it's one of the dumbest referendum pieces i have seen in years, and growing up in Maine, I saw plenty.

incessant_din said...

I'm still unsure about inflation/deflation. I'm thinking extreme volatility with a period of about 18 months between swings. dollar strong, dollar weak, dollar strong, dollar weak. I think the trend is inflationary, but wage pressures keep coming back to provide the restoring force.

One prediction I'm still standing by is that California gets the rust belt treatment due to overpriced housing forcing overinflated salaries. Add in the painful tax measures required to keep our infrastructure from falling below the standards of a third world country, and you have a bad decade or more in California.

Funny Circus Bears said...

I want details of the "secret killing program" in Iraq, the development of which is being compared to the Manhattan Project and whose impact on warfare is being likened to the tank.

Lost Cause said...

"secret killing program" in Iraq

The only secret is that thousands of unarmed civilians are being killed and the press never talks about, because they are too busy reporting propaganda like this.

con said...

@dawg "Still, the deflation is in things you don't need. It is the stuff you must have that are spinning out of control."

Yes, it's astounding! Don't they go food shopping? The margarine, the bread, the meats, and of course the old standby, health costs, including dental -- yikes!!!

con said...

GSPG has a 1 hour presentation scheduled at an investor conference on Tues, 9/16, 4pm at the Mark Hopkins Hotel in SF. Should be fun -- maybe I'll get to meet Casey there!


If this link doesn't work, simply get a GSPG quote and reference the news tab for the press release.

The_Scum said...

Mr. Dawg, I fully understand you have had health issues recently. That is why I am hoping this post is an embellishment and that isn't your ride.

For one, it's God-awful obnoxious. I will allow for differing tastes.


That is YEARS of corrosion buildup pictured. Expect to have the battery cables replaced soon (if your health doesn't allow you to do it yourself).

Fair warning, many cars battery cables are dealer only wiring harnesses now. Just the way it is.

You know the drill, mix baking soda with water, pour on the battery terminal (unhooked to clean it well) and use a toothbrush or very small wire brush to clean out the corrosion products.

Rehook the terminal and tighten all bolting. Assure you have a good connection.

Then spread a light layer of grease over the battery terminal and exposed ends of the battery cables to prevent further oxidation. Do this before corrosion sets in and battery terminals and cables last well over a decade easily.

That is truly a shameful picture from an engineer!

I understand how health issues interfere with many of life's daily drudgery tasks since I've had one myself as of late.

Best of luck and bring on the Craigslist trolls!

The_Scum said...

Remember, make sure the battery is the sealed type (if not make sure the battery caps are on tight)AND rinse off the excess baking soda/water mixture with a garden hose after cleaning and let dry before rehooking and greasing.

As always, safety first, car batteries contain sulfuric acid (nuetralized when reacted with the baking soda in an exothermic reaction) but still dangerous and damaging to clothing, paint, flesh, eyeballs, etc.

Lou Minatti said...

Glod is good.

Jean ValJean said...


"Glod is an ancient giant in Norse mythology, the father of Kári (a personification of wind), of Logi (a personification of fire), and of Hlér or Ægir (the ruler of the sea) and a king of Finland. "

Maybe you meant Gold?

w said...

Rob, did you work on the Oxnard Traffic Initiative?

Sorry to hear customers are cutting back. I think we all have it in the back of our minds at work.

Rob Dawg said...

Gawd no. My 1999 Expedition is stone stock with the exception of 17" wheels which I got at a yard sale with new tires for less than the cost of the tires alone. And no, that isn't my picture either. just a google image. There was a bit of the fluffy blue-white stuff but that comes from moisture and irregular use not maltreatment. I have a real battery terminal cleaner and I prefer a light coating of spray on lithium grease. Don't forget to wiggle the lead as you tighten then really crank the last 1/4 turn.

There, feel better now about your favorite blogging inginuur?

Rob Dawg said...


Glod is an inside joke for people who are serious about the subject. The keyword gold is so abused by people talking their book or who have no idea what they are talking about there came a time where it wasn't worth even trying to have a rational discussion.

I most emphatically did not have anything to do with writing the OTI. I would have made major changes. Nonetheless it is the hand we've been dealt. Don't let perfect become the enemy of good enough.