The “Global Supply Chain” has a lot in common with football’s offensive lineman. If you don’t hear an offensive lineman’s name or number come up during a game, that usually means he is doing a good job, or at least he’s not doing a bad job. When you hear his name more than once, it usually means he is having a bad day and losing the game for his team. The same can be said for the global supply chain. It is fascinating to learn where certain vital things come from and what those vital things actually mean to our everyday lives. For instance, when we are told that much of the world’s palm oil comes from Malaysia, and due to that country’s terrible COVID surge, we also find out that a shortage of palm oil leads to both shortages and higher prices of lipstick, soap, and detergent. Who knew? I know I did not, nor did I really care. Now, however, I do.
What we are witnessing now is relatively unprecedented in the Post-War world. The combination of the pandemic, decades of global supply chain building, and revolutionary “Just in Time Inventory” strategies have left nearly every strategic business wanting for things that they absolutely need to function normally. Global central bankers have told us repeatedly that the current spike in inflation is “transitory”. At the Fed’s Jackson Hole summit this August, Federal Reserve Chairman Powell laid out five points to support his (and all major central bankers’) theory on the nature of current inflation. From Reuters:
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