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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The 4 “C”s of Market Economics: Chile, China, Copper and ... Cleveland?

Posted By on Wed, Apr 16, 2008 at 8:15 AM

kutcher.jpg
According to our theory, this man is responsible for the Chilean copper shortage. Or is it that Chile is responsible for What Happens in Vegas?
“The Butterfly Effect” is a highbrow term used in chaos theory that, over the years, with help from such luminaries as Ashton Kutcher, has made its way down to us common folk via a simple formula: If a butterfly flaps its wings in (insert far-off locale), then (insert catastrophic event) will occur in (insert place much closer). The idea is fairly easy to understand, at least after a few drinks: one seemingly inconsequential action can have far-reaching and unpredictable consequences. And it appears that a serious bout of butterfly flapping in Chile has taken its toll on our quaint little hamlet. ... You see, Chile is the world’s biggest source for copper, and they extract it using hydroelectric dams that require water to operate. Currently mired in a drought, Chile has dropped production levels, lowering the supply of copper, increasing the demand, and sending prices up. At the same time, new world-power China is on a building spree (higher demand). What does this mean for Cleveland? Stripping. And not the cool kind. The rising cost of copper and the foreclosure crisis has created a perfect storm for Cuyahoga County entrepreneurs looking to make a quick buck by stripping empty Cleveland homes of wiring, roofing, plumbing, and anything else that might be made of the shiny stuff. The latest tandem was actually smart enough to use foreclosure lists to plot their next targets -- but not smart enough to prevent Cleveland Heights officers from arresting them. All of which begs the question: is there some way to use this global cause-and-effect to our advantage? Is there someway, for instance, create a run on overpriced relief pitchers or thieving county commissioners? One can only hope. – Caleb Hannan
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