Tag: economy

Bahamian guides hit hard, so treat them well

From The Tribune:

An industry that contributes an estimated $141 million per annum to the Bahamian economy saw anywhere from a 30-50 per cent decline in business during 2009 due to the global recession, a study has revealed, heavily impacting Family Island economies such as Andros…

…Illustrating the recession’s impact on a flat fishing/guided fishing industry that is a key staple of the tourism economy in many Family Islands, the study said: “This dramatic drop in business has had its greatest impact on guides in two areas. First, guides on the margin, fishing less than 30 days per year and generally relying on referrals from other guides, reported the largest loss in business.

Even if they don’t put you onto your outlandish expectation of a 50 bonefish day (due primarily to your weak sidearm when the wind’s at your right), treat (i.e. tip) your guides well – they are working hard even if you are hopeless (like yours truly). It ensures you’ll be welcomed back with open arms when things pick up (and slots are tougher to come by).

(h/t Moldy Chum)

Signs of life for the economy?

Or a covert intelligence gathering operation by hostile forces?

Student driver in a Mercedes E300!

Flying the Swiss flag is a dead giveaway.

Fly Fishing: The solution to the U.S. economic crisis AND global warming

Bamboo forestWe all know that fly fishing industry is but a tiny portion of the trillions in annual GDP. But it’s about to become a much bigger piece of the pie:

Bamboo has come into vogue as a green, sustainable resource that’s used for everything from cutting boards to clothing to wood floors. But until now, almost all of the bamboo in products sold here has come from overseas. That could change soon, as new planting techniques may lead to millions of new acres of bamboo shoots in the American South.

Cloning homegrown structural building components that are stronger than steel? In America’s deep south? Sounds like cotton ginning turned casting competitions. A revolution built on the power and precision elegance of bamboo fly rods is just what America needs to kickstart the ailing economy.

If you think it’ll be an impossible task to get the 290 million people in the US who don’t fly fish out on the water with a $1,400 rod, think again. This intrepid reporter just found out that the government is prepared to distribute  kinda, sorta thinking about giving  might, in the far distant future, debate the concept of coughing up carbon credits to anyone who invests in some feelgood fly casting equipment. You’ll be able to sell those credits on the Chicago Climate Exchange, and under cap and trade legislation presently before Congress credits are limited, as rock solid a guarantee if there ever was one that they’re sure to appreciate in value.

Save the world and line your pockets with big cap gains. Act now!

MG signing off (to plant, harvest, cast, and be rich)

The bad and the good in the “Joe Six Pack” economy

Pint Of BeerFind the silver tasty golden lining

The heavy lifting is complete – number crunchers just realized that beer sales are no longer recession proof. Yep, folks are imbibing less, which flies contrary to the premise that when the economy is in the tank people take the drink to drown their monetary woes. Where that found money winds up is another matter (h/t Paul Kedrosky):

Personal saving — DPI less personal outlays — was $545.5 billion in January, compared with $416.8 billion in December. Personal saving as a percentage of disposable personal income was 5.0 percent in January, compared with 3.9 percent in December.

So maybe people hopped on the wagon after the holiday season, or they all just ran out and bought home brewing kits.

Still, Lefty Kreh told me a while back that when recession hits, people go fishing. Cabela’s might just agree with that.

Economy got you down? Don’t worry – it’ll all be over soon.


From Lefty Kreh’s lips to my ears

Words of wisdom from a fly fishing icon (and maker of fine lemonade)

I thought I was about to meet a man jaded by attention. Lefty Kreh is certainly a fly fishing legend, and today he was deep in his realm – an outdoors industry convention. But the person I sat and chatted with was a kid in a candy store, eager to share his insights on more than half a century of throwing fly lines, an economy and industry seemingly in flux, and embracing family.

Lefty Kreh and Michael Gracie


Mr. Kreh on the expense of picking up the sport of fly fishing:

Yes, there is a lot of expense regarding fly fishing. In some cases I think it’s just too much, but the industry is adjusting. There was a time when really expensive gear was all there was out there – nowadays you and I can pick up just about any inexpensive combo, go out fishing, and have a good time. In fact, just about anyone can.

Following up on the above, Mr. Kreh on fly rods:

There are no bad fly rods out there for sale anymore. You can pick up a rod at a big box sports retailer that does the job quite well, and without breaking the bank.

And Mr. Kreh on reels:

Like rods, where technology worked its way down to the point where all of them do a good job in the casting and catching departments, fly reels are following. The very best are still built for people with lots of money, but even those people are holding back. Now we are seeing great reels come off the shelf that are both very functional and very affordable.

Mr. Kreh on the economy, and how it will effect the sport:

I lived through the Great Depression. And while it wasn’t the best of times, one thing I found that rang true was that the lack of money brought people closer together. Families in particular, banded together. Even if we see similar bad economic times, that one point will make it seem nowhere near as bad. Fly fishing doesn’t need to be a solitary pursuit – more families participating in the sport of fly fishing, together, would be great for our sport. It’s interesting that when ever there has been a recession in this country, the number of fishing licenses issued goes up. That could be the basis of a whole other discussion, but again I find it interesting.

Mr. Kreh, on why it seems kids would rather play video games than go fly fishing:

I think part of the fascination kids have with video games, and computers and the internet, comes from the fact that parents sometime struggle to make ends meet. So they both work, and kids need an safe outlet when the parents are not around – technology like video games may have given kids some of that. But with our economy taking a dip, I think that there may be less work for those parents, and less money for those video games. At least one of the parents may be around more for their kids, and while I wish the best for families in that situation from the money standpoint, I also think parents and children being together more is a good thing whether they decide to spend that extra time together fishing or not. If the parents decide to take their kids fishing, that’s even better.

Mr. Kreh on the start of the International Sportsmen’s Expo:

I’ve been to a lot of these events in my day. This is the best Thursday I’ve seen in quite a while.

Mr. Kreh on why women make such great fly fishers:

I can teach any women to fly cast, just as long as I’m not married to her [laughter then ensued between both of us, as well as a couple of folks listening in]. Women are more patient that we are (well most of the time..wink wink). There are groups now to bring them together to learn the sport, which is good for fly fishing. And you also see organizations like Casting for Recovery popping up that help women through very difficult times in their lives, through fly fishing. And I think that is great for both the women that participate as well as the sport.

And finally, when asked how he’s kept it all together for so long, and with such enthusiam, he added:

I thank my darling wife.

I could have spent a month with Lefty Kreh, picking his brain about why he tied this or that fly a certain way, or better yet…how to add thirty feet to my casting range. But as he stood up, acknowledging the folks standing by for his next casting demonstration, those things now seemed so trivial. I left thinking there are few lemons in Lefty’s world, while carrying the certainty that fly fishing had something to do with it.

Editor’s note: As if the time I spent with Mr. Kreh at the ISE wasn’t good enough, I also got the chance to sit down and chat with two of the finest guides in Colorado, Pat Dorsey of Blue Quill Angler and Chris Ramos of Anglers Covey. These gentleman have been fly fishing and guiding others all their lives, and their office, classroom and backyard barbecue is situated primarily on Colorado’s famed South Platte River. I’ll have the text of that discussion up ASAP (probably hopefully by midday Friday) – it is equally insightful regarding the passions of some fine folks who live fly fishing day in and day out (and you might get a few secret tips too), but is also a significantly amount of content I have to parse through. Nevertheless, if you can’t wait that long head over to ISE Denver at the Colorado Convention Center tomorrow, Saturday, or Sunday and meet them in person!

Paul Krugman’s latest informal fallacy (UPDATED)

Mr. Nobel talks taxation, but fails from the start:

Other things equal, public investment is a much better way to provide economic stimulus than tax cuts, for two reasons. First, if the government spends money, that money is spent, helping support demand, whereas tax cuts may be largely saved. So public investment offers more bang for the buck. Second, public investment leaves something of value behind when the stimulus is over.

First, there’s not only nothing wrong with saving, despite Krugman’s apparent disdain for the concept. But you might also ask yourself why the average citizen would be willing to save when 1) interest rates are back at historical lows; 2) the stock market is running on fumes; and 3) they are sitting on piles of debt they need to pay down. Then ask why Krugman fails to mention that debt repaid is now a credit line re-accessible – you really don’t think people (or businesses) will shun pulling out their plastic again, do you?

Second, public investment leaves something else behind besides value “when the stimulus is over” – items the prize winner also omits – they are commonly referred to as 1) a pile of debt your children will be responsible for, and 2) massive legacy costs your children will be responsible for. Public projects need ongoing support (which rarely materializes – just ask Jimmy Carter or the Afghan Mujahideen of the ’80s) – pumping massive amounts of money into willy-nilly temporary job creators will have significant long-term repercussions. Of course, you need not worry about what might happen after the next election, or the next round of Nobel prize voting.

I’m still trying to figure out what “other things equal” means, besides a weasiley way of saying “my medal affords me some magical interpretation of the situation you can’t possibly fathom.” I loathe the effort that may be required to succeed in that particular quest for enlightenment.

UPDATE: A more salient discussion on tax cuts as stimulus.

Surprise, Surprise: What’s Ahead?

Paul Kedrosky:

What surprises lie ahead, whether positive or negative? And to be more explicit, let’s try not to get hung up in each case whether each thing really is good or bad news, but whether it’s seen that way.

Add your surprises here.

Rx for Economic Pain


“There’s a great misunderstanding of what’s happened,” says economist Allan Meltzer. The main trouble, in his view, is not that Americans are suffering from weak or negative economic growth. It’s that they have suffered a loss of wealth, a very different ailment…

When the economy contracts, the government may use sound monetary and fiscal policy to help revive growth. But when wealth goes up in smoke, the government can’t necessarily bring it back. If it tries, the effect is likely to resemble what happens when you give a recovering alcoholic a drink: deceptively pleasant at first, but ultimately calamitous.

Institute the No-Loss Rule, retroactively, for housing.

Recession-Plagued Nation Demands New Bubble To Invest In

Via the most credible news source in America:

The current economic woes, brought on by the collapse of the so-called “housing bubble,” are considered the worst to hit investors since the equally untenable dot-com bubble burst in 2001. According to investment experts, now that the option of making millions of dollars in a short time with imaginary profits from bad real-estate deals has disappeared, the need for another spontaneous make-believe source of wealth has never been more urgent.

Sadly, the “suspicious package industry” is not the next bubble in waiting.