Sunday, November 24, 2013

Signs of a Supply Shock off Monterrey?

The Times reports:
Humpback whales, pelicans and sea lions are all common summer sights off the Monterey coast, with its nutrient-rich waters. But never that anyone remembers have there been this many or have they stayed so long, feeding well into November.

“It’s a very strange year,” said Baldo Marinovic, a research biologist with the Institute for Marine Sciences at the University of California, Santa Cruz. 

What has drawn the animals is a late bloom of anchovies so enormous that continuous, dense blankets of the diminutive fish are visible on depth sounders. The sea lions, sea birds and humpbacks (which eat an average of two tons of fish a day) appear to have hardly made a dent in the population. Last month, so many anchovies crowded into Santa Cruz harbor that the oxygen ran out, leading to a major die-off.
I immediately thought of the Phillips curve shifting down (as in a positive 'supply shock').  I've discussed why anchovies matter for inflation previously.  I'm not sure they really do (and in the long run its only the money supply that matters of course), but its a fun example for macro students.

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