Current Commodity Super-Cycle Slide Confounds Resource Doomsters

Investor Jeremy Grantham makes "an admission of a past mistake on resources."


Wall Street Daily

"Time to Wake Up: Days of Abundant Resources and Falling Prices Are Over Forever" was the title of an urgent report written by the legendary asset manager Jeremy Grantham in 2011. Grantham proclaimed the advent of a resource scarcity "paradigm shift" that was "perhaps the most important economic event since the Industrial Revolution." As evidence, he noted that "the prices of all important commodities except oil declined for 100 years until 2002, by an average of 70%." Since then, he continued, "this entire decline was erased" by the price surge, which he took as a signal that the world was using up its natural resources at an alarming rate. The result, he declared, would be a permanent shift where the prices of raw materials rise and shortages become common. This week, Grantham takes most of it all back.