Comments on economics, mystery fiction, drama, and art.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Reading the Wall Street Journal on April Fool's Day

Not that I think either of these stories is a joke.

On p. B-7, in an article headlined "Prices Tumble for Memory Products:"

"Global semiconductor sales rose 1.5% in February from a year earlier, according the the Semiconductor Industry Association, which said prices continued to tumble for memory products despite a rise in total units sold." (My ephasis.)

Looks to me like the Semiconductor Industry Association has forgotten the Law of Demand.

And on p. B-3, in an article headlined "Retailers' Lawsuits Accuse Candy Makers of Fixing Prices:"

"In the latest lawsuit, Giant Eagle claims it purchased more than $200 million worth of chocolate from Hershey, Mars, and Nestle between 2002 and 2007, during which time the companies instituted several price increases...Hershey increased its 17%...Nestle increased its 17%...Mars increased its prices by almost 16%."

Now, I am not an advocate of eliminating anti-trust laws, but when all the evidence you have of illegal behavior is a set of similar price increases spaced over three months? Please.


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