$2100 a Barrel Frappuccino
Frappuccino prices today hit an all time high by decisively crossing the $2100 a barrel mark. Prices at the Frappuccino pump crossed $4.25 for about 300 ml (A barrel contains about 160,000ml). Widespread shortages of both chocolate and strawberry flavors were reported. The recent surge has been attributed to increased consumption in both China and India. China's imports rose a whopping 18% over last year as its sugar and caffeine needs exceeded domestic production. People were irate over the latest rise.
"This is not a non-renewable, difficult to extract, indispensable commodity like oil. We are still being charged 20 times as much" said Amy Potter. Amy plans to cut back on her discretionary Frappuccino consumption as much as she can. "I FRAP-POOL with my husband whenever I can. We buy an extra-large and share rather than buy 2 small cups. But there is only so much you can cut back."
The White House urged FPEC (Frappuccino producing and Exporting Companies) to increase production to cool the overheated market. It is believed that SA i.e. Starbucks is the only one with significant spare capacity. "The market is adequately supplied" said CEO Howard Schultz. "The increase in prices is due to a lack of customers." "It is" explained the CEO "exactly like the oil market where prices are going up due to a lack of refinery capacity (i.e. customers of oil). Basic Economics 101."
Frappuccino analysts however point to other factors . "Speculators are the prime culprit. At least $1,500 a barrel is coming due to speculation." said Michael Lynch. " The real problem" said Fadel Gheit "is a lack of blending capacity for the heavy gunky sour milk. We are running low on light sweet milk." Daniel Yergin of CFRA said that prices were being influenced by below-udder rather than above-udder factors. Other economists blamed the low interest rates for causing a bubble in prices. "The fed needs to understand how the weak dollar is increasing prices" said John Cain author of "Why Bernanke Bucks don't buy you much at Starbucks". Geopolitics is another issue. 25 Cows were brutally killed in the latest attack in Finland. The FOE (friends of earth) Group who blame methane from cows as being the principal reason for Global Warming took credit for this massacre. In Iraq the standoff between the 2 major cow sects over grazing pastures got worse. The 2 sects were unhappy with the proposed division with each insisting that the grass was clearly greener on the other side.
Senator Stupak held a special session in the senate where he proposed a gouging investigation. "Friends, we cannot allow our citizens to be robbed in broad daylight like this. A barrel of milk with enough sugar and chocolate costs about $125. The rest is pure profit. I propose we levy a windfall profits tax and use the money to give tax cuts to the oil industry which charges us so little for a way superior and essential product."
Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton promised to do just that if elected. Others such as Senator John Edwards proposed increasing production of other sources of caffeine such as chocolate and green tea. A growing number of alarmists however feel that the world has reached Peak-Frappuccino. "The world is consuming more Frappuccino than it is producing." said Matthew Simmons, author of the book Twilight in the Cafeteria, "The era of cheap Frappuccinos is over", he added. Starbucks, however dismissed such claims, saying that it could meet increased demand for the next 50 years. Jeffery Brown said that Starbucks employees will be consuming its entire production within 15 years leaving it with nothing to export. Legendary investor T Boone Pickens seemed to agree with Starbucks. In a move that shocked the markets T. Boone Pickens sold his Frappuccino contracts and bought oil contracts. "Oil and Frappuccino will one day be the same price. Whether it is at $500 a barrel each or $4000 a barrel each I do not know."
This article is dedicated to Matthew Simmons for his untiring work in trying to educate the world about how cheap oil really is and how big a problem we have. To Jeffery Brown for his "Export Land Model" work which the WSJ just recently saw the light on. To Stuart Staniford for bringing to bear his enormous intellect on the peak oil problem. To oilycassandra (Youtube Profile) who has given a whole new meaning to the term "education at all costs". And finally to all those others who have endured criticism and ridicule in trying to help others understand, and have carried on the good fight.
Inspiration for this article was obtained during a conversation with my friend Greg Jeffers and his son.