I have long lamented the issue of Inflation EX-Inflation — the official reporting of inflation minus everything that has been going up in price.
Dan Gross of Slate/Newsweek, is the author of the book Pop!: Why Bubbles Are Great For The Economy. Blogging by proxy (via me), Dan points us to the exact opposite phenomena, Inflation In-Inflation. (1st pun)
This refers to this morning’s WSJ article, As Demand Balloons, Helium Is in Short Supply (2nd pun) discussing the rising price (3rd pun) of Helium.
There is more than a little irony that we have robust inflation in Helium, the element that inflates balloons/bubbles (4th pun):
"Helium is found in varying concentrations in the
world’s natural-gas deposits, and is separated out in a special
refining process. As with oil and natural gas, the easiest-to-get
helium supplies have been tapped and are declining. Meanwhile,
scientific research has rapidly multiplied the uses of helium in the
past 50 years. It is needed to make computer microchips, flat-panel
displays, fiber optics and to operate magnetic resonance imaging, or
MRI, scans and welding machines.
The technology explosion is sucking up helium supplies (5th pun)
at dizzying rates (6th pun)
. U.S. helium demand is up more than 80% in the past
two decades, and is growing at more than 20% annually in developing
regions such as Asia.
"We’ve not seen the supply and demand at this
imbalance in the past. We’re running on the edge of the supply-demand
curve," says Jane Hoffman, global helium director for Praxair Inc." . . . As supplies have tightened, prices have surged in recent
months. For one New York laboratory, prices have increased to $8 a
liquid liter, from close to $4 at the end of the summer.
There are so many great puns in there — and as you can see, more than a few bad ones — that I wont impose the awful ones I keep coming up with on you.
But you shouldn’t feel such restraint — that’s what the comments are for! Go at it!
As Demand Balloons, Helium Is in Short Supply
WSJ December 5, 2007; Page B1