• Michael Rosen
  • Investment Insights are written by Angeles' CIO Michael Rosen

    Michael has more than 30 years experience as an institutional portfolio manager, investment strategist, trader and academic.


Published: 04-14-2015

The Ancient Mariner violated Nature by killing an albatross for sport, thus condemning his boat and crew to the purgatory of the open sea where, one by one, each of crew dies. Lamenting his fate, the Mariner cries, “Water, Water, everywhere, Nor any drop to drink.”

The Mariner realizes his sin, and wears the albatross around his neck as penance (hence the origin of the phrase “albatross around one’s neck”). His boat eventually returns to England, but the Ancient Mariner is condemned to wander the earth, recounting his tale (“rime” in the old English of Coleridge’s day) as a precaution against violating God’s will by taking a life unnecessarily.

There is a drought in California, with snowpack levels about 12% of “normal” (whatever “normal” is). Perhaps it will break next year (it’s too late now as we enter the dry season), or the next, or perhaps we are entering a multi-decade, or even century-long drought (both have ample precedents).

At the moment, it is a mild inconvenience to most of us, but it will certainly soon get more than inconvenient. For the rest of the country, drowning in record rains and snow this past winter, it may be tempting to scorn (or perhaps covet?) our mild, dry weather here. But it cannot be ignored: California feeds you. The chart below shows the percentage of US crops grown in California. Start hoarding now.


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