It seems to me that we have had a whole bunch of attention-grabbing news events recently, you know, those stories that kinda overwhelm everything else that’s going on. One was the recent college football season opener where “our” team, a nationally ranked power, ran up 77 points against a team whose offense managed to score only 3 points. In accomplishing this feat against a team obviously way overmatched, “our” team reportedly set records for such an offensive effort. The visiting team was apparently well paid for showing up and taking the shellacking.
Another football headline story has been about a professional football player who “dissed’ both our country and our military by refusing to stand while a member of our armed forces sang the national anthem prior to a game recognizing our military forces. The player, who reportedly draws down several million dollars a year, claimed he was exercising his right to protest against a racist nation that systematically discriminates against people of color and whose law enforcement officers regularly brutalize and kill black people. He has now been joined in his continuing protest by other professional athletes including an internationally known female soccer player. Yep, he and his supporters have made headline news around the world by proclaiming the “true” nature of our country.
Ok, so what’s with the “unnoticed newspaper stories” that might be of interest. Well, one almost invisible recent news item was about how the German people are hoarding cash. When we think of hoarding cash we think of stashing any excess moolah in the a bank account as savings, a CD, or in a money market – but that’s not what’s happening. Nope. The Germans are taking their money out of the banks in cash and storing it at home in safes. Why? Well, reportedly it’s because banks are threatening to charge their customers fees on their deposits. In fact, some banks have already started charging large depositors with a 0.4 percent fee for keeping money in the bank. How about them apples? There’s one bright spot, however – sales of home safes are booming and that business is thriving.
So why might this be of interest to us? Well, we haven’t gotten quite to this “negative interest” practice but we’re getting real close. Maybe that’s why folks are reportedly starting to redeem their CD’s and are putting the money in savings or money market accounts so it will be more readily available. The loss in interest on such transactions is well under one percent so it’s not costing much in income. One thing, though, withdrawing money in cash from personal accounts as the Germans are doing might raise red flags with the Feds. They don’t like folks having large amounts of cash tucked away under the mattress or in a safety deposit box.
How about this almost unnoticed recent headline buried deep in a major newspaper, “End in sight for U.S. natural-gas glut.” Oh-oh! For some years we have benefited from huge supplies of natural gas permitting much lower cost in heating, manufacturing, and power generation. Regulations essentially killing coal- burning activities have resulted in many operations converting to natural gas as their source of energy; now, however, there is some concern about the possible effect of a downturn in the availability of cheap gas. Oughta think about that, right?
Didja see the kinda buried news item about the Department of Agriculture buying some $20 million of stockpiled cheese to distribute to food pantries? The dairy producers had hoped for a $150 million purchase to reduce the accumulated store but that didn’t happen Yep, dairy farmers have reportedly been struggling in recent years with dairy prices dropping as a result of a milk glut caused by a combination of a plentiful supply and decreasing consumption. This oversupply has resulted in some producers reportedly dumping tens of millions of pounds of milk. Of interest to us? Well, a major grocery chain is currently having what amounts to a half price sale on cheese; the price of milk is the lowest in years; and, butter is often competitively priced with other “spreads”. Don’t know if there is any direct connection, but it’s intriguing doncha think?
You know, We get so much of our news from TV and the Internet these days that the print media often goes unnoticed even though there are many interesting and important news items – such as this small sample – that remain unreported elsewhere. I suppose electronic media reporting is fast and convenient but I still think the print media offers an alternative source that shouldn’t be overlooked. At least that’s how it seems to me.
Bill Taylor, a Greene County Daily columnist and area resident, may be contacted at email@example.com.