Stand and Deliver

Stand and Deliver

June 6, 2008

This classic N.C. Wyeth painting “Stand and Deliver” came to mind today as we read a fertilizer dealer’s email response to a rather innocuous question:

Q: “…what is the mood of the Ag-retailer going into deeper and perhaps uncharted water?”

A: “As for the mood of the Ag retailer…it is degrading as we get keel-hauled by our customers for cost increases promulgated by our suppliers who are clearly capitalizing on the situation. We all hear about how the global market situation is entirely responsible for this, much as we hear how the global situation is responsible for the price of gasoline and diesel. Our suppliers apparently think we are too naive to look at their quarterly earnings reports. Yes, we realize we are in a global market situation and yes, we realize that our suppliers are capitalizing on the situation while we are getting our butts chewed off by the people who have to actually pay for this stuff. As I told one supplier the other day…it is my fervent hope that the folks managing their company are still in place when the seeds they are now sowing have ripened for harvest. They are systematically destroying demand that has taken years to build all in the name of short term gain. I have never seen such unbridled gluttony (and ignorance) in XX years.”