Monday, February 08, 2010

Historical Statistics for Minerals and Commodities

Here is a great database for statistics on Mineral and Material Commodities in the United States, annually from 1900 and through 2008, for about 90 commodities and minerals including data for supply, demand, exports, imports, nominal prices, real prices, etc.

The chart above shows the real price of aluminum annually back to 1900. Despite the fact that the real price of aluminum had fallen from $14,000 per ton in 1900 by 64% to less than $5,000 per ton in 1937, Alcoa Aluminum was charged with "illegal monopolization" of the aluminum market by the Justice Department in 1938 (see details here "
United States vs. Alcoa").

6 Comments:

At 2/08/2010 4:39 PM, Blogger C. August said...

Just like Standard Oil. Yet another case study in the real-world implications of irrational and rights-violating antitrust laws.

 
At 2/08/2010 8:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pssst, don't tell Paul Ehrlich. I here he's got a big job now advising someone very important.

 
At 2/08/2010 8:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Illegal Monopoly [i-lee-guhl][muh-nop-uh-lee]

1. Any private business or industry whose actions provide highly sought after goods or services at ever decreasing prices and increasing quality.

2. Any business or industry nor directly beholden to government for it's very existence.

3. Any capitalist business or industry whose actions result in a non-redistributed profit.

Source: Progressive Dictionary

 
At 2/09/2010 12:26 AM, Anonymous Lyle said...

According to Wikipedia the effect of the alcoa suit was less than that of the Microsoft suit. By the time it got to the appealate state WWII was over and there were 2 new Aluminum companies Reynolds and Kaiser. So the result, is that the total effect of the suit was to require Alcoa to spend some money on monitoring of its business practices. No divestiture was required, so the case overall died with a wimper. Actually I suspect the suit was retaliation against the estate of the major owner of Alcoa, Andrew Mellon treasury sec under Harding Coolidge and Hoover.
Mellon was still alive when the suit started so it was there were some political elements in the suit. This shows why it is not smart if you are really rich to go into government you can get pushbacks, keeping ones nose clean is always better.

Notice that none of the really rich have served in government recently.

 
At 2/09/2010 9:04 AM, Blogger juandos said...

"Pssst, don't tell Paul Ehrlich. I here he's got a big job now advising someone very important"...

ROFLMAO!

Oh my! That's very good anon @ 2/08/2010 8:16 PM...

Thanks for that...

Well Paul Ehrlich has quite the track record...

 
At 2/09/2010 11:31 AM, Anonymous Norman said...

Semi-Log graphs, PLEASE.

 

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