Counterparties

By Felix Salmon
September 28, 2010
Bloomberg

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A sad day: The End of the Road for Xmarks — Xmarks

Me, discussing the future of housing prices — BNet

Bercovici to Forbes. Not a fan of this move — TBI

Koblin quitting NYO — VV

This would be so idiotic and short-sighted, on the part of magazine publishers, that it’s almost certainly true — Coatney

Adventures in ersatz accuracy: Dow 38,820! Really? Not 38,817? — Bloomberg

2 comments

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Watched your video on housing prices, Felix, and have some quibbles. Specifically, you argue that “mcmansions” in the outer burbs are useless, poorly constructed and bound to lose almost all value in the wake of peak oil, carbon taxes, etc. Spoken like a true bike-loving young(ish) urbanite. But how can you be so sure the reverse will not be true? As transport costs rise, do they not rise for food as well? Why would the future not favor odd new suburban “villages” on the prairie which are close to agricultural land, relatively safe from urban violence/terrorist attacks, etc.? I don’t have a crystal ball and I do not live in one of these places, but who is to say that vision of the future won’t pan out? I’d actually bet on it.

Posted by LadyGodiva | Report as abusive

The problem of food transportation is not so much trucking stuff forty or fifty miles into a city from adjoining farms; it is shipping (or flying!) food–especially refrigerated food–from California to New York. Or from Argentina to California. Or Vietnam to Argentina. The distance from suburbs to city center doesn’t really factor in, and, to the extent it does, it cuts _against_ suburbs, as the rail depots, harbors, and airports tend to be convenient to the large cities.

If the model of very long-distance food transportation fails due to increased energy costs, those costs will fall heaviest on those who are farthest from the centers of transportation. You may get your eggs or wheat (or whatever your county produces) cheaper than I do in the city, but you will pay more for every other necessity of life. You have to move a _long_ way back towards Laura Ingalls Wilder before you’re producing any substantial portion of your daily needs on the prairie.

Posted by ckbryant | Report as abusive