Letters to the Editor from Barron’s


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For the publisher:
“10 Ways To Profit From Shortages Of Almost Everything” (Cover Story, May 28) points to the shortcomings of just-in-time manufacturing, or JIT, when supply chains are disrupted.

Some supply chain officials are considering reverting to “just in case” inventory. But consider how JIT improved the quality of factory output. JIT discovers faults immediately, rather than “storing” them in mid-production inventories, reserves and warehouses. Without JIT, correcting quality defects requires moving inventory, reworking, and restocking. Engineering and design changes further complicate logistics.

The improvement in quality brought by JIT can be seen in today’s cars and sport utility vehicles. Despite the thousands of high-tech parts and equipment in vehicles today, you hardly see breakdowns and vehicles stuck on the highway, compared to what was common in the 60s and 70s.

Jack Glabe, Northbrook, Illinois.

Planet Fitness Shorting

For the publisher:
I’m excited to take Bill Alpert’s review on a company that promotes body fitness for young adults and hopefully starts a lifetime commitment (“Planet Fitness Stock could drop 50% as Growth Slows », May 28).

Let’s face it, Covid-19 and home membership are a thing of the past. Planet Fitness CEO Chris Rondeau, the man of Renaissance bodybuilding, foresaw the desire to bridge the gap between expensive fitness clubs and Park District classes. Planet Fitness offers Gen Z and Gen X affordable rates, convenient locations and times, and most importantly, a social and physical high.

When Andy Matthes of Teton Fund Management sells this company short, he should be aware of the effects of shorting Tesla shares a few months ago.

I have to run, I don’t want to be late for my Zumba class.

Marilyn Ranieri, Palatine, Ill.

Silver price

For the publisher:
In “Silver prices are lagging behind. Renewable energy investments should change that,” Commodities, May 27), Myra Saefong said renewable energy investments should help silver prices rise. lagging behind Yes, that will help, but a much bigger factor right now is the demand for investment.

From 2008 to 2019, global net investment in silver mainly fluctuated between 200 and 300 million ounces per year. In 2020 that has changed dramatically, with net global investment demand of over 500 million ounces.

With silver still about 40% below its 1980 high, it is the most undervalued metal on the planet, and the US Mint has just declared a “global silver shortage.”

Due to the very low prices of silver over a long period of time, the world is reduced to a handful of primary silver miners who get half or more of their income from silver. The remedy for a global silver shortage and almost no primary silver minor remaining is much higher prices.

Paul Yusem, Lombard, Ill.

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