Why Milk Could Cost $7 a Gallon in January, and 4 More Things to Know Today

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Large American Supermarket Dairy Case Milks whole milk skim
Alamy
Here's a quick rundown from the world of business and economics this morning: the things you need to know, and some you'll just want to know.

• Congress closed up shop for its Thanksgiving recess without passing a farm bill, and if you think that shouldn't worry you because you're not a farmer, think again: If your elected representatives can't get a bill passed by Jan. 1, the price of milk price could rapidly skyrocket to $7 a gallon. (What's the sticking point? Food stamps. House Republicans want to kick 3.8 million people out of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program next year, and far more over the next decade. Democrats aren't having it.)

• Turnabout is fair play: Men's Wearhouse (MW) is making a bid to buy rival clothier Jos. A. Bank (JOSB) -- the same company whose takeover bid it rejected back in September. Back then, the Men's Wearhouse board shot down the Banks offer because they felt the bid undervalued their company. But apparently, they do agree about the whole "synergy" thing: The two would benefit by joining forces.

• If you're one of the many people whose Thanksgiving air travel plans have been bollixed up by the massive winter storm now barreling across the country, know that the airlines are sympathetic to your plight. They've started to waive change fees for travelers booked to fly through the effected regions. United (UAL), US Airways (LCC), Delta (DAL) and JetBlue (JBLU) have already announced change fee waivers; most other airlines should follow suit.

• After the turkey has been consumed Thursday, holiday shopping season will start in earnest, and Americans will be looking for Black Friday bargains. But be warned: The amazing discounts you'll see on the price tags will often be 99 percent retail trickery. Frequently, store chains set their "original" prices far above what they expect shoppers to pay, so that the discounted "sale prices" still earn them the profit margins they want.

• And finally, Virgin Galactic, Richard Branson's space tourism company, has announced that it will accept futuristic money for its futuristic services: People can now pay for their space travel tickets with bitcoins.

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94 Comments

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welcome eric

Well it's the first week of Feb 2014 and milk is still less than $4/gal in my area. The people writing these articles know about as much about the economy and investing as mickey mouse. You would probably do better throwing darts randomly at choices on a dartboard than taking their financial advice seriously.

February 03 2014 at 9:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
cvanac8550

Synergy means layoffs and less people doing twice the amount of work for the same money.

November 28 2013 at 9:41 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
dweeeb.buster

3,8 million less food stamp recipients translates into billions of dollars of annual savins for the taxpayer. In exchange, consumers pay a few dollars more for a gallon of milk.

Forget about Black Friday. This could be the bargain of the century!

November 27 2013 at 10:01 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
pm0501

When milk reaches $7.00/gallon, I'll be going back to Mountain Dew!

November 27 2013 at 3:31 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
kenneth

So, why should milk suddenly retail for $7 per gallon instead of the $3 or so currently? Does this mean that the government is paying dairy farmers $4 for every gallon they produce? If so, then we need to seriously examine the subsidies for all food products contained in the Farm Bill. I suspect that the Congress will simply find some way to extend the existing Farm Bill until they can (quietly) reach agreement on the SNAP problem.

November 27 2013 at 2:12 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to kenneth's comment
dweeeb.buster

Yes, it means dairy farmers are being subsidized.

And yes, that should end just like the food stamp abomination.

November 27 2013 at 9:57 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
sscott5145

More than 47 million Americans are in the SNAP program (receive food stamps). 1 in 7 Americans. Still up 21 million since 2008. Why?

November 27 2013 at 2:01 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
Jomstead31

Mr. Schwatrz,
Please learn the difference between EFFECT and AFFECT.
The terms are not interchangeable. The term effect was used incorrectly in the statement about the airlines and holiday plans!

November 27 2013 at 1:42 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
bobbyd65

Don't Believe the Hype!!! Farming subsidies is to keep prices up, not down!! The reason for the subsidies is to give money to dairy farmers to pay their bills while they are not producing. This means they wont have to produce more, because that would cause prices to fall. They have been doing this since the 30's ,government would "cull herds" of livestock, destroy them so prices would fall, meanwhile people in the cities were starving!!

November 27 2013 at 12:17 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Nancy

Yea blame the Republicans!! What else is new?? DemocRATS take no blame at all!! But we the people know what the Dems and O are doing to this country!! Three more years of this bs!

November 26 2013 at 11:47 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
faceoffguy22

I think the best resource for this kind of "need-to-know" financial news is that cool website MarketSnacks. Sign up for their newsletter on www.marketsnacks.com because it does an awesome job of explaining Wall Street headlines in a clear, quick, simple, really entertaining way.

November 26 2013 at 11:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply