Today’s fun email

Dear Sir,

I have 150% of the world’s annual consumption of an element. I wish to sell it. Could you tell me who might like to buy it?

24 thoughts on “Today’s fun email”

  1. Andrew M

    Brilliant – my work colleagues are looking at me puzzled as to why I have fallen off my chair….

  2. You could have 150% of the world’s annual consumption of an element, though.

    There are many times the world’s annual consumption of oil (not an element, but still) in the ground right now in Kuwait, for instance.

    (The email raises suspicions in other repects, obviously.)

  3. Bullshit is not an element in either the periodic table or in the older earth,air,fire, water list so sadly I’m guessing this isn’t Richie

  4. The Meissen Bison

    FrancisT may be onto something, though.

    How about hot air? Murphy is the Bunker Hunt of that commodity.

  5. Ritchie was too busy putting together really, really, really stupid tax avoidance comparison checklists between Oxfam and Amazon.

    Besides, Ritchie is the type who sends bank account information to Nigeria… Not the other way around.

  6. @Justin. It works very well as rhyming slang, but no. Bunker Hunt and his brothers were squillionaires who blew their fortunes trying to corner the world’s silver market. Tough titty, I say.

  7. @ BiJ
    In reality, Nelson Bunker Hunt *did* corner the *Chicago* market in silver so several traders who had gone short were going to be bankrupted on settlement day. So CFTC retrospectively changed its rules to protect its members and, as a side-effect, ruined Bunker Hunt.
    One of the many examples where “wiki” is incomplete thanks to US lawyers.

  8. Bloke in Costa Rica

    You could put the entire world’s annual production of e.g. thallium or lutetium on the back of a flatbed truck (you could put it in a Ford Transit but it would go through the floor). I’m not sure what the non-synthetic element with the lowest annual production is, but those two are near the top.

  9. TW said it was the annual usage, not supply.

    Might the CIA be trying to find buyers for Iranian uranium?

  10. CFTC retrospectively changed its rules to protect its members and, as a side-effect, ruined Bunker Hunt.

    Comex, not CFTC. The Hunts tried to use Comex futures contracts to break the market, Comex eventually responded, as it was fully entitled to, by changing its rules to rescue the market and break the Hunts. The lesson being that it’s a bad idea to rely on the rules staying the same when your strategy is to mess with the people who decide what the rules are.

  11. Last time I looked Lu was 2 tonnes. 90% of which went to one factory in Texas: the oxide is used to grow the crystals which make MRI machines work. Thallium a little more than that. I know one bloke who buys it in 5 tonne lots occasionally (one use being glass for deep sea diving. Refractive index mumble mumble summat). Be you’re right, up at hundreds of tonnes, possibly thousands (Be/Cu still important).

  12. I had never heard of Lu being used in MRI so looked it up. It seems you mean avalanche photo-diodes used in PET scanners, though the modern trend is to combine PET with other techniques such as MRI.

  13. @ SJW
    I stand corrected – I couldn’t remember so I folloishly relied on wiki, even though I could see it had been edited to exclude the fact that Bunker Hunt had been acting perfectly legally.
    Another example of why we should not permit extradition to the USA unless the DoJ present a case in a UK court that the guy has broken a law that was in force at the time in the country in which he was at the time. And why we should be very wary about what powers we grant to unelected bureaucrats.

  14. “The lesson being that it’s a bad idea to rely on the rules staying the same…”

    Not a bad lesson to learn in any dealings with the State.

    Look at the mess our pensions are now in, for one example.

  15. Yep, I was wrong again. Still, you could store all annual elemental beryllium on an average sized supermarket car park.

    An interesting thought (to me). It’s easy to get a monopoly on small production (Lu, Be, etc) but that would last seconds as production would be easy to replace. For larger volumes (gold, silver, uranium) the corner could be more durable but the cost would be prohibitive.

  16. Dear Sir :
    I have an invoice for consulting services to Tim Worstall that remains unpaid after five years, and will gladly exchange it for 150% of a years production of whatever.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *