E&J Gallo, the leading US winery, has been conned into buying 18 million bottles of plonk which had been repackaged as pinot noir. In one of the most far-reaching scandals to have hit French vineyards in years, the executives from the Languedoc-Roussillon region were found to have made a €7 million profit through a fraud which lasted from January 2006 until March 2008. Overall, 13.5 million litres of fake wine were shipped to the US to be drunk by unsuspecting US consumers.
It is very common for firms (from small ones to prestigious ones) to take data and use it conveniently to make the point that they want to make. That’s why you can take most (no, we are not giving a figure here) statistics with a pinch of salt.
The government-bond market in the West may well be a gigantic Ponzi scheme. Most governments in the ‘developed’ world are drowning in debt, they are running mind-boggling budget deficits and printing money like there is no tomorrow. Under the guise of quantitative easing, their central banks are buying their own newly-issued debt.