Clarification on the Mad Cow Leak
Apr 26, 2012
Hold on. Before you read the blog below, realize that the beef industry’s issues management team was NOT in the official loop. It turns out their preemptive efforts—the getting ready for the announcement—was based on the same "rumor" that the futures traders were acting on. The rumor was based on a leak, of that there seems no doubt. The beef stakeholders weren’t officially notified until 3 p.m., well after the futures market crashed.
My mistake, evidenced below, is that it turns out there weren’t nearly as many people in the official loop as I thought. I presume that when I asked the USDA official I talked to on background if stakeholders knew in advance and he replied in the affirmative, he meant the 3 p.m. conference call and I meant before the leak. On the one hand, I’m sorry to hear that USDA doesn’t realize the importance of working with the industry to minimize panic, but on the other hand, it means our guys weren’t the leakers.
I’m waiting for a callback from USDA and if it turns out such isn’t so, I’ll file an update later. But meanwhile, I wanted the clarification online.