Please Read this and Pass It On

Sharon April 18th, 2008


I think Greenpa may actually have come up with a viable way to make political change on the food crisis.  This is important. 


4 Responses to “Please Read this and Pass It On”

  1. Brian M. says:

    Sharon what do you think would happen if agricultural speculation
    were successfully outlawed? How would it effect agribusiness
    and small farmers?

  2. Sharon says:

    Regulation of agricultural speculation would certainly reduce
    volatility to a degree - regulating hedge fund speculation in
    agriculture certainly would prevent things like the 4% overnight
    rise in rice prices that happened yesterday.

    I realize Greenpa’s piece is a rant, and it isn’t a proposal for nuanced
    regulation. That said, I think there’s a real place for rants, and for
    getting people discussing what limitations are possible on speculative
    commodities markets in the face of a real crisis.

    In fact, we have a long history of regulating speculation in needed
    resources during a commodity - during WWII, for example futures
    prices where very strictly regulated, and food price constraints

    I can discuss this at more length when I get back!


  3. Greenpa says:

    Wow. Thanks Sharon. I’m fully aware of what it means when YOU say “this may be viable.”

    It’s working- 1200 people saw that post in the last 24 hrs; I’m going to let it run another day without adding anything, to avoid confusion.

    Brian- outlawing speculation does NOT mean you’d have to close the futures markets. It would just mean limiting the markets to people who are actually involved in the crop- no hedge funds. Etc. Easy? heck no.

  4. Lawrence Landherr says:

    Excellent idea that gets at the heart of the problem. Corn prices are not at all time highs because of a shortage of corn. It’s speculators that have driven up the price. Ethanol plants get harangued for “taking” all the corn. Most people don’t realize that the corn used in ethanol production produces massive amounts of distillers dried grains that local livestock producers near the ethanol plants utilize to feed their livestock. The high prices are generated in the market trading pits. Kind of like the price of silver a couple decades ago when the Hunt Bros tried to corner the market on silver.

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