christopher heiser <christopher AT heiser DOT net>
Date Published: May 19th, 2008
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Food Prices

I've been struggling to understand why there has been such a sudden rise in food prices globally, as much as 30% in a single quarter. The Financial Times has an easy-to-read overview of the issues at hand. In short, the rise of China, Russia, India, and Brazil has changed the way that people eat (and shop for food) which has thrown mature and stable markets into turmoil. Add to this a broken subsidy system here in the US, climate change impacts, cost of production (primarily oil), and bioenergy development and you have a perfect storm for price increase.

Something that's occurred to me while reading up on this is the challenge that conservative political parties will face in the decades to come. Typically, the conservative parties are allied strongly with the business and financial companies under their jurisdiction. However, these concerns that stand to lose (or gain) a great deal from the changing climate here on earth. This will put them at odds with conservatives from a message standpoint--a tricky needle to thread.

It's also worth noting that the trends discussed in the FT article have been in place for many years. It suggests that the financial community--if they were paying attention--should be benefiting handsomely from these profound market movements. It may be the next boom-bust cycle to watch.

by Christopher Heiser on May 19 16:18
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