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Food Riots Next? FAO Says Food Prices Surpass Record Highs Seen During 2007-2008 Bubble

Tyler Durden's picture


The last time food prices hit ridiculous levels, the immediate outcome was global food riots in places such as Haiti and Bangladesh. Which is why distributors of riot equipment in the world's poorest countries may be in for a bumper crop as the Food and Agriculture Organization has just announced that world food prices have just surpassed the previous record last seen in 2007-2008. But it's ok: according to the centrally planning Chairman it's all good, and the inflation is really just in our heads. After all, courtesy of the recent spike in mortgage rates, home prices now have about 10% to drop, meaning even less equity will be extracted from already substantially depressed food prices.

From the FT article, which we are confident Ben Bernanke will never read:

Food prices hit a record high last month, surpassing the levels seen during the 2007-08 crisis, the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organisation said on Wednesday.

The Rome-based organisation said the increase did not constitute a crisis. But Abdolreza Abbassian, senior economist at the FAO, acknowledged that the situation was “alarming”. He added: “It will be foolish to assume this is the peak.”

The jump will increase fears about the repetition of the crisis of 2007-2008. However, poor countries have not so far seen the wave of food riots that rocked countries such as Haiti and Bangladesh two years ago, when prices of agricultural commodities jumped.

The increase in food costs will also hit developed economies, with companies from McDonald's to Kraft raising retail prices.

Higher food prices are also boosting overall inflation, which is above the preferred targets of central banks in Europe.

The FAO said its food price index, a basket tracking the wholesale cost of commodities such as wheat, corn, rice, oilseeds, dairy products, sugar and meats, jumped last month of 214.7 points – up almost 4.2 per cent from November.

The FAO food index is at its highest since the measure was first calculated in 1990. During the 2007-08 food crisis, the index reached a peak of 213.5 in June 2008.

It gets better:

However, the cost of the other critical staple, wheat, is now rising fast on the back of poor harvests.

This is a high prices situation,” said Mr Abbassian, although he pointed to the fact the costs of cereals – and particularly rice – were below the peaks set in 2007-08. “Rice and wheat are, from a global food security perspective, the critical agricultural commodities, not sugar, oilseeds or meat,” he said.

The increasing costs of sugar, whose price recently hit a 30-year high, oilseeds and meat are the main reason behind the rise in the FAO food index.

The rise of commodity prices makes it likely that the global food import bill will hit a record high in 2011, after topping $1,000bn last year for only the second time. In November, the FAO raised its 2010 forecast to $1,026bn, up almost 15 per cent from 2009 and within a whisker of a record high of $1,031bn set in 2008 during the food crisis.

Agricultural commodities prices have surged following a series of crop failures caused by bad weather. The situation was aggravated when top producers such as Russia and Ukraine imposed export restrictions, prompting importers in the Middle East and North Africa to hoard supplies.

As Zero Hedge predicted some time in October, the next bubble will be in the 3Rs: Rare Earths, Rubber and Rice. Real Earths have come (and maybe gone). Rubber is coming. Rice is now here.


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Wed, 01/05/2011 - 09:58 | 848935 Quintus
Quintus's picture

Food?  Ha!  Who cares about that?  Just look at my new iGadget that I bought with my 98th unemployment benefit check!!

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 10:09 | 848966 Kaiser Sousa
Kaiser Sousa's picture

classic... i salute u sir

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 11:13 | 849185 caconhma
caconhma's picture

Fed May Keep Easing at `Full Throttle' Until Jobless Rate Falls (Bloomberg)

Who gives a shit to the Q2 $1T or a next Q3 $250T? The USA is broke. It is bankrupt. Forget about the nonsense of our children and grandchildren paying off all these debts. It is a propaganda fairy story. The only serious question are:

  • When will Asians stop lending money to America?
  • When will a WWIII start?

Almost 100 years ago, Bolsheviks thugs undertook a grand socialist experiment in Russia. It led to a civil war, a mass famine and starvation of at least 20 millions people, a network of extermination camps with another 40+ millions were slaughtered, etc., 

The experiment had ruined Russia: it became barbaric and impoverished. Prior to it, Russia was "a bread basket" for the entire Europe.

Now, the FED is "experimenting" with America and its future. Unfortunately, the results will not be any better than what took place in Russia.


It is mindbogglingly: how can people buy this shit? American cultural and moral society fabric was poisoned and perverted and everything is goes.

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 11:28 | 849234 EscapeKey
EscapeKey's picture

It's a little known fact that Lenin allowed peasants their own small plots of land in 1921. This development, in fact, saved the experiment. Or at least, until 1928 when Stalin started enforcing community and state farms (of which, the latter were disasters).

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 12:04 | 849345 caconhma
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No, it did not save the experiment. It just helped Lenin, Trotsky, and their thugs to survive and to postpone the moment of truth.

By 1228, Stalin was not a dictator yet. He was one of the Soviet leaders. Consequently, Stalin was not the only one responsible for the mass collectivization, slaughter ,and deliberate starvation of ~20 millions of peasants. He did it together with "old Bolsheviks" whom he would start to slaughter in 1935.

This was the single greatest Stalin contribution to humanity. These thugs had to get their own medicine. Unfortunately, Stalin did not kill them all.

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 12:18 | 849356 Red Neck Repugnicant
Red Neck Repugnicant's picture


Everyone wants to blame Bernanke for everything, and it's just fucking nonsense.  The argument from the Right is always the same - central planning, inflation, government regulation, threat of higher taxes are all to blame for whatever threatening numbers are released that particular day. 

And here we have another article where food is being priced into the stratosphere because - you guessed it - central planning.  That's Glenn Beck-ish.  While there are seeds of truth to it, it purposely ignores the real reasons so that it better fits into the "see - government is evil" theme. 

Please tell me why, in the first half of 2008, anything attached to a commodity went ballistic.  Was it central planning, then?  Why did the price of fertilizer jump out of its pants, when there is a 300 year supply of it?  Remember Potash?  Why did oil rocket to the moon, even though inventories were rising and consumption was falling?  Remember Arjun Murti - analyst at Goldman - and his "super spike" rhetoric?  Why was cocoa suddenly up 40% in the first half of 2008?  Rain in the Orinoco basin? (For those of you with 25 canned hams under your removable porch, the rain part was a joke.) 

The real reason?  It's speculators.  It's the fucking bastards at GSCI - who account for two thirds of all money in commodity index funds - pushing the price of everything attached to a commodity upward at the expense of average Americans and for the benefit of themselves.

CME averaged 10 million futures contracts a day in the Spring of 2008, up 30% from a year prior.  In 2003, there was approximately $23 billion flowing into the commodities futures market.  By 2008, that number had increased to over $250 billion - an increase of over 10X.  During that same period, the price of all commodities in the GSCI rose about 200%.  There are endless examples of this.  By every metric imaginable, the money flow from speculators is directly responsible for the rise in commodities in a major way.  80% of all money flowing into the commodity space is speculative, just looking for bids from other speculators and from those who truly need the products.  

Sure, you can blame Bernanake or China or whatever you want, but the real story are the speculators. Since Bernanke is one degree of separation from everything on planet Earth, he can always be blamed for everything if that's the agenda.  


Wed, 01/05/2011 - 12:29 | 849427 Slim
Slim's picture

Agree - this is merely hot money flows from central bank global liquidity.  This is not supply/demand driven.  Unfortunately it's a major negative feedback look to any kind of sustained global recovery - something these same speculators are banking on.

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 12:32 | 849434 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

Useful.  Thank you for your comment.

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 12:39 | 849451 geoffb
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What is the source of the "speculators" seemingly unending supply of investable funds to drive up prices??? Leveraged debt, backstopped by uncle sam. I doesn't take a Rand worshipper to see the involvement of the government in our present price manipulation. And in agreement with your sentiment, I wholeheartedly believe speculators would love to have the power to manipulate prices autonomously. Hence the term "corner the market".

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 13:13 | 849583 wisefool
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GS-"I need 750 Billion dollars today or the world will come to an end"

Congress-"What will you do with it?"

GS-"We'll use it to make markets. with what is left over we'll pay yearly bonuses that are larger than the lifetime net worth of a typical farmer"

Congress-"What do these workers do?"

GS-"Gods work"

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 13:16 | 849596 caconhma
caconhma's picture

Yes, speculators are responsible for everything. This is a very old story. All socialist government tell the same story to its people: speculators are responsible for excessive prices and shortages.

Speaking about food, farmers must be paid: seeds, fuel, labor, transportation, storage, etc., The fking list is endless. If farmers are not paid to their satisfaction, they stop working. Then you have food shortages, riots, revolutions, you name it.

A fking union fireman or a policeman paid $100,000/yr for having no special skills and doing close to nothing. Now, you want a farmer and his family to work their ass of to feed these government union parasites? Sorry, it does not work this way.

Just ask people in present and former "communist" countries. The same is going for everybody creating value products instead of shit created by WallStreet gangsters and government bureaucratic parasites.


Wed, 01/05/2011 - 14:15 | 849831 John Bigboote
John Bigboote's picture

Very, very good comments on this thread.

One question though: what percent of farming in the US is done by individuals who will stop working? The conventional wisdom is that most farming is done by corporations that are granted guaranteed profits by the govt.

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 14:34 | 849891 Dr. Porkchop
Dr. Porkchop's picture

If you have a backyard, start a garden and learn about organic methods. This ain't about being a 'treehugger' or a 'hippie'. This is about survival. Doing this is akin to buying PMs, it's withdrawing your support from the global food ponzi. You don't need a farm to grow food. You don't need the expensive inputs of industrial farming. Take it back.

A lot of suburban neighborhoods have strict rules about this kind of thing, but those will be abandoned when it gets bad enough. The key is to get to know your neighbors and encourage them to do the same. Building social capital is very important in tough times. You can't do it alone, that's why I don't believe in running out to a cabin in the woods with a bunch of guns. You need a real live functioning community to survive.

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 15:42 | 850077 Cathartes Aura
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begin it now, where you are - agreed!

no "land"? straw bale garden in your driveway!

here's a link to a "homestead" in the city, they've been at it for 25 years, and have great pics 'n' advice:

find out if you can have a few chickens, some cities even allow a single goat - food sufficiency is important, if only to not be subject to substandard processed foodstuffs - remember, new head of the FDA is an ex MONSANTO executive!

Michael R. Taylor, J.D., was appointed Deputy Commissioner for Foods.  This was announced on the FDA’s website the day after the earthquake in Haiti.  Michael Taylor is a former top executive, lawyer and lobbyist with biotech giant Monsanto Co. He has rotated in and out of law firms, Monsanto, the USDA and FDA.


(and that was a great post RRR!)

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 16:30 | 850199 Rick Masters
Rick Masters's picture

I live in Philly and our union cops are bieng killed left and right and it's a disgrace. Philly cops have their bad apples just like any profession but the ones being shot are usually the ones in bad neighborhoods who are trying to stop the ever-increasing heroin trade fueled by Mexico. U.S. dope comes from Mexico not Afghanistan. But I think athey're starting salry is like $38,000 and they can die. So I understand why some people don't like unions but stick to the pencil pusher unions not the people in the line of fire (no pun intended). Well you can say wehat you want, sorry, I shouldn't tell you what to stick too. But think about that if you will. Thanks. BTW, I basically agree.

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 13:25 | 849620 Mr Poopra
Mr Poopra's picture

If you want to go one step further, it's greed.  Just regular, plain, old fashioned greed.  We have literally ruined the world because of it and the change coming now will no longer be just another depression, but a top to bottom socioeconomic change that nobody imagined could happen 5 years ago.  Generations from now, people will go to museums to see multi billion dollar nuclear submarines that could destroy the world multiple times over, and marvel at the stupidity and propensity for violence this civilization had.

The only consolation i have is that these people have fucked things up so bad, that it can never go back to the way it was. 

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 13:47 | 849709 Black Friday
Black Friday's picture


Do you now who holds those positions?

Do you know the total reach of the derivatives market?

Do you know anyone who trades on these secretive exchanges?

Did you know they have zero oversight, zero transparency and zero accountability?


"80% of all money flowing into the commodity space is speculative"

Besides hedging, is there any other reason to trade any market?

Sure, the Bernak is not to blame for everything, but...bringing a torch to check on a gas leak is a bad idea.


Wed, 01/05/2011 - 14:13 | 849820 Red Neck Repugnicant
Red Neck Repugnicant's picture


Since you asked me five questions, allow me to pick my favorite.  


Besides hedging, is there any other reason to trade any market?

There is a major difference between speculating in the equity markets, and speculating in the commodity futures market.  I can't eat a Goldman equity certificate - speculate all you want with it - but I do need many of the products in the commodity exchange to survive, like food and oil, so keep your leveraged casino chips away from it.  

If a commodity producer like a farmer or miner wants to hedge in the CME to protect his business, fine. Likewise, if a commodity consumer like ADM, Kraft or Kelloggs wants to hedge to protect themselves, fine.  If Goldman Sachs - neither a producer nor consumer - wants to hedge and leverage their casino chips that are tethered to oil, corn, wheat, etc. - they can go fuck themselves.

The CFTC needs to return to pre-1991, when J Aron was first issued - secretly - their hedging exemptions. That fucked everything up. 

Keep you casino chips away from the necessities of everyday life, like food.  




Wed, 01/05/2011 - 14:20 | 849846 Black Friday
Black Friday's picture

Well I can agree that overt speculation in commodities exchanges can be detrimental, the problem is that in order for hedging to occur, you need speculators to provide capital. There are rules to prevent what you are talking about in the commodities exchanges, there are however none in the shadowy derivatives market and you can be sure the last crisis was from that area, as will the next.

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 18:24 | 850640 Mr Poopra
Mr Poopra's picture

"If Goldman Sachs - neither a producer nor consumer - wants to hedge and leverage their casino chips that are tethered to oil, corn, wheat, etc. - they can go fuck themselves."

Quoted for truth.  I'm genuinely excited to see the shift in language and ideas that are materializing even within this place, much less everyday individuals i cross paths with. People are waking up and it's fucking beautiful.  

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 13:47 | 849722 EscapeKey
EscapeKey's picture

You do realize the irony with regards to your little rant ending in a "The real reason?  It's speculators."?

In every single event of high levels of inflation EVER, the "evil speculators" have been the first to be the accused.

But apparently, perma-bulls learn NOTHING from history.

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 14:19 | 849837 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

Everyone wants to blame Bernanke for everything, and it's just fucking nonsense.


Save that the US, through Ben Bernanke, is running the biggest speculative experiment in the world history, causing resources depletion and organizing scarcity on a world scale.

No speculator could dream of doing better than the US. 

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 14:35 | 849878 Red Neck Repugnicant
Red Neck Repugnicant's picture

You want the alternative?  No Fed? 

How did that work for you in the Panic of 1907, when our government went begging to Mr. J. Morgan with its tin cup? Do you know how many financial disasters occurred in the 1800's?  

I suppose you would want our government to rely on the plutocratic masters of the universe like it did in 1907, only this time it wouldn't be Mr. Morgan, it would be Lord Dimon and Lord Blankfein. While our government is undeniably controlled by the plutocrats today, the balance of scales would be tilted to the extreme and society would be their slaves.  Save your "that's what we have today" rhetoric, because survival-of-the-fittest, anarcho-capitalsim would be infinitely worse. You can't create a Garden of Eden-style ideal about capitalism if society is full of snakes. 


Wed, 01/05/2011 - 17:39 | 850443 redrob25
redrob25's picture

RNR, it is obvious you are not well educated in monetary history. You have a state sponsored view but don't appear to have attempted to educate yourself.

It is easy to criticize you based upon the apparent one sided arguments you make. Which makes for entertaining discourse, but little in the way of scholarly advancement.

Perhaps if you brought experience/knowledge from multiple sides of the argument and could argue the points on their merits, instead of towing a specific argument, you would get more positive responses here.

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 18:09 | 850584 Red Neck Repugnicant
Red Neck Repugnicant's picture

Instead of making a sweeping generalization, simply contest one point and I'll either defend it or I'll concede it as an error. 

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 14:21 | 849854 flattrader
flattrader's picture

We can blame Greenspan who wouldn't allow any control through the CFTC.

He was beholden to his banker masters.

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 16:59 | 850289 akak
akak's picture

Sure, you can blame Bernanake or China or whatever you want, but the real story are the speculators.

Two questions:

1) Have you ever stopped to ask yourself WHY there is this sudden "speculation" in commodities, in the face of our collapsing financial and monetary systems?

2) Similarly, where is all the liquidity to engage in this "speculation" suddenly coming from?  I am sure that it has nothing to do with the massive market interventions, bailouts and distortions created by the Federal Reserve --- right?

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 17:25 | 850355 Red Neck Repugnicant
Red Neck Repugnicant's picture

The "sudden" speculation is not so sudden. It's been accelerating for the past 8 years. 

I am sure that it has nothing to do with the massive market interventions, bailouts and distortions created by the Federal Reserve --- right?

Well, considering most of the 07/08 run-up in commodities happened BEFORE the uprecedented market interventions and bailouts by the Fed - yes.  

Much of the extra liquidity has come from pensions, various retirements and endowments that previously had no interest in commmodity index funds, but were pushed into them with promises of larger returns by the bastards at GSCI - much like how the SPG desk pushed pensions into CDO's which was suppose to yield better returns than treasuries.  

Before this turns into a meandering, garbled somnolent essay, I'll stop.  



Wed, 01/05/2011 - 17:43 | 850442 akak
akak's picture

The "sudden" speculation is not so sudden. It's been accelerating for the past 8 years. 

Untrue.  The prices of most agricultural commodities were either flat or only modestly rising (in line with the depreciation of the dollar) throughout the 2000s until late 2007 and into 2008, when they rapidly rose on the heels of the global financial crisis.

Much of the extra liquidity has come from pensions, various retirements and endowments that previously had no interest in commmodity index funds, but were pushed into them with promises of larger returns by the bastards at GSCI.

No, they were pushed into them by the downwardly-manipulated and artificially low interest rates, and hence by the destruction of returns on fixed income investments, courtesy of Soviet-style economic central planning in the guise of Federal Reserve policy.

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 18:15 | 850607 Red Neck Repugnicant
Red Neck Repugnicant's picture

until late 2007 and into 2008, when they rapidly rose on the heels of the global financial crisis

Can you please explain this further?

Specifically, how did the "heels of the global financial crisis" contribute to commodity appreciation in 07/08. 

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 17:34 | 850412 redrob25
redrob25's picture

"Everyone wants to blame Bernanke for everything, and it's just fucking nonsense. "


RNR wants to blame speculators for everything, and it's just fucking nonsense.

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 17:50 | 850492 akak
akak's picture

I can remember Nixon blaming "speculators" for the rising inflation of the early 1970s, and Robert Mugabe doing the same during the incipient hyperinflation in Zimbabwe in the early 2000s.  In fact, the cases of disingenuous and outright dishonest politicians and other establishment defenders blaming the results of their currency depreciation on "speculators" are literally legion, and follow the same timeworn and manipulative pattern.

RNR, you are a hopelessly statist and ignorant lackey for the sociopathic elite whose self-serving propaganda you have apparently swallowed hook, line and sinker.

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 18:29 | 850653 Red Neck Repugnicant
Red Neck Repugnicant's picture

Rick Santelli is a favorite among the ZH crowd. As someone who spends his days in the pits of the CME, he has a credible voice in the commodity speculation argument. 

Here he is in June 2008, defending speculators and their role in the "rolling" of oil contracts to higher and higher bids.

In a nutshell, his defense was that oil had to find its true value at the end of every month, or the roll would simply collapse.  To paraphrase him, he suggested that if speculators are to blame and the rise in oil is just a speculative bubble, oil would face a "mammoth dive."

A few days later, oil experienced a "mammoth dive," as it quickly collapsed 80% from its high.

So here is Rick Santelli admiting - although he didn't know it at the time - speculators are to blame for the oil bubble in 2008.



Wed, 01/05/2011 - 18:39 | 850698 akak
akak's picture

You appear determined to try and make the case that anyone here is denying that non-consumer, non-industrial speculation takes place in the commodities market, but you are the only one propping up that straw man.

Yes, of course such speculation takes place, but like a million other currency debasers and their hangers-on before you, you seem to ignore the fact that much more of what is happening in the commodities arena today is a frantic attempt by many investors to seek safety from our ongoing currency depreciation, which from all evidence threatens to accelerate, and from the real and unprecedented threat of chaos and even collapse in our financial and monetary systems.

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 16:06 | 850144 midtowng
midtowng's picture

Can't the Fed just print more rice?

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 17:00 | 850298 -Michelle-
-Michelle-'s picture

How about rice paper with edible ink?

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 12:30 | 849430 velobabe
velobabe's picture

don't forget cork, running out of cork in portugal. damn, no more ambiance opening up a bottle of fine wine with a fake cork or screw top.

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 10:10 | 848970 EscapeKey
EscapeKey's picture

Food? There's an app for that.

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 10:12 | 848985 nate28jf
nate28jf's picture

there is for Beer.  Mmmm...iBeer.

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 11:32 | 849243 assumptionblindness
assumptionblindness's picture

     "Food?  There's an app for that."

Yeah, it's called SimGrub.  My avatars love it...yummy!!!

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 11:39 | 849264 assumptionblindness
assumptionblindness's picture



Wed, 01/05/2011 - 10:15 | 848998 Teapot_Dome
Teapot_Dome's picture


Wed, 01/05/2011 - 10:32 | 849055 Bryan
Bryan's picture

People won't acknowledge the sting of inflation until their contraceptives and electronic gadgets get too expensive.

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 11:03 | 849159 ACjourneyman
ACjourneyman's picture

contraceptives, poor people don't use them, they are only for people who pay for poor peoples food. Add the rising cost of food to state programs and that should keep the futures green for the rest of the year, with all the more pressure on shrinking revenue.

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 11:17 | 849175 ColonelCooper
ColonelCooper's picture

Start it at 5:45 if you're short on time.

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 11:13 | 849169 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

Bernanke is either a 1) sociopathic criminal, or an 2) imbecile.

You can take your pick of the two choices, but you can't have your cake if you can't afford to buy it, in order to eat it. What's that? You can't afford bread, either?

Too bad, plebes. Bernanke is a bagman for the vultures, doing his job methodically, trembling upper lip and all.

If inflation causes the former middle class to lose faith in the system, and condemns the world's poor to starvation, that's a small price to pay in order to ensure bonuses on Wall Street and 120% of salary pensions at age 52 for government employees.

Senior citizens are going to get pissed off in the United States. Some people think this is comical, but it depends on your perspective, and from the perspective of incumbents in U.S. government in 2012, few will think it's funny as November draws nearer.

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 11:29 | 849231 topcallingtroll
topcallingtroll's picture

I don't really care what senior citizens think.  Collectively throught government pensions, medicare, and social security they are looting the country with their ponzis and expecting their children to pay for it.  Eat cat food you senior bitchez.

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 11:38 | 849263 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

My point wasn't that senior citizens should be entitled to any more consideration than the rest of us, but that they are given great consideration by politicians, as they vote in far higher %s than almost any other block of voters, and they tend to be far more sensitive to rising food and other costs of basic living (in other words, they are the first to notice, and the least likely to forgive).

It's realpolitik.

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 13:22 | 849616 goldfish1
goldfish1's picture

There's looting going on but it ain't the seniors or the poor.

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 13:56 | 849759 rwe2late
rwe2late's picture


The military and banking sectors are obese gluttons,

and the social and physical infrastructure sectors are starving skeletons.

60% of federal civil servants work for the military, homeland security, or the CIA. Add to that the uniformed military, and unclassified political appointees.

A trillion dollars a year is spent DIRECTLY on militarism. Add to that private weapons, privately paid security, and overseas arms dealing.

The trillions of dollars handed out to the MIC and the financial racketeers are a primary cause of the increasing inequity of wealth and power.


Professional engineers warn the roads, rails, electrical grid, sewage systems, dams, levees, water pipelines, and bridges have not been maintained, repaired, or replaced as needed. Trillions of dollars are needed just to bring the systems up to minimal standards of safety and usage. Trillions and trillions more to upgrade to world-class.

But we will continue to spend double the percentage GDP that others spend on similar healthcare in order to subsidize the insurance and health industries. We’ll allocate trillions more to keep financial speculators afloat. We’ll spend trillions more to kill illiterate peasants half-way around the world, prop up drug mobsters, and enrich warfare merchants. We’ll build more prisons, persevere in the counter-productive drug “war”, and cut back municipal schools. We’ll pay for more NSA, TSA, and Homeland policing of ourselves.

And meanwhile, people like you will recommend default and bitch about the aged receiving pensions that they have paid for with a regressive income (aka "payroll") tax.

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 11:37 | 849256 Cdad
Cdad's picture


This just in....from the Blow Horn:

"Commodity prices are at record highs due to weather."

Ben Bernanke is in the clear, and the Blow Horn continues to carry water perfectly for this corrupt group of bankers and politicians. 

Paging Comcast, come in Comcast....



Wed, 01/05/2011 - 11:41 | 849268 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

If that is true, then the weather has clearly shifted as a result of absorbing all the hot gases coming from Bernanke's orifices.


Wed, 01/05/2011 - 12:22 | 849400 Mr. Majestic
Mr. Majestic's picture

"You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows"

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 14:15 | 849826 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

Ben Bernanke is in the clear, and the Blow Horn continues to carry water perfectly for this corrupt group of bankers and politicians. 


It can only be the weather. Ben Bernanke has been mandated by the US to starve the poorest in the world so the US can exploit the situation by forcing here and there contracts on their resources. Good old US business style.

No self indiction from the US. The prices are the result of everything but the US monetary policy.

If the prices were down, then the US will be the responsibles for helping the world to eat etc...

You know the drill about the US.

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 13:20 | 849611 goldfish1
goldfish1's picture

Too bad, plebes.

Retail food price for kraft macaroni and cheese

$1.89. Last year...



Wed, 01/05/2011 - 11:19 | 849199 High Plains Drifter
High Plains Drifter's picture

Paging Mish Shedlock. Paging Mish Shedlock......

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 17:04 | 850309 akak
akak's picture

Sorry, pagers don't work on the deflationary flat earth.

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 12:04 | 849335 Smiley
Smiley's picture

Nailed it on the head, sad to say.

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 09:59 | 848936 jtmo3
jtmo3's picture

Ah, it's ok. The world economy is on the mend and BB has our backs. We can afford whatever they throw at us now. Ye of little faith.

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 17:05 | 850313 akak
akak's picture

The world economy is on the rend and BB has our backsides.

Corrected that sentence for you.

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 10:00 | 848939 66Sexy
66Sexy's picture

Rising food prices and rising gas prices..

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 10:12 | 848968 Quintus
Quintus's picture

You are hereby notified that the above statement constitutes a class II thoughtcrime under MINITRUE directive JS/07/M378.  The Party has declared that inflation is at worryingly low levels.   It follows that therefore food and gas prices cannot be rising and hence your statement must be a politically motivated attempt to undermine official reality.  Please remain at your current location.  Agents are on their way to escort you to a re-education facility where your unfortunate deviation from permitted thought patterns will be corrected.

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 10:16 | 849005 Arius
Arius's picture

you will be safer inside the box. you seem to have a brain problem (a bit larger than usual) let us help to box you in...

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 10:19 | 849014 umop episdn
umop episdn's picture


Wed, 01/05/2011 - 10:27 | 849044 Kaiser Sousa
Kaiser Sousa's picture

dude ur on a roll...

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 10:43 | 849092 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

+1984 dollears

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 11:30 | 849242 downrodeo
downrodeo's picture


Wed, 01/05/2011 - 11:43 | 849273 downrodeo
downrodeo's picture


Wed, 01/05/2011 - 10:17 | 848999 Bitch Tits
Bitch Tits's picture

"Rising food prices and rising gas prices.."


A deadly duo.

Maybe it's time to shut the casino down?


Wed, 01/05/2011 - 10:01 | 848943 Trimmed Hedge
Trimmed Hedge's picture

Food, bitchez

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 10:43 | 849089 Agent P
Agent P's picture's what's for dinner.

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 11:37 | 849262 TheDriver
TheDriver's picture

You can't eat food. Oh, wait...

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 14:04 | 849795 aheady
aheady's picture


Wed, 01/05/2011 - 10:01 | 848945 youngman
youngman's picture

Now I know where all the new ADP jobs security employees...don´t touch that cucumber

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 10:02 | 848947 Troy Ounce
Troy Ounce's picture


And flied lice? Lale lubbel?

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 10:01 | 848948 the not so migh...
the not so mighty maximiza's picture

Getting stabbed and robbed for your bag of grocerys, looks like a recovery to me.

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 10:16 | 849001 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

only if the knife gets stuck into a rib. Otherwise I think you'll need at least 4 QE's to recover from losing 95% of your blood and having lost a few organs in the process.

But never the less, all will be fine and surely you'll recover from it.

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 11:29 | 849237 topcallingtroll
topcallingtroll's picture

nobody is going to get stabbed and robbed for a bag of food in our socialist economy.  The only people being stabbed and robbed are future generations and current taxpayers

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 10:01 | 848949 RobotTrader
RobotTrader's picture

With the huge rally in the dollar, the CRB index will probably head back down for a couple of months and the food inflation concerns will be relieved.

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 10:16 | 848991 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

With the huge (fake) rally (imminent implosion) in the dollar, the CRB index will probably (explode) (up) (in) a couple of months and then the food inflation concerns will be:

a. Real

b. Painful


Wed, 01/05/2011 - 10:16 | 849003 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

Its already real, and painful...fuck a $5 box of Cheerios. Jaw dropped when I saw that yesterday.

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 10:36 | 849072 johnnynaps
johnnynaps's picture

Sucks for you! Cheerios is on sale at my local Shoprite 4 for $6. I'm going to load up for the year!

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 10:40 | 849083 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

Not sayin you cant buy the crap thats been sitting there forever on sale.

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 11:13 | 849188 dizzyfingers
dizzyfingers's picture

...check the manufacturing date.

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 16:09 | 850147 Cathartes Aura
Cathartes Aura's picture

and the GMO-ingredients - start with "corn". . .

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 13:26 | 849622 goldfish1
goldfish1's picture

Try not to look at the (small) size of the box.

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 10:24 | 849024 EscapeKey
EscapeKey's picture

Yes, because despite voluminous historical evidence to the contrary, a strong economy really CAN be built on perpetually growing deficits, financed by outright debt monetization.

It's a whole new paradigm.

This time is different.

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 10:41 | 849087 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

They got it all figured out this time...these guys are mastermind monetizers! All past were mere amateur insane maniacal dictators...this time its different.

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 10:47 | 849098 EscapeKey
EscapeKey's picture

John Law allowed equity in the Mississippi Company to be collateral for loans (which could then be used to buy more equity in MC).

This time around, government bonds can be repo'ed in exchange for cash, which can then be used to buy more government bonds.


Wed, 01/05/2011 - 11:09 | 849176 Bastiat
Bastiat's picture

Bingo!  When I first learned, in the mid-80s, how much UST paper was leveraged in the repo-market and essentially "homeless" I was shocked.  Naive kid, eh?

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 11:20 | 849210 John Law Lives
John Law Lives's picture

John Law lives!

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 14:28 | 849870 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture

Ironic that he died poor.

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 11:00 | 849146 duo
duo's picture

Measured against inflation (M2 or M3), wheat and corn were twice as much, or more, in the 70's.

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 11:37 | 849260 SilverRhino
SilverRhino's picture

Yet another indication that living standards are declining.  


Hard to be optimistic when we are basically watching the shit hit the fan in slow motion.


Wed, 01/05/2011 - 12:38 | 849448 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

One turd at a time.  Speaking of Turd, where is he?

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 13:27 | 849629 goldfish1
goldfish1's picture

Wheat and corn were real and nutritious,  not GMO. Think toaster 1970 vs. toaster 2010.

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 11:46 | 849241 rwe2late
rwe2late's picture

duplicate deleted

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 11:47 | 849244 rwe2late
rwe2late's picture

duplicate deleted

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 11:33 | 849248 Die Weiße Rose
Die Weiße Rose's picture

since gold is a currency hedge,(rather than an Inflation hedge)

the most logical thing would be to sell PM and commodities

as the currency US Dollar rises.

After having said that,now watch the sheeple junk me...


Wed, 01/05/2011 - 11:47 | 849251 rwe2late
rwe2late's picture


 Nations that cannot print US dollars may not be so "relieved" of "food inflation concerns" by a dollar "rally" as you imply.

 The article focused on global food concerns.

  Are you suggesting that we should all find "relief' from "food concerns" inasmuch as QE to the nth perversely causes the dollar to "rally" when other nations try to fight off dollar-flood inflation?

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 11:38 | 849265 tmosley
tmosley's picture

Never heard of the calm before the storm.

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 10:05 | 848954 Pants McPants
Pants McPants's picture

"Higher food prices are also boosting overall inflation, which is above the preferred targets of central banks in Europe."

Oops, someone transposed cause and effect.  Saying higher food prices boosts inflation is like saying it rained today because I carried an umbrella to work.

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 13:30 | 849640 goldfish1
goldfish1's picture

You are hereby notified that the above statement constitutes a class II thoughtcrime under MINITRUE directive JS/07/M378.  


Here's another one.

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 10:05 | 848960 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

Also there should be a mention that AFTER 2008, food prices didn't drop and kept rising.

Looking at prices here in Europe alone, these last 6 months there was a pretty big rise also.

I bet once we cross a world population of 8 billion people the problem will be solved!

SO! A message to the pope :


Wed, 01/05/2011 - 10:12 | 848981 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

Yea youre right, food prices never really dropped from that 2007 bubble, similar to their 'double dip' lie we never got out of the first dip, just papered it over with 1 ply FRN's.

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 10:07 | 848961 LongSoupLine
LongSoupLine's picture

The Bernank says, "Focus on the CPI...that's are getting sleepy.  Now go buy iPads, drink Starbucks, watch CNBC. Allllll's well my little lemming"

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 11:11 | 849183 Bastiat
Bastiat's picture

"Now go buy iPads"  When are they coming out with iPons?

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 13:32 | 849643 goldfish1
goldfish1's picture

Isn't that iPonz ?

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 11:37 | 849259 scatterbrains
scatterbrains's picture

I'll do my part to support the substitution bias theory in the cpi by switching from driving my car to pedaling my bike. thanks bb

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 10:18 | 848969 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

Food? over rated...load up my IApp's, MP3's, and LuLuLemon yoga gear... Im set.

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 14:05 | 849794 Strider52
Strider52's picture

I'm not worried. I have over 2,000 arable acres on my Farmville account. iCrap in your general direction.

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 10:10 | 848971 walcott
walcott's picture

no need for Jenny Craig,

emaciation bitchezz.

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 10:10 | 848977 Kaiser Sousa
Kaiser Sousa's picture

fuck food....

anyone catch what happened on the last episode of "Real Housewives of Atlanta Sucka's For Love Ass Mother Fucka's".... or whatever it's called...

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 10:12 | 848987 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

They hook on the side? All the hip housewives are doin it now...just look at Craigs List.

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 10:45 | 849096 Dagny Taggart
Dagny Taggart's picture

Not all the hip housewives, Dog. You and Barry Ritholtz should put together a vaudeville routine on your misconceptions of what housewives can do.

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 11:23 | 849217 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

Hey Dagney just look at Craigs list! Just sayin!

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 12:04 | 849334 Dagny Taggart
Dagny Taggart's picture

The hip housewives are checking their trades in the kitchen while they stew Armageddon Chili in the crockpot. The really cool ones have made a shitload of money doing this recently, while letting their husbands believe it was from their ideas. Just sayin!

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 10:10 | 848978 Alcoholic Nativ...
Alcoholic Native American's picture

Good thing I get food stamps or I would really be taking a hit!

And I don't think there will be food riots in the U.S.  One thing about my city is that you can't go hungry there are plenty of churches that supply breakfast lunch and dinner.  A lot of the bread in grocery stores that are about to expire get donated to these groups.  a 1000 dollar loaf of bread scenario in the U.S. in inplausable unless of course the oil gets shut off and transportion is the problem.  I have faith in America's agricultural capabilities.  Other places might be fucked but the U.S. is gonna eat!

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 10:15 | 848997 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

Americas agricultural abilities? Did ya read S510 they just passed?

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 10:17 | 849000 Alcoholic Nativ...
Alcoholic Native American's picture

Right a long with the rest of our representatives.  No.  Why whats in it?

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 10:21 | 849025 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

Strict farming rules, Roundup GMO seeds only, Monsanto will be the only ones growing crops and its all Frankenfood genetically modified, even backyard gardens may be restricted.

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 10:28 | 849048 Spastica Rex
Spastica Rex's picture

God I hate Monsanto.

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 12:10 | 849369 countryboy42
countryboy42's picture

Saw a Monsanto sign in a field in Kansas last week. Let loose with both barrels of #5. Blew the piss out out it.

Hell, if food prices keep going up, which they will, looks like my Ramen investment will really pay off.

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 13:35 | 849660 goldfish1
goldfish1's picture

Thank you.

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 16:32 | 850204 Cathartes Aura
Cathartes Aura's picture

and Monsanto hates you right back, sadly.

Bill HR 875 nicknamed ‘The Criminalization of Organic Farming and the Take Over of the US Food Supply’

Monsanto is taking massive control over all farms through the falsely named “Food Safety” bills, introduced by Rosa DeLauro whose husband, Stanley Greenburg got rich from working for Clinton and Monsanto. The agriculture committee is loaded with people who have gotten large donations from Monsanto.  The biggest of the Monsanto bills introduced by DeLauro is HR 875.   Identical bills that have been enacted into law in the European Union resulted in 60% of the Polish farmers are now gone and 60+ UK farmers have committed suicide.  Iraq has been rendered helpless serfs by the theft of their country’s seeds and criminalization of farmers’ collection of their own seed.  By far the most devasting is India, where 182,000 farmers have committed suicide since the WTO and IMF got hold of agriculture and our Big Ag firms went in there, an additional 8 million farmers have left the land altogether.

this is serious folks, best keep up to speed.

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 10:49 | 849103 Alcoholic Nativ...
Alcoholic Native American's picture

Back yard gardens being restricted! ha! That's a laugh.  No way man, who the fucks gonna enforce that? 

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 10:50 | 849109 EscapeKey
EscapeKey's picture

Well, if the (revenue generating) police force can fine you for it, then there's your answer.

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 10:54 | 849124 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

Bingo! And Napolitanos Nazi Neighbor snitch program. The systems are in place.

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 12:14 | 849378 chubbar
chubbar's picture

It's worse than that. They can freeze bank accounts and confiscate farm equipment if they so choose. How the fuck are you going to defend against that in court with no funds to access? Think they haven't thought this one through? Think again.

Secondly, they have to bribe the state gov'ts inorder to actually enact this at the state level (the language in the bill requires them to coordinate with the state). Anyone think that the bailouts won't be somehow tied to the states rolling over on this issue, among others?

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 12:45 | 849480 wisefool
wisefool's picture

+1. The barrier to entry for farming is so high you have to get levered up to your gills. Thats why I snicker when I hear people on this site talk about investing in farmland. Unless you are a multi generational family with existing knowledge and infrastructure you gotta hold your nose and drink the koolaid. including relinquishing lots of control to the government just for access to crop insurance. If you don't do it the bank's or the governments way, good luck bringing it to market. The food processors set the price on both ends, to the customer and the producer. And they are centralized enough to lobby for anything they want as you mentioned. Hog farmers operated at a loss during several years in 2000-2010. Packers and processors had record profits.

Now bring all this QE funny money into the mix via speculation and the banks out of work housing bubble lobbyists. Recipe for disaster. They destroyed the housing market, but at least we have an over supply sitting there. If they blow up the AG industry it will not work that way. (excess food sitting around)

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 10:53 | 849118 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

Same people that file lawsuits now if they dont like the new color of your house or if your tree blocks their 'line of sight'? Ask me, I know first hand.
Napolitanos Nazi Neighbor snitch program, bitchez!

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 12:30 | 849426 Terminus C
Terminus C's picture

They squeeze a little bit harder every day.  Nazi's all

Amazing that we fought and died by the thousands to "defeat" the Nazi threat.  Guess it is going to be time to start the war again soon.

It will be uglier this time.

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 13:40 | 849684 goldfish1
goldfish1's picture

You'd be surprised. A "Delores Umbridge" character came to take the census. She was more than displeased with me when I told her, "number of people living here only."

She and her ilk are itching to enact their sadistic powerlust.

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 16:07 | 850145 -Michelle-
-Michelle-'s picture

Ahem, ahem.

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 16:28 | 850195 Fernley Girl
Fernley Girl's picture

Google Earth will be a big help ferreting out your backyard gardens.  Some municipalities have already used it to collect property taxes on non-permitted additions & pools.  Somewhere along the line your county or city will probably make it illegal to grow your own food without a fee & permit.

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 13:36 | 849666 goldfish1
goldfish1's picture

Sodomized to Protect Our Freedoms

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 10:17 | 849008 eigenvalue
eigenvalue's picture

True. China will be fucked and the US is gonna eat.

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 10:15 | 848995 eigenvalue
eigenvalue's picture

Food is sure to rise even without QE. China has been manipulating the prices of domestic agricultural products for years. It is extremely unprofitable to be a farmer in China. Nowadays, farmers in China are old people. Young people have left the countryside and moved into the sweatshops in cities. The land is harmed by the over-use of chemical fertilisers. Who can feed the billions of  Chinese in the future?

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 10:16 | 849007 Alcoholic Nativ...
Alcoholic Native American's picture

Soylent green inc.

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 10:26 | 849042 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

Does it come in different colors?

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 10:37 | 849071 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture

Yes, and so does the furniture.

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 10:58 | 849138 Green Leader
Green Leader's picture

China has been buying/leasing agricultural land in South America.

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 11:59 | 849315 Rusty Shorts
Rusty Shorts's picture

and Africa...

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 12:58 | 849524 LFMayor
LFMayor's picture

Can't grow shit in Africa... why do you think all those people walk around starving?  You know what bumper crops they have in Africa?  Flies. And poor little babies.  I've seen em on every commercial on TV about the place.  That's what they'll be eating over there real soon.

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 13:05 | 849549 Green Leader
Green Leader's picture

Africa has extremely competent agricultural scientists trained in Cornell, Oxford, Texas A&M, etc. Tribal warfare & politics is another story.


Wed, 01/05/2011 - 13:49 | 849723 Calmyourself
Calmyourself's picture

They must be starving as a result of chemtrails dumbing down the ag experts.  Only the elite are immune from these chemicals, its genetic you see..

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 13:55 | 849751 Green Leader
Green Leader's picture

No, they live protected and from what I am told, eat raw foods.

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 14:10 | 849816 PeterSchump
PeterSchump's picture

Zimbabwe was an exporter of food until the redistributionists had their way.  For most of the continent, it is tyranny and not the availability of arable land.

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 15:15 | 850009 SilverRhino
SilverRhino's picture

>> Can't grow shit in Africa... why do you think all those people walk around starving? 

Because they practice collectivism.   Rhodesia was the breadbasket of Africa before the UN fucked them.

Africans cant get their shit together.  The Chinese will come in, get their shit together, colonize it and drive the Africans out eventually.

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 10:19 | 849013 Internet Tough Guy
Internet Tough Guy's picture

Economy gets better = money velocity explodes, hyperinflation.

Economy gets worse = more printing, hyperinflation.

Pick one.

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