Category Archives: Food markets & development

Markets in everything and the fiduciary trap

Investment manager Jeremy Grantham’s latest quarterly newsletter is even more noteworthy than usual. It begins on a note of concern bordering on panic that I’ve never seen in an investment letter, and sustains that tone throughout: We are five years … Continue reading

Posted in Finance and capital markets, Food markets & development | Leave a comment

Let them eat crop insurance

The new Farm Bill that made its way out of the House Agriculture Committee this week is a particularly vicious piece of social engineering masquerading as fiscal responsibility. While Congress has taken every opportunity to pat itself on the back … Continue reading

Posted in Food markets & development, Politics, Public finance | Leave a comment

From their lips to God’s ears (and kudos to Reuters)

Are commodities at risk of definancialization? (Reuters) – Unless returns on commodity futures and options start to pick up soon, institutional investors may sour on the asset class and scale back or terminate their exposure to it, ending a decade-long … Continue reading

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Pigou wept (updated)

Exhibit A No community intent on protecting the fount of solidarity between its members can allow latent hostility to develop around a matter as vital to animal existence and, therefore, capable of arousing as tense anxieties as food. Hence the … Continue reading

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The weighted economy I: firms and markets

Though it feels like decades ago, one of the dominant themes of the fizzy turn of the millennium was the “weightless economy” in which the ratio of physical mass of output relative to value added was understood to be shrinking … Continue reading

Posted in Food markets & development, Organizations | 1 Comment

Two points on commodity markets and information

Food markets used to work At least according to last month’s UNCTAD report on the information content and price formation in agricultural commodity markets. Until recently, spot and futures markets were closely aligned. The futures market was larger and more … Continue reading

Posted in Finance and capital markets, Food markets & development, Information and systems | 1 Comment

Coercive aggregation vs. primitive accumulation

This post has been more challenging to write than I expected. Developing and articulating even a minimal framework – let alone doing it in a public forum – is an interesting process in its own right, but this is not … Continue reading

Posted in Coercive aggregation, Food markets & development | 4 Comments