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 Good point Wolf  An important point institutional economists have made is the fiction of free markets is that our orthodox fellows keep pretending are real.  It seems that we are talking about contracts rather than flexible prices.  The links in supply chains are contracts.  Anyone interested can do some research on Kern County (California) Land Company.  It has the largest irrigated farms in the world that are threatened  by the continuing drought. 
Listen to some songs by Merle Haggard who grew up in Kern County in the railroad box car his Dad converted into their house during the Great Depression.  Prosperity for that fertile valley.  Better yet, read Woody Guthrie's Bound for Glory and see the movie.  His son, Arlo, found a note in Woody's papers from John Steinbeck that stated - Woody, you little bastard, you wrote in 17 verses what it took me a whole novel to write. That is the ballad of Tom Joad.  That drought caused  major changes in the agriculture sector. Banks foreclosed on farms when the farmers couldn't pay their debts.  The economic effects of the Dust Bowl went well beyond the region.. There is a line in the ballad, "They've been tractored out by the Cats" which points out the coming consolidation of farms, the decline of farm work and the abandonment of country towns. There's more but I will move on.  .
Merle and Woody escaped from Oklahoma during the short drought, compared the current climate change. What has the current drought contributed to our rise in agricultural prices?  Have the changes affected current prices? What has it done to our economy and society?   It's fertile  ground (no pun intended) for research.  We need to go beyond our data sets and do dome John R. Commons' type investigation.  
One other song of Woody's you will appreciate is Deportee.  Creative observers can help us see the word we live in.

    On Monday, March 28, 2022, 09:44:19 AM PDT, <[log in to unmask]> wrote:  
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it would be most critical to get to know whether (or how far) these price increases stem from a particular speculation that is usually taking place in wartimes. Large parts of the gas price increases already before the Russian invasion in the Ukraine have definitely been a result of speculation. in this case, even the EU-commission was the speculator, as it reduced long-run contracts with Gazprom and went into the spot gas market at times, when they had hoped to buy cheaper (but the contrary did realize). Also, it is known that the Wall Street is the largest single institutional cluster to own global wheat reserves … 

one could check anything currently, from gas at the gas station to semiconductors …


thanks, and best,





Von: AFEEMAIL Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> Im Auftrag von Tanweer Akram
Gesendet: Montag, 28. März 2022 16:57
An: [log in to unmask]
Betreff: [AFEEMAIL] The sharp rise in the global price of wheat


Non-NU Email

Dear colleagues,
The global price of wheat has risen sharply.  The price of wheat was rising even before the Ukraine crisis.  The high price of wheat (and other food grains) is likely to lead to immense suffering of the poor people of the world, both in developing and developed countries.  

Perhaps institutional and heterodox economists will have useful policy recommendations that can mitigate the suffering.






Tanweer Akram, PhD
Email: [log in to unmask]