Food prices hit record highs in February 2011 and stoked protests connected to the Arab Spring wave of civil unrest in some North African and Middle Eastern countries. They then receded, but started to grow again in January.
The index, which measures monthly price changes for a food basket of cereals, oilseeds, dairy, meat and sugar, averaged 215,9 points in March, up from a revised 215,4 points in February, FAO data showed.
Its cereal price index averaged 227 points in March, up from February, with maize prices showing gains, supported by low inventories and a strong soybean market, the FAO said.
“You can see prices in the near term rising even further,” FAO’s senior economist and grain analyst Abdolreza Abbassian said before the index update.
The FAO also confirmed its earlier forecast for world wheat output to fall 1,4% from Read more…
Ron Paul To Ben Bernanke: “People Lose Trust In The Government Because You Lie To Them About Inflation” (Video)
by Tyler Durden
Anytime Ron Paul sits across from Ben Bernanke you know sparks will fly. Sure enough, they did: starting 50 seconds into the clip below, Ron Paul, guns blazing, asks the Chairman if he does his own shopping, if he is aware of what true inflation is, and if he knows that Americans don’t trust the government because they are being lied to about inflation. And it only gets better, once Paul starts brandishing a silver coin. The punchline: “The Fed will self-destruct anyway when the money is gone” – amen. And ironically letting the Fed keep on doing what it is doing will achieve that in the fastest possible way. In fact, letting the system cannibalize itself with no further hindrances may be the best option currently available – just go to town.
Strap on that safety belt for one wild summer of frantic trading in the energy complex, according to economist, prolific author and wealth strategist, Stephen Leeb. He says gas prices in the US could reach $6 per gallon by the summer driving season.
And if there’s any economic event that could surely torpedo an already near-flat-lined US economy into a death spiral, it will come from a massive price hike in that most critical commodity to any economy—oil. According to the charts, oil has again breached the Read more…
HONG KONG (AP) — China is poised to overtake India to become the world’s biggest gold market this year as rising incomes fuel demand for the precious metal and a weak rupee diminishes Indian purchases, an industry group said Thursday.The amount of gold bought in China rose 20 percent in 2011 over the year before to 770 metric tons, the World Gold Council said in its annual report. That put China behind only first-place India, where 933 metric tons were bought.
Worldwide, the amount of gold purchased rose 0.4 percent to 4,0671 metric tons worth $205.5 billion.
The council said it’s “likely that China will emerge” as the world’s largest gold market for the first time in 2012.
Rising incomes in China, which is the world’s No. 2 economy, have resulted in a surge in demand for gold jewelry and other luxury goods. China became the world’s largest market for gold jewelry in the second half of 2011 as demand rose in every quarter, the report said.
Gold bars, coins and other gold-backed products are also popular because of a lack of Read more…
Some 32 years ago, Ronald Reagan ran for U.S. President, in part, on a promise to appoint a “gold commission” to study the issue of whether and how the United States should return to some variation of the gold standard.
The nation had just come through a couple of tough decades during which, at times, it seemed as if the whole fabric of American society was being ripped apart. Devastating inflation and a lagging economy only made worse the social and emotional turmoil created by changing mores and standards surrounding civil rights, gender roles and military intervention. President Richard Nixon’s shocking act of severing the U.S. dollar’s ties to gold had failed to bring economic prosperity to the nation, and the Republican Party was feeling a bit of buyers’ remorse. The idea of a return to a gold-based monetary system gained steam.
A recent New York Times article describes the pre-election environment:
Wondering why gold at $1850 is cheap, or why gold at double that price will also be cheap, or frankly at any price? Because, as the following leaked cable explains, gold is, to China at least, nothing but the opportunity cost of destroying the dollar’s reserve status. Putting that into dollar terms is, therefore, impractical at best, and illogical at worst. We have a suspicion that the following cable from the US embassy in China is about to go not viral but very much global, and prompt all those mutual fund managers who are on the golden sidelines to dip a toe in the 24 karat pool. The only thing that matters from China’s perspective is that “suppressing the price of gold is very beneficial for the U.S. in maintaining the U.S. dollar’s role as the Read more…
On August 6th after S&P downgraded the U.S. debt rating from AAA to AA+ with a negative outlook, NIA prayed that Americans would not make the mistake of buying U.S. Treasuries as a safe haven. We normally don’t pray about economic matters, but only God can save the U.S. economy today as well as investors who have been brainwashed into believing U.S. government dollar-denominated bonds are a safe place to store wealth. Unfortunately, only when hyperinflation arrives will the majority of American citizens realize that fiat U.S. dollars should be used as a medium of exchange only and not a place to store wealth.
Since NIA was launched two and a half years ago, the overwhelming majority of our economic predictions have come true, with many of our accurate predictions being unique only to us. Sometimes we are a bit early with our predictions, but they almost always eventually come true. One of our predictions that Read more…
The researchers point to two main factors driving the increase in food prices
The waves of social unrest and political instability seen recently around the world have coincided with large peaks in global food prices, US researchers have found.
They warn that unless something is done urgently to address rising food prices, it could trigger more widespread trouble in the near future.
Professor Yaneer Bar-Yam, president of the New England Complex Systems Institute, and colleagues, correlated the dates of riots around the world with data from the United Nations that plots changes in the price of food.
They found evidence that episodes of social unrest in North Africa and the Middle East coincided closely with peaks in the UN Food and Agriculture Organization’s Food Price Index.
Reporting their findings on the pre-press website arXiv.org the researchers say that although the riots reflect many factors such as the long-standing political failings of governments, high food prices provide a tipping point.
“There are indeed many factors that can contribute to unrest,” Bar-Yam explains. “What we see, however, is that these conditions can Read more…