Food price spikes have hurt families in the United States and across the globe in recent years especially. The ravages of natural disasters and war have taken a toll on the agriculture industry, but something else, clearly man-made, has come to play a detrimental role in world hunger: The Federal Reserve.
Americans have long been skeptical of this non-government agency that controls so much of our lives – almost entirely for the worse. Now, Hazel Henderson with Ethical Markets has come forward to explain how commodity speculation has contributed greatly to the world hunger crisis. Quantitative easing has dramatically increased world hunger, according to Henderson.
Whether you’re looking at the effects of QE1, QE2, or QE3, there’s a common denominator – not a a single session of quantitative easing was successfully able to stimulate anything other than inflation. Our economy is barely hanging on by its made-in-China bootstraps while families struggle to put food on the table for their families.
Federal Reserve Headquarters
Since this move [quantitative easing] severely undermines the value of the underlying fiat currency, investors rush out to buy more secure “hard” assets such as gold, silver, oil, land and food. With speculators bidding up the price of food, as they might a stock or mutual fund, those on the brink of poverty cannot compete in this global auction. As a result, they go hungry.
According to Henderson, “Blindness to the role of finance and speculation in rising prices of food and commodities attests to the power of free market ideologies among global financial interests.”
The blindness, of course comes about as the result of externalizing the social and environmental costs that, in the absence of accountability, do not affect the bottom line.
There are a lot of things most Americans simply don’t know or don’t quite understand about the Federal Reserve and the consequences quantitative easing. Surely, the institution has done far more harm than good in recent years and they need to brainstorm some economic alternatives without the nasty QE side-effects.
The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), Beyond GDP, and a study from the New England Complexity Institute (NECSI) have all studied the unfortunate correlation between Fed policies, government policies, market speculation, food riots and food spikes. Their data suggests that there will be more food riots amidst more food price spikes in 2013… unless some restrictions and speculations embedded in the Dodd-Frank bill, which is now law, are actualized.
Posted courtesy of the Wealth Wire
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