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The curious case of rising prices in international markets

The curious case of rising prices in international markets
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First Published: Fri, Feb 18 2011. 10 34 PM IST

Growing concern: Rising food prices have pushed 44 million more people into poverty in developing countries since June.
Growing concern: Rising food prices have pushed 44 million more people into poverty in developing countries since June.
Updated: Fri, Feb 18 2011. 10 34 PM IST
Mumbai:Google Trends data show that searches for “inflation” have increased in the past fortnight. Not without reason, as some analysts believe the rise in food prices is one of the major reasons for the unrest in Tunisia, Egypt and some other parts of the Middle East.
Growing concern: Rising food prices have pushed 44 million more people into poverty in developing countries since June.
Rising food prices have pushed 44 million more people into poverty in developing countries since June, according to the World Bank.
The Food and Agriculture Organization forecast that wheat supply from China might fall this year as drought threatens the country’s wheat crop. Here are a couple of blogs that look at this issue, among other things.
Daily Capitalist
In the blog, Jeff Harding argues actual inflation in the US may be higher.
“According to one rogue economist, John Williams at Shadow Government Statistics, if we still calculated inflation the way we did when Jimmy Carter was president, the official inflation figures would look about as bad as they did when ... Jimmy Carter was president. According to Mr Williams’s calculations, if we counted inflation under the old system the official rate wouldn’t be 1.5%. It would be closer to 10%,” he posts. Read it at http://tinyurl.com/6k3g623.
Beyond Brics
In this Financial Times blog, Ranjit Lall examines the reasons for inflation in different economies. “Regional analysts point to other idiosyncratic factors. HSBC’s chief China economist Qu Hongbin says food inflation in China has been “caused mainly by disruptions in the farming and transportation of fresh vegetables and some specific food items.” Surjit Bhalla, economist at Oxus Investments, blames food price rises in India on “gross mismanagement” by the government, which has left large amounts of food to rot,” he writes at http://tinyurl.com/4ds2kps.
Curious Capitalist
Is the Chinese yuan becoming a rival to the dollar, asks Michael Schuman in the Time blog.
“Beijing’s currency policy is working in two contradictory directions. On the one hand, Beijing wants the yuan to play a larger role globally, to decrease the country’s dependence on the dollar in its international business. But Beijing also wants to control the yuan to promote exports and protect the financial sector and other special interests at home. Eventually, one of those goals is going to have to go if the yuan is to reach the global status it rightly deserves,” he writes at http://tinyurl.com/ 4dnaqa2.
Zero Hedge
The anonymous blogger at Zero Hedge who refers to himself as Tyler Durden, a character form the movie Fight Club, says shots of Jock Daniels can best explain the US budget.
“Using shot glasses of Jack Daniels it takes just under two minutes to lay out in layman’s terms not only the essence of the proposed budget, as well as the ‘Draconian’ cuts contemplated, but also insinuates heavily about the level of blood in the alcohol stream of those government workers who came up with the ‘50% rise in government revenues over 2 years’ assumption,” he posts. You can read it at http://tinyurl.com/63s2rz4.
Jayanth R Varma
The IIM Ahmedabad professor talks about exchange mergers. “In exchange mergers, the winner has not bothered to keep the loser’s brands simply because the brands of exchanges are not really worth anything. So long as an exchange has the contracts and the liquidity, nobody cares what it is called. Long ago, the London Stock Exchange rechristened itself as the “International Stock Exchange of the United Kingdom and Ireland” and then went back to being the London Stock Exchange again without anybody bothering about it,” he wrote at http://tinyurl.com/4u6xlyq. A previous related post can be found at http://tinyurl.com/4ubp9pg.
ravi.k@livemint.com
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First Published: Fri, Feb 18 2011. 10 34 PM IST