Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Gov't to examine swings in crop futures

From BusinessWeek:

Costlier corn flakes, pricier pizzas and painful pump fill-ups share more than top billing among consumers' worries.

They're all riding a roller coaster of commodity market prices, where peaks are unusually high. Like oil futures, agricultural futures have experienced dramatic highs and lows in recent months as Wall Street investors flock to commodities for protection from the falling dollar and slumping stocks.

But the ups and downs in futures prices are giving grain sellers and farmers financial vertigo. Instead of finding predictable prices for wheat, corn and other crops in futures markets, they're getting daily price jolts and no refuge from uncertainty.

That has prompted government regulators to examine what forces, if any, have thrown the markets off balance....MORE