April 07, 2008

April 7, 2008 Special Edition: Welcome to RicePANIC. Seriously. Now we have rice panic. And it's gonna get ugly.

So rice prices have soared over 50% in the past few weeks, and the basic food staple of billions is now at risk.

Housing panic is meaningless versus rice panic. Screwed homedebtors can just walk away and rent. Screwed rice eaters, well, they die.

Thank you Ben Bernanke. Thank you Alan Greenspan. Thank you corrupt communist leaders of China. Thank you Wal-Mart shoppers. Thank you McMansion buyers. Thank you Hummer & SUV buyers. Thank you people who put food in your car's gastank. Thank you politicians who encourage farmland to be used to grow fuel instead of food.

One day people will wise up on the interconnectedness of man. They'll better see the repercussions of their actions. That day is coming closer.

Fears of unrest rise across Asia as rice price surges 30% in a day

Rice prices jumped 30 per cent to a record high yesterday, raising fears of fresh outbreaks of social unrest across Asia, where the grain is a staple food for more than 2.5bn people.

Global rice stocks are at their lowest since 1976. While prices of wheat, corn and other agricultural commodities have surged since late 2006, the rice prices increase started in January.


Anonymous said...

I can imagine a worse situation.

Like $400 a barrel oil and $10 a gallon gas. In this case, can we even ship food across the ocean at affordable prices?

Anonymous said...

Its all falling apart now

foreclosureboy said...

sounds like wages are going to have to go up in china. US inflation is hitting china big time.

Anonymous said...

They're out of rice?
Let'em eat cake!

Afterthought said...

Lets be academic for a second: we aren't describing the real world, we're merely describing a hypothetical world where

#1 the population exceeds the carrying capacity: What would happen to prices in such a world?

Now, just because we have rising prices doesn't mean we've exceeded carrying capacity in the real world.

#2 Can a globe sustain a population above its carrying capacity indefinitely? No. But how about temporarily? Yes. How can that be? How does a farmer make it through the winter when he had a bad harvest? By eating the seed corn! Not sustainable, but it gets you by to live to see another day.

Is there a modern equivalent to eating the seed corn? How about depleting fossil fuels? How about pumping out aquifers? How about cutting down forests and replacing them with parking lots? How about overfishing? How about depleting the agricultural soil of its nutrients leading to desertification? How about all of the above?

Thus in our make-believe world there is a Wile E. Coyote moment before the crash.

Now we are returning from the world of make-believe to the real world where one of the rules of debate is that we have no clue how the world works! If we claim to we are speculating and we cannot be believed! How can we make a connection between our theoretical models and what is happening in the real world?

According to the same minds that brought you our housing shit storm and our Mess'O'Potamia YOU CAN'T!

(unless your prediction is optimistic...)

Isn't it wonderful!

Unless you are actually dead you can be an eternal optimist! But then it doesn't matter so why worry, right?

LibVet said...

"One day people will wise up on the interconnectedness of man."

Americans have, for the most part, never been anywhere. They don't know about the rest of the world and they don't care about the rest of the world.

That's just the truth of it.

Keith, you are such a kidder. Americans don't care about anyone other than themselves. Now, pass the potato chips and the Gameboy.

(Yes, there are exceptions. Sure. So what?)

Let them eat cake.

Anonymous said...

this is very true. in the philippines, there is now a rice shortage and rice wholesalers are hoarding them big time. thanks for this post.

Anonymous said...

Using our farmland to raise fuel instead of food is going to bite us in the ass

Anonymous said...

China might explode during their Olympics

Got my popcorn!

Bitterrenter said...

I hope the masses in Asia rise up and murder the capitalists that allowed this to happen.

Then I hope they come here and do the same to ours.

Enjoy your capitalism, folks! You voted for it!

Okay I will say my name said...

While the Chinese were enjoying prosperity and seperating American's from their jobs. Making humongous pants and shoes for fat lazy (or so they think) americans they didn't understand everything comes with a cost. Now that America is catching a cold and the rest of the world is getting blown over by the sneeze. The price of everything is going to be ridiculous so why should they not suffer the cost of globalization, hell we are. It is not that there is not enough (tell the people in Africa that)it's because the cost of producing everything is so expensive. Thank their bosses. Everyone wants their dividends. I heard about this days ago whereas in the Philipines they are putting armed guards around the rice warehouses. Passing it out like gold. Astounding greed has it ramifications. The investors running up the price of gas after reading about the 11 billion dollar oil profits are going to distroy everything. On one hand they are making fabulous money off the working people but in the end the working people can not afford anything else because they have tanks to fill and then they buy the absolute necessary making other sales stagnate. I guess this is what they want and the real question is what can we do about it. You are correct when you say this is going to get ugly. Donate to your local food bank people are going to need it.

Anonymous said...

Im going to borrow 100k off of my credit cards and not pay any of it back. I think we should all just put ourselves in as much debt as possible. Whoever hasnt already at least. Then everybody can go bankrupt and we can all start over from scratch. We will all be equals. Its gonna happen anyways. Only 1% of this world will be debt free. Ive been debt free all my life and know that is changing. My bills are through the freaking roof. Double on food, gas, clothes. Im nautious over this shit. Sorry people just venting.

Anonymous said...

i'll donate some rice

got 1/2 a bag in the closet

can't afford shipping it though.

if production was ok before financials got messed up, then what causes production to go down or is it distribution (hoarding)

any conscientious govt. will simply absolve taxes or defer debts to farmers and grant subsidies where needed to keep production afloat... distribution can get cramped but how about shorter rides for goods.

make me emperor of earth for 2 years i will straighten it all out


Anonymous said...

Does Europe produce anything?
Or are they just consumers?

Extra butter with that popcorn please.

bubbles are for bath tubs said...

Are we in Rice bubble now.

do you all think it will crash, or we think it will have a soft landing.


Anonymous said...

It wouldn't surprise me in the least if the ruinous policies of Alan Greenspan and Dubya lead to a world war. The scale of what is happening is horrifying.

And...we're just getting warmed up for the REALLY big show.

Popcorn? Forget about it.

Get ammo, water, cash, gold.

Anonymous said...

Famine. Then pestilence. That will solve it.

Anonymous said...

foreclosureboy said...
sounds like wages are going to have to go up in china. US inflation is hitting china big time.

RBS economist remarked a couple months ago that China will be exporting inflation for the next ten years or so (as opposed to being a deflationary actor in the past due to their low labor costs). so looks like a vicious inflationary cycle in the making.


Tyrone said...

China might explode during their Olympics

Hey, it's just BYOR, beeyatches!

Anonymous said...

Not to worry, there's always ramen noodles.

wc said...

Darn! I don't eat wheat - this is gonna hurt.

Mark in San Diego said...

As usual, the American public is clueless. . .but who can blame them? The media is DEAD and too lazy to be burried. . .The local news can't get too many car chases, and the national news just covers meaningless politics in the USA - Hillary or Obama (as if it had any meaning). . .Thank God for my Financial Times which has covered the food riots for the past few weeks. . .BBC America does a pretty good job, but all 2% of us in the US who seek international news aren't going to change anything . . .off to Zurich tomorrow. . .see you Keith in "real time."

Anonymous said...

We ought to temporarily shut down the ethanol plants, let the cows eat hay and export the crap out of corn. Let the good ol USofA drown all of the hoarders and speculators in corn and grains. Playing with the stock market for profits by the hedge funds, OK. Making poor people starve so that you can make cash on momentum plays, not so cool.

eric in vegas said...

"China might explode during their Olympics"

That will be postponed until after the Olympics. The US' will be postponed til' after the elections.

chris g said...

So when people say "What's that got to do with the price of rice in China?", you now have your answer.

Anonymous said...

Screw the rice, just keep those Hummers and SUV's rolling off the production lines and onto the driveways of our( the banks and now the taxpayers) homes.

Owner Earnings said...

If the price get high enough I'll grow it in my front yard. We are a loooooooong way away from that.

Roccman said...



mairca izda debol said...

Guess what? John McCain is the only Presidential candidate not under Secret Service protection. It must be a conspiracy, right? Barack Obama received Secret Service protection 9 months earlier than John Kerry did during his campaign in 2004. It looks like the only conspiracy here is to protect Barack Obama better than anyone else has ever been protected.

mairca izda debol said...

Time to hit our reset button and clear the debt.

GK said...

You must understand the creation of money to understand why this genocide is being created.


Remember what the FRB of Philadelphia said: "The Federal Government, with the cooperation of the Federal Reserve, has the inherent power to create money -- almost any amount of it...".

Why doesn't the Federal Government and the Fed, or your government and central bank, create all the money they need to feed starving people, stamp out poverty, care for the aged and pre/new born???

Answer: "If there were FEWER PEOPLE..." their BANK CREDIT would better keep its value, all of us in the dark, and all of us humming slave songs as we went off to work.

There are two ways to conquer a people - militarily and economically.

It is hard to hide military occupation and the jack boot tactics. But, economically, wherein all the victims think they are free, wherein not one in a million can diagnose the slavery...A REAL WINNER!

And all you have to do is regulate consumption and kill consumers!

No government on the face of the earth uses anything as money, all are conquered economically and all citizens are enslaved to the creators of credit. Truly, we are all citizens of the world, and all embrace a unified, world government run by the bankers and their ilk.

It doesn't matter if you kill 300,000 Iraqi's or 300,000 Americans, as long as the over abundant slaves die.


Anonymous said...

They need to shut down the commodity exchanges or don't let investors speculate. Get investors out of oil, wheat, corn, rice, steel etc...

Make them play the stock market. Put their money there. They are going to cause such a demand increase and it is false demand. Just like with housing we will have huge inventory and stock piles we don't need. Eventually all the farmers that plant tons of corn will go bankrupt when the investors flock out and let prices freefall.

The market needs stability.

Wok Da Fok! said...

Beware the Rice Terrorist cometh!

Anonymous said...

It's a good thing the price of ramen isn't up that much.

Wok Da Fok! said...

Dear Americans, Due to the value of your lowly dollar, The chinese olympic committee has decided to accept rice as currency for tickets to the Olympics. Any yankee, confederate, liberal or democrat who tries to use dollars at the great China Olympics will be taken to Tibet an bitch slapped!!!!

Anonymous said...

I say we send over our B52 bombers and stealth bombers and bomb the hell out of India and China and kill most of them off. They are way too populated. Cut India's population from 1.1 billion to 300 million and cut Chinas population down to 300 million also. Problem solved. Those folks make babies like crazy and it has to end with our military doing something.

Anonymous said...

I've been watching the price of rice in my "local" supermarket (Australia) - so far no change (and no shortage), but most of the other foods are more expensive than a year ago.

Peter T said...

Do at last the farmers profit from the increased prices, or does the extra money end up in some middleman's pocket? Producer prices for food have been ridiculously cheap in the last decades, and many farmers just gave up. Maybe it's time now for adjusting the priorities.

happy homeowner in the stix said...

It's not just rice. Corn is shooting up in price, too, because it's getting turned into ethanol instead of chow for people and animals.

Get ready for tortilla riots in Mexico.


Miniapple said...

People have been claiming food shortages for decades. Yet, our government pays farmers to keep their land OUT OF production. CRP (that's what it is in Minnesota).

Just one more worldwide bubble that has been created. Use the food source for fuel, jack up the prices. Keep the oil produced as low as possible, jack up the price. Hoard the rice, keep it from the consumer, jack up the prices.

Sometimes I feel like you people are always hating on Americans because we're so greedy, but the rest of the world has the same problems. In fact, the rest of the world's problems may be even worse, because in America, we won't let people starve.

long beach,ca said...

commodities panic - i'd like to see more jim rogers video and articles

mickeyc said...

If this doesn't change in a few days its game over. It may take months to completely fall apart but life as we know it has finished.

Anonymous said...

I don't even like rice ,so who
cares. Potatoes are the way to go .

Anonymous said...

No Kidding.
Just returned from Hong Kong this morning and its all over the news. They are telling people to not horde rice and the Phillipines had news that rice hoarders would face life in prison. Yep, it's not pretty. Also news all over the papers about weak US dollar, mortgage crisis and the English language news paper in Hong Kong had a picture and story about some people moving in Arvada Colorado b/c the rental they were living in was forclosed, or wasn't habitable b/c owner didn't have money to fix the place. Not pretty folks.

Akubi said...

Thank you for the LOST f-ing decade George W Bush, Dick Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wal-Mart (Arkansas based and Billary was on the board), Exxon Mobil, Halliburton et al.
Why am I constantly reminded of The Manchurian Candidate?
As a former Zendo student and occasional half-ass Buddhist all I can say is when the Buddhists get pissed there is a *very* serious problem at hand.
Given the fact that China and Saudi Arabia own the U S of A's financial disaster nothing will happen of course.

Anonymous said...

Well when people start to starve that's when things get real intresting, as in "may you live in intresting times" intresting.

To paraphrase Einstein, "I don't know what sort of weapons will be used in WWIII but I can tell you what will be used in WWIV; rocks".

Us hairless monkeys have just about run out our string I think.

Exteme fun and really wild times will be had by all.

Mitesh Damania said...

This makes me sad. Real sad. Fact: 80% of people in India live on 20 rupees per day ($.50) and they are already starving.

Thanks to the World Bank/WTO, the income of people at the bottom in India has fallen over the past years.

India is importing subsidized crops from the US at prices below cost. Farms that have been handed down through generations are being lost to banks and farmers are committing suicide.

You may check out videos by P. Sainath in regards to this issue on youtube and video.google.com.
Else, you may to here: http://www.orkut.com/FavoriteVideos.aspx?uid=11770072933469196744

Remember, if it doesn't affect the upper class, it's not news!

Anonymous said...

Yeah, good news. Why should a pound of rice cost less than the damn Toyota car? how many days do it take to grow a pound of rice vs. how many days do it take to manufacture a Toyota? If I was a farmer, I would tell the Toyota guy to keep his car and I will keep my rice to see if he can survive on eating his Toyota. If a Toyota car can be manufactured in a day than the even trade should be 1 car for two bowls of rice. Stand up farmers of the world, don't let these crooks rip you off any more.

deep Thought said...

Millions of people around the world potentially starving is not a laughing matter – not like the liars and crooks regularly lampooned here. It gives me a hard bitter pit in my stomach to think that US policy has likely caused this situation, and that there is little (that I can think of) to be done to “fix” things. Over the longer haul, it was going to happen since you can’t exceed Earth’s carrying capacity forever, but the thought that a misguided attempt to preserve the U.S.’ way of life by essentially burning food in SUVs may have such tremendous far-reaching implications is humbling. The scenario was predicted, but only in connection to peak oil which, if it is knocking, has clearly not entered to room yet since supplies of that other elixir of life still appear plentiful.

boycott made in china said...

why are you so hard on just WalMart? Other stores sale lots of Made in China too. I still shop at WalMart, but I avoid Made in China there, and elsewhere, when reasonably possible.

Lost Cause said...

Food riots in Haiti.

Flooding the planet with billions for speculation isn't helping. Commodities markets are setting the prices.

Uncle Ben!

Lost Cause said...

People are dying every day in Iraq, and it has not affected the average U. S. Joe one iota.

Marie Antoinette said...

Let them eat cake.

proud_american said...

Rice is almost as cheap as dirt. It could triple in price and most Americans wouldn't notice. Go ahead and call for immediate catastrophe like you do every week, "this is the beginning of the end", blah blah etc. I guess maybe someday you'll be right. As for riots in third world countries, what else is new? Its called the third world for a reason (because it blows). Yet another reason to be grateful that you are American.

emmy said...

How awful. It is not just rice, it is the commodities in general. There is such disequilibrium, it will be tragic to watch it equilibrate. Going to ethanol is a big waste of time, (in-laws are farmers)because to grow corn is very fuel intensive, and far better use would be to continue to grow wheat and beans and corn on their regular rotation.
I am just sad to hear the news.

Anonymous said...

Keith: It is not as bad as you portray in your Panic blog. People will find out ways to survive without rice. In Phillipines during second world war they survived rice famine. China and India has suffered droughts and famines.

keith said...

Proud American said:

"Rice is almost as cheap as dirt. It could triple in price and most Americans wouldn't notice."

Chalk it up folks. One more totally ignorant and egocentric American for the pile.

RicePANIC isn't about Americans and their Uncle Ben's rice. It's about the billions around the world making less than a dollar a day, who will starve if rice prices don't come down.

Man, I hate seeing ignorant Americans. It pains me. Is it our media's fault? Our education system? Whatever it is, it's gotta change.

OriginalFrank said...

Akubi said...
Thank you for the LOST f-ing decade George W Bush, Dick Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wal-Mart (Arkansas based and Billary was on the board), Exxon Mobil, Halliburton et al.


Don't forget the lost Clinton almost-decade. What a disaster that was!

Anonymous said...


stocsk soar yet again

enjoy the 2% cds morons

PS: i hate rice and couldn't care less if the price goes up 1000%

Anonymous said...

I do all of our shopping. Over the last year, prices of almost everything we consume BUT rice have risen 25%! We started buying rice several months ago as it was the only item not rising significantly...until now.

This is inflation at work (home) folks. I don't know what the morons running our financial system are thinking (or more probably not). How do the millions of retirees protect themselves....answer, they can't. Bend over and kiss your a*s goodby. Things appear like they are going to get ugly.

Chief Elf

stocksystm said...

On Saturday I attended a foreclosure home auction run by the Real Estate Disposition Corp. (REDC). I stayed long enough to observe the disposition of 49 of the more than 100 properties auctioned off. The average sales price was $129,000. The average "previously valued to" number was $234,000. This was a 45% haircut.

I didn't inspect any of the properties, but afterwards drove by several higher priced condos in Clearwater Beach that had been auctioned off. They were very nicely situated with water views and the building was only 2 years old. If you drive up and down Gulf Blvd. you'll find numerous condos still being constructed.

It looks like we've only seen the beginnings of the price declines yet to come.

Anonymous said...

A number of entities are collectively moving these markets.

The entire system is rigged. I see no reason to give to my 401K. That's as big a myth to me as social security, IRAs, etc.

The last couple of days I've heard a couple of conversations where someone was going to cash-out their retirement due to their need for money.

It's going to get ugly, VERY UGLY.

keith said...


Geeze. Can you spell "dense"? Now if this day was about a run on hot dogs or nachos, that'd be different. It's not. Today's Special Edition is about rice. Get it?

Here's the top rice consuming countries for reference.

Rank Countries Amount (top to bottom)

#1 China: 135,000 thousand metric tons
#2 India: 85,250 thousand metric tons
#3 Indonesia: 36,950 thousand metric tons
#4 Bangladesh: 26,400 thousand metric tons
#5 Vietnam: 17,700 thousand metric tons
#6 Thailand: 10,200 thousand metric tons
#7 Burma: 10,200 thousand metric tons
#8 Philippines: 9,700 thousand metric tons
#9 Japan: 8,658 thousand metric tons
#10 Brazil: 8,100 thousand metric tons
#11 Korea, South: 5,016 thousand metric tons
#12 United States: 3,882 thousand metric tons
#13 Egypt: 3,300 thousand metric tons
#14 Iran: 3,100 thousand metric tons
#15 Korea, North: 1,640 thousand metric tons
#16 Taiwan: 1,150 thousand metric tons
#17 South Africa: 675 thousand metric tons
Total: 366,921 thousand metric tons


Goomba said...

Keith you are funny. Rice Panic!

Anonymous said...



Channeling Mother Teresa said...

Anytime I feel bad about my own situation it only takes a single thought about what it must be like living on a day-to-day basis in Kenya, Ethiopia or Darfur to make me realize how good we really have it here. For all the banter that goes back and forth on this board - if rice is $.50 a pound or $20 a pound it's not going to affect most of us here. If gas is $3 or $10 it will pinch our pocketbooks but few of us here will ever truly starve. There are people living in America that go to bed hungry at night, mother's that run out of money and food stamps before the month is over whose children eat nothing but toast and ramen for breakfast, lunch and dinner and they aren't even realtors. Some children only eat well on the days that they have school and some are so mortified that they have to wait on the free lunch line that they would rather go hungry than let other students know how poor they are. If you can itemize your taxes, please consider donating to the United Nations World Food Program - visit http://www.wfp.org/english/ to make a tax deductible donation or if you can't make a donation - just visit the site http://www.freerice.com - it's fun and a great way to help

Anonymous said...

How can you blame Ben Bernanke? If it's really the case that commodity prices are just rising to compensate for the falling dollar, then in real dollars nothing's changed.

But that's not true, is it? The reality is that commodities prices are racing way ahead of even extreme estimates of dollar inflation. Why would that be? Partially it's hot-money speculators rushing into the next bubble trade now that housing and stocks are done. But the more immediate cause is our idiotic food-for-fuel strategy where we're going to indirectly starve people to feed our Hummers. The world was heading towards tight food supplies, our ethanol policy just made it worse, and exaggerated the price trend that attracted the hot-money crowd like flies to honey.

So, as you sit back with your popcorn and cheer on an economic collapse that will "punish the wicked", be careful what you wish for, you might not like what you get. In the end, like it or not, wicked or innocent, we're all in this together.

sandman said...

This is bad. We're taking about people dying here - not stupid Mortgage brokers, Home debtors and others losing their credit score (and maybe their jobs).

Inflation (and speculation) in this area is literally killing people.

I imagine some folks will jump on the speculation bandwagon and help drive the price up further - which will make the problem worse.

Keith (and any other HPers), any suggestions on how we help (outside of a Wal-Mart boycott)?

Quit eating rice? Donate some money?

sell euros now dot com said...

So why all the violent protest in on the streets of Europe about the Olympics?

Can’t we resolve all this with Dialogue?

You’ve been feeding us this whole story about how the Europeans are so very civilized compare to us football playing Americans.

Ends up being; that people in America have been having peaceful protests, and leave our sport game arenas in an orderly fashion. and the Europeans are the ones having violent riots at Soccer games.


Anyone want to guess who’s gonna have a worse outcome on the housing crash?

Got Rice puffs?

Jack Sprat said...

Unnatural News. Years ago our news covered our towns and cities. The 'far away' news came months later and had little effect. When you start absorbing news that's literally from another planet, it causes mental illness. I can have little effect on a rice panic in China. Who cares. I also don't care about people loosing their homes here - they signed the contracts. Are they adults? I have care and sympathy for my own family and friends which I will always help. I cannot let the world crawl up my ass. I am not responsible for, nor do I care for anything that goes on with people outside my town. The most I can do is right here - and I can have some effect.
If you want to worry about unnatural news from thousands of miles away,go right ahead. Throw all your energy into it and see nothing happen. Soon you will be worn out. If you want to have an effect on the world, help the old or young couple next door, or help some poor kids in your town.
As far as the USA - we are the engine of the world and have been for 200 years. Slow us down,,and the others will smash into a wall. Yes, we are a blessed and stupid people, but we are the engine.

Anonymous said...



Rice Riot said...

Now what is Andrew Hac going to eat with his roasted snapper turtle?

BondsOfSteel said...

I think this is an effect the the collapse of the dollar.

What changed? Not the production of rice... but the relative value of things. Many of these countries are dollar driven.

I would hope that the 'winners' of this change in value would help offset this human tragedy.

Specifically, I'd like to see the oil rich countries and the EU step in and subsidize the price of rice.

Anonymous said...

Sandman, you appear to be a good person with good intentions.
But if we do not invest in agriculture (rice corn wheat etc.) how will we have money to donate to the ‘poor’, I thought the economy is tanking and the ones staying above water are the ones investing in commodities.

Also, isn’t it better to teach the ‘poor’ how to fish rather then giving them fish?
We have been feeding the ‘poor in Africa’ for like 60 years now, and things have not changed there, we have been teaching China and India capitalism for the past ten years or so and look at the dramatic transition for the better, true, not all the Chinese and Indians are benefiting from the change yet, and working conditions aren’t as good as France yet,
but over all, life in these Countries have improved substantially for large portions of the population.

Perhaps buying a stuffed animal for cheap in wall mart not only saves us money and leaves money in our pockets to help educate the ‘poor’ but we also automatically provide jobs for the poor in China.

Maybe if we use the same model in Africa the world will be a better place?
Maybe the Europeans are simply afraid that China is catching up.. and Bono is an evil man for keeping Africa down by feeding them a bag of rice rather then educating them or investing there?

Although, the Chinese have had a better impact on life in Africa in the past several years by real investment over there, compare to the corrupt UNs fake help in the past 60 years.

Westparker said...

You might be missing a couple things. Before we get all fired up, we need to 1st ask what part of this is fundamental and what is market speculation. We have record oil prices, but supplies are very high. This is speculation driving up the price. I would bet this is happening with rice too. Remember the CA energy crisis. There was no shortage of energy, just Enron and others manipulating the price. I believe this is going on with most commodities today. 2nd, Asia has huge tariffs on CA rice. California's central valley is one of the best rice producing areas in the world. California has historically grown much less and exported much less rice due to high trade barriers. Maybe this "crisis" will remove some of the barriers.
Just something to think about.

Anonymous said...

What if I like some rice to go along with my ramen?

Rice Minister said...

Maybe this rice problem isn't so bad Keefer?

You shed tears for the slaughtered monks, but forget that rice is the staple food of the killers.

You bitch about Walmart, but forget that rice is the primary food of Walmart's overseas army of workers.

You bitch about the Mexicans and other illegal immigrant invaders of the USA that send their spoils back out of the country at the expense of America's workers, so is it a bad thing if it costs more of that ill gotten money to feed their spawn?

Nobody's paying enough attention to the heavy metal (pollution) rain coming down on America and the rest of the world from these Asian economic engines that are running full speed ahead with no regard for the world environment, but guess what they run on? Rice Keefer!

I doubt that an out of work factory worker in Ohio that was priced out of the labor pool by a $2 a day rice eating worker in China gives a f#ck about out of control rice prices.

I doubt that a retired GM worker sitting in an Arizona bubble house worried about health care and his continued retirement dollars gives a f#ck about rice prices.

It just might be a good thing for Americans that it's costing these countries economic engines a lot more dough to keep running!

Maybe this rice problem might cause them to quit filling our economy with cheap mortgage dollars and cause them to feed their people instead.

Maybe China can spend some of those trillions of dollars they have stockpiled from selling us lead paint toys and other hazardous sh!t in Walmart, that people happily refer to as the "nuclear financial option," to buy rice instead!


Refuse to buy overpriced said...

First speculators drive up the price of housing.

Then speculators drive up the cost of commodities (food)

What is next? Rampant fresh water speculation? When the water bubble starts to unravel, will congress intervene to prop up water prices?

I'm just glad they can't speculate with the atmosphere. They would if they could.

alternative said...

I can't believe that we believe in unbelievable believeing that market without confidence is broken. Continue rotation until invisible face become visible: as confidence falling, more and more people belives! Our luck is that without non believers, believing is not worth a penny.

Big Cheese said...

To all you fools: Ramen is made from rice flour (doh).


Here is an appropriate YouTube video for you and this thread:


Got rice bit*h?


Big Cheese said...

To Channeling Mother Theresa,

You are correct in your post. The global poor are the first to feel the thin edge of the wedge that approaches. Remember Burma in Sept 2007 with the monks being shot? This happened because of the massive inflation for bus fare and food (400% and 150% respectively). The monks, on behalf of the people protested until the gov't shot and starved them. But their efforts worked as bus fare only doubled instead of quadrupling...

Expect more protests and social disorder in the poorer countries. I don't know if it is peak oil or the global bubble popping (or both) but times are going to get tough and the poorer will feel the pinch first.

Unfortunately the local rich politicians are so out of touch the solutions they offer are a joke. In Thailand the PM suggested that more small change is minted so that the price increases only go up a few cents instead of the 10 - 20% that is typical. Get real guys. Next they will be recommending to only eat 2 meals a day instead of 3 (hey you can save 33% on your food costs!)

On the bright side, we may have found a solution for the global obesity problem.


Anonymous said...

Keith, I appreciate your concern for your fellow man and for bringing this issue up.

edd said...

I don't relish adding to food
panic, but imagine what will happen
if/when the Sierra Nevada snowpack disappears early in the San Joaqin
growing season.

Anonymous said...

>> Let them eat cake.

Let them eat tree bark. It works for the North Koreans!

Got wood?

Steve said...

A few comments: First, rice isn't used for making alternative fuels anywhere in the world that I know of. And the majority of the people who eat rice as a staple also produce it on their own small farms, so the price isn't all that important to them. In fact, a lot of small farmers in Asia who do have some surplus welcome a chance to sell rice and have some cash income. When it comes to large scale mechanized farming in advanced countries such as the US, there is little competition between land used for rice production and corn for ethanol. For years there were vast surpluses of rice produced in the US and rice farmers had to be heavily subsidized in order to keep them from going broke.

sandman said...

anon 5:35:

Thanks for the response and articulate post.

A few thoughts:

1. Commodities - especially agriculture - aren't the only place to make money right now. To me, speculating on Rice and driving up the price feels like "runnin' guns".

2. I'm not sure it's just Africa. From several reports, other poor nations are having the same problem.

3. I understand and agree with you on the teach a person fish analogy. Nevertheless, it seems like we have to parallel path a tactical solution. I don't want to tell people they unfortunately they have to die of hunger while we're enacting the strategic plan that pays off handsomely in 10-20 years.

4. You're right. Most UN programs are inept and corrupt. I'm not sure donating money that way does much to help the people who really need it. That's the reason I posted "Donate money?" as a question. I was looking to see if there were more effective ways to donate (I'm not sure their are).

Perhaps, we can't do squat. But the folks on this blog are pretty creative, intelligent and adaptive.

If anyone has a good idea on this... I'm all ears. Maybe sign a petition to bring Volker back?

And for myself, I'll have to sit out buying Rice.

Thanks again for the response.

Lady Di said...

This is just really sad...

Get these poor people their damn rice at an affordable price. Is that too much to ask? I don't think so.

So sad.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget the lost Clinton almost-decade. What a disaster that was!


Yep, they oversaw one of the largest bubbles ever only to still fail to truly balance the budget (without having to steal from social security).

Anonymous said...

So when people say "What's that got to do with the price of rice in China?", you now have your answer.


personally, i have always followed the price of tea in china.

Anonymous said...

Asians eat too much rice anyway, that's why they are always unhappy.

Give the rice to the starving children.

Happy Homedebtor said...

Americans are dumb, gluttonous bastards. That's our position in the world. However, if we were not this way, many 3rd world countries would be even worse-off as they wouldn't have jobs making $0.50/hr making our crap. They'd be fighting for $1/week to survive. It sucks but it is what it is - if it weren't for us/other developed nations, alot of these places would still be in the stone-age. So smile, nod, and have lots of kinky sex - that's what I plan on doing! www.liberator.com is your friend.

Anonymous said...

It's pathetic that someone so stupid can take the handle 'proud american'. Dude, you are a moron.

LibVet said...

Jack Sprat said..."As far as the USA - we are the engine of the world and have been for 200 years."

The sheer ignorance of this comment is astounding.

Jack, it's too late for you. Just enjoy living in your little dream world.

Don't read, don't learn, don't be shy about publishing your grossly uninformed opinions about any matter at hand. It's your right as an American to be as stupid as you want to be.

The Housing Bubble Ate My Balls!! said...

It was those damn Japs and their Rice Burners back in the late 70's and 80's.

It's Datsun, Honda, and Toyota's fault.

KWV said...

I hate to say this, but seeing we feed most of the world, we ought to be like the OPEC nations with our food..

Anonymous said...

KWV said "we feed most of the world."

Are you on crack?

Haven't you noticed how much food we import into the US?

If anything, we are in danger of losing the ability to feed ourselves.

Remember this, when gas is $10/gal, you can't afford to buy food, and you have no clue how to grow your own garden.

It is not too late to learn how.

Reality said...


"However, if we were not this way, many 3rd world countries would be even worse-off as they wouldn't have jobs making $0.50/hr making our crap. They'd be fighting for $1/week to survive. It sucks but it is what it is - if it weren't for us/other developed nations, alot of these places would still be in the stone-age."

That's what American debtors would like to tell the rest of the world. The reality however is that the $0.50 and $1 are only tokens . . . what the workers really want are half a gallon/liter of gasoline or a pound/kilo of wheat or rice. The rest of the world used to want to keep the US Dollar because it was the most stable currency in terms of pricing gasoline and food in the 20th century . . . just like they used to prefer the British pound sterling in the 19th century. People keep foreign currencies as stores of value for eventually buying food and fuel. The debtors in this country are ruining the dollar. The rest of the world don't really need the American big spender; they appreciated in the 20th century was the American economic manager who maintained the dollar stability (compared to their own often mismanaged currencies).

k.w. - southern ca. said...

I'm an American also, but I realize I don't live in a bubble and that these problems we see so often occuring in less fortunate parts of our world will also be knocking at our own doorstep in the not to distant future.

We are the architects of our own

proud_american said...
Rice is almost as cheap as dirt. It could triple in price and most Americans wouldn't notice. Go ahead and call for immediate catastrophe like you do every week, "this is the beginning of the end", blah blah etc. I guess maybe someday you'll be right. As for riots in third world countries, what else is new? Its called the third world for a reason (because it blows). Yet another reason to be grateful that you are American.

Yoski said...

8 possible solutions to peak rice:
1. India and China could produce more people so they have enough rice farmers to increase their own rice production.
2. Whine enough about it and maybe they get lucky and Hillary will bail them out. It's not too late to donate to her campaign!
3. Eat cake instead.
4. Borrow from next year's harvest.
5. Demand payment in rice instead of useless $$.
6. Eat those damn cows (India)
7. Damn Sally Struthers broke into the rice silo.
8. Dieting is in

Anonymous said...

The green revolution is the next big bubble and scam in the making. "clean" technology is very dirty to develop and produce. The idiot yuppies think if they bulb CFL bulbs, drive a hybrid, and live in the city they are saving the world.

NEWS TO YOU...suicide then burial at sea = the best thing you can do for planet earth. Not only will your pollution level be zero, you will feed the fish.

Biofuels are causing all of this food price surge. The dumbass congress and public at large just refuses to accept the fact that the era of cheap energy is over and the death of the McMansion is on the brink.

justthefactsman said...

Anon April 07, 2008 11:56 PM:

"If anything, we are in danger of losing the ability to feed ourselves.

It is not too late to learn how.

Learn yet, indeed! The US exports more than it imports when it comes to agriculture:

We are nowhere near being in danger of losing our ability to feed ourselves.

someone said...

man before I read this I was buying rice at a local Asian market and people were buying rice like crazy. They weren't buying one or two 50lb. bags, but 5 or 6 50lb. bags. In the end it was all sold out in one day.

Anonymous said...

Don't you worry, your Messiah Obama will charge the Rice Tax on Americans who actually work for a living in this country, instead of listening to Fitty Cent, pulling the pants up all day, and breeding like flies.