The spectre of food shortages is casting a shadow across the globe, causing riots in Africa, consumer protests in Europe and panic in food-importing countries. In a world of increasing affluence, the hoarding of rice and wheat has begun. The President of the Philippines made an unprecedented call last week to the Vietnamese Prime Minister, requesting that he promise to supply a quantity of rice.
Consumer Confidence Plunges While Wholesale Inflation Rises at Fastest Pace in 26 Years
WASHINGTON (AP) — In more bad economic news, consumer confidence and home prices posted sharp declines while higher costs for such basics as food, energy and medicine left wholesale inflation rising at a pace unseen since late 1981.
The new reports Tuesday documented the latest in a series of blows to the economy as a prolonged housing downturn has pushed the country close to a recession.
In the wheat price surge this week, the leading wheat contract in Minneapolis, US, has risen by more than the entire worth of the contract just months ago.
Boeing has been awarded a $49 million U.S. Air Force contract to advance the state of the art in laser technology.
KUANTAN, Malaysia: Rising prices for cooking oil in India are forcing residents of Mumbai to ration every drop. Bakeries in the United States are fretting over higher shortening costs. And here in Malaysia, brand-new factories built to convert vegetable oil into diesel for trucks sit idle, their owners unable to afford the raw material.
This is the other oil shock. Shortages and soaring prices for palm oil, soybean oil and many other types of vegetable oils are the latest, most striking example of a developing global problem: costly food.
A PRECIOUS COMMODITY — In Mumbai, Rajkanya Kawle, 11, held palm oil for her family’s dinner.
AMMAN, Jordan – Even as it enriches Arab rulers, the recent oil-price boom is helping to fuel an extraordinary rise in the cost of food and other basic goods that is squeezing this region’s middle class and setting off strikes, demonstrations and occasional riots from Morocco to the Persian Gulf.
The cost of many basic foods, like at this market in Amman, has doubled. Some in the middle class are tilting toward poverty
“The United Nation’s agency responsible for relieving hunger is drawing up plans to ration food aid in response to the spiralling cost of agricultural commodities”….
“The WFP crisis talks come as the body sees the emergence of a “new area of hunger” in developing countries where even middle-class, urban people are being “priced out of the food market” because of rising food prices.”…
“The price of rice and wheat has doubled in the past year while freight costs have also increased sharply on the back of rising fuel prices.”…
WASHINGTON – Over the last two decades, few industries have lobbied more ferociously or effectively than banks to get the government out of its business and to obtain freer rein for “financial innovation.”
But as losses from bad mortgages and mortgage-backed securities climb past $200 billion, talk among banking executives for an epic government rescue plan is suddenly coming into fashion.
A confidential proposal that Bank of America circulated to members of Congress this month provides a stunning glimpse of how quickly the industry has reversed its laissez-faire disdain for second-guessing by the government – now that it is in trouble.
The proposal warns that up to $739 billion in mortgages are at “moderate to high risk” of defaulting over the next five years and that millions of families could lose their homes.
WASHINGTON — The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. is taking steps to brace for an increase in failed financial institutions as the nation’s housing and credit markets continue to worsen…
“Regulators are bracing for well over 100 bank failures in the next 12 to 24 months,…
Inflation from the factory floor up is soaring in China.
As China’s factory floors feel the pressure from spiralling costs, there is growing nervousness in the rest of the world that the Asian giant’s next big export could be inflation.
From air-conditioned US shopping malls to bustling African street markets and remote Asian villages, shoppers have become accustomed over recent years to the vast array of ultra-cheap Chinese goods on offer.
China’s trade surplus last year reached 262.2 billion dollars, a more than 10-fold rise from 2003.
But now a confluence of factors, led by soaring domestic inflation that hit an 11-year high of 7.1 percent in January, is ramping up the costs of doing business in China, with potential knock-on effects for the rest of the world.