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‘What am I going to do?’: soaring prices fuel calls for US government to step in

By Tom Perkins.

"Another force in some commodity price spikes: Wall Street speculation. Commodity markets were once heavily regulated because they deal in raw materials that underpin the economy. An influx of investment capital followed the commodity markets’ deregulation about 20 years ago, and some are now treated like speculative assets similar to bitcoin, said Rupert Russell, who authored a book on the topic.

The consequences of economy-addling commodity price spikes are real, he adds, pointing to the 2010 grain prices that helped trigger the Arab spring uprising in Tunisia.

Supply chain back ups, inflation and war have generated “radical uncertainty” in which no one knows how much commodities are worth, because the prices are no longer anchored, Russell told the Guardian. He echoed others’ calls for stronger government intervention to tamp down the casino-like mentality.

“Once there’s not just radical uncertainty but markets dominated by speculators, algorithmically driven speculation that is just kind of responding to headlines, then you’re going to get that kind of Bitcoin-esque volatility,” he said..."

Read the full piece by Tom Perkins in The Guardian.


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