Wednesday, April 23, 2008


This is what happens when people start fearing shortages and price hikes:

The two biggest U.S. warehouse retail chains are limiting how much rice customers can buy because of what Sam's Club, a division of Wal-Mart Stores Inc., called on Wednesday "recent supply and demand trends."

The broader chain of Wal-Mart stores has no plans to limit food purchases, however.

The move comes as U.S. rice futures hit a record high amid global food inflation, although one rice expert said the warehouse chains may be reacting less to any shortages than to stockpiling by restaurants and small stores.
Think about it. I bought two airline tickets about a month ago. Both are now worth a lot more than when I bought them.

This is how inflationary spirals start to get serious. I can remember during the 70's gas crisis it was estimated that there was more gasoline in everyone car tanks than in distribution centers because everyone was keeping their tanks full all the time. And of course, as the news media highlights these stories with boogie-man-like headlines, it only accelerates.

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