Finance

You’re a Neoliberal, I’m a Neoliberal, We’re all Neoliberals–For Now

For almost 50 years, the world has gotten faster, richer, and–yes–fatter. The power behind all that (ahem) growth has been neoliberalism.

It’s not a political label or a personal slander. Instead, as author Rana Foroohar explains in her new book, Homecoming, neoliberalism is “an economic and political philosophy that capital, people, and goods should be able […]

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CFTC’s Role in ‘Crypto’ is More Lapdog Than Watchdog

If you don’t understand the allure, gyrating value, and many crack-ups of cryptocurrency, a few words from New York University’s Nouriel Roubini, the economist who predicted the 2007/08 housing collapse, might help.

Speaking at the Abu Dhabi Finance conference in mid-November, Roubini, reported CNBC, “… described crypto and some of its major players as an ‘ecosystem […]

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And the Numbers Prove It

Journalism, like baseball, aging, and bridesmaids, is often about the numbers. Sometimes big numbers are good, other times small numbers are better. Either way, numbers usually define our work, our families, and our lives in more ways than we care to count.

And they can surprise us, too.

Like in early November when the International Food Policy […]

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Don’t Bet Against the Latest Supermarket Super Merger

Late on Friday, May 7, the day before the running of the 2022 Kentucky Derby, a chestnut-colored colt named Rich Strike made the race’s lineup after, literally, another horse withdrew from the competition at the last minute.

The next day, May 8, Rich Strike struck it rich: The ridiculously long, 80-1 longshot won the Derby, the […]

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USDA’s ‘Deeply Flawed’ $3 Billion ‘Climate Smart Commodities’ Program

Even at first glance, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) recently announced $3-billion-dollar “Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities” sounds like doublespeak, an Orwellian invention that reverses the meaning of words.

Or, more plainly, how can today’s commodity-centered, industrialized agriculture be remotely “climate-smart” when everyone in the food business readily acknowledges it’s an oil-gulping, climate-changing juggernaut?

The short, truthful […]

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Mother Nature Has A Population Plan Too

A scientist friend recently noted that at today’s rate of consumption, the world is environmentally and economically sustainable for roughly 1 billion people. “That means with the world’s population of 8 billion,” he half-joked, “you’re a goner.”

Right, just not right now; let nature take its course, eh?

Recent population trends, however, show that nature might already […]

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Ag Policy Was About Cultural Stability, Not Endless Market Growth

If you think U.S. politics are too polarized, too anger-driven, and too polluted by big money, take a quick look at the train wreck that United Kingdom politics has become to see what’s in store for us if we don’t regain our collective goodwill soon.

On July 7, the straw-haired, scandal-ridden Prime Minister Boris Johnson resigned. […]

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‘The Ceaseless Drive to Endless Increase…’

It usually goes without notice or comment, but three of the planet’s key elements–carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen–sit like ducks in row as Element Six, Seven, and Eight, respectively, on the Periodic Table.

None is more important than the others and yet, if there’s a first among equals, it would be nitrogen as a prescient report from […]

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Given What We Don’t Know, Why Do We Act Like We Do Know?

Most of American agriculture sees Africa as one vast nation and one vast market. It is, of course, neither.

Africa, in fact, has more nations (54), more languages (over 2,000), and more cultures (3,000-plus), than any other continent on Earth. It’s also the world’s second largest and second most populous continent with three times the people […]

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A No-Ethanol Future Doesn’t Mean a No-Profit Future

It’s rare to find one Midwestern academic publicly questioning the economic and environmental impacts of ethanol.

It’s even rarer to find four academics–one from a corn state land grant university, three from a leading university in the leading corn-producing state–raising objections to the biofuel and its byproducts that will use one out of every three bushels […]

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