If there’s one thing we’ve learned over the past few years, it’s that we should never doubt the abilities of Joe Lieberman to get what he wants, and the willingness of Harry Reid to cave in the clutch. We’ll discuss where health care goes from here, the latest on the markets, and a disturbing trend in food prices on today’s edition of Coffee and Markets, a daily podcast from The New Ledger on politics, policy and the marketplace with Francis Cianfrocca, brought to you by BigGovernment.com.
You can subscribe to the podcast by following the links above, and if you’d like to email us, you can do so at coffee[at]newledger.com. We hope you enjoy the show.
The Hill: Lieberman and Nelson Get What They Want
New Ledger: On Lieberman, How Reality Based Are Klein and Yglesias?
Business Insider: If You Thought The Economy Was Being Inflated By The Stimulus, You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet
Bloomberg: Fastest Food Inflation Since Riots Means Milk Up 39%
Francis adds: Keep your eyes peeled on food prices, because it’s an explosive sleeper issue. For the first eight months of 2008, nobody except finance geeks was aware that we were in a financial crisis. The Lehman collapse took an ongoing situation and planted it into public consciousness.
But during those months before Lehman, commodity prices around the world were on an insane tear. Oil at $147 wasn’t the only thing affected by huge inflation. And it was starting to cause real social upheaval in places like the Philippines (which couldn’t beg borrow or steal enough rice) and West Africa (which couldn’t beg borrow or steal anything).
The acute financial crisis of late 2008 damped out the inflation, because it damped out all economic activity. But I never felt like I really understood the food-price inflation, and I don’t think anyone else did either. If it’s back, it’ll be a major story in 2010.