Agriculture lessons from Wall Street bailout

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by Ben Lilliston • 10/9/08 • A few weeks ago, IATP’s Mark Muller wrote about a few lessons Wall Street investors might learn from the local foods movement. There are a lot of similarities to the debacle on Wall Street and what we have seen in farm country: in both cases government has largely deregulated the market and the ensuing volatility has caused enormous pain for people caught in the middle.

Think Forward is a blog written by staff of the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy covering sustainability as it intersects with food, rural development, international trade, the environment and public health. The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy promotes resilient family farms, rural communities and ecosystems around the world through research and education, science and technology, and advocacy.

In his latest must-read column, Dr. Daryll Ray of the Agriculture Policy Analysis Center takes this comparison a step further, looking back at governmental responses to the Great Depression, when government intervention helped stabilize both financial markets and the farm economy. Dr. Ray then traces the 50-year effort to roll back government regulation in both sectors, culminating in the 1996 FreeAgriculture Lessons from Wall Street Bailout

A few weeks ago, IATP’s Mark Muller wrote about a few lessons Wall Street investors might learn from the local foods movement. There are a lot of similarities to the debacle on Wall Street and what we have seen in farm country: in both cases government has largely deregulated the market and the ensuing volatility has caused enormous pain for people caught in the middle.

In his latest must-read column, Dr. Daryll Ray of the Agriculture Policy Analysis Center takes this comparison a step further, looking back at governmental responses to the Great Depression, when government intervention helped stabilize both financial markets and the farm economy. Dr. Ray then traces the 50-year effort to roll back government regulation in both sectors, culminating in the 1996 Freedom to Farm Bill and the 1999 partial repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act. The result has once again been dramatic and harmful volatility in both sectors.

As Congress looks at further regulation to stabilize Wall Street’s markets and our credit system, will they also look for solutions to address the enormous harm caused by the volatility in our agriculture economy?om to Farm Bill and the 1999 partial repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act. The result has once again been dramatic and harmful volatility in both sectors.

As Congress looks at further regulation to stabilize Wall Street’s markets and our credit system, will they also look for solutions to address the enormous harm caused by the volatility in our agriculture economy?