The enduring importance of wheat

Great quote from the Levin-Coburn report on speculation in the wheat market:
“No man qualifies as a statesman who is entirely ignorant of the problems of wheat.”
--Socrates (469-399 B.C.E.)
Who knew Congress had a sense of humor?

P.S. The report itself is lengthy and conflates correlation with causation (as do many others), but nevertheless makes for fascinating reading, particularly the historical evolution of the wheat futures market. Speculation is clearly not a new issue:
The CBOT Annual Report for 1864 reflects how the nature of trading already had shifted from strictly cash transactions to speculative trading:
“It is true that speculation has been too much the order of the day, and buyers and sellers of ‘long,’ ‘short,’ and ‘spot,’ have passed through all the gradations of fortune from the lower to the higher ground, and in many instances have returned to the starting point, if not to a step lower, but it is to be hoped that with the return to peace this fever of speculation will abate and trade will be conducted on a more thoroughly legitimate basis.”
P.P.S. Another footnote reminds me of the hilarious and instructive case of onion futures.

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