The last time this happened was during the Asian Currency crisis, when all the then so called ‘Tiger Economies’ were destroyed by speculation in their currencies. Who were these speculators ? George Sorros was definitely one of them. Who are these people that in the name of return on investment actively go out to destroy the livelihoods of millions of people ? With the rise in food prices all over the world leading to food riots, and now the sudden rise in oil prices that will completely hamper food distribution, the world is heading to the brink of economic turmoil. Both the rise in food and oil prices have not been caused by sudden shortages. They have been caused by immense speculation and trading in commodity futures. Remember that trading in commodity futures, rather than easing price fluctuations as economic theory teaches you, actually creates artificially high prices.
I am not saying that we should not have higher oil prices. It will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the long run. I am not saying that there are no inherent food shortages in this world. I am saying that the sudden rise (almost 30 % since the begining of the year) in both food and in oil, will create disruptions in the global economy that will lead to great social unrest. There will be an influx of large number of people looking for food into the metropolises of the world, creating an even greater imbalance in an inherently disbalanced distribution system for water and food, where the cost of transporting and packaging food for the more affluent in urban areas is tending to suck dry the rural areas.
However the affluent in the urban areas will suddenly find that they need to protect their affluent consumption patterns – especially things like bottled water – within armed and gated communities, leading to even more social unrest and conflict. I know this is a doomsday scenario, but it is what has happened every time there has been a major drought or famine. And the infrastructures in our metropolises are already at breaking point.