Farmers + Trump

Soybean prices (2014-2020). Monthly soybean prices in US$ per bushel. DATASOURCE: Macrotrends. WIDGET: factgraphs.org

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The problem wasn’t that the Fed ended quantitative easing [in 2014], it was that the Fed began quantitative easing in the first place. During QE, not only were commodity prices pushed up, but borrowing costs were dirt cheap. It made sense during the time for farmers to borrow heavily to binge on land and equipment, in order to meet the “demand” for soybeans or other goods that was being signaled to them by higher prices.

Left-right populist coalition?

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The gist of such a coalition would be oriented around disempowering middlemen to make sure that people who work for a living get to control the way that work is done. Wall Street, for example, is a middleman industry that matches savings with investment. Should banks exist? Yes. Should a small group of financiers structure how all financial arrangements are done? Uh, no. Amazon is also a middleman. Should Amazon exist? Yes. Should Amazon, Google, and Facebook have power to pick winners and losers? No. Same with Disney, Monsanto, meatpackers, etc. private equity, etc. All of these are middlemen seizing power over productive capacity. They should exist, but they should serve as sort of public utilities, not as dictators of commerce.