Psst! Want to buy some wheat?

There’s CNBC, the Wall Street Journal, and Marketplace, but if you really want to know what’s going on in the commodities markets, the best indicators are what people are rioting over and what thieves are stealing.

And today, the answer is: wheat.

In Pakistan, rioting has broken out over flour. (Don’t laugh; it’s happened in the U.S. before.) There’s a shortage of flour in Pakistan and prices are at an all-time high. That’s good for America’s farmers, but bad for hungry people.

In Egypt, according to today’s New York Times, people jostle in line and fights break out over subsidized bread.

Suddenly, the price of oil isn’t the big issue. The price of food is.

And the thieves know it. In Kansas, police are investigating “a series of attacks in which nearly half a dozen wheat depositories have been hit by thieves.” Thieves drive the big grain trucks up to the Midwest’s grain elevators, fill them up, and drive off to wherever people go to fence wheat.

  • B2

    Hmmm…Friday AM, at the Como Ave. crossing by the lake, I waited out four engines pulling the longest freight train I’ve ever seen leaving the Midway yards. Over half of it cars were labeled “Canadian wheat board”, in French and English.