Saturday, May 15, 2010

Cause of Volatility

(click on image to enlarge)

Here's a link to an article on volatility:

the article begins:

Month to month changes in milk prices have increased dramatically in recent years. Concern over volatility includes not only the month to month price changes, but also the wider gaps between price peaks and troughs. In the 1970s, the largest monthly increase in all milk prices was $0.68/cwt in September, 1973. The largest decline was $-0.58/cwt in May, 1974. The Nixon price freeze of that decade, a short-term governmental policy to combat inflation, influenced these results. Over the decade,
the highest monthly milk price was $12.90/cwt while the low was $5.37/cwt, a difference of $7.53. In the 1980s, the largest monthly increase in milk prices of $0.80/cwt occurred in September, October and November, 1989 while the largest monthly decline of $-0.50/cwt occurred in March, 1989. The high monthly milk price during the 1980s was $16.00/cwt while the low was $11.30/cwt, a difference of $4.70.

Keep in mind, FAPRI advises congress.

Then in Cheese Market News April 30, 2010 Connie Tipton of IDFA said, "“New tools to manage milk price volatility are necessary for the entire industry, but they must work with markets instead of against them.” She then goes on to warn against the government interfering.

About two months earlier, John Umhoefer, executive director of the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association, worried, "What tools can the dairy industry employ to manage volatility without moving back to an industry whose product line fits in an 18-inch X 10- inch milkbox?"

The people at Fapri, University of Wisconsin, Connie Tipton and John Umhoefer all collectively or singularly, have the ability to know we do not have a "market."

What we have, and there is no denying, is an oligarchy playing games on the CME.

The real cause of farm milk price volatility is the willingness of the USDA and California to attach its formula to those games. USDA hides behind the NASS survey which even the GAO called a redundancy - nice word for saying it really is the game at the CME.

As can be seen in the above graph, during the 30's, a period of "market" forces, there was no volatility. Farm milk price effectively fell under Reagan. Volatility came in just before milk "futures" were introduced on the CME.

There is an old Chinese proverb which says, "The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their real name." Volatility is government sanctioned plunder.


  1. Excellent blog John. It is amazing that all US governments, state and federal, feed this system blindly and without regard or concern.

  2. Oh contrare...If there was more 'risk management' milk prices would be more stable.