A Flood of Profits


Money in the bank for corn speculators.

In the wake of the drowning of several Midwestern towns, corn is as high as an elephant’s eye.

It is if you think of the elephant as the enduring symbol of the enduring GOP.

Already flushed with wealth over the ethanol craze (a typically American non-green response to the high price of gas), corn speculators are in hog heaven.

“The market is being driven by water,” grain merchant Glenn Hollander said yesterday on the floor of the Chicago Board of Trade, according to Reuters. No doubt the flooded-out farmers in Iowa will give him three cheers for such clever wordplay.

More from the Reuters story:

U.S. corn prices soared above $8 a bushel on Monday for the first time as concerns about flood-related crop losses in the U.S. Corn Belt swamped grain markets and caused knock-on effects through the food chain.

Corn, the main U.S. row crop and the feedstock for the burgeoning ethanol sector, livestock feed and dozens of other food and industrial products, set an all-time high for the eighth straight trading session.

And corn farmers in Minnesota will harvest some green, too, as the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported this morning:

The heavy rains and storms that have devastated much of the Midwest may have one unlikely beneficiary: Minnesota corn farmers.

In pockets of Iowa, Indiana and Illinois, monsoon-like rains have washed out newly planted fields and delayed the planting of millions of acres. But the devastation has also pushed corn to its highest price ever — and that’s been unmitigated good news for farmers in Minnesota, which has thus far largely escaped the crop damage to the south.

The floods arrived just in time to rescue the noble profession of speculators, which tragically suffered yesterday in the oil market. As the AP reports:

Oil prices eased Tuesday — following a wild, record-setting session the previous day — as investors weighed expectations of higher output against the market’s ability to quench soaring global demand.

Mr. Fix-It, George W. Bush, has scheduled a visit to waterlogged Iowa for Thursday, saying:

And I, unfortunately, have been to too many disasters as President. But one thing I’ve always learned is that the American citizen can overcome these disasters. And life, while it may seem dim at this point in time, can always be better because of the resiliency and care of our citizens.

Speak for yourself, Mr. President, about seeming dim. And as for the resiliency of the citizenry, the Constitution still at least guarantees that for us by denying you a third term.

However, it should be interesting to track Bush’s visit to Iowa, if only to see one walking disaster walk into another disaster.

At least this time, Mike Brown won’t be going with.