Wednesday, April 23, 2008

New Term to Learn...

..."Resource Protectionism":
The credit crisis has taken an ugly turn, with a number of countries banning rice exports, causing the price of the staple to soar above US$1,000 per tonne, treble its level a year ago. Politically and economically, the world has moved decisively in the direction of protectionism and seems likely to continue further along the protectionist path. It's worth looking at what this trend may entail and how we might minimize its costs.

The most damaging aspect of the current burst of protectionism is the refusal by countries supplying food staples to export to their usual customers; this could actually make people starve.
Keep an eye out on this issue. Daily Sprawl predicts that this, more than a lack of available supply, could be the one that leads to resource shortages (which, in turn, begats resource rationing).