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Big corporate corn farmers celebrate major win, share prices in corn corps. inch higher

Battered by a drought, and hit a second time by the U.S. government's artificial inflation of corn prices, many small livestock farmers were desperately hoping that the Obama administration’s and its appointed leadership at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) would agree to a temporary waiver on blending requirements of ethanol in vehicles.

I. Big Corn Gets a Helping Hand from the Obama Admin.

The EPA on Friday echoed the sentiments of big corn special interests saying it found no evidence that "significant harm" would be caused by not granting a waiver.

The decision came as somewhat of a surprise.  Many sources had expected the Obama administration to instead punt on the issue; the decision to side with the well-heeled special interests to push a program that is unpopular and likely will now cost American jobs was unexpected.

The auto industry has also vigorously opposed the EPA's decision to bump ethanol blending requirements to 15 percent.  They argue that the higher blend will ruin the engines of older vehicles, increasing emissions and forcing consumers to pay for expensive repairs or abandon their vehicles.

Obama bribery wide
Obama and Bush both backed big corn special interests. [Image Source: Politically Incorrect]

The EPA has alleged that it knows the science behind fuel blending better than the engineers who make cars, essentially calling the automakers liars.

The decision will also impact consumers, as ethanol provides less gas mileage in traditional engines that gasoline.  In other words, unless gas stations start charging less at the pump (which seems rather unlikely) consumers will be paying the same amount per gallon, for less equivalent fuel.

Even environmentalists are outraged at the Obama administration, given that ethanol has been shown to not only waste energy, but also increase carbon emissions.  Comments, Michal Rosenoer, biofuels policy campaigner at Friends of the Earth, to The Detroit News:

If the worst U.S. drought in more than 50 years and skyrocketing food prices are not enough to make EPA act, it falls to Congress to provide relief from our senseless federal support for corn ethanol.  The RFS is a broken policy — rather than giving us clean energy, it's incentivizing biofuels like corn ethanol that are exacerbating our economic and environmental problems.

Congress needs to cut corn ethanol from the RFS entirely to protect the economy and the environment from this destructive and dirty fuel.

But despite the united opposition, the Obama administration appears resolute in following its predecessor, the Republican Bush administration, in choosing to side with the big corn special interest groups.

II. EPA to Small Farmers: "Deal With It"

Gina McCarthy, assistant administrator for EPA's Office of Air and Radiation fires back at the critics, commenting, "We recognize that this year's drought has created hardship in some sectors of the economy, particularly for livestock producers.  But our extensive analysis makes clear that congressional requirements for a waiver have not been met and that waiving the RFS will have little, if any, impact."

In other words, the EPA admits it recognizes that farmers are struggling, resorting to desperate measures like feeding their livestock candy waste; but when it comes to bucking a key special interest's agenda the EPA's answer to farmers is basically "tough luck".

Farm drought
EPA claimed to be sympathetic to farmers, but refused to help them with a waiver.
[Image Source: US News]

Over 200 members of Congress, eight state governors, and numerous college professors sign a letter arguing that the blending targets would indeed have a dire impact on farmers.

So who wins?  The biggest winners are the corn and ethanol industry, particularly the growers, who benefit the most from the artificial inflation of corn prices.  Many of these growers are not even family owned, but rather are large corporate farms run by deep-pocketed entities like Archer Daniels Midland Comp. (ADM) and ConAgra Foods, Inc. (CAG).  Indeed, both companies saw a rise in share prices following the EPA's decision.

corn profits
Big corn donates deeply to federal politiicans, who in turn reward it with billions in subsidies.
[Image Source:]

So the word is official -- the U.S. will continue to manipulate prices in the fuel department, despite the cost to consumers, the environment, automakers, livestock farmers, and U.S. jobs.  That's bad news for most -- unless you happen to be an Archer Daniels Midland shareholder.

Source: The Detroit News

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RE: Whats new?
By Solandri on 11/19/2012 2:51:57 PM , Rating: 4
The last few recessions we've had, or as you would put it politely, a bubble burst. None have been blamed on the middle class, just the wall street gang, bankers, fund managers, just the group in the 1%.

Actually, I'd blame the last few bubbles on the middle class. I remember numerous reports in the 1990s that the percent of people investing in stocks was the highest it had ever been. So lots of middle class people were starting to invest in stocks, and some were even braving the venture capital waters (investing in start-ups). It was this huge influx of money combined with inexperience with investing which inflated the values of a lot of companies far beyond where they should have gone - a bubble.

When that bubble popped, they got spooked by the market and sought a safer place to put their money. What could be safer than real estate? After all, unlike stocks which are just pieces of paper if the company goes bust, you've got a real physical asset which still holds value. So we got the housing market bubble. And shortly after the housing bubble burst we had a rush on oil, during prices up to nearly $150/bbl. Everyone needs energy, even in a poor economy, right? Currently we have a rush on gold as the "safe" investment.

Everyone wants to make easy money. It's easy to make easy money if you're rich and have tens of millions of dollars to throw around. A mere 1% gain for the year will let you live comfortably on $100k or more. You don't have to do any of the investment work, you just pay a guy to do it for you.

But if you have just a few tens of thousands to invest, it's not going to be easy. You have to work and do your research on what you're investing in. Make sure it's a sound company (and industry), not just snake oil. You want to be like the rich guy and pay someone (a fund manager) to do this due diligence for you. But his job isn't based on keeping you happy like the rich guy's personal broker's is. He's managing the money for thousands of little fish like you, and he's probably also managing a dozen other funds. So he's much more likely to make decisions which screw you over.

RE: Whats new?
By YashBudini on 11/19/2012 2:57:40 PM , Rating: 1
I'd blame the last few bubbles on the middle class

Pffft, professional money managers made all the same mistakes you peg on the middle class. And not a shred of evidence to support your statement. Sounds more like the characteristic self loathing that so many have on the right.

RE: Whats new?
By Ringold on 11/20/2012 12:14:20 AM , Rating: 1
Off hand I can't think of specific authors, but I'm pretty certain I've read a lot of research showing retail investors did significantly worse. Wall Street types even (short-sightedly, from a PR perspective) call them "dumb money." Last ones to buy on the way up, last ones to sell at the market bottom.

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