CHICAGO (Reuters) – Financial trading in world markets has grown so lightning-fast that effective regulation is growing tougher by the second, increasing the threat of crashes sparked by hoaxes, electronic glitches or yet-unknown causes.
The latest alarm was triggered by a fake tweet saying that the White House was bombed, prompting a U.S. market nosedive that ended minutes later when the Associated Press said its Twitter account had been hacked. In 2010 U.S. stocks plunged in a “flash crash” following aggressive sales of stock-index futures by a mutual fund.
CHICAGO, May 19 (Reuters) – Financial trading in world
markets has grown so lightning-fast that effective regulation is
growing tougher by the second, increasing the threat of crashes
sparked by hoaxes, electronic glitches or yet-unknown causes.
The latest alarm was triggered by a fake tweet saying that
the White House was bombed, prompting a U.S. market nosedive
that ended minutes later when the Associated Press said its
Twitter account had been hacked. In 2010 U.S. stocks plunged in
a “flash crash” following aggressive sales of stock-index
futures by a mutual fund.
May 16 (Reuters) – Farmland prices in U.S. Midwest Corn Belt
states in the first quarter of 2013 rose 15 percent compared to
a year ago as demand for land remained strong but the frantic
pace of recent gains slowed down, the Federal Reserve Bank of
Chicago said on Thursday.
The Chicago Fed’s quarterly survey of 219 bankers also
showed prices of good farmland rose 4 percent in the first
quarter of 2013, from the fourth quarter of 2012. That compares
to a 5 percent gain over the same period a year ago.
May 15 (Reuters) – Farmland values in the U.S. Plains states
rose 20 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier, with
acreage commanding record prices because of red-hot demand for
cropland in the world’s biggest food exporting nation, the
Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City said on Wednesday.
The rise marked the third straight year of double-digit
annual increases, setting a survey record, the bank said, but
the rate of gains moderated from the fourth quarter, with slower
growth in farm income.
CHICAGO, May 3 (Reuters) – U.S. grain farmers have enjoyed a
rare combination of soaring prices and land values since 2009
but if incomes dip as expected they should be careful not to
fall into the trap of borrowing against inflated land values,
the Kansas City Federal Reserve said in a report on Friday.
“In 2013, historically high farm incomes are projected to
keep U.S. farm debt and leverage low. Yet longer-term
projections suggest that farm incomes could fall dramatically in
2014,” the study, entitled “The Wealth Effect in U.S.
Agriculture,” stated. “If agriculture’s historical wealth effect
holds true, farm enterprises might use existing wealth to
finance and smooth investment spending, sowing the seeds for
another round of debt accumulation.”
CHICAGO, March 22 (Reuters) – Cool, wet late winter weather
across most of the U.S. Corn Belt has raised hopes that the
world’s largest food exporter will rebound from last year’s
historic drought but experts warn that many crop and pasture
areas west of the Mississippi River remain bone dry.
A series of storms in the past month brought several feet of
snow and much needed moisture to the central United States,
replenishing parched soils and filling low rivers just as the
U.S. planting season nears. Moisture is near normal for farms
east of the Mississippi River, the dividing line of the western
and eastern Corn Belt. But the west has not been as fortunate.
CHICAGO, Feb 15 (Reuters) – Farmland values in the U.S.
Plains states jumped more than 20 percent in the fourth quarter
from a year earlier as farms sold at record-high prices, with
the biggest jump seen in irrigated land given the worst drought
in 50 years to hit the world’s top food producer, the Kansas
City Federal Reserve bank said.
This was the seventh consecutive quarter irrigated and
non-irrigated cropland values posted year-over-year gains of
more than 20 percent as record crop prices kept demand hot for
farmland, according to a quarterly survey of bankers by the
Kansas City Fed released on Friday.
CHICAGO, Feb 14 (Reuters) – Farmland prices in the U.S.
Midwest Corn Belt states rose 16 percent in the fourth quarter
of 2012 from a year earlier, setting new all-time highs as
demand for farmland remained strong despite the worst drought in
50 years, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago said on Thursday.
The Chicago Fed’s quarterly survey of bankers showed prices
of good farmland in the October-December period notched the
third largest year-on-year increase since the late 1970s.
Farmland values gained an average 7 percent from the prior
CHICAGO, Feb 13 (Reuters) – Farm income and land values in
the southern Midwest and mid-South regions of the central United
States were steady to firm in the fourth quarter of 2012, with
more strength expected in early 2013, the Federal Reserve Bank
of St. Louis said in a quarterly survey of agricultural bankers.
“The District’s relatively strong performance in the fourth
quarter contrasts sharply with the widespread anticipation in
the previous survey that last summer’s drought would
significantly lower income and capital spending,” the bank said,
based on its survey of 61 agricultural banks. “Many bankers
cited the effect of crop insurance in alleviating the expected
negative impact of the drought.”
CHICAGO, Feb 8 (Reuters) – The CME Group, the
largest U.S. futures market operator, is tinkering with its
trading hours to try and please two factions in its oldest
constituency: the grain industry.
Industry officials said CME is looking for a way to strike a
balance between international grain companies that want shorter
hours and small rural grain elevators that like longer trading