Agricultural/Financial correspondent
Christopher's Feed
Feb 24, 2011

Food prices could reach 2008 level: USDA

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. consumers could see food costs spiking to levels seen during the food crisis of 2008 as higher commodity and energy prices force companies to raise prices on products lining grocery store shelves, the Agriculture Department said on Thursday.

Food prices are forecast to rise a sharp 3.5 percent this year — nearly double the overall inflation rate. The lion’s share of the increase is expected in the second half of 2011 when the recent uptick for commodities, such as corn and soybeans, makes its way through the food system. Just last month, USDA forecast an increase of 2.5 percent in 2011.

Feb 24, 2011

Commodity, energy to drive food prices higher: USDA

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Consumers should brace for rising food costs this year as higher commodity and energy prices make their way to products lining grocery store shelves, the Agriculture Department said on Thursday.

Food prices are forecast to rise a sharp 3.5 percent this year — nearly double the overall inflation rate. The lion’s share of the increase is expected in the second half of 2011. Just last month, USDA forecast an increase of 2.5 percent in 2011.

Feb 24, 2011

Grain supplies to remain thin despite huge U.S. crops

ARLINGTON, Virginia (Reuters) – U.S. farmers will plant massive corn and soybean crops this spring but it may take more than two years to rebuild razor-thin stocks and quell the global surge in grain prices, the U.S. Agriculture Department said on Thursday.

With growing concern among world governments over rising food prices, the U.S. corn stockpile is forecast to be the smallest since 1996 and soybeans would amount to a mere two-week supply by time this year’s crops were ready for harvest.

Feb 17, 2011

Dodd-Frank tensions headline U.S. Senate hearing

WASHINGTON, Feb 17 (Reuters) – Republicans escalated their
push to delay and defund the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reforms on
Thursday as top regulators warned the U.S. Senate Banking
Committee of a staff and funding crunch.

The chiefs of major agencies that are writing hundreds of
rules mandated by Dodd-Frank told the panel at a hearing that
they need more money to carry out the law, which was approved
following the 2007-2009 financial crisis.

Feb 17, 2011

Dodd-Frank battle headlines Senate hearing

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republicans escalated their push to delay and defund the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reforms on Thursday as top regulators warned the U.S. Senate Banking Committee of a staff and funding crunch.

The chiefs of the major agencies that are writing hundreds of new rules mandated by Dodd-Frank, told a committee hearing that they need more money to carry out the law approved last year in the wake of the 2007-2009 financial crisis.

Feb 15, 2011

CFTC says swaps rules binge won’t cause hangover

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A top U.S. financial regulator rejected fears that new derivatives rules will hurt businesses trying to hedge their costs, saying the price of a six-pack of beer won’t skyrocket because of the reforms.

“We’re aware and focused on the cost of a six pack because we also oversee agricultural markets,” Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chairman Gary Gensler told the House Financial Services Committee on Tuesday.

Feb 15, 2011

US watchdogs try to calm Republican swaps fears

WASHINGTON, Feb 15 (Reuters) – U.S. financial regulators
tried to calm fears on Tuesday that new rules for the $600
trillion over-the-counter derivatives market would raise costs
for businesses that use the instruments to hedge risk.

Addressing Republican lawmakers who have balked at the new
rules, top derivatives regulator Gary Gensler said margin
requirements should focus only on transactions between
financial entities rather than those that involve nonfinancial companies.

Feb 14, 2011

Obama boost to CFTC, SEC faces Republican fire

WASHINGTON, Feb 14 (Reuters) – The White House proposed on
Monday large funding increases for U.S. market regulators, a
move already coming under fire from Republicans who oppose key
provisions in the Dodd-Frank financial reform law.

The Obama administration’s fiscal 2012 budget proposes
giving the Securities and Exchange Commission a 28 percent
funding increase to $1.427 billion compared to fiscal 2010′s
actual spending levels. That includes an additional $20 million
the SEC could spend out of a new emergency account that would
be funded by registration fees.

Feb 14, 2011

CFTC, SEC see funding surge under Obama plan

WASHINGTON, Feb 14 (Reuters) – The White House proposed on
Monday large funding increases for U.S. market regulators, a
move likely to come under fire from Republicans who oppose key
provisions in the Dodd-Frank financial reform law.

The Obama administration’s fiscal 2012 budget proposes
giving the Securities and Exchange Commission a 28 percent
funding increase to $1.427 billion compared to fiscal year 2010
actual spending levels.

Feb 14, 2011

CFTC, SEC see funding surge under Obama budget plan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House proposed on Monday large funding increases for U.S. market regulators, a move that likely to come under fire from Republicans who oppose key provisions in the Dodd-Frank financial reform law.

The Obama administration’s fiscal 2012 budget proposed giving the Securities and Exchange Commission a 28 percent funding increase to $1.427 billion and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission an 82 percent spending jump to $308 million compared to fiscal year 2010 actual spending levels.

    • About Christopher

      "Currently based in Washington, Christopher reports on agriculture in Congress and the U.S. Agriculture Department. He also is actively involved in covering regulatory reform, with a focus on the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission."
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