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A spaghetti speculation scandal

January 21, 2010

While the US CFTC aim their regulatory cannons at crude oil speculators, their Italian cousins have their daggers out for “spaghetti speculators.”

Roberto Sambuco (aka “Mr. Price”), Italy’s so-called Guarantor of Price Surveillance launched a fresh investigation into manipulation of the dry spaghetti market. See:

“The price of pasta is a scandal and the result of speculation,” Bloomberg News quotes Italy’s National Farmers’ Association. Bloomberg says Italians eat an average 62 pounds of pasta each year.

Rocky has been known to “throw around his weight” in the crude oil market, but if the spaghetti scandal heats up and boils over,  he’ll be forced to start watching his carbs.

He also added an Olive Oil (EVOO) / Marinara Sauce “spread” to both his Bloomberg monitor page and a loaf of Italian bread.

Lest the speculators and collusionists  drive prices even higher, Rocky’s “Plan B” will be a switch from Linguine #7 to Capellini #9. Alternatively, he may purchase the Ronco Pasta Maker Kitchen Appliance. (As seen on TV.)

Is there a housing-like bubble in the spaghetti market?
No. But there’s bubbles aplenty in Rocky’s boiling pasta pot.

[Disclosure: From the Ronco Pasta Machine User Manual: “With a powerful yet quiet motor, this incredible machine also makes sausage, cookies, and small bagels.”  Trophy Wife notes that Rocky’s fagottini already resembles a day-old bagel with cream cheese.]

  1. masteroftheuniverse
    January 21, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    As long as they leave the meatballs alone, I’m fine. Gotta check the cattle and hogs market to see if there’s a spillover effect.

  2. Sam
    January 22, 2010 at 9:23 am

    Perhaps you should look to short Darden Restaurants (NYSE: DRI), the owner of Olive Garden, should this spaghetti bubble pop. They’re stock is up 4.25% already this year. Perhaps that have a hand in this mass hysteria that is the spaghetti bubble.

  3. allocator
    January 23, 2010 at 12:00 am

    Italy has also filed a WTO complaint against Spain for the seasonal spike in tomato sauce prices leading up to the annual Tomatina tomato fight festival in Bunol, Spain. Unless Italy gets satisfaction, they have threatened to retaliate with their own Parmesan cheese throwing festival in Parma, Italy (though it remains unclear as to how this is going to damage Spanish interests).

    In an unrelated matter, CBOT traders at one time thought of starting their own annual Great Wheat Dust-up – just because they’re like that – but ultimately, after a long, awkward pause, thought the better of it when one of the traders on the organizing committee asked another for a light. 🙂

  4. January 23, 2010 at 12:51 pm

    And in other news, the Florida, um, Commission (?) on Weights and Measures is scheduled to meet soon (sorry, it was kind of a blurb thing on NPR and I’d already had one glass of wine so the details here are sketchy). The hot topic is the amount of ink in printer cartridges. FL maintains that the number of pages that can be printed per cartridge is the better measure (as opposed to the current “no measure”), since the amount of ink contained in a cartridge is meaningless to the average consumer, such as everyone. Bear with me here, there is a connection. Next on the agenda is a way to comparatively measure the value of dry pasta, which I could swear they said had something to do with “shrinkage”, when Fakename thought dry pasta was all about expansion. Moral of the story: Never listen to NPR after 5:00 P.M.

  5. January 23, 2010 at 1:11 pm

    Fakename: Thank you for sharing with the class. Rocky, a man of few words, finds that his ink cartridges last longer when his pages are left blank. As to shrinkage, that’s a subject best left to Trophy Wife.


  6. January 23, 2010 at 1:47 pm

    Ever the innovators, please allow Florida to lead the way in the matter of the burning question of ink cartridge value. There could be a trading advantage here. I can see the ads now: HP gets two more pages with Cartridge #21 than our closest competitor.
    Fakename also meant to comment on your disclosure. Maytag used to make a washing machine that you could also use to make ice cream. I’ll put them up against Ronco anytime.
    In closing, you have made Fakename laugh and blush at the same time, the odds of which are…oh never mind, I think that would involve math.

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