Robber Barons Redux?

Robber Barons Redux?

March 24, 2009

As the lithograph to the left suggest, the appearance of Robber Barons is a recurring social phenomena.

Wikipedia has several interesting articles on the subject. We particularly like the picture of J.P. Morgan thrashing a hapless news photographer. Robber Barons used to loot and pillaged in earlier history. Today it seems that they are more focused on harvesting stock options. (editor’s note: Bxxxx word omitted)

Consolidation in the world’s fertilizer industry continues at a rapid pace, with significant segments of concentrated market power developing. One’s view of this development is no doubt colored by whether you are riding one of the elephants or being trampled by them.

In the early 12 century, Robber Barons stretched iron chains across the Rhine to facilitate toll collection.

We have seen recently the references to people needing to eat in press releases which were announcing the curtailment of fertilizer production. While some would argue that these curtailments are prudent business practice; others would argue that monopolists are flexing their muscles.

From our no doubt biased vantage point we foresee a probable collision between these self appointed gate keepers to the world’s crop nutrients and the political class.

To track this potential development we have set up a separate blog that will focus on the current skirmishes in North Selected clips will be “fair and balanced”. Comments from all industry perspectives will be encouraged.