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Forum Post: Rise of the High Frequency Trading Robots /// High-FrequencyTraders & Momentum-Driven Hedge Funds made it their Business to Speculate on Food in 2011 /// Bankers Hedgefunds & Sovereign Wealth Funds Gambling on Hunger by Speculating on Food Supply

Posted 8 years ago on Dec. 20, 2011, 7:55 p.m. EST by MonetizingDiscontent (1257)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Rise of the High Frequency Trading Robots


-February 07, 2012-

You can watch an animated GIF that chronicles the rise of the HFT Algo Machines from January 2007 through January 2012 by clicking on the link.

(((Animated GIF))): http://www.nanex.net/aqck/2804.HTML

Mike "Mish" Shedlock - I do not know enough about algorithm-driven High Frequency Trading to comment intelligently other than to say 100% without a doubt that someone is making a huge pile of cash from HFT or it would not be done.

The GIF starts out slow and boring, but watch the progression through to the end.

Bio-fuels, Speculation, Land Grabs = Food Crisis

(((VideoReport))) http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=7818

New report calls for sweeping agricultural reform

-January 18, 2012-

Friends of the Earth accuses major banking groups, including Deutsche Bank, Barclays and HSBC, of engaging in practices which drive up food prices

-January 12, 2012-


The Speculative Scrum Driving Up Food Prices

High-frequency traders and momentum-driven hedge funds made it their business to speculate on food in 2011.


-20 December 2011-

...."Prices have been way out of equilibrium in 2011," Bar-Yam told me. "The bubble has not burst yet."

According to Bar-Yam, the international thirst for biofuels has put a strain on arable land previously reserved for food production. At the same time as the rise of the biofuel mandate, the rise of investable commodity indexes and other electronically traded funds has offered investors of all stripes a chance to sink their cash in a sparkling new casino of derivative products. As a result, an ever-flowing spring of speculative capital sustains the status quo.

But just as food is no ordinary widget, speculation in commodity markets is not simply a matter of financial predation. "The high prices of food have resulted in accumulations of inventories at the same time as people can't afford food," said Bar-Yam, who noted that the Arab spring was triggered by the food-price bubble. In fact, Necsi's quantitative model of speculation predicted the uprisings in Tunisia, Libya and Egypt, and warned that if food prices remain inflated, riots and revolutions will go global sometime between July 2012 and August 2013.

"We are at a critical point," said Bar-Yam. "We don't have a stay-the-course option right now."

He believes the time has come for global regulators to step in and manage the global market. Their first task would be to guarantee transparency and make public information previously shrouded in secrecy – such as who holds the biggest stakes in global commodities. Transparent accounting practices would have made the disappearance of $1.2bn worth of customer money from the books of MF Global... http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2071686/Jon-Corzine-apologises-MF-Global-clients-1-2-billion-money-remains-missing.html ...less a matter of sleight of hand and more a matter of international crime...

(((Read the -entire- article Here))) http://www.guardian.co.uk/global-development/poverty-matters/2011/dec/20/speculative-scrum-driving-food-prices

Bankers Hedgefunds and sovereign wealth funds are gambling on hunger by speculating on food supply


-December 20, 2011-

The Food Crises: A Quantitative Model of Food Prices Including Speculators and Ethanol Conversion


D e b t C l o c k




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[-] 3 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 8 years ago

This is why we are here this is why you are needed.


Share, circulate, educate, inspire.

[-] 2 points by shadz66 (19985) 8 years ago

Re. "The Speculative Scrum Driving Up Food Prices",

Perhaps that should more accurately read ...

The 'Speculating Scum' Driving Up Food Prices ?!!!

radix malorum est cupiditas ...

[-] 1 points by MonetizingDiscontent (1257) 8 years ago


[-] 2 points by demcapitalist (977) 8 years ago

Food gold oil all commodities that were run up due to the feds QE1 and QE2, which was due to the freeze up of money caused by deleveraging due to the housing crisis, which was caused by Greenspan's lowering of interest rates due to the stock market crash that was caused by the internet bubble bursting.

[-] 1 points by MonetizingDiscontent (1257) 8 years ago

...due to the stock market crash... due to the derivatives bubble, due to the repeal of Glass Steagall, due to Robert Rubin in concert with Citigroup, due to the insolvent bankers desperation, due to their malfeasance fraud and off balance-book accounting tricks that "stupid" "consumers" -CAN- come to understand , due to their deep sense of self determination driven by an innate need for truth, to which they can base sound well-informed decisions on, due to the general chaos we are seeing everywhere, due to TARP, due to unfunded and undeclared wars based on bad information, due to oh i give up... Im lost now.

(I may be off but it was fun)

[-] 3 points by demcapitalist (977) 8 years ago

This is OT so I'll delete it if you want ---but I know you are following the MF story more news tonight E-Mail Clues in Tracking MF Global Client Funds By BEN PROTESS and AZAM AHMED

Federal authorities investigating the collapse of MF Global have uncovered e-mails that detail the transfers of money in the firm’s last days, including transfers that contained customer money, according to people close to the investigation.

One e-mail chain refers to the transfer of roughly $200 million that MF Global owed JPMorgan Chase on Oct. 28 — the firm’s last business day before it filed for bankruptcy. In that chain, a senior official in the firm’s Chicago office was told to make the transfer, said the people close to the investigation who requested anonymity because the inquiry was still open.

That official, Edith O’Brien, a treasurer at MF Global, is considered a “person of interest” in the investigation, said two of the people, who added that authorities expected to interview her in the coming days. It was not clear who had directed Ms. O’Brien, whose job was to oversee the customer money, to make the Oct. 28 transfer. The roughly $200 million that JPMorgan Chase received is said to be entirely customer money.

Ms. O’Brien has hired a prominent criminal defense lawyer, Reid H. Weingarten of Steptoe & Johnson, according to one of the people. Ms. O’Brien has not been accused of any wrongdoing. And there is no indication that she had reason to suspect that the money being transferred included customer money.

MF Global’s sloppy recordkeeping and a flurry of transactions in its final days may have obscured the fact that the firm was dipping into the cash of farmers, traders and hedge funds to cover its own needs.

Still, the interest in Ms. O’Brien and the e-mails suggest that, nearly two months after some $1 billion in customer money went missing, investigators have identified employees who may have played an important and perhaps unwitting role in the improper use of customer money.

Ms. O’Brien could not be reached for comment. Mr. Weingarten did not respond to several requests for comment. A spokesman for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which is leading the investigation, declined to comment.

Mr. Weingarten, a former Justice Department official, has also represented Bernard J. Ebbers, the former chief executive of WorldCom, and other top corporate executives. Lloyd C. Blankfein, the chief executive of Goldman Sachs, hired Mr. Weingarten this year.

The transfer to JPMorgan was not the only questionable one. Investigators suspect that later on Oct. 28, MF Global continued using customer money to settle payments with trading partners and others, leading to the roughly $1 billion hole in customer cash.

Regulators have spent nearly two months hunting for the missing money. Angry customers, who have yet to receive roughly a third of their money, have taken their grievances to Washington. Jon S. Corzine, the company’s former chief executive, has testified on Capitol Hill three times this month about the firm’s collapse.

Mr. Corzine, a former United States senator and New Jersey governor, testified that on the morning of Oct. 28, JPMorgan told him that one of the firm’s accounts at the bank in London was overdrawn. He said he passed the notice along to his staff.

“At that time, I was trying to sell billions of dollars of securities to JPMorgan Chase in order to reduce our balance sheet and generate liquidity,” Mr. Corzine told lawmakers. “JPMorgan Chase told me that they would not engage in those transactions until overdrafts in London were cleaned up.”

After the transfer, JPMorgan, one of MF Global’s main banks, questioned Mr. Corzine about the source of the money.

“Since I had no personal knowledge of the issue, I asked senior people in the back office and the legal department to become directly involved in responding to JPMorgan Chase’s request,” he told the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations.

Mr. Corzine testified that Ms. O’Brien assuaged any concerns that MF Global had been improperly using customer cash.

“I had explicit statements that we were using proper funds, both orally and in writing, to the best of my knowledge,” he told the panel. “The woman that I spoke to was a Ms. Edith O’Brien.”

But JPMorgan was not satisfied. The bank once again contacted Mr. Corzine, this time requesting a guarantee in writing. Mr. Corzine handed the request to his general counsel, Laurie Ferber. Ms. Ferber would not authorize the document, according to one of the people close to the investigation, saying the firm did not offer such special assurances.

Two days later, at about 6 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 30, Ms. Ferber notified regulators that there was an apparent shortfall in customer money. She blamed an accounting error, according to the CME Group, the firm’s primary regulator and an exchange where it conducted business.

At about 1 a.m., Ms. O’Brien and another executive in Chicago told the exchange that the shortfall in the customer accounts was real, according to the CME.

Ms. O’Brien is considered an expert of sorts on the protection of customer money at futures firms.

In the last year and a half, Ms. O’Brien has made several appearances before the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. On at least two occasions, she was a panelist at roundtable discussions held at the agency on the topic of safeguarding customer money, and also attended at least three meetings with agency officials, including one titled “Practicalities of Individual Customer Protection.”

Since MF Global’s collapse, Ms. O’Brien has been working for the trustee overseeing the liquidation of the firm’s brokerage unit, helping lawyers and accountants understand the firm’s operations.

[-] 2 points by MonetizingDiscontent (1257) 8 years ago

Ah, now we start to get a look at some specifics finally. I was beginning to wonder if the investigations were ever going to disclose anything specific. Thanks for this demcapitalist.

Here goes a link, for anyone who wants to have a closer look.

::::::::::::E-Mail Clues in Tracking MF Global Client Funds::::::::::::


-December 20, 2011-

Jim Willie: JP Morgan Crashed MF Global to Avert COMEX Failure, European Derivatives Implosion

(for the impatient, JP Morgan and COMEX comes up just a little over halfway through the interview)

(((ListenHere))) http://bullmarketthinking.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/12062011willie.mp3

I posted a couple of threads that I am using to focus on any CME JPM and MFGlobal Connections.



[-] 1 points by demcapitalist (977) 8 years ago

LOL I just ordered this book "The Devil’s Derivatives: The Untold Story of the Slick Traders and Hapless Regulators Who Almost Blew Up Wall Street… and Are Ready to Do It Again" http://www.nickdunbar.net/?page_id=8

[-] 1 points by peterevanson (1) 7 years ago

Hello friends, I would like to share very informative article please refer he following link: http://australianinvestmenteducation.com.au/articles/high-frequency-robot-trading/

[-] 1 points by Progression (143) 8 years ago

"The bubble has not burst yet." If it doesn't burst, they are just engineering their own downfall. Playing games with food prices causes unrest that will come back to haunt them.

[-] 1 points by bensdad (8977) 8 years ago

If we got money out of politics with a constitutional amendment, we could put a trading tax on this that would slow it to molasses

[-] 1 points by MonetizingDiscontent (1257) 8 years ago

At this rate it would not be surprising to see one quadrillion in OTC derivatives by the middle of next year. The global derivative pyramid scheme is almost over.

:::::::::::: Counterfeit Value Derivatives: Follow the Bouncing Ball ::::::::::::


-February 3, 2012-

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 8 years ago

Unite in common cause. Hate the things that are wrong in this world. Support each-other in making things right. This is where the healing will begin.

The Government of "The People" by "The People" for "The People"

We are the 99%. Take part in "The Peoples" Lobby.

Take action. See samples of how below.

196,030 signatures so far for Bernie Sanders petition as of 9:40am central time 01/27/2012


The petition to save abandoned houses has 16 signatures. We picked one up at around 11:07am 01/16/2012. Were just rolling right along.


Here is a place where you can directly address change. Take part, it does not hurt and may very well heal/help. Forward the cause of reform and rebirth.


Sierra Club has some good things to take part in as well. Set-up and ready for you to take part in. http://sierraclub.org/

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 8 years ago

Take action. See samples of how below.

183,361 signatures so far for Bernie Sanders petition as of 10:15am central time 01/15/2012


The petition to save abandoned houses has 15 signatures. We picked one up at around 9:50pm 01/13/2012. Were just rolling right along.


Here is a place where you can directly address change. Take part, it does not hurt and may very well heal/help. Forward the cause of reform and rebirth.


Sierra Club has some good things to take part in as well. Set-up and ready for you to take part in. http://sierraclub.org/

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 8 years ago

Here is a place where you can directly address change. Take part, it does not hurt and may very well heal/help. Forward the cause of reform and rebirth.


[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 8 years ago

Well you know.

When they have already killed the fluidity and profitability of other markets.

The food market will always be available to abuse.

I mean, people gotta eat right?

They don't necessarily need to drive a car or buy one (for an example ), but they ( people and their dependent pets ) just gotta eat!

[-] 1 points by MonetizingDiscontent (1257) 8 years ago

$707,568,901,000,000: How (And Why) Banks Increased Total Outstanding Derivatives By A Record $107 Trillion In 6 Months



[-] 1 points by ZenDogTroll (13032) from South Burlington, VT 8 years ago

that's just immoral.

betting on other people's misery - and in the process making that misery a reality.

that shit has got to stop.

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 8 years ago

Welcome to the world of "free markets".........:)

You're not paying more. You're getting less.

[-] 1 points by MonetizingDiscontent (1257) 8 years ago

yep, and soon we will be paying more for less. If we continue on the way we are, we might just end up where we are headed. lol

(Inflating the money supply, which is a tax according to Ben Bernanke, sucks)

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 8 years ago

We're already there.

Bernanke, like Greenspan, still practices a modified version of Austrian economics.

There are those that look at macroeconomics in a way more in tune with today's world.

.. http://pragcap.com/resources/understanding-modern-monetary-system

[-] 1 points by MonetizingDiscontent (1257) 8 years ago

uhhh, they are not Austrian students of economic thought, wow I cant believe you make a claim like that.

[-] 1 points by MonetizingDiscontent (1257) 8 years ago

lets see... 1st of all... Inflation is not phenomenon. Its not a phenomenon because its at tax. Ben Bernanke admitted it. So Inflation is --not-- the economic equivalent of natural astrological phenomenon outside the sphere of human influence.

Ben Bernanke himself had to admit it in testimony, so this myth of inflation "phenomenon" should have been dispelled by now.

ok... and pragmatical? "Pragmatic" Capitalism???

as in: relating to matters of fact or practical affairs often to the exclusion of intellectual matters? "unethical yes but illegal no" (((where have we heard that one before)))

Like: pragmatic men of power turning blind eyes to economic/fiscal immorality? (look around, seems like pragmatic economics is what we are experiencing already in many ways, if you apply some critical thinking skills.)

Or do they mean relating to or being in accordance with philosophical pragmatism.

yikes, a "p r a c t i c a l" approach to problems and affairs. hmmm that sounds c o n v e n i e n t.

Do they mean like ...Its not p r a c t i c a l for banks not to be so highly leveraged in derivatives markets anymore, because the banking industry have already been deregulated since the 1999, and its just too d i f f i c u l t to turn around now because ---they--- are already so highly 'invested'?

I could go on, and on.

and on...

so please. dont make me....

yeah.. this has NOTHING to do with Austrian economics, ok. Nothing.

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 8 years ago

Greenspan himself, said as much.

I think he's an actual economist.

Too bad he liked Ayn Rand.

[-] 0 points by earnyours (124) 8 years ago

What does that even mean? Are you aware that the planned economies produced some of the biggest famines in human history? Does it even matter?

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 8 years ago

It means, exactly what it says.

Unplanned food economies brought us the "dust bowl".

Poorly planned economies brought us our current crash.

Remember. You're not paying more. You're getting less.

[-] 0 points by earnyours (124) 8 years ago

Sorry to get you beyond the borders of a bumper sticker.

The dust bowl was mostly nature colliding with inexperience.

Now, what happened with Mao, Stalin, and North Korea, that's the power of planned economies. Smarten up. Market practices for food have brought us an absolutely stunning abundance.

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 8 years ago

It's not a bumper sticker.

It's the truth.

Go ahead and site the opposite extreme.

It's the middle class that pays.

Try not to be so dumbed down.

That so called abundance comes with many hidden costs. Many of them designed to keeps prices artificially high.

There is not, nor can there ever be a "free market".

It's an illusion.

Admit it, and we can move on to making things even better.

[-] 0 points by earnyours (124) 8 years ago

Not with socialism we can't.

Prices aren't "artificially high". Food is stunningly cheap.

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 8 years ago

You're easily stunned.

[-] 1 points by BlueRose (1437) 8 years ago

Ok but seriously. Don't the oil companies want us to think we will starve if we go to biofuel?

[-] 1 points by MonetizingDiscontent (1257) 8 years ago

Hi Blue Rose =) Im really not sure if that's what All oil companies say or not, but I understand exactly what you mean...

We have to look to (independent, unbiased) scientific evidence though, regardless of what the oil boys want or don't want.

(((The Food Crises: A Quantitative Model of Food Prices Including Speculators and Ethanol Conversion))) http://necsi.edu/research/social/foodprices.html

Im no authority in the sciences, lol... but I am getting interested in the subject of derivative trading, high frequency speculators & the real life consequences that these speculative -LasVegas Style Bets- are having on average everyday people.

So the trail led me here, to food prices.

I'm also discovering that these speculative bets in the food, energy, commodity 'futures' markets are having a clear effect on the price of those 'existing' things today. Derivatives seem to be obstructing true price discovery. More SLV's have been sold than can be paid out today, if everyone wanted to turn their SLV's in. That kind of silver doesn't exist to pay it out today. Yet the momentum these high frequency traders create selling these crummy deals effects the prices of actual things, real things, existing things on mainstreet.

Its hard to explain but Im learning too, so...

Investments are supposed to be 'real' things you can see, touch, have, hold and lick. Not speculative bets on which way the wind will blow next.

[-] 1 points by BlueRose (1437) 8 years ago

What is the cost of NOT going to biofuel?

[-] 0 points by earnyours (124) 8 years ago

1/3 of our corn crop goes to ethanol.


[-] 1 points by alouis (1511) from New York, NY 8 years ago

This speculation results in hunger, hardship and even death to millions.

[-] 0 points by shoozTroll (17632) 8 years ago

You're not supposed to notice.

"Free markets" are the hand of god.

If God ran wallstreet.

[-] 0 points by earnyours (124) 8 years ago

Yeah, let's get someone like Mao to plan our agriculture. Freedom is doing a lousy job of it. LOL.

[-] 1 points by jomojo (562) 8 years ago

I doubt if Mao put as much planning and money into agriculture as the Dept of AG has. Farming does not even have a trickle down theory, unless it's water pollution.

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 8 years ago

Was that supposed to make sense?

It didn't.

Are you shilling for Monsanto?

[-] 0 points by earnyours (124) 8 years ago

Planned economies under-perform market economies in meeting human needs. Even America's poor are the envy of billions. I know that offends liberals, but it's true.

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 8 years ago

The jerks keep sending them back to Mexico.


[-] 0 points by foreeverLeft (-264) 8 years ago

The ignorance of the markets here is almost metaphysical.

Machine trading or bots as you luridly call them are based purely on speed of execution. They don't care if the market goes up or down, even the machines can't control that yet they just need movement and volume to make money.

The machines make money by making hundreds of trades per second in a market of billions of transactions per day. Let's say I want to buy ATT at 29.56 and put in a limit order for 1000 shares for that amount. My trading partner is most likely a machine who accepts my order and simultaneously puts out a buy order at 29.555555, the machine buys the stock for that amount and fills my order at 29.56. Multiply that times hundreds of millions of trades per day and you can see how it is profitable to develop and use these logarithms.

There are arguments against the machines but they provide astounding liquidity to the market. It takes literally hundreds of millions to run a machine because to the volume they do. In fact, machine programs are only limited by the amount of capital they have to make trades.

I realize you folks have to have boogymen to sell your fear conspiracies but to blame food prices on speculators just makes you look stupid to anyone who has two brain cells to rub together. Speculators are always and forever short term traders. They move like a school of fish on every rumor, report, good news and bad news. They are the first in and the first out. To suggest they are involved in some sort of conspiracy to drive food prices up is quite simply lacking in any sort of analytical ability.

Your many links all come down to a report that spends far more time talking about the ruinous affects of ethanol production on food prices but ethanol is favored by your masters so you blame speculators, kind of like blaming bankers for the financial crash rather than looking at your elite masters where blame actually lies.

[-] 0 points by Capitalist01 (-30) 8 years ago

How about the Fed printing money ? Why is it you always neglect to point out the governments role in the problem? Is it because you support the government as your almighty savior? They are not your savior - wake up!


[-] 0 points by earnyours (124) 8 years ago

Food is short in some places because of population growth, poor government, unrest, lack of technology, water issues, and transitions to animal proteins. We also now burn food for energy; about 1/3 of our corn crop goes to ethanol. Don't you know this stuff matters?

Just think for a second. "Speculators", whatever that's supposed to mean, don't eat more. They also don't dump food in the ocean. They also don't have storage to keep stacking it up. So, if speculators are buying food, they're also selling food. And that doesn't create a shortage of anything.

[-] 1 points by MonetizingDiscontent (1257) 8 years ago

great points. I am thinking It does drive up prices though... because the momentum of all these trades distorts the market. so true price-discovery is compromised.

[-] 1 points by demcapitalist (977) 8 years ago

Do you think that the speculation in commodities this year that drove up global food prices was what ultimately caused the Arab spring revolutions ?

[-] 1 points by MonetizingDiscontent (1257) 8 years ago

Well I think that a whole multitude of factors all came together to a head, for the uprisings. Food prices were one of those factors. Poverty is another. And Inequality. When peoples bellies are full though, or they have money to live on, they tend to be satisfied enough to 'muddle through' a lot more.

But yes they did drive up prices. That's pretty much accepted. What is being more debated is by how much.

We do need to return to traditional position limits in commodities, enforced limits, geared to stop bankers, hedge funds and sovereign wealth funds from going long on the world's food supply and, in effect, gambling on hunger.

However I am not so certain though whether that should be an international law or not as this article suggests. Perhaps it would be best to just do it here in the U.S. and, if other countries want to write their own version or copy ours, fine?

[-] 1 points by demcapitalist (977) 8 years ago

I think it probably needs to be an international agreement. The guys who want to make big commodity trades will just open an office on an island somewhere and do what they want.

[-] 2 points by MonetizingDiscontent (1257) 8 years ago

It might be that you are the more realistic one, of the two of us. Maybe I'm more of a dreamer. You probably are right.

yeah there's plenty of incentive to just move your operations abroad.

Like Max Keiser said: "In the US there are limits to how much that a fund can hypothicate. They can leverage up to 140% of customer funds, if in fact it's backstopped with AAA rated -lets say- Treasury Paper"

"Now, what's interesting is that in the city of London there ARE NO limits. There ARE NO ceilings. MF Global of course ran all this scandal through the city of London... So did AIG... So did Lehman Brothers... So did Bernie Madoff... Because the city of London is a regulatory cesspool where all the major global scandals operate." (((A discussion between Max Keiser & Gerald Celente)))


Ive been noticing there is a growing cry for Glass Steagall abroad too though

::::::::Could Glass-Steagall Make A Comeback In Europe?::::::::


-September 15, 2011-

[-] 2 points by demcapitalist (977) 8 years ago

Yup all those messes took place in small office's in London. Scary.Tthere must be some way to shield the US taxpayer from that kind of risk. I didn't know Bernie Maddoff did that too. Then there all those Cayman Island based hedge funds or subsidiaries that US companies use to park money or hide losses or other scammy financial manipulation.

[-] 0 points by earnyours (124) 8 years ago

It's hard to do because ultimately, you have to do something with what you bought. Gold, for example, is different. You can buy gold and stick it somewhere. Food isn't like that. Sure, powerful intermediaries might be able to get higher profits, that's true. A big firm like Cargill is so big that it's profits are big. But if you buy a bunch of grain, you have to soon also be a seller of grain. Even the momentum of the trades breaks down as physical markets need to clear. It's really obvious I bet now that I mention it. It's just one of those things you have to stop and think about for a second.