WELCOME to the Commodity Buffer Stocks Website. This site provides information on the storage of commodities to stabilize the international financial system and to reduce growing inequality between urban and rural sectors, and between developed and less developed countries. More pages will be added to this website in the coming months. Your comments, suggestions, or questions can be placed in our guestbook forwarded by selecting "Contact Us" at the bottom of the page.
Commodity buffer stocks for economic stability were proposed by famous financial economist and investment theorist Benjamin Graham in his 1937 classic Storage and Stability and expanded upon in his 1944 World Commodities and World Currency. Soon after publication, Graham's propositions were hailed by famous economists such as John Maynard Keynes, Nobel laureates Friedrich A. von Hayek and Milton Friedman, Frank D. Graham, Nicholas Kaldor and many other prominent economists since. Both books were reprinted mid 1998 due to rising interest in international stabilizing schemes following the fall-out of the Asian and Russian financial crises.
The idea of using commodity buffer stocks is to achieve macroeconomic stability: contain the business cycle, reduce inflation while limit deflation tendencies, provide a sound basis for money, and support a country's terms of trade. Such stabilization policies inturn promote employment and prosperity. Commodity buffer stocks were implemented successfully as far back as Ancient Egypt and China, and have been a perennial idea of macroeconomic and microeconomic stabilization plans. While they have fallen out of favor in recent decades, they still hold a great deal of potential to stabilize and promote growth in today's globilized economy.
In the words of Irving Kahn, a colleague and long time friend of Benjamin Graham's, quoted from the forword of the new reprint of World Commodities and World Currency:
|Unfortunately, most of the world's great problems are still unsolved by its nations' economic systems. Hundreds of millions of jobless human beings represent an enormous reservoir of usable potential wealth, yet their needs continue to be virtually limitless. The storage system, as viewed by Benjamin Graham, can help solve this problem, because as the economy weakens and prices start to fall, the storage system will begin to buy. This will increase demand and support jobs. Unskilled workers will be needed to produce -- from factories, offices, laboratories -- the basic materials that are always in demand. This is a central premise of World Commodities and World Currency (p.xv).|
This website is dedicated to information, education and research on Benjamin Graham's propositions for a "modern ever-normal granary". The information here will interest economists, policymakers, businesses, unions, international organizations and students, both in developed and developing countries.
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Last update April 16, 1999