Commodities: Sick King

On the New York Cotton Exchange last week, the price of March futures soared to 25.87¢ a pound, highest in 21 years. But the price of cotton was like a fever chart; the higher it went, the sicker Old King Cotton got. His ills were those of gluttony.

U.S. warehouses bulged with a carryover of more than 11 million bales of cotton, at the end of July 1945. Despite bad weather and labor shortages, another 9.1 million bales have just been harvested. And, with soaring prices, U.S. planters are now getting ready to grow...

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