I’ve laid my cards on the table and so have a few other notable bubble-spotters. But few would argue that Robert Shiller is not the king bubble-spotter; in an article today, Professor Shiller showed his hand.
Where’s the next big bubble? Like John Hussman and myself believe, Shiller says a bubble is forming in commodities ... but Shiller is far more exact. He says the commodity bubble is leading to a much bigger bubble in farmland. He says:
A continuation of today’s commodity-price boom seems more likely, for it has more of a “new era” story attached to it. Increasing worries about global warming, and its effects on food prices, or about the cold and snowy winter in the northern hemisphere and its effects on heating fuel prices, are contagious stories. They are even connected to the day’s top story, the revolutions in the Middle East, which, according to some accounts, were triggered by popular discontent over high food prices – and which could themselves trigger further increases in oil prices.
But my favorite dark-horse bubble candidate for the next decade or so is farmland – and not just because there have been stories in recent months of booming farmland prices in the U.S. and the United Kingdom.
It’s nice to know I am not the only one who is seeing signs of irrational exuberance in these markets. But like my housing market call of 2006, it’s likely that I am early to the game. But forewarned is forearmed ...