Fast Food Nation

Between the day they are born and the day they are

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Unformatted text preview: as much as 80 percent of the cattle being exchanged are captive supplies. The prices being paid for these cattle are never disclosed. To get a sense of what an independent rancher now faces, imagine how the New York Stock Exchange would function if large investors could keep the terms of all their stock trades secret. Ordinary investors would have no idea what their own stocks were really worth — a fact that wealthy traders could easily exploit. “A free market requires many buyers as well as many sellers, all with equal access to accurate information, all entitled to trade on the same terms, and none with a big enough share of the market to influence price,” said a report by Nebraska’s Center for Rural Affairs. “Nothing close to these conditions now exists in the cattle market.” The large meatpacking firms have thus far shown little interest in buying their own cattle ranches. “Why would they want the hassle?” Lee Pitts, the editor of Livestock Market Digest, told me. “Raising cattle is a business with a high overhead, and most of the capital...
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This note was uploaded on 02/25/2014 for the course MGMT 120 taught by Professor Litt during the Spring '08 term at UCLA.

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