Keynes's involvement in commodity markets did not end with his activities as an investor. From 1923 onwards, he contributed a number of articles on such markets to the press and to the London and Cambridge Economic Service. In 1938, and again in 1942, he made specific proposals for the regulation of primary products (JMK, vol. xxi, pp. 456–70; vol. xxvii, ch. 3).
Keynes's first publication came in a Manchester Guardian Commercial Reconstruction Supplement, on 29 March 1923; we print it below with one correction noted in the issue of 26 April.
From The Manchester Guardian Commercial, Reconstruction Supplement, 29 March 1923
SOME ASPECTS OF COMMODITY MARKETS
The annual flow of commodities cultivated or extracted from the soil has a very large value in comparison with the capital resources of the cultivators and extractors. The value of the annual production is large even in comparison with the fixed capital required to raise it; and compared with the floating capital of the producers, available for financing the annual flow from the commencement of production up to the disposal of it to the consumers, it is very large.
This disparity, from which the precise form of the existing structure of finance and credit largely proceeds, has a significant bearing on the train of cause and effect which make the ups and downs of trade. The object of this article is to analyse one or two aspects of this state of affairs, which deserve attention from the practical point of view.