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Casino of Hunger: How Wall Street Speculators Fueled the Global Food Crisis

Casino of Hunger: How Wall Street Speculators Fueled the Global Food Crisis

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During 2008, rising food prices — accelerated by an unprecedented run-up of prices on the commodities futures markets — created a food crisis that increased global hunger, sparked civil unrest and hurt farmers in America and worldwide. The global food crisis is an overlooked symptom of the broader global economic crisis. The food crisis shares many characteristics of the financial meltdown — it was exacerbated by the deregulation of the commodity markets (including agriculture) that encouraged a tidal wave of Wall Street speculation — leading to further increases in already rising food and energy prices.
During 2008, rising food prices — accelerated by an unprecedented run-up of prices on the commodities futures markets — created a food crisis that increased global hunger, sparked civil unrest and hurt farmers in America and worldwide. The global food crisis is an overlooked symptom of the broader global economic crisis. The food crisis shares many characteristics of the financial meltdown — it was exacerbated by the deregulation of the commodity markets (including agriculture) that encouraged a tidal wave of Wall Street speculation — leading to further increases in already rising food and energy prices.

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Published by: Food and Water Watch on Nov 14, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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01/05/2013

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Casino ofHunger
How Wall Street SpeculatorsFueled the Global Food Crisis
 
 About Food & Water Watch
Food & Water Watch is a non-prot organization working with grassroots organizations around the worldto create an economically and environmentally viable future. Through research, public and policymakereducation, media and lobbying, we advocate policies that guarantee safe, wholesome food produced in ahumane and sustainable manner and public, rather than private, control of water resources including oceans,rivers and groundwater. For more information, visit www.foodandwaterwatch.org.
Food & Water Watch
1616 P St. NW, Suite 300 Washington, DC 20036tel: (202) 683-2500fax: (202) 683-2501info@fwwatch.org www.foodandwaterwatch.orgCopyright © November 2009 by Food & Water Watch. All rights reserved. This report can be viewed or downloaded at www.foodandwaterwatch.org.California Ofce25 Stillman Street, Suite 200San Francisco, CA 94107tel: (415) 293-9900fax: (415) 293-9908info-ca@fwwatch.org
 
Executive Summary..................................................................................................................................................iv Food Crisis of 2007-2008...........................................................................................................................................1 
Commodity Speculation Worsened Market Factors Causing Price Rise
..................................................2The Role of Commodity Futures Markets...............................................................................................................3Deregulation Allowed Speculation to Bloom...........................................................................................................4
 Blurring the Distinction Between Physical Hedgers and Wall Street Money Managers
.........................5Financial Terms.........................................................................................................................................................6Unregulated Over-the-Counter Market Swamps Commodities Markets................................................................6 
 Increase in Futures Investment 
...................................................................................................................8 
 New Index Funds Pour Investment Dollars into Agricultural Commodities
.............................................8 American Farmers Left in Lurch by Excess Speculation...........................................................................................11Conclusions and Recommendations.......................................................................................................................12Endnotes..........................................................................................................................................................13
Casino ofHunger
How Wall Street Speculators Fueled the Global Food Crisis

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