Welcome to Bennett's Study

From the Author of No Land an Island and Unconscionable

Pondering Alphabetic SOLUTIONS: Peace, Politics, Public Affairs, People Relations




UNCONSCIONABLE: http://www.unconscionableusforeignrelations.com/ http://www.unconscionableusforeignrelations.com/author/ http://www.unconscionableusforeignrelations.com/book/ http://www.unconscionableusforeignrelations.com/excerpt/ http://www.unconscionableusforeignrelations.com/contact/ http://www.unconscionableusforeignrelations.com/buy/ SearchTerm=Carolyn+LaDelle+Bennett http://www2.xlibris.com/books/webimages/wd/113472/buy.htm http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/08UNCONSCIONABLE/prweb12131656.htm http://bookstore.xlibris.com/AdvancedSearch/Default.aspx? http://bookstore.xlibris.com/Products/SKU-000757788/UNCONSCIONABLE.aspx


Friday, April 13, 2012

Speculators as bank robbers heisting food pantries must be 'cuffed

Food Speculation
Global BREAKDOWN continues in unchecked high crime in high places
Excerpts, editing by Carolyn Bennett

From Professor Michael Greenberger’s comments in interview today with The Real News Network’s senior editor Paul Jay: “Speculation and criminal manipulation of food and commodities prices — ‘Weak regulations on speculators swamping markets and lack of enforcement of existing laws on criminal intent, are driving up prices’”

RECAP: Al Jazeera report May 2011

Don't gamble with our food
“Glencore controls more half the global copper market and almost ten percent of the planet’s wheat trade [Reuters]. It is the world’s largest diversified commodities trader — now planning a $11billion share sale [2011 figures], likely the largest market debut ever seen on the London Stock Exchange.…”

The “rapid rise in food, fuel and commodities prices [though] a bonanza for multinational trading firms such as Glencore” has disastrous consequences for the world’s poor. Critics have charged that this singular commodities trader [unchecked] issuing stock causes spikes in food prices.

‘Stability is to be prized’ but that is ‘the last thing Glencore wants, as it is instability that is most profitable — for those who have the inside knowledge to exploit it’ [David Green of Oxfam].

“To make money betting on food, metals and energy, Glencore – like other trading in houses and hedge funds – relies on one crucial commodity: Information.

‘[Glencore has] offices all over the world and unique access to information about production and distribution. When the people who have that information are also the ones speculating, there is grave cause for concern; they can purchase forward contracts when they know prices are going up’ [Food security researcher Devlin Kuyek with GRAIN, a non-profit international organization working on food security].

The Real News Network 2012

There are two kinds of speculation, Professor Michael Greenberger told Senior Editor Paul Jay, that the Dodd–Frank law (in the U.S. Senate, July 2010) intended to limit and constrain “but the place that there is vulnerability is in the futures market, where you actually hold a contract for future delivery rather than own the underlying commodity. If that market is overwhelmed by speculators, it will drive up the price of the commodity and therefore not only will people benefit from having futures contracts that pay off big-time; but if they correspondingly hold the physical—the aluminum, the copper, the wheat, the oil — that price goes up as well.

Stock Market
Dodd–Frank recognized that speculators in extreme can overwhelm these markets and asked the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to limit the participation of speculators so that those markets adhered to supply-demand fundamentals.  Unfortunately, in the implementation process, that rule was weakened to almost no effect, and then, once the rule — the weak rule — was finalized, it was challenged by the banks in court. So the limits on speculation have essentially been wiped out despite Congress’s best efforts.

White collar crime
High Crime

ANOTHER PROBLEM is that “some of these participants … adversely affecting the price — are actually not just swamping the markets with investments but are working with each other to drive the price up. That is a criminal problem.”

The crime is criminal manipulation of prices. “That is why the president of the United States — once in April 2011 and once in March 2012 — asked the Justice Department to investigate these markets to see if there is criminal wrongdoing. Those of us who watch these markets believe, despite the innocent flooding of these markets of speculators … there are speculators out there who, with a criminal intent, are driving the price up.

“One remedial process, limiting speculation to a reasonable part of the market, failed because of Wall Street lobbying.  The second part is failing because of prosecutorial laxity, the failure to go after people who are criminally working with each other to drive the price up.”

[Jay: Is part of the problem the political power … paralyzing this process?]

Greenberger continues: “The banks have already checkmated one of the principal limits in Dodd–Frank, which did not require showing criminal intent; [the legislation] just said speculators’ participation in these markets should be drawn down from 80 percent of the markets to about 30 percent of markets, the historical average.” The lobbyists on Wall Street (together with an inattentive public) have run roughshod over that but you cannot run roughshod over a prosecutor. What is missing is “serious investigation” by the U.S. Justice Department.
Speculators as bank robbers

“My view and the view of many academic experts,” Greenberger said, “is [that] if the Justice Department would seriously investigate the criminal manipulation, the price would come down dramatically — not just the price of oil, not just gasoline, not just of heating oil, but the price of agricultural products as well, because the same things are happening in those markets.…

“If we did not investigate bank robbers, there would be a lot of profits made from going in and holding up banks. But we enforce burglary laws and theft laws in bank robberies. The same thing is happening in the commodity markets, and the prosecutors and de facto police have blindfolded themselves, stuffed their ears, and held their noses, and appeared to the public as if nothing is going on.

“If there were a serious investigation undertaken, if the FBI was called in, if records were subpoenaed, if market participants were interviewed and the Justice Department at least gave an indication, as they did when they went after the Enron conspirators in the early 2000s, if they were serious about this — just the appearance of a serious investigation would cause the criminal speculators to scatter like cockroaches scatter when lights are turned on. If indictments were brought down, the public would be educated about this.” 

Sources and notes

Al Jazeera 2011

 “Glencore: Profiteering from hunger and chaos — The world’s largest commodities trader is issuing a stock sale, and critics say the firm causes spikes in food prices” (Chris Arsenault), May 9, 2011, Al Jazeera and agencies, http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2011/05/20115723149852120.html

Jay and Greenberger 2012

“Speculation and Criminal Manipulation of Food and Commodities Prices (Michael Greenberger: ‘Weak regulations on speculators swamping markets and lack of enforcement of existing laws on criminal intent, are driving up prices,’” April 13, 2012 [Watch full multipart Speculation and Criminal Manipulation of Food and Commodities Prices]

In Washington Paul Jay, Senior Editor, interviewer, The Real News Network, Transcript Site DISCLAIMER: Please note that transcripts for The Real News Network are typed from a recording of the program. TRNN cannot guarantee their complete accuracy. http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=8134


Michael Greenberger is Technical Advisor to the United Nations Commission of Experts of the President of the UN General Assembly on Reforms of the International Monetary and Financial System. He has recently been named to the International Energy Forum’s Independent Expert Group that provided recommendations for reducing energy price volatility to the IEF’s 12th Ministerial Meeting of March 2010. Professor Greenberger was a partner for more than 20 years in the Washington, D.C. law firm of Shea and Gardner. There he served as lead litigation counsel before courts of law nationwide, including the United States Supreme Court.

Professor Michael Greenberger is on the University of Maryland School of Law faculty where he teaches a course entitled “Futures, Options and Derivatives.

PAUL JAY, SENIOR EDITOR CONCLUDES:  “… Commodity traders and big banks are making such fabulous profits out of all this. The top commodity traders are making more money than the biggest telecoms’ netting more profit than the Microsoft/s and the Apple/s. … Unless you read the financial press, where you see some of this, reading the popular press would give you no sense of the extent of money being made by the big banks, commodity traders, on commodities and speculation, the two together.”

DODD-FRANK overview excerpt [July 2010]

“BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE DODD-FRANK WALL STREET REFORM AND CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT: Create a Sound Economic Foundation to Grow Jobs, Protect Consumers, Rein in Wall Street and Big Bonuses, End Bailouts and Too Big to Fail, Prevent Another Financial Crisis

Years without accountability for Wall Street and big banks brought us the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, the loss of 8 million jobs, failed businesses, a drop in housing prices, and wiped out personal savings.

The failures that led to this crisis require bold action. We must restore responsibility and accountability in our financial system to give Americans confidence that there is a system in place that works for and protects them. We must create a sound foundation to grow the economy and create jobs.”



Food speculation, recent food price volatility has been linked to the ..., theecologist.org
Stop betting on hunger, eco-storm.com
“Don’t gamble with our food” ... 100 million people into extreme poverty. I also said that G20 does not ... actionaid.org
No land no food” Woman and child with a sign saying No land, No food
Stop bankers betting on food, by. Alex Milan Tracy, demotix.com

A suspect in an armed bank robbery in South Carolina is apprehended in ...
White+Collar+Crimes+Law.png, thelaw.tv, 425 × 282 - White+Collar+Crimes+Law
stockpic.jpg, wired.com, 660 × 438 - ... connected to a high-frequency, stock-and-commodities trading platform


Bennett's books are available in New York State independent bookstores: Lift Bridge Bookshop: www.liftbridgebooks.com [Brockport, NY]; Sundance Books: http://www.sundancebooks.com/main.html [Geneseo, NY]; Mood Makers Books: www.moodmakersbooks.com [City of Rochester, NY]; Dog Ears Bookstore and Literary Arts Center: www.enlightenthedog.org/ [Buffalo, NY]; Burlingham Books – ‘Your Local Chapter’: http://burlinghambooks.com/ [Perry, NY 14530]; The Bookworm: http://www.eabookworm.com/ [East Aurora, NY] • See also: World Pulse: Global Issues through the eyes of Women: http://www.worldpulse.com/ http://www.worldpulse.com/pulsewire http://www.facebook.com/#!/bennetts2ndstudy


No comments:

Post a Comment