461 economistas reclaman acciones urgentes contra especulaciones sobre alimentos básicos
461 economists from over 40 countries called on the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to tackle excessive speculation on food commodities with position limits that would promote stable markets and benefit food producers, consumers and poor people around the world, according to the international relief and development organization Oxfam America. In a joint letter addressed to G20 finance ministers sent today to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and the 5 commissioners of the CFTC, the group of respected economists urged swift action to counter speculation.
“Excessive financial speculation is contributing to increasing volatility and record food prices, exacerbating global hunger and poverty,” wrote the economists from top institutions from across the country including Harvard, Notre Dame, the University of Utah and Cornell. “With around 1 billion people enduring chronic hunger worldwide, action is urgently needed to curb excessive speculation and its effects on global food prices.”
The economists are adding their voices to an escalating and diverse campaign pushing action to curb excessive speculation, ranging from the Pope to Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz. After facing significant pressure and a well-funded lobbying effort from major banks and other large traders of commodities that have profited handsomely from excessive speculation, the CFTC has twice delayed issuing a final rule on speculation as required under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. A vote on the rule is currently expected for October 18th.
“Clear [position] limits would provide regulatory certainty, promoting stable and sustainable derivatives markets to the benefit of food producers, consumers and broader economic stability,” states the letter, pointing to the strong economic benefits that would result from instituting position limits.
G20 finance ministers will discuss measures to reign in speculation at a meeting in Paris this week. The G20 agriculture ministers, including Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, have already called on their finance counterparts to introduce tighter controls.
“Tens of millions have already been pushed into poverty as a result of record high food prices,” said Vicky Rateau, campaign manager for Oxfam America’s GROW campaign. “The experts are stating clearly that excessive speculation on commodities is harming the world’s poor. The CFTC should heed their call without delay.”
Read the economists’ letter HERE.