Target: Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC)
Goal: Stop allowing Goldman Sachs’ manipulation of global food prices.
Wall Street giant Goldman Sachs is driving up global food prices by speculating in the commodities market, a lucrative practice which was deregulated in the year 2000. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), whose mission is, “to avoid systematic risk (in the marketplace)…protect the consumers, and the public from…manipulation and abusive practices,” continues to allow Goldman Sachs’ profiteering at the expense of the public. Commodity speculation played a leading role in 2008’s food crisis, in which food prices reached a 30-year high, pushing 250 million more people into hunger and starting food riots across the globe. Food prices peaked even higher in 2011 and inflation has remained ever since. Volatile food prices are a threat to developing countries’ growth and a disaster for the roughly two billion people who spend over 60% of their household budget on food.
Speculation of food commodities disregards the actual fundamental value of the food product and gambles on its price fluctuations. Banks who partake in this practice make profits from upward fluctuations. Most of the commodity market has shifted into the hands of investment banks rather than hedgers, those who actually produce or purchase the commodities. This means that the price of these food commodities is now determined by pure speculation from bankers who profit off of price increases. Studies from sources including the United Nations and the World Bank have shown a direct correlation between commodity speculation and rising food prices.
Goldman Sachs is the leading bank in the agricultural commodities market, generating more revenues last year from their commodities division than any other bank. The CFTC, who are the ones responsible for lifting the bans on the once-tightly regulated market, continue to allow commodity speculation despite its damaging effects. Although some initiatives have been taken to restrict the bank’s influence in the market, Wall Street and their lobbyists keep pushing back any meaningful reforms.
Goldman Sachs is notorious for getting away with crimes in which its bankers profit at the expense of others. By signing the petition below, you are taking a step to ensure that food remains a basic human right. You will help urge the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to stop allowing Goldman Sachs’ commodities speculation, which is turning the world’s food into a stock investment for the wealthy.
Dear Commodity Futures Trading Commission,
As you are aware, Goldman Sachs’ speculation in commodities has been manipulating the market, inflating global food prices. Hunger and poverty are dire issues in the world, and allowing a bank to have such boundless influence on food prices is an unnecessary and immoral addition to this problem. Your responsibility as the Commodity Futures Trading Commission is to avoid risk in the commodities market and protect the consumer from manipulation. You are disregarding this responsibility by giving Goldman Sachs the power to manipulate the marketplace, putting all consumers at risk.
The 1936 Commodity Exchange Act was created to prevent speculators from manipulating prices of essential day-to-day items. This was a balanced system that was effective at stabilizing food prices. The speculator in today’s world is given too much power, creating complications in a delicate and vital system.
It is very apparent that Goldman Sachs’ commodity speculation is driving up global food prices. I am urging you to put a stop to this unbalanced practice so that the world can be one step closer to feeding its hungry. Please stop allowing Goldman Sachs the legal right to speculate in the commodities market.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Chaitanya K