Three years ago it was a puzzle when the food price crisis starved millions. It was a time of record harvests; the world never had so much food. Turns out speculators — the same banks, hedge funds and capitalist investors who brought you to the brink of global financial wipeout — were doing the same with crops, driving up prices to make a bigger profit. Turns out they’re still doing it, and more are going to die.
From the Guardian story: Food speculation: ‘People die from hunger while banks make a killing on food’
What does it mean to people in developed countries? Everything, including chocolate:
But the speculation is not just in staple foods. Last year, London hedge fund Armajaro bought 240,000 tonnes, or more than 7%, of the world’s stocks of cocoa beans, helping to drive chocolate to its highest price in 33 years.