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Hunger is Big Business May 3, 2008

Posted by davidzweig in Uncategorized.

Cargill and other firms are making big profits by forward trading of contracts for grain, while hunger, one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse, is appearing all over the world. This is normal market behavior.

The price of oil, up $4 a barrel today, is also inflated by financial manipulators. By how much? We don’t know. Just as we didn’t (and still don’t) know how much bad collateralized assets are out there. But the prices of food and fuel, heightened by speculators, are pushing the world inevitably closer to war. Is this the indication of a well functioning system?

Profit increase for some of the world’s largest grain traders

Company Profits 2007 (US$ million) Increase from 2006 (%)
Cargill (US) 2,340 36%
ADM (US) 2,200 67%
ConAgra (US) 764 30%
Bunge (US) 738 49%
Noble Group (Singapore) 258 92%
Marubeni (Japan) 90* 43%*


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