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Speculation a Major Contributor to Global Food Crisis, New Report Finds

November 2008

The world’s most powerful “leaders” meet today in Washington to debate what is to be done about the global financial crisis – a crisis they themselves were instrumental in causing. It is their blind devotion to a consistently failed ideology, outright greed, and a slavish willingness to be accountable only to their corporate backers (on the part of almost all that are gathering), and an ambition to get a seat at the table in the country club (on the part of the G-20 minus 7) that has created this toxic mix that we are all being forced to swallow.

The agenda of the G-20 meeting will not address the acute desperation of hundreds of millions that are already impoverished, as well as the many millions more whose savings and hopes are spiraling downwards. There is all the more need, therefore, for progressives here in the United States to join those around the world and mobilize in great numbers to demand real change – not just from the failed policies of the past eight years but the past 64 since the Bretton Woods financial system was imposed on us all. The system that brought us the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and later the World Trade Organization and so called free trade.

During the recent U.S. presidential campaign we heard a lot about the need for a “game-changer.” Grassroots International is proud to stand with our partners and allies like the Institute for Policy Studies to demand real change – not a change in the rules of the game as much as a change in the game itself – and join the call for new principles and rules to build an economic system that works for people and the planet. Sign on now to this urgent Call for Action for the proposed Global Summit to reform the international financial system.  

We are also pleased to announce a new report by our ally, the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, that highlights the links between the global food crisis to market deregulation and widespread speculation, and underscores why it’s necessary to radically reform the Bretton Woods system. The IATP report, “Commodities Market Speculation: the Risk to Food Security and Agriculture” concludes that U.S. government deregulatory steps opened the door for large financial services speculators to make huge “bets” that destabilized the structure of agriculture commodity markets.

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