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02mydafsoup-01

[...]

At present, 82 per cent of trading in the European commodities market is "over-the-counter" – private deals made between two parties that are not registered on any exchange. This makes it impossible to see what's driving the price changes.

But introducing changes will not be easy, says De Schutter. "There is huge lobbying going on. These issues are so technical; lawmakers are literally running out of experts. They can only call on experts from the financial world. Very few legislators are well-equipped to deal with these issues, which sometimes may be too technical for them to make relevant comments. It's really a problem of democracy. We are heading for a difficult situation: climate shocks, droughts, floods are increasingly frequent and extreme. The predictability of crop production is more difficult, so speculation is more attractive than ever, frankly. It is all the more important then, given this context of uncertainty, to regulate speculation to prevent things becoming even worse.

[End]

The real hunger games: How banks gamble on food prices – and the poor lose out | The Independent 2012-04-01
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