Global Investment Firm Under Fire for Alleged Hand in Global Food Price Hikes

    Food crop. Barclays has come under fire for its alleged key role in global food price hikes. Photo by: Neil Palmer / CIAT / CC BY-SA

    Demonstrations by anti-poverty campaigners are expected to greet the annual meeting of the U.K.-based global financial services company Barclays on Wednesday (April 27), as the firm comes under fire for its alleged key role in global food price hikes.

    A report by U.K.-based campaigning group World Development Movement says Barclays Capital, the firm’s investment banking arm, and two other banking players – Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs – have introduced new financial products that have allowed pension funds and other investors that are traditionally excluded from trading in global commodities markets to bet on global food prices, the Guardian reports.

    The report also accuses the three of making huge profits at the expense of millions of poor people and calls for more transparency in the global commodities market.

    Rising food prices have highlighted the role of hedge funds and investment banks in commodity price hikes, the Guardian says, while noting that steep food price increases helped fuel the protests that led to revolts in Egypt and Tunisia.

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    About the author

    • Ivy Mungcal

      As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.