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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