Steve Chiotakis: In Washington today, in about half an hour,
there’s gonna be a key meeting of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. That commission is expected to vote in new restrictions on trading in raw materials that are crucial to the
Marketplace’s Mitchell Hartman has more.
Mitchell Hartman: The new rules are aimed at preventing excessive speculation for things like corn or oil. Sharp price swings can hamper economic growth and harm consumers when they flow through to the grocery store and the gas pump.
The CFTC plans to limit the futures contracts a trader can hold. Backers of financial reform say that’s necessary to make sure speculators can’t drive prices up or down and make a killing.
But business professor Peter Wells at Cardiff University says what’s really driving commodity prices higher is rising demand in the developing world.
Peter Wells: As economies in China and India and so forth have grown, we have started to experience perhaps for the first time in a generation a significant and probably enduring increase in these commodity prices.
The financial industry says the rules are too restrictive and could force market players like Morgan Stanley and Cargill to scale back their trading operations.
I’m Mitchell Hartman for Marketplace.