Missouri Official Blasts Hedge Funds For ‘Price Manipulation’

Apr 24 2008 | 2:35pm ET

Missouri’s attorney general has asked the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission to step in to protect farmers from hedge funds and other commodities speculators.

In a letter to the Commission, Jay Nixon, a Democrat, complains that, “Wall Street gambling on grain hasn’t had a positive impact on Main Street, Missouri.” The CFTC is holding a roundtable today on the influence of speculators in commodities markets.

Nixon wants the regulator to take measures to protect consumers and farmers from alleged price manipulation on the part of commodity investors.

“Farming already brings enough uncertainty without the introduction of outside players into the sensitive markets in which farmers sell their goods,” Nixon, who is running for governor this year, wrote. “I urge the CFTC to step in and reduce the influence of speculators and give farmers the benefit of the bargained-for price on these contracts.”

“Farmers are not getting the full benefit of their hard work, and consumers are experiencing sticker shock in the cereal aisle,” he added. “Much of this is because speculators, who are neither producers nor consumers, are manipulating prices, and they are the primary beneficiaries.”

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