The trading paradigms that dominate today’s investing landscape have undoubtedly served some of us well. For those who play by the rules, buying options or futures contracts is no strenuous exercise, and there is a huge market open at all hours of the day to serve willing participants. However, no matter how streamlined these practices are, or how fast online platforms become, the commodities trade will remain fragmented from bottom to top unless something changes.
In fact, the rules and major players within this modern industry are themselves keeping free market principles from proliferating. Bureaucratic protocols that purportedly keep us safe still do so, but oftentimes at the expense of transparency and accessibility. The regulations that keep commodities markets behind the walls of large, centralized exchanges and brokers, not to mention within enforceable geographic borders, have admittedly helped with data security and verification standards. However, they’ve also created an opaque, closed ecosystem where it’s difficult to identify stakeholders, their motives, and their level of control.
Whether barrels of oil or bushels of wheat, it should not be hard to discern which traders (or institutions) are behind the price speculation and manipulations in the futures …read more