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The trade that destroys forests is worth a hundred times the money that is spent on protecting them. This will only change if the top producer and consumer countries of forest-risk commodities agree steps to shift global markets towards sustainability. We brought these countries together for the first time, to see if it could be done.
This volume explores how the circulation of goods, people, and ideas permeated every aspect of the continent’s cultural production at the turn of the century. We are interested not only in understanding how literature and the arts confronted the unprecedented penetration of global capital in Latin America, but also in exploring the ways in which rapidly transforming technological and labor conditions contributed to forging new intellectual networks, creating original discourses, exploring innovative forms of knowledge, and reimagining the material and immaterial worlds. This volume shows the new directions in turn-of-the-century scholarship that developed over the last two decades by investigating how the experience of capitalism produced an array of works that deal with primitive accumulation, transnational crossings, and an emerging technological and material reality in diverse geographies and a variety of cultural forms. The various contributions provide a novel understanding of the period as they discuss the ways in which particular commodities, intellectual networks, popular uprisings, materialities, and nonmetropolitan locations redefined cultural production at a time when the place of Latin America in global affairs was significantly transformed.
Chapter 5 examines exchanges of material cultures. Through the paradigm of ‘domestication’, it shows how lakeshore populations incorporated several commodities circulating the wider Indian Ocean World into their everyday lives, while also showing how coastal traders sought to affect the supply of these objects to enrich their commercial networks. The principal items discussed are glass beads, cotton cloths, and guns. The chapter uses the Lake Tanganyika case study to show how demand for specific products in East Africa affected broader commercial patterns that traversed the wider Indian Ocean World, which themselves were concurrently being affected by the spread of capitalism from Europe. Additionally, it shows how patterns of consumption on the lakeshore served to enhance the status of several bonds(wo)men, suggesting a contravention of often assumed links between being in bondage and of having low social status.
This chapter surveys the major developments in the economic history of the Greek world in the classical period (479–323 BCE). While agricultural practices and productive capacities did not change dramatically, this was a period characterized by a massive increase in the demand for certain commodities, especially timber for the ship-building and monumental-construction efforts of the period and grain to meet the dietary needs of a growing human population. It also considers the major developments in the supply and circulation of coinage in the classical period and the emergence of private banking and the expansion of credit, all of which facilitated both local and long-distance trade. As trade intensified throughout the Aegean and poleis developed more sophisticated institutions for local governance, they developed strategies to derive revenue from trade and imposed regulations on both the production and trade of commodities in which they had a special interest.
The physical and socioeconomic environments in which we live are intrinsically linked over a wide range of time and space scales. On monthly intervals, the price of many commodities produced predominantly in tropical regions covary with the dominant mode of climate variability in this region, namely the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO). Here, for the spot prices returns of vegetable oils produced in Asia, we develop autoregressive (AR) models with exogenous ENSO indices, where for the first time these indices are generated by a purpose-built state-of-the-art general circulation model (GCM) climate forecasting system. The GCM is a numerical simulation which couples together the atmosphere, ocean, and sea ice, with the initial conditions tailored to maximize the climate forecast skill at multiyear timescales in the tropics. To serve as additional benchmarks, we also test commodity forecasts using: (a) no ENSO information as a lower bound; (b) perfect future ENSO knowledge as a reference upper bound; and (c) an econometric AR model of ENSO. All models adopting ENSO factors outperform those that do not, indicating the value here of incorporating climate knowledge into investment decision-making. Commodity forecasts adopting perfect ENSO factors have statistically significant skill out to 2 years. When adopting the GCM-ENSO factors, there is predictive power of the commodity beyond 1 year in the best case, which consistently outperforms commodity forecasts adopting an AR econometric model of ENSO.
Since the mid-1970s, the U.S. commodity futures exchanges have increasingly been the focus of tight government regulation, which resulted in strong control by a specific agency: the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. In Europe, the regulation of futures diverged from the U.S. model. No regulation at the communitarian level was implemented; at the national level, the United Kingdom emerged as a model of self-regulation of commodity markets. This article explores the historical causes behind this lack of regulation in Europe, placing it in the context of global commodity trading and arguing that the European regulation of futures trading was reshaped by a dialogue established between the European Commission and big players of commodity futures trading in the City of London. Since the mid-1960s, the City of London has become a pivotal global market venue for commodity futures, which has increasingly attracted players from abroad, thanks to its financial integrity and self-regulatory model. Both established London merchants and emerging players in the global trade of financial products cooperated to stave off any attempt at regulating the London futures exchanges. The inference here is that those attempts were instrumental in setting the conditions leading to the regulatory fragmentation that still characterizes futures trading in the global market.
Subtitled “A Story of Chicago,” Frank Norris’s The Pit chronicles a system of commodities exchange that made all localities, including Chicago, increasingly dissolve into globalized abstraction. Even though the novel is partly a realist account of the distinctive business practices of America’s fastest growing city, it is also a naturalist meditation on the abstracting effects of the futures market on place itself. Pioneered in Chicago, commodities futures trading usually amounted to competing bets on future prices, by which traders dealt in wheat that did not even exist. In such a market, place itself grew abstract too, given that traders no longer had to think about where grain came from, or how to ship it from one place to another. However, against the argument that The Pit punishes futures speculation by drowning it in a flood of real wheat, this chapter argues that the market corner at the novel’s heart is a desperate and finally failed attempt to re-establish traditional forms of materiality and locality from within the world of speculative finance.
Chapter 3 examines the international law attempts to regulate the financial aspects of war economies, in particular through UN sanctions. The chapter examines UN sanctions, in particular assets freezes and commodity sanctions, counterterrorism financing, attempts by the Council to police natural resource extraction in war zones, and efforts to create standards governing the regulation of commodity chains from conflict zones.
Phosphates mined in France’s North African empire fed interwar Europe’s voracious appetite for chemical fertilizers. In critique of histories vesting commodities themselves with the agency to make the modern world, I trace not the substance but the value embedded within it. By following value, I argue that the ‘commodity’ is not a stable unit of analysis. Rather, commodities are multiform. They can acquire myriad properties when the value embedded within them changes across time and place. During the interwar period, phosphates’ character as a commodity transmuted in relation to flows of other goods, movements of labour, global financial exigencies and imperial considerations. As phosphates assumed new forms, the geographic scales over which they operated changed too. Through North African phosphates, I explore value-making processes that perpetuated capital-intensive farming, allowing for a history not of the commodity-as-substance but of the commodity-as-historical-object whose analytical boundaries and forms shifted across contexts.
Britain was home to international commodity markets in London and Liverpool in the nineteenth and first part of the twentieth centuries. There was a rising volume of international trade as Britain became the first industrial nation, a major importer of these commodities for its own needs, an entrepȏt, and a centre for organising distribution elsewhere. The London and Liverpool markets facilitated distribution through time with forward dealings. Futures contracts went a step further: actual delivery was not contemplated, and trades were settled by paying price differences. The markets and the trade associations whose members worked in them engaged in private law-making - the way that the markets were constituted and governed; the controls over those using them; the system of rules for transactions on them and how these were cleared and settled; the standard form contracts used for dealings; and the arbitration procedures for dispute settlement. State law intervened in only the most egregious cases of market abuse attracting public condemnation and threatening confidence. Until the twentieth century, lawyers were not regularly engaged in formulating the rules and contracts of the London and Liverpool commodity markets or in advising on how disputes were to be settled or arbitrated.
To satisfy an industrialising and industrialised Britain, huge quantities of ‘soft’ commodities - grain, cotton, coffee, cocoa, sugar and palm oil – were grown, harvested and transported from North America, the steppes of Russia, Asia, Africa and the southern hemisphere for sale on the commodity markets of London and Liverpool. Sales of commodities in the first part of the nineteenth century were by dealings on physical markets and by auction. Trade associations like the London Corn Trade Association formed from the mid-nineteenth century had as a major aim the formulation of standard form contracts to govern the international sale of these commodities. Sale in this way need not be on physical markets or by auction, but could be at a distance. These standard form contracts modified the default rules of sales law. They are the precursors of contracts used world-wide today. Although governed by English law, they were adopted internationally. Traders in other countries had an input into their formulation. In drawing them up trade association members took the lead, with lawyers ‘on tap, not on top’. Disputes were settled by arbitration provided in the contract, and relatively few reached the courts. Untoward court decisions were remedied by redrafting the contracts.
As part of the roundtable, “Ethics and the Future of the Global Food System,” this essay examines how the key decisions within the global system of food production are shaped by the organization of the global political economy. The understanding of the global political economy follows standard definitions that focus on the dominant market practices and the institutional structures within which those practices are embedded. I identify examples of market practices and institutional policies that structurally impair the ability of states to secure the human rights of their citizens, and explain specific issues of structural injustice raised by each example. The conclusion provides a survey of a range of alternative solutions for transforming the global political economy and creating the conditions for a more just and ecologically sustainable food system. Ultimately, our conception of human rights and the mechanisms for their protection and enforcement must change in order to address the scale and gravity of problems affecting the future of agriculture and our ability to feed the world.
Now that we have learned about the common economic definitions of futures and other derivatives, it’s time to see how the relevant US laws and regulations define these financial instruments. The legal and regulatory definitions of derivatives and other financial instruments are often different from the common economic definitions of those selfsame instruments. Why is that? Contrary to what one might think, it is not because Congress wants to make life difficult for law students, or to confuse people. Instead, the differences between how various financial instruments are conceptualized in everyday life and how they are described in statutes and regulations are largely (although not solely) the result of Congress trying to make sure that people cannot easily evade applicable laws and regulations by simply creating look-alike financial instruments that would escape the regulatory framework that Congress had intended for such instruments. In many cases, the legal and regulatory definitions of financial instruments are more expansive and ambiguous than the definitions in common usage.
Before analyzing how technological innovation has changed the financial markets, one must obtain a basic understanding of some terms and concepts that are necessary to understand these markets in the first instance. As mentioned in the Introduction, the United States has two market regulators: the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). In deciding to have two market regulators, Congress established a framework in which the SEC oversees the markets for securities, which include stocks in companies, as well as bonds, government securities, and even stock options and other types of derivatives that are considered to be securities under US law. The CFTC, on the other hand, governs the markets for futures contracts, commodity options, swaps, and other derivatives that the law does not categorize as securities. Some have criticized the fact that the United States has two market regulators, as opposed to one consolidated regulator for both securities and futures markets.
This book is about how the technological advances in automation and artificial intelligence (AI) that have fundamentally changed the nature of the US markets for futures contracts and other derivatives are necessitating, in some areas, changes to the legal and regulatory framework for these markets. To arrive at policy solutions to address the ways that AI systems are altering the markets, this book examines how algorithmic robots – algo bots, for short – have largely taken over trading in the futures markets, analyzes how regulators have responded to these changes thus far, and explores what steps policy makers should take in the future. But before diving into any of those topics, allow me to put the societal impact of these advances in computer science technologies in a broader context, beyond finance and derivatives.
To compare the effects of a typical Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR) diet with an FDPIR diet that meets Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) on inflammation response, appetite and energy intake on a combination of American Indian (AI) and non-AI individuals.
A within-subjects, randomised, crossover design was used to compare two dietary conditions: (1) a FDPIR diet that met DGA and (2) a FDPIR diet that did not meet DGA. Each participant served as their own control and was exposed to both dietary conditions. Repeated-measures ANOVA and t tests assessed significance between the two dietary conditions.
This took place in the Montana State University Nutrition Research Laboratory in the USA.
Female and male participants (n 13) aged 18–55 years from the university and local community.
There were no significant differences in inflammatory response and appetite sensations between the two dietary conditions. Findings indicated that participants ate 14 % more (P < 0·01) kcal on a typical FDPIR diet compared with a FDPIR diet that met DGA.
Higher energy intake during a typical FDPIR diet compared with a FDPIR diet that meets DGA may increase risk for obesity and nutrition-related diseases, including type 2 diabetes and other chronic inflammatory conditions.
This paper analyses the role of Mompox in New Granada's interregional trade during the late colonial period. It focuses on the value, structure and destination of exports of domestic goods from Mompox to markets on the Atlantic and the Andes. By unearthing unexplored sources, this paper provides evidence that will help to understand, indirectly, some issues such as the nature and timing of economic growth, the degree of regional specialisation and, above all, the role of inland ports in the economic geography of the viceroyalty. The paper contends, first, that the region experienced a boom–bust cycle during the late colonial period. The export of domestic goods doubled between 1770 and 1800 but subsequently collapsed during the 1802-1809 years. Second, evidence suggests that the region experienced a process of market deepening and widening. Trade flows, then, played a larger role in shaping the economic history of the region than previously thought.
Certain key themes, subjects and texts were considered to constitute a crucial educational foundation for an individual aspiring to achieve success in the court societies of the Persian Cosmopolis. This chapter argues that the character of this general education was deliberately ‘cosmopolitan’: based on a widely agreed canon of texts, both literary and scientific, whose importance was recognised across the Persian Cosmopolis. Rather than mere knowledge acquisition, the aim of this education was the formation of a specific type of disposition: a particular orientation towards the court society and towards the self. Underlying the external traits of this courtly disposition was a widely shared medico-philosophical understanding of the connections between mind, body and soul and the way in which the perfection of one, presupposed the engagement of the others. The implication of the body in the acquisition of knowledge and the perfection of the soul provides the rationale for directing attention to bodily practices and the influences of objects on bodies, a theme that recurs throughout this book.
The political and geographical peculiarities of the medieval Deccan meant that trade, together with military and revenue-collection duties, formed a crucial component of both the financial resources and the administrative responsibilities of the courtly elite. In this chapter, through an examination of the biographies of three individuals who combined trade and statecraft, and an analysis of the mercantile language in the cultural products of the Deccani courts, I discuss how these strikingly mercantile aspects of courtly society demonstrate that as an ethic, courtliness had both a practical, mundane aspect as well as an internal, spiritual aspect.
As the 2018 farm bill approaches, some important trends have emerged regarding the policy preferences of different commodity producers. While some farm organizations like the American Farm Bureau advocate for expanding free trade, other groups argue for more trade protections and even greater support from the federal government. This paper examines the global context that shapes such divergent policy positions. I argue that global demand has expanded for particular commodities (especially, feed grains and meat), leading producers of those commodities to push for free trade and weaker political regulations of agriculture. At the same time, however, greater liberalization over the past 25 years has contributed to greater competition for some commodities, such as wheat. Liberalization in the world economy has also contributed to greater market instability, especially in terms of prices and production. This instability and increased competition have pushed some commodity producers to favor national regulations and trade protections for agriculture. Focusing corn, soybeans and wheat, I argue that these three aspects of the global context—global demand, international competition and price instability—shape the policy preferences of US producers regarding the 2018 farm bill. I draw on statistics from the United States Department of Agriculture and Food and Agriculture Organization to illustrate these aspects of the global context.