Hedge Fund Manager Locks Up Most Of The World's Cocoa Supply In Apparent Bid To Drive Up Prices

As many people have warned us, hedge funds are going to take over the global food supplies. Now a hedge fund manager named Anthony Ward has pretty

As many people have warned us, hedge funds are going to take over the global food supplies. Now a hedge fund manager named Anthony Ward has pretty much cornered the world market on cocoa and from what he says in this video, will be going after food and water, too:

Now, traders here are buzzing that Mr. Ward has placed an audacious $1 billion bet in the London market for cocoa futures. This month, he bought 241,100 metric tons of beans, they say.

His play has some people up in arms. While some see it as a simple bet that cocoa prices will rise on falling supply, others say Mr. Ward has created a shortage of cocoa simply to drive up the price himself.

The German Cocoa Trade Association and others wrote an angry letter to the London exchange on which cocoa is traded, demanding that it take action against what the association characterized as a “manipulation.”

The British news media has christened Mr. Ward “Chocolate Finger,” a nod to the Bond villain Auric Goldfinger. And on Facebook, someone has created a “Choc Finger” page featuring Mr. Ward’s face superimposed on a pig that is bellying up to the trough.

The fear is that Mr. Ward will become the go-to source until the annual cocoa harvest, which starts in October. With candy makers starting to stock up for the holiday season, they may be forced to pay him ever-higher prices — and cocoa has already jumped 150 percent since 2008.

“The squeeze was really timed perfectly,” said Eugen Weinberg, an analyst at Commerzbank in Frankfurt.

Mr. Ward and his firm, which has not acknowledged buying the cocoa contracts, declined to comment for this article.

You know, Anthony, I'd mend my ways if I were you. If you plan to drive up chocolate prices to the point where people can't afford it, you're going to have hordes of angry premenstrual women who will track you down -- and believe me, they will make you pay.

Just sayin'!

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