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Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate  United States Province

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News Archives » commodities speculation

For Nuns and Analysts Alike, Bank Commodity Earnings are a Mystery August 11th, 2013

1250-Exchange_Traded_CommoditiesThe Oblates are concerned about the lack of disclosure by banks of their commodities market activities. Fr. Seamus Finn, OMI dialogs on behalf of the Oblates with major financial institutions like Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan Chase. He was quoted extensively in a Chicago Tribune article that does a good job of describing the issue. (Read the article)

“Driven by a determination to invest in a socially conscious way, Finn’s group has been concerned about banks’ commodities activities since 2008, when a spike in energy and agricultural products caused food riots in Africa. The issue is whether banks’ trading activities artificially drive up food prices. … While the country’s largest banks are required to disclose their activities in some consumer-facing businesses such as mortgages, there is no similar requirement for them to do so on the commodities side.”


Support the Robin Hood Tax August 7th, 2012

A small tax on Wall Street that could transform Main Street

The “Robin Hood” Tax – a small tax on financial transactions – has the power to raise hundreds of billions every year to provide funding for jobs to kickstart the economy and to get America back on its feet. It could help save the social safety net in the US and around the world.

As proponents say: Not complicated. Just brilliant.

The tax would have the added benefit of slowing down the destructive computerized high frequency trading that doesn’t add value to the real economy, but rather undermines the stability of the financial system. High frequency trading has the potential to cause havoc in markets for commodities like wheat and gasoline, which are central to our economies and the lives and well being of hundreds of millions of people.

A tax of less than a half of one percent could raise hundreds of billions of dollars a year. We pay sales taxes, while Wall Street pays nothing.

Support the Robin Hood tax. Show your support here…


Help Fight World Hunger This Thanksgiving November 23rd, 2010

Here are two important things to do during your Thanksgiving holiday to help fight world hunger:

1) Take action to counteract the massive presence of Wall Street lobbyists in Washington working to insure their profits at the expense of people – call your Senators and ask them to prevent excessive speculation in commodity markets.

At a time when we stop to remember how thankful we are for food on our plates, let’s help make sure that this is a reality for people everywhere. In 2008, price bubbles in food and energy prices led to $4 gasoline in the U.S. and forced over 130 million people world-wide to go hungry, according to the UN. An important factor behind those price bubbles was excessive speculation in the food and energy commodity markets.

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Senate Urged to Include Derivatives Regulation in Financial Reform Bill April 25th, 2010

Derivatives ReformThe Oblates joined a broad array of groups concerned about commodity speculation in urging the inclusion of a bill regulating derivatives in the larger Senate financial reform legislation being debated this week. Specifically, the groups are asking that the “Wall Street Transparency and Accountability Act” (reported out of the Agriculture Committee on Wednesday by a bipartisan vote), be incorporated into the “American Financial Stability Act” (S.3217) – otherwise known as the comprehensive “Wall Street Reform” bill.

The Missionary Oblates signed a letter generated by the Commodity Markets Oversight Coalition, an informal alliance of industry groups, consumer advocates and academics, representing commodity producers, processors, distributors, retailers, and residential, commercial and industrial end-users. The signatories believe that policy in the commodity trading markets should aim to strengthen oversight, transparency and stability, and to address inadequacies in the existing derivatives markets, both regulated and over-the-counter. As faith-based shareholders, the Missionary Oblates have been pressing for better management of derivatives in discussions with the financial services sector for a number of years.

Read the letter… (Download PDF)

Oblates Join Broad Coalition in Call for Reform of Financial Markets February 8th, 2010

big-boardCommodity Markets Oversight Coalition and Americans for Financial Reform Call for Reforms that Could Have Prevented Economic Crisis and Commodities Bubbles

The Missionary Oblates, long active in shareholder advocacy, have been pressing for major reforms in derivatives trading and commodity speculation in their dialogs with major banks and other financial services institutions. Recently, the Oblates joined a broad coalition calling for needed reform of the financial system to prevent a repeat of last year’s financial meltdown.

Advocates for financial reform have formed a powerful partnership with business interests ranging from heating and motor fuels retailers to cotton marketers, and trucking companies to airlines, and this new alliance is calling on Congress and Federal Regulators to bring derivatives out of the shadows and into the daylight.

Read the Coalition’s “Joint Statement of Shared Principles for Needed Reforms in the Futures/Derivatives Markets.”

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