A fascinating, groundbreaking exposé of how commodity traders in New York and London have destabilized societies all over the world, leaving the most vulnerable at the mercy of hunger, chaos, and war.
For Rupert Russell, the Brexit vote was only the latest shock in a decade full of them: the unstoppable war in Syria, huge migrant flows into Europe, beheadings in Iraq, children placed in cages on the U.S. border. In Price Wars, he sets out on a worldwide journey to investigate what caused the wave of chaos that consumed the world in the 2010s.
Russell travels to Tunisia, Iraq, Venezuela, Ukraine, East Africa, and Central America and discovers that unrest in all these places was triggered by dramatic and mysterious swings in the price of essential commodities. Deregulation of the commodities markets means that food prices can shoot up even in years of abundant harvests, causing hunger and protest. Oil prices and real-estate values can surge even when supplies are normal, enriching and emboldening dictators. It is this instability—fueled by banks and hedge funds in faraway New York and London—that has toppled regimes and unsettled the West.
Price Wars is a fascinating, original, and groundbreaking exposé of the power of the commodities markets to disrupt the world.