Counting the Cost – The giants of commodity trading

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From Switzerland to the world – they are the giants of commodity trading, but can they shake off the tag of ‘modern day slave masters’? This week on Counting the Cost we examine the commodities industry – the very essentials, the raw materials and resources that we simply cannot live without. These are traded all over the globe – everything from oil to copper, sugar to precious minerals. A country normally associated with great lakes, political neutrality and the Red Cross can now be associated with the global commodities industry as Switzerland is home to some of the biggest commodities companies in the world. But why has that one region out surpassed the others in the commodities business? And is it possible to regulate the globalised, multi-billion dollar companies which operate within it?


mmnp43 says:

these companies make 100+ billion a year and can’t pay for proper safety

Wisup says:

Glencore is not based in Geneva. Please get your facts right.

Andrew Ho says:

Yes, in fact it was based in Zug.

Wisup says:

It’s funny how no one really mentions the level of corruption present
within the African governments. To simply say that these MNCs are to blame
is wrong. One needs to also point the finger at the governments that take

Stephen Faust says:

You could never force companies to contribute all they ought to, nor can we
as Africans rely on European legislation to supply a deficiency of
oversight within the boundaries of Africa. That end of things Africans must
take care of, and take care to oversee their own shop, stem corruption
within their own boundaries of concern. BTW, studies have shown the Trickle
Down Effect does not in fact exist. Moreover, much of the money one hears
about as existing at the high end is for the high end only..

Aryo Barzan says:

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spectre257 says:

It’s not they can’t, they won’t or avoid because they can save on costs at
least until they are caught out. Sad reality unfortunately…

Hannah Jane says:

Glencore hq are in Baar, not Geneva!

freesk8 says:

And yet, the more costs the regulatory regime imposes on the big corps, the
fewer projects will be started. All of the marginal projects will sit idle
until economic conditions improve. The more such projects are stalled due
to regulation, the worse the unemployment will be. And this will hurt
unskilled labor the most. There is a balance, of course. Regulations are
needed to prevent pollution and corporate fraud, etc. But we can not deny
that govt regs can hurt the poor if overdone.

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