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About this book

Breger Bush argues that derivatives markets work in the development context as engines of inequality and instability, aggravating poverty among those they are purported to help and highlighting some of the dangers of neoliberal globalization for the poor.

Table of Contents

Frontmatter

Chapter 1. Introduction

Abstract
One in five people on Earth is a small farmer2. And for small farm ers, these are difficult times. While farming has always been a risky proposition—what with the weather, pests, and disease—it has grown more so over the past several decades. In addition to dealing with the usual challenges, small farmers today must also battle volatile and falling prices, deteriorating ecological conditions, fierce and lopsided global competition, and suffocating pressures from the big companies that provide farm inputs and buy farm products. Making matters more difficult still, gov ernments of developed and developing countries alike no longer provide the assistance and support to smallholders that they used to offer in the past. Indeed, “Problems of poverty, marginalization and disempowerment connected to processes of globalization have resulted in small-scale farmers in both the North and South becoming the weakest players in the global market.”3
Sasha Breger Bush

Chapter 2. Derivatives and Development: Contemporary Applications

Abstract
In this latest phase of globalization, derivatives markets are springing up like toadstools across the global South, in Latin America, Africa, and Asia. A testament to the global process of financialization, the fastest growing derivatives exchanges in the world today are located in China and India, with many of the Southern exchanges nonexistent only 20 years ago. While com plex financial derivatives on interest rates, equities, and foreign exchange are most popular in the Northern markets, in the Southern markets agricultural contracts like those on sugar and soy are among the most heavily traded. It is here, in the context of futures and options markets on agricultural com modities, that one finds an important intersection between development and global derivatives markets.
Sasha Breger Bush

Chapter 3. Coffee, Derivatives, and Income Security: Theory and Practice

Abstract
The theoretical benefits of globalization are not always borne out in practice. This point has been painfully underscored many times over as the Great Recession unfolds and deepens. The globalization and deepening of markets for mortgage products was to have ushered in a new era of homeownership. From the United States to Hungary, individuals and communities that had previously been denied access to mortgage financing were incorporated into global capital markets, as trading in mortgage-backed securities allowed creditors to extend loans to new and different kinds of bor rowers. Today, the promises of homeownership made possible by financial globalization have been swept away by foreclosure, bankruptcy, and eviction.
Sasha Breger Bush

Chapter 4. Coffee, Derivatives, and Poverty: A Global Commodity Chain Approach

Abstract
In many respects, today’s global agricultural and financial systems are object lessons in the law of unintended consequences.2 The global econ omy is a complex system in which seemingly innocuous or beneficial innovations and policy reforms often result in significant and overwhelming changes that were largely unforeseen at the time the reforms were made. Hid den channels and complex feedback loops, always more visible in hindsight, can frustrate even the most well-intended researchers and policymakers.
Sasha Breger Bush

Chapter 5. Derivatives and the Politics of Alternatives

Abstract
Some have suggested that the global financial and food crises have motivated policymakers and international organizations to rethink their perspectives on globalized and liberalized markets. While critiques of modern financial and commodities markets have been mounting for decades, if not centuries, the twin crises have perhaps provided an opportunity to revisit these issues. The crises have created the ‘space’ necessary for considering alternative economic policies and structures.®
Sasha Breger Bush

Chapter 6. Conclusions

Abstract
Like so many small farmers today, small coffee farmers face serious chal lenges to their well-being and survival. Some of these challenges, price risk among them, have intensified with the globalization, liberalization, commercialization, and financialization of the world’s food systems over the past several decades. Periodic, catastrophic price crises, along with short-term volatility and long-term declines in coffee prices, compromise farmers’ access to food, water, shelter, fuel, medicine, education, and investment opportu nity, eroding the freedom of farmers and their families to live decent, happy, and healthy lives.
Sasha Breger Bush

Backmatter

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