Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 1 June 2011

Glencore - Profiting from global hunger

Vincent Kolo,

The Swiss based multibillion dollar mining, energy and food trader Glencore was listed on the London and Hong Kong stock markets on 24 May. Protesters from the League of Social Democrats and Socialist Action (CWI Hong Kong) showed their opposition to a company that makes a handful of speculators insanely rich while impoverishing millions.

Glencore is profiting from the current China-driven bubble in global commodity prices. Even before its stock market debut, Glencore controlled 60% of the global zinc market and 50% of the copper market as a trading intermediary.

Glencore is a major speculator and manipulator of commodity prices, gambling on price movements that hammer the poor, but enrich its small band of directors and fellow speculators. The company made a financial killing from rising wheat prices in August 2010, when Russia - the world's third largest exporter - suffered its worst ever drought.

The Asian Development Bank recently warned that an additional 64 million people globally could be thrust into extreme poverty this year as a result of skyrocketing food and fuel prices. Inflation has been a trigger for massive movements across the Middle East, North Africa and elsewhere. Also in Hong Kong, Singapore and other Asian economies, food prices are fanning discontent.

Glencore has caused misery for thousands of townspeople living near its copper mines in Zambia. Local residents told the Daily Mail of acid in the water supply and huge clouds of sulphurous gas drifting through their homeland. The company is also accused of tax avoidance in Zambia, cheating the desperately poor country and its people of a few crumbs from its banquet table.

The initial public offering of Glencore shares will make its eight directors fabulously rich. Chief executive, Ivan Glasenberg, will become one of Europe's richest men with a paper fortune of nearly $10 billion from the flotation and his own 15% stake.

With an estimated valuation of about $60 billion, Glencore will be the first company in a quarter century to make the FTSE 100 (the London market's biggest companies) on its first day of trading.

Capitalist symbol

Glencore was founded by the US fugitive Marc Rich, who fled to Switzerland in 1983 after being indicted by federal prosecutors for tax evasion and trading with Iran. Rich was later pardoned by former US president Bill Clinton, on his final day in the White House, in a move that drew massive criticism at the time.

The company recently appointed as a non-executive director and 'environmental adviser' none other than Tony Hayward, who as former chief executive of BP presided over last year's massive oil spill and bungled clean-up in the Gulf of Mexico - the biggest oil spill in US history.

Glencore is a symbol of all that is wrong with capitalism and why working class people around the world need to join the fight for democratic socialism. Only through public ownership - placing the mining and energy industries under democratic workers' control and management - can these resources be planned in the interests of the majority, rather than being used as gigantic chips for the billionaires in the casino of global capitalism.

Full article on

Donate to the Socialist Party

Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • We must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our Fighting Fund.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation £


Your message: 


In The Socialist 1 June 2011:

Socialist Party news and analysis

Rage against bankers

Fifa scandal

Glencore - Profiting from global hunger

New attacks on women's sexual and reproductive rights

Disabled protester - "inadvertently struck with a police baton"

Shoesmith sacking - social work under growing pressure

Gil Scott-Heron

News in brief

International socialist news and analysis

Egypt and Tunisia: Revolutions at the crossroads

Greece: unite the struggles and bring down the government

National Shop Stewards Network

Strike - to defend jobs and pensions

Socialist Party NHS campaigning

Government plans for the NHS: Privatisation and world class profits!

"Frontline first" a dangerous tactic - unity is the key

Cardiff NHS protest against Topshop tax dodger

Demonstration against closure of day centre in Llandeilo

Socialist Party workplace news

Southampton - council workers' strike spreads

Saltend construction workers' struggle ends

TUC disability conference

Lewisham teachers - Action threat spells victory

Newcastle East Coast rail call centre - Save jobs!

Workplace news in brief

Socialist history

18 years since Stephen Lawrence murder

Youth fight for jobs and education

Coventry action against academies grows

Yorkshire meetings make Jarrow plans

Socialist Party feature

Lib Dems - a party rooted in capitalism


Home   |   The Socialist 1 June 2011   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  

Related links:


triangleCovering basic costs is hard, and it's getting worse

triangleWar in Yemen, made in Harlow, profit for rich

triangleSuper-rich get richer, while we can't make ends meet. Join the fightback!

triangleWest Sussex: Payouts for council bosses, cuts for us

triangleSouth East London Socialist Party: Food production and the need for socialism


triangleThem & Us


triangleVaccine inequality - the ugly face of capitalism

triangleCOP26 News in brief

triangleTory climate plans set to fail - socialist planning needed


triangleOxfam 'Inequality Kills' report

triangleBlair knighted for services to the rich and powerful


trianglePro-market Socialist Party wins Portugal's election

Hong Kong:

triangleInternational solidarity protests





For workers' unity against war in Ukraine



One year after the military coup in Myanmar



Canada: Prime Minister Trudeau invokes Emergencies Act to end 'Freedom Convoy'



Ukraine: Workers' unity against capitalist warmongers and imperialist meddlers



CWI video on Ukraine



Pro-market Socialist Party wins Portugal's election



Oxfam 'Inequality Kills' report



Tamil Solidarity protest against repressive Sri Lankan regime



Ukraine: Workers' unity needed


Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland: Bloody Sunday 50 years on


Burkina Faso

Coup d'état in Burkina Faso



France: Education workers and students walkout



School students strike in Austria



Trade unionists in the USA fighting back



Murder of Ashling Murphy sends shocks waves across Ireland and beyond

triangleMore International articles...

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: [email protected]

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 077 7221 5281

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 078 0983 9793



Alphabetical listing

June 2022

May 2022

April 2022

March 2022

February 2022

January 2022