CUTTING THROUGH COMMODITIES TRADING JARGON Cutting through commodities trading jargon – Taking control of financial language By Brett Scott The language used by the financial sector is really off-putting to many people. This has two key effects. Firstly, it obscures the way the financial sector works. Secondly, it makes those who work in the sector and use those complicated words appear to be the legitimate controllers of the financial sector. The financial sector is a system of power. And like many systems of power, it has a way of keeping outsiders at bay, and the use of language is a very effective way of achieving this. A classic example of this is in the area of agricultural trading (aka. food speculation) – which WDM has taken the lead in campaigning on. Browse the language used by the top 5 commodity trading banks – Barclays Capital, Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan, Morgan Stanley and Deutsche Bank– on their commodity division webpages. They take great pains to ensure that the act
  GUIDE TO COMMODITIES TRADING A Comprehensive Guide to Commodities Trading What are Commodities? Unlike brand name products, commodities are goods that have a universal price around the world. Gold, for example, has the same price per ounce in Brazil and Bombay, whereas the price of a toaster oven or even a T-shirt varies depending on the brand and the place in which it is sold. Commodities are not strictly limited to so-called ‘pure’ elements like gold. A commodity can be refined from a raw element, as oil is refined from petroleum. A commodity can also be mined directly from the Earth, such as a metal, or it can also be an agricultural product, like eggs. In some cases, a commodity can be an abstract financial tool that is universal, such as the fluctuations in interest rates. Because commodities can take so many different physical forms, the financial market classifies them as a group based on their universal value and how they are traded. However, commodities trading is not limite