The first one, written by Dominique Strauss-Kahn, pleads for a global approach to high food prices.
From FT Alphaville
High food prices are today a serious humanitarian concern. They are also a source of macroeconomic instability affecting budgets, trade balances and, of course, incomes almost everywhere in the world.
Global rice prices have increased more than 50 per cent so far this year and most other food prices are up sharply. As the global economy slows, the prices for all kinds of commodities are moving up – the opposite of what we would ordinarily expect. In part this reflects strong demand from emerging markets. But financial turmoil has also increased the attractiveness of commodities as an asset class.
Experts expect short-term commodity prices (including oil and food) to rise even further. The result would be a devastating blow for the world’s poorest, who often spend more than half of their income on food.
We must not stand idly by. Unless we act now, the world faces a downward spiral of trade restrictions, higher prices for staples and starvation. The World Food Programme urgently needs additional funds and supporting its well-run programmes to feed the poor is a moral and economic imperative.
DSK (as he is known in France) was calling earlier for legislation because speculation was driving food prices. In this piece, while he mentions speculation via "attractive asset classes", he does not call for restrictions.
Meanwhile the second piece (for which I can't find a working link) clears speculators and hedge funds of driving the prices up, which I find absolutely mind-boggling :) Nope! nothing to see here in Washington... move on!