Real Life Willy Wonka Cornering The Cocoa Market

Who wants to hear about boring old normal millionaires doing boring business deals when there’s a guy in London buying all the cocoa he can get his hands on and scaring all the other chocolate bar makers in his quest? Hedge fund manager Anthony Ward apparently has enough cocoa in his control to make more than five billion chocolate bars. Yum!

Not everyone is a fan of Ward, as his cuckoo for cocoa tactics could drive up prices just in time for the holiday season. Cocoa prices are already up 150 percent there from 2008, says the New York Times.

Ward has been going on his binge through his private investment firm, Armjaro, and is estimated to control 7 percent of annual cocoa production worldwide.

His latest move, said to be a $1 billion bet in the London market for cocoa futures, is getting some in the industry upset, as they fear he’s creating a shortage on purpose in order to drive up the price and sell off his coca when the demand gets great enough.

I just want to go to his offices and swim in the chocolate river! Where are those dang golden tickets when you need’em?

In Trader’s Cocoa Binge, Fear for Chocolate Prices [New York Times]