After pillaging the housing and credit markets, financial speculators have turned their gaze to chocolate. The price of cocoa has increased 150 percent in the last 18 months and producers are crying foul. "Speculation is now so rife that a group of European cocoa trading companies have taken the rare step of making public a complaint about the extent of the speculation on the London cocoa market and demanding tighter regulations. In a letter seen by The Independent on Sunday, leading cocoa industry figures claim there is clear 'manipulation... which is bringing the London market into disrepute'. They accuse the market of lacking 'transparency and control'. They warn that unless action is taken to stop 'big players from cornering the market' they will quit London."