Thursday, April 15, 2010

Stuffing the economy for pleasure and profit

While electricity companies may be willing to guarantee trading based on their own exposure to NZX electricity derivatives in the short term, market observers say this is not a long-term option if one of the primary aims of the Government's electricity reforms, a liquid electricity hedge market, is to develop.
I know what you are thinking: Liquid Electricity Hedge, one of the great unknown bands of the Psychedelic era. But no, you have it wrong. I am quoting from The Press, (the best paper in the country, if you ask me) and this, if I understand it, is serious. Our government, led by a man who made millions gambling with other people's money, intends to make billions gambling with our economy. They want to grow liquid hedges and gamble with our electricity industry, which of course was built at public expense but later sold in part to speculators. This sort of thing is called reform, a word of which New Zealanders should be very suspicious by now. It always leads to trouble and to a few getting rich at the expense of the rest of us.

It seems also that there are things called dairy commodity derivatives, and that these are not butter and cheese. One would have thought,  given the huge amount of trouble which derivative trading has caused the global economy in the last couple of years, that the practice would be illegal by now. But no, because that is not how the global economy works. We must all of us take the risk of financial collapse so that a handful of half-feral gamblers can make themselves huge amounts of money. Whatever innocent and necessary activity we may undertake - whether it be the making of milk or the making of power - these creatures will make much more money from it. When it all comes tumbling down, as inevitably it will, we will be expected to pay for the financial institutions (for they are not mere businesses) to be held together, while the gamblers will collect their bonuses, which are in no sense linked to performance. Quite what will happen to our power and dairy industries is anyone's guess:  frankly these very rich clowns have no idea what they are doing, beyond their immediate enrichment.

I would not be surprised if a cheer had rung out across Wall Street the day they learned that one of their own had become Prime Minister of a country that is rich in resources and poor in controls of its finance industry.

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