Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Enjoyment taken from the misfortunes of others. What a beautiful word is Schadenfreude. Typically Germanic with its combination of two roots, schaden meaning damage and freude meaning joy, both derived from Middle High German (thanks to Wikipedia for this). And how appropriate on this morning to learn that hedge funds (legitimate criminals gambling on the misfortunes of others) have made huge losses short selling shares in VW only to be outflanked by Porsche's huge stake as the luxury car maker seeks to take over Germany's mass producer.

If I had the power I would make any dealings in shares unenforceable at law unless the seller owned the shares and had done so for at least a month, and the buyer would be required to pay cash then and there. This would end the stupid speculation that pushes prices wildly up and down because people are gambling on the outcome. Investment should mean what it ought to mean -  medium to to long term financial backing in an enterprise, providing capital for new or growing businesses and a market for existing securities so that existing investors can realise their assets when they need to. Let the speculators go down the dog tracks and lose their shirts if they want to, but not at the expense of destabilising the markets on which the prosperity of most of the world hinges.

No comments:

Post a Comment