Why the surprise?
Since starting out in business, I have constantly questioned why the stock market exists, and more recently, the other non tactile concept, currency speculation. Before anyone starts thinking “oh hear we go, an anti-capitalist rant”, I am a keen Thatcherite (oh we so need her now!) many of the most successful smaller but viable businesses, such as Dyson and John Lewis (both superb British companies) are private or employee owned, and a lot more ethical and common sense based than the huge lumbering planet destroying public companies out there whose policy and corporate ethics is linked to the nasty laws they have to obey on behalf of their stockholders. Such laws ENCOURAGE them to get up to all sorts of maleficence, from selling sensitive customer data to drilling and spilling oil wherever they can. All because growth (on a non expanding spherical planet) MUST continue – ad infinitum! What a ridiculous concept! I know intellectuals do get annoying by saying this, but we do really allow some very dumb and greedy people into positions of far too much power on this increasingly frustrated planet.
As I type this, unsurprisingly, the global economy is in turmoil, effecting people and organisations who have done little or nothing to contribute to the problems – including many businesses, pensioners and the (already) poor.
When in the USA, (as mentioned elsewhere on this blog or in former pre-blogging broadcast emails to my colleagues in the US ), I highlighted the fact that by owning stock in a company, one creates a conflict of interest in friendships. a) If I am working on a secret project and a friend owns stock in a competitor, that puts said friendship under strain. Yes, friend could work at the competitor itself, but a single individual can own stock in multiple competitors. b) Related, knowing someone with stock in your own company would make it easy to inadvertently provide them insider information – therefore breaking the law.
Like currency trading and other speculative economic concepts, I just find the whole stock market thing a bit like SMS text messaging and Twitter, pointless and achievable using alternative more robust methods. If it is so great, why are so many Scandinavian countries that do not rely on a stock market driven economy so successful, happy, clean and green?
Fight back club: Only invest in the tactile. So hop in the Tardis and buy some gold at 2005 rates!
I have written this post very very quickly and it needs a big edit when time allows. FYI, for the last few years, I have been taking note of how many people I meet, talk to or just observe and concluded that only about 10% of those who read my blog will even agree with it. And I find that very very worrying, not for personal or ego reasons, but because if that is the case, then the West is definitely doomed. Ironically, the increasing number of people (of all classes) taking up allotments to grow their foodstuffs is evidence that subconsciously, those of all opinions sense deep down that something apocalyptic comes this way…