There’s an unusually large amount of baseless assertion and illogical drivel in the press today. The Labour Party says the Tories have “lost control” of the NHS finances, because The Two Eds are too scared to tell the truth: that losing control of NHS monies is part of the plan. This will merely be recirculated news-wise by the Health Secretary as “NHS expenditure is out of control”….and thus yet another reason to let Baroness Fruntbottom and her BUPA mates take over to “run it properly”. The only problem here is that the UK’s NHS just got judged as one of the best health services in the world, while America was judged one of the worst. As Mr Hunt is an admirer of the US model, I’m sure we’d all like to know more from him as to why.
Today’s double dose of codswallop, however, is the oil price.
Turmoil in Iraq is the predictable last chapter of the fiasco that began with a pack of lies about atomic bicycles from Dubya and Blair. Same old same old: US goes on silly half-baked venture, UK crawls up its arse, West gets bored, Islamists sit quietly waiting for laurel-resting….and then move back in.
But it’s the idea that crude oil prices have been “boosted” by the unsettled Iraqi situation that strikes me as complete poppycock. While Iraq has probably the world’s largest untapped oil reserves, it still has eleven producers ahead of it – and with the world careering towards recession aka slump, 9% of total output isn’t any kind of game changer….even if disruption were to be 100%…um, as it was when the Blair-Dubya Grand Alliance gave us all Schlockanawe.
No, the price has gone up because (1) Bourses overreact to everything – or ignore everything – depending on whether we’re talking QE or oil; and (2) the smart aka crooked money got in there first and directionalised the saps.
Remember, dark pool, algorithmic and/or speed-of-light trading (they overlap) is estimated to account for around 2 in 5 trades on the NYSE today. Or using another dimension of market concentration, just six firms on Wall Street account for 33% of all trades:
All these firms know the numbers. Their job is to suggest danger to the nervous, get them to buy, wait for the truth to dawn…and then buy back at a price lower than where they sold.
The practice contributes nothing to the real economy, but quite a lot to the unreal bonus.
If you want to see some really significant moves on this front, then look at Venezuela and Ukraine.
It’s another reason why Bourse-obsessed capitalism is on the skids. Collect the whole set of 5016, and then send off for your FREE album.