Thursday, October 20, 2011

Plutocrats?

I first wrote these thoughts some 7 to 8 years ago, to show the complex and often oxymoronic nature of the "systemics" that exist in the world today. I kept no copy so this is a reproduction from memory. It is more relevant or if you prefer "current" today, in 2011, than it was in 2003/04.

1) A worker is laid off.
2) A TV viewer complains about the quality of content.

They both blame the "system" or various other alleged culprits.

Yet here's the hitch:

1) The worker has been laid off because his/her employer is under pressure by the financial markets - analysts - financial managers to perform better, by cutting costs. The worker has saved or invested X USD or Euros or Pounds etc either directly, via a bank deposit, or a portfolio or money market or other instrument, maybe an IRA (US or similar instrument) or indirectly, via a pension fund, private, semi-private or state operated, in shares or bonds including those of his/her employer. He/she may be aware of that or not.

So in effect, he/she loses his/her job because of the pressure the managers of his money put on his/her employer to perform better and thus give him/her the max ROI possible!

Of course the marginal gain in ROI from the loss of the job is oprobably much smaller than the loss of salary income.

So, in 2011, when we talk of the plutocrats or "the capitalists", do we really know who we are referring to? Do we forget that most investment, money etc managers compete with each other to attract and maintain the "business" of this worker as saver/investor, directly or indirectly? How many investors, be they in the 1% or 99%, investors of 1000 or 1000000 USD or Euros etc choose Socially Responsible Investments or managers who invest their money in such?

2) The viewer happens to be a business owner. His/her company advertises on TV and/or radio and.or new media and/or print. In their effort to attract the widest audience possible and offer his/her company the best return on their ad spend, many/most media put out lower "quality" content than they otherwise would, thus prompting the reaction of the viewer. Little does he/she know that he/she is partly the culprit of the dynamics that lead to the content he/she does not like!

Complicated times. Not suitable for simple models of causality!

So who have the power? The money-crats or the managers of other people's money? Or everyone and no one? Is it a runaway train?

Food for thought.

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BRs
Nick

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