Where has all the value gone?

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I found it extraordinary listening to the news this morning. Two consecutive items made me question our definition of value.

Firstly, a piece about Softbank buying call options on around thirty billion dollars of tech stocks – Apple, Tesla etc – which has triggered significant rises in their stock price, which in turn has, so far, yielded Softbank $4 billion in gains. That seems rather like perpetual motions. Absolutely no value added to the businesses in terms of what they do, yielding real profits by channeling existing wealth from one pint to another. I understand how it works, but that doesn’t stop it feeling like black magic.

Secondly, a piece about our rail services, which apparently today are back at 90% of pre Covid schedules (95% in London) in order to enable workers to go back to the office, despite the fact that their carrying capacity, allowing for social distancing, will only be 40%. The Taxpayer is funding the difference. So we’re paying to create capacity to take people, many of whom don’t want to or need to go back to the office because the Government want old normal.

Most of us would expect value to comprise something that adds to the stock of goods and services, exchange, that creates something of sustainable value. It seens as though, as we run out of commons (energy, water, healthcare etc) to privatise, we now have to turn to just rechanneling the money that has created. To go from concentrated financial wealth to super concentrated financial wealth. From one percent to half a percent maybe?

It’s time for us to get a grip. To lead who we can, where we can, how we can in pursuit of better. Standing by in hope is no longer a strategy.

If you want to explore how others see this, join us at Catalyzing the Future on 30th September.

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