Subject: RE: Financial Markets
From: "Bill Howell. Retired from NRCan. now in Alberta Canada" <>
Date: Fri, 02 Jan 2015 07:03:16 -0700
To: "Gordon Ball. PEng Aircraft Landing Nav Systems. Ottawa" <>

Thanks for the comments and conversation last night, Gordon!  I enjoyed that, but I was ranting too much.

That markets are "manipulated" by EVERYBODY goes without saying, and the more power they have to do it, the easier it is for them.  That goes without saying, and I don't think it can be avoided - it can only be tempered by other market players, and not so much government laws and law enforcement.   The laws are there to set standards and provide individuals and companies a means of defending themselves (often abused as the "law as a sword and not a shield").   It's yet another case of what I have long said :
"...   We like to think of our political system as a democracy, but democracies are based first and foremost on ANTI-DEMOCRATIC institutions and processes, of which a few are :
  • [Property and personal] *  [rights and responsibilities]  -  This is key.  However, Trudeau's infantile Bill of Rights has gone way overboard and ignores responsibilities, and how rights should be affected by how you fulfill responsibilities.  
  • Consititution -  Setting the rules, but a key part (in our system) is the common law interpretation rather than the "civil code" as per France and Quebec.
  • Legal system - We don't vote on who the police will investigate, or to judge innocence or guilt except for jury trial decisions, and the latter are supposed to make decisions on the evidence, not feelings or political attitudes. 
  • Executive (political) power -  The USA consitution specifically recognizes and contains this with their (in my mind) superior three part system [legislature, excutive, judiciary] which in theory is multually independent.  
  • Limited timespan of elected officials -  Again, the US two-term maximum is superior to what we have, in my mind.
  • Civil service -  A professional, permanent and "relatively incorruptible civil service.  he upper levels of this civil service are replaced with political changes, but that limits the changes.  This becomes flakey if the ruling party is in power for a long time.  
Without a "good functioning" of the above, democracy is meaningless.   ..."
But what everyone is naive about is that a "government" can eradicate the problems and solve the problem of the whole of society.  The opposite is the case - governments are the greatest threat, as history shows so well, even if they are [essential, unavoidable, one of the keys to success].

Adam Smith's "invisible hand" resulting from motivated self interest, and the [market, business] truth that "bad actors" won't survive in markets of free choice are always laughed at, and one can always point to exceptions.  These exceptions will always and continually happen in situations of "special powers" (crime, monopolies, political and business influence, etc), and the key there is not so much the laws, but the will of individuals, organizations, political parties to fight for their rights.  But others who are so critical of a competitive market scenario have essentially nothing else to offer except some version of a magic wand.

Mr. Bill Howell
Bullshitter & Heretic (...I enjoy crazy ideas, & I am NOT an expert in anything!)
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-------- Forwarded Message --------
Subject: Financial Markets
Date: Fri, 2 Jan 2015 06:09:32 +0000
From: Gordon Ball <>
To: Bill Howell. Retired from NRCan. now in Alberta Canada <>

Dear Bill. I think you are right that few people understand financial markets. One economist I read says markets can be manipulated for political purposes. Gordon

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