Wednesday 7 May 2014

Keep Taking The Pills

Keeping track of all the elements in the human comedy is becoming more and more difficult.  One reason is that it is now very easy to find out more and look for a variety of comment.  Another is the immediacy and extent of media operations deliver more to worry about.

This cheery prediction dropped in the Inbox from one of the more optimistic members of my family.  We may be all doomed but at least there are a few years fun left; for those who can afford it.

Another opinion entirely came from the pessimistic side giving the chance of signing up to a project designed to run for ten thousand years, give or take a millennia or two.  It would have been of interest to see the predicated profit and loss figures and perhaps the rate of return on investment.

In the meantime war has broken out between the USA and the UK.  Luckily, just a war of words at present.  Pfizer of USA, big Pharma' incarnate of the alternative universe is trying to  swallow gallant little AstraZenica of the UK.

The intention is digest the patent rights, current profitable research and financial assets and to spit out anything where they do not like the taste of the figures or possible damage to the structure of their own product base from other new ones.

At one time our political leaders would have been rushing about bawling about the wonders of foreign investment and confidence in Britain.  Now Pfizer are characterised as thieves in the night.

Why might this be?  Could it involve plants and facilities located in key marginal constituencies or major UK lobby men with a lot to lose and a scientific establishment with much more at stake?

Some commentators point to the scale and extent of sell outs of the recent and further past and suggest it is down to the shareholders whose votes are critical.  Others seem to be born again economic nationalists anxious to preserve British firms for British workers.

There is more going on here than is apparent and it may be a case of who has interests in what.  More to the point, who are the shareholders?  They are hardly widows, orphans and ageing clergy in rural decay. 

They are trusts, pension funds and many financial entities who are either obliged to or committed to maximising their return on the value of their investments.  Which way they will jump has yet to be seen.  Much of what is being said politically is posturing.

The concerning aspect about so much of the financial services activity that bulks so large in our economy is that so very few of the population and indeed of the elite really know or understand how it operates.

In the old days we could understand how mines and factories functioned and how ships were built and the rest.  But what goes on around the computers and calculators of high finance and complex company structures is beyond almost all of us.

And usually we do not find out much until it is too late and those who try to tell us know little more.

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