Becoming a family business once again Credit Darwinek CC-BY-SA-3.0 via Wikipedia

A useful little proof from the current Turkish shenannigans that speculation, as speculation itself, is a zero sum game. Whatever is made by one participant on one side of the ledger is lost by another over on the other side of that same bet. At which point we can have two views about it all, something basically harmless that we should leave alone or perhaps something wasteful as it has no use and thus something we should limit or ban.

But that it is zero sum among the speculators does not mean that it is zero sum for all. What speculation does do is transfer the risk from the market participants, those dealing in the underlying economic activity, to those speculators. That has a value of course.

To our two little stories:

A senior Barclays Plc trader has faced losses of about 15 million pounds ($19 million) on Turkish bonds over the past few days, according to people familiar with the matter.

And:

Deutsche Bank AG fixed-income traders generated a $35 million profit in two weeks as economic turmoil in Turkey triggered a slump in assets across emerging markets, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

Fixed income and bonds are not exactly the same thing but close enough for us here outside those markets.

It isn’t true that the speculators have made massive profits out of the Turkish lira falling. What is true is that some speculators have and some speculators have lost equal and opposite amounts of money. The value the whole process has added is that some of those holders and or issuers of Turkish lira bonds have transferred their risks from themselves to those speculators.

Sure, we could argue it’s not a thing for grown men to spend their lives doing but buying life insurance is just that, a transfer of risk from the participant in life to the speculators. And we don’t generally think that’s a bad idea, do we?

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Spike
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Americans generally do think it’s a bad idea. Bipartisan institutional wisdom is that assets owned for under one year represent selfish “speculation” versus nation-building “investment,” the former failing to qualify for the lower tax rate. So we have some amount of capital waiting to flow where it wants to be until the relevant clock tolls.

And Trump’s “tax cut, phase two” at the moment does not involve sweeping away any of these silly rules, but mainly establishing yet another government-monitored account “to promote saving.”

Mr Yan
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Mr Yan

Should also point out that West Yorkshire Police have been making a better hand of prosecuting them until their neighbouring force in South Yorkshire.

Pat
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Pat

Target Stores “forced” female customers to accept the presence of Men Playing Pretend in the women’s room, though with considerable consequences to quarterly profit (which it didn’t consider). And Massachusetts Attorney General Maura “Hold It” Healey told females who had a problem with New Soviet Urination to grin and bear it, literally; no data yet on whether her tenure will suffer

GR8M8S
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GR8M8S

If all the urinals are busy then men will use a cubicle, in the exact same manner as they would a urinal, walk up and get in with it. It’s an easy target for the complainants who don’t want to seem in-pc by admitting to not like the idea in general.
Wonder how they deal with things if somewhere like Paris where walking past the urinals to get to the cubicles isn’t unusual

Pat
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Pat

Target Stores “forced” female customers to accept the presence of Men Playing Pretend in the women’s room, though with considerable consequences to quarterly profit (which it didn’t consider). And Massachusetts Attorney General Maura “Hold It” Healey told females who had a problem with New Soviet Urination to grin and bear it, literally; no data yet on whether her tenure will suffer