Aren’t Speculative Markets Wondrous? Edinburgh Festival Edition

Absolutely everyone who performs at the Edinburgh Festival will tell us that capitalism, markets, greed, individualism, are just so, soo, wrong. And that’s before we get to the Fringe where everyone will tell us they’re evil.

Then we get this:

Increasing numbers of artists are asking to be paid in dollars and euros instead of sterling because of Brexit uncertainty, the director of the Edinburgh international festival has said. The three-week arts festival opened on Friday and includes 293 performances by 2,600 artists from 40 countries. Speaking during its opening weekend, Fergus Linehan, who has been its director since 2015, said many performers had refused to be paid in sterling. Linehan said organisers had taken the decision around November last year to hedge £1m – locking it into a particular exchange rate to protect against future fluctuations – to guarantee artists’ fees.

So how does this currency hedge work then? Speculators – and yes, it’s speculators, that mere froth on the top of actual and real markets – agree to take the risk. If the exchange rate moves down then it’s the speculators who have to pony up so the artistes get their cash. Sure, if it rises then the speculators make out. But then that’s rather the point. Those evil capitalists, rentiers even, have taken on the risk, lifting it off the shoulders of those luvvies.

And yet every luvvie will spend their entire lives shouting at the speculators and capitalists. Arts degrees, not a great aid to logical thinking.

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