Thursday, 6 September 2007

Why can't government run as easily as this?

Having spare capital (it is a key part of being a conscience-tortured capitalist swine) I decided to try out ZOPA. Now I have a few grand sitting there on the offer, and this missing adrenalin from having a trading job is somewhat replaced. It's basically another disintermediating idea from the people who brought you the World Wide Web; most of us struggle to get 5% out of a bank, and most of the poor who need it struggle to get less than 10%. To anyone in the City (who might have seen FX spreads drop from 5 pips in 1990's to zilch now), this seems like both an opportunity to earn a return on capital AND to do something remotely 'good'*. Wide spreads - win-win-win business opportunities.

It's been amazingly easy. Click, click, password password, you know the routine. No paper, and all the credit checking etc is done by someone who understands this. My major concern - that I had to personally deal with the going-round-with-a-cricket-bat-for-your-TV bit, is not there. This ought to be a British version of Grameen.

This adds some substance to a gripe against the Left; their blindness to the sheer creativity and efficiency that stems from having a £-sign attached to an idea. It is amazing what the prospect of Profit can do to your imagination. Compare this with trying to find out if you can pull down a tree in your garden (I have 3 Antipodeans at it right now) or, heaven help you, getting a permit to park your car. I have a left-wards view of the number of a services that should be provided by the state, but a definitely Right-wards one towards who should do it. It is remarkable that after a decade of mostly successful privatizations (leaving aside the Rail), it should still be a dirty word.

* For the definition of "good", please read founders of major religions, Aristotle, or some other blogger.

PS, if jackart is there, is there a straightforward way to RSS your blog?

1 comment:

Jackart said...

No Idea, old boy!