Magazine article New Internationalist

[The Speculation Game]

Magazine article New Internationalist

[The Speculation Game]

Article excerpt

The Speculation Game

directed by Olivier Zuchuat

In 1998, following the collapse of a number of Asian economies, the international bank HSBC recorded a one- billion-dollar increase in profits - most of it arising from currency speculation on Asian money markets. The whereabouts of the smoking gun were not exactly hard to detect.

The frightening extent to which governments, populations and their economies are at the mercy of speculators is explicitly set out in this calm and lucid video. Banks and speculators may win or they may lose - but the rest of us, the public, always lose. Speculation works to undermine the real economy - us, people, life itself.

This film pulls no punches but, to his credit, Zuchuat does not draw all his experts from the same pond. So we have the likes of radical economist Susan George one moment, and a Swiss banker spouting orthodoxy the next. But the most damning evidence actually comes from two ex-traders as they anatomize a system made up of manipulation, greed and, above all, the fearsome irrationality of the herd. …

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