Take it easy

The market is always wrong.

This is not a quote from any ordinary economist or market player. It comes from George Soros, the mutual fund guru who made the British pound bend on its knees.

His counsel is that the market is not a scientific entity that is governed by some hidden rational hand.

Soros says the market is always wrong since players intervene, stocks don’t move by themselves and pirates in pin-striped suits operate to get the best deal beyond the impersonal, non-thinking charts.

This is the reason why there is always wisdom in caution, and we better err on the side of caution than on the side of perdition.

We are saying this since it appears that Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima is selling prime state assets like Camps Aguinaldo and Crame, complete with all the legal problems that attend parts of the properties that were donated by Ortigas & Co.

These one-time sales would be good for the balance sheet but it does not augur well for an administration that should maintain the monuments of People Power rather than put them on the auction block.

It is not Purisima’s call to sell the national patrimony and he should stick to his genius, whether it is apocryphal or not, in luring foreign investments and making these stay for good.

The President, for all the goodwill he had won the past year, should rethink this policy of a fire sale of state assets and ponder whether this would lead to the judicious use of state resources or not.

The source of the nation’s wealth are the 92 million Filipinos whom the President can lead and lead well in producing wealth by arduous work, not quick cash that bureaucrats can dissipate in an instant since they still act as if they were loan officers or wizards at arbitrage.

We hasten to add that millions of our people desire nothing better than long-term solutions to the economic crisis that had led to 18 percent more hungry mouths to feed, not through the band-aid scheme like the P21-billion Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) but through production, production and production.

The entire trouble is that the international community wants to do its share here and the government has yet to tap the kind of money they could plunk in, not the hot money so beloved of Soros and other financial managers, and make the economy move.

You do not improve the economy by raising power rates, MRT and LRT fares and even water tariffs since the ordinary Filipino continues to think that he is the modern indio badgered by exactions from a colonial government.

These impositions can rankle anyone and these should be avoided like hell.

What Filipinos want is a little leeway, not burdens that Purisima and company want to inflict on the nation.

President Aquino should be well-advised to consider the fact that citizens should not be treated shabbily and should be accorded a respite if they are to be goaded into doing their civic duty and act accordingly, paying taxes that are just and earning more than their keep. It’s as simple as that.

For the nonce, the more than 7 million Filipinos overseas can be fount of well-earned money that can be plowed back to the country. We have not done our bit to welcome these resources back to the homeland the way the Chinese did, the way the Vietnamese did, the way other peoples did.

If we want to give it a huge try, we can hack it, but pray give rationality a chance and implement change that we can maintain.

President Aquino might as well heed the fact that he should be in the hunt for new ideas from new blood, not the tainted ideas from the recycled bureaucrats whose destiny is to jump ship whenever it is expedient to do so.

The millions of voters who trusted Noynoy do not want the few remaining pieces of the country’s crown jewels to be lost to privatization and the omnipresent privateers.

Give them a fighting chance to believe you more, Mr. President. Cast away the demons of the unseen hand that wants to chart the ship of state off course. Joel Paredes


About Gwenn

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply