Competition: Europe seeks the most dangerous financial product
It is known that many [financial] products are dangerous. They are opaque and complex and thus threaten consumer protection with concealed risks and high costs. They harm third parties such as the global poor particularly in developing countries by speculation with food and land. They put the stability of the financial system and sustainable development at risk because in some cases they cannot even be sufficiently analysed by financial markets experts or regulators and because they exacerbate price volatilities (also for currencies, credits, etc.). Other products might harm the environment by inefficient investments in non-sustainable industries or resource consumption... Please submit your proposal that should be banned here.No, I am not fabricating this - it is a construct of the fertile mind of one Sven Giegold, a German member of the European Parliament. Nor am I making up Markus Henn, one of the 'jury' that will judge the competition, described as 'Financial Markets Expert, WEED' (sic). Nigel Molesworth, it seems, grew up to be a star trader for a hedge fund, chiz, and still persecutes Fortherington-Thomas to this day.
If we may be serious for a fleeting nano-second (and I'm not sure why we should be in the face of such provocation), it is a fact that there are some 'exotic derivatives' that do indeed defy all rational analysis and are clearly the result of some over-indulged traders jerking off in the corner of the trading floor. But any bank whose policies permit these things to be transacted has got much bigger problems than just hyperbolic gamma or whatever is the resulting exposure-dynamic.
I'd say pensions are pretty lethal - you put aside a lifetime of savings and some Brown, Balls or Osborne comes along and trashes them. Not to mention Equitable Life.
Hopefully this earnest competition will attract some creative entries ...