In this time of severe drought with farmers having to pay usurious and extortionate prices for water, to non farming equity and derivatives traders who have no farming skin in the game or dirt under their fingernails, it is time to ask:
What exactly does water trading do for the national good?
What does trading in a scarce and therefore valuable, and essential national resource and commodity, like water in an arid country like Australia, tangibly contribute to the economy?
Water traders don’t make, create, invent, manufacture or mine anything. There is no value adding.
Apart from the big end of town suits and the screen jockeys at the ASX and sundry rent seekers like Duxton Water, Cui bono — Who actually benefits?
As there was no apparent need or demand for it, water trading stands out as a further, classic example of how a plugged in and connected big end of town, lobby a clueless and hapless political class to rort a natural resource to create, harness, and develop a derivatives market to exploit farmers.
It is also instructive and something of an insight into how they create a market, literally, out of thin air.
Trading in H2o along with trading in that other “thin air”, molecular market commodity, Co2, are the ultimate and quintessential rackets.