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Publically Traded Countries

Are you tired of watching countires such as Argentina suffer from continual bureaucratic mismanagement only to be bailed out by fiscally responsible countries time and time again? Well, cast your vote at the next shareholders meeting.
(+4, -4)
  [vote for,

Why just stop at privatizing national utility companies...

For those individauls who believe that government is inherently inefficent and that the free market is the cure to all bureacratic incompetence, put you money where your mouth is and invest in your most favorite countries.

Can you just imagine the IPO's.

uniball2, Dec 05 2001

Ashcroft: The Tories' troublesome tycoon http://news.bbc.co....d_696000/696781.stm
What you can do if you apparently manage to buy a country ... [Aristotle, Dec 05 2001, last modified Oct 17 2004]


       Baked - the international equities and bonds markets. Lots of brokers specialise in trading "Emerging Markets" securities and bonds. Buying Index futures or government bonds for a country is as good as trading in the country.
And people do 'vote' if they think a country is being mismanaged - by demanding high rates of return for that country's government bonds. This application of the 'free market' is what stops countries messing about too much with trade tarrifs, interest rates, currency controls, etc.
hippo, Dec 05 2001

       Countries like Argentina or South Korea don't have problems because of fiscal mismanagement (in general), but because they're at the mercy of far richer countries and multinationals. At the first sign of a global recession, the multinationals and banks pull all funds out of the countries they perceive as being less central to the world economy (moving factories, cancelling investments, etc.), causing an instant collapse in the country they desert.   

       The US Federal Reserve and government have enough money to spend their way out of financial problems; and the European central banks work with the Fed Reserve to support currencies they think are worth saving; like most things in the world, it's operated in the interests of the rich in the first world, with little thought of the economic impact in the countries they toy with. A collapse in Chile or Malaysia's not going to affect an American businessman much; a collapse in the USA is.   

       If you want to protect the Argentinian economy, we need a system of world financial controls that will act in the interests of the many, not the few, and not be based around extracting as much money from the developing world as possible. (Most of the developed world's money is of course spent on bailing out the developed world.)
pottedstu, Dec 05 2001

       I like this idea. Bonds are a little different though hippo, they buy you a share of a national debt in effect. Buying shares in a COUNTRY though? (rather than just it's economy). Imagine buying a 50% stake in Afghanistan, watch the UN rebuild it over ten years then sell up. Bill Gates eat your heart out!
sven3012, Dec 05 2001

       Buying shares in a government is also incredibly baked. In the third world it's called corruption; in the first world it's called political fundraising. Except the benefits it brings usually don't depend on the performance of the country/company (although the same can be said of shareholders' dividends).
pottedstu, Dec 05 2001

       The goal of a country is not to maximize shareholder profits.
bookworm, Dec 05 2001

       Current thinking here is that the goal is to *minimize* them.
angel, Dec 05 2001

       The former treasurer of the Conservative party managed to buy Belize apparently. He became the UN ambassador and at one pointed he said wanted to become known as the "Lord of Belize" when one of those new bald Tory leaders arranged for him to knighted.
Aristotle, Dec 05 2001

       I want to see this work the other way round... The UN "nationalises" afganistan...   

       (sorry all, I have changed it now - shoot me if I do that again)
RobertKidney, Dec 05 2001

       I second what pottedstu and UnaBubba said. Anyone want to third it?
DrBob, Dec 05 2001

quarterbaker, Dec 05 2001


       'Publically' is accurate. See www.m-w.com. Best regards.
uniball2, Dec 06 2001

       Imagine your country is one big corporation. With its people as employees and shareholders, and so on to upper management.   

       Now the UN or whatever creates a World Country Exchange. Any country or person can buy shares, and thus be on the board of whatever country he/she wishes.   

       I think this form of government will better the system because then, each country will and should be managed properly.   

       So, when's the first Country IPO ?
zotium, Jan 20 2004

       I believe that shares in anything to which you are not a part will lead to corruption and mismanagement.   

       If I buy shares in a company, I have one interest: Getting my profit from those shares. I can do that by taking monthly payments (If the company is earning good profits) or sell it (if the company stops earning good profits.)   

       Where do the profits come from though? From the company, of course.In honor haf having had it's shares bought by me, it grants me a portion of it's profits... a portion which would otherwise be spent on necessary safety, the welfare of it's employees, or improvements to the product.
ye_river_xiv, Apr 29 2011

       I worked for a while for a company run by an old mate of Ashcroft's (see link). His memos to staff reminded me of Mussolini - there was a kind of shrillness that one couldn't quite take seriously.   

       Meanwhile, back in the idea, it reminds me of an episode recounted in one of Cicero's letters, in which M. Junius Brutus (the one that Shakespeare thought was so noble) had lent some money to a tiny city-state in the Eastern Med.; when the town had difficulty making the repayments, Brutus arranged for a squadron of cavalry to blockade the town hall, with the view to starving the councilors until they paid up. I suppose the question is, if you were a citizen of that town, would you feel that this measure was making your government more efficient?
pertinax, Apr 30 2011

       Or: If you were a citizen of a country in debt to the IMF, and an austerity program was imposed as a condition of refinancing would you feel that those measures were making your government more efficient?   

       [pertinax] Was there a political party in that town opposed to the one in power? Betcha *they* thought well of M. Junius Brutus' intervention.
mouseposture, Apr 30 2011


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