Monday, October 22, 2007

The Trouble With Cap-and-Trade

After awakening at 3 a.m. Sunday, thinking of Edison's Pearl Street Station (see post below), I pulled a few books off the shelf. One of them was "Power Play", a populist history of electricity deregulation, Enron, the scams in California and other heartwarming tales.

A couple quotes that, although originally about electricity, apply just as well, in my jaundiced (realistic?) view to the trade part of Cap-and-Trade:
Power liberalisation generally means the loss of public authority and sovereignty over a strategic economic sector. Public assets fall to the hands of a few unaccountable and increasingly powerful multi-national corporations.

From the Transnational Institute

And this from a former Goldman Sachs trader:
The whole reason for the existence of traders is to make as much money as possible, consistent with what's legal...I lived through this: if you didn't manipulate the market and manipulation was accessible to you, that's when you were yelled at.
New York Times, May 8, 2002
I'd rather my mom's pocket wasn't picked by some Lehman or
Cantor CO2e trader trying to up his bonus.