Monday, December 10, 2007

WSJ's Strange Turn to Economic Nationalism

Commenting on the injection of funds to UBS from an investment arm of the Singapore government, WSJ editorial wrote:

UBS Chairman Marcel Ospel said he's "delighted to welcome these new long-term strategic investors." The markets seemed equally so as the bank's shares ended up 1.4% in yesterday's trading. But the problem for UBS and other big financial institutions is that sovereign wealth funds are no ordinary investors. State-controlled and often opaque, they are driven by different motivations than private investors. Politics may trump business interests. Who knows.

More here.

Does the editorial writer who did the piece really think that he or she, not the ordinary investors who have to fork over their hard-earned greenbacks to purchase shares of UBS, is the only one who realizes that the new investors of UBS might have motiviations other than private investors? What on earth makes he or she thinks that her/her sense is much sharper than that of the market? If that is not hubris, what is?

Why can't the writer go ahead and simply say he or she would rather prefer UBS to go belly up and its shareholders suffer losses than the firm being resecued by "non-western" financial institution so long as there is no "western" money available for a cash injection?

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