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Zero-sum game = ?

by on December 26, 2013

What do you mean by “The securities market must become a zero-sum game” (petition)?

This demand resulted from various conversations with people who speculate with securities. They do not feel that they are stealing money from the real economy, because market transactions do not touch the actual companies whose stock is being traded. They are deals made between a buyer and seller, i.e. one man’s profit is another man’s loss. (Exceptions include companies trading their own stock, for example in IPOs.)

We do not share that view.

If the securities market were a zero-sum game, it would have no negative effects on society. In reality, however, capital provides the leverage needed to “siphon off assets from useful businesses” (petition).

This is done through direct payments (dividends, fixed-interest, etc.) but more importantly through inflation, which results from constant price increases due to a superfluity (!) of capital.

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