Why I Still Don’t Like MCX


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Disclosure: No position in MCX.


47 thoughts on “Why I Still Don’t Like MCX

  1. absolutely agree with you. i would never give my money to help someone rip-off others even if that makes me rich. investing in stocks with dishonest management with intentions of ripping off customers, shareholders, employees or other stakeholders is the equivalent of doing exactly that.

    when i started reading the post, first thing i thought is how come you owned a cigarette manufacturing company at one point of time which you answered at the end. because what else is cigarette if not a drug and do we want to promote selling drugs. i know a lot of people who would not agree with me, might even want to change my opinion. i have heard the other side of the argument countless times and have formed my opinion over a period of years. 5-6 years ago i would have been on the other side of this argument. just to say I dont want to indulge in any debate on this topic.

    full disclosure: i smoke

  2. Muthu says:

    I understand your perspective. Still it is subjective. As long as a business is legal, even though it may do no good to society, is it wrong to invest in them? Do we view those investors in a negative light? I recollect reading that Berskshire own / owned gambling companies.

    • Muthu, the blog represents my personal views on the matter. I am not trying to judge what’s right or wrong. Rather, I am sharing how my own thinking on this subject has evolved over the years.

  3. Muthu says:

    I’ve also heard many arguments against Buffett owning Coke as drinking Coke does more harm than good.

  4. Not sure that the distinction between “good” and “not good” is so clear always. Coca-Cola, See’s Candies, may be wonderful businesses but is addiction to sugar water / sugar good for civilization at large?

    Its ironic but great businesses tend to have some component of either a Ponzi scheme (float is other peoples money that on a net basis is never expected to be paid out) or addiction (nicotine, sugar) or psychological manipulation (brands created through spend on advertising and promotion that otherwise are not any different from an unbranded less expensive counterpart ultimately recovered through higher prices) or virtual monopolies (very nicely covered in your discussion on “I Don’t Want to be a Toll Bridge, I Want to be Its Meaning”)

    None of these concepts or “powers” in isolation are particularly “good” for civilization at large. I guess the difference is in intentions of the management? Good managements don’t abuse these powers. Evil managements do.

  5. ltinvestment says:

    Wow. Real Eye opener. it looks like shariah type of investment. But Buffet also invested in coca cola which causes Diabetics and other diseases. Is it unintentional or it becomes culture?
    Please advice.

  6. rohanadvant says:

    As an investor, my job is limited towards identifying good businesses and investing in them at prices that offer me prospective returns higher than my cost of capital. I would not, as an investor, go into question of morality of a business, as long as it is legal. Morality of a business is a much wider term than the simplistic perceptions of morality. Smoking, drinking, gambling are common perceptions of activities that harm civilizations. But, if you extend the argument, most businesses harm the society in some way or the other. If I own most industrial or manufacturing companies, they are dependent on raw materials that require some form deforestation to mine them. If I own a Relaxo, it makes leather shoes which are made from animal skin. If I own Nestle, it is making foods that are not really healthy for the consumers. So, I cannot say owning MCX is immoral because the negative impact on civilization here is very direct but owning other businesses is moral whose negative impact on civilization is indirect.
    I also took a cure from Buffett on this subject. When Salomon Brothers — owned by Buffett at the time — made a bid for RJR Nabisco in the late 1980s, CEO John Gutfreund asked Buffett to participate in the deal. But Buffett demurred, saying: “I’m wealthy enough where I don’t need to own a tobacco company and deal with the consequences of public ownership”. So, if I inverse, what Buffett means is that if I am not wealthy enough and do not have to publicly own it, he sees no problem in owning a tobacco company. Also, Buffett gave Gutfreund his blessing so that Salomon Brothers could participate in the leveraged buyout, but Berkshire Hathaway would participate only indirectly through its minority stake in Salomon. What do I interpret from this?
    Also, I do feel that what we do more often than not is identify companies that do not require our cash at all and invest into those companies (Net Cash Balance Sheets + Free Cash Generation) because those are the best businesses that fit our criteria. How are we benefiting society by this? We will not invest in say the QIPs of a IRB, GMR, GVK who will actually construct infrastructure of the country but we will invest in Nestle who does not need our money at all. We are just getting the prospective return of the seller of the stock transferred to us with no real economic benefit to society. So, I feel I have no right to take any high moral ground about anything as an investor.
    I think what I have to think about is “What is my dhrama as an investor? And is this action within my dharma or outside of it. To take a cue from the Bhagwad Gita, Arjuna argues that if he and Krishna were to fight the Battle of Kurukshetra, they would be destroying dharma and incurring sin. Lord Krishna tells Arjuna that the truth is just the contrary. By not fighting, Arjuna would be rejecting dharma—in fact, his personal dharma—and thus incurring sin. “Now if you do not execute this battle, then having given up your personal dharma and reputation, you shall incur sin.” (Bhagwad Gita. 2.33). I think my dhrama is not to pass judgments on morality but to make money in the markets by taking decisions that are perfectly within the letter and spirit of law.
    (I own MCX, VST Industries and ITC. Extracts about Buffett and explanation of Bhagwad Gita is taken from websites).

    • Rohan, those are very good points. Thanks!

    • vsarda says:

      Brilliantly articulated Rohan.

    • Jazz says:

      Does this mean there is no such industry or company that Mr. Monish refers as a Win Win for entire ecosystem.

    • Just mirrored my thoughts on the subject. Brilliantly put. Moreover, if we as value buyers look at margin of safety on a stock, is it not another way of looting the “innocent speculator”? Shouldn’t we just start buying at the Intrinsic value since that is the approximate true value of the firm. Moreover, prime objective of the exchanges is price discovery. More products generate more liquidity and hence better price discovery. What investors(institutional or individual) do with such a price discovery tool is their prerogative.

  7. Anish Teli says:

    Just to add to some of the excellent points above. Berkshire Hathaway is, as best anybody can tell, the largest cigarette dealer in the United States (outside of the tobacco companies themselves), thanks to its ownership of McLane Company, the giant wholesaler that Buffett acquired from Wal-Mart in 2003. More on this blog post here: http://jeffmatthewsisnotmakingthisup.blogspot.in/2014/09/berkshire-hathaway-wholesaler-of-death.html

    Warren is an excellent multi-faceted hedge fund manager who takes positions via a variety of instruments, derivatives being a large component. Although most of his derivative contracts are long term OTC contracts. There can be a number of times when there is a conflict between what is good for business and what is good for society. FB, Twitter, Google, Cars, etc the list is endless. Both have negative and positive implications for society. So its really a personal choice and view, as you correctly put it, as to where does one draw the line.

  8. Thank you Rohan for clearing out the essential distinction of what Buffett talks and what he does. I felt him contradicting his own actions while talking about owning businesses doing bad to the society. As an investor, it doesn’t suit him really well to comment on morality and I know Mr.Buffett as an investor first.
    As for the Dharma of an investor, fully agree on that and following it.

  9. Vikas Gupta says:

    Great article.

    Just to add a little bit on the above post by rohan :-

    1) There are businesses which are seen directly affecting negatively to human beings and there are businesses which are affecting in an equal way but the facts are mostly hidden from the curious eyes. In the end it boils down to which of the side of the see-saw is one standing at a particular point of time.

    2) Tv news shows and channels are causing huge amount of productive destruction around the globe, turn on any channel , you will find illogical tv shows and channels which are hardly promoting any wisdom into people. Take example of News channels, you will find majority of them eager to extrapolate a particular news which causes TRP to shoot up even if its only for few hours. I think if one conducts some studies, they will find that TV news channels are causing more financial and mental destructions then a mediocre or corrupt fiduciary institution.

    3) Each and every section of a society gets affected by some or the other business , Sugar sector causes air pollution around the area of the factories. ( Try going to shirdi in maharashatra and you’ll understand my point). Power generating units using for example coal to generate electricity, Chemicals industry causing problems for people working within and around the unit, Tyre industry burning rubbers and other particles causing thick smoke out of the chimneys, inshort what I am trying to say is that the answer to which business affects the most and which affects the least is depended on individual thinking.

    I think smoking is really bad, but when you ask the person who smokes the reply you get or I actually got was that it makes the person calm or reduce some stress. Now you could look at it as negative business, but then the same fundamental should be applied to Medical field which uses steroids for certain patients who need the injection to work out the genetic issues. Every thing is good for certain section of the society and equally bad for some other.

    I think its extremely important to take the human moral point of the business in account as by doing so one can think for if the destruction on human life in future can turn into worse or would remain stable. For example :- asbestos fibre sheets for rooftop, they are essential for certain section of society who cant have a proper roof but the same product can cause huge trepidation about its health effects amongst better off class. (Who knows if suddenly some contingent liability arises on the business causing losses equivalent to its reserve surplus and some more!!! )

    In the end, No business forces an individual to consume or avail the product or services and its as per the wish of that individual to pursue with the decision. Its not like taxes which a person has to go through whether he/she likes it or not, the amount has to be paid. I think if in case in future humans do start to clamp down businesses with negative effects , I would pray they start with so called ” market tv channels” as they simply cloud the mindset of a person to the extreme.

    (All of the above are personal -cum–naive views)


  10. Haresh Nagpal says:

    Prof Is this your view only on MCX or on normal stock exchange like BSE ,NSE also ?

  11. Aksh Vora says:

    I respect your views, as you have possibly brought the negative points about a business model of MCX (which are always helpful for investors), but with all due respect – MCX is a commodity exchange, which has more or less similar functions that of a stock exchange; where we are participants, buy and sell shares and follow the same functions which a commodity exchange does; where someone makes profits and someone makes losses. We support stock exchange on the basis of, it does runs on fundamentals of businesses but you still cannot take out the fact that there exists traders too and similar too commodity exchange, gambling activities are found in stock exchange too. Morally we don’t stop investing, as its favoured as a personal bias. My views are personal and as always I love reading your blogs and articles as it gives me great insights on how to look on companies and particular businesses. Thanks for the post on MCX.

    • NSE and BSE can be compared to MCX only to the extent of what happens in Futures and Options, where there are no deliveries, and the whole system is a zero sum game. But when it comes to the capital market division of these exchanges, things become very different. That’s because stocks of actual businesses are listed there. And those businesses have raised capital and listed their shares on the exchanges. The delivery-based stock market is not a zero sum game, because, in aggregate, the investors own corporate India’s equity, which rises in value over time.

      Think of all businesses in NIFTY for example as a single business. Why does the book value of that “business” rise over time? The key reason is earnings retention because the business earns more every year than what it pays out in dividends. So, investors in aggregate, become richer by actual wealth created and not paid out. Over time, this earnings retention gets reflected in market prices. When a company performs really well fundamentally, its stock market valuation goes up and its cost of equity capital comes down. It can raise money if it wants from equity markets to fund future growth. So, real capital formation function is alive and well in stock markets.

      I am all in favor of increase in STT to eliminate the incentives of day trading in equity markets, which is identical to the gambling function I talked about in my post. I am all in favor of increasing short-term capital gains taxes, so genuine investors remain in the market.

      Let me put the stark difference between capital markets and derivative markets again. In capital markets, market participants in aggregate, tend to make money because what they own, in aggregate, is the earning power of the underlying companies in the market. But in derivative markets, participants in aggregate (their consolidated P&L), can never make any money. In aggregate, the participants in derivative markets, own nothing.

  12. Thanks for the reply . Prof Don’t you think this choice of Ethical and Unethical only comes when you are financially free ? Please chk this article also…. http://www.themonthly.com.au/nation-reviewed-james-kirby-myth-ethical-investment–243 .

  13. Dear Professor Bakshi, its easy to pick stocks initially based on your ethical calling but what would you do if you noticed that the business you invest in is on the boundaries of ethical behavior. The case is about PetroChina investment of Buffett where he made 6x or so. He was asked what he thought about PetroChina when it was known that its indirect owner was China and that China-Oil-Trade was primary source of finance for Sudan. Background: http://www.brynmawr.edu/ceo/civicmatters/judithporter.html
    I think one should stay consistent. Personally I feel Buffett was and a read of your thought process says you would too if such a case arose.

  14. Fabulous post Sanjay, and I have enjoyed the comments even more. It’s interesting to note how strong some of these opinions are. While it is true that the derivatives market is as close as it gets to legalised gambling based on blatant speculation or at times, calculated speculation, I believe that legalised gambling is a waste of human resources as is the consumption of cigarettes – but a free human ought to be entitled to destroy himself bit by bit in a way he seems justifiable as long as another is not harmed🙂
    Going to MCX, I am getting a sense that value investors are slowly losing their grip on the core tenet of value investing – margin of safety/ prudence. After your old post where SEBI raised some serious issues with MCX, does an investor truly believe in the the sustainability of this exchange? I wonder how easily a pen might destroy a business such as this…

    • Yes, the some of the comments which take the opposite view, are very well articulated.

      There is no universal right or wrong here. This is not physics. Indeed, even in physics it has been demonstrated that the same object can be in multiple situations at the same time.

      Every investor should think about the points made in the post and the comments on his or her own and the decision to not think too much about it is also fine. This is a very personal matter. The blog post reflects my own journey in this personal matter.

      I haven’t addressed the quality of MCX’s moat. Perhaps that will be the subject of another post, at another time.


  15. KM SB says:

    “Dharmo rakshati rakshita”
    Its good only when all follows it..

    In fact one of the reputed spiritual guru once said me that the base of “Dharma” is “Adharma”
    CSR of companies and Charitable trusts are one such example… they make people life expensive in a larger manner and during the larger period of time and shell out a portion to “ease” their life’s again… which is like donating old cloths…

    Capitalism( accumulation of wealth) and inheritance are the main complicators of social mass, rest all will fall under!

  16. KM SB says:

    Rohan I am Contrary
    This is one of the most dangerous developments happening in the modern school of thoughts… a Sub Versions for everything!
    In this particular case “the Various Versions of Dharma” which is nothing but justification of need and deed!
    Just by diverting from core and only dharma, ie., “Welfare of beings”

  17. KM SB says:

    Sorry sanjay, making one more comment(final) here…
    Rohan tossed “Dharma of an investor” in context with “Dharma of a warrior is to fight the battle” both are wrong there is no such speculative thoughts in our mythology… the actual and real interpretation is “fighting a battle is not dharma, its a job of warrior, and he should fulfill his duties to save the ultimate dharma”
    What Bhagwath geetha suggesting is “War FOR dharma” There is nothing called “dharma of war or a warrior” all by it self separately!

  18. All things need not be either good or bad; some may be in-between. In practice, very few things are binary, so I think opinions would differ for each person, some based on the person’s ideology (religious, economic, political, cultural, etc.) I think it is best to leave these decisions to individual choices.

    Lets take a few examples.
    (1) War is per se considered bad by most ideologies. So is investing in an arms company bad? Not necessarily, because possessing arms itself can be a good deterrent to war. But if the same company gets involved in “creating” wars to expand its business, the answer could be different.
    (2) Drugs and alcohol are considered to be bad as they can be addictive and life-destructive. But they can also be helpful and life-protective when used in/ as medicines.
    (3) Credit (finance on interest basis) can be both good or bad, depending on how it is being used and by whom. Leverage is a double-edged sword. Micro-finance companies charge high interest for finance provided to the poor, but if not for them, the poor would be forced to go to the local money-lender and end up paying a usurious rate of interest or not getting any finance when in dire need.

    If not for MCX, in Mr Bakshi’s words, “the punters will go elsewhere to punt”. This reason alone should be sufficient to make MCX a social good and certainly not a social evil. Punters will find ways to punt, gamblers will find ways to gamble – if they are not provided with an official outlet which can be monitored and regulated, they would go to an unofficial outlet (like “dabba” trading), which can neither be monitored nor regulated. In the bargain, society will also suffer in other ways like black money, revenue loss to exchequer and increase in spurious elements.

    In the comments, Mr Bakshi tries to distinguish between Futures (where there is no delivery) and Delivery based stock market and in his opinion, while Futures is a zero-sum game, Delivery based is not. I don’t think so, Mr Bakshi. I think if one looks at it that way, then, the entire stock market is a zero sum game.
    In Futures, the gain/loss of the seller is neutralised by the loss/gain of the buyer. This does not change when it is delivery based instead of Futures. If the price were to increase, the seller has, in effect, lost that increase in price and that has passed that on to the buyer. If, on the other hand, the price were to decrease, the seller has gained and the buyer has lost.

    Speculators help society in one very important way – by creating liquidity. I am a low-risk Value Investor, but I think without the contribution of speculators in creating an active market in stocks, the stock market system would not be able to sustain and may not create the juicy bargains that we long for. Some evils not so evil when you look the other side of the coin.

    I think rather than creating artificial barriers like additional taxation (which may drive speculators into “dabba” markets and creating systemic risk), it would be better to educate investors. If enough investors are educated, the risks from speculation will be minimised and less instances of investors being fooled. Like the popular ad jingle goes: “India ko no ullu banaoing”🙂

  19. KM SB says:

    Educating!! like putting a statutory warning on cigar packs and allowing it sold freely🙂
    I think one will agree with the fact that, reducing number of casinos will result in reduction in gambling, thought nothing can eliminate any human habit 100% from externally… any way, the thinking that kept me busy is, Sanjay titled the post “Why I Still Don’t Like MCX” and not “Why I Never Like MCX” with respect to its content!
    Interesting see what kind of changes is on cards, sanjays thoughts or MCX product offerings!!

  20. a18ps says:

    “I think what I am going to teach you this semester is really how to make money and so whatever social benefits
    there are to society, it is not very large. So if you do end up following my advice and it works for you, I
    would ask that you find some way to give back. I am one iteration removed so what I am doing?
    I truly wish that I had the chance to have this course to help out in some way. ”

    Joel Greenblatt

    We are all proud individuals looking to secure our financial future through sensible investing; however, let us not harbor any illusions as to “our dharma” or social benefits of our endeavours. To my mind, really significant question is whether we wait to become really rich before we start pondering over ethical issues very rightly highlighted by Mr. Bakshi, and this has got nothing to do with what Mr. Buffett does or says or whether he is consistent in his own conduct or not. This is a deeply personal question which all of us will have to decide individually.

    How difficult it really is to avoid companies like VST and MCX when what really is at stake is our opinion of our belief system? Most important thing is to remember that “core businesses” of these companies are detrimental to the society at large. We can present any number of facts or arguments and cite numerous instances of inconsistent behaviour from Mr. Buffett; however, can it diminish one bit validity of arguments presented by Mr. Bakshi.

    May be we could have presented this argument without citing Mr. Buffett which somehow clouded the original and central tenet of this whole post.

  21. Post sent to my BFBV students:

    I always knew this was going to be a controversial post. Take a look at the comments on the blog, on twitter (https://twitter.com/Sanjay__Bakshi), and for those of you who are my friends on Facebook, on my wall:


    I think its useful to think about concepts like cognitive dissonance, commitment bias, the difference between legal and moral values.

    There are people who are overwhelmingly opposed to my view. Do they own the stock? Would they disagree if they didn’t? Then there are those who overwhelmingly agree with me and maybe they don’t own the stock so they are, perhaps, a bit more unbiased. But what if they owned it? Would they agree with me then and promptly take actions to not own it?

    How does one think about legal and moral values? Should we not think about moral values at all so long as we are not doing anything illegal? Or are moral values above legal values?

    If gambling is not suitable business to invest into, then what about sugar (Coke, pepsi)? What about arms and ammunition? What about businesses involved in predatory lending practices? What about businesses which sell meat? What about ponzi schemes in the garb of multi-level marketing?

    Is it ok for some people to have moral values that apply to some “harmful for civilization” businesses, but not for other businesses which may also cause harm?

    Should one think about moral values, only when one is financially independent, or even otherwise? What’s the role of opportunity costs? If one has a way to make a lot of money without compromising on moral values, should she think differently from a person who doesn’t?

    One of the characteristics of an effective teacher is to “ask great questions” (http://www.india.wsj.com/articles/four-ways-to-spot-a-great-teacher-1409848739) or a “more beautiful question” (http://amorebeautifulquestion.com)

    I don’t have all the answers. But I am going to be asking you a lot of questions. My own answers to some of the questions above have changed over time.

    You’re going to have to figure out the answers yourself.

    • a18ps says:


      I own three stocks ITC, VST, and MCX.

      I am confident about two things

      1. No more capital to be allotted to such businesses. In fact this point gets added to my checklist for future investments.
      2. Will get out at first opportunity.

      Am I doing this to prove a point? Not at all. I am doing this because it is abundantly clear this is the right thing to do.

  22. phani1881 says:

    I think a Casino is different from a Derivative. A Casino games (deceives) the player to lose money. It tricks him, and uses its unfair advantage to win over him, and makes him lose money.
    Where as a derivative is like an insurance. It helps people protect themselves. Hedge their risks. World is an open market place and there could be a difference of opinion. Derivatives allow that difference of opinion about future to exist. People who are buying futures may have a completely opposite opinion of people who are selling them.

  23. From the comments I have a feeling that people are looking for approval or example in Mr. Buffett. I am also a big follower of Mr. Buffett but I wouldn’t follow him if he jumps into a well.

    The points articulated are superb. To each his own.

  24. Eventually one has to find his own way, we are so used to take the short cuts on the basis of what greats are doing or have done, that we generally pay little attention to our own reasoning and our own logic. A thought-provoking post.

  25. Ankit Gupta says:

    I see the problem with MCX but is it not true for all types of option trading, be it stock or commodities. There are 2 Issues I see that the article makes:
    1> Negative-Sum-Game: Isn’t someone who’s an intra-day trader or even a high frequency trader doing the same thing in Equity markets
    2> Leverage: The Idea of options is based on leverage, and apparently option trading has shown to reduce volatility.

    So how is Options trading at MCX without taking delivery different from options trading of stocks.
    The issue I do see is of Governance and Control as highlighted by the recent scandal.

    PS: Do correct me if I am wrong

  26. Sir,
    The most important point here is that by investing in MCX we are not promoting its business in any way. Since already established, it hardly needs any additional cash to grow. We are investing in it through secondary market and not investing in MCX IPO or FPO which would help in its growth. The stock price may remain subdued if most of us dont invest but business would continue to grow irrespective of whether we invest in it or not. So according to me, there is nothing to worry about moral values in this case as we are not affecting its business in any way by investing in it.

    Nishant Dalmia

  27. Without comment.
    Two articles both published yesterday, which discuss the benefits of Derivatives:
    (1) What role is played by the commodity futures in India?

    (2) How Value Investors can use options to increase their returns

  28. Anand says:

    “Do something where you’re performing a real service for people. It’ll be a success.”
    Often in the world of business you will find that the most successful practitioners are driven to heights by a noble purpose. Although some successful business people are driven by money, many are successful because of altruistic intentions. Although it often is misunderstood, Sam Walton’s vision at Wal-Mart was to lower the cost of goods for Americans. He reasoned that this would put more discretionary money in their pockets and thus improve their lives. Henry Ford wanted to bring an automobile to the masses rather than sell to them wealthy alone like all the other car-makers at that time. Rose Blumkin, the original proprietor of Nebraska Furniture Mart(probably the most successful furniture store to date, now owned by Berkshire Hathaway – Read details about this company. She was Russian lady, came to US. She didn’t knew English language, but still was able to run the business successful), always told people that her objective was to make nice furniture affordable to improve the lives of her customers. This concept of “doing well by doing good” was popularized by Benjamin Franklin, and it has been a winning recipe for business success ever since. — From Book, Investing the Templeton Way – The Market Beating Strategies of Value Investing’s Legendary Bargain Hunter by Lauren C. Templeton & Scott Phillips

    • Anand says:

      Charlie Munger : Mortgage lending became a dirty way to make money. You take people that can’t handle credit and try to make very high returns by abusing and encouraging their stupidity – that’s not the way I want to make money in banking. You should try to make money by selling people things that are good for the customer. You’ll never see Berkshire buy a gambling casino. Even though it’s profitable and legal we’re just not going to go there. There ought to be a big standard in corporate America of things that are perfectly legal but we don’t do because they are beneath us. The standard that prevails is, “How low can we make our ethos and still not get in trouble? We don’t want our competitor to be making money in some way that we are left out of.” That’s a huge mistake.

      Our politicians want to solve their financial problems by bringing in legalized gambling. In Cass Lake, MN, they have an Indian Casino. When I was young there was no pawn shop in Cass Lake. Now there are five. All these people on pensions, they’ve got one chair and one television set, and they go in and lose 100% every month of everything they have above heating money.

      Or the advertisements on television: imagine teaching ordinary people the way to get ahead in life is to trade securities actively on a daily basis. Is that an honest product? It’s a legal product, but is it honorable? Would you want your son-in-law to do it? Well, maybe some of them are already doing it…it’s a big crowd.


  29. Niraj Kumar says:

    Prof Bakshi, one good advantage of commodity exchanges are they help in uniform price discovery. In countries like india where there is so many middleman between producer to consumer supply chain if effectively implemented it has potential to enforce some efficiency and price discipline and beneficial to both consumer and producer who actually put more efforts. We have created a mess in our economy where a minister or bureaucrat decides prices for everything from coal to electricity to oil to gas to gold to iron to sugar and what knows which has done major harm to indian economy in general. Any day price discovery through commodity exchanges is far better than decided by some ministers/bureaucrats who actually lack any capabilities to do so and whole country suffer because of their strange pricing logics. It can greatly help in economic governance of country and take out many of the scams happening in our country if most things price discovery happen through commodity exchange in fair manner.

  30. Very interesting post
    Mohnish Pabri echoed somewhat similar thoughts in one of his interview. He said “We should not look at business models in isolation — it has to be a win-win for the full Ecosystem.” People who adhered to this advice would have avoided sub-prime lending business in US, where loans were given to people who just could not afford EMIs.

  31. The flip side of tobacco companies: they pay a huge amount of tax to the govt. This results in better infrastructure etc for the common man. Big fortunes, later turned to the service of society, have been made from supplying weapons, opium etc. We ordinary mortals cannot see if what we do is going to result in objective good or bad. Finally, as in the Gita, it boils to Swadharma: Do you feel at ease in your heart doing something?

  32. “Maximizing profits and conforming to social policies are separate endeavors,” wrote the late Harry Browne in 1995. “You can cater to one endeavor only at the expense of the other.”

    Name almost any investment, and we can come up with a valid objection to it… and not on hippy-dippy “save the Earth” or “fair trade” grounds, either

    (extracted from
    some examples given as well)

  33. markellis312 says:

    I agree with all comments

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