We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Oops!

Greenpeace loses £3m in currency speculation

I liked the first comment, from a merry soul called ‘casaleiro':

“Shoulda put the money in armaments and petroleum.”

19 comments to Oops!

  • Laird

    Couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch. I hope it’s just the first of many such losses!

  • Zarba

    And what is flippin’ GreenPeace doing speculating in the currency markets? Did they miss the turn in the Yen while they were on their Zodiac in the Antarctic?

  • Sigivald

    Bankruptcy couldn’t happen to better people.

    Maybe they can be replaced with a group that prefers conservation to “environmentalism” and pushes nuclear power over world poverty.

    Okay, that’s a pipe dream, but still…

  • Excellent. That will teach them a good lesson in return for their abusive terrorism of people like me just trying to make an honest living from baby seal pelts.

    They’re lovely and soft by the way and make wonderful gloves for that essential trip to Gstaad this winter.

  • Mr Ed

    Someone on the other end of that deal made a killing and no doubt, is having a whale of a time.

  • Runcie Balspune

    the organisation was highly exposed to currency fluctuations and took out exchange contracts to protect its assets.

    Such are the trials of globalization.

  • Jerry

    ‘…made a killing and no doubt, is having a whale of a time.’

    Cough cough – You DID NOT say that !!
    Did you ???

  • Zarba

    They’re lovely and soft by the way and make wonderful gloves for that essential trip to Gstaad this winter.

    I do hope you used flexible clubs so as not to leave nasty marks on the pelts, sir. Bunny so hates it when her seal pelts are bruised…

  • Sceptical Antagonist

    Well done, Mr Ed!

    This is going to sound rather anti-libertarian, but how can a “charity” get away with speculating donations on the currency markets… and how many others do the same with money that was given in good faith?

  • Mr Ed

    Right, that seals it, Greenpeace supporters have clubbed together and have been well and truly skinned alive.

  • Paul Marks

    We can not all be George Soros or J.M. Keynes – and profit from speculation.

    But then Mr Soros and Lord Keynes had an advantage (the same one Mr Buffett has) – they could influence governments to make some choices that they would profit from (or at least learn of government policies before they become generally known).

    It is rather reassuring that “Greenpeace” is not quite in the same position.

    By the way arms production and oil and gas……

    Yes both solid areas to invest in.

    Although care should be shown.

    Natural resources can be nationalised (or taxed to bits) and arms companies can be hit by such things as insane tort law.

  • Nick (Blame FrenchMEN) Gray

    I wonder how soon before we reach ‘peak’ fracking oil? How soon before we’ve fracked the whole planet?

  • Rob

    The employee who did this has been fired. Would he have been fired for a £3m profit, even though it would still be the same ideolical evil act?

  • Richard Thomas

    Not really much different than when someone takes the petty cash and bets it on a horse. Then embezzles the accounts to bet on another horse to win back their loss. Just a little larger in scope.

  • Not really much different than when someone takes the petty cash and bets it on a horse. Then embezzles the accounts to bet on another horse to win back their loss. Just a little larger in scope.

    There is a difference between hedging FX exposure to ensure you lock in your profits (or restrict your losses), especially if you have income in one currency and costs, primarily in another – for example GBP income and USD costs.

    What is not clear is if this was legitimate hedging or speculation (i.e. taking a position in the market in the expectation of making a risk free quick buck).

    Speculators seldom survive long as they keep betting the firm and they always lose sooner rather than later.

  • Richard Thomas

    I’d bet it was speculation (did you see what I did there?)

  • Plamus

    Speculators seldom survive long as they keep betting the firm and they always lose sooner rather than later.

    Mr Galt, “seldom” is maybe a bit of a stretch, and “always” is just plain wrong. If you would, please look, for example, at this gentleman. 31.5% average annual return for 20 years is not a black swan, or even a white whale, it’s a green puppy kind of event. This is the kind of man who knows how to make profits (including by betting the firm), and how to cut his losses, which is much harder. This is the kind of man you listen to, when he talks. If you had put $10K in with him in 1980, in 2000 you’d have been able to retire comfortably with $2.38M.

    I fully agree that speculation, especially with heavy leverage, is not for most, but some do very well doing it, including yours truly.

  • Schrödinger's Hippo

    Well, last time they invested in shipping they slightly got blown out of the water.

    I shall get my coat.