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article imageOp-Ed: Financial products need 'health warnings’ - Aussie official

By Paul Wallis     Aug 30, 2011 in Business
Sydney - At last, someone’s paying attention! An Australian official has flagged the idea of financial products having health warnings. OK, it’s taken about 5000 years since the invention of money to do this, but it’s still a very good idea.
The Australian Securities and Investment Commission is the equivalent of the US’s SEC. This is the official commentary according to ABC Australia:
ASIC chairman Greg Medcraft says consumers need to be aware of the consequences of risky financial products.
"I think it's important that advertising be balanced, particularly in financial products," he said.
"It's almost important to have a health warning, but there's consequences as well with some particular financial products."
“Almost”? Ah well, they’re a government department, and I used to work for their predecessors. They’ve suffered enough to be allowed a few grammatical ambiguities.
The warnings could be very useful-
“Investing in this product could seriously damage your sanity”
“Derivatives cause financial herpes”
“May contain traces of Madison Avenue”
“Investment- A leading cause of financial death”
“Investing causes rabies”
“Money is addictive”
Admittedly, “money is addictive” could lead to something almost as successful as the War on Drugs. A War on Money would be interesting, even if it’s a war that everybody is absolutely certain to lose.
Actually, there’s quite a range of possible medical practices that would do wonders for the financial sector, including:
1. Vaccination against financial advisors getting paid by super funds for doing nothing.
2. Immunization programs against Wall Street infections.
3. Sterilization for financial sector pathogens like derivatives and other third party financial products conjured out of thin air.
4. Anti-psychotic treatment programs for futures markets
5. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder therapy for the fossil fuel markets and their various financial involvements
6. Rehab and clinics for the credit industry
7. Euthanasia for market pundits who talk up every boom and make every crash worse
8. The development of effective restraints for hedge funds
9. Gold patches for people trying to give up wealth
10. Counselling for people who seem to believe anything they hear about the financial markets
11. Formal classification of Federal Reserve “0% interest rates for idiots” as a bona fide legal equivalent of “nap time” for infants
12. A hygienic ditch for American investors to be seen dead in
13. Idiot-ectomies for US brokers
14. Remedial literacy programs for major shareholders and other alphanumerically challenged zillionaires
15. Dedicated ER services for 401ks
16. Allergy treatments for people continually subjected to things in suits on TV explaining why every market move is considered rational.
There- You’re feeling better already, aren’t you?
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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