How quickly it all turns from gloom and doom to rainbows and bunny-rabbits. Well it’s not quite that rosy, but the last couple of days have been a little more positive in markets. That makes us happy, and if you’re a politician, you’ll likely attribute it to something you think you’ve done well.
The Aussie market gained 1.7% yesterday and looks set for more gains today. Overnight, the S&P 500 added 0.6%, and the NASDAQ gained 0.76%. Even the Aussie dollar has quelled its run of losses and stayed relatively calm this week. I believe the term is to, ‘Keep Calm and Carry On.’
And yet people, investors and politicians tend to panic.
But stop and think about it. Can you imagine making your daily decisions based on an opinion poll? Should I wear this blue tie? Nope, the Roy Morgan poll says go pink. Order a steak sandwich or parma? Newspoll says Parma.
No wonder governments take so long to get things done!
Think about the humble family dinner conversation:
Kevin: ‘Hey Mum can I go round to Bill’s place to play Xbox tonight?’
Mum: ‘Hang on son, let me check the latest Nielsen poll…yep that’s okay go for it, just watch out at Bill’s I hear he’s handy with knives when you turn your back.’
Anyway, the point is we don’t live life based on Roy Morgan, Nielsen or Newspoll. So why should you base your investment decisions on the stock market version, aka stock indices?
But among the hoo-ha that’s existed in domestic politics this week, there’s something much more interesting that you probably missed.
It was an unnerving event involving technology, innovation and market competition in the US. More specifically the state of New York.
I’m referring to two bills that almost made it through the New York State legislature. And the repercussions, had they passed through, would have spelled disaster for what is now the world’s biggest electric car manufacturer, Tesla Motors.
These bills proposed to prevent car manufacturers from directly selling vehicles to the public. It meant they would make it law for cars to be sold through car traders.
Now that might seem insignificant. However Tesla operates their business similar to Apple, or just about any other major tech company in the world.
They like to sell their products themselves, through their own stores, direct to the customer. It gives them more quality control and keeps the brand under control. It makes good business sense.
These bills meant Tesla wouldn’t be able to sell their cars to the public of New York State. At all. This would be like stopping Apple from operating Apple stores. It would have a major impact on the company.
This was particularly significant in that Tesla has a zero carbon footprint and their cars are part of the change towards a greener renewable energy future.
The bills fortunately never made it to a vote, hence they didn’t become law.
However it’s likely to rear its head again.
This is big, really big. For a nation purporting to be innovators and one that looks toward a greener future it’s interesting how those in power have tried to stifle innovation and a green company.
These bills are a direct shot at innovation, and renewable energies. They specifically target the self-interest of auto traders and politicians alike.
You’d expect conspiracy theorists to rear their heads and proclaim it’s the big oil companies trying to shut down the likes of Tesla. ‘They’re paying off the politicians…it’s corruption at its finest.’ And at this point, you’d think they might be right.
These bills came from nowhere and were almost started and finished within the day. However take note, ‘the people’ wouldn’t let this one go.
Thanks to modern day technology and social media, word got around that the ‘kill Tesla bills’ were getting ready to fire.
Within what felt like (and probably was) minutes, campaigns had gone viral about calling your local senator, and preventing the kill Tesla bills.
Twitter went nuts, and there were a lot of petitions signed. The ‘Stealth Bill’ got the notoriety it was trying to avoid and the people got their say.
What this does though is tell you two things.
One, no matter how much innovation and advancement you can do there will always be those that don’t understand and will try to get in the way.
Two, the voice of the people is strong. If something isn’t right, you have the ability to say something about it. If the tweets are many and the websites well populated, then anything is possible.
In a world of technology and unbelievable pace of advancement this kind of thing will happen more. But the speed in which people can turn things around through the likes of Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms is powerful.
There will be road blocks and detours. But hopefully more people understand the real potential technology and innovation from companies (like Tesla) provides.
Then when government tries to stop progression and innovation, the opinions and voices of the people will be powerful enough to create action.
for The Daily Reckoning Australia
From the Archives…
21-06-13 – Greg Canavan
20-06-13 – Jason Farrell
19-06-13 – Greg Canavan
18-06-13 – Greg Canavan
17-06-13 – Byron King