August 07, 2006

Drive out the risk out from where there should be none!

Sir, Andrew Hill in “A thirst for the most vital liquid asset”, August 7, serves a very good cause analyzing the finance of long term infrastructure projects through long term sources such as pension funds compared to the short term funds, and views, provided by actors such as private equity firms. But somehow, by concentrating too much on the time horizon, Hill misses the issue of risk. Given that providing long-term public services such as water should be the absolutely safest investments it is clear that society should do its utmost to benefit from attracting to it the cheapest and most risk-adverse money, widows and orphans. Problem is that currently, through leveraging-it-up-to-the-hilt and other mechanisms, they seem mostly to be attracting that risk-hungry money that can only signify more expensive water, electricity and others.