"The Economist" , Sep, 25th, special report on The World's Lungs ... forests purveyors of water, consumers of carbon, treasure-house of species, the world's forest are ecological miracle, they must not be allowed to vanish….
Especially, Money Can Grow on Trees made me brooding. Forests are disappearing because they are undervalued .... Try to estimate a market value of the forest not based on the fruits they directly provide, but on its derivatives ? Estimating the, say, rainforest's contribution to the output of the world's economy from agriculture, fishery, ... to hydro-power energy production? Thinking in terms of biodiversity against monocultures? That finally may allow us to build an insurance policy against drying out?
To price ecosystem services on such a big scale might become a Hercules exercise; the volume might become scaring large related to the fruits hanging on the trees and the wood price, the risk associated with the collapse of an ecological system might be not well enough understood, it's complex, it's unregulated, ....
But it might be the only way to regulate the access and avoid exploitation by short-sighted bean counters and drive a policy that finally creates wealth?
Then I thought of this post at Iris Mack's blog at Wilmott USD 1.2 Quadrillion Derivative Market .
A scaring volume, it's 20 times the size of the world's economy, it's complex, it's unregulated, ... it bears the danger of correlated deals that turn swarms into avalanches, as Paul Wilmott shows in his insightful following the pack example . Yes we also struggle with the short-sightet bean counters ....
I think, there are measures that makes the derivatives market more self-regulatory (intelligent taxation might be one?).
But we also might need an inverted view: what dose it mean to the real economy if the derivatives market "moves"?
As it is interesting to think of the impact of the move of the market-value-of-rainforest to rainforest?