The visible hand in economics

James Bond: anti-trust crusader!?

Posted on: December 1, 2008

I saw the new Bond flick, ‘Quantum of Solace’, over the weekend and I was amazed at how progressive it is. No longer does our alpha-male hero wreak destruction upon villains with moon bases, bent on world domination. His latest homicidal rampage is to prevent a new terror: oligopoly pricing. The latest evil mastermind uncovered by Bond has the most devious and cunning of plans which includes overthrowing a government and paying out vast amounts of cash in pursuit of his ultimate prize. Yet his crowning moment of villainous glory is when he announces that he now owns the majority share of a small country’s water rights and intends to extract supernormal profits from the ensuing sale of the water to the country’s utilities.

On the one hand I’m sure that crusaders against the use of market power to extract rents will be excited that the world’s most famous spy has joined their ranks. On the other hand, I’m not sure you need a particularly devious plan to get a tin-pot dictator to sell you some water rights. I’m also not sure that MI6 is in the business of enforcing Western anti-trust laws in South America. If they are though, agnitio should be looking over his shoulder cos they’ll be here soon!

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2 Responses to "James Bond: anti-trust crusader!?"

The new documentary Blue Gold : World Water Wars depicts the real-life Bond water villains securing fresh water for personal gain at any costs. Lives have been lost and the water wars have begun. Malcolm McDowell narrates, Mark Achbar (The Corporation) and Si Litvinoff (The Man Who Fell to Earth) Exec Produce. Based on the groundbreaking book, check it out at

Thanks for the pointer, Sam.

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