Traps and loopholes

 

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I am focusing on one particular aspect of my EneFinconcept, namely on what exactly will the consumers of electricity acquire under the label of ‘participatory deeds in the supplier of energy’. For those, who have not followed my blog so far, or just haven’t followed along this particular path of my research, I am summing the thing up. In practically all the European countries I have studied, the retail sales of energy, i.e. to its final users, take place at two, very different prices. There is the retail price for households PH, much higher than the retail price for PIpracticed with big institutional consumers. The basic EneFinconcept aims at making energy accessible to households at a price just as low as or close to the PIlevel, and, in the same time, at promoting small, local suppliers of renewable energy. The basic concept is that of complex contracts, which combine a futures contract on the supplies of electricity with the acquisition of participatory deeds in the supplier of that electricity. For a given, small user who consumes QHkilowatt hours, we have QH(t+z)*PH= QH(t+z)*PI+ K(t)and K(t) = QH(t+z)*(PH– PI), where ‘t’ is the present moment in time, ‘t+z’ is a moment in the future, distant from the present by ‘z’ periods, and K(t)is investment capital supplied today, to the provider of electricity, by the means of this complex contract.

EneFin Concept

Now, the issue of those participatory deeds purchased together with the futures contracts on electricity. I am advancing step by step, just to keep an eye on details. So, I need something freely tradable, endowed with high liquidity. EneFinis supposed to be a FinTech business, and FinTech means finance, and finance means giving liquidity, i.e. movement, to the otherwise lazy and stationary capital goods. The imperative of liquid, unimpeded tradability almost automatically kicks out of the concept the non-securitized participatory deeds: cooperative shares in equity, and corporate shares in partnerships. These are tradable, indeed, but at a very slow pace. If you have cooperative shares or those in a partnership, selling them requires a whole procedure of formally expressed consent from the part of other members (in a cooperative) or partners (in a partnership). Can take months, believe me. Problems with selling those types of participatory deeds find their mirroring image in problems with buying them.

Securitized shares in a joint stock company give some hope regarding my concept: they are freely tradable and can be highly liquid if we only want them to. As the aim of the EneFinproject is to promote new suppliers of renewable energies, or the creation of new capacity in the existing suppliers, the first issuance of those complex contracts (futures on energy + capital participation) would be like an Initial Offering of corporate stock. I see an opening here, yet with some limitations. As soon as I offer my stock to a sufficiently large number of prospective buyers, my initial offering becomes an Initial Public Offering, and my stock falls under the regulations pertaining to the public exchange of corporate stock. The ‘sufficiently large number’ depends on the exact legal regime we are talking about, but is does not need to be that large. The relevant regulations of my home country, Poland, assume a public offering as soon as more than 300 buyers are being addressed. The targeted size of the customer population in the EneFinproject depends on the country of operations, but even for a really small, 1 MW local power installation, it takes certainly more than 300 (see This is how I got the first numerical column).

The thing is that in the legally understood public exchange of corporate stock I can trade only that stock. A complex contract in my line of thinking – futures on energy plus participatory deeds – would require, in such a case, to carry out two separate transactions in two separate markets: one transaction in the market of futures contracts, and another one in the public stock exchange. Maybe it is feasible, but looks sort of clumsy. Mind you, what looks clumsy when handled simultaneously can gain in gracefulness when turned into a sequence. First, I buy futures on energy, and then I present them to my provider, and they give me their corporate stock. Or another way round: first, I buy the stock of that provider, in an IPO, and then, with that stock in hand, I claim my futures on energy. That looks better. I’ll keep that avenue in mind.

Another caveat that comes together with the public exchange of corporate stock is that only licensed brokerage houses can do it. In the EneFinproject, that would mean the necessity of signing a contract with such a licensed entity. Right, if I have professional stock brokers in the game, I can entertain another option, that of offering that stock in secondary exchange, not in an IPO. A provider of energy does an ordinary IPO in the stock market, their stock comes into the system. Then, they offer the following deal: they buy their stock back and they redeem it, and they pay for it with those futures on energy. With good pricing, could be worth some further thinking.

Everything I have passed in review so far pertains to the equity of the energy provider. I might venture myself into the realm of debt, now. Customers can participate in the balance sheet of their provider via what the French call ‘the bottom part’, namely via liabilities. Along with the futures on energy, customers can acquire bonds or bills of exchange of some kind. Fixed interest rate, no headache about future profits in that energy provider, only some headache left about future liquidity. Debt has the reputation of being more disciplining for the corporate executives than equity.

F**k (spell ‘f-asterisk-asterisk-k’), my mind starts racing. I imagine a transactional platform, where customers buy futures contracts on energy, accompanied by a capital deed of their choice. I buy some kilowatt hours for my future Christmas cooking (serious business over here, in Poland, trust me), and the platform offers me choice. ‘Maybe sir would dare to have a look at those wonderful corporate shares, quite fresh, issued only two months ago, or maybe sir wants to consider choosing that basket with half corporate bonds, half government bonds inside, very solid, sir. Holds money well, sir. If sir is in a genuinely adventurous mood, sir could contemplate to mix Bitcoins with some corporate stock, peppered with a pinch of corporate options, and some futures on gold’.

Right, now I understand the deep logic of the business concept introduced by that Canadian company: Katipult. They have created a financial structure made of an investment fund, whose participatory shares are being converted into a cryptocurrency traded at their internal transactional platform. I understand, too, why they pride themselves with the number of distinct legal regimes they have adapted their scheme to. I see that I should follow the legal regime of my market very closely, in order to find traps and loopholes.

My mind keeps racing. There are three, internally structured and mutually connected sets of financial deeds: a) A set of futures contracts on energy, priced at the retail, non-household rate b) A set of capital deeds issued by the providers of energy, and c) A set of tokens, in some cryptocurrency, which can be purchased for the price of energy at the retail, household rate, and give a claim on both the energy futures and the capital deeds.

A new customer enters that transactional platform and buys a certain number of tokens. Each token can be converted, at a given exchange rate, against the futures on energy and/or the capital deeds. The customer can present the basket of tokens they are holding to any provider of energy registered with that platform, and make a choice of futures on energy and capital deeds.

I think I am progressively coming up with the core process for the EneFin project. Here, below, I am giving its first graphical representation.

EneFin Core Process First Approach

I am consistently delivering good, almost new science to my readers, and love doing it, and I am working on crowdfunding this activity of mine. As we talk business plans, I remind you that you can download, from the library of my blog, the business plan I prepared for my semi-scientific project Befund  (and you can access the French versionas well). You can also get a free e-copy of my book ‘Capitalism and Political Power’ You can support my research by donating directly, any amount you consider appropriate, to my PayPal account. You can also consider going to my Patreon pageand become my patron. If you decide so, I will be grateful for suggesting me two things that Patreon suggests me to suggest you. Firstly, what kind of reward would you expect in exchange of supporting me? Secondly, what kind of phases would you like to see in the development of my research, and of the corresponding educational tools?

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