The Not So Invisible Hand

That’s the Birkenhead Bus Company located down the road from us a mile or so. At some point it was sold to Ritchies whose logo is on the van at the left. You still see a few Birkenhead Bus logos around, but mostly it’s Ritchies now.

Ritchies is the biggest contractor supplying the Auckland Transport buses. They also do a lot of charters etc.

And now they’re owned by KKR. You know: giant grinding global wealth-sucking private equity juggernaut KKR. Unfettered lightly regulated quarterly returns to billionaire investors KKR. The Monopoly man with his top hat KKR.

If things play out like they usually do, the new owners will be squeezing and hammering dollars out of that funny tan and green building with its sweet 1940s lettering until there’s nothing left but a pile of rubble, and then the government will come in and pay for the cleanup.

Or maybe modern management methods will enable better service at lower prices so the poor and elderly who rely on buses can lead happier lives and the taxpayers who fund the service will keep more of their hard earned money.

If I were a betting man I know which one I’d pick…

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