Markets have a reputation for encouraging inequality. But the price discovery mechanism is a great leveller, in its way.

Take Saudi Aramco, the world's largest oil company.

The Saudi government wants to list the group at a valuation of US$2 trillion ($3.1t). Many pundits — including Lex — have said that is too high. A scheme to prove them wrong looks doomed to failure.


Obstreperous foreign investors are unlikely to buy into a float at US$2t. Saudi Aramco hopes wealthy local families will be more accommodating. If these cornerstone investors buy and hold a small proportion of shares