Tag: investments

Join Jim and Greg as they react to Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr stepping down from his committee post as the FBI investigation deepens into his coronavirus-related investment decisions. They also assess why Joe Biden keeps moving far left even though he has the Democratic nomination wrapped up. And they recoil as those quick-response COVID tests used by the White House and other places are found to deliver false negatives anywhere from 33-48 percent of the time.

It always feels good to make it to Friday, but this week it’s especially welcome.  Join Jim and Greg as they discuss reports that we may be days away from a national lockdown that closes airlines, the markets, and forbids millions from commuting to work. They also groan as a number of U.S. senators face lots of questions after selling off stocks before the market plummeted over coronavirus fears. And as three New Hampshire residents sue Gov. Chris Sununu over his allegedly unconstitutional order banning gatherings of more than 50 people,they discuss the tensions between freedom and safety.

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We are in new territory. Three days ago, we had 300+ infected with Coronavirus. Today, we are well over 500 infected that we know about. Clorox wipes, hand sanitizer, and face masks of any kind are long gone from local stores. A recent trip to Dollar General had dwindling supplies of toilet paper and bleach. […]

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James R. Copland joins Rafael Mangual to discuss how activist investors are turning corporate America’s annual shareholder-meeting process into a political circus.

Most of corporate America is wrapping up the 2019 “proxy season” this month—the period when most publicly traded companies hold their annual meetings. It’s at these gatherings that shareholders can (either directly or by proxy) propose and vote on changes to the company. Since 2011, the Manhattan Institute has tracked these proposals on its Proxy Monitor website. This year’s proxy season has followed a long-term trend: a small group of investors dominates the proceedings, introducing dozens of progressive-inspired proposals on issues ranging from climate change to diversity.

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How safe are your investments? Experts say the market is due for huge correction at any moment. The warning signs are everywhere: an unprecedented 18 trillion dollars in debt, loose-as-a-goose fiscal policy. And thanks to solar subsidies, politicians are now charging us for the sun. Preview Open

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What’s Driving China’s US Treasury Sell-Off?


financial-crisisIt’s natural that some Americans see in the market’s recent convulsions evidence of a deliberate Chinese plan to crash the US economy. Economic warfare was, after all, a favored and often successful tactic of the Soviet Union. But the Soviets always calculated their risks and took logical measures: They moved when they had more to gain than lose. I’m thus more inclined to see in China’s precipitous stock-market decline the folly of attempting to circumvent the laws of economics.

In the past decade, alarmists have warned that China was poised to overtake the US. These warnings are reminiscent of those about Japan in the 1980s and 1990s. Some now believe China owns the US by virtue of its $4 trillion-plus foreign debt holdings. They survey China’s apparently rapid economic growth and conclude that China’s a major, unstoppable economic force.

China had logical economic reasons for accumulating US Treasuries. Despite the destructive economic policies of successive US governments, particularly this one, US Treasuries are still considered the world’s best credit risk. Although the dollar is a sorrowful currency investment, American debt instruments carry little-to-no risk of default. For nations such as China, which during the 1990s was barely credit-worthy and seeking to undertake major development projects with few cash reserves, leverage is the only viable alternative. But obtaining foreign capital investment requires collateral. China had none, save weapons; like the former Soviet Union, it relied upon arms sales to prop up its annual income. Creditors need to know that their investments are reasonably guaranteed in the event of insolvency. A loan backed by US Treasuries is a relatively secure investment.

The Mystery of the Missing Conservative Investor


shutterstock_252584134In an earlier, post I argued that fighting a defensive, reactive culture war the way conservatives have been doing for the past half-century is futile. I also suggested that, because technology is the most important driver of cultural change, our best shot at bending the arc of the culture back toward the light of sanity may be an indirect approach – i.e., focusing on finding “conservative or libertarian” technologies. All technologies empower; the question conservatives and libertarians should be asking is: what technologies empower the individual relative to the State?

There is a lot of spilled ink out there arguing that the still-unfolding information technology revolution should in theory make us more libertarian. Karl Rove has argued, unconvincingly, that computers are making the country more fiscally conservative by liberating everyone’s inner entrepreneur. And there is much concern on the left that Silicon Valley, which floats on a bottomless ocean of cash, is becoming a libertarian stronghold, led by people like Peter Thiel, Marc Andreessen and Michael Arrington. Here, for example, is one breathless Salon article on the subject.

Much of this is obviously wishful thinking or unfounded panic, depending on your point of view. Silicon Valley is largely left-leaning. Steve Jobs was a major Obama supporter, as is Google’s Eric Schmidt. Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer is an Obama bundler. Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg is a prominent Democratic Party cheerleader. When an industry titan like Andreessen supports a Republican, it’s big news.