Chasing Yield

Chasing yield is the tactic of going for the highest-yielding investment available at the expense of other considerations. One of those considerations that gets disregarded in the chase is whether the yield being…offered…is radically higher than that of other investment vehicles on the market. If it’s much higher, that yield likely is too good to be true.

Another consideration that gets lost in the chase is the underlying soundness of the issuer. Checking the level of soundness is hard work, often tedious and boring. It’s necessary, though, and it’s equally necessary to avoid the flip side of that: the laziness of just jumping onto a handy get-rich-quick scheme, which is what so much of yield-chasing is.

Heads Up

Be very heads up, this fall.

The coronavirus pandemic shook the US economy. It hasn’t shaken Democrats’ fervor for trillions of dollars in tax increases, and significant income redistribution is still likely as soon as 2021 if Joe Biden wins the White House and Democrats control Congress.

Senator Ron Wyden (D, OR):

It’s all the more important to protect the retirement and security of working [people] and make sure the wealthy pay their fair share. We’ll be ready to go in January of 2021.

The European Union and its Wuhan Virus Situation

In an article about the European Union governance authorities’ effort to use its Wuhan Virus situation to fundamentally transform the bloc, Laurence Norman wrote that the European Commission

set out a $2 trillion coronavirus response plan, including a massive pooling of national financial resources that, if approved, would deepen the bloc’s economic union in a way that even the eurozone debt crisis failed to achieve.
Wednesday’s proposal, composed of a €750 billion ($824 billion) recovery plan and €1.1 trillion budget over the next seven years, aims to lift the region from its economic slump, but must overcome infighting dividing the bloc.
If backed by all 27 member states, the plan would represent a historic step in knitting together national finances across the bloc. The proposal from the European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, follows a similar Franco-German plan set out last week and would establish significant new transfers of wealth among members, funded by commonly issued debt.

Another Study in Contrasts

I last week about the difference in performance between Republican-run Florida and Progressive-Democrat-run New York.

Here are some more contrasts.

Notice that California, Illinois, New Jersey, and New York all are Progressive-Democrat governed. And there’s that Republican-governed Florida.

This is the degree of economic dysfunction we can expect from a Progressive-Democrat-run nation.

Notice another thing. Employment by government, of either party, has been remarkably stable. This is the sinecure of jobs in government, the remarkably deep entrenchment of the bureaucrats in the Bureaucrat State.

A “Careful” Economy

In a Wall Street Journal op-ed about the dangers we’re facing because we’re reopening our economy much too soon to suit him, John Cochrane had this remark:

…the most important thing government can give us is accurate and timely information on how widespread the virus is in each community—how dangerous it really is to go out—something we don’t have now.

The truly Critical Item on how dangerous it might be to go out is the mortality rate, and that’s down around 1% for Americans younger than 60-ish, which includes children and working age Americans, and it’s not much higher for those older.

Do This In Parallel

There’s a movement afoot in Congress to subsidize employees, lost employees, and prospective employees through employers and prospective employers.

The House plan would give employers enough money to cover up to 80% of their wages and benefits, up to $45,000 per worker, plus a credit for fixed expenses like rent. Eligible companies would simply keep taxes withheld from employees’ paychecks. If that isn’t enough to equal the credit, they could get additional money from the Internal Revenue Service.
Smaller businesses would get the subsidy for all workers, while larger ones would get it only for furloughed workers still receiving wages or benefits. The break would be scaled to each employer’s revenue loss during the coronavirus pandemic.

Long Overdue

The People’s Republic of China has been able to raise billions of dollars for its various business outlets by listing them on American stock exchanges—all while being exempt from the same public visibility and auditing requirements that other nations’ companies and our domestic ones must satisfy on our exchanges.

Maybe that’s changing.

Legislation passed by the Senate—and now introduced in the House—would kick Chinese companies off US stock exchanges unless their audits are inspected by US regulators.

And

The Senate legislation requires the Chinese companies with shares traded here to disclose to the Securities and Exchange Commission whether they are owned or controlled by state authorities.

Land of Taxes

New York City is suffering from loss of reduction in tax revenue as a result of the city’s and the State’s economic shutdown by government fiat during the Wuhan Virus situation.

One 49-year-old tech entrepreneur told The Wall Street Journal he and his family have moved permanently to their second home in the Hudson Valley from Manhattan. …
For tax purposes, he says, he and his peers are aware that if their children still attend school in the city, it is hard to argue the family has left. The man is considering pulling his children from the city’s elite private schools and is looking at public and private schools in the suburbs. He estimates that if he can persuade the city he is no longer a resident he will save more than $100,000 a year in city taxes alone.

“The US Doesn’t Need a New Cold War”

So says Robert Zoellick in his Monday Wall Street Journal op-ed.

We truly do not need another Cold War. But this one is being forced on us, anyway, by the People’s Republic of China and the economic war it’s prosecuting against us. The environment for this one also was facilitated by the multi-polar world so enthusiastically built by ex-President Barack Obama (D).

Baker also is operating from a defeatist proposition.

The New Cold Warriors can’t contain China given its ties throughout the world; other countries won’t join us. Nor can the US break the regime, though the Communist Party’s flaws could open cracks within its own society. The US can impose costs on China, but to what end, and at what price to Americans?

A Retaliation and Response

The Trump administration is musing about ways to stop Iran from trading its sanctioned oil to sanctioned Venezuela.

Some US officials have advocated restraint, arguing that the US should only intervene if the Iranian shipments become a permanent fixture, according to people familiar with the matter.

Never mind that restraint will guarantee that Iranian shipments become a permanent fixture, since if these officials become ascendant, they will infect all of the administration with their timidity.