The Only Real Way to “Fix” Capitalism
The Only Real Way to “Fix” Capitalism by Bill Bonner for Bonner and Partners
YOUGHAL, IRELAND – World stock markets are already down more than $2 trillion – supposedly on “trade war worries.”
And now, Friday has come. Tariffs have gone up. $200 billion worth of Chinese imports now face levies of 25%, up from 10%.
And the trade negotiations with China continue. Foreign markets are selling off a bit more, but not catastrophically.
These negotiations are a big waste of time, from an economic point of view. But they seem to have helped Donald Trump’s approval ratings. There’s nothing like a war – even a loopy trade war – to rally the masses.
What won’t help his ratings is a big, premature market selloff. Trump wants to blame the coming recession/bear market on the Fed. He can’t afford to trigger it now…
Our guess is that investors still expect a deal with China. And a further guess is that The Donald will make sure they get one.
But we’ll wait and see…
Politically Correct Capitalism
Meanwhile, back to Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger.
Wisdom comes at a price, we noted earlier this week. We get older. But some people pay dearly… and get little for their money.
Mr. Buffett was right about time and love. Those are the things that really matter. But Buffett and his longtime partner Munger are both wrong about what they claim to understand best: capitalism.
Capitalism is taking a lot of flak recently. Naturally, AOC, Elizabeth Warren, and Bernie Sanders are against it. They bid for votes by promising free stuff. And capitalism doesn’t give anything away.
But even rich people seem to have turned against it. They don’t condemn capitalism. They just want to fix it… improve it… make it kinder, gentler, and more politically correct.
We were unaware of how pervasive this claptrap was until we appeared on stage a few years ago at a conference. The organizers wanted a debate between the fixers – people who espoused “conscious capitalism” – and capitalists of the unconscious, naked, greedy sort.
They figured your editor would make a good proponent for capitalism of the beastly variety, so they put him up against archangel John Mackey, founder and CEO of Whole Foods, who is practically a capitalist saint.
We quickly realized that this was a losing battle. Who could be against a cleaner environment, living wages, and responsible corporate governance? And why shouldn’t corporations be “conscious” of these worthy goals and do what they can to achieve them?
What kind of monster would take the other side of that argument?
Well… your editor.