American Consequences - April 2021


once...) would come in handy a few decades when writing about bonds! Re: Bill Hwang: Four Lessons From a Wall Street Failure This is the very best lesson anyone could receive on “options” as derivatives, and how options are a trap at many levels in a vertically integrated market. Thank you very much for a priceless share today. – Loy Kim Iskyan Response: Loy, thank you for your message. A lot of options aren’t all that complicated... But when used improperly or recklessly, they can create extraordinarily complicated problems for lots of others. This Archegos meltdown will likely trigger regulation of these sorts of instruments... It’s kind of crazy to me that they weren’t already under scrutiny – by the SEC, or by banks themselves (as a matter of pure self-protection). Re: The Rising Minimum Wage Debate Trish, as always, a job well done... great perspective on the situation of raising the minimum wage to $15/hr. People misunderstand the original purpose of the original law. It was never intended to be a living wage. It was just a wage to prevent workers from getting totally hosed. We use the minimum wage as an entry-level wage to get young people used to learning skills and requirements to have a job. Also, it helps give senior citizens an opportunity to supplement their income, get a chance to go out and stay active, and meet up with friends.

which case, Ron, you may have been in more danger than you thought in that little town! Good article about centralized planning. However, I would point out that China’s success in managing its economy is an existence of proof that centralized planning can work when there’s only one political party that is not distracted by a host of secondary objectives like diversity, gender, LGBT, keeping teachers happy, and on and on. As my old grandfather used to say “our government couldn’t manage a one-car funeral”. – Dave S. P.J. O’Rourke Response: Yes, Dave, but there’s no such thing as an undistracted single party in a single-party state. That one party is always distracted – distracted by trying to control what everybody is doing and thinking. And that one Chinese Communist Party is able to manage some really big funerals. (As many as 50 million people are estimated to have starved to death between 1958 and 1962 during Chairman Mao’s “Great Leap Forward.”) Re: ‘Boring’ Bonds Are Sounding the Alarm The opening sentence of this article was the most highly entertaining opening I have read in years. Funeral dirge crossed with early morning stats class with a hangover? Beautifully mordant. – Vince R. Kim Iskyan Response: Thank you for your kind words, Vince. Little did I know back then that my 8 a.m. stats class in undergrad (which I likely attended with a hangover more than


April 2021

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