The Triviality of Capital Ownership

Enzo Michelangeli em at
Thu Dec 17 19:48:14 PST 1998

-----Original Message----- From: boddhisatva <kbevans at> To: lbo-talk at <lbo-talk at> Date: Friday, December 18, 1998 8:11 AM Subject: RE: The Triviality of Capital Ownership

> C. Bill,
> Sorry for being so strident, I was in a mood. First, owning
>shares is indeed immoral in my opinion. Buy bonds. If you want something
>a little sexier, play the options market. At least there you know that if
>you win the swine who wrote you the option lost. There's no rising tide
>that lifts all capitalist boats in the options market. I haven't really
>analyzed the morality of the futures market, but I'll give it a
>provisional okay ;-)

Uhm, the foundations of these equity-to-(debt plus morality) swaps elude me.

> Seriously, I think owning shares is a poisonous idea. It's one
>thing when people own shares in the business they work at (as you do,
>although one would like to see everyone in the company own equally) but
>the idea that people can be innocent capitalists because the stock market
>seems so divorced from reality is wrong. It's like being a landlord. I've
>never met a landlord who could retain his humanity after a couple years in
>the business. It inevitably corrupts people to profit that way.

But your work may reward you partly with immediate cash flow, and partly with value of defferred fruition like growth in capital assets or even goodwill - in other words, equity. Why should you be prevented from trading that value?

Besides, don't you think that your observation about landlords may just mean that your views about morality matters are badly misaligned with the real world (which remains there, regardless of any divorce from reality)?


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