New Milestone – 30% CAGR

Peter Lynch is one the most famous investors in history. He outperformed Warren Buffett by averaging a 29.2% annual return from 1977 to 1990. In addition to other investment books and videos, I read Lynch’s books and I watched his videos. I was amazed by his number. At the time, it seemed impossible to reach Warren Buffett’s number, which is approximately 20%, let alone Lynch’s 29.2%.

In a way, I cannot believe that I reached that number.

The portfolio has been on gang busters in the past couple of years. Today, it hit a new milestone. It hit 30.3% CAGR (compound annual growth rate) or average annual ROI (return on investment). This is for the period from July 2008 until today, October 7th, 2020. Again, this does not mean that the portfolio grew by 30.3% every year. Some years were flat or negative. Some years were more than 30.3%.

As I have mentioned before, stocks do not go in a straight line. Next year, my CAGR may drop…or it might go up. Who knows. But the secret is to focus on the companies’ business metrics, not the stock prices and if the business metrics are doing well, the stocks will also do well.

How To End the Shutdown Before the Vaccine

Everyone is waiting for the vaccine. But this may not come out for 12-24 months.

However, we can still end the shutdown and re-start the economy, to a large extent, before the vaccine. Yes, before the vaccine.

We simply emulate countries such as South Korea, Taiwan and Singapore. Our governments’ refusal to do so is mind-boggling. These Asian economies are not back to 100%, but they are not shutdown nor trapped in their homes. They are going to work, school and restaurants. Albeit, there is a limit to the number of customers allowed in the restaurants, but Taiwan’s streets are bustling as can be seen at 5:33 in this video:

Our schools can be busy like this:

As of today:
DEATHS:
Taiwan: 6
Canada: 1,520
U.S.: 39,095

DEATHS per million people:
Taiwan: 0.3
Canada: 39
U.S.: 118

One of our biggest mistakes was our refusal to wear masks. The WHO, CDC, American and Canadian governments told people to NOT wear masks if they do not have symptoms. This was a catastrophic mistake, because there is asymptomatic transmission and this has been known since January 30th. According to Columbia University, asymptomatic transmission could have been the source of 79 percent of the infections in China. The MOST IMPORTANT reason to wear masks is NOT to protect the wearer. It is to protect others. It is to stop people, who think they are healthy, from spreading the virus.

One by one, institutions, governments and companies are slowly waking up and coming to their senses:

This is the first step in emulating the Asian countries. Eventually, all governments will wake up, come to their senses and mandate that everyone wears a mask in public when within a few meters from others, and enforce it with fines.

Concurrent to this, testing will ramp up, as new technologies are coming out quickly, such as testing kits from Abbott Labs. Then contact tracing will need to be ramped up. How fast contact tracing can be ramped up is questionable because of the privacy laws and concerns.

Governments will eventually wake up and come to the their senses by levying fines or punishment to people who break quarantine.

If people still get infected, treatments will be coming out soon, such as Remdesivir, Ivermectin and maybe even HydroxyChloroquine with Azithromycin. Each of these have shown positive anecdotal results and are going through clinical trials. Each one will do different things and have different side effects. Therefore, they will likely be prescribed to different patients with different underlying conditions. When this happens, they will reduce the death rate.

In addition to the above, companies are working on over 30 different potential treatments and therapeutics. Eventually, the death rate will drop to be closer to the death rate of the flu. However, the infection rate of this virus is still very high, which can still cause more deaths than the flu because it infects more people and there is no vaccine. To reduce the infection rate, we need to wear masks, test, trace contacts and punish quarantine breakers.

Keep in mind that the small Asian countries are able to go to work, school and restaurants without treatments.

The Asian countries restrict travel from hot spots and screen essential travellers, such as business travellers. They put some travellers into quarantine and levy fines for breaking quarantine. We need to do the same. We are still taking in travellers with insufficient screening.

In schools, we should do what Taiwan has done, which is to put up plastic dividers on students’ desks.

Once the above measures are implemented, we can go back to work, school, restaurants, bars and re-start our economy, even without a vaccine.

It’s not that difficult. It’s far easier than putting a man on the moon. Masks and plastic dividers are low tech. Czech Republic got people to make masks at home. Even the most under-developed country in the world can make these. It takes a few days to pass a by-law to impose fines on quarantine breakers. The most difficult part is understanding why the WHO, CDC and our governments are not emulating countries that have controlled the spread and have not shut down their economies.

As Dr. Chris Martenson (PhD in Pathology) said many times: “it didn’t have to be this way”. Now, I say “it doesn’t have to stay this way”. It is truly astounding how we have made, not one, but two huge mistakes.

If you are sick and tired of being stuck at home, tell your politician to emulate these small Asian countries.

Jumped Back In

The stock market does not wait for the economy to bottom before it rebounds. Usually, the market rebounds a few months before the economy does.

As with many other investors, I have been waiting for a treatment, cure or vaccine before I would jump back in.

First, there was anecdotal evidence of positive results from HydroxyChloroquine with Azithromycin. However, there were also reports that it has negative side effects or that it may not work as well as first thought.

Then these came out:

68% of patients showed clinical improvement using Gilead’s Remdesivir in ‘compassionate use’

Gilead drug produced ‘rapid’ recovery in coronavirus patients, report says

Remdesivir: ‘Very potent inhibitor’ of SARS-CoV-2?

In addition to the above, there are over 30 treatments and therapeutics being worked on.

I do not have 100% certainty that there will be a home-run treatment. However, there are likely going to be a number of treatments that will treat different patients with different situations or pre-conditions.

Therefore, I think that the death rate will decline. The pandemic will likely slowly improve from this point on. It will not go back to normal anytime soon. It likely will take one to two years. But if you wait for everything to go normal, then you might miss out on opportunities to buy stocks cheaply.

Also, there are many companies working on a vaccine for SARS-CoV-2. Therefore, the probability of a vaccine coming out is greater than one coming out for MERS or SARS. There is even this:

Coronavirus vaccine could be ready by September with an 80% likelihood it will work, says Oxford University expert leading research team

The majority of these companies working on treatments and vaccines will fail. But because there are so many, there is a better probability of a company coming out with something for SARS-CoV-2 than for other viruses.

Therefore, I jumped back into stocks today.

Of course, I could be wrong with any or all of the above. There could be collateral damage that surfaces later on, that I cannot foresee, such as a credit crisis because so many consumers might stop paying their mortgages or credit cards. Corporations are heavily indebted as well and might start a domino of defaults. The chances of this happening is low, due to the trillions of dollars that the Federal Reserve and the U.S. federal government are pumping into companies and individuals. But there is still a chance of this or other collateral damages.

But there is never certainty when investing in anything.

Bought Back ROKU

Roku streams TV channels, movies and digital content such as Netflix, YouTube and Prime. It enables consumers to cut the cord. People get Roku mainly when they buy new TVs, which has Roku pre-installed, or less frequently when they buy Roku devices.

I had suspicion that as more people lose their jobs, they would buy fewer TVs. I questioned the amount of money that advertisers would spend to advertise to people with no income and stuck at home. Consumers are not driving, taking vacations and going to restaurants.

However, Roku released information about their users’ viewing pattern:

Roku says coronavirus is boosting streaming, stock shoots higher

The above announcement pertained to first quarter of the year, ending in March. Most of the “stay at home” orders will likely stay in effect until end of April or sometime in May. This will likely continue increasing usage of Roku.

I still think there is a possibility of a recession that lasts longer than what the stock market seems to indicate with this recent rally. If it does, it will have a material impact on Roku’s revenue. In which case, I might sell Roku again.

People should know that short term trades such as this are extremely difficult to make, and not recommended. There is a probability that this trade will become a losing trade. For most people, it’s better to buy and hold good businesses that will normalize in a few years and go on to new highs. Buy and hold is much easier than dealing with short term volatility. On the other hand, nobody knows if we will have a bear market and how long that lasts.

Dishonest CDC Tap Dances About Masks

CDC used to tell us to NOT wear masks.  They made a 180 degree turn and now they are recommending “cloth face covers“. They attribute this to “recent studies” and “new evidence”:

“We now know from recent studies that a significant portion of individuals with coronavirus lack symptoms (“asymptomatic”) and that even those who eventually develop symptoms (“pre-symptomatic”) can transmit the virus to others before showing symptoms.  This means that the virus can spread between people interacting in close proximity—for example, speaking, coughing, or sneezing—even if those people are not exhibiting symptoms.  In light of this new evidence, CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings”

But, there was evidence since January 30th:

Transmission of 2019-nCoV Infection from an Asymptomatic Contact in Germany (January 30 date is at bottom.  This copy verifies this.)

As shown in my previous post (DO NOT LISTEN TO WHO OR GOVERNMENTS ABOUT MASKS), there have been numerous cases and studies of asymptomatic transmission since then.

Here is another:

A choir decided to go ahead with rehearsal. Now dozens of members have COVID-19 and two are dead

Here is one worth repeating. Asymptomatic transmission can be the source of 79% of infections.

Most of our cases are likely infected by people who thought they were healthy. If you want to avoid getting infected, you need to assume that anyone can be infected and contagious. If you want avoid infecting others, you need to wear a mask and keep your distance, even if you think you are healthy.

There is evidence that the virus is aerosol. Even CDC is concurring by stating that “speaking” can spread it. How far can your breath go? If people are breathing outside in the cold air, the warm breath probably stays in the air much longer than most think and get blown many meters away by the wind. Pedestrians and joggers are still on the streets and sidewalks. They are likely still infecting and getting infected. The young joggers may never get symptoms. But they might infect their parents or a nursing home worker.

But you cannot blame them because the government is not warning them. The Canadian government still thinks that only people with symptoms can spread the virus, by telling you that you do not need to wear a mask if you think you are healthy.

The authorities still give illogical reasons, such as:  you may not know how to wear a mask, or you might have a false sense of security.

It is easier to wear the mask than to tie your shoes.  Even if the mask provides less than 100% security, 50% is better than 0%, which is what you would have with no mask.

The virus enters you through the mouth, nose and sometimes through the eyes.  The mask stops you from touching your mouth and nose. The virus comes out of your mouth and nose. The mask stops most of this.

The most important reason to wear a mask is to stop asymptomatic transmission.  The main reason the surgeon wears a mask is NOT to protect himself/herself from the patient, but to protect the patient from the surgeon, so that the surgeon is not breathing germs into the patient.  If nursing/retirement home workers were told to wear masks, even if they think they are healthy, there would be fewer deaths today.

Do Not Listen To WHO or Governments About Masks

The WHO does not recommend masks. Its website states:

WHO: “ONLY WEAR A MASK IF YOU ARE ILL WITH COVID-19 SYMPTOMS…OR LOOKING AFTER SOMEONE WHO MAY HAVE COVID-19.”

The Canadian government probably follows WHO and does not recommend masks either. Their recommendations about masks are flawed:

Canada: “IF YOU ARE A HEALTHY INDIVIDUAL, THE USE OF A MASK IS NOT RECOMMENDED FOR PREVENTING THE SPREAD OF COVID-19.”

But, just because you feel “healthy”, you can still be infected and spreading the virus. There are several cases of asymptomatic transmission. That is, people without symptoms have been spreading the virus to others.

Asymptomatic Carriers May Still Transmit Coronavirus, Says New Research

You could be spreading the coronavirus without realising you’ve got it

“…375 Chinese cities…86 per cent of cases were “undocumented” – that is, asymptomatic or had only very mild symptoms…they were the source of 79 per cent of further infections.”

In a mass-testing experiment of the 3,400 residents of an Italian town last month, it was found that 75 per cent of participants infected with COVID-19 were completely asymptomatic.

Canada: “WEARING A MASK WHEN YOU ARE NOT ILL MAY GIVE A FALSE SENSE OF SECURITY. THERE IS A POTENTIAL RISK OF INFECTION WITH IMPROPER USE AND DISPOSAL. THEY ALSO NEED TO BE CHANGED FREQUENTLY.”

Even if there “is a potential risk of infection with improper mask use and disposal”, masks reduce the chance of getting infected.  Even if the mask fails at stopping infection, it reduces the inoculum, which enables the wearer to be less sick.  Read: Everyone Should Wear Masks.

DIFFERENCES BETWEEN COUNTRIES

Several Asian countries have low levels of cases. Their people are going to work and school. What do they have in common? Their governments told everyone to wear masks.

But most other countries around the world will not wear masks, due to vanity or other beliefs.

Some governments are telling their people to not wear masks, because they and the hospitals are in competition with the public in buying masks. They did not plan, prepare and stock up on masks.

In fact, some countries did worse than this. Canada sent 16 tonnes of masks, gloves, face screens and other equipment to China on February 9. Then Canada let hoarders send more equipment to China. Australia let hoarders send 90 tonnes of medical supplies to China.

(By January 30th, Taiwan started making 4 million masks per day. By March 10th, Taiwan was making 9.2 million masks per day. Yet, bigger countries, such as Canada, cannot.)

Their governments, such as Canada’s, should say: “We are sorry. We screwed up. We should not have sent our supplies to China. We should not have let hoarders send supplies to China. We should have made sure that there was enough for Canadians. We should have planned, prepared, ordered and manufactured masks since January.” Instead, they are trying to stop their people from competing (and protecting themselves) by shaming them.

Here is Canada’s Health Official, who would not ban travel from China in January (when Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore did), still telling us to not wear masks (21:30 in the video):

HHS Secretary Alex Azar said:

“Our advice remains as it has been that the average American does not need a N95 mask. These are really more for health care providers.”

The N95 respirator is the best, but any type of mask helps, even construction, painter’s, homemade or Halloween masks. Even a scarf or bandana is better than nothing.

Leading COVID-19 Expert From South Korea says that masks are effective and everyone should wear them

Interviewer:  “Then can we say that, because everyone in Korea wears a mask, there is less infection in general?”

Expert:  “Absolutely…masks have been proven to prevent infection…Just look at China, Hong Kong, Japan and Korea.  In Asian countries, people wear masks.  In the meantime, if you look at many European countries and the US, the virus is spreading rapidly.  One of the reasons Korea has a relatively low rate of infection is because everyone is wearing a mask and washing their hands regularly.”

Usage of masks “flattened” growth of coronavirus cases in Czech Republic

“one of the key reasons for the decrease in the growth of the cases is a massive country-wide community initiative to create and wear home-made masks”.  In just 10 days, the country went from no mask usage to nearly 100 per cent usage, with nearly all the masks made at home with easily accessible materials, like old t-shirts.”

I do not know if masks will stop the spread completely. But based on how the virus spreads, masks will reduce the spread significantly.

According to the CDC:

“The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.

* Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).

* Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.”

“It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.”

If everyone is required to wear a mask, then this means that infected people are wearing masks as well.  This means that “respiratory droplets” are mostly or completely stopped when the infected person “coughs”, “sneezes” or breathes. They are not spraying the virus into the air or onto surfaces for others to breathe in or touch.

Even the CDC is not necessarily correct. If you are “6 feet” away from someone, you might still get infected.

‘Two metres not enough’ when social distancing
Original source

“viral droplets expelled in coughs and sneezes can travel in a moist, warm atmosphere at speeds of 10-30 metres (33ft-100ft) per second, creating a cloud that can span approximately 7-8 metres (23ft-27ft).”

“3ft to 6ft (1-2 metres) may underestimate the distance, timescale, and persistence over which the cloud and its pathogenic payload travel”

There are two types of countries in the world:

  1. Virus not growing exponentially.
  2. Virus growing exponentially.

Countries of the first type include several Asian countries. Their governments tell their people to wear masks. It is not a coincidence that those countries have tiny or manageable numbers of cases. In some of these countries, people are going to work, attending school, going to restaurants and not worried about flattening the curve.

Countries of the second type are freaking out about flattening the curve, trapped in their homes, missing work and school, and not enjoying life such as going to restaurants. They refuse to wear masks. Even worse, their governments are telling their people to not wear masks. Consequently, many people who would be willing to wear masks, do not, because they feel self-conscious, do not want to stand out and do not want others to think that they are infected. So, these countries need to maintain strict lock downs, social distancing, self-isolation and quarantines. If the virus stops growing exponentially and if they want to restart their economies, even partially, their governments need to tell their people to wear masks and impose fines or punishment for not doing so.

Our Experience Will Likely Be Worse Than China’s

There are positives from this virus. Satellite photos show massive reduction in pollution over China. Who thought that this virus will drastically reduce carbon emissions? Who knows, maybe this virus will save more lives than it kills. Thousands get killed every year in car accidents. With such a reduction in driving, there will be far fewer deaths caused by cars. My friend’s wife works for an insurance company. Their profits will go through the roof because car accident claims have disappeared.

However, our experience will likely be worse than not only the small Asian countries, but also China’s experience. Not only do everyone in these countries wear masks, China stopped all domestic travel (planes, trains, taxis and screened car traffic) when it locked down Wuhan and 7 other cities in January. This is “social distancing” for cities. To this day, people from Wuhan are still not allowed to leave the city. China saved their other cities, to a certain extent, such as Beijing, Shanghai, etc.

Contrast this to Canada and the U.S. Hundreds of flights were allowed to leave the hot spots (New York, Washington state) every day, spreading it to all the other American cities. People in Chicago, Dallas, etc., should be angry.

China limited the problem to a region of their country. The U.S. (and Canada) is letting the virus infect its entire country from coast to coast.

Even China has flattened its curve. We can write an instructional manual on how to NOT flatten the curve.

This means that this virus has the potential to impact our economy more so than China’s.

Everyone Should Wear Masks

Everyone should wear masks.  The main reason that people don’t is vanity.

According to CDC, face masks work in protecting yourself from virus infection. Note that a face mask is not necessarily the same as respirators.  An N95 mask is a respirator.

A mask does these things:

  1. It reduces the chance that you get infected, even though it is not perfect
  2. It reduces inoculum (viral load), which reduces how sick you get, even if you get infected.  Watch:  https://youtu.be/efaDuE-XEi4?t=1193    Summary:  At time of infection, if you get hit with 100 virus particles, versus 100,000 virus particles, you will be less sick.
  3. It reduces the number of people that you will infect, because you don’t know for the first few days that you are contagious, after getting infected.  The mask reduces the inoculum that you spray into the air.

All of the above benefits help “flatten the curve”.

It can be a construction, painter’s or homemade mask.  It doesn’t have to be surgical mask.  Any mask, even a scarf, is better than nothing. It may sound funny, but a Halloween mask is better than nothing.

It is no coincidence that everyone in the Asian countries, which have tiny numbers of infected, wear masks.  Taiwan, Hong Kong, South Korea and Singapore knew that it was important that everyone in public wear masks.  You cannot “flatten the curve” if the public has a high R (infectious rate) or get very sick (from getting hit with high inoculum levels), both of which masks reduce.  Hence, their governments made masks available and told everyone to wear them.

Note the woman shopper in the photo of this article about Taiwan.  

Notice that her mask is not a medical ask.  Any mask helps, as it limits the inoulum that she is spraying into the air, if she is infected.

In Taiwan, people are still going to work and school.  They can go to restaurants.  They aren’t worried about “flattening the curve”.  Meanwhile, we are freaked out, trapped in our homes and our economy is cratering.

As Chris Martenson said: “Why is face mask use – proven effective at stopping disease – not being promoted for general use? Because the government failed to stockpile and had no plan for how to ramp up production, and chose to shame the public into not buying masks instead of being honest.”

How South Korea “flattened the curve”

Take a look at these Korean apps helping people avoid areas infected by the coronavirus.

There are probably dozens of Canadians who can develop these apps as well, but only if the government provides the data.

“The app collects data from public government info including the Korea Centers for Disease Control to show the date a patient was diagnosed with COVID-19, along with the person’s nationality, age, gender, and where they visited.

If a person using the app comes within 100 meters, or about 328 feet, of a place where a person carrying the virus has been, they get a push notification warning”

I don’t think there is a privacy issue because names of the infected are not provided.

“These precautions in South Korea are in addition to measures by government and health officials, including efficient “drive-thru” testing that takes less than 10 minutes.”

This is partly how South Korea stopped the virus from continuing to grow exponentially.  South Korea has done other things as well, such as restricting travel, aggressive testing, aggressive contact tracing and wearing masks, that many Western countries and other countries have not done and still are not doing. Hence, South Korea has significantly lower “Tot Cases/1M pop”.

In other words, South Korea has “flattened the curve”.  Italy and Spain have not.  Several other countries will not.

Worse Than 2009

The stock market correction started on February 24th. We were busy preparing for and then flew to Hawaii for our vacation. It was surreal to watch this doom-filled volatility from the beautiful, sun-lit hotel pool in Hawaii with tall palm trees all around.

A couple of days later, the stocks bounced. Nevertheless, I told my wife that this is going to be worse than 2008, but it will not go in a straight line. There will be many “head fakes”, “sucker rallies” and “dead cat bounces”.

Fast forward to today and we have a full blown crisis, where both the U.S. and Canada had announced aid packages:

  • White House pushed for $1 trillion package.
  • Canada announced $82B aid package.

These will not be enough.  It’s likely that these governments will increase this or announce another package.

This recession is going to be worse than the 2009 recession.  Here is what caused the 2009 recession:

  • U.S. government enacted CREA (Community Reinvestment Act), which pushed banks to lend to low-income borrowers, in order to increase home ownership.
  • Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac bought mortgages from banks, in order to get banks to lend out more mortgages.  They ended up with half of the country’s mortgages.
  • Wall Street jumped on board and sold mortgages to earn commissions.  They sold to high risk, low-income borrowers because Wall Street was not the lender and therefore didn’t take the risk.
  • This fuelled the housing bubble.
  • Bubble burst
  • Homeowners stopped paying banks.
  • Banks were on verge of bankruptcy and stopped lending.
  • Tightening credit caused recession.

What most people do not realize is that it was the government that created the housing bubble and ultimately the crash and recession.  The bail outs of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were much bigger than for AIG or the banks.

Consequently, the stock market dropped by as much as 10% in day, on multiple days.

During this deep recession in 2009, credit was tight, but people were still able to consume or produce.  In May, 2009, Hawaii was dirt cheap, so my wife and I took a 10 day vacation for $2,200, which included hotel and flights.

This recession is much more different.  Even if Hawaii vacations are selling for $100, you cannot buy one.  People are told to stay home, self-isolate or stay in quarantine.  Borders are closing.  You cannot fly to Hawaii from Canada even if you offered $1 million to the airlines.

In 2009, you still saw people in restaurants, bars, movie theatres, etc.  Today, you see no one.

In 2009, people still bought TVs, computers, electronics, etc.  Today, Apple’s stores are closed.

The stock market has already dropped by 10% in a day, on multiple days.

In 2009, once credit loosened, the economy could recover. Today, the virus is still growing exponentially. To slow this down, the government is clamping down the people, which is clamping down the economy. If the government lets people go back to normal activities, the virus will flare up again, which will prompt the government to clamp people down again. This can happen repeatedly until the vaccine comes out in 12-18 months. Until the vaccine comes out, the economy might be kept in a coma.

In addition to the devastating impact on health and lives, this virus will wipe out trillions of dollars of wealth around the world.  Bankruptcies will soar. Millions of jobs will be lost.  The number of people on welfare will go up.

The crisis will eventually subside. Things will eventually go back to normal, once the vaccine comes out.  Social distancing is going to be very boring.  During this process, you will become poorer.  To prepare, make sure that you have a budget and have enough of a buffer to pay for several months of expenses.

Note that the aid packages will come from you.  You will pay for them.  The government cannot create wealth.  It can only take it from you to give to somebody else.   Therefore, the country’s wealth will be the same as without the aid packages, and the country will still be poorer than before the virus.

Governments will likely bail out companies. Despite being an investor and shareholder, I object to this, and so should you. Many of these companies, such as the airlines and Boeing, were making billions of dollars of profits for many years. Instead of stashing this money into their bank accounts, they used it to buy back shares. This juiced the stocks, which benefited shareholders, but more importantly, it increased the executives’ stock options and bonuses. Now that their companies are losing money, their companies should sell shares to raise money. That’s the main purpose of the stock market: enable companies to sell shares to raise money.

If governments bail them out, they will be “Privatizing Profits and Socializing Losses”.

Some people might blame capitalism for these bail outs. This is socialism, not capitalism. Capitalism advocates that incompetent businesses should die and disappear. Socialism advocates that governments help businesses. “Socializing Losses” is socialism.

Similarly, the problem with Wall Street in 2009 was socialism, not capitalism. Bailing out Wall Street firms is socialism. Furthermore, it was the government that created the housing bubble. (Similarly, Canada’s government created its housing bubble, but that is another long discussion.)

Some people might argue that compensating executives with stocks is the source of the problem. I disagree. If the government does not intervene with bail outs, these executives will learn the hard way for their mistake of stock buy backs and for not stashing enough money in the bank. Now that their stock price is low, these executives will not make bonuses. When they get their company to sell stock, they will continue to forgo bonuses, but they will prevent their company from going bankrupt.

This is the punishment and lesson that executives should endure and learn, but will not if the government bails them out.

You, as a taxpayer, should not pay for their mistake of not stashing their profits into their bank accounts.

Even if you bail out these companies, it does not prevent them from declaring bankruptcy. Governments forced taxpayers to give billions of dollars to GM in 2008. It still declared bankruptcy anyways.

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