Sovereign Wealth Funds

Following John Quiggin, I have been an enthusiast for a US Sovereign Wealth Fund for years. My proposal is simply that the Us government should buy 10% of US equities. That would be 10% of shares of every listed corporation (this portfolio massively outperforms the S&P 500 )

I add that I am not fully socialist, so I don’t want the US sovereign wealth fund to vote its shares. Just passively invest.

This was an obscure debate about the equity premium among academic economists not so long ago (Brad DeLong too). It has become (showing my age) totally hip and groovy and made The Rolling Stone as it is part of the 5 point agenda proposed by
Jessy Myerson. Myerson deliberately presents his proposals as extreme (to get the kids’ attention) then explains how they are really moderate and practical.

Nonetheless the few libertarians who even admit they noticed the debate mock it as pie in the sky. Over at Balloon juice DougJ notes that ruby red Alaska has a sovereign wealth fund.

I comment.

Not just Alaska. What about Singapore. Pro market conservative love Singapore. It is number 2 on the Heritage Institute economic freedom index
(it used to be number 1).

Singapore also has two huge sovereign wealth funds

Total assets of about $ 500 billion (with a b) or over $400,000 per person

(think of that — it is more than half the average wealth of an American (and much more than your wealth sucker unless you are in the top few % by wealth)).

The freemarket approach is always the best, because they define any country that performs well as a freemarket country even if it has massive massive state ownership of means of production due to the policies of the free market “Socialist Path Party.”

The free market ideology is a religion. The success of a state which decided it should own the means of prodution is considered proof that capitalism works better than a mixed economy with a sovereign wealth fund.