Paul Tudor Jones rolls out “JUST” ETF with Goldman Sachs in effort to ‘modernize capitalism’

Today, June 12, 2018, legendary macro investor Paul Tudor Jones did a commercial free interview on CNBC to promote tomorrow’s rollout of the new ETF “JUST”. Jones is someone I have followed for decades and is someone worthy of respect as he has built a multi-billion dollar fortune while privately preserving thousands of acres of land around the globe. Jones has long had the confidence of life and business strategist Tony Robbins and recently opened offices on Palm Beach, Florida.

JUST Capital – Ranking America s Most Just Companies

“JUST” is based on backtesting the performance of socially responsible companies based on a nationwide poll of Americans to their definition of what it means for a company to be socially responsible. Based on that backtesting it is projected to outperform the Russell 1000 and the S&P 500. As one can imagine, there is a wide array of opinions about social investing and conscious capitalism.

First and foremost, there is nothing wrong with conscious capitalism and I personally would subscribe to many of its standards. Conscious capitalism is completely in tune with the base term of capitalism though some try and twist its true meaning. Before going further, I welcome JUST to the ETF stage so this is simply a brief examination of Jones’ interview and whether we need to “modernize capitalism.”

During the interview, Jones took issue with the Milton Friedman philosophy that the responsibility of a corporation is to return profits to its shareholders. Jones said, “When Milton Friedman said, that tax rates had just come from 91 percent to 70 and income inequality was one-fifth of what it is today. You can see how it was relevant at the time but fast forward to where we are today, it’s a different deal.”

I would argue that trying to redefine “capitalism” or “modernize” the word is an unneeded exercise. People need to understand what capitalism actually is as opposed to the distortions made by many. Capitalism is only the free voluntary exchange of value from one to another. That is it. There is no other valid definition. Where we run into the weeds is when we confuse cronyism and government force with capitalism. When a company uses government force or taxpayer money in the name of “economic development” to advance itself over its competition then that is NOT capitalism. When are corporate uses fraud and other deviant means to profit, then that is NOT capitalism.

An interesting fact not asked of Jones during the interview is that arguably the best investor alive today is Warren Buffett and he has long held through his Berkshire Hathaway (BRK) the same opinion of Friedman. Buffett holds that it is the duty of the corporation to profit well, compensate employees & stockholders, and through an employee’s personal income and investor’s profits of stock to donate to their preferred charity. It is not the corporation’s responsibility to be charitable, but to maximize profits. BRK and Buffett do not believe corporations should give charity directly but it is expected of their employees and shareholders to perform charity on their own terms.  So, while Buffett is personally the single most charitable man in America, one would be hard-pressed to find any meaningful charity from BRK. It is because BRK has grown to such a level that Buffett is able to personally be as charitable as he is.

It is important to bring up Buffett because he is mostly an equities investor as JUST will be as well, while Jones is more of a macro investor which extends far beyond equities. It will be interesting to see how JUST develops and performs over the coming years in its returns to investors and society as a whole. And by the way, although I hold Buffett in high esteem, he is not without his own flagrant crony capitalistic exploits.

Jones and Buffett do agree that the government is a horrible redistributor of capital and it is best to leave it to private business through voluntary exchange rather than forced government takings. Buffett has said, “The free market’s the best mechanism ever devised to put resources to their most efficient and productive use. … The government isn’t particularly good at that. But the market isn’t so good at making sure that the wealth that’s produced is being distributed fairly or wisely.” On the same issue of government redistribution, Jones said during the interview, “THAT’S THE WORST OF ALL OUTCOMES BECAUSE THAT’S THE WORST WAY TO REDISTRIBUTE INCOME.” Through JUST and his other causes, Jones is looking to redistribute wealth organically, outside the inefficiencies and force of government.

Advertisements

County Works Unethically Against Church

LIBERTARIAN PARTY OF PALM BEACH COUNTY

356 NW 35th Place, Boca Raton, FL 33431 www.lppbc.org

Contact: Karl Dickey, Chairman 561.237.5586 karldickey@gmail.com

NEWS RELEASE August 5, 2008 For Immediate Release

County Works Unethically Against Church

We need MORE organizations such as Westgate Tabernacle

Boca Raton, Florida – The Libertarian Party of Palm Beach County (LPPBC) is interested in seeing more private organizations assist the homeless and less fortunate and have the county government lower their regulation of such organizations, such as the Westgate Tabernacle.

Karl Dickey, chairman of the Libertarian Party of Palm Beach County, said this morning, “Imagine if we allowed private organizations to take on the less fortunate in our area without the oppressive, heavy hand of our county government breathing down their back to comply with unrelated and ridiculous regulations. We would have greater participation from the private community to effectively help the homeless and the unemployed if government would just get out of the way. One instance I recall was where a business I was involved, decided to give out sodas, grilled hot dogs, and grilled hamburgers to the public on our own private property. We were shut down within two hours by code enforcement for not having a permit. We were shocked we would need to get permission from the government to feed the public.”

The LPPBC feels it is unethical for Palm Beach County government to work against the rights to property each American and each property owner is entitled. Code enforcement has been quoted as saying that it is unsafe to sleep in a tent – this is preposterous.

The LPPBC feels private organizations should be able to assist the less fortunate without threats from our government. We encourage dollar-for-dollar tax credits for contributions to private charities, we encourage removal of various licensing laws currently keeping organizations from forming, we encourage the reduction and even the complete elimination of zoning laws, we encourage our county government to rescind all inclusionary zoning laws, and we encourage a dramatic change our current failed government-run education system so our young are prepared for the real world in which they will live and can prosper.

We realize these reforms are not easy or painless – and may seem unorthodox to many, however the compassionate people of Palm Beach County can and will assist those in need. Our current government-run welfare system is costly to taxpayers and cruel to the children born into a cycle of welfare dependency and hopelessness. We offer positive alternatives to the failed welfare state and offer a vision of a society based on work, individual responsibility, and private charity.

—END—