In today’s Washington Post email newsletter...
...we have back-to-back notices of stories about two investments by us members of the American public:
Wait, are these investments?
Are we taxpayers getting shares of Intel, AMD, Micron?
Are we getting an interest in the intellectual property developed in our “fight” against “coronavirus and other outbreaks?” As a taxpayer-investor, I look forward to learning the value of my patent rights.
Investing in good companies doing worthwhile things is always better than buying the stock of some scammy MLM operation. But in either case you get… you know… securities! Stocks, convertible bonds… some form of equity or debt! Right?
So where is the prospectus that shows us taxpayer-investors what we’re getting for our money – stated in financial terms (besides all the wonderful benefits to society?)
Or are these simply gifts to existing stockholders of those companies?
Even Russia, at the time of the breakup of the Soviet Union, distributed ownership interests in what had been state enterprises to those on whose backs those enterprises had been built. Here’s Boris Yeltsin’s privatization voucher, sent in 1992 to Russian taxpayers:
Should we Americans learn a bit about public investing – you know, capitalism – from the Soviet Union?