Slope of Hope Blog Posts

Slope initially began as a blog, so this is where most of the website’s content resides. Here we have tens of thousands of posts dating back over a decade. These are listed in reverse chronological order. Click on any category icon below to see posts tagged with that particular subject, or click on a word in the category cloud on the right side of the screen for more specific choices.

Hedge Funds & the PPP

By -

Note from Tim: as a reminder, I put together a spreadsheet of Palo Alto firms that got over $150,000 in PPP loans. Check it out here. If you don’t have an AirTable account, it’ll ask you to sign up for free.

I had noted a few months ago that many of these firms getting the PPP loans were not ‘in the spirit’ of the program.

Without any real ‘oversight’ the compliance part of these loans seems – – – questionable — on some.  I am not sure how it all really works, but the American public likely believes these funds should have gone to the ‘small business’, with waiters, waitresses, or bartenders who obviously couldn’t work.  This was the spirit of the PPP program.

And, there are others – the people at the gyms and yoga studios.  At the nail salon and corner barber shops.  There are many, many businesses, and it seems everyone has a hardship story.


Divest Fossil Fuel Stocks?

By -

A trend popular at many American universities has been to divest their holding of the stock of companies in businesses related to fossil fuel production. More recently, even the church has become involved.  In reaction to the papal environmental encyclical “Laudato Si,” Catholic Institutions worldwide are considering divesting fossil fuel holdings. Despite its popularity, there are three reasons to conclude that this effort is misguided.

First, from a strictly financial point of view constraining investment opportunities must have a downward impact on investment performance of any fund compared to unconstrained investment portfolios.  After all, an unconstrained investor can always choose to hold a constrained portfolio, but the reverse is not true.  In addition, adding constraints limits portfolio diversification which will negatively impact the risk-return tradeoff.  How important this depends on how broadly the term “fossil fuel companies” is interpreted.  If it means just major producers of fossil fuels, the issue can be largely ignored because they are a small fraction of the global market.  However, if the term is interpreted more broadly, it leads to the second point.