Features

Howard Marks: beware the rise of the anti-capitalists

In his latest memo to clients, billionaire distressed-debt investor Howard Marks admits he is increasingly concerned about rising “anti-capitalist sentiment” in the US.

933_MW_P14_Guru-b

Howard Marksfounder, Oaktree Capital

933_MW_P14_Strategy_Col-s

However, notes Marks, the "left wing of the Democratic Party is becoming a formidable bloc." Two of Sanders' fellow members of the Democratic Socialistsof America, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez andJulia Salazar both of whom describe themselves as "radical" won elections last year in New York.

Subscribe to MoneyWeek

Become a smarter, better informed investor with MoneyWeek.

The problem, says Marks, is that "for the 60 years... following World War II, much of the world enjoyed a rising tide of prosperity that lifted all boats". As a result, most Americans happily accepted capitalism and free markets. But now, people feel that "the tide is no longer rising to the same extent... Their unhappiness crystallises in populism". That ire needs a target capitalism.

"Increased equality of income and improvementfor people below the top... are worthy goals, and I support them," says Marks. However, eroding property rights, intervening in the running of private businesses, and putting up top tax rates above 80% as already proposed by some Democrat presidential candidates "would be worse for just about everyone". Marks notes, paraphrasing Winston Churchill: "I'm convinced that capitalism is the worst economic system... except for all the rest".

Advertisement

Recommended

Visit/519858/how-long-can-the-good-times-roll
Economy

How long can the good times roll?

Despite all the doom and gloom that has dominated our headlines for most of 2019, Britain and most of the rest of the developing world is currently en…
19 Dec 2019
Visit/investments/investment-strategy/investment-gurus/601109/bill-ackman-get-ready-for-the-bargains-of-a
Investment gurus

Bill Ackman: get ready for the bargains of a lifetime

Hedge fund manager Bill Ackerman is turning bullish and putting his money into bargain stocks.
4 Apr 2020
Visit/economy/people/601049/ray-dalio-the-seer-blindsided-by-a-bug
People

Ray Dalio: the seer blindsided by a bug

When the financial crisis struck in 2008, Ray Dalio’s hedge fund was well prepared to profit and he has since enjoyed a reputation for prescience. He …
30 Mar 2020
Visit/investments/stockmarkets/601062/the-moneyweek-podcast-charles-heenan-dominoes-are-falling-be-very
Stockmarkets

The MoneyWeek Podcast – Charles Heenan: dominoes are falling; be very careful

Merryn talks to Charles Heenan, investment director of Kennox Asset Management. Assets are cheap, he says, but you need to be very, very careful about…
26 Mar 2020

Most Popular

Visit/investments/property/601081/three-things-matter-for-the-uk-housing-market-now-and
Property

Three things matter for the UK housing market now – and “location” isn’t one of them

The UK housing market is frozen. And when it does eventually thaw out, the traditional factors that drive prices will no longer apply. The day of reck…
1 Apr 2020
Visit/investments/property/601065/what-does-the-coronavirus-crisis-mean-for-uk-house-prices
Property

What does the coronavirus crisis mean for UK house prices?

With the whole country in lockdown, the UK property market is closed for business. John Stepek looks at what that means for UK house prices, housebuil…
27 Mar 2020
Visit/investments/commodities/energy/oil/601107/oil-shoots-higher-have-we-seen-the-bottom-for-the-big-oil
Oil

Oil shoots higher – have we seen the bottom for the big oil companies?

Just a few days ago everyone was worried about negative oil prices. Now, the market has turned upwards. John Stepek explains what’s behind the rise an…
3 Apr 2020
Visit/economy/uk-economy/601079/how-the-coronavirus-pandemic-is-killing-cash
UK Economy

How the coronavirus pandemic is killing cash

Covid-19 is making a huge difference to the way we live, work and do business. One of its less obvious effects, says Merryn Somerset Webb, is to accel…
31 Mar 2020