Annie Lowrey observes that Eric Cantor doesn’t seem to be a very canny investor, having bought shares of ProShares Trust Ultrashort 20+ Year Treasury ETF last December, since which time they’ve declined 31 percent. The WSJ explains that the position “is a bet against U.S. government bonds — and perhaps on inflation in the future.”
I’d never really thought about this before, but pondering the subject sort of makes me wonder why we don’t force members of congress to put their money in blind trusts or some other vehicle. After all, Cantor actually has it in his power to non-trivially impact the performance of this investment. Now needless to say, it’s clear that he hasn’t used his powers this way. Clear and also sort of too bad. Given his investment positions, Cantor should be joining me in calling for more short-term fiscal stimulus and urging the Federal Reserve to act more aggressively to raise the price level. But either Cantor doesn’t understand his economic self-interest properly, or else he’s more committed to his principled opposition to sound macroeconomic stabilization than he is to the performance of his portfolio. One doesn’t normally urge members of congress to be more greedy and venal, but int his case it might do a lot of good.