S1: This ad free podcast is part of your Slate plus membership.
S2: Hello and welcome to the Farewell Alan Shamansky episode of Slate Money, Your Guide to the Business and Finance News of the Week. I’m Felix Salmon of Axios. I’m here with Emily Peck of Huff Post. Hello. And I am very happy and also sad to be here with Alice Romanski, whose last proper episode is Late Money. This is Anna. We have dedicated this episode to you. We get to talk about everything that you want to talk about, except or maybe fortuitously, there’s a lot of stuff in the news which is, well, in your wheelhouse this week. So we are going to talk about the Texas energy crazy. We’re going to talk about the city being crazy, sending nine hundred million dollars to creditors, which you shouldn’t have done. We are going to answer a bunch of questions from listeners. Thank you for writing those in. And how many how many are you going to answer?
S1: I am answering here. I can tell you. Why did you make a spreadsheet? Did you make a spreadsheet? It’s a word document. There’s a word document. I am answering five questions, so thank you for sending those in.
S2: We have a bunch of content here in this here show. And if you stay tuned for Slate plus you get to hear and Shamansky defense of Tom Brady, which I can tell you is worth the price of Slate plus membership on its own. So all of that coming up on Slate money and what happened in Texas. We have you for one more week and we need you to explain Texas to us.
S1: So there was a freak storm in Texas and then basically a perfect storm of events that led to massive power outages, which has then led everyone to try to figure out what has happened. Is it because of deregulation? Is it because of the Republicans favorite thing to blame it on wind turbines? Or is it from a combination of many things?
S2: One of the things I love about this week is that I can’t remember a time that I’ve heard about so many five sigma events in one week that everyone, like ten of Robin Hood CEO, kept on talking about how the GameStop thing was a five sigma event. And then everyone in the weather business is talking about how this cold snap in Texas is a five sigma event. And that also, if you read the it will we’ll talk about this a little bit later. But if you read the ruling in the City Bank vs. Revlon case, that whole wire transfer was a five sigma event as well, utterly unprecedented. So we live in unprecedented times. But this particular unprecedented time involves Texas getting incredibly cold and not just getting incredibly cold, but staying incredibly cold for days and days and days, which has never happened before and which its power network was just incapable of coping with the idea.
S3: Yes, we should say that Texas had a freeze in 2011 and they had trouble delivering power then, which was 10 years ago. And at the time people were saying, hey, we probably should winterize your system a little bit better. Maybe this will happen again. You want to be prepared and they did not prepare. So it’s not quite accurate. I think to say that this was totally out of nowhere, never happened before. Like the intensity of this, I think is is worse. But they’ve had cold snaps before and it’s reasonable to think they should have been prepared for.
S2: This is certainly the case that they might not have had a five sigma event before, but like they’ve had four sigma events before and anyone can extrapolate. You know, you have to kind of it’s very easy to foresee that things could be worse in the future than they have been in the past.
S1: Yeah, yeah. Although I will say that I think that it’s a little simplistic to say, well, they just should have prepared for this. And and yes, whenever there is an extreme event, we all say that. And it’s understandable, especially when you have people literally dying or freezing inside of their apartments. But this really comes down to the fact that people have to balance how much do you want to pay versus what is the risk. And the reality is that did a lot of people in Texas want the rates to go up to pay for something that was maybe going to happen once every 10 years? Now, we can say now that maybe now they did. Was it reasonable five years ago that they might not want it may have been reasonable.
S2: So and this is the question, a genuine question I have about this and I don’t know the answer is most gas and wind and other kinds of electricity production in most of the world is winterised can cope with this kind of thing. In Texas, it’s not. Texas is warm and arguably, you know, people thought they didn’t need to, but was it really that expensive to make it winter proof, like when you say that rates would go up, like would their rates go up by a noticeable, meaningful amount or was it more just like, oh, we don’t need to because we’re in Texas?
S1: I don’t think anyone can say exactly how much the rates would have gone up based on the cost, because that’s a very, very complicated calculation. But this would not have been cheap. So cheap to winterize all these the parts like you can there are wind turbines in Minnesota, so you certainly can make these things function. But it’s a very real cost. And I think this is something that is the larger story in this story, that this is not just about Texas and about people finding something to like or dislike about Texas. It’s that as climate change affects the likelihood of extreme events, it’s going to make the need for insurance, whether literal insurance or preparing for extreme events. It’s going to need to make that. It’s going to make that more necessary, but it’s also going to make it more expensive. And the problem is that no one ever wants to prepare for things that seem unlikely because no politician, no business person, frankly, no individual likes to do that. And it’s going to become more necessary.
S2: But that is the job of the insurance sector, right? Yes. I mean, the insurance sector is a massive part of the economy. And every single politician, every single human being, like we all insure stuff. We all understand intuitively that unlikely things do happen and that it’s a good idea to pay a little bit of money on a regular basis so that we are insured against some unlikely event. That probably won’t happen. That is how insurance works. The insurance sector is a multitrillion dollar industry globally and it does these calculations all the time and people are actually happy. Paying insurance premiums and winterizing and energy infrastructure is basically an insurance premium. So I don’t understand why when you say, like, people just don’t want to do it, it’s like people are happy paying insurance premiums.
S1: I disagree. I think if you look at how ill prepared we were for the pandemic, if you look on so many factors, people do not want to pay for things that do not give them an immediate benefit. I’m not saying that people no one wants to pay for insurance. Of course we do. We have health insurance. Like if we’re lucky enough to have health insurance, you know, we have insurance for our homes, insurance for our cars, nothing. People don’t pay for insurance, but often people do that because they are literally forced to do it. People are horrible at planning ahead.
S3: So I think what Anna saying hits on like the bigger issue in Texas and maybe across the country. I mean, there’s one issue is our infrastructure in our electric grids are too old and they’re not going to be capable of handling the extreme weather of climate change. You see it in Texas and you see it in places like California. Bloomberg opinion had a piece that was really good saying like both Texas and California have had problems with their electrical grids dealing with climate change and extreme weather. And, you know, some people look at Texas and say it’s an unregulated market, that’s the problem. But then California is regulated and it still has problems. So there’s more to it than regulation. I think part of it is this unwillingness to spend money. And it’s not just like consumers are price sensitive and don’t want to spend more for this kind of thing. Part of it in Texas is the companies don’t want to spend more because it’s a completely free market. But even in California, they don’t want us to spend more either, even though it’s more regulated and a little less subject to market conditions. There’s just an unwillingness across the country in states that are blue and red to spend the money on infrastructure that’s necessary. And I think that’s not just the disincentive of like we don’t want to spend the money. It’s even politicians and and governments don’t want to spend the money because, like, it’s no fun. Like, I think on Lizzie O’Leary podcast, the energy expert she had was saying, like, you can build a new bridge and you cut a ribbon and it’s like real cool. But like, if you go and, like, make the windmills better for snow, like there’s no ceremony for that. No one cares. So there’s no incentive for the politicians even who want to spend money to spend the money because there’s very little reward there.
S2: It’s super unsexy. That’s definitely one of the problems. And the costs are enormous. Like I think while the costs of. You know, making Texases energy infrastructure more winter proof than it is right now are not super enormous. They are entirely doable and they, as I say, they happen everywhere else. But more generally, your point is very, very well taken that people have been talking about hundreds of billions of dollars worth of broad energy infrastructure upgrades that the United States needs. And the United States is enormous. And this is really, to a large degree, a function of just sheer physical size. The big problem nationwide is that. America in general, with the exception of a handful of large cities, doesn’t berríos power lines, so any time there’s like wind, the power lines fall down and everyone loses power. And this is just an accepted normal part of life in America. As you know, I’m only living in Westchester, New York, which is really not very a very rich, pretty dense part of the New York metropolitan area. If the power goes out all the time, whenever whenever there’s a windstorm and you’re like and if you look at other rich parts of the world, if you look at Western Europe or Japan or Korea, like they’re not built like that, this is a peculiarly American sort of cheaping out on infrastructure. And we can point to that kind of keeping our infrastructure across the country. We can point to it in energy. We can point to it in broadband. We can point to it in roads and bridges. We can point to it in water like it’s everywhere. And so in this sense, like, again, I think China has a good point. You can you can say, yeah, we should have spent more money on better infrastructure for energy in Texas. But the bigger picture of the amount, the sheer quantity of infrastructure investment that we need nationwide across a whole bunch of different industries, that really does go into the trillions. And, you know, as a policy perspective, this is something that Joe Biden ran on. He has this three point something, trillion dollar build back. Better plan to really address all of these things. And I would ask you, is that like is this Texas cold snap a sort of salutary reminder of why that kind of thing is necessary?
S1: Yes, and I hope it does spur people on both sides of the aisle to actually have like a real infrastructure week where we actually pass actual legislation to, in fact, spend a large amount of money to update our infrastructure, both talking about things like roads and power, but also things like broadband. I know like where my family lives, which is not that far from Ann Arbor. Their Internets from like nineteen ninety five. You know, just one more example of this. One thing, though, I want to say before we move on that I want to correct you, Felix, is that a lot of infrastructure in Western Europe is falling apart. Germany is notoriously not invested in their infrastructure. There are bridges falling apart in Italy. So we’re not the only country that’s lousy about investing in infrastructure.
S2: As a Brutalism fan, we all know my little thing about brutalism. I can I can tell you that a lot of infrastructure is made out of concrete roads, bridges, buildings, that kind of stuff. And concrete has this thing where it tends to fall apart after 50 years. And a lot of the infrastructure in Western Europe and in the United States was built about 50 years ago. And this is one of the reasons why the need for massive repairs is happening right now is just like the natural aging time cycle of concrete.
S3: Speaking of crumbling infrastructure, I want to make two points. The first point is I think it’s really come home to us in the pandemic that all our infrastructure is crumbling. Like, yeah, Texas shows us that our energy infrastructure is crumbling. The pandemic shows us that our public health infrastructure is nonexistent and our care infrastructure is nonexistent. And the unemployment benefits system is a mess, too, like all our infrastructure seems to be having what you call it, a Six Sigma. It’s like it’s a lot of sigma. I mean, things are crumbling all around us. And the second adjacent point to that is just that I think next week or in the coming weeks, we’re talking to the author of a book on how cities fall apart and one of the key new hits is coming. Yes, yes, yes. And one of the key ways societies in the past have fallen apart, one of the pieces that leads to cities like dying is crumbling infrastructure. So I think it’s something we need to pay attention to, like there should be like a red, you know, emoji, you know, light spinning or something right now because. Yeah, and what we have is like a real time just collapse of everything. I don’t even think of being apocalyptic here, am I? Well, you are being apocalyptic. OK, a little. But in a real way.
S4: The Apocalypse is a Six Sigma event.
S2: So talking about Six Sigma events and the story of how Citibank wound up wiring nine hundred million dollars by mistake to a bunch of Revlon creditors is just so absolutely glorious and. It’s terrifying and hilarious and it’s kind of amazing given the sequence of events that, like, it doesn’t happen all the time, but apparently it never happened before.
S1: I agree. That was the thing that I found so fascinating about this story. And just to back up basically city wired like nine hundred million dollars to creditors, that of Revlon, which it did not mean to. And while it was able to get some of the money back, there was about five hundred million dollars that a number of creditors, including a number of hedge funds, were like, we’re not giving it back. And a judge just ruled that they don’t have to give it back. Finders keepers is a real thing. So this story, though, is way more interesting than just like a fat finger episode. This is really an example of a systems error. And as Felix said, when you understand what happened, it’s shocking that this doesn’t happen more often because basically what happened and give me a second here is that you have to a little bit understand the background of what was going on with Revlon. So in twenty sixteen, you had a number of creditors who gave money to Revlon. And then over the years, Revlon had problems. And so they tried to use the legal maneuvers to basically strip collateral from that loan so they could use that loan to borrow additional money. Obviously, the creditors didn’t like that. There was a lot of contention between the two. I won’t go into all of the details, although I think we should put the legal documents on the show notes, because it’s a fascinating story involving a sham revolver, as it is called. But the upshot is that. What ended up happening was that you had one group of creditors that were being rolled over from an old loan into a new loan, and then you had another group of creditors who didn’t like what Revlon was doing and they didn’t want it and they were not being put into that new loan. So how does Citibank factor into this? They were the administrative agent, which basically just means they’re supposed to basically, like process payments back and forth. So because of the way their systems were set up, the only way that they could pay the interest that had accrued on the loan to the creditors were moving to the new loan, was to pay that interest to all of the creditors because apparently their system had no other way to do it. And then on top of that, the only way to trigger repayment of that accrued interest in their system was to appear to be paying off the entire loan. But what they were supposed to do were CLECs certain boxes that told their internal system, we’re not actually wiring this money out. It’s going to this internal what’s called a wash account. So it’s just like an accounting maneuver. Right. The problem is that the way the system was set up. When you were went to click those boxes, you would think if the money you don’t want to send out is the principle that you would quit the box as principal, right. Reasonable problem is that if you put the box that said principal, but you didn’t click to other completely unrelated boxes, then the money was sent out and there was actually was a warning that came up that said you are sending money out. But the problem is it didn’t say like you are sending the principal out. And so the people just assumed that that was referring to the accrued interest which they were intending to send out. And that’s why this happened.
S2: Well, it’s just incredibly bad software design. Yes, there are two different things going on here. One is that Citibank, like all other big banks, is not just a bank that has grown to become very big over the years. It is held together by basically bailing wire and duct tape. And it is a bunch of different banks which have all been merged over the years. It was put together mostly by a guy called Sandy Weill, who was famous for being extremely acquisitive in just buying banks all over the world and and sort of bringing them together. All of those banks were based on ancient technology and on incommensurate ancient technology. And so trying to get them all to speak to each other in the same language is extremely hard. And all of that technology is now looking extremely dated. And if you look at the screenshot in the ruling, you’re like, wow, this is this is a screenshot from some piece of software that was clearly state of the art in like 1984 or something. And it’s just so hard to update everything that no one updates anything. And so the problem is really, as you say, one of like information and software design not being able to keep up with. The world and when that happens, you get these massive errors and, yeah, I agree with you that in a weird way it would have been better if this mistake did happen more often, because if the mistake did happen more often, they would have realized how incredibly stupid this was and they would have put in a fix. But because it had never happened before, it was just Citibank’s dumb luck that the first time this mistake happened, it happened to be nine hundred million dollars.
S3: Exactly what happens next, I feel like, is it starts getting really fun, right? Because and Anna, you’ll stop me if I have this wrong, but Citi sends out all this money to the creditors, some of whom have been fighting to get all that money back. So they get the money and they don’t know it’s a mistake. They’re just like, oh, OK, cool. And Citi doesn’t realize it’s made a mistake for like 24 hours or something and then finally messes them all and is like, oh, can we have our money back?
S5: So sorry, that was a mistake. And then all the hedge fund guys will not all of them, but some of them, they start like messaging with each other and just like making jokes about it like, oh, how is your day to day work, honey? Oh, it was fine, except for I accidentally sent out nine hundred and fifty million dollars.
S3: And that’s all in the complaint because there was this lag between these people generally thought this was the money they were owed and then realizing it was a mistake that contributes to the finders keepers ruling we have gotten this week. Right. I mean, that’s part of it.
S2: They didn’t write like they thought it was really central, really central. Part of the ruling is that for the first twenty two hours or whatever it is, everyone is like walking around, scratching their heads, going, why did Revlon just pay off its loan in full when this loan was trading at like 20 cents on the dollar? That makes no sense, but I’ll take it. And they thought there were some, you know, incredibly crazy, sophisticated financial engineering going on by, like the holding company, the holding company or something, rather than just like Citibank fucked up, which turned out to be the actual explanation. But precisely because no one even entertained the idea, the Citibank area, precisely because of that, that turns out to be an important part of why they don’t need to give the money back for like relatively obscure jurisprudential reasons.
S1: Yeah, exactly. And whether anyone. Yeah, whether anyone actually did think it was a mistake or not, like, obviously we don’t know, we’re not inside their heads. But one of the things that I found so fabulous about the story was just it’s one of the few examples of where snarky emails and B chat actually help you because those didn’t start until after they knew what happened. So then they could say, well, if we had thought it was a mistake, we would have sent the snarky messages beforehand. We waited. So clearly we didn’t we didn’t think it was a mistake.
S2: They still don’t have the money, though. I mean, it’s still sort of sitting in their protected account and they can’t spend it because Citibank is going to appeal, of course. And I remember that when we talked about this the first time on this show, you and I basically just assumed that Citibank would get its money back, like, of course they will. It’s a mistake. The world doesn’t run on Bitcoin, right. That the reason why Bitcoin is bad or one of the reasons Bitcoin is bad is precisely because transactions are irreversible. And if you’re trying to work money stuff in a society that is civil, you have to be able to reverse transactions because people make mistakes. And one of the fundamental parts of the financial system is, yeah, people make mistakes. When people make mistakes, those transactions get reversed. So we just assumed that that would be the overarching narrative and legal analysis here. Turns out there’s this precedent called BONKE firms, which is like and you guys can all correct my pronunciation on that one, but BONKE firms turns out to be at least like hugely important precedent in this case, which at least according to this particular judge, means that no one needs to give any money back back at all. So if the amount you have received by mistake effectively pays off a debt that you are owed, then you can consider that debt to be discharged in return for the value that you receive. And so that’s fine, like you got the money by mistake. But then again, the creditor no longer owes you the money. And so it’s all a wash. And so the really big question, which the judge doesn’t answer in this ruling at all anywhere, which is kind of astonishing, is. Does Revlon still owe that five hundred million dollars or does it owe that five hundred million dollars to Citibank now, or did Citibank just pay off Revlon debt with Citibank money and now that debt is discharged?
S1: Yeah, now it’s a very good question. And partly this is also why it was so interesting that they like because they literally paid off the debt with the accrued interest to the penny. And that is part of the reason why the discharge for value works. But, yeah, I mean, this this does really raise the question of like. So, yeah. Is this discharged a city now have this loan. Like what? I mean, because this is this is a very large amount of money. So it’s not like you can just kind of wash past this yet. You have to figure out and we I don’t think anybody knows. I mean, my guess is. Right now, we’re not going to know because Citi City is going to keep appealing this.
S3: I mean, I think at first when I heard about this ruling, I was like, that is the craziest thing I’ve ever heard. Like, common sense tells you, if someone makes a mistake like that, you pay it back. Like, I don’t need a judge to tell me that. But apparently I did need a judge because when you kind of dig into the ruling just a little bit and the guy explains like, look like if someone pays you back exactly to the penny, what they owe you, like, we can’t live in a world where every time someone pays you back, you’re wondering if it was a mistake or not. Like we need we need to believe in it. Like you need to believe that all the money and it gets paid back to you. You’re all good like you can’t finders keepers does actually kind of make sense in the specific way to keep things working and so we can all trust the system or something.
S1: One of the other things I was kind of fascinating about this was that part of the reason the creditors could also say that, well, we were due this money was because they had actually issued a default notice because they disagreed with what Revlon was doing and Citibank had not distributed that that default notice, which these creditors were not happy about. But technically, if, you know, if you have an event of default, then you can you could have a bunch of people accelerate the debt, which would mean all the debt was due. So that was another I thought it was kind of interesting fact about this and then maybe like last thing I’ll say, because I think this actually really ties into what we were saying before, is that this is another example about the problems of infrastructure. Yes. Yeah. Because the thing is, like when you have systems, whether you’re talking about a country or whether you’re talking about internal systems where you have trillions of dollars moving back and forth, it’s not like somebody starts from scratch and plans this perfect system. And it’s not like you can be like, OK, everybody, we’re just going to be offline for a week. The entire world global financial system are going to redo this and then start over again. No, you keep patching and you keep making changes and you add this and you say, well, this doesn’t work. So we’re going to get these weird default boxes and we’re going to do this. And then you get to this place where everything’s just a complete mess, but it’s not easy to move to a more coherent system. And so I think you’re seeing that in both our our power grid and our settlement system.
S5: But why is my iPhone always updating? They figured it out.
S2: OK, so this is actually a really good way of understanding it, because what we’re talking about here is systems architecture. And what Apple does is it keeps an absolutely iron grip on its entire ecosystem. And if you want to have an app in the App Store, you have to jump through so many Apple hoops and make sure that you play well with absolutely everything in Apple’s OS. And Apple won’t let you onto a phone unless you do that. And then unless you’re constantly updating things to make sure they work and so on and so forth. And and the OS itself, as you say, is constantly updating itself and patching various bugs that appear over the over the days and weeks. And that is a single privately owned system. And even just maintaining that is, you know, it takes a trillion dollar company to do that. What we’re talking about here is distributed systems where there is no central authority like Apple, making sure that everything is working in a state of the art way. I remember having a conversation with Max Levchin once, who was the co-founder of PayPal, and one of the ideas behind PayPal was basically that the global financial system was this cobbled together mess of ancient pieces of software that have huge amounts of difficulty talking to each other. And if you just started from scratch and built a single system, you know, with Internet technology, it would be much more efficient and much easier to use. And that’s what they did with PayPal. And that worked. And then. If you fast forward like another 10, 15 years. PayPal itself, you know, bought a bunch of companies, needed a bunch of patches and started looking incredibly antiquated. And so then what you have is something like Stripe coming along and it’s like really sleek and smooth and easy to use. And everyone say, oh, you know, suddenly straight becomes like the new hot sexiness. And PayPal starts looking a little bit old fashioned. And this is a constant thing at different companies developing different things. And whoever’s the US always looks the cleanest, but it’s basically effectively impossible to impose that new cleanliness on everything that went before. And so in terms of like infrastructure upgrades, you need to bring everybody up. And that’s effectively impossible when it comes to the global financial system. And that’s the deep, gnarly problem at the middle of all this.
S3: And is that the same thing with the energy sector, too? Is that also our electric grids problem? And there’s never going to be like a new like a stripe to come in and be like we do it better than you like. You’re just starting and think, I don’t know.
S2: I mean, there’s been a lot of talk this week about how Texas is not on the national grid. And because it’s not on the national grid, it isn’t regulated in the same way that other parts of the national grid are regulated. But in terms of, you know, would Texas have had access to a bunch of power from Washington State? It was on the national grid? No, like power doesn’t travel that far, doesn’t travel efficiently in the way that money does. And if you connected Texas to the power grid, there might be a few like regulatory changes involved. But in terms of suddenly having access to a beautifully efficient national infrastructure thing, like, no, that’s not how energy works. Energy is is, again, like, you know, is me talking about concrete again. But it’s something which is very local and it needs to be produced locally.
S3: So like Apple can’t make a new energy OS for the whole country and solve all our problems.
S1: That was Enron far more.
S2: OK, Anna, we got questions for you. You are the person with the answers.
S1: Yes. And thank you so much to everybody who wrote in and said very kind things again, I’m going to miss going to miss everybody here and miss all of you listeners. I’m trying to answer as many of these questions as I can without going too long. So to start with, Ian Smedley asked who I read to basically stay up to date on financial journalism. And this I would say I honestly get most of my day to day news through podcasts. One of the few sources for financial journalism I do read every week is Breakingviews, partly because I worked there and also because their content is short and I think better than pretty much everyone else. But I skim the Financial Times, I skim the Wall Street Journal, but I don’t think day to day news is as important as larger trends. So I know this sounds really pretentious, but I actually spend a lot more time reading books than I do reading online news. I do like I read The Economist every week, but I really spend a lot more time reading books. I just think it’s more helpful.
S2: I’m going to come in with a little plug here just because we’re in podcast world and I listen to an hour long podcast this week. Daniel Tarullo, who is the former head of bank supervision at the Federal Reserve, had a big podcast on this, apparently had a big interview on the Banking with Interest podcast, which I don’t know if anyone subscribes to the banking with focus. Rob Blackwell interviewed him for an hour, just talking about exactly this kind of thing, really big picture questions about what does it even mean to supervise rather than regulate and stuff like that. And it’s a great idea to get out of the news cycle and just think those big picture thoughts on a regular basis, because it does help you understand the news when the news happens.
S1: Yeah, that’s and that’s exactly it. And it just because you can just pull things from different sources. I know, like when I was, you know, briefly working as a journalist, often the most interesting ideas I had were from like a random book I had read that wasn’t directly related. But there an interesting idea that that I could connect and look at it in an interesting way. And I think otherwise a lot of people do end up kind of often sometimes saying the same things or something becomes very quickly out of date. So I would definitely say spend a little bit more time on larger picture things. What podcasts, Anna, do you listen to? So I do honestly listen to a lot of Bloomberg podcasts and lots I actually particularly like and like Bloomberg surveillance. Yeah, I don’t I listen to like 30 different podcast. I also the BBC Global News also for just like Global News is a fantastic, fantastic podcast.
S2: So is what you’re saying basically, if you want to have a well-rounded view of the world, you need to do the peculiar animes SHYMANSKY thing of going on long runs every day because that’s the only way anyone would ever be able to listen to so many Belkis.
S1: OK, well, yes, this is true that number one, I obviously listen to everything I like one and a half times the speed, but yes, I do. I’m a distance runner, so that definitely helps during like four hour runs. You can get there. A lot of I guess I also like to cook. And so that’s another great way to listen to podcast. I also live by myself. So basically, if I’m not speaking with another human being, I’m probably listening to a podcast or an audio book to a somewhat crazy degree at one and a half times speed. Anna. Yeah, people speak so slowly and I realize I speak quickly. I know that that was like a running joke, although I will say I slowed down from when I first started on the show.
S5: I think so. But now I understand why you talk fast, because everything you listen to is really fast. So of course you’re talking really fast all the time because that’s what you’re used to.
S4: Well, no, I spoke quickly and then listen to a podcast because people think often very, very slowly on me was are you sure you have to go?
S2: But does this now mean and it suddenly a large proportion of the sleep money listenership is going to start listening to sleep money on one point five X because they don’t need to do the one next thing just for you anymore.
S4: I used to listen to myself on one point. Oh, my goodness. People speak slowly, man. Just get to the point. Get to the point exactly what I’m saying.
S1: OK, then we have sto van Airedale. It’s an excellent name. Who wrote about OK, Cupid profiles and dating profiles in general and whether I think there’s value to dating profiles. And this is based on the discussion we had last week about dating sites. I’m going to say I think there is absolutely no value to dating profiles. I’m sorry. So I can understand. Maybe people enjoy reading them, but for actual dating, it makes absolutely no sense because everybody knows when you’re doing online dating, you look at the photo, that’s like ninety five percent that maybe you look at, like the age where somebody works. They went to college, maybe political politics. That is it. Nobody cares about anything else. And the whole point of online dating, the only good thing about online dating is that it gets you to meet people who actually want to date. And the more time you waste before that is just pointless because you always waste so much time and online dating anyway, so that anything that creates more waste, I say get rid of it. It’s the only good thing about Tinder that it kind of moved in the direction of being like, yeah, nobody nobody reads dating profiles. I say this as someone who used to have a very long involved. OK, keep the profile. Let’s see, we have a Richard Schoeman who asked if I’ve ever changed Felix’s opinion about anything. Such a good question. It is a very good question. Now, I’ve obviously been doing this podcast for a number of years, and I definitely do think that I know when I have changed Felix’s opinion, not because he actually says you are right and I was wrong, Anna, which to be fair, I never said when someone’s changed me because like six weeks later, I’ll start mansplaining.
S2: Your own explanation. Back to you.
S4: Yes. You actually have done that inside.
S1: But it’s often I know when I’ve changed Felix’s opinion, partly because of the way he will respond to me, that often what he will do is he will kind of change the topic. He won’t say that he was wrong. It will kind of change the topic and then jump off, from what I said, as though he had always agreed. I always do like a small little jig inside. Whenever it happens, it doesn’t happen that frequently. But when it does, it it makes me very happy because I know what I first started the show like I was not prepared to debate with Felix Salmon. Now, I, as I’m sure everyone knows on the show, love to debate my favorite thing in the world to do. And when I first came on the show, it was it was so hard to debate with Felix because you would ask questions that no one would expect someone to ask would be like if you were having an argument about something related to climate change, you’d be like, why is the sky blue? You know, like questions that like are actually really, really important. Maybe that’s a bad example, but questions that are very important, but nobody really thinks of and doing the show has really, I think, made me a better debater because I would always have to be prepared for whatever random thing you would ask me. So I would do all this thinking beforehand about like what random thing is Felix going to ask? And whenever you would ask me everything thing that I thought you were going to ask me, it made me so happy.
S5: Are you guys going to say any example of an exam that Felix is mine was changed?
S1: I think recently we had not that long ago discussion on tiered interest rates. And I thought as we were talking that Felix was starting to agree with me. Maybe I was wrong, but I felt as though he was starting to agree with my point that the whole concept of tiered interest rates was missing. The point that monetary policy was a bad tool based on what was currently happening in the economy and whether or not one could agree with them. In theory, they didn’t necessarily make sense in practice right now. And I kind of felt like by the time we were that was that was a good conversation.
S2: And yeah, I think that’s right. There was this kind of compelling, odd lots of glass actually trying to explain why offering different interest rates, different kinds of borrowers for different kind of things makes a bunch of sense for monetary policy, which I think it still does. But you have some very good arguments against it for sure. This is beautiful. Oh, wait, you know. You know what? You actually changed my mind. And I think the single biggest thing you change my mind on. Is. The wealth tax and whether it’s actually constitutional or not, I’m a big fan of wealth taxes, but I’m I’m now coming around to your point of view, that whether or not you think they should exist, it’s almost it’s basically impossible to imagine them getting past the judicial system because there’s a whole bunch of constitutional reasons why they can’t exist.
S1: Right. And especially with court as it is currently constituted. It definitely seems like it is probably not the most useful thing to focus on, again, whether or not one agrees with the underlying wealth tax as well. Glad to hear that. That was going to be the last question, because this is my absolute favorite question. It’s Cattan Patel who asked I’ll read his books at short. When, if ever, will Jim Harbaugh deliver for Michigan football? If never, do you think he should be replaced now? I have very, very strong opinions about this. I say as I’m like literally wearing a Michigan sweatshirt. So as, again, everyone who loves this podcast knows, I’m mildly obsessed with Michigan football. Jim Harbaugh, for those of you who don’t know, is the coach of Michigan football, he’s been there since two thousand fifteen. He was a quarterback at Michigan one point, then he was a coach, other colleges in the NFL. And he came in as a savior of Michigan’s program because it had really, really been in the dumps for a while. And while he improved things, he’s achieved basically none of what he came to Michigan to achieve. He we’ve not won a Big Ten championship. We haven’t gone to the playoffs. We have won a national championship. And most importantly of all, we have not beaten Ohio State, which is the thing we care about more than anything else. I realize it doesn’t make any sense. But so he recently had a contract extension and Michigan had signed on. Also got a horrible football season. This year is just absolutely abysmal. I think all of us just wish they had never played. It was bad, but his contract was extended. And here’s the thing. I like Jim Harbaugh. I want Jim Harbaugh to succeed. However, I am very skeptical that Jim Harbaugh will be able to succeed. He has made a number of changes, got rid of our defensive coordinator, brought some nice new talent. Some also other coaches, I think will be really good recruiters. We’ve had a relatively new offensive coordinator, so I think we have a chance. But the thing is, I just feel like his understanding of football, maybe a little bit out of date, and I don’t know if he’s ever going to be able to produce for Michigan. And last thing I’ll say is that I think he has a very limited amount of time in order to produce. I think that unless he beats Ohio State in the next two years, he’s gone.
S2: So how long has he been at Michigan and how much has he paid?
S1: So good question. So he started in twenty fifteen and and his he was he’s been known as the most one of the most well paid coaches. He was paid like eight million dollars. He’s paid a lot of money. This most recent contract extension, he took a massive pay cut and almost and the majority of the money he’s making now is actually in incentive payments. He actually has to meet targets.
S2: These incentives are things like beating Ohio.
S4: He gets like an Ohio State.
S1: I don’t remember the exact amount, but it’s Ohio State, though. There’s the University of Ohio, there’s Miami of Ohio, there’s Ohio State we hate. OK, yeah. And unfortunately, Ohio State is a very good team. It sucks when your your rival happens to be one of the best teams in the country.
S3: Have you thought about doing a football podcast, Anna, because you really just sounded like a sports podcast just now and you were speaking like that is very in the mode of of a sports podcast.
S1: I would love to do that. I basically listen to finance podcasts, some other news, and then I kid you not I think I listen to seven Michigan podcasts and then I listen to a couple of other like, oh, my God, that’s ridiculous. It’s insane. But it’s not just football. I also listen to basketball shot out. Michigan won last night. They defeated Rutgers. We’re playing Ohio State this weekend in basketball. Big game. So, yes, I would love to do a also especially football.
S5: Why is it because you’re from Michigan? Did you just grow up with the team? Is that bad? It all comes down to here.
S1: Yeah, it’s a I am from this town called Dexter, which is just outside of Ann Arbor. Almost everyone my family went to Michigan like my dad went to Michigan for medical school. One of my sisters went to Michigan. Two of my uncles went to Michigan. My dad at one point sold his medical practice to Michigan. And sports is really a big thing in my family. And so literally, my earliest memories are of college football. Like my earliest memory. I feel like it’s my mother telling me we say go blue on Saturdays and Sundays. We say the lines are horrible because they’re always horrible. So it was really I mean, I was obsessed when I was a kid. Like to the point that my family, I was inconsolable in Michigan, lost, like I would cry. Now, it was ridiculous. But I started going to the games and I was really young. And while I understand there are a lot of complications with college sports in general, especially with football, I understand all of those things. But it is something that is like the thing I was raised on that I love more than anything else. Wow. And that will lead us into our slate plus, actually.
S2: Oh, yes. And so the Slate plus is going to be about Tom Brady.
S1: Do I have that right? Yes, because I made this joke last week when Felix was saying for me to say, like, my last hot takes, that I really like Tom Brady. And I know this is a very controversial thing to say because so many people hate Tom Brady. So I will explain my love of Tom Brady in Slate. Plus, OK, my defense of Tom Brady.
S2: But before we have a. Romanski hot take defensive Tom Brady, we still have a numbers round. So, Emily, what’s your number?
S3: My number is six hundred dollars. That is the tax bill that this one woman I spoke to for a story I wrote this week has to pay because she got unemployment insurance benefits in twenty twenty. So she owes now one thousand six hundred dollars to the IRS. She is one of I think it’s going to be like millions of people who got a lot of money in unemployment insurance benefits last year because the benefits are really good and because of honestly dumb reasons. The United States makes you pay taxes on your unemployment insurance, which is again, dumb and the fault of a conservative economists from the late 1970s who thought that if you didn’t tax unemployment insurance benefits, you would never work again because they would be so great, which is hilarious and ridiculous just based on common sense. And also what I learned is that a lot of people don’t even know you have to pay taxes on the benefits. So how could they be an incentive or not if you don’t even know about them anyway? So there are a lot of money went out in 2020. A lot of people are going to owe money. A lot of them still aren’t working. Some of the ones I spoke to said they’re going to use maybe their stimulus money to pay the taxes, which is just the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard, because you’re supposed to use the money for stuff, not to just give it right back to the federal government. It’s real dumb. So I wrote about it and and that’s my No.
S2: Other two types of income that’s like taxable income and not taxed. I feel like on some level, all income should just be taxable. But trying to carve out like, oh, this is like interest on municipal bonds. And so you shouldn’t have to pay income tax on this one. Special type of income is really dumb. And I kind of like the idea that you just, you know, income taxes based on how much money you earned in the year and then you pay tax on that. And if the government wants to give you more money, you know, then it just should give you more money in taxes. All unemployment benefits should be higher than the non-taxable unemployment benefit. But like, doesn’t it make sense for everything to be taxed rather than to have this incredibly complicated tax code where you try and divide income up into what is taxed and what isn’t taxed?
S3: I mean, I think that if the state or the federal government is giving you money and aid money, that it shouldn’t be taxed. It’s not the same thing as income like snap benefits. You don’t get a bunch of food stamp money and then have to pay some back in taxes. It’s just it’s what is it doesn’t it doesn’t make sense. It’s not income in the way you’re thinking of, like money you get for doing a job or money you get from an investment or something. This is like aid. It’s just so I don’t think it’s not complicated.
S2: I think that’s a good point. But out of the tax system in that sense, it’s closer to a gift. Right. And you don’t need to pay income tax on gifts, but if it’s over a certain amount.
S3: Yeah, but it’s like I think that that amount is like literally like three hundred thousand dollars on a massive I mean, it’s just the money is coming from, in this case, the federal government, but it’s partly state aid. And what I’m sorry about that part. But the point is, like the government wanted to help you and give you this money to help you get by and now it wants some of it back. It’s just it’s illogical. It’s it’s not the same thing as as income. And in 2009, as part of the rescue package, they passed, then they exempted unemployment insurance from income tax, like the first two thousand dollars you got. And this time there’s a proposal floating around from like Dick Durbin to do it again. But it hasn’t gotten much traction. And yet there’s so much more money at stake for people because of those extra remember, it was six hundred dollars extra per week. So a lot some people made like as much as like twenty thousand dollars from these benefits. And they’re going to and they’re facing big bills. And some of the state unemployment agencies weren’t even able to withhold taxes from the payments, especially the new stuff which went out to freelancers and part timers like they didn’t even have the option of withholding. So it’s kind of a mess and I don’t think it should be treated the same as income.
S1: Yeah, I mostly am in favor of what Felix said in terms of keeping the tax code. Very, very simple. But I do think that, you know, especially when you’re talking about a crisis moment and especially when you are like sending people money because we had to shut the economy down. It just seems like you should make an exception there. But you should make a pretty broad exception just to make it simple.
S3: Yeah. I mean, I think it used to be unemployment insurance wasn’t taxed like that at all and they changed it. And in 1978, for the reason I was telling you, this Harvard economist is a very big deal. Marty Feldstein was very adamant that, yes, that this would be. I spoke to one of his students who’s now on a grown person, and I said, this is stupid. And he said, yeah, no, it’s stupid. Feldstein also believed in trickle down economics and other things. I think we all agree we’re stupid. That’s my fancy word for it.
S2: My number is two hundred and forty. Which is the median amount of money in a Robinhood account. This was a number that dropped out of the Robin Hood testimony in front of Congress this week. There are something over 13 million Robinhood accounts out there, but a lot of them have basically no money in them. And we just saw Robin Hood raising three point four billion dollars, a unknown valuation connected to its IPO price, but possibly as high as 33 billion dollars. And I do kind of wonder how much those investors think these accounts with 50 bucks or 100 bucks or 200 bucks are really going to grow in order for that kind of valuation to get justified.
S1: So my number is one percent, so in keeping with my statement about big picture thinking in 18 20 to the Bank of England, lowered interest rates for the first time ever from five percent to four percent. So they lowered it one percent, gets 100 basis points. And this created this kind of massive lending bubble. And it involved other things that the Bank of England was doing related to debt. But it fueled actually the first emerging market debt crisis because you had a lot of these Latin American countries that were newly independent. So a lot of them were issuing debt, including countries that didn’t actually exist, like the best emerging market debt story ever. Yeah, I love that story. And then it ended up resulting in this massive crisis where a tremendous number of small banks failed. And you had this famous quote that the country was within four in 20 hours of returning to a state of barter. And the reason I just bring this up is because you kind of look throughout history, having overly loose monetary policy very often leads to negative consequences. And while I have no criticisms of what the Fed or many central banks have done in this crisis, I think they did exactly what they should have done. I think that we’re entering this era where people are becoming far. To trusting that central banks can essentially do anything, that these are all essentially like super men and women and that they’ll be able to control everything and that there won’t be any negative consequences. And while I can’t say there will be because I’m not a fortune teller, I just think that this is one of the most important things that is occurring in the economy, one of the most important things that’s occurring in finance. It’s at the heart of almost every story we talk about is just you’re like, well, central banks, well, central banks. And so I think that people should just be a little bit more skeptical about this idea that central banks are all powerful.
S2: So one of the big discussions that’s been happening in the macro world of late is this idea that. Fiscal policy, if we have a one point nine dollars billion stimulus, could cause inflation, and then you have people like Janet Yellen and Jay Powell coming out and saying, well, look, if it does cause inflation, we have the tools to deal with that. And in fact, Tantanoola said that on that podcast as well. And it is definitely. Colorable is a perfectly rational belief to believe that they’re wrong about that and that if inflation does arrive, they will find it harder to stamp out than they seemingly think. But if that’s the case and if you’re right, the you know, there’s a bunch of negative consequences to overly lax monetary policy. What does that mean in practice? Should central banks be doing something different? Should public policy be different? Should fiscal policy be different? Should we be building some other form of resilience that will be able to cope with these negative consequences in the future? What’s the practical implication of what you just said?
S1: I think that’s a really important question. I would say, number one, I do think the reliance on monetary policy that we’ve seen basically since the, you know, the nineteen eighties, I think we should and I do think people are questioning whether that makes sense, because it does lead to a lot of things like asset price inflation and maybe isn’t also necessarily the best tool to stimulate economic growth. And it also increases wealth inequality. And so I partly as a policy measure, I do think we should consider how to use fiscal measure fiscal policy appropriately. Now, I realize the counter to that would be well, but it’s going to be harder to use fiscal policy if rates go up. And that’s a legitimate concern. And I think then that leads to the other problem of looking at like I think one of Felix’s least favorite word, like structural problems, like what are some of the issues that are keeping growth lower in a number of developing economies? Is there anything we can do about that now? I do tend to agree that I don’t think rates will ever go up to where they were potentially in the past. I can’t say that for sure. But it does seem like the natural rate of interest has probably declined because of a number of factors like an aging population and technology, globalization and all of these things. However, I do think that we should consider what are the negative aspects of having rates potentially too low, and I do think one of them is that it encourages people to take more and more risks and encourages people to take more and more debt. And so I do think partly it’s shifting more towards fiscal policy. It’s looking at these underlying structural problems, it is probably making sure that you do have strong regulations in terms of the banking sector. The other problem, though, I would say, and I don’t have a good answer for some of this.
S2: Well, I have an answer. Let me ask you if you if your answer is my answer. But one. Seemingly obvious answer to this, which wouldn’t necessarily solve all of the problems, but would solve a few of them, would be to abolish the tax deductibility of interest payments partly.
S1: And I actually kind of agree with you. I think it probably makes sense potentially to do that. Maybe you can make arguments on both sides. But I think it’s a I think that’s a reasonable suggestion. I don’t think, though, that that’s necessarily going to solve all of the problems. No, there’s no silver bullets in this one. Yeah. And I know my answer is probably not the most satisfying answer, and that’s partly because there isn’t an easy answer for this. And this is part of the reason people who are way smarter than I am are still just kind of muddling along and trying to figure out what exactly do we do, because obviously everyone knows that there are risks out there. Everyone knows that there are when you have companies, including very, very risky companies, being able to borrow very, very cheaply. But then the question becomes, well, but if rates go up, any of these people will be able to service this debt. People know that. But then the question is, what do you do? And we don’t have a lot of great answers for that. That’s a very satisfying way to end.
S2: OK. On which deeply, deeply unsatisfying, though, I think this final and this Romanski episode of Slate Money needs to get wrapped up. I hope that somehow in some crazy universe we will have to wait. We will have you back on the show because we have a whole mini series of late money goes to the movies episodes which have yet to come out. The next one on Tuesday is Michael Clayton. We have Peter Kafka fighting with Anna Shamansky over Michael Clayton, which is going to it’s a fun little argy bargy that won. So we will have a little bit more energy Manski on this show. But Anna, thank you so much for being on this show for however many years it’s been. I mean, time has no meaning anymore in this pandemic, but it feels like it’s been an extremely long time. It’s been amazing having you on. It’s been amazing talking about movies with you. And obviously, it goes without saying that if you can get it past your new compliance department or whoever you welcome back on Slate money at any time in the future.
S1: Well, thank you so much. It has been it’s been four years, almost almost exactly four years, which is kind of hard to believe, but it’s been awesome. This has been such a cool experience and I am definitely going to going to miss all you guys. Oh, OK.
S2: So that’s it. Thank you, Anna, again. Thank you, gentlemen, for producing. And thank you all for sending in those lovely notes to Anna, who will still be getting notes on Slate money at Slate Dotcom for a little while yet. We’re not going to take her off the Slate email for the time being. If you could do one thing for me, I would very much appreciate it, which is there’s an online survey. We need to know who you are. It’s at Slate dot com survey. And if you answer the questions that it’ll make this podcast and all of sleep much better. Stay tuned for this. Romanski is defensive. Tom Brady. I’m sleepless. Anna, I know nothing of Tom Brady except for he plays American football and I guess he won the Super Bowl this year. This is a bad thing. Oh, wait. There was a thing where he deflated footballs, right?
S1: So the thing with Tom Brady is that I think part of the reason a lot of people don’t like him is because he has been so successful to the point that you actually, when you’re looking at his Super Bowl victories, his playoff victories, you actually have to compare him to other franchises because he has so much more than other players.
S2: So I want to I want to stop you right there, because this is America. In England, where I come from, we love to root for the underdogs and we hate like Manchester United, just steamrolling everyone and I can understand why that idea of hating the successful doesn’t seem to be the case. If you look at I know Simone Biles, Serena Williams, like anyone else who, like, dominates their sport, no one’s like, oh, that person’s too successful. They’re really crap. We hate them. Explain why that would be the case in in the case of Tom Brady.
S1: I think part of it is because he is so good looking and he’s married to a supermodel. I really do think that that that that is I think that that’s a lot of it like and yes, I know there are these other things that there was like the deflate gate and then but I kind of think some of that was blown out of proportion. I also know that people will be like, oh, he gets more calls by the refs, which is actually not true if you look statistically. And and there may be other reasons, but I really do think a lot of it is just that people don’t like him because he is just so darn lucky in a lot of ways.
S3: Honestly, I want to throw up right now because people don’t like him because he’s so good looking. No, no, no. The man is boring, OK? He is boring.
S5: Has he ever said anything funny, charming, interesting.
S3: No, no, no. I asked the person I trust the most on this, which is my husband, who’s a big sports fan, and I also have listened and paid a little bit of attention. The man has no charm. He is charmless. Also, of course, he’s been spotted at least once wearing a maggot. Am I right or wrong?
S1: I am right. I think that that is true, although I don’t think that was because he had really strong opinions about.
S5: I really I mean, I bet you hey, sport, that I nothing. I mean, he’s really talented. And I think a lot of people like him because he’s like the greatest of all time kind of player, like a like a goat, if you will. That’s what they call them, goat. And I’m sure if you like, scratched the surface of what I’m saying, I would reveal very little knowledge. He’s really good at football. That is obvious and clear, but he is boring. And it’s not because he is good looking. It is because he is boring and charmless, because there are other, like, quote unquote, good looking quarterbacks in the vein of him that are more fun. Like Peyton Manning is kind of a similar character, but he’s like kind of funny, like he’s Manning hosted Saturday Night Live and that made me laugh. And Tom Brady never makes me laugh. He wears like UGG boots and talks about how he doesn’t eat tomatoes.
S4: Like what it’s like I just I’m not into that yet. You’re totally wrong. So here’s the thing.
S1: Like Tom Brady is so fascinating because he’s actually not the most talented quarterback. So I, I have had a very long relationship with Tom Brady. Goes back to nineteen ninety six when he was first at Michigan and he was like a six string quarterback. His first ever passing through at Michigan was a pick six was intercepted a run back for a touchdown. He had to fight his senior year to even have a starting job because there’s this other guy who was a better athlete, even though Tom Brady was a better quarterback. And this all partly leads to my personal feelings about Tom Brady, that because he was at Michigan, I actually in 1997 when after the Ohio State game, which we won, where our sister and I stormed the field, I actually stood next to Tom Brady for about 30 minutes as they were doing this little ceremony with roses. And he seemed very nice to all the people who came up to him, which was my first interaction with my only interaction with Tom Brady. And it wasn’t so much an interaction, but you know what I’m saying? OK, but the reason that Tom Brady is so fascinating is that, you know, there’s a reason he was picked in the sixth round of the NFL draft. And it is because. He is slow, you know, he’s never been very mobile, his arms OK, but like, it’s not amazing. He’s never been able to make the type of plays that you see like a Patch Holmes who can make. Unbelievable. But the thing about Tom Brady that I just find so fascinating is that he. Partly is able he both has extreme confidence and yet also very much acknowledges his own weaknesses, and that is part of the reason that he has been as successful as he is because he doesn’t try to force things. He has this clearly. I’m not saying he’s like an intellectual. I don’t think he is. I’ve heard him speak as well. But he just has this innate sense of measuring risk and reward that is really fascinating to watch. And on top of that, he also is just almost. Like, amazingly calm in the moments when almost everyone else panics. So that’s part of the reason that he has been so successful in terms of winning playoff games and winning Super Bowls, because he just stays calm even when the team is behind. He was the comeback kid at Michigan because similarly, he could often come from behind. He just didn’t panic. And, you know, again, these are these skills that you would think wouldn’t matter that much. You know, you would think that at the end of the day, talent, raw talent is going to be what matters more than anything else. I’m not saying he isn’t talented, but that’s not really in a way, he’s been an underdog, which I know sounds silly, but he has been I mean, he was like the seventh string quarterback at Michigan. I guess there were six quarterbacks taken ahead of him in the draft. He had to then he had to fight to become the backup to Drew Bledsoe and then to take over as the quarterback of the Patriots. And I kind of find that fascinating.
S2: So what this strikes me as as someone who knows much less than Emily about football, let alone and it seems to me. That you like Tom Brady because he’s a bond investor and not a stock investor?
S1: It’s kind of true. It’s so funny because when I was like preparing for this segment and I was kind of putting together my reasons and not like my personal reasons, but like my more intellectual reasons, I was like, yeah, it’s because I think you’d be a good investor.
S3: Why would he be a good investor?
S2: He would be a high income investor because he’s risk averse. Right. Like bond investors, the first thing they worry about is how do I lose money and how do I avoid losing money where the stock investors are like like bond investors are fearful and stock investors are greedy. So stock investors are like, what can I invest in that’s going to go up fifty five times? And bond investors like, how can I avoid losing one penny? And Tom Brady’s like, I’m weak and I just need to make sure that I get this football out of my hand and to wherever it needs to go in the safest possible way, which is a very sort of fixed income investor kind of mindset. And as we all know in her heart of hearts and Shamansky is a fixed income investor.
S4: That’s true. That’s very true.
S3: Well, it’s clear that you like him based on real things and not just judging him by his personality and what of vegetables he eats.
S2: So I concede to you, Anna, but honestly, like, there’s nothing wrong with tomatoes.
S1: No, of course not, but he doesn’t he doesn’t eat them, I believe, but all I’m saying is the man is forty three years old and he just won a Super Bowl. So maybe we shouldn’t eat tomatoes.
S4: And it’s like it’s it’s working. It’s working for him. That’s fair.
S3: That’s true.
S2: OK, there you go. Tom Brady apparently is good. Actually, this is my opinion. I will hold thanks to Sleepless. Thank you, Hannah.