Where Bitcoin Is Legal Tender

Where Bitcoin Is Legal Tender

  • Bitcoin
  • September 16, 2022
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  • 8

To the Editor:
This was utterly predictable. Imagine what would happen if the U.S. dollar fluctuated at only a small percentage of the degree to which Bitcoin does. Total chaos (“El Salvador’s Lonely Experiment,” Cover Story, Sept. 9).

Combined with the senseless environmental harm done by these absurd cryptocurrencies, this should be a lesson to anyone who thinks this “currency” has any place in serious financial systems. Hopefully, the Securities Exchange Commission and/or Congress will finally apply common-sense regulations on crypto.

John Fischer, On Barrons.com

To the Editor:
Getting into crypto is a risk/reward decision threshold for me. When the risk/reward ratio of using crypto versus the dollar becomes better in my favor, it is time. Now is not the time. Let the crypto crowd sweat out the kinks. I’ll sit on the sidelines and watch the game unfold.

Roli Antonio, On Barrons.com

Contrarian Indicators

To the Editor:
A Kardashian private-equity firm (“A Housing Bubble and Kim Kardashian: More Troubling News for Markets,” Up & Down Wall Street, Sept. 9). Actors promoting crypto when Bitcoin was at $62,000. C-list celebrities with special-purpose acquisition companies. Even NBA superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo is starting an environmental, social, and corporate governance fund. Sounds great. Hey, what could go wrong?

Steve Klouda, Sugar Grove, Ill.

Social Insecurity

To the Editor:
Americans have been wringing their hands for decades about the insufficiency of funds in the pool of capital that will freeze out the next generation of payees. The problem isn’t economic; it is entirely political (“Social Security Will Hit a Breaking Point. What It Means for Younger Workers,” Sept. 9).

We can solve “social insecurity” in a heartbeat. Simply invest the money in an index of U.S. equities that, over time, will pay beneficiaries about 9% a year versus the current 1% that the fund earns. That will end the subject of sufficient funds, as participants will earn great sums over time. The impediments are politicians in Washington, D.C., who want control over the fund so they can blow it on favored projects, rather than give Americans the peace of mind that we all seek.

Citizens should band together and demand this outcome or vote against every member of Congress who thinks otherwise. And for those who refuse to comply, we should remove them from any retirement program in which they now participate. Care to bet we get the changes?

Rich Klitzberg, Boca Raton, Fla.

To the Editor:
The easiest and most sensible way to guarantee Social Security continuity is to raise the cap on contributions. This is done periodically. Even so, it has always been the lower and middle classes that fund Social Security. The wealthy upper classes have never paid their fair share because their contributions stop at [an annual income level of] $147,000. Why aren’t we taxing those that make $148,000 to $10 million-plus on their full income, or at least some percentage above the current cap? That would keep Social Security in the black indefinitely.

Lyle Stotelmyre, Oceanside, Calif.

To the Editor:
I found Martha Shedden, president and co-founder of the National Association of Registered Social Security Analysts, a bit glib as she concluded that beneficiaries should simply ignore potential benefit cuts resulting from program shortfalls. If benefits are cut 23% across the board in 2034, it will have a much smaller impact on those who start benefits early than on those who start them late.

Assume someone turns 62 in 2026. Under the provided program depletion schedule, he can enjoy eight years of benefits before the cut starts in 2034. But if he starts benefits at age 70, his benefits are cut from inception.

In addition, compared with a program without such cuts, the breakeven year (a critical calculation for any sane individual evaluating the merits of delaying retirement) under the above situation comes three years later (at age 81) for someone waiting until full retirement age and four years later (at age 86) for someone waiting until age 70.

Clint Myers, Georgetown, S.C.

Buying Europe

To the Editor:
Cresset Capital’s Jack Ablin believes that there will be a buying opportunity in the First Trust S&P International Dividend Aristocrats exchange-traded fund when Federal Reserve tightening slows (“How Europe’s Energy Crisis Could Play Out,” Sept. 9). As Ablin says, the ETF holds high-quality companies with strong balance sheets that can withstand an “ugly quarter.” But however strong these companies might be, the problem lies with the ETF’s long-term performance: one-year, minus 8.38%; three-year, 1.74%; five-year, 2.8%; and from inception, 2.14%. I wonder why Ablin thinks the future might be any brighter. Some individual-stock research might prove better in selecting winners.

Harvey Rosen, Brooklyn N.Y.

Holy Grail

To the Editor:
Clearly, Illumina’s main line of business producing sequencing tools is fantastic (“Illumina Stock Has Tanked After Its Deal for Grail. The Battle With Regulators Continues,” Follow-Up, Sept. 9). My view is that CEO Francis deSouza wouldn’t be spending the enormous amounts of human capital and actual dollars for Grail unless the payoff would be huge, which I happen to agree with. The numbers are massive. I’m sticking with Illumina and deSouza, with or without Grail, but I hope that it’s with.

Britt Hughes, On Barrons.com

Send letters to: mail@barrons.com. To be considered for publication, correspondence must bear the writer’s name, address, and phone number. Letters are subject to editing.

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