The “Billionaires Aren’t Liquid” Argument is BS

Billionaires are more liquid than you, me, or the Pacific Ocean, so, please, stop using this asinine argument.

Nicolas Carteron
6 min readMar 18, 2021

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Whenever the topic of taxing wealth is mentioned, someone will end up saying that we can’t tax billionaires’ wealth because “they are not liquid.” The reasoning goes that since billionaires’ wealth is “in their company, not yachts,” levying a tax on their wealth would force them to sell stocks, reducing their control over their company. If you believe the anti-taxxers, this would, in the end, remove all incentives towards entrepreneurship, work, and the pursuit of happiness itself.

Obviously, the only reason we all work is that we hope to become a billionaire one day. If that’s why you wake up in the morning, I have a bridge for sale you might be interested in.

You don’t have to trust my word for it. Just look it up anywhere. Here is a quick Twitter search:

People seem to miss (whether by ignorance or bad faith) that billionaires have access to financial tools that allow them to leverage their wealth beyond common measure. While it is true that most of their fortunes are tied to stockholdings, this does not mean that they are not liquid, far from it! They are more liquid than you can imagine. They’d have no trouble paying Elizabeth Warren’s 3% wealth tax, should it come to pass.

Don’t believe me? Let me show you.

In this article, we’ll look at how billionaires can achieve liquidity without selling any share at all with Lombard credit, how these credits are even more efficient in terms of taxes, and how, in the end, they wouldn’t feel a 3% wealth tax because, when numbers reach three commas, percentages don’t matter anymore.

What are Lombard credits?

Lombard credits are bank loans that are backed by pledged assets, mostly securities or life insurance policies. Banks require that the securities pledged be “readily marketable.” In the case of most billionaires, the stocks they own fall under this category…

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Nicolas Carteron

I write about politics, business, society and culture on Medium. For startup/business content, check my newsletter: fundraisedd.substack.com