11 February 2010

Ban AC in DC?

ProfessorBainbridge.com | Stephen Bainbridge | Making Money by Sending Congress Home

Wasn't it former Senator Howard Baker who said that the invention of air conditioning was the worst thing that ever happened to Washington, because it made year round government possible?

Of course, Congress isn't really in Washington year round. They go home a lot on recess. And apparently it's possible to profit from that tendency:
The [recent snow storm that paralyzed Washington] spelled opportunity for the Congressional Effect Fund, a mutual fund that invests in the S&P 500 only when Congress is out of session, and in Treasurys and the money market anytime else. "When we found out at 4:30 p.m. yesterday that they were going to declare a snow day, we went into the market," said Eric Singer, who manages the portfolio.

The rationale for the fund: "Over the past 40 years, 99% of the price gains in the market cumulatively occur when Congress is on vacation," Mr. Singer said.
Makes sense to me. When they're not in town, they can't do anything that gums up the works of business.
The 99% figure sounds a bit hyperbolic, but I'm still going to check this out.

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