Billionaire investor Howard Marks used a weird reference to 'jumbo shrimp' to skewer America's politicians

You can always count on Howard Marks to be entertaining and opinionated.

The cofounder of Oaktree Capital Management published his latest memo on Wednesday night, focusing on ‘Political Reality.’ He also has a video on the same topic.

It’s a long and entertaining read, but we thought we’d pick out his eye-catching reference to ‘jumbo shrimp’, an example of an oxymoron, or a phrase that is internally contradictory.

According to Marks, ‘political reality’ is another oxymoron. In other words, politicians are living in la-la land.

Here’s the key passage:

“I’ve always gotten a kick out of oxymorons — phrases that are internally contradictory — such as “jumbo shrimp” and “common sense.” I’ll add “political reality” to the list. The world of politics has its own, altered reality, in which economic reality often seems not to impinge. No choices need be made: candidates can promise it all. And there are no consequences. If something might have negative consequences in the real world, politicians seem to feel free to ignore them. If someone annoying, like a journalist or an opposing candidate, asks about potential consequences, it’s easy these days to misrepresent them or deny they exist. And if it turns out that costs or consequences were wilfully ignored, no redress is available: election victories based on unmet promises can’t be rescinded, and candidates can’t be sued over falsehoods on the stump.”

Marks later focuses on the rise of Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders and potential changes to the American political system. You can read the entire thing here.

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