Note: If it’s not obvious this is NOT NOT NOT real investing advice. I am not remotely qualified to give financial advice to a turnip. There. Disclaimer over.
Brett Arends at the Wall Street Journal has figured out how to get rich.
The New York Times’ 2015 bonds, currently showing “substantial risk,” are yielding 11%. All you’d have to do, he writes, is take out a mortgage on your home at about 5.5% and buy NYT bonds with the money. Six years later—assuming the Times hasn’t gone bankrupt—you’ve got a nice chunk of change.
The catch? The Grey Lady ain’t lookin’ so hot. Arends reminds us that last winter the Times borrowed money from Mexican telecom billionaire Carlos Slim Helu at 17%, “a rate so usurious that, like certain sexual acts, it used to be illegal in many states.”
And though the Times may or may not be planning to charge for content, Arends isn’t so sure how it’ll work.
“The Times recently asked some readers in a survey if they’d pay $5 a month to read the paper online…At that rate it would eventually need 44 million subscribers to cover costs.”
Okay, it can subsist on advertising then.
“The Times’ websites had about 52 million online readers in the first quarter. Internet revenues? Just $78 million…That’s 50 cents per reader per month. That’s not even a box of tic tacs.”
Okay, we’re screwed.