Is Peter Thiel Trying To Break Up Google? This $300,000 Political Contribution Seems To Imply He Is…

Peter Thiel, the billionaire venture capitalist who backed President Trump (just before giving his presidency a “50% chance of ending in disaster“) and infamously helped Hulk Hogan bring down Gawker.com, has allegedly set his sights on a new target: Google. According to The Mercury News, suspicions about Thiel’s next pet project were raised after he recently contributed $300,000 to Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley just before he launched an antitrust lawsuit against the alleged search monopoly.
So far, high-profile Silicon Valley venture capitalist and PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel isn’t saying publicly why he gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to the campaign of a state attorney general who’s just launched an antitrust probe of Google. But it’s not the first time Thiel has handed cash to an AG who went after Google over monopoly concerns.
Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley announced Nov. 13 that his office was investigating Google to see if the Mountain View tech giant had violated the state’s antitrust and consumer-protection laws. The Missouri attorney general said he had issued an investigative subpoena to Google. He’s looking at the firm’s handling of users’ personal data, along with claims that it misappropriated content from rivals and pushed down competitors’ websites in search results.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 16, 2017.

Wozniak and Thiel Fuel Bitcoin-Gold Debate: Gold Comes Out On Top

– Gold versus bitcoin debate makes further headlines as tech experts weigh in
– Peter Thiel tells Saudi conference he believes bitcoin is underestimated and compares to gold
– Steve Wozniak tells Money 20/20 that bitcoin is a better standard of value than gold and U. S. dollar
-Both men recognise that the US dollar has little value and there are worthy competitors to its crown as reserve currency
– Gold continues to hold its value and has multiple uses, bitcoin remains volatile and difficult to use
– Experts are pushing an unnecessary debate as gold and bitcoin state more about fiat than each other
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Lords of the tech world Peter Thiel and Steve Wozniak are the latest to add fuel to the bitcoin versus gold debate.
At separate conferences both told audiences that they had great hopes for bitcoin, comparing it to gold. The co-founder of Paypal and the Apple co-founder both expressed views that suggest they believe the world’s biggest cryptocurrency is superior to the world’s oldest form of money.

This post was published at Gold Core on October 30, 2017.

Millennials Are Using Financing To Pay For $450 Blenders

Low wages, mounting student debt and rising rents in the trendy urban centers where millennials prefer to live leave young people with little to spend on luxuries like an iPhone, or tickets to Fyre Festival pt. II. So, since millennials can’t seem to buy anything outright, payment companies are partnering with businesses to offer financing options for goods that, in the past, would’ve gone straight on the credit card, according to MarketWatch.
With interest rates ranging from 0% to 30%, compared with the average rate of 17% on credit cards, millennials are increasingly financing purchases from airplane tickets to luxury bedsheets with loans from payment companies like PayPal and Affirm. Indeed, millennials’ seeming inability to pay for anything outright has caused revolving debt in the US to balloon past $1 trillion.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 17, 2017.

Q2 2017 Bank Earnings Outlook

In this issue of The Institutional Risk Analyst, we take a prospective look at Q2 2107 earnings for the large cap banks in the financial services sector. By way of disclosure, we don’t own any banks. Our direct exposure to financials is in fintech and in just two names – Square (NYSE:SQ) and PayPal (NASDAQ:PYPL). More on these names in a future issue of The IRA.
The larger US banks experienced a mini bull rush following the most recent stress tests conducted by the Fed and other prudential regulators. The good news is that the banks have too much capital. The bad news is that, well, the largest banks have too little business to support revenue and earnings, leading to the obvious conclusion that share buybacks must go up.
First, looking at the best valued of the large banks, let’s consider US Bancorp (NYSE:USB). With an ‘A+’ bank stress index rating from Total Bank Solutions, USB is among the lowest risk large banks in the US. Trading at over 2x book value, the shares of the $440 billion total asset USB are up 2x the S&P 500 over the past year. Needless to say, with a beta of 0.93, this is one large bank stock most hedge funds don’t dare sell short.
The Street estimates that USB’s revenue will be up 5% for the full year and earnings up 7% in 2017. Because USB does not depend upon Wall Street investment banking and derivatives activities to make its earnings number, this bank has among the most dependable financial performance of the top five commercial banks by assets.

This post was published at Wall Street Examiner on July 13, 2017.

War on Gold, War on Korea, China Collapse and More

Guest Post from Money Metals Exchange
Listen to the Podcast Audio: Click Here
Mike Gleason (Money Metals Exchange): I wanted to ask you about a tweet you sent out earlier this month – and for people who want to follow you there, it’s @JamesGRickards – but in that tweet you wrote:
Just informed that Scotia Bank branch is now a gold buyer only. Will not sell to retail clients. Get it while you can. War on gold is here.
Expand on that here, Jim. What did you make of that move and why did you make those comments?
Jim Rickards: Sure. We have a war on cash. I think that’s pretty well known to the listeners, so we see it everywhere. India just abolished its two most popular forms of cash. They literally woke up one day and they said, I think it was the 2,000 rupee note and the 1,000 rupee note, if I’m not mistaken. I believe those are the right denominations. Not worth a whole lot by our standards, worth like $15 or whatever. But they were, by far the most popular and widely used, widely circulated bank notes in India. And the government just woke up and said they’re all illegal. They’re worthless. Just like that. Now what they said is, ‘Now you can take them down to the bank and you can hand them in, and we’ll give you digital credit in your account – oh by the way, the tax inspector’s going to be there asking you where you got the money.’ So obviously it was designed to flush out people suspected of tax evasion.
Although, in fact it turned out that there weren’t that many tax cheaters. They were just people who actually preferred money. They preferred cash and they were forced out of the system, forced into this digital system. And there were all kinds of negative repercussions of that. So, there’s a whole country that abolished the most popular forms of cash.
Sweden is very close to cashless. You go around the United States, you might have some, what we call in Philadelphia ‘walking around money.’ I can look in my wallet and there’s probably some 20s and maybe a couple 50s in there, but when you transact, you get paid digitally. You pay your bills with automatic debits. You transfer money with wire transfers. You use your debit card. You use your credit card, etc. You shop on Amazon, you pay with a debit or credit card, etc. maybe PayPal. And I do that. Everyone does that. I’m no different. I’m not exempt from or outside the system.

This post was published at Deviant Investor on July 4, 2017.

EBay And PayPal Have An ENORMOUS Fraud Enabling Problem

I have recently become aware of an utterly enormous fraud vector problem with both of these related (used to be that PayPal was owned by Ebay) sites.
On every reputable site around the Internet, no matter what it is, when you sign up for an account you have to verify that you own the email address that you give them before they will let you do anything.
That’s true everywhere. It’s true for banks. It’s true for forums like mine, Garmin’s or anyone else’s. It’s true in every instance I’m aware of; you sign up, you get a link in your email, you click the link which is only known to you and then, and only then, can you do anything.
Except with eBAY and PayPal.
I do not know when this changed, but it has. Someone (and I know who it is) used a very old email address that belongs to me and is not used for any of these sorts of things (but has a legitimate purpose) to sign up for an eBAY account and pay for items using PayPal.

This post was published at Market-Ticker on 2017-07-03.

African Gold Scam Takes $70,000 from Michigan Credit Union

Last week 63-year-old Kenneth J. Plonski was charged in a Michigan court for defrauding the Copoco Community Credit Union of more than $70,000. Plonski claims he was also duped by a ‘friend’ into wiring cash to Africa to buy gold. However, Plonski claims he never received any African gold.
The alleged scam is a classic case of ‘robbing Peter to pay Paul’. Plonski allegedly took out a mortgage with the CCCU in 2014 and began making his monthly payments. Court records show Plonski also used the mortgage to secure a Visa gift card with a $20,000 line of credit, according to a local Michigan network.

This is basically how the scam worked: beginning in the spring of 2016, Plonski allegedly began making large payments with the Visa card’s line of credit and sending them through an online bill pay service like PayPal. After a day or so went by, Plonski would then fund that line of credit with a cash advance taken from the CCCU. After the advance funds made it into the credit card’s balance, Plonski would then reverse the charges on the payments and the bank was left holding the bag.

This post was published at Schiffgold on FEBRUARY 14, 2017.

Peter Thiel May Run For California Governor In 2018

Outspoken Trump supporter and Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel is reportedly considering a 2018 bid for California governor. While Politico reports close Thiel friends are skeptical, the deeply-private entrepreneur’s rare interview with the New York Times’ Maureen Dowd raised eyebrows and Thiel has conspicuously yet to rule out a bid.
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As Politico reports, Thiel, who co-founded PayPal and was an early investor in Facebook, has been discussing a prospective bid with a small circle of advisers, including Rob Morrow, who has emerged as his political consigliere.
Those who have been in touch with the 49-year-old entrepreneur are skeptical that he’ll enter the race. He is a deeply private figure, and California is unfriendly territory for a Republican – particularly a pro-Trump one. The president-elect won just over 30 percent of the vote there.
But they add that Thiel has conspicuously yet to rule out a bid and that those around him continue to discuss it.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jan 15, 2017.

Peter Thiel Explains Why Hedge Funds Changed Their Mind About Trump, Says “Age Of Apple Is Over”

Donald Trump’s sole Silicon Valley supporter, Peter Thiel, has been notoriously media shy (recall he personally funded the destruction of Gawker for “outing” him), so when the NYT’s Maureen Dowd posted an extensive interview with the Paypal cofounder and first Facebook investor, many were curious for insight into his thinking. In the interview, Thiel spoke candidly about how he views the world, just a week before Trump’s inauguration, and while he touched on many topics, some that stood out to us were the following.
On why rich people and hedge fund managers changed their opinion of Trump virtually overnight:
‘Somehow, I think Silicon Valley got even more spun up than Manhattan. There were hedge fund people I spoke to about a week after the election. They hadn’t supported Trump. But all of a sudden, they sort of changed their minds. The stock market went up, and they were like, ‘Yes, actually, I don’t understand why I was against him all year long.” It remains to be seen what “they” think of Trump once the market suffers its next correction.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jan 12, 2017.

PAYPAL USES SLICK SUPER BOWL AD TO PROMOTE CASHLESS SOCIETY

Banks and governments all over the world have been pushing for a cashless society in recent years. They demonize cash at every turn, because they don’t want you to buy and sell anonymously. They want every transaction to exist in their surveillance grid. They don’t want the accountability that cash provides. Instead, they’d rather have the power to confiscate your wealth on a whim and impose negative interest rates. Above all else, they want to hinder your ability to save for the future.
So it’s no surprise that they would use slick propaganda to make cash seem dirty and old-fashioned, which is exactly what this PayPal advertisement is designed to do.


This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on FEBRUARY 8, 2016.

PayPal Announces Launch of PayPal.Me Peer-to-peer Payments Similar to Square Cash or Bitcoin Wallets

Receiving money from a friend, client or anyone else on PayPal just got a little bit easier. Today, the company announced the launch of PayPal. Me, a personal, vanity PayPal link that makes it easy to remind people to send you money.
The idea behind the peer-to-payment service is to erase the awkwardness of getting repaid by someone. Instead of having to ask them, a user could just send his or her friend a PayPal.me link and the friend would be able to pay using their own PayPal account. It minimizes the need for conversation about something that could, theoretically, make someone uncomfortable.
PayPal.me has launched in 18 countries, including the United States, Great Britain, Germany, Australia, Canada, Russia, Turkey, France, Italy, Spain, Poland, Sweden, Belgium, Norway, Denmark, Netherlands, Austria and Switzerland. Payments between two users in the U. K. will be completely free. For U. S. customers, there are no transfer fees when funds are deducted from a bank account or existing PayPal balance.

This post was published at Bitcoin Magazine on SEPTEMBER 1, 2015.

SP 500 and NDX Futures Daily Charts – Bounce

US equities had a nice bounce today, especially the SP 500, as compared to the tech heavy NDX.
The next two moves will tell us quite a bit more about this. And especially the NDX which had led the way higher in the last rally which recently crested with the IPO of Paypal.
You have to be agile if you wish to play the wash-rinse game. I do not recommend it. The system is set up to wear you down with transactional friction from spreads and fees.

This post was published at Jesses Crossroads Cafe on 28 JULY 2015.

SP 500 and NDX Futures Daily Charts – Rinse-a-Matic

Stocks in the US continued to slide, in sympathy with China and a generally poor outlook for the world of real productivity and wealth.
And in large part this is the rinse cycle of a wash-rinse stock market operation conducted by insiders that took US equity prices up to unsustainable levels in the first place.
It looks like our cynical outlook just after Wall Street squeezed out the Paypal IPO was on the money.
No credit really, given the screaming non-confirmation out of anything except for a very narrow rally in a few tech name. If your favorite purveyor of market analysis was not saying ‘get out for now’ you may wish to find a new one.
So as everyone seems to wish to say, ‘what next?’
Now we see what happens in China, and what sort of support that US stocks can find as they approach the lower bounds of the current trend channels, wash and rinse-wise.
We will take a peek at the Advanced GDP number for second quarter and that might mean something IF China can stabilize and Greece does not blow up again, which it very well may.

This post was published at Jesses Crossroads Cafe on 27 JULY 2015.

SP 500 and NDX Futures Daily Charts – Roll Over Beethoven

If you have not done so already, it is probably time to take profits in US equities.
The advance is so narrow it is almost chilling, with the upward momentum in stocks down to a handful of new era tech giants.
Down volume was almost double up volume on the broader market. The wiseguys were taking profits.
The Paypal ‘ipo’ was brought out today in the fluffy new era atmosphere, and did well. And this was probably the greatest motivator behind this latest ‘rally.’
IBM beat EPS estimates but missed revenues after the bull. IBM is, alas, a once great company that is now a dead man walking, sustained by accounting theatrics at these price levels.
These jokers are financial TV are incredible. I watched CNBC this afternoon and I could almost feel my IQ declining. They could, and probably should, be selling blenders on the Home Shopping Network.

This post was published at Jesses Crossroads Cafe on 20 JULY 2015.

U.S. Government Does Not Want People Thinking About The 4th Of July – Episode 708

The following video was published by X22Report on Jul 3, 2015
Greek government does not know when the banks will reopen. Greek banks are running out of cash and PayPal shuts down. IMF releases report that shows more debt will destroy Greece. Thousands rally in France to support Greece, Austria signs petition to leave the EU. Obama continually lies about the employment numbers, uses no facts. The FED mysteriously loses the gold audit report. NSA has not stopped collecting our personal data. OSCE reports shelling in the buffer zone. Kiev getting ready for a major offensive. US military cannot celebrate 4th of July because of threats. Rep Peter King says there are nuclear devices in NY. The US Government does not want the people of the US thinking about independence day, when the people wanted their independence from a tyrannical government.

BitGold Soars 39% After Listing on Toronto Venture Exchange

Taking inspiration from Bitcoin, BitGold wants to make gold accessible and useful in digital payments and secure savings. It is essentially Paypal with gold. They are advancing the digital payments revolution by helping people securely acquire, store, and now spend gold with unprecedented simplicity.
BitGold provide users with a secure vault account to purchase and hold gold, the ability to make and receive instant gold payments, and a debit card for spending gold at traditional points of sale. All gold is fully redeemable as 1kg Bullion Bars or 10g GoldCubes.
Apparently investors like the idea. BitGold listed at 90 cents on May 13, and shares have since jumped to $3.77 apiece, with more than 4 million shares traded. The stock was up another 39% today, after their first day trading on the TSX Venture Exchange yesterday (CVE: XAU).
It is the culmination of several years of hard work by the founders, Roy Sebag and Josh Crumb, and is being backed by George Soros, Sprott Inc., Dundee Capital, Sandstorm Gold and other big-name financiers.

This post was published at GoldStockBull on May 14th, 2015.

The “Cashless Economy” Is A Myth

Via ConvergEx’s Nick Colas,
The ‘Cashless economy’ is myth. Forget what you think you know about credit and debit cards, PayPal, bitcoin, Apple Pay and any other modern conveniences meant to displace physical currency. The truth is that transactional currency ($1 through $20 bills) in circulation per capita today in America is essentially where it was, inflation adjusted, in 1994: $661 then and $649 today. Moreover, the Federal Reserve’s orders from the U. S. Treasury for small bills have grown faster in the last five years than the 20 year average: 4.5% annually versus a 3.5% long run growth rate. This year should be no different, with the Fed ordering $49.9 billion of ‘small bill’ currency, the largest amount since 2010. One bit of good economic news in terms of transactions: $1 bills wear out fastest, and the Fed’s 2015 order of 2.5 billion bills is higher than 2014 (2.3 billion) and 2013 (1.8 billion). That’s growth and relevance any startup online payment company would be happy to see.
* * *
As a New York City resident, the ‘Fast Cash’ button at ATMs in other U. S. cities always amuses me. The most typical offering is $20. That doesn’t even buy you a 7 day unlimited MetroCard in Gotham ($30) or a sandwich at the Carnegie Deli (the Reuben is $29.99). If you want to see ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ at the Ziegfeld you’ll get a Lincoln back for your Jackson, but you’ll have to choose between a drink or popcorn. You won’t be able to afford both.
And yet there is actually some good data behind that $20 Fast Cash option. According to the Diary of Consumer Payment Choice, a 2012 survey done by three regional Federal Reserve branches, the average adult American carries $56 and the median observation is $22. Only 5.2% of Americans carry a $100 bill, and a Boston Fed paper from November 2014 estimated that 65% of those notes actually circulate overseas. So a $20 bill from the ATM in Des Moines or Charlotte is actually enough to replenish the average American’s wallet. Just don’t try that in NYC.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 02/27/2015.

AAA , Great Ebay Synergies, Tremendous PayPal Shareholder Value; Over Three Thousand Layoffs

Throughout the summer, one of the biggest activist stories, therefore one naturally involving Carl Ichan, was whether eBay would spin off PayPal. And sure enough, following months of promises and vows by John Donohoe that the company would never split, on September 30, around the time the market started hitting one record high after another, the company announced it would do precisely the opposite and all those activist demands would be fulfilled (and that John Donohoe would be handsomely compensated for his lies, especially since he would have no role in the resulting company).
So when the press release hit, some were wondering just what do the following buzzwords mean:
Maximizes strategic focus and flexibility for eBay and PayPal to capitalize on respective growth opportunities in highly competitive, rapidly changing global commerce and payments markets Preserves eBay and PayPal relationships through arm’s length operating agreements Provides shareholders with more targeted investment opportunities; best path to sustainable shareholder value Followed by even more confusing corporate buzz speak:

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 12/10/2014.