• Tag Archives Silicon Valley
  • Bank Of America: “This Could Send The Nasdaq To 10,000”

    Last weekend, One River’s CIO Eric Peters explained what he thought would be the nightmare scenario for the next Fed chair, who as we now know will either be Jerome Powell or John Taylor, or both (with an outside chance of Yellen remaining in her post). According to the hedge fund CIO, the “worst case scenario” is one in which despite an improving economy, yields simply refuse to go up, leading to the final asset bubble and Fed intervention that “pops” it:
    ‘if we don’t see a sustained cyclical jump in wages, then yields won’t go up. And if yields don’t go up, then the asset price ascent will accelerate,’ continued the strategist. ‘Which will lead us into a 2018 that looks like what we had expected out of 2017; a war against inequality, a battle for Main Street at the expense of Wall Street, an Occupy Silicon Valley movement.’ He paused, flipping through his calendar. “Then you’ll have this nightmare for the next Federal Reserve chief, because they’ll have to pop a bubble.’ While Peters never names names in his pieces, the “strategist” in the weekend letter was BofA’s Michael Hartnett, who several days after Peters penned the above, followed up with some thoughts of his own on precisely this topic, and in a note released this week, described what he believes is the “biggest market risk” for the market. Not surprisingly, it is precisely what Peters was referring to in the above excerpt.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 20, 2017.


  • The Bids Are In: Amazon Offered Up To $7 Billion In Tax Breaks ($140k Per Employee) For Second U.S. HQ

    For the past several months, cities all across the country have been competing for the opportunity to host Amazon’s second headquarters which promises $5 billion in capital investment and 50,000 new jobs over a period of time. And now that the bids are in, we have the opportunity to review some of the staggering tax subsidies offered to one of Silicon Valley’s biggest companies.
    New Jersey apparently ‘wins’ the prize for ‘biggest tax cuts’ after offering $7 billion in state and city tax credits, or roughly $140,000 per job promised by Amazon…which should be plenty to once again thrust Bezos to the top of the world’s richest list. Per Reuters:
    New Jersey proposed $7 billion in potential credits against state and city taxes if Amazon locates in Newark and sticks to hiring commitments, according to a Monday news release from the governor’s office.
    Across the Hudson River, New York City made a proposal without incentives special for Amazon, though the state is expected to offer some, a spokesman for the city’s economic development corporation said on Wednesday.
    And across the country, California is offering some $300 million in incentives over several years and other benefits, the governor said in an Oct. 11 letter to Amazon’s Chief Executive Jeff Bezos, published online by the Orange County Register.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 19, 2017.


  • This $1.1 Million Silicon Valley Shack Is A Steal, But There’s A Bizarre Catch

    The owner of one tiny, unassuming cottage in Mountain View, California just sold his house for well below the asking price of $1.6 million – but asked the new buyers to agree to one highly unusual condition: They must allow him to continue living there, rent free, for seven years, NBC News reported.
    The Silicon Valley property went for $1.1 million after being on the market for only a few weeks, which is surprising, considering the house – little more than a shotgun shack – hardly has room for multiple tenants.
    The property’s realtor said the home’s elderly former owner will continue living in the home for seven more years ‘rent back at no charge.’
    Realtor Joban Brown said that while the price is not unusual for the hot spot location, the former owner’s request to continue living at the property is ‘not a typical situation.’

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


  • Tech Vs. Trump: The Great Battle Of Our Time Has Begun

    Social media helped Donald Trump take the White House. Silicon Valley won’t let it happen again…

    In the 1962 Japanese sci-fi classic King Kong vs Godzilla, the two giant monsters fight to a stalemate atop Mount Fuji. I have been wondering for some time when the two giants of American social media would square up for what promises to be a comparably brutal battle. Finally, it began last month – and where else but on Twitter?

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 13, 2017.


  • Google ‘Suddenly’ Discovers Questionable “Russia Ads” On YouTube, DoubleClick, Gmail

    Update (Noon ET): In an emailed statement, Google confirmed that it found $100,000 worth of questionable ads and said it’s working with researchers and ‘other companies’ on investigating abuse of its systems.
    Et tu, Google?
    For the first time since Sen. Mark Warner began questioning whether Silicon Valley tech giants have been ‘doing enough’ to root out and expose examples of alleged Russian interference in the November 2016 election, Google has reportedly discovered that Russia-linked operatives deceptively purchased tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of advertising on YouTube, as well as advertising associated with Google search, Gmail and the company’s DoubleClick ad network, according to the Washington Post. Google operates the largest advertising platform in the world, and YouTube is the world’s largest video-advertising platform.
    According to WaPo, Google’s discovery is ‘significant’ because the advertisements in question do not appear to be from the same Kremlin-affiliated troll farm that bought ads on Facebook, which the paper says suggests that Kremlin disinformation efforts were much broader than lawmakers and Silicon Valley had believed.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 9, 2017.


  • Silicon Valley Snake Oil: It’s Passed Its ‘Sell By Date’

    ‘It’s different this time!’ One of the greatest examples of Silicon Valley ‘snake oil’ ever devised, embraced, and consumed en masse.
    The problem with ‘snake oil?’ It’s never different. And today’s newest and improved version has passed its expiration date – and is beginning to turn rancid.
    ***
    Remember when ‘unicorns’ were the thing? I know, they still are in a sense. But they are far from the once mythical enablers of turning $Millions into $Billions via IPO’s. As a matter of fact, that process has become so tainted, the only way to keep attention focused that a company may still be worth what investors declare? Is to keep it under the cloak-of-darkness, also known as ‘private.’

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 24, 2017.


  • Google Also Allowed Advertisers To Buy Racist Keywords Like “Why Do Black People Ruin Neighborhoods”

    Ever since failing miserably in their efforts to appoint Hillary Clinton to her rightful throne in the Oval Office, Silicon Valley’s biggest tech titans have come under relentless attack from disappointed liberal politicians in DC and their primary propaganda distribution platforms, the mainstream media.
    Just last night, on the Rachel Maddow show, Hillary once again blamed Facebook for her 2016 loss and vowed that “we’re going to make Facebook own up to everything” (you can watch the full interview here).
    “We are not going to let the Russians come in and divide us. We’re going to make Facebook own up to everything.”
    The irony, of course, is that perhaps no one contributed more money to getting Hillary elected than the same Facebook execs that are now coming under pressure for ‘colluding with Russia” after admitting that a staggering $50,000 worth of ads may have been bought by potentially Russian-linked accounts on their platform. In fact, Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz even contributed $20 million of his own money to the Democratic efforts in 2016, which we believe is slightly more than $50,000 but we’re not great at math.

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


  • The 30 Metros in the US with the Highest and Lowest Incomes

    Breath-taking differences in a vast country.
    The Census Bureau released another data trove today for 2016, based on the American Community Survey. Among many other data points, the survey details median household incomes by geographic location, such as by metro area, county, or state. And they show just how enormous the income differences in the US are from city to city.
    Of the 382 metropolitan statistical areas (MSA) that the US government recognizes, the median income of $110,000 in Silicon Valley is over three times the median income of $35,600 in Laredo, TX.
    These MSAs can be large. For example, the extended San Francisco Bay Area is divided in several metros including the two biggest:
    San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, which is the southern portion of Silicon Valley and includes Palo Alto. San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, which includes five counties (San Francisco, Alameda, Marin, Contra Costa, and San Mateo) that make up the northern part of Silicon Valley, San Francisco, parts of the East Bay, and a part of the North Bay. These two are also the metros that had the highest median household incomes in the US in 2016, of $110,040 and $96,677 respectively.
    ‘Household income’ is income by all household members and from all sources of money, including ‘earnings’ (wages, salaries, and the like) and investment income such as interest, dividends, and rents (#11-#13):

    This post was published at Wolf Street by Wolf Richter ‘ Sep 14, 2017.


  • A Startling Anecdote About Online Ad Spending From Restoration Hardware

    Category 1 storm clouds are gathering over what has traditionally been one of the most lucrative, and perhaps only profitable, sectors to come out of Silicon Valley in decades: online advertising.
    Two months ago, it was P&G which fired the first shot across the “adtech” bow when not long after it announced it was slashing its digital ad spending because it thought it was not getting the kind of return on investment it desired, it made a striking discovery: ‘We didn’t see a reduction in the growth rate.’ CFO Jon Moeller said ‘What that tells me is that that spending that we cut was largely ineffective.’
    Speaking to the WSJ, P&G CEO David Taylor echoed Moeller when he explained that cuts on digital ads are part of a larger strategy to more quickly halt spending on things – from ad campaigns to product development programs – that aren’t working: ‘we got some data that said either it was in a bad place or it was not effective,’ Taylor said of the digital cuts. ‘And we shut it down and said, ‘We’re not going to follow a formula of how much you spend or share of voice. We want every dollar to add value for the consumer or add value for our stakeholders.’
    Previously P&G’s CFO had said that ‘the reduction in marketing that occurred was almost all in the digital space. And what it reflected was a choice to cut spending from a digital standpoint where it was ineffective: where either we were serving bots as opposed to human beings, or where the placement of ads was not facilitating the equity of our brands.”
    Moeller also touched on the two most common complaints about digital advertising scams: advertisers are paying for ads that are viewed and clicked on by bots, not humans; and ads are placed by thousands of automated ‘ad exchanges’ that are out of control of the advertiser on sites and pages that don’t match the advertiser’s products.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 11, 2017.


  • Fun on Friday: Make Your Guests Poop Gold

    People eat gold.
    Yes. I know I’ve touched on this before. But I still don’t get it.
    I came across a story this week about a caterer in India who was asked to come up with something that would stun guests at a wedding. So, V Sai Radha Krishna decided he would serve rice covered in 24-karat gold leaf.
    Yup. Sai decided to take the most bland food in the world and spruce it up with a tasteless topping of gold.
    It is not new to have gold. People have been eating sweets wrapped in gold leaf and silver leaf. I tried the same with rice. I knew that gold leaf will melt on hot steamed rice. I just tried it, and it worked well.’
    It’s important to emphasize here that gold doesn’t have any flavor. It’s all for show. If you eat chocolate wrapped in gold, you at least get the joy of eating chocolate. Or if you put gold on a steak like they do at Hiroshi, a upscale restaurant in Silicon Valley, you get to eat a mouth-watering steak. But this is just plain old, sticky white rice. You can melt all the gold leaf on it you want. You’re still eating plain old, sticky white rice. I’m not really impressed.

    This post was published at Schiffgold on SEPTEMBER 8, 2017.


  • Want to Grow the Economy? Stop Listening to Clueless Economists

    The great investor and writer Andy Kessler frequently points out that the failure rate among Silicon Valley start-ups is 90 percent. Every member of the economics profession would be wise to memorize the previous figure, and repeat it daily. If so, economists might come closer to understanding why they’re mystified by what they deem slow economic growth. And mystified they are. So much so that they’ve apparently given up.
    According to New York Times reporter Binyamin Appelbaum, the theme that emerged from the Kansas City Fed’s Jackson Hole confab is that economists have ceased offering growth proposals. Appelbaum indicates that they’re playing defense now; floating ideas to allegedly ensure things don’t get worse. Having tried everything since 2008 (more on this in a bit), they’ve given up arguing about what they plainly don’t understand, or recognize. It almost renders the credentialed sympathetic in some weird, pathetic way.
    And it’s encouraging. While the role of central banks (the Federal Reserve is the world’s #1 employer of economists) in the economy is vastly overstated either way, it’s good to see a routinely incorrect profession realize that it is nearly always incorrect. The first step to healing is recognition of the problem, or something like that.
    While central bankers plainly don’t understand what drives economic growth, they need to realize that what they do has little to do with growth as is. Lest they or readers forget, central banks project their always overstated and rapidly shrinking economic influence through antiquated banks; banks arguably the least dynamic sources of credit in the world, and surely the least dynamic in the U. S. Going back to the Silicon Valley stat that begins this piece, does any sane person think banks have anything to do with the finance that drives this hotbed of innovation? This is a short way of saying that even if central bank economists actually had a clue, their doings would have little relevance to the economic sectors that actually power growth.

    This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on August 31, 2017.


  • The Path to Economic Growth Is An Absence of Economists

    The great investor and writer Andy Kessler frequently points out that the failure rate among Silicon Valley start-ups is 90 percent. Every member of the economics profession would be wise to memorize the previous figure, and repeat it daily. If so, economists might come closer to understanding why they’re mystified by what they deem slow economic growth. And mystified they are. So much so that they’ve apparently given up.
    According to New York Times reporter Binyamin Appelbaum, the theme that emerged from the Kansas City Fed’s Jackson Hole confab is that economists have ceased offering growth proposals. Appelbaum indicates that they’re playing defense now; floating ideas to allegedly ensure things don’t get worse. Having tried everything since 2008 (more on this in a bit), they’ve given up arguing about what they plainly don’t understand, or recognize. It almost renders the credentialed sympathetic in some weird, pathetic way.
    And it’s encouraging. While the role of central banks (the Federal Reserve is the world’s #1 employer of economists) in the economy is vastly overstated either way, it’s good to see a routinely incorrect profession realize that it is nearly always incorrect. The first step to healing is recognition of the problem, or something like that.

    This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on September 1, 2017.


  • It Begins, China Pulls West Investment Dollars & Redirects It East – Episode 1361a

    The following video was published by X22Report on Aug 22, 2017
    US workers wages collapse, people will now accept less for work. The NY Times is reporting that there is a housing crisis in Silicon Valley. Chicago’s national activity index went to zero unexpectedly. Mnuchin visited Fort Knox and lets the people know that the gold is safe without showing any proof. Norway government is purchasing more global stocks with the idea that the returns will help the government. China is now pulling investment dollars from the West and redirecting to the east.


  • How Insane Home Prices in Silicon Valley & San Francisco Trip up Jobs Growth

    Bay Area housing affordability nightmare hits home, so to speak.
    What happens in a large urban market when a young couple with a household income that is far above median cannot afford to buy even a modest home? What happens to that local economy? That’s what everyone wants to know, because this is precisely the fate San Francisco, Silicon Valley, and surrounding Bay Area counties are contemplating.
    The Housing Affordability Index (HAI), released by the California Association of Realtors (CAR), has some bad news for these people – and possibly for the trends in the local economy and the housing market.
    The median price – 50% cost more, 50% cost less – in San Francisco of a single-family house hit $1.45 million in Q2, according to CAR. This does not include condos, whose prices are somewhat less deadly. It puts San Francisco in second place in the Bay Area, behind San Mateo County, which comprises the northern part of Silicon Valley. Santa Clara County, in fourth place, comprises the southern part of Silicon Valley. In third place is Marin County, just north of the Golden Gate Bridge:

    This post was published at Wolf Street on Aug 14, 2017.


  • Fun on Friday: Can You Have Your Gold and Eat It Too?

    Hungry?
    How about some gold!
    Yes. You can have your gold and eat it too.
    A new Japanese restaurant in Los Altos, Calif., will serve you a steak covered in gold flecks.
    Hiroshi caters to Silicon Valley elite. The restaurant only accommodates eight diners per night. The tab generally runs between $500 and $600 per person, according to Business Insider. Hiroshi occupies a nondescript building. A sign simply states ‘open by appointment only.’ It has no windows, no menus, and just a single table.
    But you can eat gold with your steak. So there is that.
    ‘The gold is more for show,’ Hiroshi general manager Kevin Biggerstaff told Business Insider. ‘It doesn’t really have any flavor.’
    When I first saw this article, I thought it was unusual. The only golden flake food I’ve ever seen are potato chips. (You might not get that if you’re not from the south. Trust me, Golden Flake chips are a big thing.) But apparently eating real gold is a thing.

    This post was published at Schiffgold on AUGUST 4, 2017.


  • Facebook Employee Lives Out Of Car, Can’t Afford Housing

    Google employees aren’t the only tech workers struggling to afford Silicon Valley rents. One (alleged) Facebook employee recently confessed to a local TV station that she cannot afford the Bay Area’s $2,000 a month rents, forcing her to live out of her car. Unique Parsha, the employee in question, opened up about her situation to local Fox affiliate KTVU, hoping to start ‘a real dialogue about the high cost of living in the Silicon Valley’ (although as readers will quickly realize, there is a very real chance that either KTVU, or everyone else has been part of an elaborate trolling scheme).
    ‘Parsha’s nickname is “Pinky”- she has pink hair, a pink car, and even a pink dog. But she says, things aren’t always as rosy as they appear.
    Parsha says, “I tell people all the time, stop looking at what somebody got and what you see on the outside”.
    On the outside, Parsha is a model Facebook worker, who runs a non-profit in her spare time. But she’s been living out of her car since April.’

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 29, 2017.


  • These Job Trends in Silicon Valley, San Francisco Bay Area Will Hit Real Estate, the Economy, Municipal Budgets & Hype

    An ugly red flag for all of California goes up. The labor force in California fell by 19,900 in June from May on a seasonally adjusted basis, the second month in a row of declines. Nonfarm employment fell by 21,300. When was the last time when the labor force and employment fell in that period? 2009.
    The California Employment Development Department also reported on Friday that year-over-year, the labor force still rose by 52,600 and employment by 198,000. That looks like a lot, but it was the smallest increase for any year-over-year period since August 2011.
    This is an early red flag. But it still looks pretty good compared to what is transpiring in the San Francisco Bay Area. By some measures, there are nine counties in the Bay Area. We’ll look at the six counties that are part of the tech-jobs machine of San Francisco and Silicon Valley.
    In San Francisco, nonfarm employment dropped to 542,100 jobs in June. This is the number of people working in San Francisco regardless of where they live, including the many who commute from other areas. This was down 5,100 from the employment peak in December and the lowest since June 2016.

    This post was published at Wolf Street on Jul 22, 2017.


  • Another Former $2-Billion Startup Gets Rolled Up

    Investors who bought the hype are left holding the bag.
    Ad-buying software company Rocket Fuel – ‘a predictive marketing platform,’ it calls itself – announced on Tuesday that it was acquired for $2.60 a share. Including the assumption of debt, it makes for a deal value of $145 million. Down from $2 billion at its peak one month after the IPO.
    The Silicon Valley startup went public in September 2013 at $29 a share. Its shares soared 93% on their first day, closing at $56.10. A month later, shares hit $66.43, which gave the company its peak market value of about $2 billion.
    This was the period when ‘ad tech’ was the latest Silicon Valley fad that sucked billions of dollars out of investors’ pockets – much like ‘fin tech’ these days. Not much later, reality began to set in and shares headed south. The company lost money relentlessly. In 2015, the layoffs started. The whole sector crashed to reality. Today, after the buyout offer, its shares trade at $2.64, or 91% below the IPO price, and 96% below their peak.
    Rocket Fuel is being acquired by Sizmek Inc., a previously public company once known as Digital Generation that itself was acquired in August last year by private equity firm Vector Capital for $122 million. Over the past two years, Sizmek has been busy acquiring ad tech firms, and now with Vector Capital’s backing, it adds another one. This is turning into a rollup.

    This post was published at Wolf Street on Jul 19, 2017.


  • Mark Zuckerberg Finally Figured Out Why Trump Won; Hint: It Wasn’t Russia

    Mark Zuckerberg, the 30-something billionaire founder of Facebook, hasn’t lived a ‘normal’ life…at least not at any point in the recent past. He grew up in a suburb of New York City and now hobnobs with the elites of Silicon Valley, at least when he’s not enjoying that massive chunk of Kauai that he recently purchased for his own private use.
    So what do you do when you’ve become completely disconnected from the ‘foreign’ world that all of middle America calls ‘reality’ and have no idea why you just got massively blindsided by a national election that you thought was a foregone conclusion? Well, you take a trip to Williston, North Dakota.
    As Zuckerberg apparently learned for the first time while visiting oil workers in a tiny North Dakota town, there are entire industries that exist outside of Silicon Valley…industries that provide great wages and support thousands of American families. And, as it turns out, those people are sick and tired of having their jobs threatened by their own government and being demonized by Hollywood liberals for their efforts to provide economical access to energy.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 13, 2017.