Did Janet Yellen Just Recommend Buying Bitcoin

Janet Yellen’s last semi-annual testimony before Congress as Fed Chair has just concluded, and as usual it was filled with long-winded platitudes, which were enough to make the blood of anyone actually listening to her slow-motion drawl, come to a boil.
For one, Yellen’s hypocrisy hit bitcoinian levels when she had the temerity to say that she is ‘very disturbed’ about the trend toward rising inequality, noting that the central bank only has a ‘blunt tool’ that can’t be used to target certain groups. She’s right: the “blunt tool”, also known as a money printer, is can – and has – been repeatedly used to target a certain group: the ultra wealthy, i.e., the 0.1%, those who as Credit Suisse showed two weeks ago, have never been wealthier.
And just to make sure all your blood has boiled over, Yellen added that the Fed is very focused on ‘very disturbing long-term trends’ in inequality adding that “our own focus”’ is on taking those trends and studying them… and making them bigger than ever she should have also added.
Demonstrating her extensive skills of pointing out the obvious, Yellen also said that ‘we’re suffering from slow productivity growth,’ and there should be a focus on how that can be improved. It appears that the Fed is unaware that most employees spend several hours a day on Facebook, LinkedIn and SnapChat; it also appears that the Fed is unaware that most employers are aware of this, and is why there has been so little wage growth to “reward” this collapse in productivity.

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

How Snap Just Gave a Middle Finger to its Voteless Shareholders

They don’t need to know, Snap says. Tencent rues the day it bought a 12% stake.
Tuesday evening, Snap Inc., parent of Snapchat, reported a very ugly quarter, and its shares tanked in late trading. This morning, perhaps to stem the slide, it disclosed in a separate SEC filing that Chinese internet giant Tencent Holdings had acquired 145.78 million shares of SNAP, the crappy non-voting Class A common stock. This briefly boosted shares in early trading, until people started reading the fine print: The purchases were made in the past, and Snap didn’t notify its Class A shareholders because they were voteless and didn’t need to be notified.
Shares are currently down 16%. Tencent joins those who’re ruing the day they bought these misbegotten shares.
In its filings, Snap regularly lists Tencent as one of its competitors, along with Facebook, Apple, Google, Twitter, and others. Tencent is also a pre-IPO investor in Snap, dating to a 2013 fundraising round.
Today’s disclosure said: ‘In November 2017, Tencent Holdings Limited notified us that it, together with its affiliates, acquired 145,778,246 shares of our non-voting Class A common stock via open market purchases.’

This post was published at Wolf Street on Nov 8, 2017.

20% Of Snapchat’s Market Cap Just Disappeared After Company Admits It May Have Committed Suicide

It’s deja vu all over again.
Exactly 6 months after Snapchat reported abysmal Q1 earnings – its first since going public – which crushed its stock, the company has done it again reporting earnings that disappointed on every single metric, and missed across the board with revenues and user growth failing to meet Wall Street expectations, as cash burn remained ridiculous, while the net loss tripled to a whopping $443MM from $124MM one year ago.
Here is the Q3 breakdown:
Revenue of $207.9MM missed est. of $235.5MM GAAP Net loss of $443 million, almost three times greater than the $124MM loss one year ago. Adjusted EPS of $0.14 which EBITDA loss of $179MM, vs Est of $194MM The company burned through $220 million in free cash flow, roughly the same as a year ago as SNAP remains a massive cash burn machine.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 7, 2017.

What David Tepper Bought And Sold In Q2: The Full Breakdown

Remember when several months ago the news that David Tepper disclosed that his Appaloosa bought a (tiny 100,000 share) take in Snapchat in Q1, sending the stock briefly higher, especially after he said that he would add more if the price fell below its IPO price of $17? Well, according to his just released 13F, he didn’t, and in fact has since dissolved his entire stake in the company that has since pivoted to dancing hotdogs.
That triviality aside, what was most notable about Tapper’s Q2 holdings is that in addition to boosting several key tech names, as well as opening a new $500+ million position in Alibaba, he took his total long equity holdings to just over $6.7 billion as of June 30, up from $6.1 billion at the end of March, the highest net long exposure since September 2014.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 14, 2017.

These Snapchat Stock Price Predictions Are Dead Wrong

You see, IPOs are just get-rich-quick schemes for investment banks and institutional investors. These investment banks and large institutions are able to buy shares at the offer price.
Retail investors don’t get in at the offer price. Instead, we have to wait until the higher ‘open price.’
Because these big banks and large institutions need the price to be bid up in order to make a profit, analysts (who work at these banks) rate the new stock very favorably. This entices people to buy the stock at an inflated price. Once the excitement vanishes (and the big banks and institutions cash out), the stock price drops.
We saw it with GoPro Inc. (Nasdaq: GPRO) and Fitbit Inc. (NYSE: FIT). Both are trading about 90% below their post-IPO peak prices.
‘The thought that any sane investor would buy Snapchat is frightening,’ said Money Morning Capital Wave Strategist Shah Gilani. ‘Buying shares in SNAP is like trying to pick up nickels in front of buses.’
After all, this is a company that admitted it might never make money when it filed for its IPO.

This post was published at Wall Street Examiner on August 2, 2017.

‘Junk Equity’ Comes to Haunt $30-billion Startup

Snap Inc. tried to turn Big Investors into zombies. It didn’t work. Snap Inc., the parent of Snapchat, was dealt another blow today. FTSE Russell, which owns numerous indices for stock markets around the world, including the US Russell 3000, 2000, and 1000 indices, said today that it would exclude Snap from its indices because of Snap’s share structure that denies public investors the right to vote.
Though Reuters reported the story after the market had already closed, the shares of Snap fell 3.5% today to $13.40, a new all-time low.
Shares are now 21% below the IPO price of $17. Back then, on March 2, Snap was considered ‘too big to fail.’ It would have such a massive market capitalization that it would be included in all major indices, including the S&P 500 and the MSCI USA Index. Fund managers would be forced to buy Snap shares to keep their funds in line with the indices. Given the relatively small number of shares traded, this buying pressure would push up the price even further. It was simply a matter of creating a lot of artificial demand.

This post was published at Wolf Street on Jul 26, 2017.

Morgan Stanley Slashes SNAP Price Target To $16 From $28 After Sub-IPO Plunge

Just hours after Snap(chat), or rather its shareholders, were gravely injured when the stock tumbled below its IPO price, one of the company’s IPO underwriters Morgan Stanley decided to add some insult, when its analyst Brian Nowak downgraded the social network, or photo app, or whatever it is these days, to equal-weight, cutting its price target to $16 from $28 on ad product and competition concerns. Shares promptly tumbled another 2.7% to $16.50 in pre-market trading on the downgrade .
According to the MS analyst, the company’s ad products are taking longer to improve and evolve than previously expected, noting “our latest industry conversations indicate many advertisers are struggling to develop SNAP ad units with sufficient completion rates and consistent return on investment.” He also cited increasing competition from Instagram, which appears to be giving advisers sponsored lenses for free, according to checks. Nowak calls this troubling as he estimates sponsored lenses and similar products accounting for ~50% of SNAP’s ad revenue.
MS alslo listed 4 larger than expected challenges:

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

Social Media: Stick A Fork In It

Let me make one thing clear before I start: It’s not that I’m saying ‘social media’ is going away, as in no longer will be around or, will not have any use or value going forward. What I am stating is this: Everything that you’ve been told, as well as sold, about social media as it is currently argued and used, along with why the companies or platforms that supply it (i.e., the Snapchat, Facebook Twitter et al) should be valued not just mere $Billions, but rather $10’s and $100’s of Billions is over. The signs are there for anyone paying attention…
The only ones (in my opinion) that have yet to grasp this are: the ‘experts’, fund managers, and analysts still telling, and selling its ‘So worth it!’ drivel. Because, as I implied above: the signs are everywhere for those willing to look for themselves rather, than waiting for some ‘news flash’ appearing in their ‘social feed’ or ‘groundbreaking development’ via the main stream business/financial media.
Hint: Remember when all the media went crazy touting why everyone needed to be on, and read their ‘expert’ commentary on LinkedIn? You know, right before its stock value suddenly plummeted facilitating the need or rescue via Microsoft for its very survival? It’s a point worth remembering for context.

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

Gold Investment Is the Ultimate Guide for Tech Investors In 500 Words

Gold Investment Is the Ultimate Guide for Tech Investors In 500 Words
by Jan Skoyles, Editor Mark O’Byrne
Tech is the umbrella word for all things fashionable to invest in right now. Take the recent flotation of Snap Inc. (parent company of teen and narcissists’ favourite app SnapChat), everyone wanted in on the $20 billion flotation.
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Snap is likely a sign of a tech bubble that will cost a lot of savers and investors huge amounts of money … again.
Before putting your savings into the likes of SnapInc we think there are some major lessons wannabe investors need to learn. Lessons not just from experienced tech investors but also from gold investment. Lessons which should lead one to consider investing in physical, allocated, segregated gold to secure your portfolio in a world of massive financial bubbles, significant geopolitical uncertainty and huge investment hype.

This post was published at Gold Core on May 18, 2017.

Interest in Gold and Silver is Always Lowest When Opportunity is Best

Earlier, in February/March of this year, on my SKWealthAcademy SnapChat channel, I warned daily of potential deep pullbacks in the asset prices of gold and silver that then materialized. In mid-March as gold/silver prices recovered, I wrote a blog article, here, titled, ‘Expect Divergences, Not Convergences, Between US Stock and PM Asset Prices for the Remainder of the Year.’ This too has manifested, almost to perfection, thus far. As you can see from the chart below, after I posted that article, gold and silver mining stocks rose and US stocks fell. Then US stocks rose and gold and silver mining stocks fell. Will this relationship remain for the rest of 2017 as I predicted? Maybe not as perfectly as the below chart illustrates, but I still believe that this relationship will hold true in general for the rest of the year.

This post was published at GoldSeek on Sunday, 14 May 2017.

1999 called, they want their stock bubble back…

File this one away under ‘Completely Obvious…’
Last night the parent company of Snapchat reported a quarterly loss of more than TWO BILLION dollars.
Snapchat, of course, is the photo-focused social networking app that’s adored by tweens and adults who still live with their parents.
(Talk about a lucractive demographic.)
The company IPO’d just a few months ago with a market capitalization of $30+ billion despite slowing growth and a history of never turning a profit EVER.
According to the company’s quarterly report its finances have gone from bad to worse.
Operating cashflow dropped from negative $92.5 million to negative $155 million; and its total loss for the quarter including stock-based compensation was $2.2 billion.

This post was published at Sovereign Man on May 11, 2017.

BuzzFeed Preparing For 2018 IPO

With the S&P just shy of all time highs, and in the aftermath of the reasonably successful – for now – Snapchat IPO, the procession of companies set to go public has a new and somewhat surprising entrant: according to Axios, BuzzFeed is quietly making preparations to go public in 2018. While its financials remain opaque and its growth appears to have plateaued, Axios notes that “the widely (and poorly) copied BuzzFeed, which began as a “great cat site” and now has foreign correspondents and a massive BuzzFeed Motion Pictures studio in L. A.,” has become “a defining brand of the Internet age”, for better or worse.
Some of the key investment considerations for investors ahead of an IPO that would likely value Buzzfeed well above the Washington Times, and perhaps even the NYT, via Axios:
The pitch: BuzzFeed, with news and entertainment divisions, styles itself as a media-tech company with “the innovation obsessed culture and structure of a venture-backed tech company”: “We are best known for exploding watermelons, The Dress, Tasty, award-winning news investigations, quizzes, and lists.” The strategy: BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti has turned down past offers from media companies, and has long planned to go public. Peers: The Big Four of modern digital content companies are BuzzFeed, Vox, Vice and Group Nine Media (millennial-focused online publishers Thrillist, NowThis, The Dodo and Seeker). All have partnered with traditional media companies: NBC invested in BuzzFeed and Vox (and is an investor in Axios), Disney invested in Vice, and Discovery invested in Group Nine.

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

Week in Review: March 18, 2017

It’s been a busy week in Washington. The Fed raised interest rates another quarter of a point, selling the narrative that the economy is strong – in spite of its own indicators. Meanwhile, some are asking whether Snapchat’s stock rise and fall are a sign that the Fed-fueled stock bubble is ready to pop. On Thursday President Trump announced a budget that mixes promising agency cuts with insane military spending hikes. He also signed an executive order to ‘streamline’ federal agencies, but such attempts aren’t serious unless they include utilizing blockchain. On the Congressional side, Paul Ryan continues to have a hard time selling his illogical healthcare reform.

This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on March 18, 2017.

Is Silver a Better Value than Gold Right Now?

Earlier this month, I wrote that we would have a window of a few more days to weeks in order to get on board with gold and silver mining stocks at a good price for the first half of this year. I also have written extensively this year about the necessity of using hedges during raids on gold and silver combined with temporary moves to cash to balance out any downside exposure during these raids, and mentioned that again we had applied some hedges against paper gold and paper silver during this last raid. We unwound one hedge last Friday, and we unwound the others earlier this week. If you follow us on SnapChat (SKWealthAcademy), I also stated on the morning of the 15th that there was a good possibility of the interest rate hike that was to happen later that day being already priced in to the current price decline in gold and silver assets and that the announcement could cause a spike higher in the prices of gold and silver assets. And this is exactly what happened.
So now with a substantial spike higher in gold and silver asset prices on the back of the US Central Bank’s interest rate hike, has the reversal now begun? It’s a little premature to state the reversal is on its way now, but if you’re new to the gold and silver game, and want to know if now is the time to get on board, visit us at smartknowledgeu.com for more information on how to identify the best junior gold and silver mining stocks and for information on a more conservative gold and silver mining stock portfolio.

This post was published at SilverSeek on Friday, March 17th.

Is the Snapchat IPO Proof of a Tech Bubble?

Earlier this month, the 2nd of March, there was quite a fuss on Wall Street. The long-anticipated IPO of Snap Inc. (also known as Snapchat) was imminent. The CEO and founder Evan Spiegel rang the bell at the NYSE together with his co-founder and CTO Bobby Murphy.
Snap Inc. shares opened at $17 and by the time the markets closed the price had risen to $25 resulting in a market cap of $29 billion. It’s not very hard to see this really is a remarkable performance for a (tech) company that is built around just a single product, Snapchat. Although Snap Inc. calls itself a camera company, those who buy stock in Snap Inc. likely see themselves as simply investing in Snapchat.1
The fuss around Snap Inc.’s IPO is not merely due to the share price and the subsequent valuation, but also for the characteristics and details of Snap Inc. itself. For example, it is doubtful and unclear if Snapchat is even profitable, and Snapchat is consistently losing daily active users, the key performance indicator amongst peers. Snapchat is under heavy fire, especially from Facebook with Messenger and Instagram, which is cloning almost every feature that makes (or made) Snapchat unique. These striking points make such a valuation as stated above arguably both unwise and even shocking.

This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on March 16, 2017.

Snap’s IPO Shares Should be ‘Junk Equity’: CalPERS

The scam around the hottest Tech IPO in 3 years; a revolt by institutional investors that may have to buy the shares.
The publicly traded shares without any voting rights in a company totally controlled by just two guys should be labeled ‘junk equity,’ said Anne Simpson, an investment director at the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS), the largest public pension fund in the US.
‘You’re constraining the capital markets in a way you’ll come back to regret,’ she told the SEC’s Investor Advisory Committee on Thursday, as reported by the LA Times. ‘Innovation, we’re interested in that; but this is an immature attempt to avoid accountability.’
They were discussing the non-voting shares issued during the IPO of Snap Inc., parent of Snapchat. It was the hottest tech IPO in three years when it went public last week, though its shares have had a very rough time this week.
Snap was on the forefront of financial ‘innovation,’ bravely going where no other IPO had dared to go before: issuing only shares without voting rights. The two founders retain total control. Some early investors have very diluted voting rights. But those who own the publicly traded Class A shares just have a pile of hype in a company that, according to its pre-IPO S-1 filing, is likely to lose money until the end of its days.

This post was published at Wolf Street by Wolf Richter ‘ Mar 10, 2017.

Investor Group Attacks Snap’s No-Vote Shares, Stock plunges

Top indices might refuse to include Snap’s shares. The third day was not the charm. Not for Snap, the company that owns the Snapchat app. An investor revolt, spearheaded by the Council of Institutional Investors, against Snap’s non-voting class A shares is now deflating a big part of the hype around its IPO.
The hype worked like this: The market capitalization of Snap would be pushed so high that major indices, including the S&P 500 index and the MSCI USA Index, would include the stock, and that index and pension funds that track these indices would all have to buy the shares, and thus drive up the share price even further.
That was the bet. And now news of the revolt is spreading.
Snap’s class A Shares plunged 12.3% to $23.77 at the close on Monday. Down 16% from their high in the morning. Shares now trade below the price at which they opened on March 2 during their first moments in the public market.

This post was published at Wolf Street on Mar 6, 2017.

Snap plunges 12% as Investor Group Attacks its No-Vote Shares

Top indices might refuse to include Snap’s shares.
The third day was not the charm. Not for Snap, the company that owns the Snapchat app. An investor revolt, spearheaded by the Council of Institutional Investors, against Snap’s non-voting class A shares is now deflating a big part of the hype around its IPO.
The hype worked like this: The market capitalization of Snap would be pushed so high that major indices, including the S&P 500 index and the MSCI USA Index, would include the stock, and that index and pension funds that track these indices would all have to buy the shares, and thus drive up the share price even further.
That was the bet. And now news of the revolt is spreading.
Snap’s class A Shares plunged 12.3% to $23.77 at the close on Monday. Down 16% from their high in the morning. Shares now trade below the price at which they opened on March 2 during their first moments in the public market.

This post was published at Wolf Street by Wolf Richter ‘ Mar 6, 2017.

Snap Enters Correction – Plunges 16% From Post-IPO Highs

With Millennials piling in and Barrons bashing it, Snap Inc’s shares have plunged this morning after opening up over 4%. The stock is now down 14% from its spike highs on Friday and volume is heavy as spec longs cover into shorts’ T 3 ‘borrow’ availability tomorrow.
As we noted previously the median age among Snap buyers on Thursday was even younger, at 26. (That happens to be the same age as Snap co-founder – and newly minted billionaire – Evan Spiegel.)
Rebecca Shoenthal, a 22-year-old journalism student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, was among them. She said she bought four shares of Snap for about $24 each. She put in an order for them on Wednesday night, stipulating that she would pay as much as $40 per share. ‘I wanted to test the waters and play around with some money I wouldn’t be too devastated to lose,’ Ms. Shoenthal said. ‘I think I’m going to stick it out for at least a few years.’ Ms. Shoenthal, who uses Snapchat every day, said this was her first big stock pick. She’s gotten interested in stocks this semester because of classes she’s taking on personal finance and branding. She thinks the prospects for Snap are bright, particularly given that Snapchat is changing the way many young people, including her friends, read the news.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Mar 6, 2017.