Microsoft CEO Nadella Dumped 50% of his MSFT Stock, Following in Elon Musk’s Footsteps

Insiders dumping big portions of their stakes after historic share-price spikes is a sight to behold.

By Wolf Richter for WOLF STREET.

Microsoft disclosed in an SEC filing on Wednesday before Thanksgiving, when no one was paying attention and when this would likely get shuffled under the rug, that CEO Satya Nadella had sold on November 22 not 1% of his holdings or 5% of his holdings of Microsoft stock [MSFT] and not 10% of his holdings, but 50.2% of his holdings in numerous trades on one heck of a busy day.

Of the 1.67 million shares he held in the morning of November 22 going into this wholesale dumping exercise, he sold 838,584 shares, and at the end of the day, his stake had shriveled to 816,101 shares. The proceeds from the share dump totaled $285.3 million.

CEO Nadella Satya Dumps Microsoft Shares
Date sold # shares sold Avg price Proceeds
11/22/2021 22,483 $340.18 $7,648,159
11/22/2021 13,558 $341.48 $4,629,718
11/22/2021 78,387 $342.36 $26,836,746
11/22/2021 110,677 $343.33 $37,998,568
11/22/2021 10,847 $344.31 $3,734,677
11/22/2021 43,387 $345.36 $14,984,078
11/22/2021 27,178 $346.48 $9,416,582
11/22/2021 53,924 $347.35 $18,730,291
11/22/2021 41,691 $348.33 $14,522,143
11/22/2021 17,160 $349.22 $5,992,689
11/23/2021 58,581 $334.37 $19,587,706
11/23/2021 135,450 $335.11 $45,390,067
11/23/2021 107,917 $336.12 $36,272,965
11/23/2021 90,075 $337.15 $30,368,813
11/23/2021 19,569 $338.04 $6,615,124
11/23/2021 7,700 $338.99 $2,610,199
Totals: 838,584 $285,338,525

Timing of the share dump was perfect.

The run-up in the share price has been huge. Since Nadella was appointed CEO of Microsoft in February 2014, following the retirement of Steve Ballmer, shares of Microsoft have risen by 800%, in a near perfect and dizzying exponential curve that defied gravity, with well over half that gain in the last 20 months, giving the company a market capitalization of $2.5 trillion.

This exponential curve came after the stock languished for over a decade 50% below the dotcom bubble peak.

I mean, a perfect time to sell for an insider who just might be worried that this beautiful exponential curve might not last, and that it might be better to hold $285 million in Treasury securities or whatever than this red-hot sky-bound stock. In fact, the dotcom bubble and bust might have taught a few folks an actual lesson:

One reason that “analysts,” cited by the Wall Street Journal, proffered for Nadella’s 50% share dump – but this reason doesn’t make sense, as we’ll see in a moment – was Washington State’s imposition of a 7% tax on long-term capital gains starting next year.

But it doesn’t make sense because who cares about a 7% tax when you can make another 800% by holding on to the shares and letting them explode even higher?

It only makes sense to dump half your stake in one day if you, the insider, think that there won’t be any further gains going forward, and the new capital gains tax will be just another expense, without gain, or that the tax might even come on top of the unwinding of the exponential spike, kind of a repeat of the dotcom bust, and that it would be better to hold Treasury securities at least temporarily.

Nadella thereby, but on a much smaller scale, follows in the footsteps of Tesla CEO Elon Musk who shed a large number of shares of Tesla in recent weeks after the stock’s exponential run-up. I’m certainly cannot blame these insiders for selling big portions of their stakes after these mind-boggling price spikes.

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  134 comments for “Microsoft CEO Nadella Dumped 50% of his MSFT Stock, Following in Elon Musk’s Footsteps

  1. Wisoot says:

    That will be related to the recent court filings. Nadella is managing down the upcoming reputational damage that Microsoft is about to receive related to one of its founders.

    • raxadian says:

      Still better reputation that Facebook, Uber and Amazon at least.

    • Depth Charge says:

      You mean the malignant narcissist who’s never been elected to anything but is paraded around on tv as some sort of medical expert in control of public policy?

      • DawnsEarlyLight says:

        Yeah, that one.

        • DanBlanc says:

          I will pay a little more attention to him after he fixes Windows 10. Hey, just heart that Harris and Buttgieg have been put in charge of national infrastructure and supply chain issues. Hope you have enough food stored to last until next summer. Do not try to store gasoline, it’s dangerous and it gets old.

      • Wisdom Seeker says:

        Sadly there’s a large collection of those outside of Microsoft too…

        But don’t blame the narcissists, they would have no voice at all if it weren’t for the propaganda team, its masters, and those who still pay attention.

        Despite all the evidence they’ve seen that the P-team isn’t speaking the truth or even carrying on for the public interest, I can’t understand why more people haven’t come out of the P-trance.

    • Poor guy needs some walking around money.
      Who can blame him?

    • RH says:

      Anyone else sense another 1929 crash coming due to too much use of leverage by companies and overuse of margin by stock market investors– again?

  2. Hasan Ali says:

    Musk bought more shares (via options) than he sold. He got the cash to buy the options by selling. He’ll end up holding more shares now than ever before and that appears to be the objective.

    • Wolf Richter says:

      At least one of the objectives of the sales was to raise cash to pay the taxes on the gains when he exercised his options.

      • Nacho Bigly Libre says:

        Taxes could be another reason.

        Capital gain taxes (Federal) are surely going up next year. His state (Washington) is introducing a new 7% capital gain taxes.

        Selling half of his current holdings at this price makes financial sense.

        • Nacho Bigly Libre says:

          Sorry for the duplicity – I see you already covered the 7% tax in your article.

    • Wisdom Seeker says:

      For Nadella, another option would be an asset transfer to a tax-dodge vehicle… whose repurchase of MSFT might not be tracked. Many of those aren’t worth the effort until you can talk in billions.

      For any big insider it’s dangerous to read too much into one sale unless you know what else is going on.

      With all the derivative possibilities and indirect ownership schemes out there, they can “maintain exposure” without needing to own any particular “security”.

      • Wisdom Seeker says:

        See e.g. Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts. Keep the assets; dodge the eventual estate taxes.

        There are other schams as well. [ A “Scham” is now a legal “Scheme” that is as publicly harmful as an illegal “Scam”. You saw it here first! ]

        Timing of sale could be related to Congress finally deciding on The Big Bills of 2021. Payoffs to key politicians (to keep elite loopholes legal) would be just a tiny cost of the tax savings…

  3. Ineresto says:

    Would this be similar to the congressmembers and other politicians who sold most/all their equities in February 2020 shortly after receiving briefings on an imminent pandemic?

    Those who sold but didn’t properly time a market reentry would’ve lost big gains because even many experts didn’t expect the drastic measures the Fed would take. And in Feb2020 the stock market was already grossly overvalued and overheated according to “experts”. Just of like it is now according to the experts, PE ratios, Buffet indicator, blahblah.

    We all know no amount of jawboning about taper/rates is going to change the fact that printing will continue NO MATTER WHAT and rates will stay close to zero +/- 0.25%. This absurd equities market will continue to grow and the bubbles across all sectors/countries will grow even bigger such that the inevitable crash will make 1929 look like a picnic. The question is how long do you want to stay on the ride?

    • DawnsEarlyLight says:

      There is no question, if you enjoyed the ride, you have been part of the problem.

  4. otishertz says:

    Kinda smells like they know something, and I don’t mean the rotten smell of Gates. The music is stopping and they are grabbing the first seats (sales).

    • somethingstinks says:

      John Tuld : Let me tell you something, Mr. Sullivan. Do you care to know why I’m in this chair with you all? I mean, why I earn the big bucks.

      Peter Sullivan : Yes.

      John Tuld : I’m here for one reason and one reason alone. I’m here to guess what the music might do a week, a month, a year from now. That’s it. Nothing more. And standing here tonight, I’m afraid that I don’t hear – a – thing. Just… silence.

  5. powwow says:

    Elon Musk selling so much of his shares but Tsla is still at 1T. Does it really matter?

  6. CRV says:

    The well informed running for the hills.
    I wonder what they are informed about.

    • historicus says:

      My thoughts exactly. How much more dumping has happened that hasnt seen daylight?
      Someone is holding big positions, with a loss …. the market has overhead supply for the first time in a while.

      • Jim says:

        Tim Cook dumped all of his shares in August. He must have gotten the briefing too.
        Let’s see…
        Brin, page (sudden exit and selloff Dec 2019),
        Zuckerberg selloff : January 2021
        Bezos selloff and step down : Jun 2021
        Cook selloff : Aug 2021,
        Nadella : selloff Nov 2021

        Some exit procession.

    • Brd says:

      Look at his historical record. Did same thing 2014 at $109. Nothing nefarious going on. He’s worried about tax policy.

    • Brant Lee says:

      Most likely informed that their product sucks and there is nowhere left to control the market.

      It’s a dang operating system.
      It’s only an operating system.

      How many ways can they market it? Who needs it? The only path forward since Y2K was to control the market. Who loves farmer Gates?

      • somethingstinks says:

        You have no idea what kinda maze people moving to Azure are getting themselves into…. Come into my parlor said the spider to the fly.

      • Augustus Frost says:

        No practical difference in the basic functionality for both Windows and Office since I first used both in 1995. Advanced user base benefitting from any subsequent enhancements is a low fraction of the total.

        • Lynn says:

          Huge difference in speeds from Win 98 to Win 7 to Win 10. Especially combined with graphics card support. I use simple AI graphics programs which manipulate massive amounts of image data. Even with a good card Win 7 struggles. Win 98? Fergetaboutit.

          I imagine anyone setting up a big multicomputer system, or multidata system also has much better functionality.

    • Truckman says:

      The intelligent are already in the hills.
      Those running for them now are not going to find themselves welcome.

  7. Fat Chewer says:

    Ding! Ding! Ding! Is that the la la land quarter billion dollar lottery going off? Again?! Wow! But I’m not even going to say Wow! cos it just happens all the time! It’s another day of sun in la la land!

  8. Eastwind says:

    Is that 50% of all the stock he has been granted, even restricted unvested shares he knows he’s going to get and 401k shares, or just 50% of his unrestricted non-option cash holdings.

    I.e. what is his remaining exposure to the stock price across all grants and holdings?

    Not that I’m not worried, just saying, this is hardly even yacht money and could be to pay taxes on options that vested.

    • Wolf Richter says:

      He sold half of the shares he “beneficially” owned. This was a Microsoft corporate filing with the SEC.

      Every holder of every share is registered and known, no matter what account he holds those shares in (Microsoft has to send the dividend to every shareholder). He could have a secret stash in an off-shore tax haven that is registered to an LLC that is owned by an LLC somewhere else, but that doesn’t make sense for an employee of the company, and he’d be skirting in a stupid way the US disclosure rules.

      This doesn’t include any stock options he has.

      • Roger Pedactor says:

        From what I understand, Washington State is implementing a 7% state tax on long term capital gains.

        I tend to move away from any theory beyond paying taxes on options and the impact of that 7% additional plus whatever the reconciliation bill does to tax code in the top bracket like him. I don’t think this is much of anything. More millionaire virtue signaling that they pay their fair share later on because they have inside knowledge of the tax code changes.

  9. Michael Engel says:

    1) QQQ daily backbone (BB) Nov 5/10.
    2) Nardela Nov 22 is a buying climax. AR, under BB is next.
    3) Support from…
    4) T1, T2, stabilization zone will follow. It will enable large FANG investors to liquidate in a smarter way, by professionals, before it’s to late.
    5) Once the elite escape, the rest jump.
    6) From inflation to liquidations.
    7) More zombie debt owned by the banks.
    8) Corks will pop from the bottleneck.

  10. Independent view says:

    Peanuts as compared to his holdings

    • Wolf Richter says:

      Independent view,

      Nonsense. Read the headline at least. He sold HALF of his total peanuts – as explained even in the headline, with actual numbers shown in the text.

  11. Nick Kelly says:

    A computer guy can compute. Wonder if this will spur others?

  12. Old School says:

    Price to sales 14.5. Schiller PE 83. What could go wrong?

    • TheWealthEffectIsAPonziScheme says:

      Lol, imagine showing a good faith CFA those stats in 1995. They’d $HiT their pants. PE 83, lol

      I wonder if CNBC is going to wheel out Ackman again this morning to explain why the antivirals not being effective on Omicron is actually a great thing for the stonkonomy?

      (Also, if I was an antivaxer type, which I am not, I would totally call it Xi-icron. It would go viral over the internet in about .1 seconds)

      Last week they put Scaramucci on so he could pump his air money fund. He called Bitcoin the Amazon of 2000. None of the talking heads bothered challenging that assertion. Just let him
      keep spewing his pump scheme.

      If it wasn’t doing harm to young people trying to buy homes and future Americans it’d be kinda fun to watch this $hit show. Who’s making the popcorn?

      • The Wealth Effect Is A Ponzi Scheme says:

        Ooops, I was wrong… the got Ray Dalio to go out there and remind everyone of the ole’

        CASH IS TRASH!

        It’s like clockwork :)

    • Augustus Frost says:

      Wall Street is no different than the NAR. According to them, It’s always a good time to buy and stocks are never overpriced as there is always something relatively cheap.

      What’s actually been different for practically all of the last 25 years is that anyone trying to buy based upon historical value (not based upon a fake economy and a mania) has looked like a fool. I’m one of them, making some money by shorting during the big drops but otherwise having my money elsewhere most of the time and improving my financial position the hard way.

  13. Perpetual Perp says:

    Adam Smith, author of the first economics book ‘The Wealth of Nations'(1776) observed that “..the rate of profit does not, like rent and wages, rise with the prosperity, and fall with the declension of the society. On the contrary, it is naturally low in rich, and high in poor countries, and it is always highest in the countries which are going fastest to ruin.”

  14. Sean says:

    I guess if you’re into economic doom porn then this fits well into the narrative. Or it could be because he wants to diversify his portfolio and now is a good time to sell. I wish my Microsoft shares could shrivel to just 816,000 shares. Whatever the current stock price, Microsoft is a great business and a cash-generating machine, even during the pandemic. My personal viewpoint is that the prospects of the business are very good.

    • COWG says:

      Apparently some folks agree with you…

      Somebody had to BUY those shares…

      • Cem says:

        You’ve heard of share buybacks I’m sure.

        Most of those shares were likely purchased by Microsoft. What’re they going to do? Let the price fall?

        • Depth Charge says:

          Which is the sign of a system rotten to the core. Imagine that – borrowing money by selling junk bonds to buy back shares in order for grossly overpaid executives to unload their stock and not tank the share price.

    • The Wealth Effect Is A Ponzi Scheme says:

      Sean, u r right. It’s is an excellent business with a huge moat. All respect to the company and the CEO who was instrumental in a turnaround of sorts. That being said… Take away the free money punch bowl that’s drowning the working poor, young people, and stealing the prospects of future Americans and it’s market cap falls to 1 trilly.

      It’s valuation is fraud

      • Sean says:

        I agree that stock prices are inflated in general due to all the free money.

      • Augustus Frost says:

        The valuation will fall a lot more than that under your scenario or any return to sanity, even with it’s current profits. The P/E multiple will shrink due to changes in market sentiment and profits will either flatline or decline as the economy stagnates, both in and out of the US. It’s not just a US bubble but a global one.

        The company has a “revenue moat” and one of the few with a good balance sheet. Concurrently, it’s vulnerable to “disruption” even the source isn’t readily apparent (to most).

        Azure is one of their cash cows and from my limited review of their financial, the primary source of their more recent growth, but it’s best comparison is as a utility which in my opinion is how it should be valued longer term. They have first mover advantage (maybe after Amazon) and name recognition but it’s not like there is anything unique about cloud services.

    • Jake W says:

      microsoft is just as reliant on the credit bubble as any other company. where do you think its revenues come from? its customers. what would happen if all of the zombie businesses failed and those businesses were no longer paying for microsoft products on their computers and servers?

      do you really think 20% increases in profits every year is sustainable?

      i’m not saying msft isn’t a good company, as i have some myself, but i’d never buy in at these prices.

      • Sean says:

        Good point about Microsoft being reliant upon free money. I don’t think 20% increase in profits every year is sustainable; but I also don’t know what the future holds. If the prospects of the business change, I can sell.

        In regards to stock price, yes it is inflated but I am averaging up slowly. Mainly because I don’t know what the future holds and can’t time the market.

        For years, haven’t people said the same thing about Costco? Tends to be overpriced but they grow and their earnings increase along with the price. There’s not often much of a dip at which to buy at a discount.

        There’s plenty of reason for me to believe that doom is around the corner, but I really don’t know when it will happen or what it will be like. In the meantime, I will try to buy great businesses (e.g., profitable, providing real value, with prospects of long life) at as low a price as I can get.

        • Jake W says:

          i hear your point, i’m just saying that there are no “great businesses” available at any reasonable price. the only way to buy “great businesses” today is at pes of 40 or more, hoping that nothing implodes.

      • economicminor says:

        Ever read Minsky’s Instability Hypothesis ?

        He wrote it after studying Fisher and Schumpeter. Fisher learned the hard way.
        Seems that is the way most people learn.

    • Augustus Frost says:

      The prospects of the business can be very good and the stock can still go nowhere or lose value, for years.

      It’s happened before with the closest analogy to my knowledge being the “Nifty 50” stocks prior to the 1974 bear market which cut many or most by 50%+. Profits continued to go up because of the inflationary economy even as the stock price tanked. Today’s overvaluation is far worse than 1973 by an order of magnitude and the economy’s actual (as opposed to imaginary) fundamentals are too.

      It’s a question of relative valuation.

    • Cookdoggie says:

      If you’re on this site, you’re into economic doom porn. Welcome, here’s your free drink. You’ll get used to the taste.

  15. Mike says:

    So who’s the buyer? Microsoft under it’s buy back program lol.

  16. Truth says:

    Ugly hold on for the ride looks like liquidation time from the Top to the > Thank The Fed Pump and Dump

  17. Winston says:

    Windows 11 is going to be a flop for so many reasons. Like the horrendous Windows 8, it’s just an attempt by Microsoft to make the OS more touchscreen friendly, and offers no real added value for my purposes. Do a search for “windows 11 flop” to see that others think the same.

    • phleep says:

      I see next to zero value or attraction for me in Windows 11. It increases Microsoft’s (already intensifying) customer surveillance and I expect more annoying sales pitches and unasked-for, intrusive gimmicks in the interface. It reminds me more of the overreaching pre-antitrust (1990s) Windows. OS makers are straining for market share and customer capture.

    • historicus says:

      Just wait for the “updates” of your Windows 10…..that curiously make it run sluggish and just not work very good anymore.

    • drifterprof says:

      On my to-do list:
      Learn about and install Ubuntu/Linux alternative boot on my Windows 10 system.

      • roddy6667 says:

        I have been using Linux Mint for many years. I recommend it. I love free stuff, especially when it is better than the expensive stuff.

        • Dave Kunkel says:

          I also don’t care what Microsoft does. I’ve used Linux almost exclusively both personally and as a software engineer for the last 20 years.

      • Alku says:

        Very easy and works well. One issue I noticed – the clock is skewed when I boot to W10 from Ubuntu

    • otishertz says:

      Anyone tired of microslop?

      Put thumb drive in pc
      Download Ubuntu onto it for free
      Restart computer holding down esc key
      No more microslop

      • Alku says:

        I tried to transition to only *nix ages ago. But back then I just couldn’t use Open Office… M$ is sticky in many other areas, too. I am using double boot :)

  18. phleep says:

    I reduced my stocks by 50% last mid-week too. Beat the omicron selloff just by luck, but my investment thesis I think was sound regardless. Slightly different amounts from Nadella though.

    If there is a big selloff, no more bagholders to buy in, the banks will be topped up again. The insiders have their reserves stashed, with dry powder to buy back in cheap. That leaves the dumb money that always subsidizes this cycle, to wait for their direct deposits (put it on the national credit card). Hopefully their balance sheets are sound besides that (ha!), or all the chatter and blame game will be deafening. Bailout, take 5, or whatever: the modern business cycle which seems half speculation.

  19. Michael Engel says:

    1) MSFT 30min : there was a stealthy accumulation area, – or options exercises, – between Oct 19/26.
    2) MSFT gap up on Oct 27, on a huge volume, to built BB#1 :
    Oct 26 hi/ 27 lo.
    3) MSFT rolling hills cont from BB#1 to BB#2. BB#2 : Nov 5 hi/10 lo.
    4) The rolling hills moving earth & cash cont til 10 AM Nov 22. The selling started in the morning, Nadella made his sandwich money within few hours. MSFT dropped to AR, to Nov 26 low, between #1 and #2 . The selling will cont this week.
    5) Thereafter : from #1 to #2. Once BB#2 contaminated MSFT
    there might be a MSFT pandemic. No vaccine.

  20. Ron says:

    Sure is strange that Biden has so many ceo,s coming to White House pre warning

  21. Petunia says:


    You are being really unfair. Maybe Musk and Nardella needed the money to buy houses in Austin, TX and pay their real estate taxes.

    • Anthony A. says:

      Maybe, but I think Nardella is looking to have a yacht built like the $500 million one that Bezos had built. He just needs to sell a bit more stock. Maybe the $284 mil was the down payment?

  22. Michael Gorback says:

    Insiders sell for a lot of reasons. They need/want cash for something else, their portfolio is way out of balance, tax purposes, they see the business tanking etc.

    It’s a mixed signal and hard to read the tea leaves. OTOH insider buying is much easier to figure out.

    • Jake W says:

      $285 million worth? i could maybe buy that if he was trying to buy a house and sold $10 million or something.

    • Seen it all before, Bob says:

      A mansion in Austin, A couple of private jets to get there, and a fleet of yachts for the weekends on the lake.

      As my dad often said: ” You have to dress for success.”

  23. Toc says:

    If looking at insiders sales can predict how overpriced a stock is, everyone can become a hedge fund and just turn to that section of the annual report.

  24. David Hall says:

    Windows is copyrighted.

  25. Petunia says:

    I think the markets sense the debt ceiling circus, about to begin in a few days, is not going to turn out well. If the govt shuts down and it drags out, I wouldn’t expect to get any interest payments on treasuries. And that means, the D word.

    • drifterprof says:

      Just a sniff of the D can cost the Feds big money:

      Spring 1979: Congress delayed until last second raising debt ceiling, and Treasury had tight deadline to send out payments to owners of T-bills.

      Word processing machine problems resulted in no checks sent out for T-bills scheduled to be paid back in the subsequent three weeks (about $122 million in T-bills unpaid).

      University researchers estimated that the short quasi-default caused a slight lost of confidence, which resulted in the U.S. having to to pay about .6% more to borrow money — resulting in $12 billion more interest the government had to pay over the next six months.

      The cluster-effing politicians might waste billions.

      • Jake W says:

        $12 billion is peanuts these days when we’re printing 10 times that every month.

        • drifterprof says:

          That $12 billion (in 1979 dollars) was for a small glitch. A real default, even short term, might up it an order of magnitude or so.

        • Xavier Caveat says:

          Nelson Bunker Hunt and his brother tried to corner the silver market in the late 70’s, and were made to testify before congress in the early 80’s, and was asked by a congressman if they had in fact lost $3 billion through their machinations?

          And Nelson uttered in a Texas drawl, ‘A billion dollars isn’t what it used to be…’

      • Petunia says:

        I wasn’t aware we had had a technical default back then, interesting. This time I wouldn’t expect the markets to be as forgiving.

    • economicminor says:

      You think the Dems and Repugs will get out light swords and have a great fight in the Rotunda?

  26. Gerry says:

    Cash is king. In the past three months ViacomCBS sold its Midtown Manhattan “Black Rock” office building for $760 million and its Studio Center in Los Angeles for $1.8 billion. The same ViacomCBS that reduced as much corporate headcount at Paramount as it could. Everyone in the “Club” (George Carlin’s term) knows that the merry-go-round is about to grind to a stop. Those looters of fancy retail stores know the score. Look at the newsreaders for the network nightly news, trying to keep a straight face as they read the lies on the teleprompter. Look at Congress, where the chambers are virtually empty as the camera zooms in on the politician making a speech to avoid showing the empty seats. Imagine being a news reporter knowing that about 2/3 of American newsroom jobs were wiped out in the past 15 years. Or being on-screen news talent at Comcast as the contracts of Brian Williams, Natalie Morales and Rachel Maddow were not renewed (Maddow got a “production deal,” a euphemism). Biden spent the Thanksgiving holiday at the mansion of a Carlyle Group founder, which controlled Booz, Allen Hamilton, an NSA-funded firm which illegally wiretapped everyone after 2001, according to Edward Snowden. The only solution the federal government has, the government that allowed 11 billion opioid pills a year to be sold in America under Obama, is to tear up the Bill of Rights and hire 70,000 more IRS tax examiners. As the CBS news van reporter character in 2005’s “War Of The Worlds” says, “You ain’t seen nothing yet.”

    • Petunia says:

      The MSM destroyed their own credibility disseminating lies. I was a news junkie who cut the cable cord because I was no longer willing to support the lying with my money. A lot of Americans have made the same choice. The MSM can lie all they want but nobody is willing to foot the bill for it anymore.

      There are a lot of other goods and services I no longer buy as well, because I don’t agree with the company’s view of the world, or their founder’s view. They can do or say whatever they want, but I don’t have to support it with my business, and I don’t. There are many like me out there.

  27. Brent says:

    Select lucky few can watch majestic waves in SF bay…

    The only entertainment left for us landlubbers is watching stock market wave crest breaking:

    “When a wave breaks, it is the top that crashes first. Watch a great roller surging in upon a shelving shoal. It may seem to be about to break several times before it really does; several times its crest may gleam with white, and yet the wall of water will maintain its balance and sweep on undiminished.

    But at last the wall becomes precariously narrow. The shoal trips it. The crest, crumbling over once more, topples down, and what was a serenely moving mass of water becomes a thundering welter of foam.

    When the American economic system broke, it was likewise the top that broke first: the crazily inflated structure of common-stock values which had been built up in the speculative madness of the Bull Market.”

    Frederick Lewis Allen, “Lords of Creation”,describing events unfolding Oct 1929

  28. Michael Engel says:

    1) There are four overlords shipper, bloated with expensive assets and labor force : UPS, FDX, AMZN and US post office.
    2) Nadella popped the cork on Nov 22 10 AM. The upper echelon celebrate with French champagne.
    3) When Savannah and Long Beach bottlenecks will be open, the overlord
    shippers will pour workers and cut shipping costs.
    4) Watch out : Schwab bank account fishing trip.
    5) MSFT : after closing Nov 26/29 gap MSFT might up complete it’s RS before it pricked < BB#1 to closing Oct 26/27 gap.

  29. The sales conincide with the first instance of the variant in Europe. Assume these people have better information, and they pay attention to details and have an army of brokers and lawyers who pay attention. Remember the socalled government briefing in 2020 in which the public got one narrative while (elected officials) insiders were selling (and buying) to profit from the pandemic. He sold it in the open market, with only a minor interruption in the money flows. Symptom of just how bloated the monetary system as become. Now he has to put that money to work. Good luck

  30. Harry Houndstooth says:

    Again, Wolf documents that it is time to sell.

  31. Bobber says:

    Why sell half? Seems excessive, maybe even panic-driven. Not good.

  32. Michael Engel says:

    For entertainment purposes only : MSFT is a keystone !

  33. MonkeyBusiness says:

    What’s surprising to me is that he didn’t have more stock to dump. Yes, you can’t attribute all that increase in stock price to him, but compared to Musk, this guy actually has delivered real value, not just BS.

  34. SocalJim says:

    Every day, this is looking more and more like a replay of the 1970s inflation run.

    • OutsideTheBox says:

      And that run of inflation ended.

      This inflation will end as well.

      • Depth Charge says:

        Absolutely brilliant analysis. Weimar inflation ended, too.

      • Michael Gorback says:

        When inflation ended under Volcker it was followed by recession.

        There is no graceful way to exit this situation.

        • Wolf Richter says:

          They’re hoping for a “soft landing.” But with inflation, once it takes off, that is apparently hard to accomplish. Hard landings are typically what you get if you want to knuckle under inflation after it becomes entrenched, because you have to reduce demand by raising interest rates, and people have to believe in it, and that’s a recipe for a recession. But recessions used to be part of the normal business cycle. It’s when you’re trying to eliminate all recessions that you’re building up a lot of trouble.

        • MonkeyBusiness says:

          Wrong. Janet Y already said: “I Don’t See a Financial Crisis Occurring ‘In Our Lifetimes'” back in 2017

          That’s why she’s Secretary of the Treasury.

          Don’t put your trust in J-Pow. I mean how do you trust a guy who has time making comments here when he should be busy running monetary policy? Janet Y though is a different beast.

        • historicus says:

          The Fed has created this mess
          In stocks…..lose
          In cash…..lose

          The Fed denied corrections and cycles that flush excesses. These are free market events, and the Fed interceded.

          Inflation should be less, and never promoted by the Fed.
          Interest rates should be more, to put a cost on debt creation rather than subsidize debt creation.

          Who hijacked the Fed? Cui Bono?

    • Alku says:


      based on your experience – what do you expect now? any ideas to share? Thanks.

  35. forgedaboutit says:

    Time to sell everything. Anyone live or had experience with a good low capital gains tax country for retirement.

    • Alku says:

      Switzerland doesn’t tax capital gains. I’ve never been there but always wanted to visit and I believe it’s not a bad place to live if you can afford it :)

  36. Michael Engel says:

    1) The Fed will taper, due to inflation and bottlenecks.
    2) Fed gross assets minus RRP ==> Fed Net Assets.
    3) Fed net assets will fall, if RRP rises.
    4) RRP is shadow bank o/n oxygen. Without it they choke.
    5) JP might be preparing for a war.

  37. Fred Flintstone says:

    Somehow Wolf, a guy that sends you a beer mug for small change got it right, 95% of the individuals on this site got it right, folks without degrees got it right……..but the head of the FOMC and the head of the treasury…..folks that have PHD’s and are sitting with access to the best data and information……they got it wrong………nope………they are just a pack of the biggest pack of crooks this country has ever seen.
    The next time they have committee meetings to prosecute the mob……they ought to have meetings to prosecute the real bums that have damaged this country and stolen more than all the bank robbers in history.
    By the way…..Powell says its not transitory. It might be around a while……bet he sold all his stocks last week.

  38. SpencerG says:

    Hard to blame him. We can all see that there is a top settling in here. I would be selling too if I had a half billion in my own company’s stock, a state raising its own Capital Gains tax by seven percent next year, a slew of national legislative measures on the burner to raise taxes on the rich, and a Federal Reserve about to pop the bubble.

    What I am more curious about is why he ONLY has a half billion in Microsoft stock in the first place. After eight years at the helm of Microsoft (and an 800% rise in the company’s value) I would have thought it would be MUCH more. I guess the third generation CEO doesn’t get the same good deal as the founder and his protégé.

    • DR DOOM says:

      Dumb money is just about all in. Dumb money always buys at the top when fundamentals are laughed at and ignored. Dumb money always sells at the bottom when fundamentals are all of a sudden the rage and they are in disbelief that actual value is a real thing. The CEO of Microsoft is not Dumb money. There are dozens and dozens of you tube stock barkers on you tube armed with multiple displays in their apt. dungeons behind them . They all look like a genius talking “technical chart jargon” on the way up while ignoring or laughing about fundementals. A roulette wheel that always points at buy works just as well on a rising bubble, especially this 11 year orgy of endless QE bubble blowing. The direction is always up. Actual investors left the playing field a while ago because they know fundamentals do matter. Is it Dow 50k or Dow 20k or will it freeze and dither between 33 and 36k and keep letting the Dumb money predictable buy and sell the dips. The answer is in past market history and No, it ain’t different this time. When will it happen? Hell, I do not have a clue as I do not have a clue why someone would buy a utility trading nearly 30 times earnings.

      • Michael Gorback says:

        So Nardella was “dumb money” until November 30? I wish I was that dumb.

    • Michael Gorback says:

      He sold 30% of his shares in 2018. Why and what difference did it make since Microsoft subsequently went parabolic? It certainly wasn’t that the price would crater.

      Unless you’re telepathic you can’t know why insiders sell. Sometimes you find out afterwards like GE in the GFC. “No were not cutting the dividend”, then they dumped their shares and cut the dividend.

  39. Nick Kelly says:

    About the 11 separate sales: was this to avoid spooking the market? Was it via same broker? If so, do any of his insider friends have insider info cuz he knows a ton more is coming?

    • Alku says:

      I think there were no bids that big to hit with just 1 sale.

      • Prophet says:

        The stock wasn’t sold at the bid, that would be too obvious. It was distributed throughout the day at the ask. Note in Mr. Richter’s chart
        that for each transaction, an average price is given for the lot sold.

        • historicus says:

          Block trades show up where?
          Not always visible I believe. Might be wrong.
          There used to be a “private placement” and a 4th market.
          (3rd was over the counter)

          I’m guessing some pension fund got talked into buying it.

    • The market was able to absorb it. You see how very little it affected the price. There are probably some trading desks who loaded up on this, planning to let it out a little at a time, when price of the stock rises.

    • Prophet says:

      When distributing an insider’s shares, a professional firm is often hired to execute the transaction, based on two objectives:

      1. To get the best average price possible for the customer (the trader’s commission is also based on that average price).

      2. To disguise the selling to the greatest extent possible.

      Associated with each of the eleven sales is an average price, as the chart shows. The market pro(s) will sit on the ask all day long (two days in this case) and distribute the stock in small quantities so as not to attract attention. Multiple firms and exchanges may be employed to further disguise the insider’s selling.

      Insiders passing information to one-another never happens in the SPAC market. /s

  40. JeffD says:

    But how many unexercised options to buy does he have stashed away?

  41. Michael Engel says:

    1) MSFT – Satya Nadella.
    2) Google – Sundar Pichal.
    3) Adobe – Shantanu Narayen.
    4) IBM – Arvind Krishna.
    5) Palo Alto – Nikesh Arora.
    6) Twitter – Parag Agrawal.

  42. Michael Engel says:

    MSFT AH : +2.81 to 333.40
    Share outstanding 7,510M
    0.84M : 7,510M =

  43. Users Altlas says:

    Microsoft shareholders on Tuesday approved a proposal asking the board to publish a report on the effectiveness of its workplace sexual harassment policies in a rare vote of support for an activist initiative. The board of the software and hardware maker had recommended that shareholders vote down the proposal, but it received 77.97% of all votes, according to a regulatory filing.

  44. makruger says:

    Pretty crazy that boards of US companies see no problem with outsourcing all the little people that truly run US companies and then giving the figurehead CEO’s and other executives stock shares worth millions and sometimes billions.

    This is American capitalism at it’s finest, but can hollowing out the middle class and selling all our appreciating assets to foreigners last?

  45. Mike G says:

    Why all the weird sizes in the sell orders? I understand breaking the sale up into multiple chunks at multiple brokers to disguise the total size but wouldn’t you expect them to be round share lots like 28,000 or 90,000

    • Petunia says:

      There are many reasons for the odd lot sizes, but generally it is to obscure that a big player is unloading a huge position. This was probably all private placement of the blocks.

      Real odd lots arise from investors selling their entire positions accumulated over years. Or investors selling shares accumulated in a particular year for tax reasons or cash. The odd lots can make the accounting easier if you do it by year.

  46. historicus says:

    When will the cable show talking heads get the okay to promote the Santa Clause rally?

  47. Winston says:

    I’ve previously discussed here why NASA’s SLS is an incredibly overpriced white elephant Space Shuttle jobs continuation program and how, with Starship, Musk has probably bitten off more than he can chew by pushing the envelope too far to create the largest by far rocket ever made which is capable of placing in orbit far more than existing demand requires, hoping to somehow create that market by (hopefully) lowering cost to orbit.

    Elon Musk says SpaceX could face ‘genuine risk of bankruptcy’ from Starship engine production
    Nov. 29th 2021

    In an email sent to SpaceX employees, obtained by Space Explored, Elon Musk addressed the ‘crisis’ of Starship Raptor engine production and said the company could face a ‘genuine risk of bankruptcy’ if the company is unable to achieve a Starship flight rate of once every two weeks next year. Full email from Elon to SpaceX employees:

    “Unfortunately, the Raptor production crisis is much worse than it had seemed a few weeks ago. As we have dug into the issues following the exiting of prior senior management, they have unfortunately turned out to be far more severe than was reported. There is no way to sugarcoat this.

    I was going to take this weekend off, as my first weekend off in a long time, but instead, I will be on the Raptor line all night and through the weekend.

    Unless you have critical family matters or cannot physically return to Hawthorne, we will need all hands on deck to recover from what is, quite frankly, a disaster.

    The consequences for SpaceX if we can not get enough reliable Raptors made is that we then can’t fly Starship, which means we then can’t fly Starlink Satellite V2 (Falcon has neither the volume nor the mass to orbit needed for satellite V2). Satellite V1, by itself, is financially weak, while V2 is strong.

    In addition, we are spooling up terminal production to several million units per year, which will consume massive capital, assuming that satellite V2 will be on orbit to handle the bandwidth demand. These terminals will be useless otherwise.

    What it comes down to, is that we face a genuine risk of bankruptcy if we can’t achieve a Starship flight rate of at least once every two weeks next year.”

    • Winston says:

      BTW, note that in my previous comment here about Starship I pointed out how they had only recently gotten THREE Raptors to operate reliably on their orbiter launch and landing tests and that it would probably be a nightmare based upon the tightly packed array of TWENTYNINE Raptors and their associated plumbing nightmare on the base of the booster to get that to work without cascading failures.

      Recently, Elon has admitted in a tweet that that current, complex plumbing Raptor will not be the one used in the final product. That matches my impression looking at the 29 Raptors installed on the current, yet to be tested booster.

      I wish him the best of luck since I don’t want the Starship program to financially damage SpaceX and their other proven to be excellent products – Falcons, Dragons, and their Starlink system.

    • Nick Kelly says:

      ‘achieve a Starship flight rate of at least once every two weeks next year.”

      Wouldn’t this be far more launches of any kind ever?
      Not counting the original V2.

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