A chart like this is an indictment of Wall Street and the hype-and-hoopla machine that pumped and dumped this stuff on the most gullible retail investors ever.
By Wolf Richter for WOLF STREET.
Crypto-trading platform Coinbase hired Goldman Sachs in late 2020 as financial advisor for its efforts to go public. They decided eventually to go public via a direct listing. Coinbase was hyped to the nth degree by Wall Street and by the whole crypto pump-and-dump club. Goldman Sachs became the first-listed of the joint-managers of the direct listing, followed by J.P. Morgan, Allen & Co., and Citigroup. Goldman collected huge fees for its efforts. On April 14, 2021, Coinbase shares [COIN] started trading at $381 a share then spiked to $429.54 intraday, and closed at $328.28, giving it a market cap of about $88 billion.
Over the 16 months since that propitious intraday high, Coinbase shares have collapsed by 87%, to $56.40 at the moment. And today, after stock jockeys and dip buyers had taken huge losses in their Coinbase shares, Goldman Sachs cut its own creature to “sell” and cut its price target to $45. And shares dropped about 10% by mid-day today.
A chart that looks like this – and my Imploded Stocks column is full of them – is an indictment of the Wall Street banks and the hype-and-hoopla machine that pumped and dumped no matter what into the laps of the most gullible retail investors ever, chasing after the most fabulous get-rich-quick schemes ever. It takes two to tango. The 10% plunge today is barely visible after this utter collapse:
On June 14, following the hiring freeze announced on June 5 and reports of rescinded job offers, Coinbase announced that it would lay off 18% of its workforce. Which was easy to do since the company switched to working-from-home during the pandemic in May 2020 – it became what it called a “remote-first” company – which was made permanent in 2021. And 1,100 laid-off people found out via personal email, after they’d been locked out from their corporate emails and other access. So that was easy.
These layoffs followed the debacle of the disclosure in an SEC filing that crypto holders on its platform were just “unsecured creditors,” made worse by CEO Brian Armstrong’s tweet storm which promised that “We have no risk of bankruptcy,” which inspired huge amounts of confidence.
All this came with an earnings report that was a total fiasco, including a loss of $430 million in Q1, a 35% plunge in revenues, and a drop in monthly users. And it said at the time that revenues and users would continue to drop.
So today, Goldman Sachs comes out and issues a sell rating on its own creature and cuts its price target to $45, after most stock jockeys that ever touched it got their faces ripped off. Analyst William Nance blamed the “continued downdraft in crypto prices” – you know, the collapsing gambling tokens – and the drop in activity across the crypto space.
“We believe Coinbase will need to make substantial reductions in its cost base in order to stem the resulting cash burn as retail trading activity dries up,” Nance wrote in a report to clients.
So, this means more layoffs, on top of the people that have already been cut.
“We believe current crypto asset levels and trading volumes imply further degradation in COIN’s revenue base,” with revenues now expected to drop by 61% in 2022, Nance wrote. Hence the need to cut costs further by cutting headcount.
The issue for Coinbase is that it’s not fun anymore to trade crypto gambling tokens. It used to be a huge amount of fun when prices soared, spiked, and exploded on an hourly basis. But now that prices kathoomphed, in terms of the hated, disparaged, and soon to collapse fiat, some of them by nearly 100%, thereby wiping out about $2 trillion of the $3 trillion in gambling token value, the fun has turned into a nightmare. Many traders who were leveraged in their positions got wiped out and were left by the wayside. And Coinbase, which makes its revenues from fees off trading activity, is confronted with the unpleasant issue that its revenues drying up.
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“And 1,100 laid-off people found out via personal email, after they’d been locked out from their corporate emails and other access. So that was easy.”
Note to the WFH crowd: You all have been gloating for a couple years about how great it is to avoid the office and pretend to work remotely, but you made yourselves truly expendable. You are now just a disembodied, glitchy, low-resolution image & voice, a stream of e-mails working tirelessly to package your livelihood into a neat little box ready to be outsourced or dropped at a moment’s notice. Much easier to get rid of you than a real human physically interacting with management on a day-to-day basis. Let’s be honest, we all know how this ride ends for many of you.
Buckle up… You’re probably next!
No one saw that coming! /s
I wonder if the work from home folks who are laid off are still asked to clean out their desk.
And escorted out by security?
I’m working from home, and I’m still here.
Actually, back from 5 days of vacation during which I continued to pretend to work from home, while hiking in Lassen National Park and hiking down into Crater Lake Friday morning, which was the first day the trail opened, and even swimming in Crater Lake (said to be 44º F), likely the second person this year, after some dude jumped in ahead of me. Awesome five days, with wonderful drives too. And my boss still keeps me around. Working from home is not all bad :-]
Both may be true. An employee may be easier to layoff because he’s WFH. But that employee may be difficult to layoff because he’s too valuable.
Of course, maybe all this will shakeout with WFHers experiencing less layoffs if they are BYOO (bring your own office), and thus cost less in overhead. Who knows? Or maybe we see more outsourcing of white collar jobs in general since many of them can apparently be done over zoom. Your crystal ball is as good as mine.
But if I was a WFHer carrying a mortgage and living in a city without any local employers in my field, I’d at be building a sizeable emergency fund just in case.
A lot of layoffs are coming up and it won’t just be in the crypto space either. WFHers may be at greater risk but don’t believe it will make much difference.
When stock prices really start tanking (it’s barely started so far), very profitable companies will follow suit.
Only question is this one. Is the mania over?
My guess is a lot of WFHers will get laid off but it’ll more likely be correlation, since (I assume?) newer and/or tech companies were more likely to support WFH, and many of those companies are going to go away or seriously downsize.
But I could also see it being only a temporary setback for WFH in general given the potential employer savings and the widespread employee preference for it.
We were pulled back into the office 3x per week after two years WFH, and that experiment lasted all but a week before everyone (including c suite) started leaving after lunch…. then coming in less frequently…and then in many cases stopped going in at all. I go in for a couple hours two to three times a week now and it’s a ghost town. And we’re “required” to be there! In the months ahead, it’ll be an easy and obvious way to save money. WFH may dip, but I’m confident it’s not ending anytime soon.
Nice to have you back from vacation. I missed your usual industrious comments. I know you posted material, but it wasn’t at your usual feverish pace.
“…but it wasn’t at your usual feverish pace.”
Yes, that’s the thing about working from home: when you start goofing off, the boss notices.
You must have a wonderful, handsome good hearted boss.
Notice I said “many of you” rather than “all of you.” Some folks will be just fine, generally those in jobs which were already proven in a remote format prior to the pandemic. Heck, lots of sales positions have been based out of home offices for decades. And let’s be honest. Comparing a self-employed media mogul who rules over a profitable financial media empire to some customer service rep watching their kids while remotely “employed” taking phone calls from customers whom they can’t actually help… Not apples to apples. You have some control over your fate while lots of WFH employees don’t.
I agree a significant number of folks will NEVER see the inside of their office again. I expect a slow to medium bleed as the economy sinks.
Sounds like paradise. Tuesday next week I’m going to Koster off the west coast of Sweden where I look forward to months of hiking and swimming.
if you can afford months of hiking etc this is paradise :)
You went to Lassen and Crater Lake? Did you hike down to the mudpots at Bumpass Hell at Lassen? Went to both like 30 years ago when I lived out that way. I am so jealous.
Those what makes the main road near Lassen trailhead stink so bad?
Last time I was up there (’08) I think there were warning signs about toxic vapor…maybe even stay out or at your own risk. Lassen may be one from the bottom (mentioned Flat Top, or whatever, roughly south and close, no smells there at all (also around ’08) of the Pacific NW volcano chain but still might still have some life left in the old girl.
Next one up is Shasta, but have only been to trailhead. The Park service has a cool sense of humor. Since you have to pack your feces back down, in the bag kits they had a piece of paper for you to go on with a ringed TARGET and bullseye for you!
Hopefully you got a chance to stop by Ashland, beautiful area is Southern Oregon
That’s why they call you Wolf.
Wolves are complex, highly intelligent animals who are caring, playful, and above all devoted to family. Only a select few other species exhibit these traits so clearly.
Sorry you were Scoobyduded on vacation, but glad you had an awesome time! You must have a great boss!
I thought you were self-employed.
I’m employed by the Wolf Street Media Mogul Empire under the mega umbrella holding company Wolf Street Corp.
But the boss I’m talking about in my first comment is THE BOSS. The boss above everything. Her wish is my command :-]
And then in my later comment, I’m talking about the other boss, who found out that I was goofing off over the past five days, and that boss are my readers, and I don’t forget for one second who the bosses here are. I’m just the underling.
Thank you! … did you see any snow in the shade? I have vicariously experienced the bone chilling sensation of 44F. June is an amazing time at Crater Lake. Around the rim pumice (think Lava soap) widely dispersed. Oregon is well worth exploring. I was in the vineyard and winery business in the Columbia River Gorge, Washington side (the best heat units facing south). We made great wine, but my wife (who went to business school) showed me I had a low paying job based on hours and profits.
I had to buy some SQQQ by the graphs, but I anticipate the potential for a much better opportunity to short. This is beauty of shorting rallies in bear markets. You are always happy.
Yes, there was some snow on the north-facing shore of Crater Lake, and quite a bit up on the rim, but the part where you can go down to the lake faces south, and there was no snow there. It was sunny and the air was warm there.
I did swim in a higher tiny lake in Lassen National Park (one of the Ridge Lakes) where snow was going to the lake just a short distance from where I swam. This water was brittle cold, and I came out with the best high ever. Cold-water highs are always awesome, but this one was the best ever.
Yes, the US has lots of gorgeous places. June is a beautiful time to be out there. One of the best cures for frustration is to go out into nature and take in the beauty.
Living in North Ca is not bad..:-)…did both (except insane wetsuitless swim). Been on top of Lassen twice and once on the one next to it (Flat Top?). Much longer hike even though 1000 ft or so lower. Left late, had to walk through flat wettish overgrown stuff at btm in the dark, NO flashlight, but, super view of Lassen. The latter was just an overnight trip+ from here.
Sure hope more people are able to get out of this hell-hole and go to TX. Trails getting crowded.
Oh yeah, on topic, WFH maybe means the end of the personnel bitch, (I mean the HR bitch)? (can’t hit ladies….or shouldn’t)
Or maybe they just use a big beefy dude now? Been 20 years since last clock punch.
You gave us a great example of how you can pretend to work from home. I’m sure there are a great many WFHers who did what you did at some point during this time. Perhaps by doing a bunch of work in advance and then submitting it throughout the time period they are pretending to work.
You’re not an employee
W-2 employee, underling, and the guy in charge of everything, with bonus at year-end if I behave. But I do own the shop, which helps.
I do have to wonder:
What happens when the AI system creates an excellent simalcrum of Wolf or anyone…
Does your work for you…
And sends you your termination notice?
Learn to code in Hindi
Well said and thank you for saying it.
I came to this realization in late 2020. I felt stupid for not seeing it sooner. Layoffs will be much easier.
I’ve spent the last 6-months wondering whether the return to the office is delayed by management for this reason.
Remote work has been in full swing and well established for well over two decades now. If you’ve been paying attention, you know that global companies have been leveraging remote talent since business discovered the internet.
Replace “remote talent” with “fully digital talent” (i.e., full automation) and realize that for most of us, the bell tolls. It is “when” the next phase change will happen, not “if.” I guess it can end up as my robot talking to yours! The scarier thing, far beyond any single person’s success or failure is, that most humans cannot efficiently create economic value in today’s world. I’m talking about upwards of 4 billion people. Keynes talked about that. So, in a screwy way, did Marx. It is just starting to get interesting!
Since the first full forced online move in teaching, I have held onto teaching in physical classrooms (with plenty of digital skills and content added on). I am trying to build learners who an function in this coming world on all planes. I really think an analog class is superior, but we’ll see how it goes this fall.
And I fail to see what you find “interesting” about it, other than who might “find work” and just how they will do it, which interests me, at least
Like I said before, you people lament people not learning Econ, I lament them not learning Biology. Hope Wolf allows my link above.
I also believe you said you taught Business Law. I have been dying to find out how many times the wording of that 1934 SEC Act (or whatever) has been changed and by whom. (just the person who introduced it and when is enough). Thanks, if it is even possible.
No more Roosevelts left in this country, it seems, the other rich despise them both. :-(
That’s my experience too. I wonder if the people most disparaging of WFH need constant supervision to accomplish anything productive. Also, if a company thinks it’s in their interests to lay you off, then you’re kidding yourself if you think a company will hesitate to do so just because you come into the office.
Any company that would lay me off I wouldn’t want to work for!
“Note to the WFH crowd: You all have been gloating for a couple years about how great it is to avoid the office and pretend to work remotely, but you made yourselves truly expendable. You are now just a disembodied, glitchy, low-resolution image & voice, a stream of e-mails working tirelessly to package your livelihood into a neat little box ready to be outsourced or dropped at a moment’s notice. Much easier to get rid of you than a real human physically interacting with management on a day-to-day basis. Let’s be honest, we all know how this ride ends for many of you.”
Coinbase sounds like a crappy company. Employees would have been laid off no matter where they work (at home or in the office) and that sucks no matter what.
From what is MORE than routinely presented here, there seems to be PLENTY of “work” to be found inventing (I mean innovating) crapp companies and ALSO no problem whatsoever finding financial outfits willing to help said entrepreneur out and take their sizable cuts.
It is one EXTREMELY FREE MARKET that we run here, apparently…..no wonder so many believe in it, and as Trump said, “By just using the laws of the land”.
You can be sure if your job can be outsourced, it will be. I know a little gal in the Philippines working at an Amazon Call center. Full time it pays 19000 PHP per month (just under $400usd). That’s $100 per week, almost at an ultra stressful job. She’s a college grad but can only scrape out a dirt farm living with the call center located in expensive Manila.
So that’s what corporate America brings to the world. It screws everyone possible at home and then takes its charms to the rest of humanity.
Corporations offer employment. Nobody holds a gun to your head to work for one. Can always be a house painter or car detailer or farm hand or house keeper or start your own business. I worked for a corporation and it was stressful most of the time. It seemed like my best alternative at the time so that’s what I did.
Old School, you are correct. There are options, but the entire system (k-12 and college) as well as cultural forces funnel many many many people into the corporate workforce capitalist system. A decent job, hard work and effort and I can carve out my own slice of suburbia or city dwelling utopia.
And after years of effort/expectation and then mounds of student loans (nice finishing polish: 4 year college education) people can feel trapped. Just sayin
Just remember, you and the ones you love are NOT along for this big Corporate Ride we are on. However you do have the option of eternal life if you choose to take it, as many have, so it really doesn’t matter, I guess.
“She’s a college grad but can only scrape out a dirt farm living with the call center located in expensive Manila.”
I mean, how else do you expect Jeffrey to afford his giant phallic rocket rides?
Lol for most of the companies we work with it’s been the opposite, the people working in the office are much more expensive to them and cost much more in overhead, while the studies and consults all show that productivity is at best equivalent and usually lower (the in-office teams tend to get less done to the sheer length, time and cost of the commute plus all the water cooler schmoozing and looking busy, while the WFH-ers have to actually meet certain benchmarks). So as layoffs are starting up, they’re hitting both groups but if anything the in-office employees are getting more of the pink slips.
And no, this doesn’t mean that “outsourcing all the way” to India or anywhere else is the way to go, either–the infrastructure, time-zone confusion, miscommunications, resume inflation, cookie-cutter working practices, cultural differences and general drop-off in quality from projects done in India, Bangladesh, Philippines or other locations just mean that most of the code, documentation and other things have to be re-done back in the US (both WFH and in-office). And the few execs dumb enough to still jump on the offshoring or H1B bandwagon keep getting fired for these failures. Not saying either approach is automatically better, some companies do better with more in-office operations, some get more done WFH. Most do a bit of both, but it’s hard to say off-hand that either one is better than the other, it really depends.
BTW, the issue with Coinbase is not WFH, but the lack of crypto trading and the pump-and-dump by Wall Street and by the hype-and-hoopla gang.
“hype-and-hoopla gang”. Saw them in Chicago. Boy, could they dance!
If you took the Hillside College “Federalist Papers” online course advertised here, you could come up with more nuanced comments matching your agenda.
Think their mission statement is right up your alley.
WFH is going to show itself to be some part of the problem. The zombie outfits on your excellent hype-and-hoopla list and many more like them will be following Coinbase. Some of them are already beginning layoff death-spirals of their own. Unsurprisingly, the WFH crowd seems to be a common fixture in companies that make a business of burning piles of investor cash. Funny how that works… Lot’s of WFH amongst companies that were never designed to be productive and make a profit in the first place. WFH is driving these companies to make nothing even less efficiently than before the pandemic! Again, there is a huge difference between somebody running their own profitable business out of their home and a cash-burning WFH drone doing the bare minimum for their employer at home. What happens when these companies figure out that laying off 1,000+ WFH drones had almost no effect on their output? They’ll be sending out Dear John e-mails to the next gang of 1,000 pretty quickly.
Conversely, throughout the manufacturing world in which I operate, WFH pretty much died in 2021, so I don’t see it having a big impact on productivity here. There are still a select few engineers and clerical workers here or there who have managed to keep playing hooky this long, but the vast majority are back onsite these days. A few WFH folks who didn’t like the idea of returning simply left, and good riddance… Most came back and it actually hasn’t been all that hard to replace the ones who left. WFH just doesn’t work so well for companies that actually make something tangible.
I don’t know too many professionals that are back in the office. Including some working for JP Morgan.
From my experience it may be the other way around. Sure there are some workers who have experienced a two plus year vacation, but many of us are actually working more now then we did going into the office.
As I type this I have been tuning a complex automation process for the past 9 hours (I started working 11 hours ago). My company gets much more out of me then I do of them (and I’m sure I’m not alone).
Many of the people that go to work every day seem to be the type that NEED to be seen acting busy for fear of losing their jobs.
Just because you sit outside the bosses office every day does not make you indispensable.
Yes, but labor isn’t worth much on average unless a lot of capital is employed. If you do the arithmetic when a new factory is opened in the US somebody has to stump up about $1 million dollars per job from the announcements I see.
That’s why labor is now treated as just another COMMODITY, like a metal, as in human RESOURCES. The ore deposits are becoming extremely rich (contrary to physical laws), so extraction is getting really cheap.
PS; Are you STILL pushing trickle down? I really don’t think there is much need to anymore, it’s pretty much become business law.
OH, come one as if they were having some emotions firing people looking at people’s faces. In most American companies, the security were escorting people out.
Good writeup. You’ve stolen my thunder. I couldn’t have said it better. I would make one minor change. Instead of “disembodied” I would substitute “disemboweled”
Also, at least they weren’t fired while sitting on the toilet like Rex Tillison was when Trump canned his sorry ass.
Walked by what was formerly known as the Staples center which is now call Crypto.com stadium. Looking at that name to the side of the building and knowing they got a 20yrs naming rights, I can’t help but to laugh at how funny it is going to look in say 5-10 yrs from now. Talk about being reminded of old milk day in and out. Imagine renaming a place/building as Beanie Babies and have to stare at that for 20 yrs…
As Damon if he is truthful would tell you “Bagholders favor the brave….”
Not like “Staples” was much better. They signed a lifetime deal (which Sycamore Partners of course cut off and sold back) in the late 90s, at peak paper. LOL.
I bet Uber buys the naming rights next year after Crypto.com fails to make their yearly payment.
Remember Enron Stadium, Houston, Texas? Enron was going to reinvent everything, too. And all the fools asking sober accounting questions (especially looking for actual cash flows and non-fake revenues, along with half of Enron’s cooked up reinvention concepts) “just didn’t get it.”
The Hall of Shame is deep and long. Enron employees were sold on buying their own employer’s stock (making their portfolios super-concentrated one-way bets on the fake dream), got microscopic severance packages, and also were unsecured creditors. I have posted twice here months ago, long before Coinbase’s announcements, that crypto exchange customers are also unsecured creditors, without the protection afforded to, say, bank depositors. So in priority they get in the very back of the line for scraps, only one tiny step above stockholders. That’s because those stuffy old regulators decided back during something called the Great Depression, that banks would be regulated so people could stop the endless cycles of bank runs. But crypto kiddies are too smart and fast for all that. Of course Goldman’s people know it in their sleep. They are weaned on that.
GS is also the premier “finishing school” for financial pirates that is attended by grads in a lot of disciplines. They show up everywhere.
If you look at naming rights on stadiums,there usually a good indicator of failure
There’s a ball park in Chicago that was named after a brand of chewing gum and had a hundred years of failure.
“There’s a ball park in Chicago that was named after a brand of chewing gum and
had a hundred years of failure.”
My Cubbies ❤️
As a teenager (early 70’s) we’d buy cheap tickets and move down to the empty box seats after the 3rd inning. A BIG crowd there would 5,000 fans.
Now it is usually packed. No one – well most people – don’t seem to care about the game. It’s a huge party.
The Rickett’s family owns the Cubs, Wrigley Field and environs. They won’t change the name. They’ve lived in Chicago since the mid 1940’s.
And they also own Ameritrade or whatever name it’s using now.
Can we go back to naming stadiums after less ephemeral things? Three Rivers Stadium? Candlestick Park? Mile High Stadium? The names actually outlasted the venues!
I suspect Crypto.comm Arena will go the way of Enron Field long before the 20 years passes.
Enron Field in Houston didn’t last long after Enron turned into dust. Now it’s Minute Maid Park!
Posted late, didn’t’ see the Enron posts above. Sorry.
I expect a lot of sports naming rights to be canceled in the upcoming bear market.
Amen. Keep any mugs, shirts, or other evidence as to that cryptocr_p for future collectors. In a few years, when cryptos go the way of the Dodo (except maybe for government cryptos that will enable them to get a cut of every transaction and monitor our finances to ensure we are not planning to kick them out of power), they will be valuable.
I had some old, companies’ stuff and old magazines’ issues. Now, they would be worth a lot, but someone threw them away. To try to create the next fad, I will be getting my baby’s more creatively soiled diapers, pressing them on a canvas, varnishing the canvas with a pungent varnish (so the poo smell is not perceptible) and selling it as “Cryptopoo” or maybe, “Poocoin.”
It will be the next fad, after all dogecoin made it. It was and is a joke too. LOL (Keep also CCP memorabilia and also their uniforms, which may be used in future movies; like Nazi uniforms shown now in films.)
Wonder when Cathie Woodshed will go on her media blitz after today’s downgrade and tell her true believers to buy more with the 10%. It’s frustrating to see MSM still give creditability to Cathie “Knifecatcher” Woodshed any airtime and don’t typically challenge how wrong she has been over the last couple of year.
Caveat emptor. That’s what being in a free country means. That’s what risk capital is. The alternative is preemptive interventionist media and government, something everyone seems to wail about. Talking about the future in general is not fraud, unless there is a legal duty attached, as when there is a legal guarantee made. That is because the future is not certain, ergo, a statement about the future (such as projected future asset values) is an opinion, not a misrepresentation of fact. Misrepresentation of material FACTS is fraud. In a society with free expression and information like this one, every American should know this. That is, every one not glued to some idiot consumerist addiction, instead of learning vital things.
The FED has created a whole lot of risk capital over the last couple of years.
That is why your previously saved capital is worth-less.
The really smart people (not me) realized somewhere along the way that the Fed changed the capital markets from funding real capital investments in the economy to funding asset appreciation and they made a fortune understanding what was happening.
They are probably smart enough to play the current tightening game and get a twofer out of Fed policy.
@ Old School-
Some people with really good insight, a whole lot of insiders with inside information, and a lot of 401K and index investors, the Ramsey crowd, who had the good fortune of moving with the herd during the great pump up.
She was on CNBC this morning. They tried to challenge her (a little) and she just jargon-whipped them with a filibuster.
Thank you for the laughs.
I have been thinking if the crypto will be the thing that breaks, black swan whatever you want to call it.
Yesterday talking to a good friend of mine, he explained to me how crypto works and he did mention that Goldman Sachs have their own creation. He didn’t know how crypto is going to replace the current system though. But what he did say was, everyday he has some money on the side he goes and buys some more.
I must admit I have been pretty ignorant at this, so I said how, it’s so expensive!!! I really thought you go and buy one bitcoin.
No he said, you can buy whatever fraction you have money for. 0.001, 0.01 etc… not sure how true. Please everyone give your thought here.
What this strategy reminded me though, is the pyramid schemes that blasted thru Eastern Europe in the early 90s. I remember my mother, her friends, our cousins, neighbors, they had an account with the “investors”.
It was like a “bank” with a teller; you went in there, took your money and interest, except no you didn’t, you just rolled it over. And whenever you had extra cash, savings, some hard earned money, you deposited/added to your account. Because more capital, gives more interest right…
Of course even if you don’t know the end of it, you can imagine… it brought some Eastern European countries to the brink of complete and utter financial collapse, actually some did collapse and the political, social drama that followed was akin to a civil war.
I have my limitations in predicting the future, but the past is full of examples.
If enough of my neighbors act stupidly enough, they will create a catastrophe and drag me in with them. I think we just barely dodged that bullet this time around with this little caprice. A trillion or so lost is a small price to pay, to arrest this stupid craze.
‘m recalling a Sharon stone quote, I can paraphrase: People say women fake org@sms. Well, a man can fake a whole relationship.
We now have whole fake tech revolutions, fake glowing future horizons, with armies of financial and techie types dancing to the tune. It is pie in the sky served up with glossy colorful digital slickness, and too many brains are just too dull to see through it.
Crypto in its present form is not a currency nor will it ‘replace the current system’. It’s also not the ‘black swan’. Crypto was a boon for central banks as a means of expanding the global money supply without having to print digital dollars during a time when stimulus was needed but I think it’s pretty well established that inflation is our black swan. Crypto go up and down is just entertainment.
What crypto IS, is a beta test for blockchain technology – an immutable ledger technology upon which one can build actual infrastructure, the basis of which is hosted on a decentralized network (the processing power for this infrastructure is spread across many cpu’s all around the globe instead of centralized on 1 server). Blockchain is manna from heaven for those who are interested in development, security, transparency, and personal ownership. Also, it can be faster and cheaper than legacy rails/processing, less risky, and sidesteps the need for big tech as well as avoiding big brother.
But this is where it gets muddy.
Blockchain networks are contributed to voluntarily by participants who lend computing power and are then paid in ’emissions’ – virtual derivatives of a specific blockchains protocol (which are guided by monetary policies, total supplies, etc etc.). These protocols reward participants with emissions via the use of a smart contracts (code built to perform a specific function). Rewards vary ie. contribute xx amount of processing power for xx amount of emissions. These virtual emissions are given clever names (Ethereum network emits ether, for example) and can subsequently be traded by participants (or outright speculators) on an open market whereupon one can trade their virtual emissions for USD to realize tangible value.
So we have two things going on here:
a) blockchain technology (which is the future whether or not you old dogs can see it!)
b) cryptocurrencies ie. virtual emissions which are really just rewards for participating in a network and/or gambling tokens which can be bought and sold for outright speculation
I’ve simplified a lot of concepts here and ignored others but that’s the essence of crypto in a nutshell.
Both Blockchain technologies and Alt Currencies are worthy of a lot more careful, in depth discussion/analysis.
Notwithstanding the almost certain implosion of, say, 95% of ginned up cryptocurrencies, the *need* for a non-dilutable, easily transportable, secured alternative to government fiat will persist.
Essentially all governments in human history, in their death throes (many well deserved, some not) have destroyed their currencies via dilution in a desperate, self-defeating effort to save themselves.
These dying governments seek to convert the accumulated wealth of *all citizens* to their own desperate political will/control – in order to oppose/buy off the forces seeking to unseat them. It is national scale forgery/robbery for the sake of a self-selected caste.
(Note that a *government* is not really a people, or a nation…the G is merely the *controlling* political class – good, bad, or otherwise. That political class can get destroyed but a people/the nation lives on. DC tries to convince us that a cohort of perhaps 3 to 6 million insider members is identical to 325 million other Americans – it isn’t).
For all the doomed-ness of 95% of Alt Currencies, the need to protect against the depredations of the fiat controlling class will remain.
Just ask your neighbor whose rent went up 20% in 1 year.
“Blockchain” in the current incarnation has fundamental technology problems that will make it impractical for widespread use.
Centralized computer systems for tracking transactions are a solved problem. Visa and Mastercard both operate systems that handle roughly 30,000 transactions/second and do so at a nominal cost per transaction.
Doing a reliable and trustworthy decentralized system is much harder. Bitcoin uses massive resources that are significantly greater than required for Visa/Mastercard yet only achieves a transaction rate of roughly 100/second. I don’t see a feasible way to improve this rate when using proof-of-work.
Etherium is talking about switching to a proof-of-stake scheme that is much less resource-intensive, although this strikes me as vulnerable to the cynical version of the golden rule: “He who has the Gold, makes the rules.”
In short, blockchain is a neat idea, but I just don’t see how it’s going to scale up to the point where it can handle the world’s financial transactions.
C.E., yes, pretty much my take on blockchain as well. Solving a problem that does not really exist unless anonymity of transactions is the overriding goal.
Of course, since all transaction details are part of the blockchain itself, anonymity only last as long as you can prevent your public key being associated with you, the person-an increasingly difficult proposition.
“He didn’t know how crypto is going to replace the current system though.”
That’s because it won’t.
All crypto except “stablecoins” are literally nothing and going by Luna and TerraUSD, apparently all “stablecoins” aren’t exactly stable either.
Crypto led by BTC is a side consequence of history’s biggest asset mania ever, the one we are in right now. That’s where the “value” came from and when the mania ends (which it will), that’s where it will return. A roundtrip to zero for (practically) every single one of these “coins”.
Intermittently, I’ve read claims about how BTC is going to $100,000 or 1MM.
Given it went to $63,000, I can’t say it won’t. I can still definitively state that no more than a miniscule fraction of those who own it will ever convert the “value” they have to anything real.
Someone explaining BitCoin is my cue to exit stage left. The first 5 minutes of my first explanation was all I needed to never care about it again. Just another greater fool financial fraud scheme, always was, always will be. Unfortunate that it didn’t blow up sooner and harder. On the bright side, I’ve been holding off on upgrading from a very old desktop because of GPU prices.
Michael Burry made a good statement. Nobody understands crypto unless they understand the leverage behind it. Now that’s words of wisdom.
“We have no risk of bankruptcy,”
I am pretty sure that companies for which that statement is true don’t have to have their CEOs actually say it.
They have no risk of bankruptcy.
All their traders do !!!!
Aha, there’s an Animal House line for just about everything.
Crypto reminds me of when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbour
…It was the Chinese, you idiot!
Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to invest, son.
Ya know, I was thinking about safe investing for a recession so I looked to the Consumer Staples index funds. I found a lot of it contained tobacco, beer and other businesses we can survive without.
I can’t figure it out, 7 years of college down the drain.
Everything that ever existed has had some form of “a risk of bankruptcy.”
The political class pushing MMT asserts *the impossibility of bankruptcy* all the friggin time.
What they *don’t* mention, is the very simple destruction of all accumulated private savings via the endless printing of new government scrip.
1) ADM, MOS, NTR, BG are sharply down in the last 2 months.
2) WTI is in a trading range, possibly on the way to close Feb 25/28 gap.
3) The CPI might start to decay until Q1 2023.
4) It’s a positive, not recession.
5) SPX bounce on support, possibly for the next few months, but if it will make a round trip to May 12/17 trading range, the risk of recession is growing.
The CPI and inflation should take a second leg up at the start of 2023 after falling into the end of 2022 from August to December. At least I’ll be betting my own money it will.
Hold on for dear life,
Buy a dip and
Catch the pretty falling knife!
Brilliant analysis and reporting. Thanks.
You’re right Wolf, it was fun. I got to dabble around a bit the last couple years, throw in a grand here and there and double, sometimes triple my cash within a week. It kind of changed things up from the usual football bet.
Wolf, have you commented on the Reverse Repo situation recently? I can’t find anything but it looks a little, uhhh… wtf
I remember in Four Pillars of Investing where he looked at all the ancient currencies. All of them eventually went to approximately 0, or the cost of the base material.
The idea that currency bitcoin, which isn’t backed by anyone, and whose only use case is as retailer novelty or for people not allowed in the superior payment/banking system, is worth $60,000 USD, $40,000 USD, $20,000 USD, or even $5 USD is absurd.
I read Cryptonomicon when it came out. I always thought bitcoin was a scam because even Stephenson understood you needed to back a currency up with something of value (whether it be Government taxes or, in the book, gold.)
At least with tulips you could plant then in the ground and get a pretty flower.
Gold was the Bitcoin of the 21st century.
What nonsense. Gold has been a store of value for several THOUSAND years, and actually has utility.
Gold does not have much utility other than people want it.
60% of the ‘utility’ of gold is for jewely and coins. Remaining for other real uses.
Same can be said about bitcoin. Bitcoin has value as long as other people want to pay $$ for it else it has no intrinsic value at all.
Gold for sure is better than btc and is there for centuries.
Don’t forget the
and now the 22nd Century.
It is the only assets that almost all Central banks will take as a global payment.
Still the best store of value out their. No counter parties.
Global central banks hold more than 35,500 metric tons (MT) of gold in their reserves. Most of that supply has been amassed since 2010, when central bankers commenced a gold-buying spree.
Central banks were net sellers of gold before that time, selling roughly 4,426 MT of gold between 2000 and 2009. But for more than a decade now they’ve been net buyers, and in 2022 central bank gold reserves are at their highest level since 1990, according to the World Gold Council (WGC).
Key word, no counterparty risk. It’s not someone else’s liability.
BTC doesn’t have any counterparty risk but then, anything which is nothing (which is what BTC actually is) doesn’t either.
Yes, since 1970 it’s gone up over 10,000 % against my local money. Not bad…
I like Alex Krainer’s “4 Rules for Portfolio Investing”:
And to add to Wolf’s line, “… the collapsing gambling tokens …,” from now on, every time I am at the self-service car wash dropping in a five dollar bill to get the coins to fire up the water spraying wand, I’ll enjoy reading:
“This machine only dispenses tokens.”
At least that checks off the first rule, eh?
Somehow this all comes together when I think of how crypto markets routinely violate wash trading rules.
I liked Buffet’s comment. If you make something people value then the currency doesn’t matter much. Take Coca-Cola. Probably sold in a hundred currencies.
If dollar dies we are going to pay our electricity bill with whatever comes next. Dollar has evolved over time anyway. Value is not really in the currency.
If things get bad enough, we can buy (needed) electricity with (internationally desired, and therefore tradable) Coca Cola…
The “currency” is simply the unit of exchange, although it is very useful if it has utility in and of itself (beyond that of green inked paper) because that has the effect of putting a constraint on currency dilution.
In theory, Black Mirror had it right…but projected a dystopia…If electricity could only be obtained by exer-bikes, electricity (that is, human physical labor) would become the medium of exchange.
My son has a watt meter attached to his bicycle crank. I think he maxes out at 200 watts or so. Shows you why mankind figured out pretty quick to use horses and then fossil fuels to help us out.
I’ve often thought it would be a beautiful result if a unit of ultimate utility-based currency came to be/be named, the Joule.
In theory, BitCoin (or any AltCurrency) derives its value from,
a) its ability to block dilution (money printing) beyond a defined set point, and
b) the level of its adoption to trade real asset goods (from a chicken, to a house, to human labor).
If you think about it, any government fiat currency doesn’t have a) and frequently derives b) from the end of a gun (explicitly or implicitly).
I disagree. Blockage of dilution has nothing to do with it’s value, and everything to do with it’s adoption to trade.
From the end of a gun, correct indeed. How many divisions does BitCoin have?
Dilution allows the controller of the printing press/the issuer/the G, to appropriate any degree of societal savings at will.
Nobody really wants a “store of value” like that.
Being a big fan of “guns” really depends on which end of a gun you happen to be on.
Btw, 260 million Americans have paid for DC’s Divisions…but only DC controls them.
There was a very good reason the Founders didn’t want a standing army.
I disagree. None of those are value when it comes to currency.
a) Scarcity is not value, it’s just limits on supply. We see this all the time with pump and dump and other bubbles. Something increase demand for something with something with a limited amount of supply. People get excited because they confuse price momentum for an increase in value. Then, the momentum stalls because they can no longer find greater fools, people realize there was no increase in value, demand collapses and supply spikes as people look to convert to another asset, and price plummets. These bubbles can be by fraudulent design or collective mania, whether it be tulips, penny stocks, Gamestop diamond hands, or, here, crypto.
b) I don’t think that’s right for currency. Otherwise anything and everything is currency and you’re in a barter economy, which really sucks because it makes transactions more complicated. Instead, I believe you must have a credible sponsor who trades with that medium of exchange. Credibility can be buffered by reserves. Governments are great sponsors because they monopolize a huge chunk of the economy they administer and can demand that its currency be used to pay taxes. But casinos are seen as credible sponsors by their customer base, and there are many private currencies floating around when you think of it like “points”, “miles”, etc.
Bitcoin’s idea that it can replace sponsorship with off-the-shelf public-private encryption (which may or may not become obsolete someday, i.e. the “blockchain”) and community belief is one many of us don’t find credible. Worse yet, there are no reserves to back up the currency or mandatory use if there ever is a run. It’s classic pump and dump bubble bait running out of greater fools.
Been reading “Devil Take the Hindmost”, a great history of the major speculative bubbles. The parallels between the current bubble and the prior ones are really interesting. The market-makers (today’s “sell side”) always have every incentive to get the greater fools to buy at the worst possible time (for the fools).
Past speculative frenzies also led to various forms of corruption in the system, and wealthy elites and policymakers wound up with major conflicts of interest which made the bubble damage worse. In the South Sea bubble, they even quietly gave away shares to key policymakers including King George I… We know the Fed leaders were trading shares while making policy after COVID hit… I wonder how many of today’s policymakers also have conflicts of interest?
There is a parallel between the prior bubbles and the current global mania in terms of speculative behavior but not otherwise.
No prior bubble or mania is even close to this one measured by scale, participation rate, duration, or geographic extent. The dot.com bubble and GFC represent the same one.
This time around there were next to no alternate investments thanks to Bernanke’s interest rate repression. So virtually everyone got roped in as a speculator or gambler.
It’s still psychological. Look at Japan. They have had close to 30 years of ZIRP (not exactly but close enough) and still no repeat or their stock and real estate mania.
In Europe, NIRP for over 10 years and stock markets at best flatlined, until some made slight new highs since the pandemic. Real estate might have been in a bubble locally but not widely. Most of the “Printing” stayed in debt securities.
You’re using TINA and it’s a rationalization.
This is a pretty interesting sub-debate.
If other nations employing long term ZIRP haven’t had asset bubbles…why not?
(I suspect they’ve had asset bubbles *somewhere* or a gutted currency caused by exiting capital since ZIRP warps the heart of the Discounted Cash Flow formula, almost universally used to value assets)
What Japan has been going through is so fascinating. It’s the exception that blows up so many “rules”. OTOH they are culturally different enough from the West that we can try to figure out signals of human vs. cultural behavior.
I love Japan as a counter to the old saw “In the long run, stocks always go up!” Not always.
How many…have conflicts of interest?
All of them.
The genius of the Constitution was to surrender all hope of finding angels to rule over men
to simply set the jackals against one another in a separation of powers.
Unfortunately, the mass media went a long way towards convincing a majority of the people that “Big Brother is Your Pal!”
I am confident that Goldman duly warned the investors, as I’m sure Cathie Wood does. But they all know the neural stimulus call of greed sweeps away much risk awareness. They just dangle the bait, I imagine they rationalize, that will be there, with or without hem doing it, in the right conditions. Take away a GS or a current rule, and humanity will invent and deploy another one. It is biology.
But then everybody comes crawling back, whipped, to blame the usual suspects. Everyone but themselves.
“But then everybody comes crawling back, whipped, to blame the usual suspects. Everyone but themselves.”
If there is a worst part to it (so many attributes to choose from), it’s that the dot.com bubble and pre-GFC experience are well within the lifetimes and (relatively recent) memory of the majority participating in this one.
That’s what is truly “different this time”. Not the ridiculous belief that somehow, someway, there really is something for nothing and the majority of the (US) population will experience increasingly higher living standards, effectively forever.
It *is* rather amazing that we can have three massive, doomed bubbles in less than 25 years and that “we’ve been up and down this highway and haven’t learned a goddamned thing.”
Especially in the unprecedented era of the info-infinite internet.
The triumphs of dopes over experience.
Repeal of Glass-Steagall? 1999
“The Gods of the Copybook Headings”
well said Phleep
it’s our money – no one put a gun to our head and said “do it”
if you lost because your thought process was flawed
you can learn from that – or just blame someone else and not learn from it
Personally, I’ve lit a match to money on several occasions (about once a decade) buying into an idea in my head that was put there by me or someone else – I consider them lessons in life and investing.
If Goldman can’t make it with crypto, they always have FUNDRISE until real estate crashes.
Cryptocurrency is predictive programing for central bank digital currencies and a crowdsourcing of the needed technology to accomplish CBDC. Google similarly humped all over the work of others with its linux base.
Our inglorious central planners would like nothing more than to be able to track every dollar everywhere it ever goes. If you’s ever watched a detective show you know about following the money to solve a crime. CBDC are surveillance currencies. Following money everywhere it goes makes it possible to diagram networks of financial affiliations.
Also, if you ever watched a detective show, and there are too damn many detective shows, you know about the whiteboard with the pictures and the links between pictures to show a crime network. Well, that’s social media.
Congress wants to regulate crypto now. Why? You don’t regulate Ponzi schemes, you ban them and prosecute. Hate to say that China got this one right.
And can’t they just pay employees in crypto? I mean it’s just as good as fiat dollars, right?
Now we have to deal with all the @sshats that got rich off this stuff for generations. Another gift that keeps on giving.
If anyone knows about ponzi’s its China. Ponzi’s are a way of life for them.
Heard an interesting concept this morning. That US, Europe, Japan and China have ran up against demographics that will require less real investment in real estate.
Take Japan. They don’t have a real estate bubble because their population is shrinking and therefore you need less investment in real property which becomes a drag on the economy.
The theory is China has made a huge mistake by investing in real estate when they are in the middle of a demographic decline like Japan. Who is going rent all of the residential and commercial real estate if you working age population is declining?
Maybe the real estate markets in Europe and US will bust as population stops growing.
Real estate bubbles are predominantly financial. Demographics are a rationalization.
What you describe is or might be true in a specific locality, but not to my knowledge otherwise. By locality, I’m referring to a street, neighborhood, or city if it’s sufficiently desirable to the population and there is enough actual wealth to keep prices high.
Look at most of the world. Housing (quality housing anyway) is not cheap by local standards but there is an acute shortage of it.
Commenters here and elsewhere think that real estate prices can’t decline for a variety of reasons. If enough “printing” occurs, it won’t decline in nominal prices.
It can still crash relatively and will as a society deteriorates.
The counter-argument for China though, as I’ve heard it from more sober sources, is that their real estate building surge is necessary at least to a point due to ongoing massive migration of so many rural Chinese to cities (now mostly medium and smaller cities instead of megalopolises). So even if China’s population wasn’t growing overall, the real estate need would be there from the migrants, and also from all the new factories still going up and still serving needs. Plus, China’s population still is growing, partly from demographic momentum (same as India even though it’s now also sub-replacement fertility) and as we learned in a recent conference, China actually does get a lot of immigration. Unlike the US it’s mostly local instead of global (from Vietnam, Philippines, Korea, Burma, Russia, Thailand and Laos) and from overseas Chinese coming back from overseas, incl. a lot of Chinese-Americans.
Meh, Ponzi’s are a way of life for practically any civilization, get-rich-quick schemes have been common since the very start of organized urban societies. And since China has such an ancient civilization going back 5,000 years, they’d have a longer record of specific cases. Greece and Rome also had quite a few doozies there from an econ history class I took in college.
The fact that central banks did not shut down crypto is very telling when considering how it is used to skirt laws, capital controls, and how it is advertised as a fiat alternative. I think cryptos will go to zero, central bankers will be happy about reduced liquidity, and “Satoshi” is already laughing on a super-yacht with his creep state buddies drinking goblets of blood with skittles and cheese.
Cryptos are a hackers dream. I just read about another big hack for over $100 million.
In the past if someone was able to do a bank heist or art museum heist over 5 or 10 million they would make a movie out of it. But now those type of heist are chump change compared to crytpo hacks. Now we are talking $100 millions or billions.
A hack of a crypto is probably boring as it is just some people sitting on a computer look for vulnerabilities all day. No planning of a break in, disabling security cameras, hacking the vault password, or having a get away care racing through the streets.
Plenty of unsecure code out there.
Apparently, these crypto related firms aren’t very successful at applying Defense-In-Depth principle either.
Those hackers are very useful and are doing their part help to build a more impenetrable CBDC blockchain where every transaction is recorded.
Check out “Hacker interview-Gummo” at soft white underbelly on youtube for an example of a hacker doing dirty deeds not so cheap for the government.
the hacker is the issuer…
the thief the guarantor.
Russian way to pay for war?
Yeah this was always my big issue with cryptocurrency. I actually did do some small amount of investing a few years ago and made some nice gains on it, but sold off my Bitcoin well before the recent surge. I guess mainly because I didn’t see BTC reaching the ridiculous levels it did in 2019-2021 (thanks to the stupidity of Fed ZIRP and QE distorting the markets and encouraging speculation). But also because as I calculated it, even if I did make huge money on the crypto investment, it just seemed so damn insecure and easy to hack. A big part of why I doubted the claims crypto could replace fiat (even with the dollar being eroded by inflation)–a currency above all has to secure and retain its value. I even attended some of those crypto security seminars on getting a physical wallet, the many ways to protect your key, but got the impression that even the experts were learning as they went along.
Bitcoin is down nearly 67% from its 2021 high. Their business model may include charging transaction fees after they stop issuing new bitcoins. The IRS treats bitcoins like property for tax purposes. They are subject to capital gains taxes.
I always was suspicious of crypto. Common sense tells you US government isn’t going to allow a real threat to the dollar without an all out fight. Just look at actions toward cutting off Russia and they have nukes.
Agreed…the power to print money quietly and at their own discretion is the core power of every government (print=spend=control 98% of the time).
No government voluntarily surrenders its core power.
The other 2% of the time is when money fails and the G has to hire/convince/cajole/shanghai/blackmail somebody into pointing a gun at everybody else.
The cryptos are the biggest printers (they just changed the word, “miners”). There are now over 10,000 cryptos, and they’re all printing like maniacs, and new ones are constantly being created out of nothing. This stuff is just too ridiculous to take seriously.
Conceptually, there needs to be/will be an alternate to fiat, which can be (and historically almost always has been) diluted to destruction.
(As I say elsewhere, out of control dilution is how dying governments/fiat issuers try to save themselves…by expropriating the buying/control power implicit in a society’s accumulated, total savings)
And nobody wants their store of value to be expropriated, slow or fast, by Congressman Duke Nukem or Senator Senility.
I agree that 10,000 Alts is an absurdity and a very real playground for ripoff artists…but in history, thousands of currencies slowly distilled themselves into the couple hundred currencies we have today.
The same winnowing process will occur in Alts, as innovative features make some much more attractive than the mass of 10,000.
I don’t know if Bitcoin will be the winner…or if the winner even exists yet.
But I do know that the political realities of currency dilution will compel a successor store of value.
Really good points here including in your last post on the thread. Agree this is the main problem with the way governments abuse fiat currency to use inflation to effectively confiscate the savings of savers, Ever since the Romans began to debase the silver in their coins, it’s been a favorite of corrupt, fiscally incompetent governments to stealthily reduce their obligations at the expense of responsible citizens and savers, hoping the people won’t notice (obviously it often doesn’t work). And indeed crypto at least started a conversation to address this issue head-on, it was just the wrong solution. There was talk about how crypto was deflationary due to limited supply (mining), but this went out the window when miners could just create more and more coins, even if Bitcoin itself was limited. And then the value gyration and security issues. We do need solutions, and crypto will still have some market due to all the people hiding their transactions, but like Tesla in its own way, it’s actual value was inflated to the moon due to blundering Fed policy of past decade with ZIRP, QE and other machinations.
Gambling money. You better know when to hold em, and know when to fold em. Blinder Robinson was pretty good at this in the 70’s.
A game of strategy. Saxs coberg sorry goldman has bread n’ butter puddin in the control game. If a wayward independent young upstart comes along who point blank ignores your controls, keep your enemies close, invite ’em round for a cake. Make it regular then one happenstance day a trip line is sprung and he falls, needs help, fetches a plaster inside, his independence fades. Until he is shown a video of the trip line purposefully being sprung intended just for him. Then, he spreads wide and far, that longevity is based on innovation and breaking away from control. Under sea cables have a back door. What if a node at perimeter of each net connect triangulated coordinates based upon local circuit architecture. Unhackable. No back door. This is our future. Coinbase is a sideshow to the landslide ahead. Upturning govs, old order, neural node landscape. With built in nuclear reactors throbbing with ebb and flow pull needs.
1) BCT/USD got support from Nov 2020 backbone.
2) ADM, MOS, BG, NTR …plunge is a good thing. It does NOT signal recession.
3) Inflation y/y is 8.6%. If the economy stabilized, next year, y/y inflation will be in deep negative territory, It will not indicate recession.
4) Gravity between US 10y and the German 10Y pull them together. Lower
CPI might send them down. The bond market “massacre” might be over. The yield curve is defective. U cannot predict gold prices based on the 10Y.
5) The G-7 will lower oil prices. China, India Sri Lanka, Turkey… benefit from deep discounts. It will lower oil prices in the spot markets.
6) We are constantly shocking ourselves. Last week we stepped on another minefield to avoid.
I have a theory about crypto and that is it is nothing more than a laundry operation for the $163 billion in stolen unemployment funds. Wouldn’t surprise me at all if the usual suspects will be found to have participated in that massive fraud scheme. 1MBD demonstrated that even the golden boys have no problem with criminal activity when it pays well.
Now that all the stolen unemployment money is clean and shiny, crypto can vanish until it’s needed again.
It’s all about the crypto ledger or “blockchain” recording every transaction. Who would want that and why?
The drop in all these super hyped parabolic growing “investments” works to the advantage of the central banks when they need to remove “liquidity” but don’t want the blame or responsibility for doing so. $2T in fake value in crypto gone so soon has to have a contributory dampening effect to assist with raising of rates or QT. Not to mention the stock market losses. The massive loss in perceived value (AKA market cap) is getting large.
Quotes = /s
Does anyone think that some of the deferred college loan payments have gone into crypto? Making a loan payment is a lot less exciting than speculating.
When you wonder who might resting the crypto losses, it might be taxpayer via student loan forgiveness. Just a theory.
I didn’t mention the beach guy that sets up my umbrella.
He said bitcoin was down @20k , he was going to go and buy some more. I gave him a nice tip, he will deposit it in the crypto heaven…
I think the scale of the “investing” in the crypto market is underestimated, a lot of people That don’t have much have put all in it. When it crashes (which it will), the anger and the disappointment will have to find a way to be released. I wonder who will become the Scape goat this time.
Creepto might be the inverse of energy. It’s commodity.
Few whales are in creepto. They tried to get me in : no thanks.
I never did understand the whole bitcoin business and never invested in it. Imagine, paying for imaginary coins with the hope that you will find a greater fool to sell them to. 50 years ago, the mortgage real estate investment trust business was only a year or two away from collapsing. There was the Nifty Fifty in 1973. How many of those are even in business anymore? Most of the investment firms that used to be listed in tombstone ads in the Wall Street Journal disappeared years ago, including two that I once worked for. Besides, tombstone ads don’t work very well on cellphones. It’s a new world out there, Goldie.
Disappeared for the worse.
Wall Street would be a lot more disciplined if partnerships still existed and the partners financial necks were also on the line for any blow-ups.
Some Crypto news today: “Prominent crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital has defaulted on a loan worth more than $670 million. Digital asset brokerage Voyager Digital issued a notice on Monday morning, stating that the fund failed to repay a loan of $350 million in the U.S. dollar-pegged stablecoin, USDC, and 15,250 bitcoin, worth about $323 million at today’s prices.”
Where is all the money going?
=Where is all the money going?=
Meh… Who cares… Thinkin’ is for Boomers and, like, SOOO not cool…
When griping grief the heart doth wound,
And doleful dumps the mind opresses,
Then music, with her silver sound,
With speedy help doth lend redress.
(from “Romeo and Juliet”)
PLEASE SING ALONG Y’ALL, O YE OF LITTLE FAITH !!!
Strong Hands on Deck, let’s sail
And not fail to harpoon that Whale
Pump & Dump, better use your Brains
They’re wrecking Havoc all over the Exchange
My Intention is to set you free
You’re only problem is FUD
So Imma hit it hard like a Koto
Could it be that I’m Satoshi Nakamoto ???
Rap Crypto y’all know Bitcoin
I wanna thank you for checking out this Joint
See I’m Vandal – the token Rapper
And this right here is a brand new Chapter
Follow me as I go Rambo
To the Moon in my brand new Lambo
That’s right – the new Sensation
And if you like it please leave a Donation !
(MC Vandal “Rap Crypto”)
You mean the approximately $2 trillion reduction in market cap?
Back to nowhere where it came from, the same place as all of the other fake “wealth” which has disappeared with declining asset prices.
“Where is all the money going?”
It’s not “money” — it’s just cryptos: One firm lending another some cryptos (bitcoin and USDC). And now the other firm cannot pay back those cryptos.
But yes, good question. $2 trillion in cryptos evaporated since November and went to no one and nowhere. It’s just gone. It went back where it had come from: nothingness.
In theory an asset is the future all the cash flows summed up like you would in a spreadsheet with the proper adjustment. Somebody bought an asset not knowing or forgetting that concept. Therefore someone’s labor was wasted buying the equivalent of Florida swamp land.
I ask because I dont know…..when people bought newly minted bitcoins
“where did the money go?”
BTC is “mined”, not initially bought. No one gets the money. It’s “discovered” or “found”, similar finding a coin or note in the parking lot.
There is a cost associated with the “mining”, and a colossal waste of real resources (electricity) to “mine” BTC which is actually nothing.
But in the backwards mirror of economic statistics, it’s another example of waste equaling “growth”.
Part of our a** backwards Bizarro world economy resulting from the asset and credit mania.
In a sane world, no one would spend a cent or waste a second of their irreplaceable time (in other words, their life) “mining” BTC or any other crypto because no one in their right mind would assign it any value.
I thought the following is an interesting analogy.
When fracking was taking off, it was the new oil boom. Lots of small producers raised money to go fracking. Then things collapsed, but these small producers kept drilling and pumping oil even as every barrel of oil they sold lost money. Why….because they had too. You have to keep pumping oil to pay the bills and debt. You had to have some cash flow. They hoped they would not run out of cash before oil prices go back up and start making a profit.
Same thing is happening to the crypto miners. I read many are losing money as the operational costs are higher than the payback. But they have bills to pay so they keep mining crytpo because they even it they are losing money on each file they mine. They keep mining with the hopes that cryptos go up in price before they run out of cash.
Why not just take a unique photo of a burnt pile of wood and stamp a serial number on it? A cord of hickory could be assigned one value, a cord of pine another.
Pleasing imagining anyone enjoying quiet hikes in nature.
BTC is a public ledger which is very easy to follow.
Vampire Squid /Goldman look like they are going to shovel up Coinbase for pennies- which includes thousands of BTC.
Venture Capitalist Marc Andreesen was heavily invested in Coinbase, and is still aboard member.
Wonder how many fans Andreesen has left in the investing world?
WFH? Work From Hunan???
WFB Work From Bangalore, be fired in Hindi.
General, unsecured creditors ALWAYS take it in the neck in all bankruptcies.
Even firms with significant asset values, unsecureds are often left with no distributions. The cost of the bankruptcy, lawyers, and secured lenders are at the trough first and paid first, but the money always runs out before the Unsecureds get anything.
Didn’t Hertz make it right for the stock holders?
My favorite type of stock is one with no debt, a lot of cash and pays a dividend. Very hard to find and not encouraged by our tax system. If you are a stock holder why be down on the totem pole if you don’t have to. If it’s really good business you don’t have to use leverage to get an acceptable return.
“Bitcoin is down nearly 67% since 2021”
Isn’t bitcoin just some kind of digital tulip bulb? Should find firm support at $0……
The rules promulgated by the SEC are allegedly to protect consumers from charlatans in “big business.” A company that must disclose financial details, the thinking goes, cannot dupe you into buying worthless shares.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), … it cons the public into believing that it will protect them from losses, thus snookering more people into putting their money into stocks.
Coinbase is a part of the fiat gate anybody holding crypto has to go through to swap for stablecoins which are in turn swapped for dollars. An important part. To the extent that they experience operating difficulty, that gate narrows marginally. Bad publicity feeds on itself, scared people have trust issues. Governments have memorably stepped in to defend their collapsing currencies, with varying degrees of success. No such rescue for crypto, working without a net for maybe value appreciation and maybe not, and ultimately the HODL’ers lose all. It would be irrational for a single crypto existing alone to increase in value over time. There are thousands.
Coinbase hired Goldman late ’20 as financial advisor, but went direct listing and their list of managing heavyweights must have thought this was their next money machine. So why did they so drastically misread things?the SEC ruling could have been reasonably expected and just made sense. Nobody really guarantees digital numbers some may think are valuable unless an important and powerful government demands that the governed pay taxes using those same kind of numbers. The government may not be threatened or even concerned about crypto, harmless entertainment watching moronic speculators getting shellacked. It may provide them with important information for a CBDC rollout. It doesn’t mean that they are going to help the shellacked, because to a government functionary it’s simply not real unless it’s under their control. They’re boned, too bad. Unless the boned speculators have political clout, of course. This whole thing happened in just over fourteen months, we’re not talking about long-term prognostication here. Great management job.
A synthetic mathematical construct that’s worth money just because it exists, scarce by “promising” less and less, has no other function, purportedly invented by a conveniently absent genius, and thinks it’s secure because math is hard… yeah, that makes sense.
Never bet against technology.
But hunters don’t give the dog the gun, either. And there’s plenty of times hunting, or investing, is just rotten. Anecdotal metaphor alert, i don’t hunt because I can’t hit anything and it annoys the wildlife.
Easy enough to pick investments these days, just buy companies who sell lots of stuff to poor people. As Augustus Frost says, “worse or much worse”.
Nice post. The absent genius should have raised red flags a long time ago.
Also, scarcity because of some so-called ethical promise not to change the code. I have already read a few posts that want to reduce the amount of BTC and cutting the number in half to drive up the price. Supposedly just one line of code. An unregulated asset based on computer code….that seems to be a pretty dangerous counter party to me.
Governments defending their currency…you might add in Governments defending their tax collections too. Cryptos are used extensively in emerging markets to avoid paying taxes.
After watching the market for many years, greed many times over runs the moral compass of something that was supposed to be ethical.
Sam Bankman-Fried is not stepping in to cover the losses of crytpo users, he is doing a JP Morgan move of 1929 and trying to scoop up assets on the cheap, gain market share and is not the little crypto investor people?
1) Unexpectedly, the G-7 became hostile to China.
2) Xi is fully committed to the $4T Marine and Silk road, 1/3 of China GDP.
3) SSEC in a bear market rally.
4) China accumulated US, UK, France, Germany, India, Australia…as
5) Within a year China might enter recession. Unemployment will dealt with harsh treatment.
6) Xi is becoming world enemy #1.
None of this is even remotely true, Putin is still stuck in his Peter the Great fantasy and sending increasingly scared and reluctant Russian conscripts to shoot at people in Donbass and occupying the G7’s full attention. And Russia is increasingly pissing off the entire world, even its former allies and non-aligned 3rd world countries, as its futile war and fruitless embargo on both Russian and Ukrainian grain exports just sends commodities prices and even wheat higher esp for developing countries that can ill afford these kinds of price spikes. Russia is far and away world enemy #1 and it’s not even close. India for its part is non-aligned and if anything joining with China and the other BRICs in a kind of neutral arrangement (and funnily enough hurting and shaking down Russia for its resources at rock-bottom prices, as Russian exporters get desperate to sell anything at any low price). And France, Germany and Australia whatever the talk absolutely need China trade to stay viable economically as trade with US gets proportionally smaller and less reliable. All your points are total speculation and here, completely wrong.
In fact, the latest G7 reports, as far as foreign policy concerned, are all about Russia and say practically nothing about Xi or China, and if anything all the countries you name are increasing trade with China out of pure necessity given the cutoff of trade with Russia. (Again, India and the other BRICs especially forming a kind of neutral coalition with each other, all still trading with Russia but getting Russian resources at a huge markdown which in it’s own way is hurting Russia too) . Putin is absolutely world enemy #1 now in stark contrast to what you say, and he’s running out of conscripts (drafting 55-year olds since Russians have no interest in fighting this war to gain Russian oligarchs more palaces) and again, angering even once-neutral countries due to the increase in prices of wheat. That’s what’s going to end the Ukraine war more than anything else, Putin’s even losing the support of Donbass Ukrainians due to Russian abuses there.
4) Boss : US, UK, France, Germany…Japan !
All craptocurrencies are returning to their proper and correct fundamental true value of zero which is what they have always been worth.
I am thinking about adding some high level encryption to excel files and call them crypto-cell-currency. With every transaction I add a cell to the spreadsheet. But this is probably better as cryptos are linear, my crypto-cell-currency will be 2 dimensional. Now I just need to write a white paper.
I think I just killed Bitcoin. Anyway. My point is what happens if a better technology from an absent genius pops up in the next 5 year or 10 years. Bitcoin could become worthless.
I am not sure why people do not see this angle.
30 years ago, before CDMA spread spectrum technology, nobody could have imagined a cell phone that could process 1 gigabits per second and you could watch live TV while in a car going 80 mph.
The list goes on and on.
Cryptos are just math and computer code. Something better will eventually be invented.
The first digital currency after bitcoin was Namecoin.
You would need much more than a spreadsheet for that.
Primecoin, much more than a spreadsheet.
Bitcoin is trash but not all crypto is as wasteful.
Some people miss the real value of crypto which is monetizing computer networks.
Within a few years coins that generate important data with human taskwork will be the norm and it will change a lot of things.
Huntercoin tried to jumpstart that but more or less died. Numerai is a coin that hints at what is developing. Lots of others too.
Actually no. We are only at the beginning of a long energy crisis, so computer networks will be more and more expensive to operate and eventually operating data centers will be a losing proposition. I know most people will not be able to wrap their heads around the idea that society will be regressing tech wise, but that’s what will happen.
@SCJ – The Romans had concrete that did not degrade in salt water. 2000 years later that formula is long forgotten, and still not replicated. They had central heating, hot and cold running water, roads which are still in use. Rome was sacked and fell, and for over a thousand years former Roman subjects lived in primitive squalor, amid the relics of a society long past. Your quote, “society will be regressing tech wise” is wise, and terrifying.
There are two different kinds of crypto mining.
Bitcoin uses a very energy intensive mining which produces nothing.
Taskwork coins use very little energy and produce data or advance a science through human taskwork which also secures the network.
If there was a top ten truths about the finance industry one of the truths is they always have to keep coming up with things to sell to make money. Computer power has meant that retail could own a diversified portfolio of stocks and bonds for less than 0.1% of asset value.
That’s obviously not enough skim for the financial industry so they have to try to sell retail investor’s products they really don’t need like specialty ETFs, cryptos, options, junk bonds, leveraged loans, mbs. On and on. The average retail investor doesn’t need any of that stuff.
This is very different. A crypto algorithm can be designed to actually produce something, like scientific data.
Very different than derivatives which are all smoke.
“…which is monetizing computer networks”
You mean, wasting computer networks? Wasting computing power?
No, bitcoin is wasting computing power, it produces nothing.
Step 1) Look at Gridcoin GRC which uses the network power to do science calcilations for BOINC.
Step 2) Look at the newer coins which monetize human input, taskwork.
Step 3 is productive taskwork coins. Like having an ‘IBM’ which is much more efficient and owned by the people doing taskwork.
Gosh, we’ve got a long ways to go before the bottom is in.
More than $2 trillion in non-existent ‘wealth’ has already evaporated from the 19,000 or so craptocurrencies and this is just the start of their dive into the great big dark sea of nothingness below the surface of the earth. When are the prosecutions going to start against the Winkletwinks and all of the other Ponzi scheme swindlers who pushed these outrageously laughably frauds and heists?
People actually paid in dollars for those “coins” and that money ($2 Trillion) is sitting somewhere so it really didn’t evaporate. The “coin” pricing went south though.
There are not “19,000 or so craptocurrencies”.
There are actually about 18,550 or so “craptocurrencies”.
And maybe 50 decent ctyptocurrencies
Ah yes, bitcoin is dead. For the fourth (or fifth?) time now. But this time is different, right?
Couldn’t happen to nicer people, really …
Paging Blythe Masters. Paging Blythe Masters. She and Jamie know the real plan re Crypto 😉😉
Not sure exactly what that means, but there is a healthy suspicion that crypto is intended to be a parachute for the global fiat economy.
If that’s the case then it will ‘turn around’ before the rest of the economy.
My two main problems with cryptos are that true wealth and power is in control of land. And secondly the intermittency and fragility of internet access.
Maybe you could eliminate a lot of desk jobs and paperwork documenting land ownership on a blockchain, but government is still going to be there in the form of armies protecting land, at a minimum. Wealth isn’t a line of code. It is ultimately in control of land and physical assets.
That and the internet depends entirely on constant maintenance just like the electrical grid. Crypto nuts love to talk about who tends to the business of managing digital space without a lot of discussion of the physical assets.
I have yet to see a convincing argument to ease my mind about those two things.
Control of land is political fantasy that only exists where gangs are. In those places your statement is correctish.
Commodities are a more natural store of wealth, and you are viewing land as a commodity when it is more accurately a sign of membership in a club.
Your basic point about the fraudulent nature of ‘crypto commodities’ is true, but if you are an investor you should not ignore virtual land which is going to become the big advertising space soon. Imagine being able to show an immersive ad through a vr headset, for free, to anybody who passes by your virtual store.
My Libertarian friends absolutely loved Bitcoin when it came out. I never understood how they could profess a hatred of government fiat, but love something that only existed somewhere as a string of digits on a computer.
So about $2 trillion in “value” was destroyed with the crypto crash. That is about what the USA Fed gov spent on phase 3 stimulus (some of which actually went to poor people — imagine that). Monetary inflation problem solved. Well, not exactly. The fiats may be sitting on some Corp or Billionaires balance sheet somewhere.
The $2 Trillion destroyed with crypto is small change compared to the $1 quadrillion waiting over in derivatives. Now that could get interesting.
I still think governments could use taxation to control inflation. But that would tick off the Donor Class. So we will probably see 20% interest rates before any government looks at the tax rates.
A lot of people never liked fiat and also never liked bitcoin, but are into crypto.
Huntercoin HUC *defunct*
The problem with using taxation to control inflation is Who do you think the wealthy are going to tax?
Answer = you.
In 1932, Warner Bros. made a great fictional movie called “The Match King,” directly based on the life of Ivor Krueger. The movie’s main character, called Paul Kroll (Krueger was still alive then) lied, stole, bribed, cheated and even killed to control the sale of matches worldwide. Along came the Hollywood Production Code of 1934, which put an end to such cynical movies that attacked Wall Street. The implosion of Coinbase would make a great movie but there is a problem. Coinbase as a company is like a cockroach. If you see one cockroach company, Coinbase, you can be sure there are loads more you don’t see. Don’t give moviegoers (peasants) the wrong idea. So Hollywood avoids getting into specifics on Wall Street’s “Masters of The Universe” and sticks to comic book superheroes.
To put things in perspective, there are no ‘superhero’ cryptocurrencies yet.
But the first company or country to make an intelligently designed taskwork coin that produces a tangible digital commodity like scientific data will have more power than most countries.
It is the ‘strategic nuke’ of the global economy and you can bet governments are getting ready. Look maybe at “Basic Attention Token” BAT which is a crypto designed to gather taskworkers in preparation for…?
The rich romans had the good tech. The rest had always lived in squalor. Things are better now for the poor, but the song remains the same. Debasement of the currency played a big part in the decline of the western Roman empire.
I do not think it is that simple. Real estate investors cannot pledge their collateral for more borrowing when they are far underwater. This article sounds like wishful thinking in the face of a tough, but not fatal period for some commercial real estate investors.