What I have been reading – January 2021


Gamestop frenzy

The reddit campaign to push its stock up started two months ago. At first shares rose a little. That caught people’s attention, those people bought, which pushed prices up more, which caught more people’s attention – on and on – until this week when virtually every investor in America is paying attention to GameStop because it’s risen so high, and it’s rising high because every investor in America is paying attention to it. I have three friends who bought a few shares of GameStop this week “to see what happens.” They’re only doing that because the price went up. And they’re making the price go up.

Collaborative Fund



A Sign Of The Times

The risks are significant and have led many to advise young people against taking part in currency trading, one of the riskiest form of trading there is. While traders who work in banks work with other people’s money, those who do it at home take a huge gamble with their own – and risk losing their life savings.
There’s people who during the pandemic have lost jobs or income. They have to tighten their belts and try to get through this period as best as they can. Then there’s some people who have been unfazed by this or even managed to get salary increases in this time. As they’re not travelling to the office any more, they’ve cut down on costs and there is this extra pool of money.”

Guardian

 

 

Gamestop Was The Perfect Set Up

You had a heavily shorted stock that got a few pieces of good news that eventually became a runaway freight train. You had the pandemic keeping people home and driving them to speculate in their boredom. Maybe some of the shine comes off when more people are back in the office.

The combination of social media and zero commission trades has created a movement that will be difficult to stop now that it’s in motion. If anything, this whole ordeal will only invigorate others to try the same.

A Wealth OF Common Sense

 

 

Free Shares

Sign-up to Freetrade via my link and we can both get a free share worth between £3 and £200. All You need to do is sign up via this link –   Freetrade,  top up your account, could be as little as £1 and complete the w8-ben form on the app.

 

 

The Bull Run

I’m starting to think the bull market could last way longer than most ppl think.  Robinhood just raised $3+ billion like it came out of thin air.  There’s just so much $$$ sloshing around that if we don’t get a face-ripping melt up every correction will continue to be met w/buyers

Twitter

 

 

Changing The Rules mid-game

No one should be allowed to decide who can and can’t buy a particular security that is publicly traded. After all, things that have been called “a bubble” for years (i.e. Tesla, Bitcoin, etc.) have the remarkable ability to keep bubbling.

But, this isn’t the first time that Wall Street changed the rules in the middle of the game. They tried to do the same thing to Michael Burry (from The Big Short) in 2007-2008 when their mortgage-backed securities started going down the tubes. And they did do the same thing to a man named Clarence Saunders nearly a century ago.

Of Dollars and Data

 

 

Electricity Consumption

Even though many of these offices remain closed or nearly emptied of people, electricity use is climbing steadily back up to pre-pandemic levels. By the fall, electricity consumption had climbed back up to 90% of what it was before the lockdowns and office closures, and it has stayed there, according to Hatch Data. Offices are still empty, but they’re using almost as much energy as they were when they were full.

Fast Company

 

 

Business travel

Business travel is coming back for the same reason that suits always come back.

Suits are cyclical. Almost all offices go casual late in the cycle. Then the economy rolls over and a few months into the recession, someone shows up at the office wearing a suit because they are worried about their job. The next day everyone is wearing a suit.

Medium

 

 

Wealth Begets Wealth

Person creates a great business, gets rich.

People say, “That’s great! They created a great business. They deserve to be rich.” Genuine admiration.

Wealth begets more wealth as the business compounds.

More wealth enables power, including regulatory influence, corporate governance deficiencies, and wage negotiating leverage.

Those powers create super wealth, and lower-income workers begin to say, “Hey, the reason you’re super rich is because you got all these powers from being merely rich, and some of that super wealth looks like rent-seeking rather than creating value.”

People say, “This isn’t right. You can’t do this.”

Super wealthy person says, “Too bad, this is the way things work.”

The process keeps compounding.

People feel demoralized, undignified, and like the whole system is stacked in favor of a few.

They eventually have enough, and coalesce as a group to become powerful enough to force change, typically with taxes, minimum wages, and labor unions.

Super wealthy person says, “This isn’t right. You can’t do this.”

The people say, “Too bad, this is the way things work.”

Collaborative Fund



Bitcoin Lock Out

Stefan Thomas, a German-born programmer living in San Francisco, has two guesses left to figure out a password that is worth, as of this week, about $220 million.
The password will let him unlock a small hard drive, known as an IronKey, which contains the private keys to a digital wallet that holds 7,002 Bitcoin. While the price of Bitcoin dropped sharply on Monday, it is still up more than 50 percent from just a month ago, when it passed its previous all-time high of around $20,000.
The problem is that Mr. Thomas years ago lost the paper where he wrote down the password for his IronKey, which gives users 10 guesses before it seizes up and encrypts its contents forever. He has since tried eight of his most commonly used password formulations — to no avail.

NY Times

 

 

The Fall of Ericsson – Chance

Take the case of a small fire in a Philips semiconductor plant in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in March 2000. Triggered by a lightning strike, it was extinguished by the local fire department within minutes. The plant manager dutifully reported the fire to the plant’s customers, telling them that it had caused only minor damage and that production would resume in a week. The purchasing manager at Ericsson, a major customer, checked that his on-hand inventory of the plant’s semiconductors would meet production needs over the next couple of weeks and didn’t escalate the issue.

Unfortunately, the fire’s smoke and soot and the extensive hosing of the facility had contaminated the clean rooms where highly sensitive electronic wafers were fabricated, and production didn’t restart for several months. By the time the Ericsson purchasing manager learned about the delay, all alternative suppliers of several of the plant’s wafers had already been committed to other companies. The component shortages cost Ericsson $400 million in lost revenues from the delayed launch of its next-generation mobile phone and contributed to its exit from this market the following year.

Hbr.org

 

 

Yearning For The Good Old Days

But when exactly were the good old days? Podcaster Jason Feifer once devoted an episode of “Pessimists’ Archive” to this question. If you want to make America great again, he thought, you have to ask yourself when America was great. The most popular answer seemed to be the 1950s, so Mr. Feifer asked historians whether Americans in that decade thought it was particularly pleasant. Definitely not, they said. In the 1950s, American sociologists worried that rampant individualism was tearing the family apart. There were serious racial and class tensions, and everyone lived under the very real threat of instant nuclear annihilation.

WSJ

 

 

The Speed Of Vaccines

The Moderna vaccine design took all of one weekend. It was completed before China had even acknowledged that the disease could be transmitted from human to human, more than a week before the first confirmed coronavirus case in the United States. By the time the first American death was announced a month later, the vaccine had already been manufactured and shipped to the National Institutes of Health for the beginning of its Phase I clinical trial. This is — as the country and the world are rightly celebrating — the fastest timeline of development in the history of vaccines. It also means that for the entire span of the pandemic in this country, which has already killed more than 250,000 Americans, we had the tools we needed to prevent it.

NY Mag