Sunday, February 28, 2021
"As it really starts to compete with ordinary, fiat currencies, government currencies, I think they’ll clamp down on it like a ton of bricks. They are not going to allow that to happen."
"But make no mistake, the governments need to retain control over taxation, controlling crime, etc. They need to maintain control over the unit of account — the currency. Yes, private innovation can come out for a while, but eventually over the long course of history, the government first regulates and then it appropriates, and I think we can see that happening here."
Thursday, February 25, 2021
I guess Burry says "tenuous" based on Bitcoin's (and others') phenomenal rise during the past 4 months. Yahoo Finance: BTC-USD. Click on '6M' above the chart to see the rise graphically.
"To be sure, bitcoin’s wobbles aren’t unusual but the crypto’s reputation for volatility is one reason naysayers contend it isn’t suited to serve as a medium of exchange."
“To the extent it is used I fear it’s often for illicit finance. It’s an extremely inefficient way of conducting transactions, and the amount of energy that’s consumed in processing those transactions is staggering,” Janet Yellen said.
Sunday, February 21, 2021
Laws regarding blockchain and cryptocurrencies are far behind the times due to the latter's newness. However, some laws are being written to try to catch up.
The development will not be easy due to the international scope of blockchain and cryptocurrencies. The privacy of cryptocurrencies has made them attractive to criminal activity, but the above article has little to say about that. However, most of the rapid growth of cryptocurrencies has not been due to criminals. The use of cryptocurrency as money and for investing has also gotten the attention of monetary authorities such as the U.S. Federal Reserve System.
A Fed[eral Reserve] president predicts the Bitcoin boom won’t last. Really? There is little risk of that prediction being wrong. There is far more risk of being wrong by predicting a big bust will be very soon.
"While calling the Fed justified for trying to boost the pandemic-afflicted economy by encouraging investors to put their funds in job-creating activities instead of parking it in banks or government bonds, the lack of investment opportunities has driven many to chase yield via 'speculative vehicles - bitcoin very much included', the newspaper said." (WaPo).
Heh. The Fed people want control. The Fed people or the WaPo editors -- maybe not intended -- call investing in government bonds, which supports more government spending, a non-job-creating activity!😉 It is surely the opposite of what they so often say.
Tuesday, February 16, 2021
It is much like the speculative tulip bulb mania of 1636, also made more manic by options.GameStop's Reddit Raiders: Goliath Beaten by David, Then They Change the Rules
Hart writes, "They stopped buy orders in GameStop, allowing the price to drop and bailing hedge funds out -- to the detriment of the Reddit Raiders." (For some, not all.) It was not necessarily a detriment. If a client is prevented from buying high followed by the price plummeting, that is beneficial to the client.) Hart did not outright say they -- I assume he meant Robinhood, the place where most Reddit Raiders do most their trading -- were wrong to do so or why. However, there are plausible reasons why Robinhood did what they did other than assisting the short sellers (mainly hedge funds), but that was the only plausible reason Hart gave. Perhaps Robinhood didn't have the lending capacity to support some transactions. Indeed, Robinhood's CEO denied any collusion with hedge funds. He said the limits were necessary "to meet the clearinghouse deposit requirements that we pay to support customers trading on our platform."
Sunday, February 14, 2021
There is a BoA ATM only about 2 miles from my house, so I tried that. After inserting my BoA credit card in the ATM and entering the last 6 digits of the credit card number, what appeared on the ATM screen was a stranger's debit card with the same last 4 (maybe 6) digits. The ATM instructed me to enter the stranger's PIN. I didn't know and didn't try. I might have been extremely lucky guessing and been able to withdraw some cash from the stranger's account. On the other hand, a video camera was probably recording me! Anyway, it was weird and a little scary to be in the position of possibly making a cash withdrawal from a stranger's debit card account with my credit card.
After this incident I will be evaluating whether or not I should even keep my BoA credit card. Some stranger might successfully get a cash advance charged to my credit card with his or her debit card!
Wednesday, February 10, 2021
David French: How To Be Pro-Life in Joe Biden’s America
I have read a few articles by David French and believe he is a very good writer. I don't agree 100% with what he says, but the article is worth the time to read it.
One issue the article doesn't address is coercion -- the use of physical force or threat for X to get an abortion, more importantly, for Y to pay via taxes for X's abortion.
Ayn Rand wrote little about abortion., and I may have not seen all of it. Leonard Peikoff wrote, "Abortion is a moral right—which should be left to the sole discretion of the woman involved; morally, nothing other than her wish in the matter is to be considered."
I don't wholly agree. It's not her sole discretion if other people are coerced to pay for her abortion. It's not her sole discretion with a wiser husband or doctor and no coercion.
Monday, February 8, 2021
Saturday, February 6, 2021
The three pols are Janet Yellen, Nancy Pelosi, and Maxine Waters. I didn't thoroughly fact-check the article, but it sounds truthful. Readers can judge for themselves.
The article says that Yellen collected many $$ in speaking fees from GameStop.
Corrupt Maxine Waters is chair of the powerful House Financial Services Committee, where she has for years "steered millions of federal bailout dollars to her husband’s failing bank, OneUnited."
"Waters allocated $12 million to the Mass. bank in which she and her board member husband held shares."
Thursday, February 4, 2021
By the very opinionated New York Times columnist Paul Krugman: The Republican Economic Plan Is an Insult
"It’s bad faith in the name of bipartisanship."
"And in the meantime we’re going to have to remain on partial lockdown. It would, for example, be folly to reopen full-scale indoor dining. And the continuing lockdown will impose a lot of financial hardship. Unemployment will remain very high; millions of businesses will struggle to stay afloat; state and local governments, which aren’t allowed to run deficits, will be in dire fiscal straits."
"What we need, then, is disaster relief to get afflicted Americans through the harsh months ahead. And that’s what the Biden plan would do."
Read between the lines, folks. What Paul Kru[d]man yearns for is a super-activist government, especially the federal government. The predictable results will be bread lines, selling apples on the street, and lots of people not working because they get a government check not to work. In other words, similar to the several-year Great Depression that began about 90 years ago. An exception is greatly inflating the money supply by creating lots more government debt rather than cutting the money supply by 1/3rd. More government spending, taxes, and debt is Kru[d]man's usual advice, which "takes from the rich and gives to the poor." After several years, he could then recommend the government jack up the economy by starting WW3 with China. Jeesh!"History doesn't repeat itself, but it often rhymes." - often attributed to Mark Twain.
Wednesday, February 3, 2021
- Sen. Elizabeth Warren asked stock-trading company Robinhood in a letter to explain why it restricted trading in red-hot shares of GameStop after hedge funds suffered huge losses in a short squeeze.
- Warren noted that Robinhood last week abruptly changed trading rules for individual investors in certain stocks on its no-fee platform, while hedge funds and Wall Street institutional investors were allowed to keep trading in GameStop and the other companies.
- The letter asks Robinhood to disclose what led it to impose tight trading restrictions on GameStop and other stocks, and whether its hedge-fund investors or other financial services partners who had big stakes in such trading affected the app company's decision.
Tuesday, February 2, 2021
GameStop's price history is here. The six-month (6M) graph gives a terrific bird's eye view.
The story has received loads of media attention. It’s being portrayed as a Robinhood or David and Goliath story. It’s not, or more accurately there are Davids and Goliaths on both sides. A friend asked, "Who benefits more from GME being up hundreds of percent, 'Wall Street' or 'Main Street'? This is an anomaly but it’s not entirely unique. It’s newsworthy but there’s nothing sinister here." Many of the "Davids" communicate on the Reddit forum WallStreetBets. Their "collusion," and short sellers talking with one one another, are both about as common as lying in politics. Many of these small investors have accounts at the broker Robinhood, which helps to promote the partly true story that the little guys are taking from the rich. Robinhood’s behavior is also part of the story, which I will skip for now.
Much of the commentary about the story portrays it as unprecedented. Perhaps a little, but not much. This sort of phenomena happens regularly. People not that familiar with the world of investing don’t hear all about it, along with the mainstream press not making a lot of noise about it. A knowledgeable investor might yawn.
Fox News guy Tucker Carlson said: "Whatever our current system is, it is definitely not the capitalism we were promised, not even close” (link). Huh? Trading and borrowing and lending aren’t part capitalism (and even socialism and human nature)? Well, that’s for sure fake news! 😉
Self-anointed do-gooder Senator Elizabeth Warren could not resist commenting. She said: “For years, the same hedge funds, private equity firms, and wealthy investors dismayed by the GameStop trades have treated the stock market like their own personal casino while everyone else pays the price,” Warren said. “It’s long past time for the SEC and other financial regulators to wake up and do their jobs -- and with a new administration and Democrats running Congress, I intend to make sure they do” (link). In GameStop's case, isn't that the little guys treating the stock market like their own personal casino? 😄 What does the pretentious Warren believe she can do to stop this “calamity”? I bet she doesn’t have a clue. It obviously struck her moral sense, though.
Monday, February 1, 2021
EconTalk: Gary Shiffman on the Economics of Violence.Economist Gary Shiffman of Georgetown University talks about his book, The Economics of Violence, with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Shiffman argues that we should view terrorism, insurgency, and crime as being less about ideology and more about personal expression and entrepreneurship. He argues that approaching these problems as economists gives us better tools for fighting them.
His perspective is unique. A one hour interview.