Day: April 17, 2018

F.T.W.S.I.J.D.G.I.G.T.

(For those who say I just don’t get it, get this.)

The more things change, the more things stay the same.

It wasn’t all that long ago, no matter what the “hot topic” at-hand may have been, the moment I said anything contradictory to the media or investing narrative of that day, I would be besieged with calls of not knowing anything, just trying to be contrarian, for the sake of being a contrarian, and on and on. And, of course there were always those that could never be repeated in polite company, for they would make a Marine blush.

This all comes with the territory. i.e., If you want to play on the world stage and express an opinion, any opinion, there will be those that take issue with it. Even if they don’t know what they themselves are talking about. Trust me, happens far more often than even I ever thought possible, which brings me to the reason for this article.

As those who’ve been with me for a while know these FTWSIJDGIGT articles came into being to address many of these type of arguments years back, and since took on a life of their own. And it’s here, that this one, in particular, demonstrates why. Case in point:

Over the weekend I penned an article implying that the last 10 years of investing prowess learned under central banking largesse, has all been flipped on its head, resembling going from ease of buying-the-f’n-dips (BTFD) to now resemble the crypto-space and their mantra known as hold-on-for-dear-life (HODL).

The implication of this, I asserted, was if this is what you understand to be (e.g., HODL) “insightful, pragmatic advice?” Maybe you’re not as “informed” as you think you are. The only thing worse may be putting it into actual practice.

Well this sent some people into an absolute tizzy!

Whether or not one agrees with my assertions, doesn’t matter. People are grown adults and can decide what is relevant to them and take away what they want. However, if one has/is practicing BTFD or HODL type strategies, with the only reasoning for doing so is that it’s worked in the past, therefore, it will/must work going forward? I only have one comment to make: Best of luck with that.

So, with the above for context, it wasn’t long before I received a note from a colleague asking for my thoughts given that people like Tim Draper were also joining Mr. Lee and now calling for Bitcoin™ to go parabolic. However, Mr. Draper’s call is different from Tom Lee’s, where Lee is calling for $25K before year end, Mr. Draper is touting it should be $250K in four years. Quite the call to be up Tom Lee by 10X, but there you have it. And it’s making people, once again, appear to look at Bitcoin and the others as Homer Simpson thinks about doughnuts.

And it was here that I realized just how short, along with how little memory anyone retains, if the implication for “quick riches” can be implored. i.e., “Don’t question the Snake Oil salesman, after all, it says right there on the label, “New and Improved!” so it must be different this time.

Think I’m making this stuff up? Fair point, as always, you be the judge.

As many of you know I was one of the first on the global stage (and for quite some time, one of the only) to publicly question the entire “unicorn” and “it’s different this time” meme when it came to Silicon Valley, V.C.’s, et al. And one of those that I openly railed against was Theranos™.

At the time, Theranos was the and I mean just that –the– wonder company and darling of the business/financial press. It seemed to be the stuff legends and dreams were made of: A $Billion dollar unicorn, woman founded, woman led, revolutionary product, female Steve Jobs, and on, and on.

Then: It all blew up and was exposed as the fraud that it was – and with it – the once fawning mainstream financial/business press scattered away from these revelations like cockroaches under flood lamps. Suddenly, the subject of Theranos appeared more tainted than the results they were claiming as “revolutionary.”

So enlightening was this moment (for those that wanted to see that is) that I wrote an article titled, “Theranos: Unicorn Valley’s Madoff Moment.” And made my case why.

But then a funny thing happened along the way as the whole Theranos debacle imploded further as claims of fraud and more began unfolding. i.e., The more revelations that came forward (like lawsuits, decertifications, FDA investigations, and more) showing the entire Theranos story to be nothing more than a fraud.

There were those, in the face of the overwhelming evidence (like admitting the machines didn’t work as stated) that came out in defense of Theranos, claiming, it was all “a witch hunt.” Example?

Theranos early investor: Tim Draper.

During a subsequent interview via one of the highly touted mainstream financial/business media outlets, I found it to be so revealing (as well as appalling) for not only his assertions of defense, but in addition, the obvious lack of any push back via the interviewer. So much so I was left slack-jawed. I found both to be so startling, that I penned another article just a bit later titled, “Silicon Valley Snake Oil”

The reason for it was simple. Which was worse?: The claims that there was nothing wrong when nearly everyone knew it be a sham? Or, the lack of push back via what many regard as “the mainstream business/financial media?”

I’ve asserted – both were of the same caliber. e.g, Both were just as deplorable as the other. Period.

Yet, with what we now know, since then, what makes the above even more telling is Mr. Draper continued on (i.e., Openly declaring there was nothing wrong with Theranos) for quite a long time further. Even upping his calls to “witch hunt” as time passed and further revelations became public.

Here’s a screenshot of the top four hits via a quick Google™ search using the criteria depicted in the search bar. To wit:

(Source)

As one can see, the dates of the stated articles progressed well into January of 2017. Again, this is well after the FDA had begun its dismantling of the company’s claims. Which brings us to today.

What is Mr. Draper pushing today? Hint: Bitcoin. Prediction? “$250K in 4 years.”

How’s Theranos working out?

Last month’s latest: “Theranos CEO Holmes and former president Balwani charged with massive fraud”

Last week’s latest: “Theranos lays off most of its remaining workforce: WSJ”

Well, I guess we now have our answer as to why there’s suddenly a whole lot of time available for Mr. Draper to push Bitcoin, right?

Here’s another screenshot via a generic Google search. Again, to wit:

(Source)

Once again, the mainstream business/financial media has another “fable” to push. And seems to have found just the man to help push it.

Just as his last “fable” readies itself for possible jail time.

However, if you think there’s nothing too any of the above, and think I’m just trying to draw corollaries or conclusions where none are. As always, I’ll just leave you with today’s latest news and let you decide for yourself as you always should. To wit:

“NY AG Launches Probe Of 13 Major Crypto Exchanges (Incl. Coinbase, Gemini)”

All coincidence, I’m sure.

© 2018 Mark St.Cyr

Footnote: These “FTWSIJDGIGT” articles came into being when many of the topics I had opined on over the years were being openly criticized for “having no clue”. Yet, over the years these insights came back around showing maybe I knew a little bit more than some were giving me credit for. It was my way of tongue-in-cheek as to not use the old “I told you so” analogy. I’m saying this purely for the benefit of those who may be new or reading here for the first time (and there are a great many of you and thank you too all). I never wanted or want to seem like I’m doing the “Nah, nah, nah, nah, nah” type of response to my detractors. I’d rather let the chips fall – good or bad – and let readers decide the credibility of either side. Occasionally however, there are, and have been times they do need to be pointed out which is why these now have taken on a life of their own. (i.e., something of significance per se that may have a direct impact on one’s business etc., etc.) And readers, colleagues, and others have requested their continuance.