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Former Congressman Arrested for Insider Trading

Former Congressman Stephen Buyer was arrested today for insider trading. From Politico:

Federal authorities filed criminal and civil insider trading charges against former Rep. Stephen Buyer in U.S. court in Manhattan on Monday, alleging that the Indiana Republican used information gleaned from a golf outing with a T-Mobile executive to purchase securities before the company’s planned acquisition of Sprint.

Buyer was arrested on Monday, said U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Damian Williams at a press conference.


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Buyer also made suspect trades in at least one other company. His trades made him over $300,000.

He may have even used his mistress to hide the trades:

The SEC’s complaint claims that Buyer netted roughly $330,000 from the transactions, which he spread across multiple accounts belonging to associates and family members, as well as an unidentified friend with whom he had allegedly engaged in a romantic relationship.

I was put in mind of a great scene from The Wolf of Wall Street. Leonardo DiCaprio realizes his elegant Swiss banker is telling him to hide his money under someone else’s name:

Politicians trading on inside information is nothing new. Congressional representatives beat the market on average, despite many having no background in investing.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has been particularly successful. Her performance is 6th best out of 435 members of Congress.

I guess power has its perks.

The public will not trust markets like this. If the powerful use inside information to get ahead, the average person will conclude the game is rigged and walk away.

This means companies won’t get the capital they need. And savers won’t be able to build wealth.

These crooked politicians also undermine trust in government. If you’re profiting from your office, you’re not doing the people’s business.

High government officials and their families should keep their assets in a blind trust. That way, they have no way of using inside information for profit.

I hope these prosecutions start hitting a much higher level. There’s plenty of opportunity here for an ambitious prosecutor to make his career by taking one of these major pols down.

What do you think of politicians self-dealing? Leave a comment at the bottom and let me know!

More on markets:

Wall Street Banks Turn on Each Other as Federal Probe Looms

AMC Fails to Deliver Hit 9.7 Million

Shorts Having Their Worst Month Since January 2021

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Photo: Former Congressman Stephen Buyer

Investors Pull $28 Billion from Hedge Funds

Note: This is not financial advice.

It’s not looking good for hedge funds. Investors pulled nearly $28 billion in the second quarter, disillusioned by poor performance.


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From a new Reuters report:

Amid high volatile [sic] across markets, investors redeemed $27.5 billion of hedge funds between April and June, bringing total withdraws in the first half of the year to $7.7 billion. No hedge fund category lured fresh money from investors in the second quarter.

Total assets ended the second quarter at $3.8 trillion, down roughly 5% from March, [data provider HFR] said, also battered by the funds performance. The fund weighted composite index is down 5.78% in the year, HFR said.

This has been a long time coming. Hedge funds have consistently underperformed the S&P 500.

From Axios:


Why, in the name of all that is holy, do people leave a dime in these things? You can get a Vanguard S&P 500 index fund for 0.04% a year.

I own a bunch of shares in that fund myself. It beats paying a hedge fund 2% of assets and 20% of gains for rotten performance!

One of the most astute investors in the market, the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS), pulled every cent from hedge funds 8 years ago.

But the pension money of far too many hard working Americans is still in these putrid investments.

If the smartest guy at the table just got up and left, why is anyone sticking around?

Hedge funds have an aura about them. Geniuses in glass towers pulling the strings of markets.

But the emperor has no clothes. And to quote Gordon Gekko:

What do you think of hedge funds? Leave a comment at the bottom and let me know.

Have a great weekend everyone!

More on markets:

Wall Street Banks Turn on Each Other as Federal Probe Looms

AMC Fails to Deliver Hit 9.7 Million

Bill Ackman Loses $4.8 Billion

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Photo: “the emperor has no clothes” by nevermindtheend is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

Inside the Seed Funding Slowdown

Every morning for the last couple of months, I see the same thing: fewer deals in my inbox. So it’s no surprise that new data from Pitchbook show a drop in seed funding for the second quarter:


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From an analysis of the data that just came out in The Wall Street Journal:

Even funding for seed-stage deals, often the first source of outside financing for companies still developing their products, has taken a hit. U.S. deal volume dropped 11% to $3.9 billion in the second quarter compared with the year-earlier period, the first such quarterly drop on a year-over-year basis in almost two years, according to data from PitchBook.

“The seed and Series A funding environment is the toughest I’ve ever seen in my career managing a fund,” said Jeff Morris Jr., who manages a crypto-focused early-stage fund called Chapter One. “It will be painful in the short-term.”

Remember there’s a big lag in this data. Even in the boom times, a round could take 2 or 3 months to close.

Now, I often see deals sitting out there for 4 months or more. So we won’t see the full extent of the slowdown for another quarter at least.

That’s probably why Pitchbook shows an increase in seed valuations. Deals in the market today are priced lower.

I’m seeing around a 30% drop in seed stage valuations. The typical seed round is at $8-12 million post-money.

These valuations are for strong companies with rapid revenue growth. They often have $250,000 or more in annual revenue.

Those companies might have commanded $20 million or more last year.

In this environment, founders are changing their focus. From The Wall Street Journal:

Amid the chilled environment, investors say even the youngest startups are now being expected to demonstrate they have a clear path to generating revenue and profits.

I see portfolio companies of mine retooling to focus on revenue. They know that user growth alone won’t cut it anymore.

They’re also changing their fundraising approach:

Some seed startups are already struggling to raise Series A rounds, an investment stage where investors typically expect businesses to show clear signs of traction among customers. Many of these companies are now raising extension rounds, capital usually offered from existing investors at the same price as the last round, according to Ms. Achadjian and other venture capitalists.

I see some of my companies doing this, even strong ones. But unless there’s a new investor coming in to price the round higher, I usually stand pat.

I want the startup’s progress to be validated in the market before doubling down.

One interesting nugget in the report: NYC is booming. The Bay Area has done 1,692 deals this year to NYC’s 1,156.

The Bay Area’s share of funding remains much higher. But this likely reflects big checks going into late stage companies.

A decade ago, you had to be in the Bay to create a major startup. Today’s late stage companies were founded during that time.

Now, the market is more distributed. I think you’ll see the New York area catch up as our companies mature.

In all, the Pitchbook report is concerning but not disastrous. If you’re focused on signing up customers and making them happy, you’ll do great!

What are you seeing in today’s funding environment? Leave a comment at the bottom and let me know!

More on tech:

The Top 5 Things I’ve Learned from Angel Investing

Twilight of the Quick Delivery Startups

Did LinkedIn Just Build the Future of Work?

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This platform lets me diversify my real estate investments so I’m not too exposed to any one market. I’ve invested since 2018 with great returns.

More on Fundrise in this post.

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Misfits Market

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Photo: “WHOA Stop Sign” by Lynn Friedman is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

Shorts Having Their Worst Month Since January 2021

Note: This is not financial advice.

Short sellers are having their worst month since January 2021. From a new Bloomberg report:

Somehow, the stock market’s worst first half in five decades has morphed into a slaughterhouse for short sellers.

More big lumps were felt Tuesday, when the S&P 500 rallied 2.8% and bearish traders suffered losses roughly double that.

About 98% of S&P 500 members advanced, the broadest rally since December 2018. The most-hated stocks jumped 5.5%, eventually delivering pain for bears who were forced to cover their positions to limit losses, going by a Goldman Sachs Group Inc. basket. With the most-shorted basket up 16% in July, the month is shaping up to be the worst for short sellers since the retail-driven squeeze in January 2021.


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Heavily shorted stocks have not run like this since meme stocks skyrocketed last January. Indeed, meme stocks are causing some of the biggest pain for shorts right now.

This tussle between the two sides of the investment world has continued this year, and fresh data from S3 Partners, LLC shows that between January and July 2022, AMC short sellers lost more than $1 billion in mark to market losses.

We’re in a bear market. This is not a great time to bet that stocks will go lower.

But hedge funds have piled in anyhow, betting against volatile stocks with cult followings. And again, they’ve taken major losses.

Perhaps some in the hedge fund world are beginning to learn their lesson. I had dinner with a bunch of hedge fund guys last month, and one said:

“Short selling is a great way to lose money.”

Now, short selling hedge funds may be forced to buy stock. They cannot fall too far behind their benchmarks.

Again from Bloomberg:

“Positioning had gotten very defensive as managers were anticipating additional downside. However, if the market rallies, then they are at risk of underperforming the broader market,” Freeman said. “Shorts are hurting their performance and they don’t have enough long exposure to keep up so they are forced to buy.”

Short sellers being forced to buy stocks to stem losses…this is the definition of a short squeeze.

I certainly don’t know if or when any stock will squeeze. But I do know I wouldn’t want to be on the other side of these trades.

What do you think is next for short sellers? Leave a comment at the bottom and let me know!

More on markets:

AMC Fails to Deliver Hit 9.7 Million

Wall Street Banks Turn on Each Other as Federal Probe Looms

New Law Could Put Big Short Sellers on the Endangered Species List

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Fundrise

This platform lets me diversify my real estate investments so I’m not too exposed to any one market. I’ve invested since 2018 with great returns.

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Misfits Market

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Use this link to sign up and you’ll save $15 on your first order.

Photo: “the Great Hedge Fund Hei$t” by eyewashdesign: A. Golden is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

The Top 5 Things I’ve Learned from Angel Investing

Some day, I want to look up at a big billboard in Times Square and say, “I knew that company when it was three people. And I saw what it could be.”

But how do I get there?


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I’ve been investing in early stage startups for 15 months today. I went from knowing absolutely nothing about the field to a portfolio of 13 companies.

Here are my top lessons so far:

1) Pay close attention to margins and scalability. Pure software businesses can scale easily.

For businesses that sell physical products, it’s much harder. It’s tough to sell 10 times as many physical goods as you did last year.

In today’s supply chain hell, it may be hard to even find the goods!

But strong software businesses can grow at warp speed. It’s no wonder that all the biggest winners in startupland are pure software businesses.

2) Build relationships with top investors. I don’t know for sure who will find the next billion dollar business.

But I have a pretty good guess of who it might be: someone who has found one before!

Build relationships and co-invest with investors whose track record is strong. They have the great dealflow you need.

3) Look at lots of deals. I look at 100-200 deals a month.

I choose one.

Look at lots of deals from top investors. This will give you a good idea of what the best companies in the market are right now.

Those are the companies you want to be in.

4) Help founders. This not only helps your existing investments, it builds your reputation in the industry.

The stronger your reputation is, the more good deals will come your way. Plus it’s fun!

What each investor has to offer is different.

I’m best at finding new investors for startups. But other angels might excel at marketing advice, product design or something else.

5) Always keep learning. More than anything, I learn by looking at deals and making investments.

There’s no substitute for actually doing deals, even if you make a few mistakes.

Consider them tuition! It’s a lot cheaper than business school.

I also talk to smart people, read books, and listen to podcasts that teach me more about the industry.

There’s always more to know, and it’s always changing!

Here are some great resources:

Angel by Jason Calacanis

This Week in Startups Podcast

The Power Law by Sebastian Mallaby

Venture Deals by Brad Feld and Jason Mendelson

Bottom Up by David Sacks

Lenny’s Newsletter

This is a field that can be learned. Dig in, find great information, and learn from experience!

If you’re interested in technology and business, you’ll find it very rewarding! You have a small hand in helping create the future.

What questions do you have about angel investing? And how can I improve my process?

Leave a comment at the bottom and let me know!

More on tech:

The Power Law (Part One)

Talking Startups and Today’s Fundraising Pullback

How to Write Investor Updates

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This platform lets me diversify my real estate investments so I’m not too exposed to any one market. I’ve invested since 2018 with great returns.

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If you decide to invest in Fundrise, you can use this link to get $100 in free bonus shares!

Misfits Market

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Photo: “If God Will Send His Angels” by just.Luc is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

Twilight of the Quick Delivery Startups

Another quick delivery startup is struggling to keep its doors open. Beijing-based Missfresh is fighting huge losses and accounting irregularities.

From a report that broke this weekend in the Financial Times:

Tiger Global-backed grocery delivery start-up Missfresh is fighting to survive as it shuts operations across China, wallows in an accounting scandal and searches for capital to sustain its business.

The upheaval marks a stark turn of fortunes for Missfresh, which pulled in more than $1bn in financing from investors such as Tiger Global and Goldman Sachs and gained a $3bn valuation in New York one year ago. Its market value has now sunk to $88mn.


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Like Gopuff, Gorillas and others, Missfresh opened warehouses of goods across cities. It promised deliveries in 30 minutes or less.

But it’s losing massive sums of money. In fact, management isn’t even sure how bad the losses are:

While Missfresh has been unable to issue audited financials or its annual report for the year to December 31, the company estimated losses last year hit Rmb3.7bn.

Missfresh isn’t the only quick delivery startup getting hammered.

Fridge No More and Buyk both shut down this spring. JOKR exited the US market and Gorillas has done huge layoffs.

Quick delivery is a notoriously difficult business. The costs of opening dark stores, acquiring customers, and paying delivery staff are staggering.

Meanwhile, the competitive market pushes companies to slash prices. The result: terrible margins.

When a startup like Missfresh charges ahead with growth at all costs, the results aren’t pretty. Even massive revenue growth doesn’t matter if the business can never make money.

Remember the old joke:

“We lose money on every sale, but we make it up in volume.”

As an angel investor, I avoid businesses like this.

Quick delivery startups are messy and hard to scale. Meanwhile, high costs and stiff competition mean razor thin margins.

I prefer a pure software business. They’re easier to scale and far more profitable.

For a quick delivery business to succeed, it must have a laser focus on unit economics. Each additional delivery must be profitable.

Otherwise, the company can never make money no matter how many deliveries it does.

Gopuff, the most successful quick delivery company in the US, is laser focused on margins.

Its gross margins, or profit on each additional delivery, are estimated at nearly 50%. That’s significantly higher than Uber’s.

The death of one quick delivery startup after another is great for Gopuff. It removes their competitors!

The carnage in this sector makes me even more attentive to unit economics in my investments. There’s no sense throwing money at business models that just don’t work.

What do you think is the future for quick delivery? Leave a comment at the bottom and let me know!

More on tech:

Did LinkedIn Just Build the Future of Work?

Are You a Venture Scale Business?

How to Write Investor Updates

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This platform lets me diversify my real estate investments so I’m not too exposed to any one market. I’ve invested since 2018 with great returns.

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Misfits Market

I’ve used Misfits for years, and it never disappoints! Every fruit and vegetable is organic, super fresh, and packed with flavor.

I wrote a detailed review of Misfits here.

Use this link to sign up and you’ll save $15 on your first order. 

AMC Fails to Deliver Hit 9.7 Million

In over a year reporting on this, I’ve never seen a number this big.

Fails to deliver in shares of AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. hit nearly 9.7 million in June. The report, released today by the SEC, covers the second half of the month.


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The peak came on June 28, with 9,697,393 shares failing to clear. Fails to deliver settled at a still massive 1,907,897 at the end of the month.

So what are fails to deliver, anyway? A fail to deliver occurs when a trade is made but never completed.

Let’s say I agree to sell you 100 shares of AMC for $15.07 each. You want the shares and you’re happy with the price, so you agree.

Done deal right? Wrong.

I have to actually deliver the shares to you. When I fail to do that, that’s called a fail to deliver.

Fails to deliver often occur when traders engage in naked short selling. This generally illegal practice involves selling short shares without borrowing them first.

It’s a powerful way to push down a share’s price. If you can sell stock short without borrowing any, you can short any amount!

The market is flooded with sell orders and the share price dives. But the trades never get completed.

Instead, they show up on this report.

This is a truly incredible number of failed trades. Let’s zoom in on June 28th, the peak for fails to deliver.

Here’s how many fails to deliver some of the biggest stocks in the market had that day. This can give us an idea of what’s normal, even for far larger companies:

Alphabet Inc. (Google): 814

Apple Inc.: 28,223

Microsoft Corp.: 12,400

The biggest companies on earth have just a few trades not clearing. Meanwhile little old AMC has nearly 10 million.

Keep in mind, just because those fails to deliver dropped near the end of the month doesn’t mean the trades ever settled. The DTCC often puts trades that failed some time ago into an “obligation warehouse.”

After that, these failed trades disappear.

How can we have robust financial markets when the public doesn’t trust them? And how can the public trust markets when trades that affect share prices never actually happen?

It’s time for the SEC to investigate this issue vigorously.

Until then, we’ll just see more bogus trades pile up.

What do you think is causing these failed trades? Leave a comment at the bottom and let me know.

Have a great weekend everyone! 👋

More on markets:

Wall Street Banks Turn on Each Other as Federal Probe Looms

New Law Could Put Big Short Sellers on the Endangered Species List

Bill Ackman Loses $4.8 Billion

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Fundrise

This platform lets me diversify my real estate investments so I’m not too exposed to any one market. I’ve invested since 2018 with great returns.

More on Fundrise in this post.

If you decide to invest in Fundrise, you can use this link to get $100 in free bonus shares!

Misfits Market

I’ve used Misfits for years, and it never disappoints! Every fruit and vegetable is organic, super fresh, and packed with flavor!

I wrote a detailed review of Misfits here.

Use this link to sign up and you’ll save $15 on your first order. 

Did LinkedIn Just Build the Future of Work?

I think I just saw the future of work. And it is good.

In an amazing new video from The Wall Street Journal, reporter Adam Falk tours LinkedIn’s completely redesigned headquarters. He finds every sort of office space a human could want…plus free lattes.


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LinkedIn’s headquarters in Silicon Valley used to look like any other office. Rows of identical desks and the occasional uninspired conference room.

But after the pandemic, LinkedIn knew it couldn’t bring everyone back into an old-school cubicle farm.

So it completely redesigned its headquarters for a combination of in-person and remote work. (Hint: it looks a lot like WeWork.)

The result: essentially every kind of workspace imaginable, grouped into little pods. Soft chairs, high-backed booths, outdoor seating and, of course, private offices.

I like this variety. The idea is to help people work in different postures throughout their day.

This avoids aches and pains.

I’m experimenting with it myself right now! Instead of the table where I usually sit hunched for hour after hour, I’m in a comfy easy chair for a bit.

I don’t know about you, but my neck is sore just about every day! I’m hoping this helps.

The variety of seating also helps deaden noise. Those high-backed booths block sound a lot better than an open floor full of desks.

When I was working in an office, noise was my nemesis. Co-worker conversations could make it very hard to focus.

And best of all, LinkedIn doesn’t even make employees to come to this beautiful office! Everyone can be remote or in-office for whatever amount of time they like.

I love working from home. Cutting out a commute and avoiding noise make me a lot happier.

But it doesn’t work for everyone. My friend Tim*, who is in sales, hates remote work.

He explained that it’s very hard to get fired up about cold calling when you’re lounging in your living room. And there are lots of Tims, productive workers that love being in an office.

Then there are other people like my friend Jason*. He might enjoy remote work if he were single, but with a small child and a wife who also works remote, peace and quiet are hard to come by.

So any larger company like LinkedIn is wise to have at least some office space to accommodate workers like these.

The one problem I see with LinkedIn’s campus is too few private offices. Sometimes people need a room with a door so they can blot out the world and focus.

I’d also add an optional, free WeWork membership for every employee. This would be great for staffers that don’t live close to headquarters but still need to get out of the house.

And at $299 a month, the cost is nothing for a giant like LinkedIn.

In all, I think LinkedIn did an awesome job! Less pampered workers would be in awe of the glass atria and cozy couches.

I spent many years in grey cubicle farms and never liked it much. I hope this beautiful office serves as a model and we all work better in the future!

What do you think the future of work is? Leave a comment at the bottom and let me know!

More on tech:

Apple Tackles the Most Aggressive Spyware with New Lockdown Mode

Managing a Crisis the Sequoia Way

Why Tech Stocks Are Oversold

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This platform lets me diversify my real estate investments so I’m not too exposed to any one market. I’ve invested since 2018 with great returns.

More on Fundrise in this post.

If you decide to invest in Fundrise, you can use this link to get $100 in free bonus shares!

Misfits Market

I’ve used Misfits for years, and it never disappoints! Every fruit and vegetable is organic, super fresh, and packed with flavor!

I wrote a detailed review of Misfits here.

Use this link to sign up and you’ll save $15 on your first order. 

*Not their real names

Wall Street Banks Turn on Each Other as Federal Probe Looms

Morgan Stanley has been under federal investigation since February. Now, banks are turning on each other and unidentified sources are leaking information.

From a report that broke overnight in the Financial Times:

…according to reports, two of Morgan Stanley’s competitors, Credit Suisse and Goldman Sachs, have gone so far as to alert the US Attorney’s office and the Hong Kong regulator SFC, respectively, about “potential issues” around block trades executed by Morgan Stanley.


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The SEC and DOJ are investigating Morgan Stanley’s stock trading business.

Morgan frequently handles large “block trades” for institutional investors. There are allegations that it may have tipped off hedge funds to big sales that could move markets.

This would allow hedge funds to short the stock before the big block of shares is sold. Such a trade could offer quick, easy profits.

Why would Morgan do this? Because hedge funds are among the bank’s best clients.

Hedge funds have “prime brokerage” arrangements with big Wall Street banks like Morgan. Those trading accounts mean lots of juicy fees for the bank.

Let’s say you want to get or keep a lucrative customer. You might be tempted to give them valuable information, even if it’s illegal.

Nothing has been proven against Morgan yet. It’s possible that they were just conducting big trades in a straightforward and honest way.

But watching these big banks turn on each other gives me pause. I have rarely seen major banks reporting each other to regulators, as Goldman and Credit Suisse did with Morgan.

What’s more, Morgan has suspended some of its block trading staff. Why would they do that if they had done nothing wrong?

But it’s not just the big banks that are talking. Unidentified whistleblowers are also offering up information on possible wrongdoing at Morgan:

This noise goes well beyond the normal thrust-and-parry of a hyper-competitive business. Visceral grudges and grievances underlie these complaints; the Feds are on the case; unidentified people “close to the investigation” are briefing the media and naming names; and careers, livelihoods and reputations hang in the balance.

Perhaps it’s all a big misunderstanding. But my gut tells me where there’s smoke, there’s fire.

Do you think Morgan and other big banks help hedge funds front run trades? Leave a comment at the bottom and let me know.

More on markets:

AMC Fails to Deliver Pass 2.6 Million in New Report

New Law Could Put Big Short Sellers on the Endangered Species List

Bill Ackman Loses $4.8 Billion

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Fundrise

This platform lets me diversify my real estate investments so I’m not too exposed to any one market. I’ve invested since 2018 with great returns.

More on Fundrise in this post.

If you decide to invest in Fundrise, you can use this link to get $100 in free bonus shares!

Misfits Market

I’ve used Misfits for years, and it never disappoints! Every fruit and vegetable is organic, super fresh, and packed with flavor!

I wrote a detailed review of Misfits here.

Use this link to sign up and you’ll save $15 on your first order. 

Photo: “Morgan Stanley Headquarters” by Alex E. Proimos is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0.

Mass Protests in China as Bank Runs Continue

Major news out of China as over 1,000 protestors in Zhengzhou demanded their savings back:


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There are runs on several Chinese banks. The depositors, desperate not to lose their life’s savings, are taking great risk to speak out.

From the Indian Express:

In a rare large protest in China, over one thousand angry bank depositors, who have been protesting for access to their frozen funds, faced off with the police in Henan province leading to a violent clampdown Sunday.

Depositors of four rural banks in this central province have not been able to withdraw their funds since April. Sporadic protests have been going on since May.

Many smaller Chinese banks promised high interest rates to attract deposits. They advertised those rates on platforms run by Chinese tech giants like Baidu and JD.

Now, these small banks are finding themselves unable to pay those high rates. Worse yet, some banks have been infiltrated by criminals who are siphoning money out:

In the present case it is being alleged that these banks attracted deposits by offering attractive terms and high interest rates. A report in the South China Morning Post in May said that while Bank of China offers 2.75% a year interest on five-year deposits, the found banks in question were giving around 4.5% a year on their deposit products through third-party platforms.

Also, a statement by the Henan police on July 10 said that a criminal group had gradually taken control of several rural banks and was moving out funds.

Behind the peril facing Chinese banks is a weak economy. Intense COVID lockdowns this year have hammered economic activity.

An overheated property market is also crumbling. This has triggered defaults at major property developers, including Evergrande.

Something interesting happens when people see depositors struggling to get their money out. They start wondering about their own bank.

This is how a contagion could spread through the Chinese banking system. Cue It’s a Wonderful Life, without the happy ending.

The Chinese government’s violent repression of small savers in Zhengzhou may be just the beginning.

China is in a sensitive period. The 20th Party Congress, enormously important to the Communist elite, happens in November.

At that meeting, Xi hopes to secure a third term in office and effectively become leader for life. He and his underlings are likely to repress any “disturbance” during this time.

Already, China’s massive surveillance apparatus is being turned on these small savers.

Zhengzhou protesters have had their “health codes” turned off. Without the green QR code on their phones, they can go nowhere and do nothing.

The health code system was created to stem COVID. Predictably, it’s now being turned against dissidents.

I’m not a particularly religious man, but this Orwellian act reminded me of a passage from the Bible:

It forced all the people, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to be given a stamped image on their right hands or their foreheads,

so that no one could buy or sell except one who had the stamped image of the beast’s name or the number that stood for its name.

Revelation 13:16-17

I hope these decent, hardworking people will get their life’s savings back. I also hope we always resist this type of tyranny here at home.

What do you think is next in China? Leave a comment at the bottom and let me know.

More on China:

China’s Real Goal in Tech Crackdown: A Regimented, Obedient Society

How China’s Tech Industry Dies

China’s Tech Crackdown Means Economic Decline

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