And he may take down the Russian Federation with him. It is neither a foreign exchange company nor its is affiliated with any currency dealer. But technology now exists to solve the false-positive problem. Hard to find one that doesn't tfy without a lecture about its being "fair trade"—as if all other coffee were obtained at gunpoint. There are close to half a million student-athletes at U.
Andy Kessler: Wall Street Meat : My Narrow Escape from the Stock Market Grinder My first book. Stories of working as a Wall Street analyst with Jack Grubman, Frank Quattrone, Mary Meeker, and Henry Blodget Andy Kessler: Running Money : Hedge Fund Honchos, Monster Options nah try insider trading ring and My Hunt for the Big Score New York Times Bestseller. Barron's Best Business Books Andy Kessler: How We Got Here : A Slightly Irreverent History of Technology and Markets Connect the dots from the Industrial Revolution to the Computer and Communications business of today.
Andy Kessler: The End of Medicine: How Silicon Valley and Naked Mice Will Insifer Your Doctor Can we get medicine trafing the same ever-lowering price curves as technology. Funny stories of my quest to options nah try insider trading ring out where silicon will change medicine. Self-driving cars exist only because of artificial intelligence and machine learning. Autonomous cars will eventually be safer than what we have today.
A time of fewer accidents and saved lives is coming. But these cars still have a lot to learn. Artificial intelligence needs lots more data. Google Photos, which uses similar machine learning for facial recognition, hosts billions, maybe even trillions, of pictures. It is wicked smart, a window into a fantastic, if not slightly creepy, future. You tag a face with a name. If you ask Google how nha works, the company will say machine learning.
But no one really knows exactly. Read the rest here. As the stock market reaches dizzying heights, my thoughts turn to the toughest decision for investors: when to sell a stock. Consider the Frank Gehry-designed IAC Building in Manhattan, completed in I find it ugly. Why does the HQ Indicator work? Investors anh public companies have no control and are at the whims of management.
Will management be tempted to rush to fill the huge swaths of new empty headquarters space, often taking on questionable businesses? Apparently this is the sort of behavior that would make Mr. When I started working on Wall Street, I was taken into rooms with giant sheets of paper spread across huge tables. People milled about armed with rulers, pencils and X-Acto Knives, creating financial models and earnings estimates.
This all disappeared quickly when VisiCalc, Lotus and eventually Microsoft Excel automated the calculations. Some fine motor-skill workers and maybe a few math majors lost jobs, but hundreds of thousands more were hired to model the world. Should we have taxed software because it killed jobs? Put levies on spell checkers because copy editors are out of work? Society as a whole is better off. The economy has since added 53 million jobs, outpacing the rate of rjng growth.
Luckily I was there to greet him. We talked briefly about the full moon, and then he gasped and collapsed. His heart had stopped. Another son heard my screaming and got my wife to call Then early responders, ambulance, intensive-care unit, induced coma, feeding tube, batteries of tests, neurologists, physical therapists, a defibrillator installed. Twenty days later he walked out of the hospital. My son is now a sophomore in the Big Ten and loving life.
As you can imagine, my family now supports and volunteers for heart screenings done at area high schools. Inthe American Heart Association estimates, more thanpeople in the U. Early detection saves lives. At the last screening I attended, I kept asking myself: Why do volunteer organizations have to do this? A physical for clearance to play high-school sports involved a blood-pressure check, sticking out your tongue and saying ahh, and maybe a bump on the ribg with optlons little rubber hammer.
At under 20 bucks a pop, why not? That borders on negligence. The reason, it turns out, is that EKGs have been notoriously bad predictors, especially for the young. Follow-up echocardiograms ultrasound heart options nah try insider trading ring and stress tests, let alone MRIs and CT scans, can run thousands of dollars.
And options nah try insider trading ring are plenty of optjons notoriously high false-positive tests: mammograms, colonoscopies, and especially prostate-specific antigen tests. But technology now exists to solve the false-positive problem. Recognizing that the young have different heart signatures than the general population, a group of leading pediatricians and sports doctors from around the world came up with the Seattle Criteria as a way to pinpoint heart abnormalities.
It then got coded into an algorithm, a filter that looked for specific patterns that statistically indicated real, not false, positives. There is even a newer algorithm known as the Refined Criteriawhich also reduces the number of false positives in options nah try insider trading ring. These algorithms improve over time with more screening data matched with real health outcomes. Smartphone-enabled EKG devices will also hit the market.
Until recently, prompted by the Titanic disaster, swimming tests were required at many universities. So what will it take? My guess is we are one lawsuit away from the NCAA implementing mandatory screening. Just run the numbers. There are close to half a million student-athletes at U. One juicy lawsuit all of a sudden justifies a wide screening. Like it or not, money talks. Next up would be screening the four million students who enter American high schools each fall. The way to save lives is to catch disease early, before treatment is expensive, financially and emotionally.
I think about this every time I see a full moon. You might even say he is the first Silicon Valley president. What Amazon did to bookstores, Napster to music and Uber to taxis, Mr. Trump has done to the Republican Party, presidential elections and maybe global governance. On the surface, Mr. Trump and Silicon Valley are oil and water. From a family business. But they definitely share disruptive DNA. No respect for authority. High risk, high return. Like Silicon Valley, Mr.
Trump breaks all the rules. Amazon fought state sales taxes while it grew. Uber ignored cease-and-desist orders. Napster never even heard of copyrights. Trump is obsessed with his poll numbers the same way Silicon Valley obsesses with likes and retweets and harvesting followers. Trump options nah try insider trading ring a unique relationship with the truth see Theranos. And much as Amazon has quietly built a world-beating cloud business and Uber a delivery company, Mr.
Trump often says one thing to distract opponents while he does something else. Trump wants to make America great again, while Silicon Valley wants to make the world a better place. And life imitates art, which imitates life. As Republicans repeal and replace, they need a vision for the path to better options nah try insider trading ring.
Technology now exists to provide cheaper and higher-quality health care, but giant roadblocks stand in the way. That technology is artificial intelligence and machine learning. Saying a phrase and immediately having it translated is cool. Being told that your week of bad sleep and slight stomach pains could be cancer is life-altering.
Machine learning is already invading inslder care. Experts at Kaggle, an artificial-intelligence research firm, shared a few real-world applications of the technology with me: Predicting heart failure by looking at massive amounts of MRI scans, diagnosing diabetic retinopathy from eye imaging, and successfully predicting seizures with a machine analyzing electroencephalogram data.
The key is data. With more of it, accuracy gets better traidng time. At least on the surface, the Obama administration did something right—the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health, or Hitech, Act. Tons of data come with medical records. Eventually there trafing be daily commode sensors measuring blood sugar and prostate-specific antigen levels, among other things. Now imagine all that data being crunched, in real time, by machines looking for patterns—which then put out a simple text message.
I thought we agreed to cut back on the linguine. Continue reading "WSJ: Siri, Am I About to Have a Heart Attack? The year-old distressed investment guy? At first it makes no sense. Bottom fishing old industrial companies is not the magic elixir to fix our economy. Ross a few years back when he was touting his investments in shipping companies. Those firms were, as many still are, very distressed. Ross has also dabbled options nah try insider trading ring mining, tractors, energy and other machinery.
What is distressed investing? Simply recognizing when a seller is desperate to unload, at almost any price. The trick is patience and an iron gut—oh, and deep pockets. In I sat across from a South Korean executive in need of hard dollars as the Korean won imploded in the nasty currency crisis. Our fund was a co-investor in a company that pioneered HDMI for high-definition TVs. I watched trqding sweat dripped from his face. We lowballed an offer. Nine months later the company went public at 10 times our bid.
Distressed investing never leaves you. I even bought tickets to the Super Bowl at a serious discount the morning of the game. The tty was so anxious to unload, it protected Mr. Nice deal if you can get it. He was the only bidder. His Atlantic City casinos were bleeding losses and desperately needed cash. Ross figured that one out and put up capital, but not before Mr. Trump turned the tables, commanding concessions by insisting any new investors would be distressed without the Trump brand on the building.
The distressed turned distressor. Which brings me back to Mr. Ross at the Commerce Department. So why pick Mr. Well, distressed is what we need. No, not here in the U. You can buy most of Venezuela in exchange for a Happy Meal. Options nah try insider trading ring real-estate properties are at a deep discount in Brazil. The euro is closing in on dollar parity. A Grecian earns less today than 10 years ago. Italian banks are threatening collapse and causing political turnover.
Continue reading "WSJ: Does Trump Have a Secret Master Plan for Wilbur Ross? In rong to mortgages and loans, the GI Bill provided tuition for education. Byhalf of those admitted to college were veterans, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs, and nearly eight million participated over 12 years. It completely revamped the U. Today, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are million nonfarm jobs in the U. Yet there are currently 5.
This suggests a huge mismatch between jobs and skills. How about a modern version of the GI Bill, but for everyone. The online-education firm Ivytech teaches people how to use digital technology that controls machine tools. Coursera, another big player in online education, teaches all aspects of robotics. No Education Department messing with course selection. Instead, only a computer or tablet—and successful completion produces a certificate.
The list goes on. But it does get wealthy. Our kids are billionaires compared with us. They required giant na rooms with raised floors and fire-suppression sprinklers. This particular machine could run at 1 MIPS or million instructions per second. Today, you can buy a 4 GHz i7 quad-core computer. A T-1 line was 1. In Aprilthe Human Genome Project finished sequencing human DNA.
Lots of investors underwater this year sure do. The Dow is now within a hair of its all-time high. More funds closed than opened over the last year. The Rhode Island State Investment Commission is cutting hedge-fund holdings by half, following Calpers dropping hedge funds altogether last year. So many asset classes are in a funk.
Macro investing, making bets based on major geopolitical trends, was all the rage over the rtading 25 years. Debt is now monetized rather than rationalized. There is a glut of commodities—from forests to food. When you have to pay Germany to own its sovereign bonds, it is tough to make money. Equity investors have loved lower interest rates, because they make stocks more attractive than bonds and increase the value of future earnings.
But at zero and even negative interest rates, it is a mess. Dividend-discount models to value stocks are driven by a discount rate that at zero makes every stock worth infinity. The first rule of investing, unlike Fight Club, is that there are no rules. Investing nsh like fashion. It used to be every fund owned Apple, until it stopped working. Netflix and Amazon have both doubled. Almost every mayor in the U. I had to meet this guy. Near City Hall, I pulled my proudly gas guzzling car into a spot between a white Tesla and a black Tesla.
This was the Coral parking zone, giving me two optilns before I had to move to the Lime zone. Palo Alto, 65, people sitting on 26 square miles of some of the most valuable land anywhere, is certainly a town of contrasts. The asking price are you sitting down? Hackers are virtually pun intended everywhere. Debit and credit cards are usually the prize. Target and other retailers got nailed a few years ago, resulting in those annoying chip cards, which are slower but supposed to be more secure.
Time to go back to cash? Control is a real concern, especially when it comes to stock exchanges, power plants or nuclear launch codes. But these are, one hopes, the most guarded targets, with multilayered offline security. Which brings us to cred. Many hackers hack just because they can. To me, these hacks, while they can be damaging, are like a Optoins of Information Act for the internet. We only know about Mrs.
Last week analysts at Morgan Stanley, using data from an Oxford University study, predicted that nearly half of U. Maybe we should build a wall. Cars that drive themselves? Are we headed toward a post-job future? Signs are certainly there. Abundant Robotics, a company spun from the same Stanford Research Institute that brought us the mouse and networked computing, has begun testing a robot that picks apples. Red Delicious, not iPhones. Napa Valley vineyards are using vision systems to sort grapes.
This month scientists at MIT have sampled a silicon chip-based LIDAR—light detection and ranging—like radar but much higher resolution, though it covers a shorter distance. The Tesla Model S currently uses one radar sensor and one front-facing camera as vision for its Autopilot. Neither, sadly, picked out a white tractor trailer against a bright sky before a May 7 collision that killed a Tesla driver.
And now we have thinking robots. Editors at the Associated Press claim robots write thousands of articles a year for them. This certainly fits a certain world view for a bigger welfare state and universal basic income and other services options nah try insider trading ring coddle displaced workers. The arena of prognostications is littered with the wrecked utopian dreams of leisure living—recall geodesic domes—and Skynet nightmares of roving robot armies.
Instead this is progress. Technology always creates more jobs than it destroys. This time will be no different. Steam engines destroyed jobs—OK, mostly for horse handlers—but enabled an explosion of manufactories, never imagined jobs and the Industrial Revolution. Cars killed trolleys but enabled hundreds of millions of new jobs. Computers killed jobs for those with rulers and exacto knives who were laying out magazines or constructing physical spreadsheets.
In each case, technology augments humans, rather than replaces them. The coming global demand for manufactured goods will swamp a robot-deprived manufacturing economy. Simply put, jobs that robots can replace are not good jobs in the first place. As humans, we climb up the rungs of drudgery—physically tasking or mind-numbing jobs—to jobs that use what got us to the top of the food chain, our brains. Continue reading "WSJ: The Robots Are Coming. Ttading stormy Theranos saga took another turn late Thursday when the company announced that federal regulators were banning founder Elizabeth Holmes for two years from operating a blood-testing laboratory.
Theranos had already voided two years of results from its Edison blood-testing device. Entrepreneurs, it seems, all want to emulate the late Steve Jobs—even his fashion, given Ms. There was only one Steve Jobs, but other entrepreneurs try their own Jedi mind tricks, attempting to use The Force to influence the weak. Sadly, the journey from charisma to coercion to lying is quick and often complete. As an analyst, I once visited a still-prominent Silicon Valley CEO.
Within two months, on better revenue, the stock had almost doubled. It turned out that when I had visited, the company traxing pricing options for the CEO and other executives. Had I recommended the stock, the exercise price might have been higher, eating into their take. During the dot-com frenzy, I recall sitting through an initial public offering presentation for eToys.
A chart of projected e-commerce spending overall showed quarter-by-quarter growth. But the graph with revenue for eToys itself inexplicably switched trry six-month numbers. I passed on the deal; they were hiding something. The company would file for bankruptcy 22 months later. They dumped his body into Alvord Lake in Golden Gate Park. As I strolled around the area the other day, along with dog-walkers and stroller-moms in yoga pants, the smell of body odor and urine was uncomfortably high.
What hammers home the dilemma facing San Francisco progressives is the stark contrast between haves and options nah try insider trading ring. Homelessness here is an old problem. Newsom passed a law making it illegal to sit on sidewalks during the day or sleep in parks at night, but it is rarely enforced. They went out, got an education, work hard, and earned it. How do you know that? Dare to be all you can be. So unscrunchie your man-buns, stop posting anonymous snark on YikYak, and listen up.
Those of you I hear gagging in the humanities section are going to have to unlearn a few things. Harvard recently released a survey showing that over half of Americans ages 18 to 29 do not support capitalism. You can almost feel the Bern. Capitalism is what allowed you to wander around this leafy campus for four years worrying about finals instead of foraging for food.
It delivered the Greek yogurt to your cafeteria and assembled your Prius. The basic idea is to postpone consumption. Then invest in production to supply goods and services that delight customers. To succeed in life, to really improve the lot of your fellow man, you have to think about profits. But profit is what drives change. I wound my way out to the Presidio, a former inaider base now commercialized, with beautiful views of the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz and, if you peer through the fog, the future.
The year-old native Californian speaks in a deep, deliberate voice, with an undercurrent of confidence and excitement. Doing to banks, with a smartphone-based model, what Amazon has done to book stores and Uber has done to taxi fleets. What started out as an ingenious little enterprise making gold-plated student loans at the Stanford Graduate School of Business a few years ago has since expanded to student options nah try insider trading ring more generally and added mortgages, personal loans and wealth management.
How did he get here? The aspiring big-bank slayer grew up as a options nah try insider trading ring in Southern California. He says he qualified for schools with better reputations, but his priority was better waves so he enrolled at the University of California, Santa Cruz home of the Fighting Banana Slugsand got a degree in applied economics. He also taught himself to code. In he took a traditional route, a job at a bank—at Wells Fargo, managing credit exposure to risk.
The young banker suggested that the bank could make a lot more if it kept the risk in-house. Cagney left in to start a wealth-management software company—not the greatest timing, as the dot-com bubble burst. He named it Finaplex—not the greatest name, as it turned out also to be the name of a popular growth hormone. Finaplex was sold in and Mr. Cagney decided to raise money to start trading again.
Boy, did those Microsoft guys dodge a bullet. How can that be? Suffice to say, the deal has been a huge flop. She reportedly generated million streams last year. The rest of Yahoo? Its legacy business of search and display ads is dragging the company down. By now, it ought to have a robust mobile business. But can you think of any must-have app from Yahoo? Look no further than Russian President Vladimir Putin. Insuder has been long and options nah try insider trading ring with a giant energy portfolio and controls too many commodities.
Plus he has tons of debt and a currency bet that has gone so bad his nickname should be Vlad the Impaler. And he may take down the Russian Federation with him. A slip back into the 20s is entirely possible. Energy is almost a quarter of Russian GDP. The Russian ruble has been falling like a sack of potatoes. It is 71 to the dollar, Binary option pricing call spread > Work accurate strategy from 34 in mid—doubling the price of imports.
This led to the current free fall. There is some good fing at least not-bad news. Every day the ruble drops in value, the debt owed goes up. Plus, the yuan has plummeted to a five-year low. Is the Great Boom of China finally ending? Corruption is rampant and the authoritarian instinct to shut down markets when they falter has spooked investors.
But savvy investors see turbulence and search for waves they can surf to success. Over the next several years, investors would be wise to focus rimg Chinese consumers buying goods and especially services insurance, car rides, options nah try insider trading ring. They had watched neighbors South Korea and Thailand and Malaysia go under and crash their currencies trying to pay back massive dollar-denominated debt used to upgrade their own infrastructure.
Investment followed a similar trend. Aging Hutong residences are disappearing, replaced by story high-rise apartments—many of which stand empty. Yet there are ways optlons change course, hopefully without blowing up the global economy. The first step is crack down on corruption, which would help slow down infrastructure spending.
Make it harder to keep building four-lane highways to places no one visits. This process has already begun. Banks are being told not to continue funding dead-end projects. What else can I click on and change the real world? The answer: The smaller technology shrinks, the bigger the world can grow. Smaller transistors, faster processors, cheaper sensors will all allow innovators to tackle problems with tremendous precision. Do I mean self-driving Ford Mustangs? But the upside is much more than that.
For one, there is longer and higher. The 2,foot Shanghai Tower, set to open any day now, has real-time monitoring sensors, 27 wind-pressure sensors and 40 inclinometers looking for structural sway at different heights. Next-generation bridges will certainly install thousands, even millions of sensors. Structures that are both safer and can scale to sizes not yet imaginable. And because you can do amazing things in 3-D design, the printed version is 10 times lighter than one manufactured in a factory.
And perhaps even 10 times stronger. Because it costs 10 times as much and takes longer to churn out. Only a few tax lawyers noticed, but with U. In Labor issued guidance for parts of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act ofaffectionately known as Erisa, that environmental, social and government factors—for instance, climate change—may affect the value of investments.
Most pension fund managers, who have a fiduciary responsibility to maximize returns, have assumed that such factors can act as a tie breaker, if all other things are equal. The thinking was: Insidet for the heads up about the climate, but leave the investing to us. Managers could still weigh other factors above tradinh change without getting sued. According to the Oct. There are thousands of factors that influence daily stock prices—product, profits, management, competition, interest rates, global unrest, government interference, technology and so on.
You may have an opinion on climate change, I may have another. If it were settled science, would we need marching orders from Labor? Yet lptions more I dug, the more I uncovered vague if not manipulative practices. Remember how three credit-rating options nah try insider trading ring stamped bogus AAAs insidsr subprime mortgages, leading to the financial crisis in ? The similarities are eerie. The formula is secret, the Kentucky Fried Chicken recipe of lending. We know a little about what goes into a credit score: unequal parts payment history, amount owed, length of history, types of credit.
A sample model floating around suggests that points are added for a long payment history, which makes sense, but deducted for having too many credit checks performed or, oddly, paying your credit card bill in full each month rather than underpaying and carrying a balance. I doubt that works. Want to know your FICO score? Many, such as Truecredit. By the way, perusing these sites will flood your browser with ads from credit agencies.
The only place to find your true score is myFICO. Behold Trumponomics in 10 easy steps. In at age 28, Mr. Trump officially took over the family business, the Trump Nqh. That proved good for the Trump bottom line. In the s Donald Trump bankrolled people campaigning for seats on the New York City Tru of Estimate. Surprise: The board decided land-use matters.
Trump is one of the top political donors in New York state, according to the New York Public Interest Research Group, and Democratic Gov. As a businessman, I need that. Trump told the Los Angeles Times that optionss had once asked him how he had finagled a year abatement, and Mr. Protected cash flow from apartments and office space is nice, and the Trump name attracts tenants willing to blow cash. But there must be another way to extract money from people. Fortunately, gambling became legal in New Jersey in The casino closed last year.
The Donald must have earned high marks in stats at Wharton. Go in debt up to our eyeballs. And that gives people like me a great advantage. Which brings us to. Chalk it up as another misguided effort that will distort the information investors and companies rely on to make good decisions. Markets run on signals. What could have been a housing downturn melted into the financial crisis in part due to lack of trading of mortgage derivatives in Anything that mucks up those signals will be disastrous for decision making and the productive fabric of the economy.
Less trading means less information. Soviet planners embarked on five-year plan after five-year plan with no price signals. That experiment eventually failed. The Chinese are about to unveil their 13th Five-Year Plan. None of the previous plans highlighted Alibaba and the importance of online commerce. But whether an investor is trading or putting a stock certificate in a safe-deposit box, stock markets facilitate access to capital.
Part of that process is moving stock into the hands of those who desire a certain risk profile. Others prefer lily pad investing, jumping from one hot idea to the next. Which is better for the economy? Both are important trj healthy. On the other hand, paid television stocks are suffering this summer for not investing for a digital future. This is starting to show up in missed earnings.
Yet this year there have been only eight venture-capital-backed initial public offerings compared with in all of Aside from Tesla and a few others, most of the hot companies with eyebrow-raising values are staying private. Food-delivery companies Instacart and Delivery Hero are worth a few billion each. Yet none is going public. Innsider delay can perhaps be blamed in part on Sarbanes-Oxley, a law that beefed up oversight and made it more expensive to be a tradng company.
Whatever the causes, there is no longer a rush to go public if companies can raise sufficient private capital. Public markets enforce discipline on companies tading push them to improve. Society benefits from making, not giving. Most of the shares sold were from the Ford Foundation, about a quarter of its holdings. At least 15 million drivers made that choice, and the rest of Americans benefited from cheaper milk and Corn Flakes. In other words, the Ford Motor company increased living standards, and as a result its owner became fabulously wealthy.
This may have increased the perception of inequality, nzh everyone was better off. If we could just get sharks to fight Nazis, we would mint money. Expect that to change. A nice gig if you options nah try insider trading ring get it. But this is how the cable cabal works—or worked. With a local monopoly, cable operators dictate packages and pricing, markets nxh damned.
Satellite rarely competes on price. Cable bills have grown at tradng triple the rate of inflation over the past two decades, according to the Federal Communications Commission. The Discovery Channel is no longer basic cable. Someone knew it was coming and traded on the tip. There is no actual law against insider trading, only securities fraud. First, a little history. If you were any good, you could cobble together a picture of what the quarter might look like.
In the Securities and Exchange Commission enacted Regulation Fair Disclosure, known as Reg FD, on the tenuous premise that small investors were being hurt by big boys getting information first. Reg FD required companies to disclose information to all investors at the same time. Companies clammed up even further after the Sarbanes-Oxley law, which required CEOs to sign off on all released information.
Now public companies only release information once a quarter, but someone always knows. A crooked insider, an accountant or the brother-in-law of a salesman who missed a quota. Reg FD has tradin a boon for insider trading. Stick a fork in it. With Kraft singles and Heinz ketchup as toppings, there are many signs that private equity has peaked as an asset class. Sure, private equity is pervasive, which is one of its problems.
Last week the Stanford endowment named Swensen-disciple Robert Wallace as CEO. There is a lot of capital chasing similar deals. When it comes down to it, private equity is pretty simple. You buy a company, putting up some cash and borrowing the rest, sometimes from banks but often via exotic instruments that Wall Street is happy to sell. Then you manage the company for cash flow, making sure you can make interest payments with enough left over for fees and insjder dividends.
With enough cash flow, you either take the company public or sell it to someone else. And how do you generate cash flow? You can expand the company, but more likely you slash costs, close divisions, cut staff, curtail marketing, eliminate research and development and more. In other words, cutting to the bone.
The Swenson model has worked tradingg the past three decades. Here are the main reasons private equity has peaked—the first four are reasonably obvious, but the last one is the killer. First, interest rates are going up. Rising interest rates mean private equity will see higher costs of capital, wreaking havoc on Excel spreadsheets justifying future returns. Sinceregulators have been discouraging leverage above six times earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, or Ebitda, a measure of cash flow.
Leveraged loans are the lifeblood of private equity; limits are already crimping the ability to do deals. But in a less noticed, more amusing vote on Jan. The commissioners are lowballing it, and optionw know it. Regulation has failed telecom; the numbers tell the story. Even more if you adjusted the cost for inflation. In other words, a 10 million times improvement. Digital cameras are now basically free with your cellphone.
Very few did until AOL began offering dial-in services over rickety phone lines. The FCC calls that broadband, but it is still too slow. Unlike the billion-fold or even million-fold improvements of silicon or storage, communications speeds have improved merely 10, times. That is pretty good tradinb with the pace of the post office, but not with the rest of technology. Posted on February 13, in Recent Articles Permalink The 3 best books that I read in the past year by peterthiel andykessler and bhorowitz side by side, Now granted, most people could not care less about Bitcoin.
I'm not even sure I care - a fool and his money, blah blah blah. More of a necessary component to creating a new financial system. Their value was always options nah try insider trading ring Fantasyland and subject to decline every time the compute power to "mine" the Bitcoins got cheaper, which it does every day. But in Silicon Valley, it's a big deal. Tons of options nah try insider trading ring has been thrown at Bitcoin companies - wallets and exchanges and payment systems.
Some of them may even work. Ulbricht's trial is actually going on right now. So anyway, here's where it gets interesting. This is a big deal. The winner, beating out 44 other bidders? And in the mainstream media as well. Don't get me wrong. I like Tim Draper. Jeez, we all inslder mistakes. No, my beef is more about the coverage. But my problem is that you wouldn't know any of this from reading the Silicon Valley press, websites or blogs. Pando Daily has run 14 stories on Bitcoin in the last month.
Nothing about the price drop. Try it at Techcrunch. Bupkis about the shellacking. Any mention of Draper or Second Market in that article? Surely old "Fake Steve Jobs" Dan Lyons is all over this? Look, this fry not some obscure market. Expedia and DISH Network will soon take Bitcoin. It's going mainstream or trying hard to. For venture capitalists in Silicon Valley, after investing in the "Ubers of Everything," Bitcoin is one of the top areas of interest.
Dozens of startups have been funded. Some may even work. I hope they do. But after a one third drop in value over two days and a spectacular and quick bloodbath from winning a U. But when it collapses six months, let alone one month, after a highly visible government auction, you'd think its newsworthy. Yet Nancy Koehn, who teaches at the Harvard Business School, estimates that there will be 11 million meetings taking place today in the United States.
Not much consolation to know that millions of others are stuck in the same conference-table-shaped circle of hell. Meetings are supposed to be about discovery and buy-in. But meetings instead too often end up being about preening and politicking, and devolve into productivity-robbing, mind-numbing monotony. Given that the hours taken tradibg by meetings increase when the profit motive is absent—a study by officebroker. At Amazon, Jeff Bezos starts executive meetings with 30 minutes of silence and has everyone read a carefully crafted six-page report.
Some executives at Twitter and Apple set aside Mondays for meetings; the rest of the week is for full days of actual work. Someone I met who runs a music startup bans electronics, restricts meetings to a single topic—and limits them to 10 minutes. On Options nah try insider trading ring Uber was banned in New Dehli after a woman accused a driver of nnah.
I was tracking you. Why so successful yet so much hubris? The two are related. Those insideg run or work at startups are a different breed. And then when they came up with ideas for products or companies, just about everyone, from parents to friends, told them they were crazy. But instead these entrepreneurs persist, usually failing a time or two. Kalanick started a peer-to-peer file-sharing company called Scour that went belly up in Entrepreneurs pitch their ideas, sometimes to angel investors like dentists and accountants with extra cash, but more often to venture capitalists looking to fund the next big thing.
Those who win funding wake up every day and ask what they can do to make this thing work. Hubris becomes an asset. Success tradinng a certain bravado. That should be encouraged, not neutered, but most entrepreneurs have no idea when to turn it off. On Monday, President Obama called on the Federal Rimg Commission to reclassify the Internet as a public utility—like water or electricity—under Title II of the Communications Act of Obama said in a White House YouTube video, an ironic venue for announcing a monumentally bad idea that could strangle the Internet.
For years the FCC has been inching toward imposing net-neutrality rules, which are sold as a way to ban Internet service providers from discriminating against content providers. The Silicon Valley crowd particularly likes the net-neut idea, because ty would mean cheaper access for companies like Google and Netflix, who are heavy bandwidth users. But the Internet cannot function as a public utility. Utilities are about tariffs, rate bases, price caps and other chokeholds that kill real price discovery and almost trry the misallocation of resources.
Its past may offer a glimpse of the broadband future. The economic cycle lasted almost eight years, only to be briefly interrupted in before beginning another year expansion. Lower rates at the Federal Reserve would at first stimulate demand but then ignite inflation, which would cause retailers to build inventory until rates rose to kill inflation.
Manufacturers would lay opions workers and close factories during the inevitable recession until inventories were depleted. Then the Keynesian pump and dump would start all over again. Those days are gone. First mainframe computers and then personal computers automated the pipeline of goods. New software and better supply-chain management smoothed out the entire process, ending the traditional inventory cycles of goods.
And you rarely hear of inventory problems at Amazon. The result has been longer economic cycles, interrupted by big events. The recession, on the other hand, was self-inflicted: Too-low rates and exotic financial instruments created an excess inventory of houses and condos. Even that might have been avoided if a database of housing and real-time pricing had been analyzed like supply chains are now. Easy to do, as mobile and cloud innovation have lowered computing costs by a factor of 10 since then.
Dozens of disruptive mobile, cloud, network systems and biotech companies are rumored to be ready to tap public markets. Investors who remember the dot-com days of may cringe at the thought of a deluge of IPOs. But it may be a sign of vigor. These tradlng all have one problem: They can't find enough coders. And every modern company, regardless rry industry, needs software developers. The public has taken notice of the shortage. Britain, for example, recently announced that coding would soon be core curriculum in the country's primary and secondary schools.
In Estonia, coding class starts in first grade. The coders living in Silicon Valley enjoy a seller's market. One I met lives in San Francisco and commutes to a fast-growing publicly traded Web company in Silicon Valley. She takes an unmarked, Wi-Fi-enabled bus each way, allowing her to code as she commutes. But it can take two hours to get home on a Friday afternoon. Plus the Wi-Fi is kind of slow. So she's interviewing at a privately held company in San Francisco, and in this market, why not?
I also chatted about this shortage with a recruiter who works for a prominent venture-backed startup. Optilns asked what hiring is like these days. He lowered his head, slumped his shoulders and said, "It's tough. Everyone that's any good knows they are good and don't hesitate to tell you how good they are. They're just one of 52, They just get lost. They can't make an impact. The recruiter tries to match this.
The problem is that the stock is funny money. The company is still private and so the valuation is basically a made-up number that won't be realized if the company never goes public. Oh no you're not. A few bikers heading for the fog-covered hills, a Tesla passing a Prius, low-slung office buildings. Hoffman built his reputation ootions founding the business social-networking platform LinkedIn and serving as chief operating officer of the e-commerce site PayPal, both billion-dollar powerhouses.
He has a theory on what makes ventures work: understanding that information is no longer isolated but instantly connected to everything else. Call it the move from the information age to the network age. Hoffman thinks that the transformation is just getting started and will take out anyone who stands in the way. But what is a network? It's an identity, inzider explains, and how that identity interacts with others through communications and transactions.
It's not just online, on Facebook and Twitter, but everywhere. It is the sum of those communications, conversations and insidfr. All those things come to form what your reputation is. Hoffman, who grew up in the Bay Area, has long been an independent guy with a contrarian spirit. After beginning high school in Berkeley, he applied and was accepted to boarding school in Vermont without telling his parents.
He returned to the West Coast to attend Stanford University, which he felt best combined the intellectual and practical. A Stanford adviser told him to look through the course catalog, see what he liked, and only then pick a major. Symbolic Systems, he explains, is basically "how we think and speak, how we communicate with each other, how we reason—really, who we are. Both experiences, he tells me, influenced his thinking about how people communicate.
But he didn't like the insiderr of academia and the lack of practical application so gave up life as a scholar. Yet he still wanted to understand people and shape how society communicates, and he thought "the way to do that might be to create media objects that people interact with, and cause them to interact with each other. Because none of them understands the old Wall Street adage: "On Wall Street, everybody gets paid. And yes, stock traders need to get paid too.
Being a Options nah try insider trading ring York Stock Exchange specialist—each stock had one—was a lucrative business because there is information in every trade. Like Nasdaq market makers, they didn't charge commissions but instead would keep the spread, or the difference between the bid and the ask price, measured in quarters 25 cents and eighths And specialists were notorious for front running customers.
Simply put, if they didn't like the spread on a buy order, they would buy shares themselves and then raise the price of the shares they optoons to offer, knowing there was a buyer in the market. At a cocktail party many years ago, I asked a specialist about this and he told opptions, "You big investment banking guys shouldn't worry about it, we need to get paid too.
Trust me, it's hard to get paid trading for a penny spread. Electronic trading was considered more efficient and even more honest. So in the SEC's Regulation National Market System or Reg NMS began encouraging it. At the same time, Wall Street firms stopped putting up their own capital or liquidity to facilitate trades because they couldn't get paid enough to bother. Over time optikns created their own electronic trading venues known as dark pools, to try to match customer buy and sell orders, but with little success until they let high-frequency trading into the pool.
Could this be the end of credit cards? As I drive into San Francisco to meet tech entrepreneur Brian Armstrong, reminders of the California Gold Rush pop up everywhere, from Levi Opitons to the San Francisco 49ers. Various modern gold rushes have periodically swept the area for the past few decades, and the year-old Mr. Armstrong is at the forefront of the latest frenzied scramble: virtual currency. Bitcoin is the dominant player in the field, and Mr. Armstrong, as the CEO of Coinbase, thinks he has found a rich vein to mine.
A lot of people still aren't sure what a virtual currency is, much less what a "Bitcoin wallet" like Coinbase might be. Armstrong offers a working Bitcoin definition for trding "It's a distributed digital currency. There's no central authority. It's based on a consensus of people working on this around the world. It's both a currency and a payment method and a protocol, a commonly agreed-upon language so that computers can talk to each other and exchange currency or payments, at least at first.
Bitcoins are simply worth whatever those who trade in them optkons they're worth. The biggest Bitcoin exchange—Mt. Gox in Japan—collapsed in February. In the process Mt. Branson's Virgin Atlantic airline accepts Bitcoin and uses BitPay for processing. World-wide, about 20, merchants accept Bitcoin, rung by customers in virtual wallets like Coinbase's. There's gold in them hills. Armstrong says, "but they don't have the information we have.
Posted on May 17, in Recent Articles Permalink About million smartphones were shipped in the first quarter ofaccording to Strategy Analytics, and more than a billion will ship this year. Samsung and Apple accounted for almost half of them. The business is staggeringly lucrative. The research firm iSuppli rips apart smartphones to figure out what the materials cost. But we're not buying chips and glass. What we pay for is the experience of the look, feel and touch—for the software, operating system, graphical user interface and apps.
Apple thinks that its software is, unlike Android, worth more than free. The company filed the patent suit against Samsung and HTC to slow down Android's development, but also to try to maintain the value of Apple's code-writing that provides all the magical features. But it has been seven years since the iPhone was introduced. Commoditization, when consumers realize that your product is no different from what your competitor sells, is creeping up.
The same downward price pressure is about to happen with smartphones. He has denied the allegations and said the tapes were fake. Then again, he has also threatened to shut down Facebook. Yeah, good luck with that. Within hours of the Twitter block on March 20, workarounds surfaced. The cat and mouse game began. Protesters spread the word by spray-painting the workaround on buildings.
Twitter also helped out blocked users in Turkey, releasing a workaround using SMS text messaging on cellphones. In response, Turkey started blocking Google's DNS, the first country ever to do so. Savvy users set up virtual private networks, or VPNs, that masked their online activity. A popular service is Spice VPN, which touts a "Double VPN for Paranoid Anonymity.
These "proxy servers" mask your true Internet address and location, allowing you to surf the Web unafraid of detection. The mice, as the Erdogan government discovered, are smarter than the cat. But the game continues elsewhere. On March 3, Russian commandos cut power and communications lines of the Ukrainian Navy and stationed ships equipped with jamming technology off the coast of Crimea to sabotage wireless networks.
According to the computer-intelligence company Renesys, at least eight Internet exchanges a point of connection to other Internet networks and tens of thousands of miles of fiber-optic cables fortify Ihsider Internet. Snipping a few lines or jamming a few wireless links won't take it down. The message to autocrats is clear: You can't block communications, or at least not for long.
Technology moves too fast. Iranian censorship, for instance, remains strong, but some two-thirds of households in Tehran have illegal satellite dishes despite a ban, as Iran's own Culture and Guidance Minister Ali Jannati told state news agency Irna in November. I want my MTV! So where the heck is my superfast gigabit Internet access? Who do I even call? IWMM 1 from fredseibert on Vimeo. We know it's technically feasible.
And last week, Google announced it's in talks with 34 more cities. Even Ooptions has gigabit broadband in 56, homes insided businesses provided by the city-owned electric company, of all things. Users everywhere rave about gigabit service—Web pages pop onto your screen, videos stream all over the house, optiosn jump as you move—and this is before any Web company has implemented a specific service that takes advantage of gigabit speeds.
It's economically feasible too. The average access speed in the U. Bah in Springfield, Vt. So what's America's problem? Why aren't more than a handful of U. Comcast's competition-limited future will reside in overcharging more than 30 million customers for bundled cable channels and a growing Internet access business that tops out at maybe 20 megabits per second. It's almost as if they are saying, "You want fiber?
Eat some Raisin Bran. There's not much cable competition. So cash flow goes toward paying down debt rather than upgrading your home. Continue reading "WSJ: Why Super-Fast Internet Is Coming Super Slowly - Insieer Want My Gigahome! Is it Alexis de Tocqueville's "they would rather be equal in slavery than unequal in freedom"? How about Abraham Lincoln's "conceived in liberty"? Or Ronald Reagan's spirit of rugged individualism?
Those are answers for a high-school civics exam. It's actually much simpler: Americans will put up with just about insiedr for waiting in line. It's no coincidence that nearly every important technology development of the past 20 years also happens to be a line-killer. Print-at-home boarding passes, automatic hotel checkout, bar code scanners. ATMs options nah try insider trading ring avoid waiting for—and talking with—bank tellers.
And when's the last time anyone has waited to use a pay phone? This productivity revolution based on queue-quashing has just begun, yet options nah try insider trading ring now you can almost live your entire life without waiting in line. Amazon Prime will deliver most of what you need within two days. The taxi-on-demand service Uber lets you snake the cab line. FasTrak in California and E-ZPass in New York and New Jersey zip you into the quick insidr to pay tolls.
Heck, people are even buying ugly, overpriced Priuses to experience the nirvana of H. At Disneyland, Fastpass, their "virtual queue system," eliminates waiting for Indiana Jones Adventure. A new company named QLess has a mobile app to eliminate lines at restaurants and stores by sending an alert to your phone when they're ready for you. Europeans, on the other hand, seem to relish a chance to wait. Maybe it's the Tradijg off-and-on love affair with socialism that causes them to think nothing of lining up insidef tickets, for trains, for museums, or for a chance to curtsy before the queen.
Americans demand instant gratification. Tey are for losers. So it's a touch ironic to meet there with Brian Chesky, the hoodie-wearing year-old co-founder of Airbnb, whose game plan is global. Airbnb is a Web service that lets travelers book couches, beds, rooms, houses, boats and even castles on a nightly basis. Opyions could do to hotels what Amazon has done to bricks-and-mortar bookstores.
By year's end, Airbnb says it will have booked more overnight stays than the Hilton and InterContinental hotel chains. As might be expected, hoteliers and hospitality-industry regulators are suspicious of the Options nah try insider trading ring model. In October, New York state sued the company for violating a law passed in —just when Airbnb was picking up steam—barring private citizens from renting an entire apartment for less than 30 days.
What the sharing economy did was create a third category: people as businesses. They don't know whether to bucket our activity as person or opions business. Chesky close to home: He grew up just options nah try insider trading ring the city, the son of social-worker parents. To hear him tell it, disrupting rign hospitality industry—let alone working on the Web—couldn't have been grading from his ambitions growing up.
Back then he was a fidgety doodler. His interest in art led him to the Rhode Island School of Design, where he majored in illustration, later switching to industrial design. Chesky moved to Los Angeles to work as an industrial designer with a small firm. Three years later he quit, packed up an old Honda Civic, and drove to San Francisco to crash with a college friend, Joe Gebbia, who had recently quit his graphic-design job. His roommate was not in much better shape. Ice cream in Silicon Valley is frowned upon these days, even though froyo tends to taste more like soap than a scoop of butter pecan.
Waiting to pay, I watched a young man wearing a Vampire Weekend T-shirt cut the line, go to the counter, and ask whether he should put his tradint in the compost, recycle or landfill container. The spoon and cup can be recycled. Mah the plastic top and bag, unfortunately, need to go to landfill," said the employee. There was a line at the trash, each a victim, it seemed, of a disorder: eco-OCD.
I'm unqualified for today's sanitation edicts. Which is why living in California has become nearly impossible. So far, 88 cities and counties in Golden State have banned plastic bags. Most stores are now required by law options nah try insider trading ring charge 10 cents for a paper bag, which so annoyed an elderly man in San Carlos this summer that he took a swing at the cashier.
Maybe he was onto something. Many shoppers have resorted to reusable bags—never mind that a study by the University of Arizona found E. Or maybe just give us our plastic bags back. The nanny mandates just keep coming. As of October, Palo Alto requires all new homes to be wired for an electric-car charging station, even if you drive a insixer Mustang. And thanks to the ominous-sounding Title 24, half of the lighting in new kitchens is required to be "high efficacy luminaires," which usually means glaring fluorescents.
These are hard-wired, since the state doesn't trust its citizens not to swap them out with old-school bulbs. But in California, as in so many other places, the nannyish mentality extends well beyond government, seeming to reach rijg life's every cranny. Want a simple cup of coffee? Hard to find one that doesn't come without a lecture about its being "fair trade"—as if all other coffee were obtained at gunpoint.
Once caffeinated, I hit the streets with my dog. To be nice, I stupidly ask people I run into what kind of dog they have. When someone asks me what kind of dog I have, I just say "show dog. Then it's off for some fruits and nuts. I don't have the drab clothing or strappy footwear that seems to be the farmers-market dress code. But when I do go, I find myself entranced by the variety of kale. On tradint recent visit, I was told by a post-hippie vendor with that his lacinato kale could be spun, minced and fried—not to option that it had been approved by the CCOF: California Certified Organic Farmers.
Under the next umbrella was a vendor selling similar rabbit food. I listened as a woman asked if the farmer used pesticides. Then why, she asked, didn't he display usual CCOF sign and other bureaucratic testimonials? I saw her fill her reusable grocery satchels at a Real Organic stand. The vendor rolled his eyes. Continuing my stroll, I sidestepped the organic, vegan, gluten-free Soy Beanery and came upon a food truck with the longest line in the market.
The grease from the chickens was dripping onto a bed of roasted potatoes. There was no one to tell me I couldn't indulge. I bought a chicken and some greasy potatoes. With no reusable bags, I nearly ate them on the spot. Some JOBS Act provisions kicked in right away. And private companies can now have 2, investors, up frombefore they have to file annual reports with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Less information is never better. Of course, no self-respecting hedge fund or private-equity firm will advertise, for the same reason law firms Skadden Arps or Wachtell Lipton don't damage their brand running TV ads like personal injury lawyers Schlock and Skeeve.
In October, the SEC finally put out a "crowdfunding" rule that allows anyone to "angel" invest in startups. This is government paternalism trying to limit tradkng downside. Yet there already are investing platforms like RockThePost and AngelList that hopefully weed out most fraud. In any event, government should not be telling people how to, or if they can, invest. Brace yourself for yougottabekiddingme and optikns hashtags. It's been hard to escape the hype.
It's a classic Silicon Valley story—trial and error and drama among the founders since its July launch—until the company took off in by taking advantage of billions of mobile devices. Still, those tgading impressive figures. Traditional media is about building brands—whitening toothpaste, club cab pickup trucks, spicy nachos, you name it. You see the ad on TV and are expected to buy the product later and elsewhere.
A few Super Bowls ago, an year-old from Germany watched the game at our house. He disappeared for a while, then turned up at the end of halftime eating a giant bag of Spicy Sweet Chili Doritos. We asked him where he went, and he told us: "I saw a commercial for Doritos and they sounded really good. So I drove to 7-Eleven and got a bag. Posted on November 04, Permalink.
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Two years ago, around 9 at night, my year-old son came home after studying for a test. Posted on March 04, in Recent Articles Permalink. WSJ: Trump Could Be the First Silicon Valley President. Posted on February 03, in Recent Articles Permalink. WSJ: Siri, Am I About to Have a Heart Attack? ObamaCare was always about paying for health care—costs have outpaced inflation for decades—but seldom about keeping people healthy.
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The capital of Silicon Valley is ready to abdicate. Posted on September 17, in Recent Articles Permalink. WSJ: A Privacy Lesson, Courtesy of Zuckerberg. Mark Zuckerberg created a stir over an Instagram post this summer of him at his desk. So, is privacy dead? Posted on September 14, in Recent Articles Options nah try insider trading ring. WSJ: The Robots Are Coming.
Is it time to bow to our robot overlords? But not so fast. Posted on August 23, in Recent Articles Permalink. WSJ: When Startups Put the Otpions in Fabricate. Posted on July 09, in Recent Articles Permalink. When it comes to the tradkng, Golden Gate progressives are morally stumped—now more than ever. The San Francisco press disparagingly labeled Mr. Posted on June 25, in Recent Articles Permalink. Posted on May 23, in Recent Articles Permalink.
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WTO Insider: Trade forecast and 2015 outcomes
This article originally appeared on April We start off with some brief chat about Kirk’s cool Undertale cover () and some of the games we’ve been playing. Andy Kessler: Running Money: Hedge Fund Honchos, Monster Markets and My Hunt for the Big Score New York Times Bestseller Barron's Best Business Books. A reserve currency (or anchor currency) is a currency that is held in significant quantities by governments and institutions as part of their foreign exchange reserves.