Tag Archives: Ponzi scheme

SNAP Stock Just SNAPPED: Down 29% From Its March IPO

SNAP just reported earnings and plunged after hours after missing everything.  It burned through $288 million in cash.  The more it spends, the more it loses.  An operational Ponzi scheme of sorts.

The SNAP IPO was led by Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Deutsche Bank, Barclays, Credit Suisse and Allen & Company. All the usual criminal cartel banks aside from Allen & Company.  Allen & Company is a financial “advisor” – i.e. sleazy stock broker – driven firm based in Florida. I don’t know how Allen & Co. was put on as an underwriting manager other than it’s likely that one of SNAP’s co-founders is buddies with one of the owners at Allen & Co.

Speaking of SNAP’s two co-founders, each sold $272 million worth of stock into the IPO. It would be impossible to know if they sold knowing that anyone who bought the IPO, or has bought share since the IPO, is going to end up holding an empty bag. But I provided an in-depth analysis of SNAP to subscribers of the Short Seller’s Journal in which I concluded that SNAP would eventually go below $2.

I have to believe that the Einsteins at Morgan Stanley, Goldman et al had to know this. That being the case, I don’t know how the public issuance of SNAP shares is not fraud. The venture capital and private equity funds who invested in the early rounds were given an out by the public – a public that was lied to about SNAP’s future prospects.

As I finish this, SNAP is now below $12/share ($11.85).  It’s still a great short here.  If I have time to pour through the numbers, I’ll be updating the subscribers of the Short Seller’s Journal and lay out a course of action to short the stock from here.  You can learn more about this newsletter here:  Short Seller’s Journal information.  There’s no minimum subscription period and subscribers get a 50% discount on the Mining Stock Journal.

SNAP Snapped – Stock Plunges 18%

SNAP just reported horrible numbers vs. Wall Street forecasts.  Net income was actually a Net loss of $2.31 vs. a loss of 19 cents forecast.  Revenues were light by $8 million, coming in at $149.6mm vs. $157.9 million expected.  Active subscribers were also lower than expected.   The Ponzi stock is down 18% as I post this:

IRD reviewed SNAP when it IPO’d and warned investors to avoid or short this stock:  Avoid SNAP.  Short Seller Journal subscribers were presented with an even more detailed analysis.

Investment Research Dynamics’ Short Seller’s Journal has presented several ideas recently which offered subscribers significant gains from shorting or buying puts on the ideas. KATE and IBM are two examples. Find out more clicking the link above or the banner below

Gold And Silver Investors Smell Central Bank Blood

The mainstream narrative that gold/silver moves inversely with stocks because the metals are a “risk off” trade has imploded. Since late January, when the S&P 500 began to “recover” from its 11% New Year’s plunge, the precious metals and the stock market have been rising in correlation, with the precious metals significantly outperforming the stock market since mid-February:

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As you can see, the move in the metals accelerated since the BREXIT vote.  The latest Central Bank induced market spike has pierced the boundaries of absurdity:

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The immediate “snap-back” in the stock market after a two-day post BREXIT vote 5.3% plunge in the S&P 500 has violated the sensibilities of all but the most idiotically apologetic stock market perma-bulls (Mark Zandi, Cramer, Suze Orman, Liz Sonders etc).

It’s clear that the Central Banks are desperate to keep the stock markets from plunging, despite the fact that the deterioration of economic and financial fundamentals globally – including and especially in the U.S. – has begun to accelerate.

Smart investors smell Central Bank blood and the latest market intervention just reeks of desperation.  This is the dynamic that is propelling gold and silver higher, despite the preponderance of bearish calls from all corners of the market, including many precious metals market analysts.

The Central Banks went overboard with the latest round of stock market intervention.  The recent increased movement of investment funds from fiat-based “assets” into gold/silver reflects the more widespread perception that the Central Banks are trapped by long series of bad policy decisions.  The obvious conclusion is that Central Banks are now forced to hyperinflate the money supply or face a total stock market collapse.

Of course, the hyperinflation of currencies will do nothing to stimulate real economic growth or fix the completely unmanageable global debt and derivatives problem.

Perhaps the poster-child example of the damage done to the markets by radical Central Bank intervention and manipulation is Tesla (TSLA).  If not Amazon, TSLA is perhaps the greatest stock Ponzi scheme in U.S. history.  Aside being riddled with total accounting fraud, TSLA is technically insolvent and overloaded with debt that it will eventually impale itself on.  It was reported today that the test driver in a TESLA self-driving car was killed when the car crashed into tractor-trailer at high speed.  The test-driver was watching a movie in the car.  At least he didn’t know what hit him.

TSLA stock in a freely trading market would have been decimated today on that news.  But today it’s trading unchanged from yesterday’s close.  The only bigger tragedy than this fact is the death of someone who put their faith in Tesla.

Tesla would not exist in its present form if it weren’t for the extreme Central Bank intervention and manipulation of the capital markets.  It certainly would not have had the capital to work on an auto-piloted car given that its core business model lost nearly a billion dollars last year. This is the type of “blood” in the streets to which the price of gold/silver is responding.

If  you review a long term graph of gold/silver vs. the S&P 500 (on your own), you will note that  best price performance periods for the precious metals have been preceded by a short period of time in which the metals are highly correlated to the upside with the stock market…

MSJ is a great resource!!!  – Johnny – You can subscribe to my Mining Stock Journal here: LINK – or my Short Seller’s Journal here:  LINK.    I am currently offering new MSJ subscribers all of the back-issues (March 4th debut).   I also offer a 50% discount on the second subscription to anyone who subscribes to both (email me for the discount link).

I must say that Tesla is a perfect example of how screwed up the stockmarket is. Only bad news for the company like the purchase of the bankrupt company, Solar City. Wheels falling of the cars and bad suspension on cars that are almost new. Death accidents with malfunctioning auto pilots. Risks of lawsuits due to this. And the stock goes up- how retarded is this? No fundamentals matter at all. I´m really enjoying the silver rally and I bet you do as well. All the best from the negative interest rate Sweden.

SoT Market Update: Fed Market Intervention And Stock Market Fraud

The Shadow of Truth presents a “Market Update” in which we discuss the extreme fraud and deception that has engulfed the stock market – see below for our audio discussion:

The governments in my view, with their agents the Federal Reserve and other central banks and with the treasury department, they will do anything not to let asset prices go down…If the stock markets go down, I’m convinced all the central banks will buy stocks. All of them. – Mark Faber on CNBC

The S&P 500 has clawed back nearly 80% of its 250 plunge that occurred at the beginning of 2016.  The pervasive “muscle reaction” of mainstream investors is to behave as if the nascent bear market in stocks is already over and we’re headed to 30k on the Dow.  This tendency is epitomized by Cramer’s latest “c’mon on back in, the water is fine and stocks are cheap” declaration about a week ago.  This graphic below exemplifies the current  mainstream financial media narrative (sourced from Twitter with SoT edits) click to enlarge image:

This graph shows the number of stocks in the Russell 2000 index which have gained 50% Untitled11for more in the last month of trading since October.  As you can see, up until the current bear market dead-cat bounce, the market is “hot” when 20-30 stocks move up 50% in a month.  In the current market nearly 80 stocks have moved up in the last month.   This graph shows the omnipresent footprints of both the Plunge Protection Team and HFT trading.   It’s gotten to the point at which every time the stock market seems ready to sell-off hard, some sort of “invisible hand” comes in and scoops up stocks, driving the market back up.

The other highly fraudulent aspect of this market is the way earnings are reported. Companies now report GAAP and “non-GAAP” earnings.  The difference between the two presentation methods can be summed up as, “somewhat fake earnings” and “mostly fake earnings.”

UntitledIn 2015, 20 of the 30 companies in the Dow Jones Industrial index reported non-GAAP earnings.  For 18 of these 20, non-GAAP EPS was higher than GAAP.  On average, non-GAAP earnings were 31% higher than GAAP for these 20 companies.  In 2014, non-GAAP was 12% higher than GAAP for the non-GAAP reporting companies (FACTSET.COM)  This illustrates the degree to which companies are now going to disguise and/or fabricate their earnings.

As if to throw gasoline of the fire of fraud and deception which has engulfed our financial system, most large corporations are now borrowing money in order to buy back their shares.  This benefits no one except the insiders who receive huge stock-laden compensation packages and then turnaround and sell their stock into the company’s buyback program.  At its root, this is nothing more than a massive transfer of wealth from shareholders to insiders.  Why not just ask the shareholders to get out their checkbooks and send insiders a personal check instead?

 Here’s an idea for reform, which of course will never happen:  prohibit insiders from selling shares whenever a company has a shareholder buyback program in place.  But don’t hold your breath waiting for that to happen….

Jeff Bezos Is The Poster Child For U.S. Systemic Ponzi Scheme

Forbes released its annual list of wealthiest Americans this week.  The data shows that Jeff Bezos, the founder and CEO of Amazon.com, made $16 billion in 2014.  While perhaps admired by the segment of our society that worships the dollar above all else, this is nothing more than the grotesque reminder how just how fraudulent the United States system has become.

Bezos earned in one year more than 8x the amount of net income that he has delivered to AMZN shareholders cumulatively over the 20-year operating history of the Company:

AMZNnetIncThis is well beyond the bounds of obscenity. It’s criminal. The SEC allows Bezos to get away with semi-fraudulent accounting. It lets him get away with misrepresenting the Company’s “free cash flow” when it makes its quarterly “earnings” report to shareholders.

Jeff Bezos represents the most insidious form of fraud of in this country. He’s far worse than Madoff. Madoff just screwed over his wealthy peers. Bezos is sucking wealth from every nook and cranny in the investment fund world, including and especially the the average middle class mutual fund and every single pension fund invested in AMZN stock.

Amazon’s operations burn cash like a Weimar-era furnace.  The company burned over $4 billion dollars between end of its first quarter in 2015 (end of March) and the end of its second quarter in 2015 (end of June).   The Company had almost no debt at the beginning of 2012 and by the end of 2014 it had $9 billion.  Nearly half of the cash was incinerated during the April – June quarterly period this year.

But it’s not entirely Bezos’ fault.  Ultimately the blame falls on the institutional pools of investment capital and the retail investors who trust their “expert” financial advisors with their money.   The idea of value investing and investing based on fundamentals was exterminated from the system a long time ago.  Almost every single pension fund manager and every single investment advisor in this country would  not know how to engage in serious fundamental investing even if it were required to save their lives.

Of course, we know what Jeff Bezos thinks about all of this:

Amazon.com Is The Corporate Symbol Of Dystopic America

Several readers of my research report sent me an article from the NY Times titled:   Inside Amazon:  Wrestling Big Ideas In A Bruising Workplace.   The article describes a stunning Darwinian corporate culture in which employees must transform themselves into de-humanized Amazonian robots.

The article reads like a chapter from Aldus Huxley’s “Brave New World.  Employees are even encouraged and incentivized to report on each other:

The internal phone directory instructs colleagues on how to send secret feedback to one another’s bosses. Employees say it is frequently used to sabotage others. (The tool offers sample texts, including this: “I felt concerned about his inflexibility and openly complaining about minor tasks.”)

Without a doubt Jeff Bezos has become a cult of personality who has deluded employees to sacrifice and distort their humanity in order to conform to his empire of deceit, propaganda and fraud.

Lost in the NY Times article is that, despite the mania that has engulfed Amazon’s stock, and despite the vision of a highly motivated and productive workforce, Amazon has failed to generate any meaningful degree of profitability in its 21-year history.   In fact, as my research report shows in detail, Amazon’s GAAP operating margins have declined from over 6% in 2004 to near zero now (6% is standard for big retailers).

The article is worth reading if you think about it in the context of “Brave New World” and Orwell’s “Animal Farm.” But I would also suggest thinking about it – in the context of the facts presented in my AMAZON dot CON research report – the way you would think about Enron or Bernard Madoff.

The stock has been driven up to insanely absurd levels given the fact that Amazon burns cash like a trash incinerator. If you doubt this, then you need to read to my report.  I show how and why Amazon has failed – and will fail going forward – to generate real net income and will continue burning cash.  You can access my report here:   AMAZON dot CON.

My report shows in intricate detail from a technical accounting standpoint, which actual examples that are easy to understand, how Amazon hides its inability to make any money. Although the extreme intervention in the stock market by the Fed/Government makes it extremely challenging to short any stock right now, I believe that the market is starting roll over despite the manipulation.  As this happens, the market itself will lift the “emporer’s robe” on companies like Amazon and a brutal downside reality to the stock will commence.

Any professional money manager who owns a big position in AMZN with other people’s money is breaching their fiduciary duty if they don’t read my report and consider the facts presented.

From a reader of my report:

I audited many of the high fliers that crashed and burned, took companies public & was at the printers the day the bubble really burst which ultimately tabled that IPO. Then, was a CFO at a software company for a couple years during the really ugly times. My point is I’ve got a heavy tech background.   So, when I say Amazon’s financials are the most misleading and misunderstood I’ve ever seen and their stock will crash mightily, we sound like we’re on the same page

AMZN: The World’s Greatest Ponzi Show – Find Out Why

Dave  was brilliant in his 25 page Amazon.dot.con report detailing the financial manipulation at the hand of Jeff Bezos. His investigative mind and tenacity in digging further for the truth has exposed Amazon’s/Jeff Bezos’ fraudulent activities to the public. Dave has a unique way of explaining every aspect of each graph, photo and financial statement throughout his report that anyone without the experience in the field can comprehend.  – “Kim” in Connecticut

AMAZON dot CON – the price is going up after tomorrow.

The Wall Street Journal in an article on AMZN’s “transparency” reports that, “In the case of Amazon, the company finally broke out details showing that its AWS business is now generating about $6 billion a year in revenue with operating margins of 21%—far above the 5% margin seen in its North American retail business.

Yet AWS is still projected to account for less than 10% of Amazon’s total revenue this year and next. Amazon, meanwhile, now trades at more than 150 times forward earnings.   Here’s the link:  WSJ

Of course, I would never expect a financial media journalist to understand accounting and finance.  Why should they?  Their job is to regurgitate the pig vomit served up to them by the Wall Street firms that buy expensive advertising in their publications.

AMZN in fact revealed very little about its AWS “cloud computing” business other than showing us revenues and a rigged operating income number.  My research report explains why the operating income number attributed to AWS is not only highly misleading but the source of revenues fueling the growth of AWS is of very low quality.   And AWS is A LOT less than 10% of AMZN’s total revenues.

Furthermore, that “150 times forward earnings” number is a complete fabrication of Wall Street hockey puck projections.  AMZN has lost money on a net income basis in two of the last three years and, nothwithstanding the temporary boost to operating income from AWS, will continue to absolutely bleed cash.   It’s burned through $4 billion in cash in just the first six months of 2015.

My report goes into a level of in-depth analysis that will never be published by Wall Street or the financial media.  You can access my report here:    AMAZON dot CON

The price of this report is going up after tomorrow.

AMZN

 

Comex Paper Gold Open Interest Continues Its Vertical Ascent

 From sublime to ridiculousness there is only one step.  – Napoleon

The Fed is nothing but a mafia organization that took control of the United States starting in 1913 (Rory Hall, The Daily Coin).  In sheer defiance of all free market principles, the paper gold open interest on the Comex continues to move inversely to the price.

Yesterday the open interest in fraudulent paper gold futures open interest spiked up another 8,056 contracts to 470,720 contracts.   This added another 800,560 – 25.1 tonnes – ounces of paper gold to the Comex open interest, while the amount of gold “received” into Comex vaults increased by only 35,107 ozs.

Click image to enlarge:
COMEXGOLDRecall that Germany is trying to get back just 300 tonnes of gold from the Fed but has to wait seven years for this to happen.  But the Fed, through its agent bullion banks, can create more than 300 tonnes of paper gold in just one week (remember Bernanke’s magical electronic printing press).  Why won’t Germany just agree to hold paper gold?  Based on the business activity of the Comex, paper gold is perfect substitute for real gold.  Angela? Wolfgang?  Jens (Weidmann, head of the Bundesbank)?

The amount of fraudulent paper gold created by the banks yesterday is 165% of the total amount of gold that is being reported as “registered,” or available to be delivered.  No other commodity in the history of the world is allowed to operate with kind of paper to physical ratio.

The entire U.S. financial and economic system is nothing but one enormous fraudulent Ponzi scheme enabled by the complete takeover of the U.S. Government by corporate and banking interests  (see this podcast with John Titus on the Shadow of Truth for direct proof of my assertion).   The Comex is ultimate symbol of complete fraud and corruption that has completely engulfed the system.

Historically the level of open interest in gold and the price of gold have been highly correlated.  The last time the paper gold futures interest was as high as it is now was November 27, 2012.  The price of gold was $1741 per ounce.

The only conclusion that can be drawn is that the Federal Reserve, likely on orders from the BIS, is going to try and suffocate the price of gold.  The unintended consequence is the enormous drainage of gold from western vaults into the eastern hemisphere.  I suspect the bullion banks themselves are on the receiving end of that gold.

At some point the Comex itself will suffocate under the weight of paper gold.  The elitists will conjure some event of force majeure and the Comex will exercise its right to settle the paper with more paper, i.e. U.S. dollars.  At that point they may as well use drachmas…

Paper is a check drawn by legal looters upon an account which is not theirs: upon the virtue of the victims. Watch for the day when it bounces, marked, ‘Account overdrawn.’  – “Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged”

The Public Is Being Set Up For The Scalping Of A Lifetime

Over the last three days, we have reported that some of the most important investment voices in the world are more than a little scared about the ravenous appetite for risk playing out in the market, and the fact that they have been ignored is beyond unnerving. Central banks are driving all investment decisions, and what this implies is that they are in this trade so deeply that there is no obvious or practical exit.  Richard Brewlow via Zerohedge (link)

Zerohedge posted an essay by Bloomberg’s Richard Breslow that needs some additional commentary.  We already know that western Central Banks have been buying nearly ALL new Government bond issuance for the last 5 years.  We know that Japan’s CB admits to buying equities.  We know that the Fed sticks huge bids in the market for the S&P 500 eminis in order to trigger massive hedge fund HFT algo buy programs of the big S&P 500 contract.   I suspect that the Fed is also buying stocks, which is one of the reasons it is spending million on lobbying to prevent Congress from passing a law forcing an audit of the Fed.

It’s no secret the Fed is thus pushing up the S&P 500 to new record highs almost on a weekly basis. It has prevented the stock market from undergoing a meaningful price correction now for nearly 4 years. Concomitantly, the Fed/Government is now continuously preventing the price of gold from moving higher, although it seems to have lost all ability to push it much lower than $1150.

Meanwhile, the underlying fundamentals of the economy are deteriorating at rate that now rivals the rate at which it was deteriorating in 2008.  I just got an email from someone today who told me that financial analyst Dave Skarica has stated that all midwestern regional banks who gave out loans to U.S. shale producers do not have any loan loss reserves for when these loans go bad.  He also said that NONE of these banks have taken write downs yet on the loans that are now trading between 50 and 70 cents on the dollar in the market.  This means that $100 million loan on a bank balance sheet is worth only $50-70 million based on real market market data, yet the bank is carrying this loan at $100 million.

This situation is magnified at the at the Too Big To Fail Bank level.  Every single TBTF bank has released most of its loan loss reserves back into its income statement over the last 4 years in order to generate GAAP accounting “net income” beats of estimates.  But this is non-cash, phony money.  How about if we get to see JP Morgan’s inside books and see where it has marked unsold, unsyndicated bank loan paper to near-insolvent shale companies. I’d bet my dog’s life they have that debt marked at 100 cents on the dollar even though it’s likely worth, at most 50 cents.

The Fed has no choice but to chase the stock market higher and keep interest rates at zero. Hell, if the Fed were to let rates normalize, it would suffer huge losses on all the Treasury and mortgage debt it purchased over the last 5 years – $3.6 trillion of debt that would lose at least 5-10% of its value.  The Fed would be technically insolvent.

Central Banks and their sovereign wealth funds have become the major players dominating market activity. One central banker after another has admitted they are fixated on market reaction to their comments and actions…A wise central banker told me I should learn to live with central banks being the dominant force in the market, whether I like it or not.  – Breslow from link at the top

Note:  I disagree with Breslow’s description of the referenced central banker as being “wise.”  Ruthlessly unethical and insidiously corrupt, yes.  “Wise?”  Probably not.  

Futhermore, the only dynamic keeping most pension funds from imploding is an overexposure to the stock market that keeps going higher on manufactured monetary helium.  If the Fed were to let the stock market find it’s natural trading level, it would lose at least 50% of its value – quickly.  It would blow up countless pension funds.  The problem would be magnified by a factor 2-3x if the Fed were to let interest rates embark on true price discovery.  Pension fund fixed income holdings would plunge in value.  Pension funds would become hopelessly underfunded from their current status of being just significantly underfunded.

In other words, if the Fed were to step away from its non-stop market intervention and manipulation, the entire financial system would collapse.  At some point this entire Ponzi scheme is going implode, despite the increasingly blatant and obvious attempts by the Central Banks to keep it the steroid-addled gerbil on the wheel.

Remember Enron?  It was one big fraud, for the most part.  Almost no one saw the speed and force with which Enron was incinerated.  I was short Enron stock in the $40’s.  It dropped to the teens and I covered, thinking the worst was over.  Not too long after that Enron filed bankruptcy and was revealed to be largely an empty shell.  It had erected entire floors of energy trading desks that were only used when the Company was trying to sell stock or bonds to investors doing due diligence. It was complete lie.

Enron is a microcosmic metaphor for the entire U.S. financial and economic system. It has little substance and an unimaginable amount of fraudulence masquerading in the form of an economy.   If you were to subtract all of the fraudulent accounting, the fraudulently compiled Government economic data, all of the debt and all of the derivatives on a true mark to market basis, the United States would be nothing more than one giant version of Enron.

Most people have no clue whatsoever of the economic devastation that is coming at us down the system pipeline.  But Central Banks will eventually lose control of this insanity they have created – history has already spoken repetitively on that matter.  And certainly no one can predict the timing of when Central Bank control is lost. But when this does occur, the entire U.S. financial system will be incinerated like Enron. Only this time around everyone will be ruined, rather than just a few stupid Enron stock and bondholders.

Amazon Reports Q1 – Stock All Over The Map

Amazon stock has been hammered as much as 3.5% in after hours as it reports a first quarter net loss of 12 cents vs 2014 first quarter net income of 23 cents…But the GAAP net income number is full of misleading accounting applications.

Amazon burned through $4.3 billion of cash in Q1 2015 vs. burning through $3.5 billion in Q1 2014.  $4.3 billion represents more two-thirds of the proceeds of the money AMZN raised last in 2014 via a bond issue.  Both sales and expenses increased 15%.  But AMZN’s interest expense more than doubled to $115 million from $42 million, year over year.

Just to give you an example of how manipulated this stock is, the price jumped up to $417 from the $389 NYSE as the headlines were coming across the tape; it dropped down to $372 while I was writing this and now it’s bounced back over $400.

If this stock opens over $400 tomorrow, I recommend shorting it with both hands.   You can read my in-dept analysis of  AMZN and it’s highly misleading accounting here:  AMAZONdotCON.

I won’t have full update until the Company files is 10-Q, but if you buy my report now, you will receive the update when I add it to the existing report.