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That Golden Sunrise Ahead Turned Out To Be An Oncoming Train

A weekend topic starting with Bisnow London. “It is just over three years since Toys R Us tumbled into administration in the UK, and the property business that owned the UK stores collapsed into receivership. The portfolio carried debts of £363M and just £177M in assets. You would have to be an optimist to think there was a profit to be made here, but cometh the hour, cometh the man: UK investor Tim Knowles’ Acepark Ltd took on the portfolio. Earlier this spring Acepark accounts confessed the outcome as the remaining stores fell in value faster than they could be sold.”

“‘It now looks unlikely that sufficient funds will be realised to make an overall profit for the group,’ official accounts said. That golden sunrise ahead turned out to be an oncoming train.”

“This is not an atypical story because the property industry has an optimism bias. Other examples are not hard to find: a consortium of investors completing Europe’s largest ever property deal on the day Lehman collapsed in 2008; or the Chinese developer who built 700K SF of offices for Chinese companies in the docks of east London, only to find he built it and they didn’t come (yet).”

“And in 2021 that bias could become a serious liability. ‘I have no doubt that optimism bias will have played a part in the decision making regarding real estate during the pandemic and that it will have led to some unwise decisions being made,’ psychologist Claire Beazley-Mungovan said.”

“Property’s optimism problem is not that it is optimistic by nature or habit, but that it doesn’t know when to turn the optimism off. According to people with experiences as different as the industry’s wise old heads and psychologists, this makes the real estate business particularly vulnerable to expensive misjudgments.”

“Wise heads agree that the risk of dangerous optimism is higher with younger property people who have yet to experience a serious boom-to-bust cycle, and for those who work in relatively new sectors that have only experienced growth, like the UK’s purpose-built student housing business. Is this true?”

“Anthony Laville launched Birmingham-based Volume.Property in 2017. Today he is behind a 155-bed PBSA scheme in central Birmingham with another 107 beds starting on-site this year. In theory Lavelle ought to be a hard-core optimist, but turns out to be a textbook study in how to keep optimism under control.”

“‘At this stage in my business, I kind of have no choice but to be optimistic about PBSA,’ Laville told Bisnow. ‘And all the indicators for the sector are good, including our bookings for next year. I don’t think the sector is heading for a bust, but certainly some local PBSA markets have oversupply, and some operators will suffer.'”

“Laville does what optimists often find very hard: He seeks out evidence that unsettles the rosy view. ‘I listen a lot, I ask a lot of questions, I look at other schemes and ask, do they actually have the bookings? Because I know exactly what it is like not to be able to let a property, and you have to protect yourself,’ he said. ‘I think for some operators and developers, the last few years have been a long winning streak, and I can see why they might get complacent.'”

The Huffington Post. “If your boss told you his mission was to ‘elevate the world’s consciousness,’ to join a revolution that would ‘restore in each one of us a sense of dignity and community,’ would you know you were working for a company that rents desk space?”

“That’s the story of Adam Neumann, the former CEO and founder of WeWork. The new Hulu documentary ‘WeWork: Or the Making and Breaking of a $47 Billion Unicorn’ charts his company’s dramatic rise from its founding as a co-working space in 2010 to its famous implosion and near-bankruptcy following a failed IPO in 2019, after which Neumann was forced out.”

“At one point, WeWork was the largest private-sector office tenant in Manhattan, Washington, D.C., and London, with a valuation of, yes, $47 billion. So what went wrong?”

“It is clear in the film that there was a disconnect between Neumann’s ambitions and the reality of WeWork as a business. At one point, Neumann offers a ‘community adjusted Ebitda’ financial metric to hide WeWork’s unprofitability. But it is absolutely baffling to watch investors fall for Neumann’s pitch.”

“Neumann raised billions from major investors like SoftBank, Benchmark Capital and JPMorganChase despite continued cash losses and unrealistic goals. Some of the reasons people gave for buying in: Neumann was tall, he had live charisma, he had extraordinary leadership and could successfully answer a riddle-like interview question.”

“The film suggests Neumann was able to find so much success because he fit a certain white male leadership mold that made investors feel good, not because the financial data added up. He was the ideal culture fit, a concept that encourages people with power to favor ‘who I personally like’ and ‘who reminds me of me’ rather than who can actually do the job.”

“This is most obvious in the tale of how Neumann convinced Masayoshi Son, CEO of SoftBank, to invest billions in WeWork. Son spent just 12 minutes at a would-be pitch meeting at WeWork, then invited Neumann to ride with him to his next meeting. Son reportedly said, ‘I don’t need the pitch deck. Let’s just talk.’ In the car, he asked, ‘In a fight, who wins: the smart guy or the crazy guy?’ Neumann answered, ‘The crazy guy.'”

“Son told Neumann that he had answered correctly but needed to think in bigger terms. Son’s subsequent $4 billion investment put WeWork on track for even more breakneck growth, seemingly based on little more than the fact that Neumann confirmed Son’s biases of what leadership looks like.”

The Review Journal in Nevada. “A few months before mobster Bugsy Siegel opened the Flamingo, a real estate firm took out an ad offering a big spread on Las Vegas’ new, sparsely filled resort corridor. Buyers could grab 140 acres a half-mile from the soon-to-open casino — for just $550 per acre.”

“Of course, property values on the Strip are infinitely higher now, even when the 1946 offering is adjusted for inflation, as it amounts to a paltry $7,141 per acre. But in the past year, after the pandemic turned Las Vegas Boulevard into a ghost town for a while and sank the tourism industry, the fallout from the outbreak has, for the most part, not been kind to the roadway’s real estate market.”

“In the most recent property swap, Rhode Island casino operator Bally’s Corp. announced Tuesday it is buying the Tropicana. As part of the deal, it will lease the land under the resort from the seller, Gaming and Leisure Properties, for an ‘initial’ term of 50 years at $10.5 million in annual rent. All told, Bally’s says the Tropicana buyout is valued at about $308 million. It’s a huge sum by any measure but still below the hotel-casino’s $360 million sales price in 2015.”

“The recent deal follows a far more lucrative one announced last month. Investment firm Apollo Global Management and casino landlord Vici Properties reached a deal to purchase The Venetian, the Palazzo and the Sands Expo and Convention Center for about $6.25 billion from casino operator Las Vegas Sands Corp., which is exiting the Strip with the sale and focusing more on Asia.”

“That deal, however, followed the February acquisition of the unfinished former Fontainebleau, a long-stalled product of the mid-2000s construction craze, through a process that lets people transfer ownership of financially distressed real estate while avoiding foreclosure. Not long before that skyscraper changed hands, a mortgage lender acquired around 27 acres of mostly vacant property along the north and south edges of the Strip through the same sort of process, known as a deed in lieu of foreclosure.”

“And last summer, a bankruptcy judge approved plans for an investor to pick up nearly 20 acres across from Mandalay Bay, including the abandoned SkyVue observation-wheel project, with a $75 million credit bid. Creditors had worried about selling the spread during the early turmoil of the pandemic, though SkyVue had problems long before the coronavirus outbreak. With two giant concrete columns sticking out of the ground, the partially built project has blighted the boulevard for years.”

“Selling vacant land on the Strip was no easy task even before the pandemic, given the high asking prices and the difficulty in financing a major resort project, though Las Vegas did have a string of blockbuster casino sales before the coronavirus outbreak. Still, the deals this past year should come as no surprise, given the pandemic’s swift and severe economic fallout.”

“After Gov. Steve Sisolak ordered casinos and other businesses closed to help contain the virus’s spread, the Strip turned into a surreal site of barricaded resort entrances and empty sidewalks. At one point, one in every three people in the valley was out of work. Resorts and other businesses later reopened, and Las Vegas has seen a big influx of tourists lately. Still, visitor levels and gambling revenue plunged last year, and the valley’s unemployment rate, despite falling from its stratospheric highs, remains elevated.”

“An estimated 9.3 percent of Las Vegas’ workforce was unemployed as of February, third-highest in the nation among large metro areas, federal data shows. Despite the recent surge of tourism, it’s anyone’s guess how long it will take for Las Vegas’ economy to fully recover from the pandemic. For now, let’s just hope the boulevard doesn’t again look like a scene from a post-apocalyptic movie. If it does, real estate values there will be the least of our problems.”

This Post Has 76 Comments
  1. ‘it’s anyone’s guess how long it will take for Las Vegas’ economy to fully recover from the pandemic. For now, let’s just hope the boulevard doesn’t again look like a scene from a post-apocalyptic movie. If it does, real estate values there will be the least of our problems’

    Yeah, but it’s a great time to borrow a ton of money and snap up a stucco shack in Las Vegas! Times Square looks like a post-apocalyptic movie too. Call me crazy but I would think people should be financially cautious in Vegas.

    1. “Call me crazy but I would think people should be financially cautious in Vegas.”

      – RE is just another commodity now after financialization by Wall Street and the FIRE sector, as aided and abetted by the Fed and corrupt Gov’t. Geographic location doesn’t matter; it’s anywhere in the U.S. now, and in fact globally, due to the pandemic spread of Central Banks and Keynesian economics (read Marxism) across the OECD countries.
      – At least in the casinos, there are fixed odds and rules, stacked of course, in the house’s favor, but with RE, the rules can and do change at any moment.
      – Speculation nation. Along with “stimmy” payments, soon to become UBI, RE is the economy.

      “Money, again, has often been a cause of the delusion of the multitudes. Sober nations have all at once become desperate gamblers, and risked almost their existence upon the turn of a piece of paper.” – Charles Mackay

      Alan Parsons Project
      The Turn of a Friendly Card

      The Turn of a Friendly Card (Part 1)

      There are unsmiling faces and bright plastic chains
      And a wheel in perpetual motion
      And they follow the races and pay out the gains
      With no show of an outward emotion

      And they think it will make their lives easier
      For God knows up till now it’s been hard

      But the game never ends when your whole world depends
      On the turn of a friendly card
      No the game never ends when your whole world depends
      On the turn of a friendly card

      There’s a sign in the desert that lies to the west
      Where you can’t tell the night from the sunrise
      And not all’s the king’s horses and all the king’s men
      Have prevented the fall of the unwise

      For they think it will make their lives easier
      And God knows up till now it’s been hard

      But the game never ends when your whole world depends
      On the turn of a friendly card
      No the game never ends when your whole world depends
      On the turn of a friendly card

      But a pilgrim must follow in search of a shrine
      As he enters inside the cathedral.

    2. $tories about stock prices hitting new records every other day juxtaposed with all the crater posts about collapsing unicorns and commercial real estate makes me wonder: Is there some point in the future when asset prices will realign with fundamentals?

        1. “Does it seem like markets don’t feel right?”

          I was listening to a podcast by Steve-O from Jackass. Turns out he’s a big proponent of cryptocurrencies. How can “markets” feel right when the most profitable investment guidance is coming from Steve’-O of Jackass?

          1. I don’t follow the investment advice of jackasses, which can become a problem when everyone else is following it…

      1. “Is there some point in the future when asset prices will realign with fundamentals?”

        I think this where many economists and analysts miss the point because of a normalcy bias that sees everything in the context of a “market”. But it doesn’t exist anymore. It’s a command economy operated by a totalitarian state. Prices don’t ever have to go back to normal. As long as people accept the value of their property being dictated to them by a central authority prices can be anything.

        1. It’s a command economy operated by a totalitarian state

          Where the tyrants pick who will be a winner and who will be a loser.

  2. ‘‘At this stage in my business, I kind of have no choice but to be optimistic about PBSA’

    This is cuz yer already fooked Tony. May as well draw the checks while you can.

    ‘I think for some operators and developers, the last few years have been a long winning streak, and I can see why they might get complacent’

    Getting down to it, just how long have we really needed “emergency measures” from the central banks? 15 years, longer? There’s a big difference cutting interest rates to near zero, and leaving them there for so many years. People make really bad decisions when markets are distorted so much for so long.

    1. History has not dealt kindly with the aftermath of protracted periods of low risk premiums.

      — Sir Alan Greenspan

  3. ‘At one point, Neumann offers a ‘community adjusted Ebitda’ financial metric to hide WeWork’s unprofitability’

    Danger, Will Robinson!!

    ‘But it is absolutely baffling to watch investors fall for Neumann’s pitch’

    In retrospect maybe. I’m sure these investors promptly left the meeting and treated themselves to a fancy meal to celebrate their good fortune. That’s how mania’s are.

      1. If they’re wearing a turtle neck shirt and a wireless headset with a micro lip mic look for an exit.

  4. ‘Son reportedly said, ‘I don’t need the pitch deck. Let’s just talk.’ In the car, he asked, ‘In a fight, who wins: the smart guy or the crazy guy?’ Neumann answered, ‘The crazy guy’

    Wrong question Son. Renting f*****g desks isn’t a fight.

    ‘Son told Neumann that he had answered correctly but needed to think in bigger terms. Son’s subsequent $4 billion investment put WeWork on track for even more breakneck growth’

    The crazy guys were sitting in the car alright and it wasn’t just Adam.

    Think about this: this whole steaming pile just happened and it was multiples of Enron. No circumspection from financial or guberment actors. Oh hell no, we’re on to the next imaginary coin or flying, self driving taxi.

        1. “…The crazier they are the greater my win….”

          Mr. Banker:

          One theory I have is that con artists have the ability to hypnotize their audiences.

          Some call it charisma, but I think the roots are in hypnosis.

          History is full of these characters: Ponzi, Billie Sol Estes, Bernie Madoff, Robert Kiyosaki. The list goes on an on. Most are small time con artists that you never hear of.

          One big advantage that Mr. Banker has, is that his clients are already pre-hypnotized when they walk in thru his door. The rest is easy.

          1. “One big advantage that Mr. Banker has, is that his clients are already pre-hypnotized when they walk in thru his door. The rest is easy.”

            You got it. Others spend their time and money on the preparation, I get to sit comfortably in my bank and patiently wait for the mark’s arrival so as to complet the execution.

            Pukes work, bankers reap.

          2. Saylor is one of those hypnotists, I guess. Along with whoever turned a bunch of moderate Dems into flaming reverse -ists.

    1. “because he fit a certain white male leadership mold that made investors feel good”

      But his main investor was Asian. How does that square with the white privileged theory?

  5. I saw this recently:

    Opinion
    Canada’s accounting-firm problem child remains a mystery

    ‘One of the Big Four accounting firms in Canada is repeatedly making more mistakes in its audits than the others – and I’d love to tell you which one.’

    ‘Trouble is, I can’t. Canada’s robust system for inspecting the work of accounting firms stops short of making the results public – and that’s allowing underperforming firms to muddle along, in private, failing to quickly fix their audit quality issues.’

    ‘The Canadian Public Accountability Board is the entity that inspects the firms. All public accounting firms that audit public companies must register with CPAB; any firm that audits at least 100 public companies gets looked at annually. That club includes the Big Four (Deloitte LLP, Ernst & Young LLP, KPMG LLP and PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP), plus seven smaller firms.’

    ‘CPAB’s key performance metric is what it calls a “significant finding.” Put simply, it’s where an accounting firm falls short of accepted auditing standards for a material part of a particular company’s financial statements and has to go back and do additional work to support its audit opinion. One example of a deficiency, CPAB said, is “overreliance on management representations without corroboration with third-party evidence.”

    https://www.theglobeandmail.com/business/commentary/article-canadas-accounting-firm-problem-child-remains-a-mystery/

    I’m an accountant. Apparently the audit standards have gone to sh$t.

  6. Really, there isn’t anything sustainable about the rigged economic systems . I really wish they wouldn’t of messed with real estate in that shelter is something that everyone needs.

    Health Care is another area that isn’t sustainable and the US pays 50% more than other industrialized Nations.
    Everything is detached from average wages and its just schemes and bubbles to loot the economies.
    Government backed school loans handed out based on inflated higher education costs is another example of artificial price increase due to lending. Higher education that doesn’t result in jobs is just such a waste, and no jobs able to pay the school debt is again a example of lending that creates false markets.
    The Government has failed because they back false markets that enrich the looters of wealth. And the Monopolies and looters of wealth want to take over Government and dictate all policy .

    People know something is very wrong, but 24/7 Fake News tells them the fake narratives that its racism or Whites that are causing all the problems. It effectively keeps the conversation from talking about the real culprits that are screwing up the US in this insurrection against capitalism, Constitutional protections, for a Top Down dictorship by Monopolies. Its a power grab of epic proportion because Globalist Monopolies shouldn’t be ruling . So, the Government Swamp didn’t stop this insurrection by these Entities , but they aided and abetted their takeover.

    So, the insanity is just the byproduct of these Entities winning , but I predict they will fail in the long run , in spite of their Biden Puppet doing everything they want.

  7. If Trump told his supporters to “get more confrontational,” he’d be arrested and charged with sedition. Comrade Waters is giving the BLM-Antifa insurrectionists a green light to loot and destroy with impunity if the Chauvin verdict doesn’t go their way.

    Maxine Waters tells Minnesota BLM protesters ‘to get more confrontational’ one day after violent anti-police clashes erupted across US

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9483471/Fury-Maxine-Waters-tells-Minnesota-BLM-protesters-weve-got-confrontational.html

    California Representative Maxine Waters joined protesters in Minnesota as demonstrations entered a seventh night on Saturday after the death of Daunte Wright.

    Waters told the protesters at Brooklyn Center that she will fight for justice on their behalf and urged them to ‘to get more confrontational’ – just one day after protests descended into violence.

    ‘I am not happy that we have talked about police reform for so long,’ Waters said. ‘We’re looking for a guilty verdict,’ she added in regards to the Derek Chauvin trial. ‘If we don’t, we cannot go away.’

    1. “we cannot go away”

      Tell you what MadMax about what will be going away. Businesses, employers, jobs, that’s just a few things that will be going away. Sales tax revenue will be going away. Property tax revenue will be going away. Anybody with money and the means to escape will be going away.

      1. As far as she is concerned those are all someone else’s problems. Her objective is to achieve power and control. If half the country has to be burned to achieve that, so be it.

        Look at the ANC in South Africa. Do you think they are worried about how their country is swirling the drain?

      2. Sales tax revenue will be going away.
        I had a conversation with a restaurant owner who said the only reason he is able to have tables on the road (actually in parking spaces) is because he showed the Mayor a detailed spreadsheet about how much money it was costing the city NOT letting them, and lots of other restaurants, have outside seating.
        He is worried when the covid issue goes away he may lose the tables.

  8. I’d say 40% of the homes in our Austin neighborhood has been sold in the past 6 months.

    The last home was listed for $570,000 but I was told they received 12 offers and was old at a much higher price.

    Therefore, our landlord wants us out of his home. He started bringing potential buyers to our home at all times and is desperate to cash out. He’s making things very uncomfortable for us.

    1. “He’s making things very uncomfortable for us.”

      Sounds like you are also providing for a family?

    2. How much time do you have left on your lease? Maybe negotiate a buyout. You could probably pinch him for $10k.

    3. Sounds like whats going on in rural southern Ont. in Canada , A shack on a few acres brings 700K , yet their rents are comparable to ours, somethings bubbling there,

  9. Last night in Minneapolis:

    “A Minnesota National Guard neighborhood security team says it was fired upon in a drive-by shooting early Sunday morning, with two guard members sustaining minor injuries.

    The shooting occurred shortly before 4:20 a.m. in the Jordan neighborhood near the intersection of Penn Avenue and Broadway in northwest Minneapolis. According to a statement from the guard, a light-colored SUV fired several shots at a Minnesota Operation Safety Net team. Operation Safety Net is a joint effort among the Minneapolis Police Department, Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office, the State of Minnesota and local jurisdictions.”

    https://www.startribune.com/minnesota-national-guard-says-members-sustained-minor-injuries-in-sunday-morning-drive-by-shooting-i/600047408/

  10. “This is most obvious in the tale of how Neumann convinced Masayoshi Son, CEO of SoftBank, to invest billions in WeWork. Son spent just 12 minutes at a would-be pitch meeting at WeWork, then invited Neumann to ride with him to his next meeting. Son reportedly said, ‘I don’t need the pitch deck. Let’s just talk.’

    This kind of speculative lunacy was only possible in a world awash in Yellen Bux.

  11. Facemasks in the COVID-19 era: A health hypothesis

    Conclusion
    The existing scientific evidences challenge the safety and efficacy of wearing facemask as preventive intervention for COVID-19. The data suggest that both medical and non-medical facemasks are ineffective to block human-to-human transmission of viral and infectious disease such SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19, supporting against the usage of facemasks. Wearing facemasks has been demonstrated to have substantial adverse physiological and psychological effects. These include hypoxia, hypercapnia, shortness of breath, increased acidity and toxicity, activation of fear and stress response, rise in stress hormones, immunosuppression, fatigue, headaches, decline in cognitive performance, predisposition for viral and infectious illnesses, chronic stress, anxiety and depression. Long-term consequences of wearing facemask can cause health deterioration, developing and progression of chronic diseases and premature death. Governments, policy makers and health organizations should utilize prosper and scientific evidence-based approach with respect to wearing facemasks, when the latter is considered as preventive intervention for public health.

    1. If Greta Thunberg says “How dare you?” while wearing 10 masks, does she make a sound?

    2. Orange Man Bad was against masks. Denver voted 79.55% for Pedo Joe. Therefore people in Denver will be wearing masks while driving alone for the rest of their lives to *OWN* Orange Man Bad voters. See also: almost all of Reddit.

    3. Plus masks just gave people the illusion they were protected as they piled into the grocery stores.

  12. This is a pearl clutching article.

    New York Times — Colorado health officials warn of a new surge as counties loosen virus restrictions (4/18/2021):

    “Health officials in Colorado are warning about another wave of infections as new coronavirus cases in the state jump to levels not seen since January and as counties start to loosen virus restrictions.”

    https://archive.is/pG5ze

    1. About half of all Coloradans have had at least one shot of the not-vaccine, plus another 10% have allegedly had the virus. One would think that if the not-vaccine worked that new infections would not be rising, especially since most people are still masking up and social distancing.

      They don’t want this pandemic to ever end.

        1. Maybe people are not willing to wait 3 weeks for the immunity to kick in? That’s what happened in Israel. Or it could be old people getting the shot while young people are just tired of all of it? Statistically, this is just going to be a very noisy period. Transition periods always are. Even after we get to the point of mass vaccination, I expect one more wave as the masks come off and refusers and break-outs are infected.

          1. Transition periods always are.

            We’re living in a newly constructed world. The new natural laws are still being sorted out. Generalizations are impossible, because we’ve never been here.

            s/

          2. Maybe people are not willing to wait 3 weeks for the immunity to kick in?

            What immunity? Half of all US adults have received at least one jab, most of them over 3 weeks ago. There are over 30 million known cases, and who knows how many unknown cases. We should have already achieved herd immunity, yet daily new cases seems to be stuck at 80,000 for weeks now, even though I still see everyone wearing masks and distancing,

          3. Latest VAERS Data Show Reports of Blood Clotting Disorders After All Three Emergency Use Authorization Vaccines
            VAERS data released today showed 795 reports related to blood clotting disorders with 400 attributed to Pfizer, 337 to Moderna and 56 to Johnson & Johnson between Dec. 14, 2020 and April 8, 2021.

            CDC, multiple states report ‘breakthrough’ COVID cases among fully vaccinated

            Cases of fully vaccinated people getting COVID, referred to as “breakthrough” cases, continue to make news.

            Calling it a “really good scenario,” the CDC yesterday reported 5,800 cases of COVID in fully vaccinated people. Of the 5,800 cases, 396 required hospitalization and 74 people died, the CDC said.

            The CDC said it was “keeping a close eye” on the cases, but that breakthrough cases are to be expected. Tara Smith, a professor of epidemiology at the Kent State University College of Public Health in Ohio, told NBC News:

            “This is a really good scenario, even with almost 6,000 breakthrough infections. Most of those have been mildly symptomatic or asymptomatic. That’s exactly what we were hoping for.”

            On April 12, the Houston Health Department reported 142 breakthrough cases of COVID that occurred in fully vaccinated people since January, according to ABC 13 News. Vaccine recipients received either two doses of Moderna or Pfizer, or one dose of J&J. The report ruled out those who were said to have contracted the virus 45 days before their second scheduled shot date.

            Houston Health Department said there were 2.46 positive cases out of every 10,000 fully-vaccinated people and it was unclear if those who tested positive contracted the original strand of COVID or a newer variant.

            Last month, The Defender reported on breakthrough cases in Washington, Florida, South Carolina, Texas, New York, California and Minnesota. On April 6, The Defender reported on 246 breakthrough cases in Michigan, which included three people who died.

    1. Any thoughts on how long from now governments will step in to squash electronic counterfeit currencies?

      1. Yahoo Finance UK
        Bitcoin and crypto markets crash on US crackdown reports
        Suban Abdulla
        Sun, April 18, 2021, 2:49 AM·
        3 min read
        In this article:
        BRUSSELS, BELGIUM – MARCH 9, 2017 : Golden Bitcoins.
        On Sunday, bitcoin shed nearly $8,000 and is currently trading at $55,042 down from a day high of $62,000. Photo: Getty

        Bitcoin (BTC-USD) is experiencing a massive sell-off, shedding almost 15% in the last 24 hours — the biggest intraday drop since February.

        The drop appears to coincide with reports that the US Treasury is planning to tackle financial institutions for money laundering carried out through digital assets.

    2. What to Know About Bitcoin’s Terrible Weekend—and Dogecoin’s Wicked Rally
      Published: April 19, 2021 at 8:22 a.m. ET
      By Barron’s
      Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

      Just as Bitcoin goes mainstream, it dives. And that makes complete sense.

      Bitcoin and many other cryptocurrencies jumped last week as crypto-exchange Coinbase became a publicly traded company.

      Bitcoin rose roughly 6%, ethereum 17%, and Dogecoin surged 600%. Coinbase closed the week valued at almost $90 billion, making the nine-year-old company the most valuable exchange on the planet.

  13. We set up a 10′ rigid frame pool on our patio for our son earlier today. We had problems getting one delivered last year and he hasn’t been in a pool since COVID. He’s been it it for 5 hours and counting with unheated water. His record is 9 hours in a heated pool with a 15 minute food break. Fingers crossed the novelty lasts through the summer.

  14. Do you ever have nightmares about when your robotic chauffeur goes berserk and crashes the car in which you are riding, killing all the human occupants?

    1. ‘No one was driving’ in Tesla crash that killed two men in Spring, Texas, report says
      Published Sun, Apr 18 2021 2:52 PM EDT
      Updated Sun, Apr 18 2021 9:43 PM EDT
      Lora Kolodny
      Key Points
      – The Tesla vehicle crashed into a tree and burst into flames, according to the reports.
      – One person was found in the front passenger seat, and another in the rear passenger seat of the vehicle.
      – Based on a preliminary investigation, police told KPRC 2 they believe nobody had been behind the wheel.
      – Police have not finished their comprehensive investigation.

      1. Lora Kolodny

        She’s good. Notice she doesn’t use “self-driving” like most outlets.

  15. R u missing the latest bond rally because you overbought stonks and got stucco in a long stonk position?

    1. The Financial Times
      Opinion Markets Insight
      Revival of bonds as buffer for market shocks
      After a steep sell-off, the protection that Treasuries offers investors is back again
      Katie Martin
      Bond yields remain too feeble for some, but for others they are now high enough to cushion mixed portfolios against a range of risks
      Katie Martin yesterday

      The recent run-up in government bond yields is a gift to any fund manager fretting over market risks ranging from geopolitics to leverage.

      …it is not only acts of God and of politicians that are playing on investors’ minds. Some also point to the recent blow-up of family office Archegos Capital Management as a sign that markets are littered with unstable excesses.

      Bill Hwang’s Archegos misfired in large part because of leverage. His bets were overly concentrated, leaving him stranded when one stock tumbled. But the incident hit harder because the bets were supercharged with borrowing. The rampant use of total return swaps, which allow users to bet on a share price without owning the shares outright, meant he was in effect renting investment banks’ balance sheets on an eye-popping scale.

      Considered alongside the surge in trading by inexperienced amateurs in January — sometimes, again, using leverage, albeit on a much smaller individual scale — and the relentless frenzy for cryptocurrencies and even digital art, it is easy to build a case that the ocean of cash sloshing around the global system could easily, and unexpectedly, capsize some ships.

      “We should not underestimate how, in an increasingly interconnected global financial system, ‘stuff happens’,” wrote Steven Major, chief bonds analyst at HSBC and one of the most strident voices in favour of continued investor demand for bonds.

      “There is far too much leverage in the system, much of which may not be visible until something happens. And when these shocks come, money flows to the safest of safe havens, US government bonds invariably being the first choice.”

      That may be overly gloomy. Bonds specialists, after all, thrive on doom — it is their job to think of things that can go wrong. And a rethink on leverage is already under way among banks and regulators. Still, it is not hard to imagine leverage gaining traction as a pressing global concern, and bond markets picking up the slack.

    2. R u

      U r PB. Good call, BlueSkye. I wasn’t sure what you meant by the shot in the arm.

        1. I got the second Pfizer jab this recent Saturday morning.

          Then I came home and spent the entire day doing a brake job, brake fluid flush and tire rotation on my daughter’s old 2006 Honda Accord; it’s a nice car in great mechanical condition, so I’m going to keep it. Then it was time for a couple of 20-oz dark craft beers to soothe the various muscle groups.

          My wife went to spend the weekend with my daughter in Bellingham, so my son and I could watch Sci Fi on the big screen and eat tortilla chips without the usual warnings.

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