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Emotional Arguments Are Further Proof That Buyers Are Essentially Gambling

A weekend topic starting with ABC 15 in Arizona. “The intimidating home prices across the Valley are not scaring away buyers. In fact, many are emboldened by failed offers to be even more aggressive when approaching the next one. ‘I feel like this is the American Dream, well it’s not that easy to attain,’ said Keira Orrala. She and her husband know firsthand as they began the search for their new home last fall. While not as competitive as we’re seeing now, the well-qualified family lost out on multiple properties due to bidding wars.”

“‘It was like super deflating to lose something that you already envisioned, and you just don’t want to look anymore, it’s like someone broke up with you,’ said Keira.”

“Despite the disappointment, the couple and their realtor pushed on. They finally landed a home by October and paid over the asking price, a bet that’s since paid off. ‘We literally just had it appraised and it’s a hundred thousand dollars more than we bought it for,’ said Keira.”

“They quickly refinanced, getting a lower rate, reducing their payment, and ridding themselves of their pesky PMI insurance. Acknowledging, if they were looking right now, they’d have been priced out of their current home. ‘In a normal appreciating market, we see three to six percent a year, right now we’re seeing 18 to 24 percent a year depending on the property and market area,’ said Ryan Campbell an appraiser with On Point Appraisals.”

“He says for those depending on financing to get the home, offering over asking price comes with risk. He continues to see appraisals often coming in below the winning bid. A situation that puts the buyers at risk of paying the difference out of pocket to get the home as the bank will only lend up to the appraised value.”

“‘A lot of buyers are waiving the appraisal contingency indicating to the selling that they’re willing to pay over appraisal, which to be competitive in this marketplace seems to be happening more and more,’ said Campbell.”

“Most offers that are being accepted continue to waive contingencies like appraisals and inspections. The majority of those offers over the asking price, some as high as $50,000 to $100,000. This is leading people to stretch themselves thin, inevitably leading to buyer’s remorse. A new survey by Bankrate.com shows two-thirds of millennials who’ve purchased a home recently have some form of buyer’s remorse. Thirteen percent felt in over their heads on the amount of their mortgage payment or believe they overpaid for the home itself. Twenty-one percent said the maintenance costs surround homeownership were far more than anticipated.”

“While some may be feeling a bit uneasy over their purchase others like the Orrala’s are already benefitting from the investment. However, the couple says based on their experience, buyers should manage their expectations as sacrifices most likely will be needed. ‘I mean even though we paid above asking for our current home, it was still worth it to us, we literally got almost everything we wanted and now our home is worth a hundred grand more than we bought it, that’s amazing, it’s like instant equity,’ said Keira.”

From Simcoe in Canada. “With housing prices skyrocketing, Simcoe.com reached out to five people in the know for their take on what it is that’s driving the market and leaving it increasingly out of reach for some. Developer Geoffrey Campbell: Low interest rates ‘add fuel to the fire, because it means the cheap cost of money drives up the bidding price of housing.'”

“Realtor Marci Csumrik: A lack of inventory in communities to the south is sending buyers here, their offers ‘coming in well over asking, and without conditions,’ Csumrik said. ‘It is total madness.’ Properties fetch ‘way beyond true market value’ when multiple buyers engage in ‘blind bidding.’ ‘Buyers don’t know what the next guy bid, and because people are so frustrated they are offering their max amount available just to get into the market without giving it serious thought,’ she said.”

“Mortgage broker Mark Goode likens the housing market to the pandemic-driven toilet paper craze that saw anxious shoppers emptying store shelves. ‘Everybody panics, so they are overbuying because they think there is going to be a shortage of it,’ he said.”

“Realtor D’Arcy Hunt: The pandemic played a role in escalating prices, said Hunt, pointing to the ‘COVID effect’ while describing swelling interest in area waterfront properties last summer. By early 2021, with the pandemic showing no signs of slowing, the broader housing market had followed suit. ‘Orillia is kind of in a unique spot,’ he said. ‘If you were in the north end of Barrie, it would be quicker to drive to the Orillia Costco than it would be to get to the one in Barrie on Mapleview (Drive).'”

The Courier Mail in Australia. “Determined first-home buyers Jack Davies and Tayla Jones are the unseen casualties of Queensland’s overheated housing market. They have attended more than 200 open homes, lodged a dozen expressions of interest and have been the under bidders at auction in the past year. The dedicated couple even came close to purchasing a block of land in Everton Hills which is now seen as the opportunity that got away – but they’re not giving up.”

“‘We looked at a block six months ago and offered $350,000 and it sold for $360,000 and it was back on the market recently for $430,000,’ Mr Davies said. ‘I’d we had gotten it for $360,000 back then we would be better off.'”

“Mr Davies explained they’re not just bidding against other first home buyers, but investors and those wanting to flip houses to make a quick buck in a red-hot housing market. ‘We keep looking to find something of value and we are happy to buy something that needs work,’ he said. ‘We have looked at a couple that have needed work and they were bought by people flipping them, so that’s added competition.'”

“Recently, they bid $653,000 for a home about 10km north of the CBD that was passed in for $655,000. Not only did they miss out on the three-bedroom, two-bath home, but they were also out of pocket after paying for a pre-auction building and pest inspection. The building report showed the house required up to $50,000 in renovations and repairs and that had been factored into their price ceiling, Mr Davies said.”

“‘We know heaps of people that have been to an auction like the one we did and then just said ‘stuff it’ and just paid the price,’ he said. ‘If we had done that sometime in the last 12 months, we would have made money, so we kind of screwed ourselves by not doing that.'”

From Quartz. “Earlier this week, bitcoiners found themselves on a wild single-day ride. On social media, bitcoin believers immediately shared their opinions about what was happening and began trying to persuade others to ‘hodl’ on. For some, the crisis was an opportunity to further forge the social identity of the group with self-flattering, even romantic memes about a bitcoiner’s unflappability in the face of possible losses. The message: Cool cats don’t sell.”

“But, as during past downturns, many traders also tried to trigger regret aversion or anticipated regret: They highlighted the extreme pain fellow bitcoin owners would feel if they sold to stem their losses and missed out on what diehards saw as the inevitable rebound on the horizon.”

“Evoking the threat of future regret is not an especially original strategy. Behavioral scientists have studied anticipated regret as an influence on decision-making for decades, noticing how fear of the shame, guilt, and self-reproach that can accompany the recognition that you made a wrong turn can take over thought calculations. When it comes to financial decisions, anticipated regret can inspire poor choices, but it has also been studied as a useful intervention to boost a person’s intentions to save more for retirement or exercise regularly.”

“Bitcoin’s sudden drop this week also sparked feelings of FOMO, or fear of missing out, a more commonly discussed emotional reaction that people may experience as they scroll through other people’s sunny Instagram posts or read about a promising IPO. Anticipated regret is similar to FOMO, but there is a subtle difference, says Brooke Struck, research director at The Decision Lab, a consulting firm specializing in behavioral science. FOMO affects those who are not yet involved in an opportunity, so people who do not own bitcoin and predict it will return to previous highs are at risk of succumbing to FOMO’s grip this week. (Watching bitcoin’s price drop, Struck felt a bit of FOMO himself, he admits.)”

“However, in this case, people who already owned bitcoin grappled with the possible regret of selling at the wrong time. Interestingly, since they did not have to take any action in order to appease anticipated regrets about not enjoying the rebound, and because humans also exhibit a status quo bias, it’s more likely that anticipated regret played a bigger overall role than FOMO. So, at least in theory, bitcoiners were likely more compelled to hold than non-bitcoiners to buy, Struck says.”

“That bitcoiners turn to such emotional arguments is also further proof, if it was required, that buying cryptocurrency is still a relatively irrational act. Arguably, buyers are still essentially gambling. A few institutional investors have joined the fray, but their arrival has not made the market less volatile or unpredictable. In short, bitcoiners weighing their next move should at least be aware of how regret aversion can influence their decisions.”

“They should also know that if they do sell and the rebound is ‘epic,’ they may indeed feel some remorse, but it may not be as painful as they imagine. Years ago, a study led by Harvard psychologist Daniel Gilbert found that people consistently expect to feel more regret than they actually do, even when they were very close to ‘winning.’ The psychologists asked participants how much regret they thought they would feel if they lost a contest or missed a train, and later measured whether the depth of woes experienced by people matched their expectations. Fortunately, they found that we are also very good at avoiding self-blame.”

This Post Has 173 Comments
  1. ‘They should also know that if they do sell and the rebound is ‘epic,’ they may indeed feel some remorse, but it may not be as painful as they imagine. Years ago, a study led by Harvard psychologist Daniel Gilbert found that people consistently expect to feel more regret than they actually do, even when they were very close to ‘winning.’

    It doesn’t even exist.

  2. ‘They finally landed a home by October and paid over the asking price, a bet that’s since paid off. ‘We literally just had it appraised and it’s a hundred thousand dollars more than we bought it for’

    ‘They quickly refinanced’

    So shacks wouldn’t appraise but you can “quickly refinance”. How much of the a$$ pounding last decade was from refis? I know in Flagstaff it was the vast majority. They’re selling to the bank and it became well known refi appraisals were a joke.

    Note how much of this isn’t about shacks at all, just money grubbing.

    1. “They finally landed a home by October and paid over the asking price, …”

      And doing this increased the values of the comps.

      “‘We literally just had it appraised and it’s a hundred thousand dollars more than we bought it for’”.

      That’s because other buyers in your neighborhood paid over the asking price.

      And so there it is: The most desperate bidders win the house by paying the highest price, most likely by using money that they do not have. By doing so they create equity wealth for their neighbors, something that can be cashed out and spent.

      The foolish actions of a few can create enormous wealth for the many. If a house put up for sale has a hundred comparables then a ten-thousand dollar price increase for this one house will create one-million dollars of equity wealth for the comparables. This ten-thousand dollar price increase can be easily met because the money that is being used for the purchase belongs to somebody else.

      Effectively the buyer of the house is doing his buying using money that he does not have. Because of this there exists no restrictions on the price he may have to pay other than his ability to get this money that he does not have.

      And this is where I come into the picture: I am the guy that supplies to the buyer money that he does not have by loaning to him money that I do not have. And I get to collect a hefty fee for doing so.

      😁

    2. Anything is possible with rampant appraisal fraud.

      In fact, it is rampant appraisal fraud that made it all possible and got this to where it is today.

      I hope nobody paid too much.

      “In May 2007, the median California house sold for $597,530. 21 months later, in February 2009, the median price was 245,230.

      Prices plummeted as much as $53,000 in a single month (December 2007). No quarter was given to the enemy.”

      http://housingbubble.blog/?p=4770#comment-146773

    3. I was talking to my dad today who lives near the NH/MA border. He said a house similar to his own just sold for >100K more than his house was assessed for about six months ago.

      I follow real estate in Ireland and I am seeing modest houses in the middle of Lord of the Rings style desolation in Connemara and not updated in 50 years priced at ~300K euro.

      The craziness is global. A house on stilts in Bangladesh is probably soaring in value.

      1. “The craziness is global.”

        Indeed, it’s collusion. The central banks have agreed to print away their debts at the expense of retirees whose savings interest rates have been driven near zero, or the young who don’t own any assets yet.

  3. ‘We know heaps of people that have been to an auction like the one we did and then just said ‘stuff it’ and just paid the price…If we had done that sometime in the last 12 months, we would have made money, so we kind of screwed ourselves by not doing that’

    That’s some sound lending right there.

    ‘offers ‘coming in well over asking, and without conditions,’ Csumrik said. ‘It is total madness.’ Properties fetch ‘way beyond true market value’ when multiple buyers engage in ‘blind bidding.’ ‘Buyers don’t know what the next guy bid, and because people are so frustrated they are offering their max amount available just to get into the market without giving it serious thought’

    1. “Properties fetch ‘way beyond true market value’ when multiple buyers engage in ‘blind bidding.”

      This statement deserves to be looked at:

      If market value is defined by what the going price is then what is true market value? Aren’t the one and the same?

      It may be true that the price increases are nuts but it also true that these increases in PRICES are redefined as increases in VALUES, not only for the house in question but also for all of the comps. And these increases in values for the comps is something that can be borrowed against (and will thus generate a hefty fee for the lender 😁).

      So, from my point of view, all of this hysterical blind bidding is a good and wonderful thing. A work of art.

  4. In May 2007, the median California house sold for $597,530. 21 months later, in February 2009, the median price was 245,230.

    Prices plummeted as much as $53,000 in a single month (December 2007). No quarter was given to the enemy.

    1. “No quarter was given to the enemy.”

      They were not the enemy, they were my debt slaves. They were my bread-and-butter.

      By referring to them as the enemy suggests that they should be destroyed. This definitely is wrongthink for the efficient parasite does not kill the host.

  5. A federal prosecutor and graduate of Harvard Law School – probably the most “woke” incubator of America-hating elites – got culturally enriched while dining out. Oh dear…federal prosecutors personally impacted by surging crime and gang violence might dispense with the “hug-a-thug” approach adopted by virtually all Democrat-Bolshevik DAs and prosecutors.

    Federal prosecutor, 34, is struck in the eye by stray bullet outside Brooklyn restaurant while bystander is shot in the foot as dispute between two rival gangs erupts in violence

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9608979/Federal-prosecutor-34-struck-eye-stray-bullet-outside-Brooklyn-restaurant.html

    A federal prosecutor was caught in a hail of bullets while on an evening out at a restaurant in Brooklyn.

    Mollie Bracewell, 34, who works in Manhattan’s US Attorney’s office was struck by a stray bullet on Friday night while at the Thai restaurant, Muse.

    1. Even though she might lose her eye, I’m sure she remains a true believer and will dutifully continue to pull the D lever in the future.

    2. Going forward Mollie will likely make it her life’s mission to gnaw on the 2nd Amendment. No mention that Brooklyn, a borough of New York City, so private firearm ownership is already highly restricted.

  6. As Democrat-Bolshevik malgoverned urban centers spiral deeper into dystopia, how many trillions of Yellen Bux valuations are going to be vaporized from commercial and residential real estate?

    ‘It’s a badge of honor:’ Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot goads cops by claiming she’s delighted with vote of no confidence by police union as city’s crime spirals

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9608263/Its-badge-honor-Chicago-mayor-says-shes-delighted-police-unions-vote-no-confidence.html

    Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said she wears the Chicago’s Fraternal Order of Police unanimous vote of no-confidence as a ‘badge of honor.’

    The controversial city leader defended herself after being blasted by union president John Catanzara.

  7. Libtards fleeing the messes they created should be barred by law from infesting red states and communities.

    California nightmare: How high taxes, rampant crime, suffocating wokery, streets littered with homeless addicts, and years of liberal policies are blamed for ruining the Golden State… as thousands of families flee to Republican Texas and Florida

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9608111/How-high-taxes-rampant-crime-streets-littered-addicts-blamed-ruining-Golden-State.html

  8. In fact, many are emboldened by failed offers to be even more aggressive when approaching the next one. ‘I feel like this is the American Dream, well it’s not that easy to attain,’ said Keira Orrala.

    The financial Darwinism, when it finally plays out, is going to be epic. Can anyone recommend any good popcorn start-ups?

  9. “‘It was like super deflating to lose something that you already envisioned, and you just don’t want to look anymore, it’s like someone broke up with you,’ said Keira.”

    The stupid, it burns.

          1. Watching the Keiras of Housing Bubble 2.0 being foreclosed on is going to be enjoyable, I won’t lie.

  10. The majority of those offers over the asking price, some as high as $50,000 to $100,000. This is leading people to stretch themselves thin, inevitably leading to buyer’s remorse.

    Any buyer’s remorse they feel now pales in comparison to what they’ll be feeling after the Fed’s Everything Bubble implodes and the bottom drops out of Housing Bubble 2.0.

  11. The dedicated couple even came close to purchasing a block of land in Everton Hills which is now seen as the opportunity that got away – but they’re not giving up.”

    It could be that the sole purpose of some people’s existence is to serve as a warning to others.

  12. “‘We know heaps of people that have been to an auction like the one we did and then just said ‘stuff it’ and just paid the price,’ he said. ‘If we had done that sometime in the last 12 months, we would have made money, so we kind of screwed ourselves by not doing that.’”

    Oh, you have no idea of the kind of screwing you’re setting yourself up for, Bubble Boy. Suggest watching “Deliverance” for a preview of what’s in store for you after the market turns.

  13. As of early Sunday morning, the crypto cratering has resumed (on the Coinbase link, hit “prices.”). Will cryptos be the first of the Fed’s Everything Bubbles to burst? Already more than a trillion dollars in fake Yellen Bux “wealth” have been vaporized from these scam digital tokens.

    https://www.coinbase.com

      1. The idiot crypto fanbois who levered up on margin debt to buy into the crypto pump & dump are getting their heads handed to them. One trillion in fake Yellen Bux “wealth” already ascended into debauched currency heaven – will be interesting to see how forced liquidation selling hits the Fed’s Ponzi markets on Monday.

        https://www.coinbase.com/price

        1. “The idiot crypto fanbois who levered up on margin debt to buy into the crypto pump & dump are getting their heads handed to them.”

          From the net concerning margins …

          “When it comes to cryptocurrency markets, the ratios are typically ranging from 2:1 to 100:1, and the trading community often uses the ‘x’ terminology (2x, 5x, 10x, 50x, and so forth).”

          Imagine that, a one-hundred percent margin on a cryptocurrency.

          Source:
          What Is Margin Trading? | Binance Academy
          https://academy.binance.com/en/articles/what-is-margin-trading

          1. Correct me if I am wrong, but those margin loans used to buy cryptocurrencies don’t actually have to be repaid in case of a drop in the value of the cryptocurrency they were used to purchase…DO THEY?

          2. Bitcoin just broke through the key $33k resistance line. The whole crypto market is a bloodbath right now. Depending on how levered up on margin debt these greedy speculators were, we could see some serious liquidation selling in the Fed’s Ponzi markets tomorrow.

            https://www.coinbase.com/price/bitcoin

        2. The question on my mind is that of what becomes of all the cryptocurrency margin debt that went to money heaven since last Wednesday. Will it have to be paid back, or will those who made these imprudent loans have to eat the losses?

          And will the sudden vaporization of a large amount of money loaned to fund cryptocurrency gambling activities spill over into other risk asset markets?

          Should be an interesting Monday on Wall Street, for sure!

          1. U.S.
            Mark Cuban Calls Cryptocurrencies Crash the ‘Great Unwind’ as Bitcoin, Dogecoin Plummet
            By Jason Lemon On 5/23/21 at 5:23 PM EDT

            Billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban called the crash of cryptocurrencies the “Great Unwind,” as Bitcoin, Dogecoin and Ethereum have all plummeted.

            Over the past weeks, many prominent cryptocurrencies have seen a steep drop in their value. Bitcoin’s price fell from more than $46,000 a week ago to less than $33,000 as of the time of writing. Dogecoin fell precipitously as well, declining from north of $0.50 on May 16 to less than $0.30 today, while Ethereum has dipped from more than $3,500 last week to now hovering around $2,000.

            “I think this is the ‘Great Unwind’. Traders borrow to buy Eth, used eth to borrow alt/stable coin, used that to LP a high APY Pair, took the SLPs and staked them to maxout yield. The minute Eth drops to their Tragic Number, they had to Unwind. Unstake, Remove Liqudity, Repay,” Cuban, who is worth about $4.4 billion according to Forbes, tweeted on Sunday.

            The billionaire is well-known as one of the main “shark-investors” on the popular ABC reality TV series Shark Tank. Cuban also owns the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks.

            Cuban’s comment came in response to a post from Larry Cermak, the director of research at The Block, which describes itself as the “first and final word in digital assets.” Cermak had retweeted a February post in which he wrote: “The implication of doing 1:1 forks of Ethereum projects but on all the other competing L1s are actually larger than people realize. There are a sh*t ton of L1s and valuations are already stretched out even on Ethereum. The dilution of buyers and money can IMO cause serious issues.”

            Captioning his retweet, Cermak added: “This took much longer than I thought but IMO a big reason for why we’re seeing 60% super quick crashes is that there was just way too many projects stretched to crazy valuations and not enough liquidity to support the prices when new demand dries up. Add leverage and voila!”

  14. “two-thirds of millennials who’ve purchased a home recently have some form of buyer’s remorse”

    Millennial shack buyers deserve everything they’ve got coming, and worse. I wish nothing but bad things on this generation.

    And no, you don’t get a participation trophy this time 🙁

    1. Empty-headed Millennial voters were the ones who put King Obama – a Goldman Sachs water carrier – in the White House. Not that his deranged neocon opponent was any better. It’s been all downhill from there. Millennials are going to get exactly what they voted for, good and hard. I have zero pity.

      1. “I have zero pity”

        The most coddled, entitled generation ever to exist. People born after the year 1980 shouldn’t be allowed to vote.

    2. “Millennial shack buyers deserve everything they’ve got coming, and worse. I wish nothing but bad things on this generation.”

      Your positioning is wrong. Position yourself as a lender and you will come to realize that the existence this generation is nothing short of being a gift from God.

  15. This is a local pearl-clutching article from some irrelevant barnacle who thinks he’s the Mike Royko of Denver. Includes a dig at Orange Man Bad and local punching bag Lauren Boebert.

    Colorado Sun — New mask guidelines are welcome — until you see we must rely on the honor system. Is that really science? (5/23/2021):

    “How will we know who among the unmasked are, in fact, fully vaccinated?

    You already know the answer. And it’s not vaccine passports because, well, vaccine passports are apparently un-American.

    Instead, we’re supposed to rely on the honor system, which is either strangely naive on the part of actual scientists or pretty desperate.

    The honor system? In America? In the same country that saw 70 million people vote for the lyingest president — the Washington Post, which kept track, caught Trump in more than 30,000 lies — in our nation’s not altogether truthful history?”

    https://coloradosun.com/2021/05/23/lauren-boebert-mask-covid-littwin-opinion/

    Masks are for slaves, and the 2020 election was stolen.

    1. More medical tyranny bedwetting.

      Vox — Vaccine passports can liberate America (5/18/2021):

      “how can we guarantee they’re safe from the unmasked as mandates disappear?

      Unlike many of the challenges we’ve faced with Covid-19 in the past year, there’s a clear answer: vaccine passports. Under this system, vaccinated people could provide proof of inoculation to unlock privileges they didn’t have before, like going into a grocery store without a mask or patronizing a restaurant with no social distancing requirements.

      America has already failed in adopting anything like the Israeli system, with little sign that will change. The CDC-stamped cards people get with their shots are easily copied or forged. President Joe Biden’s administration has rejected calls to adopt nationwide vaccine passports, instead leaving the issue to the private sector. Some states have already moved to ban the use of vaccine passports, blocking government entities — or, in Florida, even private businesses — from asking for proof of vaccination. Meanwhile, some major retailers are lifting mask mandates for those who are vaccinated largely by relying on an honor system.

      Legitimate questions exist about how a vaccine passport would work in the US, but it’s worth figuring them out given what’s at stake: a quicker, safer path back to pre-pandemic normal. By giving up on the idea entirely, America is repeating one of its core mistakes of the pandemic — opting for short-term freedom from Covid-related precautions over longer-term freedom from the virus.”

      https://www.vox.com/22434875/covid-19-vaccine-passports-mask-mandate-cdc-freedom

      Those of us who are citizens and not slaves don’t need to be “liberated.”

      Mr. Lopez, maybe you should move to Canada or Australia. You’d feel much more at home there living under a bootheel.

    2. Went out shopping yesterday. The majority were not masked.

      It’s over. Time for the next hoax. I’m guessing that the government will tell us that UFO’s are real and a threat. So give up your freedoms so we can prepare for the alien invasion.

      1. Loveland is not Denver. You have no idea how bad it is down here. We are talking Jonestown level of indoctrination here.

        1. I believe you. I’m sure Dumverites will still be triple masked next year, while driving alone.

          Is it the same in the suburbs like Broomfield, Highlands Ranch, Aurora, etc.?

          1. I don’t know. I drive from South Denver to work in Weld County and back home, and to the mountains.

            Baker, Rosedale / DU, Englewood, Centennial, Littleton are all mask zombies. South Broadway is one giant parade of virtue signalling mask freaks.

      2. In Salt Lake County you are looked at like a leper if you go maskless; in Utah County masks are rare.

        It’s so political at this point it hurts.

        1. Vermont is a cesspool of masked zombies. They will clutch to them till their dying days….which based on the level of Vaxxholes here will be soon. Nice job Gates.

      3. In Colorado.

        I have noticed the UFO theme building in the news lately ,wondering what the deal is. Course the summer of attack by peaceful rioters is possible also until new lock downs based on variants kicks up for the flu season.

        But how would they use knowledge of UFO’s to advance the Globalist agenda? Would this be a false flag to advance some new grounds for lock downs, or this is the new enemy type thing.

        Who knows what they will do to achieve these agendas that all seem to be based on fraud.

    3. This is a local pearl-clutching article from some irrelevant barnacle who thinks he’s the Mike Royko of Denver.

      Good ol’ “your papers, please” Mike Littwin. It must be give him the vapors to see so many unmasked faces at Kings.

      Funny how the honor system is A-OK when it comes to voting.

      1. “Funny how the honor system is A-OK when it comes to voting.”

        Indeed. The bias is both incredible and sickening.

      2. “How will we know who among the unmasked are, in fact, fully vaccinated?”

        Option A: I’m a transvaxsite and asking for my papers is raycis.

        Option B: I’m not vaccinated. My husband doesn’t eat GMOs.

  16. Manitou Springs, CO Housing Prices Crater 16% On Surging Inventory And Desperation Blankets Colorado Springs Area

    https://www.movoto.com/co/80829/market-trends/

    As one national broker conceded, “The coordinated media blitz to cheerlead housing hasn’t translated into anything but a bad rap for the housing business.”

    1. Nice one! I see number of days on market up 44%. I guess that whole 24 hours to make best blind offer didn’t work there?

  17. As I predicted in the last thread, Real Journalists are scripting the #Narrative on the one year anniversary of George Floyd’s fatal fentanyl overdose like he is the second coming of Christ.

    Politico — What George Floyd Changed (5/23/2021):

    “in its breadth and impact, the reaction to Floyd’s killing also blew through any conventional expectations for what a “protest” might touch. The reckoning it prompted about race in America extended to workplaces, classrooms, legislatures; it shook the worlds of art, literature and media. Americans began to talk about their own history differently. They physically pulled down monuments. The waves crashed against the fence of the White House, and rippled overseas.

    POLITICO Magazine asked a range of thinkers to reflect on the surprising ways that Floyd’s death reshaped the country—and what hasn’t changed, too. They noted that many Americans, including political leaders, now talk about race and racism in blunter, more honest ways, and are more willing to rethink the stories we tell ourselves about who we are. Some cities are physically different, perhaps permanently.”

    https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2021/05/23/what-george-floyd-changed-490199

    Note that the piece does mention Breonna Taylor, who was murdered by police serving a no-knock warrant.

    Regarding the HBB, I’ll tell you exactly what has changed: We now all know that paying property taxes to a sh*thole city means that criminals run free, and any taxpaying citizen who tries to escape or defend themselves will be the one going to jail, and aggressively prosecuted and defamed by a District Attorney paid with their own property taxes.

    That’s what’s changed.

    1. Our globalist elites consider you an irredeemable Deplorable if you fail to genuflect daily before your icons of St. Greta & St. Floyd of Fentanyl.

    2. The St Floyd of Fentanyl coverage will bleed into Let’s all be gay in June coverage. Should be fun to watch.

  18. Seems like Millennials make the perfect marks if you need to find someone to buy your house for a price that exceeds its fundamental value.

    “A new survey by Bankrate.com shows two-thirds of millennials who’ve purchased a home recently have some form of buyer’s remorse. Thirteen percent felt in over their heads on the amount of their mortgage payment or believe they overpaid for the home itself. Twenty-one percent said the maintenance costs surround homeownership were far more than anticipated.”

    1. The elation wanes, is replaced by buyers remorse, while the debt endures.

      Perfect.

    2. millennials who’ve purchased a home recently

      A generation that never built a “fort” in the woods with found materials cannot possibly reason what a pile of bricks and sticks is worth.

      1. I’m a Millennial and it’s the broke-ass Boomers who keep telling me to “invest” in my future and buy real estate.

        The olds are the ones who have no relation to reality and price in my experience, but YMMV.

        1. broke-ass Boomers

          Ha! I’m old, and I’m not broke and I’m telling you to stay out of debt.

        2. The olds are the ones who have no relation to reality and price in my experience, but YMMV.

          I think cluelessness knows no boundaries between generations.

          1. I think cluelessness knows no boundaries between generations.

            Couldn’t agree more.

  19. ‘I mean even though we paid above asking for our current home, it was still worth it to us, we literally got almost everything we wanted and now our home is worth a hundred grand more than we bought it, that’s amazing, it’s like instant equity,’…

    Ponzi finance gains are truly amazing while bubbles are inflating.

    After they collapse and everyone who recently bought is underwater, everyone is a victim and lenders are predatory racists.

  20. I ask the HBB to join me in a minute of silence at noon EST in remembrance of the billions of dear departed Yellen Bux who are at this very moment winging their way to debauched currency heaven as the crypto bubble implodes.

    https://www.coinbase.com/price

    1. Minute of silence?

      More like Nelson Muntz from the Simpsons pointing and yelling HA-HA!

      Sh*tcoin is worthless.

        1. Could be way up, could be way down. There’s no telling where tulip prices go from week to week. I think once the stock market starts selling off hard, the end will be near for crypto.

          1. The Fed is pumping massive liquidity via the repo market. Not sure how the markets can fall when they’re awash with Powell Bux.

          2. What happens when the entire economy is too big to fail?

            We’re about to find out.

          3. What happens when the entire economy is too big to fail?

            The stock market and asset bubbles are not the economy. The real economy has already failed. Drive around and look at the millions of homeless, the record number of broke people, the record joblessness, etc.

    2. There’s an article out about how Tesla is probably deeply in the red on their Shitcoin bets at this point. It will be hilarious when they have to take an impairment on their report.

  21. “Mortgage broker Mark Goode likens the housing market to the pandemic-driven toilet paper craze that saw anxious shoppers emptying store shelves. ‘Everybody panics, so they are overbuying because they think there is going to be a shortage of it,’ he said.”

    A comparison between a small, inexpensive, disposable consumption good like toilet paper and a big ticket, durable asset like housing seems way off the mark. For one thing, buyers don’t need to take on massive debt to fill their extra bedroom with toilet paper. Secondly, where do you store those extra houses you bought?

    Obviously the houses aren’t storable, and you have to pay extra costs for the property taxes on the dirt they occupy, maintenance costs to keep the structure intact, and interest, principle, and other financing costs associated with a home purchase which are not necessary to buy toilet paper. And the only reason for taking on all these massive expenses of home ownership is the expectation of being able to sell later for a profit.

    1. Some are fleeing their tiny city apartments for something with a yard. It’s urban flight right now. Those that got out earliest got out cheapest; late flee-ers will have to much, much more.

  22. Here’s a theory: Reading the social media posts of other true believers in Bitcoin results in the groupthink that fuels a mania destined to eventually collapse and leave latecomers with massive losses.

    “Bitcoin’s sudden drop this week also sparked feelings of FOMO, or fear of missing out, a more commonly discussed emotional reaction that people may experience as they scroll through other people’s sunny Instagram posts or read about a promising IPO. Anticipated regret is similar to FOMO, but there is a subtle difference, says Brooke Struck, research director at The Decision Lab, a consulting firm specializing in behavioral science. FOMO affects those who are not yet involved in an opportunity, so people who do not own bitcoin and predict it will return to previous highs are at risk of succumbing to FOMO’s grip this week. (Watching bitcoin’s price drop, Struck felt a bit of FOMO himself, he admits.)”

    1. I’d imagine with the amount of Powellbucks floating around, that the Wall St. algos will be BTFD and pumping this pig up just like they did last time. When you can turn a 25% profit in 2 hours, why not? Only when the stock market begins to crash in earnest will this crypto sham melt down like a snowman in Phoenix in the summer.

      1. Like for instance I just pulled up the chart and it caught a bid at $31k and rocketed up to $34k in a couple minutes. I am convinced that these are pump and dump scams run by the wealthy insiders to turn quick profits. It’s being manipulated. How else could explain the fact that it landed perfectly on $30,000 then turned on a dime?

    1. Wall Street margin debt surges to record high
      Nick Beams
      30 April 2021

      Wall Street’s S&P 500 index reached a new record high on Thursday on the back of the decision by the Fed the previous day that its continuous boosting of financial markets, through the injection of more than $1.4 trillion a year in asset purchases, would continue for a “long time.”

      The commitment came despite indications of increased US economic growth and rising inflation which, in times past, would have set the stage for a tightening of monetary policy. But such is a fear that even the hint of a move in that direction will spark a collapse of the speculative financial boom that Fed chair Jerome Powell took every opportunity at his press conference to rule it out.

      The extent of the speculative mania, which goes way beyond anything seen in the past, is indicated by broad financial trends and specific events.

      One of the most significant broad indicators is the escalation of margin lending in which investors borrow money from brokers to finance share purchases and trade in financial markets. The collateral for the loan is the financial asset purchased, with the broker able to demand more cash from the investor—a margin call—if its market value falls.

      The perils of margin trading were revealed last month with the collapse of the previously little-known family investment firm Archegos Capital as a result of such a call. It had amassed some $50 billion in loans from some of the world’s major banks, most notably Credit Suisse, and its demise left the banks with a total loss of $10 billion.

      But despite this warning sign, the escalation of margin debt is continuing. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, a supposed Wall Street watchdog operating under the supervision of the Securities and Exchange Commission, has reported that margin debt at the end of March was a record $822 billion.

      This compares with the figure of $479 billion at the same time last year and more than double the peak of $400 billion in 2007 on the eve of the financial crisis of 2008.

      Placing these numbers in context, the Financial Times reported calculations by the London-based fund ABP Invest showing that in the 2000 dotcom and 2007 credit booms US margin debt reached a level equivalent to around 3 percent of gross domestic production. It is now equivalent to nearly 4 percent.

      1. margin debt at the end of March was a record $822 billion.
        Say what you will about Jim Cramer, but back in March of 2000 he was saying get out of the market because of record margin debt, especially related to tech stocks. I listened and mostly got out of my tech stocks, unfortunately I stayed in all my other funds. I don’t watch him anymore but Is he currently railing about excess margin debt? Also, I saw where he said he sold his bitcoin.

    2. A book dissecting the 1929 stock market crash shows startling similarities to today’s euphoric market. Here are 4 examples of how history may be repeating itself.
      Will Daniel
      Apr. 19, 2021, 12:51 PM
      People gather on the sub-treasury building steps across from the New York Stock Exchange in New York on “Black Thursday,” Oct. 24, 1929.
      — In “Rainbow’s End: The Crash of 1929” Maury Klein details the speculative fever that washed over markets ahead of the event.
      — The book reveals striking similarities to today’s euphoric market, which has led to soaring prices of stocks, crypto, and other assets.
      — No one can predict a market crash with certainty, but everyone can learn from history.

      The market opened “like a bolt out of hell.” A “dreaded tsunami of selling” flooded in as panicked investors jettisoned over 16 million shares, more than triple the normal daily trading volume.

      Rules for traders to not “run, curse, push or go coatless” quickly went by the wayside. Mobs formed around the financial district of New York City and police were called in to control a most peculiar group of rioters – stock market investors.

      The Dow Jones closed at $230 – down 23% from the opening of $299 and nearly 40% from record highs of $381.17.

      The day was “Black Tuesday,” October 29, 1929.

      1. Footnotes to this story:

        1) The 50 percent drop in the prices of several cryptocurrencies from their recent highs exceeds the magnitude of the Black Tuesday 1929 drop in the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

        2) Massive buying on margin preceded both events.

      2. Coinbase crashed the other day when all the crypto bagholders were stampeding for the exits. Tough to sell when you can’t even access your account. Pure comedy gold.

        1. All by design. Lock the door every time the theater catches fire. If you do business with Coinbasehead, you deserve everything you get.

  23. Dumb question of the day:

    Do cryptocurrencies trade 24/7?

    Seems like the crypto fanbois could use a break at some point from their nonstop selling activity…

    1. Ethereum Tumbles 20.09% In Rout
      Investing.com
      Cryptocurrency News
      2021-05-23 12:56

      Investing.com – Ethereum was trading at $1,911.84 by 18:25 (12:55 GMT) on the Investing.com Index on Sunday, down 20.09% on the day. It was the largest one-day percentage loss since Wednesday, May 19, 2021.

      The move downwards pushed Ethereum’s market cap down to $223.52B, or 16.38% of the total cryptocurrency market cap. At its highest, Ethereum’s market cap was $479.29B.

      Ethereum had traded in a range of $1,911.84 to $2,379.89 in the previous twenty-four hours.

      Over the past seven days, Ethereum has seen a drop in value, as it lost 48.35%. The volume of Ethereum traded in the twenty-four hours to time of writing was $38.68B or 24.44% of the total volume of all cryptocurrencies. It has traded in a range of $1,911.2327 to $3,582.2659 in the past 7 days.

      At its current price, Ethereum is still down 56.21% from its all-time high of $4,366.10 set on Wednesday, May 12, 2021.

      Elsewhere in cryptocurrency trading

      Bitcoin was last at $33,584.6 on the Investing.com Index, down 11.94% on the day.

    2. Another dumb question just popped into my mind:

      If everyone is HODLing their cryptocurrency, what is making the price go down?

  24. As a young man in 1875 Jasper Daniel bought a small business that still thrives today. Unfortunately Jasper died in 1911 from gangrene.

    They called him Jack.

    Jasper Daniel’s just wouldn’t have had the same ring to it.

  25. “…Twenty-one percent said the maintenance costs surround homeownership were far more than anticipated….”

    Surprise, Surprise, Surprise

    I have lost count of how many times the HBB and its readers have warned about the danger of holding costs.

    Lets all wait for the next property tax cycle, when shack owners [who overbid to the sky] are going to get bills that are a large fraction of their yearly salary.

    1. LOL@ imagine paying property taxes to some underfunded pension sh*thole like Illinois. I never will.

      1. From the Colorado Sun:

        One of the most effective parts of the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights when it comes to stopping tax-raising ballot questions in Colorado is a requirement that voters be informed, IN CAPITAL LETTERS, about the eye-popping sum they are deciding whether to allow the government to collect.

        “SHALL STATE TAXES BE INCREASED $766,700,000 ANNUALLY FOR A TWENTY-YEAR PERIOD?” Proposition 110, which was focused on raising money for transportation projects, scream-asked voters in 2018. (It failed.)

        I think that while Coloradans like their legal weed, they still don’t like taxes. That said, the new state budget is $34B.
        Which is almost $6000 per every adult and child in the state. Colorado is supposed to be a “low tax” state. I don’t even want to think about how much money other states burn through.

    1. Wait for the implosion of the Fed’s Everything Bubble, when starving realtors will be chasing them down the streets and millions of shacks are headed to foreclosure auctions.

  26. Democrat-Bolshevik malgoverned cities are well on their way to becoming dystopian wastelands.

    St. Louis’ murder rate, already highest in US, soared last year; mayor vows to defund the police

    https://www.foxnews.com/us/st-louis-murder-rate-defund-police-mayor-tishaura-jones

    In St. Louis, Mo., the worst-in-country murder rate is at a 50-year high, the policedepartment has nearly 100 unfilled jobs, and the mayor wants to defund the department and shut down a city jail.

    St. Louis’ Tishaura Jones, who became the city’s first Black female mayor last month, had campaigned on a promise to enact progressive criminal justice reforms.

    1. Why do MSM stories about Bitcoin always use gold coins to depict imaginary currency?

      Are they in on the scam?

      May 23, 2021 11:54 AM PDT
      Technology
      Bitcoin down almost 50% from year’s high
      Reuters
      2 minute read
      Representations of the virtual currency Bitcoin stand on a motherboard in this picture illustration taken May 20, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration
      A collection of virtual currency bitcoin tokens are displayed in this picture illustration taken Dec. 8, 2017.
      REUTERS/Benoit Tessier/Illustration

      Bitcoin fell 13% on Sunday after the world’s biggest and best-known cryptocurrency suffered another sell-off that left it down nearly 50% from the year’s high.

        1. Every work day the Beanie Baby someone gave me a couple of years ago as a token prize for winning a silly work training session contest greets me as I enter my home office. It’s worthless now, but back during the Beanie Baby bubble would have sold for a hefty sum.

          Think of Bitcoin as today’s Beanie Babies. Except that, sadly, after the final collapse of the Bitcoin bubble, the HODLers will have nothing to show for their participation in the mania…not even a Beanie Baby.

          1. Reuters
            Crypto miners halt China business after Beijing cracks down, bitcoin tumbles
            Sun, May 23, 2021, 6:31 PM·3 min read
            Representations of the virtual currency Bitcoin and Ethereum stand on a motherboard in this picture illustration

            SHANGHAI (Reuters) -Cryptocurrency miners, including HashCow and BTC.TOP, have halted their China operations after Beijing intensified a crackdown on bitcoin mining and trading, hammering digital currencies amid heightened global regulatory scrutiny of them.

            A State Council committee led by Vice Premier Liu He announced the crackdown late on Friday as part of efforts to fend off financial risks. It was the first time the council has targeted virtual currency mining, a big business in China that accounts for as much as 70% of the world’s crypto supply.

            Cryptocurrency exchange Huobi on Monday suspended both crypto-mining and trading services to mainland Chinese clients, adding it will instead focus on overseas businesses.

            BTC.TOP, a crypto mining pool, also announced the suspension of its China business citing regulatory risks, while crypto miner HashCow said it would halt buying new bitcoin rigs.

            “Crypto mining consumes a lot of energy, which runs counter to China’s carbon neutrality goals,” said Chen Jiahe, chief investment officer of Beijing-based family office Novem Arcae Technologies.

            The crackdown is also part of China’s stepped-up drive to curb speculative crypto trading, he added.

            Bitcoin took a beating after the latest Chinese move, and is now down nearly 50% from it’s all-time high. It shed as much as 17% on Sunday, before paring some losses and was last trading steady in Asia. Elsewhere, Ether fell to a two-month low on Sunday, down 60% from a record peak hit just 12 days ago,

            Investor protection and money laundering are particular concerns of global financial regulators who are grappling with whether and how they should regulate the cryptocurrency industry.

            The latest shakeout in digital currencies also stems from tighter scrutiny in the United States. Last Thursday, U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said they pose risks to financial stability, and indicating that greater regulation of the increasingly popular electronic currency may be warranted.

            DIRTY BUSINESS

            The annual energy consumption of China’s cryptocurrency miners is expected to peak in 2024 at about 297 terawatt-hours, greater than all the power consumption by Italy in 2016, according to a study recently published in Nature Communications.

            Chinese President Xi Jinping has pledged carbon neutrality by 2060.

            China has already lost its position as a global cryptocurrency trading centre after Beijing banned crypto exchanges in 2017.

            “Eventually, China will lose crypto computing power to foreign markets as well,” BTC.TOP founder Jiang wrote in a micro blog post via Weibo, predicting the rise of U.S. and European mining pools.

            Chen of Novem Arcae said the crypto craze, if not curbed, could turn into froth similar to the Dutch tulipmania in the 17th century – often regarded as the first financial bubble in recorded history.

            “The only difference is that after the tulip bubble burst, there were still some beautiful flowers left,” Chen said.

            “But when the virtual currency bubble bursts, what would be left are merely some computer codes.”

            (Reporting by Samuel Shen and Andrew Galbraith
            Editing by Shri Navaratnam)

        2. If my math is correct, it would take around 42 more days of 13% daily losses to get back to $100 per Bitcoin:

          log(100/34000) / log(1-0.13) = 42

          Of course larger daily drops could get it back to earth more quicly.

          1. When a bunch of billionaires decide something is a must have asset class, does it become too big to fail?

    2. How is the battle of cryptocurrency HODLers versus the fiat money authorities shaping up for Elon Musk and his Tesla cult following?

      1. Cryptocurrencies
        Published 21 mins ago
        Bitcoin value cut in half as cryptocurrencies tumble in weekend slide
        Prices began to tumble last week as the US and China signaled potential crypto crackdowns
        By Lucas Manfredi FOXBusiness
        Bitcoin Foundation chairman Brock Pierce argues cryptocurrency regulation by the U.S. Treasury Department won’t affect the market if the rules are ‘sensible.’ video

        The cryptocurrency craze continued its financial fickleness Sunday with several of the well-known digital dollars tumbling but the best-known – Bitcoin – may be proving to be the most volatile.

        While Bitcoin was down 12% on Sunday from its Saturday price, it is off 50% from its 2021 high. On April 14, Bitcoin closed at $64,895.22, a little over a month later on mid-day Sunday, the price was $32,601.

        Elon Musk’s favorite coin of the realm, Dogecoin, saw declines of 15%, according to prices tracked by Coindesk. Nipping on Dogecoin’s heels was Ethereum with a 14% drop capping a bad week for blockchain economics.

        The weekend drop comes on the heels of diverging comments from a leading capitalist and the world’s biggest communist country.

        The volatile swing in cryptocurrencies has been heavily influenced by comments from Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk over the last month.

        When asked on Saturday about what he thinks of people who are upset over his cryptocurrency-related comments, Musk tweeted that the “true battle is between fiat & crypto.”

      2. The Wall Street Journal
        Markets
        Elon Musk Has Become Bitcoin’s Biggest Influencer, Like It or Not
        With the cryptocurrency down about 40% from its peak, some investors are unhappy with Tesla CEO’s tweets
        By Akane Otani
        Updated May 23, 2021
        2:24 pm ET

        When Elon Musk speaks, bitcoin investors listen.

        The Tesla chief executive’s often-cryptic messages have sent bitcoin’s price on a roller-coaster ride this year. Prices soared nearly 20% one January morning when he added “#bitcoin” to his Twitter biography. They jumped 16% in a single day the following month after Tesla Inc. revealed it bought $1.5 billion worth of the cryptocurrency.

        Then, he tweeted earlier this month that Tesla would no longer accept bitcoin as payment for its vehicles. Investors widely blame the tweet for starting bitcoin’s most punishing selloff of the year, a rout that has shaved hundreds of billions of dollars off its market capitalization and has erased gains made since late January. After peaking in mid-April near $65,000, bitcoin prices have fallen some 50%, including roughly 40% since Mr. Musk’s May tweet.

        Bitcoin’s wild price swings continued over the weekend. The digital currency fell as low as $31,179.69, according to CoinDesk, down from $35,263 as of 5 p.m. Friday.

      3. Tech
        Cryptocurrency investors should be prepared to lose all their money, Bank of England governor says
        Published Fri, May 7 2021
        6:03 AM EDT
        Updated Fri, May 7 2021
        8:10 AM EDT
        Ryan Browne
        Key Points
        — When asked about the rising value of cryptocurrencies, Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey said: “They have no intrinsic value.”
        — “I’m going to say this very bluntly again,” he added. “Buy them only if you’re prepared to lose all your money.”
        — The prices of digital currencies from bitcoin to dogecoin have climbed wildly this year.

        In this article
        BTC.CM=-3,437.85 (-9.12%)
        Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey.
        Simon Dawson | Bloomberg via Getty Images

        LONDON — Cryptocurrencies “have no intrinsic value” and people who invest in them should be prepared to lose all their money, Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey said.

        Digital currencies like bitcoin, ether and even dogecoin have been on a tear this year, reminding some investors of the 2017 crypto bubble in which bitcoin blasted toward $20,000, only to sink as low as $3,122 a year later.

        Asked at a press conference Thursday about the rising value of cryptocurrencies, Bailey said: “They have no intrinsic value. That doesn’t mean to say people don’t put value on them, because they can have extrinsic value. But they have no intrinsic value.”

        “I’m going to say this very bluntly again,” he added. “Buy them only if you’re prepared to lose all your money.”

        Bailey’s comments echoed a similar warning from the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority.

        “Investing in cryptoassets, or investments and lending linked to them, generally involves taking very high risks with investors’ money,” the financial services watchdog said in January.

        “If consumers invest in these types of product, they should be prepared to lose all their money.”

    3. The Wall Street Journal
      Markets
      Bitcoin Prices Keep Falling to Approach $30,000
      Prices flirt with lowest levels since late January
      A technician inspecting bitcoin mining at Bitfarms in Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec, in 2018.
      Photo: lars hagberg/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images
      By Lauren Pollock
      May 23, 2021 2:20 pm ET

      The wild ride in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies accelerated over the weekend, with bitcoin prices falling back near $30,000 and flirting with their lowest levels since late January.

      After a punishing selloff last week, bitcoin dropped to $32,919.75 on Sunday afternoon, according to CoinDesk, down 14% over the previous 24 hours and more than 50% from its mid-April high. Bitcoin’s total market value has fallen below $630 billion, down from more than $1 trillion earlier this spring.

      “Bitcoin’s intense rollercoaster ride from $18,000 to $64,000 and back to $30,000 over the past six months is a reminder that digital assets are volatile investments,” Julian Emanuel, managing director and chief equity and derivatives strategist at BTIG, said in a Sunday research note.

      Mr. Emanuel said his year-end price target on bitcoin is $50,000, and he called any near-term volatility tied to regulatory concerns a buying opportunity.

  27. I live in flyover land in a small city. We stopped wearing masks looooong ago. And even when people did wear masks nobody wore them outdoors.

    Everything is open including schools and all restaurants are at full capacity. It is rare to see a mask on and it is probably tourists.

    And then I see stories about people in blue city chitholes still double masking while walking down the street.

    Lol.

    1. It’s worse than you even know.

      I went grocery shopping at 6:30 this morning just to avoid all the mask freaks.

    2. Hubby saw young Asian children outdoors and double masked in La Jolla earlier today.

    1. I have heard lots of Bitcoin believers pontificate about its value as an inflation hedge.

      Technically speaking, didn’t Bitcoin HODLers just experience 100% inflation over the past few weeks since it hit an all-time high? If there is such a thing as the opposite of an inflation hedge, Bitcoin may well qualify.

      My main investing advice for anyone who possesses a human brain is to think for yourself and ignore what self-proclaimed experts say in either social or mainstream media.

    2. “Would you take investing advice from an entertainment personality?”

      The problem with that question is these degenerates forget they’re only entertainment personalities. Piss poor ones at that.

    3. an entertainment personality

      Which “entertainment” personality is chiming in? I’m seeing mostly wealthy ex tech execs/investors with a current CEO and athlete thrown in.

    4. Shaq, Ciara and A-Rod have one, but are SPACs, the latest investment craze, right for you?
      Craig Harris, USA TODAY
      Published 9:01 PM PDT Apr 29, 2021
      Updated 11:03 AM PDT May 3, 2021

      NBA great Shaquille O’Neal is part of one. So are superstar singer Ciara, lifestyle guru Martha Stewart, rocker Sammy Hagar and retired baseball slugger Alex Rodriguez.

      These celebrities and many others have become the public faces, part owners and in the case of A-Rod, the chief executive, of special purpose acquisition companies or SPACs – one of the hottest trends on Wall Street and an investment that has grown popular with the general public. SPACs, created to raise money in an initial public offering (IPO) to buy another company, are also drawing scrutiny from government regulators worried that all the buzz around SPACs blinds people to their risks.

      Access to SPACS has become easy. Mom-and-pop investors can buy them through online trading sites such as Robinhood and Charles Schwab. At the relatively inexpensive cost of $10 a share, they have attracted tens of thousands of individuals who belong to online SPAC groups, including about a half-dozen on Facebook.

      “SPACs for once allow the retail investor to feel like they have a chance to invest like an angel investor,” says Travis Mrkvicka, a doctor in Minneapolis who is part of the 21,500-member SPAC Investing 2021 Facebook group.

      1. Tech
        For Startup Leaders, SPACs Have Lost Their Allure
        Entrepreneurs are increasingly wary about the money-raising tool after watching peers’ stocks slide and investors balk
        The Blank-Check Boom Poses Pitfalls for Investors
        Private companies are flooding to special-purpose acquisition companies, or SPACs, to bypass the traditional IPO process and gain a public listing. WSJ explains why some critics say investing in these so-called blank-check companies isn’t worth the risk. Illustration: Zoë Soriano/WSJ
        By Heather Somerville
        May 23, 2021 9:00 am ET

        Startup chief executives are turning a cold shoulder to SPACs.

        Skeptical CEOs say they are turning down offers from special-purpose acquisition companies, deleting their solicitous emails and tapping the brakes on merger deals amid nosediving shares and disappointed investors.

        So-called blank-check companies, which go public with no assets and then merge with private companies, exploded in popularity last year as a mechanism for startups to raise a lot of money with more speed and fewer regulatory hurdles than a traditional initial public offering.

        More recently, startup CEOs have watched many of their peers endure stock slides and earnings calls with disappointed investors in the weeks after finishing a SPAC deal. For many, it has been a bitter reality check that public-market investors might not be as generous as SPAC creators have been with early-stage companies with unpredictable revenue and growing pains.

  28. Bitcoin
    Published 2 hours ago
    Why NFL’s Sean Culkin is encouraging pro athletes to bank on Bitcoin, cryptocurrency
    The self-proclaimed ‘market nerd’ spoke exclusively to FOX Business about being a cryptocurrency fan
    By Frank Miles FOXBusiness
    Kansas City Chiefs tight end Sean Culkin discusses converting his full salary into bitcoin. video
    Chiefs player who converted entire salary to bitcoin ‘OK’ with volatility of crypto

    Kansas City Chiefs tight end Sean Culkin, who recently announced to the world he’s converting his 2021 salary into Bitcoin, is now leading the NFL as the expert on cryptocurrency.

    1. From Mr. Culkin:

      ‘The millennial pro athlete, who has a degree in finance and is working on an MBA, said he doesn’t feel payment in cryptocurrency is risky at all.

      “Bitcoin is sound money — meaning it can transfer its value across time and space. It is a monetary network that allows individuals to be their own bank and protect their savings from the inflationary environment the world operates in today.”

      He said that Bitcoin today is comparable to gold in generations past.

      “Gold is valuable because individuals deem it so. A big reason for that is due to its scarcity when considering its high stock-to-flow ratio — a reflection of its current stock and how much issuance occurs each year. As the price of gold rises, miners are incentivized to increase production output, resulting in supply exceeding demand and lowering its price. It’s also very hard to verify the total supply of gold.”

      The 27-year-old tight end said finance in the future won’t be grounded on actual reality but will live mostly in the digital realm.’

      1. Gold will be a store of wealth long after Bitcoin reverts to its intrinsic value of zero.

        1. Seems like gold is at the opposite end of the spectrum from cryptocurrency in terms of its inflation hedge quality. I heard it described well years ago that an ounce of gold has held up over time as the approximate price of a good men’s suit.

          Can’t say the same thing about Bitcoin, even if you measure time in dog years.

          1. a good men’s suit

            About a century ago, my dad worked for a silver dollar a day. That would have been about an ounce of gold per month. About the same today.

      2. Eat some digital food and use digital electricity and get back to us how that’s working out for you, Sean.

    2. The Kansas City Chiefs released former Mizzou tight end Sean Culkin on Monday, per the NFL’s official Transaction Report…Culkin grabbed headlines on April 26th when he declared on social media that he would convert his entire 2021 salary to bitcoin.”

  29. Would you risk your life savings on an investment whose volatility cycle is measured in dog years?

    And the news is leaking out that institutional investors piling in were a big driver of recent cryptocurrency volatility…same as with housing prices, apparently.

    1. Yahoo Finance
      Bitcoin tumbles again on China mining crackdown as strategist says ‘crypto years are like dog years’
      Fri, May 21, 2021, 9:46 AM
      Ad: Here’s Why You Should Refinance w/ These Companies
      Choose Your Mortgage
      These companies are offering ridiculously low mortgage rates to Americans. You may be surprised what you could qualify for.
      Scroll to continue with content

      Jill Carlson, Slow Ventures Venture Partner, joins Yahoo Finance Live to discuss how Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are faring amid the China mining crackdown:

      ZACK GUZMAN: I want to shift over to the move that we are seeing in Bitcoin here, easing some of those losses here a bit slightly, now under 10% in terms of the losses today that we’re seeing around that $36,000 price level. We got the update out of China headlines coming around potential issues and bans even in terms of mining, which would be a step up from some of the stuff we saw before this week around using cryptocurrencies in transactions, reiteration of the policies that’s been in place since 2017.

      But when we look at maybe the institutional players buying the dip, want to highlight data that we have here from Glassnode. Take a look at the on-chain metrics that point out wallets associated with over-the-counter desks when Bitcoin’s price tanked earlier on Wednesday and Thursday. The number of daily transfers from those OTC desks rose tenfold. They hit a high not seen in about four months’ time. The co-founders of Glassnode cited that institutional support as reasons for retail investors out there to hold through the pain.

      And for more on where we’re at in the week that was, I want to bring on Jill Carlson, a partner at tech and blockchain-focused VC firm Slow Ventures. She joins us right now. Jill, appreciate you being here. I mean, I feel like I aged 50 years in the last week. I don’t know about you. But we’re still standing here, still in that mid 30,000 level range, maybe close to the 200-day moving average, around 40,000. But what’s your take on where we sit right now, given all the fear, uncertainty, and doubt out there.

      JILL CARLSON: Just another week in crypto, right? I like to joke that crypto years are like dog years. They always tend to be sort of 7x what you would get in any other market. And that was certainly true this week. Look, I mean, I think that it’s an important point to focus on institutions versus retail here. I think it’s not at all a coincidence that we are back to about the price that we were at before Elon Musk first came in and tweeted about Bitcoin back at the end of January. We’re back in the mid 30s.

      And, you know, if you look at the rally that led up to that date, it was all institutional driven. And that was a significant rally in and of itself. That was already up 20% on the year. And we’re up more than that still. We’re holding those gains. The retracement that we’ve seen has really been about retail capitulation. And in the grand scheme of things, if you look at the money that matters, it’s going to be on the institutional side, and not the retail side.

  30. For anyone who finds my recent cryptocurrency posts excessive, and off topic from housing, I apologize.

    However, it’s important to recognize that the cryptocurrency bubble and the housing bubble are attached at the hip, as they are both driven by central banks’ easy money policies through government bond purchases to suppress interest rates and drive risk premiums to historic lows.

    Though similar with regard to irrational exuberance among participating investors, high levels of leverage to support speculative gambles, and unusual degrees of institutional investor participation in both the housing and cryptocurrency manias, a key distinction between the two asset price bubbles regards timescale. While the cryptocurrency bubble is currently cratering in the aftermath of China’s cryptocrackdown, the next housing bubble crater event may be months or years off. Cryptocurrency is a skiff, while housing is a tanker ship.

    1. It seems this “crash” is a little overblown in the media. This valueless widget is still trading at close to $40,000 per. The hysteria would make you think it’s down at $5. This thing moves $10,000 up in a matter of hours sometimes. Until it absolutely melts down, I have a hard time calling a $40,000 Bitcoin a “crash.”

      1. It seems like a crash to anyone who bought for north of $40,000.

        As usual, the latest, greatest fools get burned…especially those who can’t muster the gumption to HODL.

    2. Trading Nation
      Robert Shiller: ‘Wild west’ mentality is gripping housing, stocks and crypto
      Published Sun, May 23 2021
      5:00 PM EDT
      Stephanie Landsman
      ‘In real terms, the home prices have never been so high,’ Robert Shiller says

      Nobel prize-winning economist Robert Shiller is worried a bubble is forming in some of the market’s hottest trades.

      He’s notably concerned about housing, stocks and cryptocurrencies, where he sees a “wild west” mentality among investors.

      “I haven’t done that in print. I’ve been saying that,” the Yale University professor told CNBC’s “Trading Nation” on Friday.

      Even though the record run in stocks and cryptos have been taking a break over the past couple of weeks, Shiller is worried. He’s particularly uneasy about the latest housing boom.

      “In real terms, the home prices have never been so high. My data goes back over 100 years, so this is something,” said Shiller, co-founder of the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller home price index. “I don’t think that the whole thing is explained by central bank policy. There is something about the sociology of markets that’s happening.”

      Over the past three decades, Shiller finds home prices seem to be driving housing starts. He’s seeing the pattern emerge again, and highlights it in a special chart.

      “We have a lot of upward momentum now. So, waiting a year probably won’t bring house prices down,” Shiller said.

      According to Shiller, current home price action is also reminiscent of 2003, two years before the slide began. He notes the dip happened gradually and ultimately crashed around the 2008 financial crisis.

      “If you go out three or five years, I could imagine they’d [prices] be substantially lower than they are now, and maybe that’s a good thing,” he added. “Not from the standpoint of a homeowner, but it’s from the standpoint of a prospective homeowner. It’s a good thing. If we have more houses, we’re better off.”

    3. your posts are much appreciated, and really, it’s kinda become my finance world news round up at the end of the day.

  31. Elon Musk, Snoop Dogg and Mark Cuban love Dogecoin. Should you? How to stay safe when investing in cryptocurrency
    Jessica Menton and Craig Harris, USA TODAY
    Published 9:30 PM PDT May 8, 2021
    Updated 8:17 AM PDT May 9, 2021

    Billionaires, celebrities and athletes can’t get enough of the crypto craze.

    Tesla CEO Elon Musk thinks digital currencies are here to stay. So does investor and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban.

    They’re not alone. Rapper Snoop Dogg jumped on the Dogecoin bandwagon along with Kiss singer Gene Simmons and restaurateur Guy Fieri after the meme-inspired cryptocurrency surged a whopping 10,000% this year.

    Athletes are also flocking to bigger cryptos like bitcoin and ether following a record-breaking rally. Trevor Lawrence, the No. 1 NFL draft pick in 2021, partnered with a global cryptocurrency investment app called Blockfolio and plans to place his signing bonus into an account with the company.

    But it’s no longer just enthusiasts and public figures who are dabbling with digital coins.

    Amateurs like Earl S. Bell of Brooklyn, New York, are jumping in. He says he’s been an investor for a decade and started to put his money in different cryptocurrencies about a year ago.

    “I saw crypto as freedom. In the COVID era, I wasn’t able to get enough work,” says Bell, an architect by trade. “My future plans are to come out with my own coin.”

    Bell says his plan would include creating bank-like safes for cryptocurrency investors to store their crypto wallets.

    So with all the hype around cryptocurrencies like Dogecoin, bitcoin and ether, should you jump in on the mania, too?

  32. The gig is up. Dump your HODLings now, or you could lose alot of money…alot!

    1. Here come the Keystone Cops. Crypto and SPAC investors have nothing to fear: You are saved!

      Finance & Tax
      Washington wakes up to Covid-fueled investment risks as crypto, SPACs tank
      A wave of pandemic-era speculation in Bitcoin and new shell corporations known as SPACs is crashing. Washington policymakers are now scrambling to come to the rescue of investors.
      A bitcoin ATM is seen inside the Big Apple Tobacco Shop on Feb. 08, 2021 in New York City.
      Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images
      By KELLIE MEJDRICH
      05/20/2021 08:32 PM EDT

      A wave of pandemic-era speculation in Bitcoin and new shell corporations known as SPACs is crashing, and Washington policymakers are scrambling to come to the rescue of investors.

      After a year of letting markets run wild, lawmakers are calling for a crackdown amid concern that many small investors are about to be burned. The move for government intervention is increasingly bipartisan as markets gyrate, setting up a clash with business interests.

      Senate Banking Chair Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) urged the Biden administration’s new bank cop to stop issuing licenses to financial firms at the heart of cryptocurrency trading. Sen. John Kennedy, a Louisiana Republican, is proposing the first bill to regulate SPACs — special purpose acquisition companies — that have no commercial operations but promise investors they will buy other firms to form conglomerates. The House will hold a hearing on SPACs on Monday.

      The intensifying scrutiny comes after Bitcoin suffered a 30 percent drop at one point Wednesday. A market index linked to SPACs is down by more than 30 percent from February.

  33. Now that the cryptocrash is behind us, can we move on to the incipient commodities crash?

    1. Yahoo Finance
      Bloomberg
      First Warning Sign in the Global Commodity Boom Flashes in China
      Bloomberg News
      Sun, May 23, 2021, 2:00 PM·6 min

      (Bloomberg) — One pillar of this year’s blistering commodities rally — Chinese demand — may be teetering.

      Beijing aced its economic recovery from the pandemic largely via an expansion in credit and a state-aided construction boom that sucked in raw materials from across the planet. Already the world’s biggest consumer, China spent $150 billion on crude oil, iron ore and copper ore alone in the first four months of 2021. Resurgent demand and rising prices mean that’s $36 billion more than the same period last year.

      With global commodities rising to record highs, Chinese government officials are trying to temper prices and reduce some of the speculative froth that’s driven markets. Wary of inflating asset bubbles, the People’s Bank of China has also been restricting the flow of money to the economy since last year, albeit gradually to avoid derailing growth. At the same time, funding for infrastructure projects has shown signs of slowing.

      Economic data for April suggest that both China’s economic expansion and its credit impulse — new credit as a percentage of GDP — may already have crested, putting the rally on a precarious footing. The most obvious impact of China’s deleveraging would fall on those metals keyed to real estate and infrastructure spending, from copper and aluminum, to steel and its main ingredient, iron ore.

      “Credit is a major driver for commodity prices, and we reckon prices peak when credit peaks,” said Alison Li, co-head of base metals research at Mysteel in Shanghai. “That refers to global credit, but Chinese credit accounts for a big part of it, especially when it comes to infrastructure and property investment.”

      But the impact of China’s credit pullback could ripple far and wide, threatening the rally in global oil prices and even China’s crop markets. And while tighter money supply hasn’t stopped many metals hitting eye-popping levels in recent weeks, some, like copper, are already seeing consumers shying away from higher prices.

      “The slowdown in credit will have a negative impact on China’s demand for commodities,” said Hao Zhou, senior emerging markets economist at Commerzbank AG. “So far, property and infrastructure investments haven’t shown an obvious deceleration. But they are likely to trend lower in the second half of this year.

    2. The Financial Times
      Commodities
      Iron ore prices drop after China warns of ‘excessive speculation’
      Beijing increasingly concerned over record prices feeding through to rising inflation
      A labourer works at a Maanshan Iron and Steel factory workshop in Hefei, Anhui province
      The Chinese government is worried about soaring commodity prices, which have been turbocharged by the country’s industrial recovery from the coronavirus pandemic © REUTERS
      Thomas Hale in Hong Kong
      31 minutes ago

      The price of steelmaking ingredient iron ore fell sharply after China signalled it would focus on efforts to cool soaring prices, warning of “excessive speculation” as concerns grow over rising inflation.

      The National Development and Reform Commission, China’s economic planning agency, said on Monday it would crack down on monopolies in commodities markets, the spread of false information and hoarding.

      That message rippled through markets on Monday, with the main futures contract for iron ore dropping 7 per cent on China’s Dalian exchange to Rmb1,049 ($163) a tonne. It has fallen almost 20 per cent since hitting a record high earlier this month. The aluminium futures contract for July delivery dropped 3 per cent on the Shanghai exchange.

    1. Beware the Fed’s asset price ‘monsters’
      By Charles Riley, CNN Business
      Updated 7:50 AM ET, Thu May 20, 2021
      Ethereum’s 27-year-old founder says we’re in a crypto bubble. Did it just burst?
      Strategist: Hot inflation consistent with reopening challenges

      London (CNN Business)
      Change is hard. Sometimes, talking about change is hard.

      But for anxious investors, even talking about talking about changes to the Federal Reserve’s stimulus program proved difficult on Wednesday.

      What happened: The minutes from the central bank’s April policy meeting revealed that several officials think the robust US economic recovery means the Fed should review its stimulus program at some point.

      “A number of participants suggested that if the economy continued to make rapid progress toward the committee’s goals, it might be appropriate at some point in upcoming meetings to begin discussing a plan for adjusting the pace of asset purchases,” the minutes said.

      The gentlest of warnings from the central bank helped send stocks to a third straight day of losses. The CNN Business Fear & Greed Index is now solidly in the “fear” zone, a major shift from a month ago when greed dominated.

      Remember: Ultra low interest rates and massive bond purchases by the Fed have helped accelerate the recovery from the pandemic. But they have also spurred a huge stock market rally, plus spikes in real estate prices and other assets.
      Now, investors are worried that accelerating inflation will force the central bank to pull back stimulus sooner than anticipated. Fed officials have largely waved off these fears, saying they expect price hikes to be fleeting.

      “However, a couple of participants commented on the risks of inflation pressures building up to unwelcome levels before they become sufficiently evident to induce a policy reaction,” the meeting minutes stated.

      Kit Juckes of Societe Generale said investors would be best served for now by paying attention to the Fed’s actions rather than its words.

      “The [Federal Open Market Committee] members aren’t just talking instead of doing, they’re talking about when they should start talking properly about tapering their asset purchases,” he said in a research note on Thursday.

      Juckes pointed out that the Bank of Canada has already started tapering its stimulus, and the Reserve Bank of Australia will decide whether to extend its measures in July. China’s central bank is already pulling back.
      What’s different about the Fed? According to Juckes, the US central bank is treading carefully out of fear. “The Fed is terrified of the asset price monsters that its policies have given birth to,” he said.

  34. Lawrence A. Cunningham’s Quality Investing
    Opinion: Why bitcoin’s bust and the ‘crypto cult’ threaten all investors
    Last Updated: May 22, 2021 at 11:15 a.m. ET
    First Published: May 19, 2021 at 12:23 p.m. ET
    By Lawrence A. Cunningham
    MarketWatch Contributor Network
    Cryptocurrency’s huge spikes and setbacks unsettle traditional stock and bond markets
    MarketWatch photo illustration/iStockphoto

    Traders who have been coordinating on social media to promote stratospheric prices in meme stocks, such as GameStop, and cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and dogecoin — what exactly are they doing?

    They are not day trading, but “holding on for dear life,” (HODL) as the group describes it. They are not indexing, because they view the entire stock market as corrupt. They are certainly not quality investors, as their process defies financial analysis.

    While indexers, day traders, and stock pickers each have a distinctive approach, all are conscious and diligent participants in a traditional market. The same is even true of shareholder activists, who may demand changes, from board composition to dividend policy, but accept the corporate setting and related measures of returns. Others use their position as shareholders to advocate social causes, from consumer protection to workforce diversity, but purpose is clearly stated and proposals formally made, often in a target company’s proxy statement.

    Most of today’s devotees of meme stocks and crypto operate outside any such familiar forms of market behavior or investing theory. Rather, they protest against Wall Street capitalism, revel in disruptive poisoning of markets, or rejoice at creating the fantasy of an alternate reality.

    The behavior of most of these participants can best be explained by a nascent branch of economics called “identity economics.” Pioneered in a 2010 book of the same name by George Akerlof and Rachel Kranton, the book’s focus is on behaviors at odds with traditional economic models of rationality, such as why people vote against their economic interests or why they stay in jobs making less than they could elsewhere.

    Identity economics attributes such choices to our conception of who we are and other social considerations. People value working with certain colleagues in a particular organization when they share distinctive norms and goals. When employees feel they have a shared mission, their sense of culture compensates for a lighter paycheck. That’s one reason HR departments invest in artifacts of corporate culture, from mission statements to mantras.

    Meme-crypto trading culture is like that. Just as employees who think of themselves as insiders work for less, members of this cohort stake their capital on the riskiest possible bets with scant regard for corresponding returns. Participants share a code and language: they “HODL” or are going to “reach the moon.”

    Devotees of dogecoin call themselves “subshibers,” referring to the breed of their Shiba Inu mascot. And just as corporate culture and employee identification can be decisive to a business’s success, that sense of in-group identity is essential to dogecoin’s sustenance.

    The cyrpto cult is a new force all investors must consider. For indexers, their presence injects volatility into the ever-fluctuating market, a jolt greater than ordinary company risks that indexing diversifies away. Short-sellers, focused on shorter-term market pricing, face significant additional risks, as the GameStop price spike earlier this year revealed.

    1. Cryptos
      ‘Where the crypto market goes from here is completely dependent on the stock market,’ says digital-asset tycoon Barry Silbert
      Published: May 23, 2021 at 10:19 p.m. ET
      By Mark DeCambre
      Up, down, all around?
      AFP/Getty Images

      Want to know where the crypto market goes from here? Barry Silbert, a power player in the digital-asset sector, says that investors ought to look no further than the stock market, in a Sunday-night tweet amid a downturn in digital assets.

      Silbert’s comments came as bitcoin, Ether and alternative assets such as dogecoin were in the midst of a turbulent weekend of trading that saw all three of those cryptocurrencies shed at least 50% from recent peaks at their Sunday nadirs.

      CoinDesk reported that some of the turmoil being experienced in digital assets was linked to China’s crackdown on the sector. Specifically, the crypto-focused website reported that crypto exchange Huobi may be scaling back some of its offerings and suspended some of its miner-hosting services in some countries due to the Chinese government’s hard-line stance on virtual currencies.

      Still, a number of market participants have tried to suggest that crypto’s recent slump has less to do with the fundamentals of digital assets, or the changing narrative and regulatory landscape, and more to do with Wall Street’s appetite for speculation.

      In this case, Silbert is suggesting that stocks may be the key indicator for how much risk investors can stomach in crypto, and not the other way around.

      Last Sunday, Mott Capital’s Michael Kramer said in a blog post that bitcoin’s recent breakdown could signal risk appetite on Wall Street is in transition — presumably in a bearish direction.

  35. I’m starting to believe the global waste of valuable fossil fuel and other natural resources on cryptocurrency production exceeds the wastage on building white elephant real estate that nobody wants or needs.

    Considering how many governments are talking about getting to zero carbon emissions by 2050, it’s quite astounding how much carbon is currently getting emitted in the name of imaginary currency production.

    1. Chia Is a New Way to Waste Resources for Cryptocurrency
      What Bitcoin does for electricity and Ethereum for video cards, Chia does for hard disks.
      By David Gerard
      An employee displays a physically destroyed hard disk drive at the Tokyo Eco Recycle company on Jan. 19, 2017.
      Toshifumi Kitamura/AFP via Getty Images
      May 23, 2021, 6:00 AM

      Bitcoin, the first cryptocurrency, has a problem: It uses ghastly quantities of electricity and thus generates as much carbon emissions as a medium-sized country. This is by design. A new cryptocurrency, Chia, avoids this problem—in favor of creating huge amounts of a different kind of waste.

      Bitcoin was meant to be decentralized so as to stay out of any central control. The “proof-of-work mining” process allocates fresh coins by a lottery. You enter this lottery by guessing numbers and running calculations on them as fast as possible—that is, you waste electricity to show your commitment. There is one winner every 10 minutes; as more people join the lottery, the guessing gets harder to stay at one winner every 10 minutes.

      As long as people can make money wasting electricity, they’ll add more computing resources to win more bitcoins in an ever-escalating arms race. Bitcoin thus uses as much electricity as the Netherlands.

      Proof of work has economies of scale: The bigger you are, the more efficiently you can create lottery tickets. Despite the grandiose claims of putting financial power in the public’s hands, bitcoin mining functionally centralized by 2014. The majority of bitcoin mining is three large pools. An electricity outage in one small area of Xinjiang in April 2021 took a quarter of all bitcoin mining offline. Bitcoin mining also uses specialized computers that just calculate cryptographic hashes as fast as possible; once the mining computers are obsolete, they’re just e-waste.

      Other cryptocurrencies are similarly wasteful. Ethereum uses as much electricity as Peru. There are smaller cryptocurrencies that don’t use this process, but Bitcoin and Ethereum are the two cryptos that are widely exchangeable for actual money. Cryptos failed as usable currencies, so their only remaining use case is to be traded in the hope of actual money.

      Bram Cohen is famed as the creator of the hugely popular BitTorrent file distribution protocol. Cohen turned his attention to the proof-of-work problem. He explicitly wanted a “green bitcoin,” so Chia, founded by Cohen, works very much like Bitcoin apart from proof of work. Chia’s business white paper advocates the same conspiracy theory economics that was embraced by the Bitcoin subculture: It assumes that governments fundamentally cannot be trusted to issue money and wasting a country’s worth of electricity is a better alternative.

      The resource Cohen chose to use for his so-called green cryptocurrency, Chia, was computer hard disk space. This is a generic, reusable form of computer hardware, it’s widely available, and he thought this would use less electricity than proof of work. Cohen anticipated that casual Chia users could use “the unused storage of your laptop, desktop, or corporate network.”

      To “farm” chia, the software writes a “plot,” a large chunk of cryptographic data, to the disk. The Chia blockchain software broadcasts a “challenge” every 18 seconds or so, 4,608 times a day; if you have a close enough answer to the challenge, you win two fresh chia tokens. As more disk space is added to the network, the challenges get harder.

      Cohen’s company, Chia Network, secured venture capital funding in 2018 and developed the Chia software. The network was launched in March 2021, with the promise users could run it in a “normal apartment.” Chia’s business white paper assumes that hard disk space is “over-provisioned.” However, aspiring chia farmers bought hard disks in vast quantities, thousands of terabytes at a time—as they only had to spend less money than they expected to make back.

      During the COVID-19 pandemic, manufacturing supply chains were already disrupted in multiple industries, leading to shortages of many basic components. By April, just a month after it was launched, chia farmers were straining the hard disk market, with reports from Hong Kong of large disks, over 4 terabytes, having tripled in price. Hard disk shortages and price rises were reported across Southeast Asia and in the United States.

      Instead of carbon dioxide, Chia produces vast quantities of e-waste—rare metals, assembled into expensive computing components, turned into toxic near-unrecyclable landfill within weeks. Cohen has tweeted that the claim that Chia destroys disks is mostly “just plain wrong”—though he ends the tweet thread by effectively admitting that it’s true but blames users for using “consumer SSD,” even though Chia’s own FAQ states that it can be run on mobile phones or laptops.

      Chia plotting is heavy on electricity, too—plotting requires arbitrary calculations by a computing device’s central processing unit (CPU), an intensive task. Chia’s business white paper anticipates farming on “one Raspberry Pi” (a small computer about as powerful as a 2007 iPhone)—but in practice, chia plotting requires multiple CPU threads running continuously at close to 100 percent.

      Chia ran headlong into the known psychology of cryptocurrency mining: People will do anything that will generate a net profit—and damn the externalities.

      Cryptocurrency decentralization is a performative waste of resources in order to avoid having to trust a government to issue currency. But since cryptocurrencies don’t actually function as currencies, it just generates new types of otherwise worthless magic beans to sell for real money. Your system will waste unlimited amounts of whatever resource you’re throwing away—and incentivize the theft of whatever resources other people can waste to turn into money.

      Cryptocurrency spews out a country’s worth of carbon dioxide and mountains of toxic e-waste, makes basic computing hardware that could be used for productive purposes unavailable, and destroys any sort of commons that someone might want to offer the world if general computation could be done on it. Decentralized cryptocurrencies are a cyberpunk parody of unregulated capitalism. They are a disastrous resource drain on the world, by design. The designers look only for fresh resources to abuse. The only functional purpose of decentralized cryptocurrencies is to further idiosyncratic bitcoin economic ideas that don’t work in the hope of making money from speculation. Every cryptocurrency is a new form of waste—and the only way to stop that is to stop cryptocurrencies.

      1. “It assumes that governments fundamentally cannot be trusted to issue money and wasting a country’s worth of electricity is a better alternative.”

        The people who live on Planet Crypto clearly are whackos.

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