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Most Get Into The Ponzi Scheme Knowing It Is A Bubble

A weekend topic starting with Go Local Prov. “In Rhode Island, GoLocal reported that in March that Santander Bank was expected to lay off nearly 200 employees. The layoffs by Santander are taking place across the globe. ‘What’s behind banking giant’s job cuts?’ reported mortgage industry publication MPA in March. ‘It has discontinued its home originations segment.’ Wells Fargo is also in the midst of major layoffs. Business Insider is reporting, ‘As mortgage revenues fell at Wells Fargo in the first quarter of 2022, the company began laying off employees in mortgage-related positions.'”

“Another mortgage company Better.com has laid off approximately 4,000 over the past few months. Peloton, the home fitness company, is laying off 2,800. Carvana is laying off an estimated 2,500, according to multiple reports. Uber, Robinhood, and Netflix have all announced significant layoffs. And, Facebook’s parent company Meta has announced a hiring freeze. All of these cuts and freezes are not exclusive to the post-pandemic world or rising interest rates. Scotts Miracle-Gro has announced it is cutting about 10% of its workforce and even the cannabis industry is getting hit.”

From Verdict. “Fintechs have reason to be worried. There’s certainly been no shortage of bad news hitting the sector recently. Headlines about investment cooldowns, mass layoffs and plummeting stock valuations have slammed the entrepreneurs of this space in the face for months. Then, of course, there’s the very public implosion of Fast to consider. While the startup had aggressively branded itself as a one-click checkout revolution, no amount of hype was able to save it from crashing when investor money dried up. And if you ask industry experts, it won’t be the last fintech to collapse in the months to come.”

“‘When the tide goes out you’ll know who’s swimming naked,’ James Allum, SVP and regional head of Europe at fintech Payoneer, tells Verdict. He and other market stakeholders suggest that the fintech industry will suffer a mass-cleanse of startups only held up by investor optimism, hype, good intentions and over-heated markets. ‘We talk about it almost daily’ Allum says.”

“‘[It] seems obvious that there would be a slowdown in fintech investment,’ Mark Hartley, founder and CEO at banking software developer BankiFi, tells Verdict. ‘I’ve actually been banging the drum about this for some time now, but the fintech boom of recent years has shared some eerie similarities with the dot-com bubble of the early 2000s. You’re seeing lots of money being thrown at things that at best, are yet to be proven and, which at worst, represent big bets on solutions that may never materialise. Ultimately, there needs to be a correction in the market.'”

From Reuters. “Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp reported a record $26.2 billion loss at its Vision Fund investment arm on Thursday, as rising interest rates and political instability whiplashed high-growth tech stocks. Investors are now increasingly questioning whether many of the once high-flyers it has invested in have a clear path to profitability. South Korean e-commerce firm Coupang is trading 70% below its listing price. Ridehailers Didi Global Inc and Grab Holdings, also tumbled during the January-March quarter.”

From WENY News. “This week, one popular so-called algo coin cratered, wiping out billions of dollars’ worth of value in just a few days.The coin, called TerraUSD, is designed to maintain its value at $1, forever and ever, amen. Instead, it fell as low as 23 cents Wednesday before recovering some ground. It was hovering around 60 cents early Thursday. To critics of the controversial crypto product, it’s an ’emperor has no clothes’ moment. Or, more pessimistically, a Lehman Brothers moment.”

“Algorthmic stablecoins aren’t necessarily backed by any real external asset, relying on complex financial engineering to hold their value steady. And when they fall, they tend to fall hard — industry watchers call this a ‘death spiral.’ Algorithmic coins are ‘just a fancy way of saying, ‘We are going to say that this is worth a dollar because it’s backed by another asset that we also create out of thin air,’ says Charles Cascarilla, the chief executive  of Paxos, a blockchain infrastructure firm. In the case of TerraUSD, that other ‘out of thin air’ asset is the cryptocurrency Luna.”

“The problem is that the entire ecosystem relies on traders believing Luna has value. Once investors lose faith in the system, all bets are off. ‘Any morning, people could wake up and say ‘wait a minute, you just made up this all up, it’s worthless,’ and decide to dump their Lunas and Terras,’ wrote Bloomberg columnist Matt Levine.”

From Reuters. “If the Federal Reserve sells any of its holdings of mortgage backed securities it may have to do so at a loss, Cleveland Federal Reserve bank President Loretta Mester said Tuesday, a potentially difficult problem for the central bank, at least politically, since it remits its annual profits to the U.S. Treasury.”

“‘A potential drawback of sales is that, depending on the interest rate path, they could result in realized market-to-market losses,’ Mester said in comments to an Atlanta Fed conference. ‘Such losses would not entail any operational challenges for the Fed in setting monetary policy. However, they would pose communication challenges that would need to be appropriately addressed.'”

“An ICE index of mortgage backed securities is down about 9% on the year. Mester’s comments do not reflect the likelihood of sales. But Fed officials do want their balance sheet to consist mainly of Treasury securities, and to get rid of most if not all of the $2.7 trillion in mortgage securities the central bank currently holds. Because home mortgage interest rates have been rising, the sale price of those mortgage securities may well have fallen since buyers would demand a discount to accept mortgages based on a smaller stream of payments.”

From Bisnow New York. “Oceanwide Holdings, like many Chinese developers in the middle of the last decade, had grand ambitions to make their mark on the Manhattan luxury condo development market. Instead, the market has left a mark on Oceanwide — the site where it planned to build a 1,500-foot skyscraper has been placed in receivership over a $175M default. The site at 80 South St. has been taken over by Kalo, an insolvency and restructuring firm headquartered in the Caribbean, after Oceanwide failed to pay back $165M on its loan from New York-based DW Partners.”

“Oceanwide’s spending spree has been almost entirely unwound: Lenders took over the company’s stalled, semi-complete project in the heart of San Francisco. The Oceanwide Center was supposed to be the city’s second-tallest skyscraper, but it currently sits as an abandoned construction site. The company said in March it plans to sell the rest of its U.S. holdings, save for one: the planned Oceanwide Plaza in Downtown Los Angeles. While multiple contractors have filed liens against the developer, including a $350M lien from general contractor Lendlease, it said it plans to complete development on the project.”

From My News LA in California. “Two men involved in a $15 million mortgage fraud scheme in Orange County were sentenced Thursday to seven years in prison. Jimmy Phan, 47, and Vinh Phan, 47, both pleaded guilty Dec. 16, according to court records. The Phans are not related. Co-defendant Stephen Nguyen, 59, is a fugitive. Jimmy Phan and Vinh Phan pleaded guilty to multiple felony counts of grand theft, mortgage fraud, attempting to file a false or forged instrument and admitted sentencing enhancements for aggravated white collar crime exceeding $500,000.”

“The defendants acquired property ‘and (used) them as collateral to borrow large amounts of money from lenders and private parties for short terms and high interest,’ an Orange County District Attorney’s investigator said in a bail petition. Some of the payments were made, but the lenders did not know the defendants ‘would record forged conveyances (an instrument to indicate that the loan was paid),’ prosecutors said. ‘Then they would take the advantage of the title being free from the first loan and obtain a second loan,’ prosecutors said.”

“The second loans were sometimes used to finance acquisition of property with an ‘arms-length buyer,’ who was ‘in fact in collusion with the seller to inflate the value of the property or to give the appearance of legitimacy,’ prosecutors alleged. Prosecutors allege 12 victims were duped in 10 separate real estate transactions with total losses of about $15 million.”

The Globe and Mail. “Canada’s banking regulator is leaving the door open to tweak its mortgage stress test before the end of this year, as the cost of borrowing soars and the housing market starts to cool across the country. Although the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions expressed satisfaction with the current rules, the regulator said it could revisit them again ahead of its annual stress-test announcement scheduled for mid-December.”

“Since OSFI toughened the mortgage stress test last June, the country’s housing market and borrowing conditions have changed significantly. The regulator must grapple with whether its rules are still effective in the current environment. And the stress test will become even harder as mortgage rates continue to climb. That will drive more borrowers to variable-mortgage rates, as well as to non-bank mortgages – which typically have higher interest rates than chartered banks.”

“Already, borrowers are seeking variable-rate mortgages, which are at about 2.4 per cent today, according to mortgage brokers. ‘Qualifying for more money under a variable rate is a new phenomenon based on the recent rapid rise of fixed rates,’ said Elan Weintraub, co-founder of Mortgage Outlet Inc.”

“Borrowers are also turning to alternative lenders such as trusts and private mortgage-investment companies, which do not have to comply with federal banking rules. Samantha Brookes, chief executive officer of Mortgages of Canada, said her clients are now flocking to alternative lenders. Today, the vast majority of her customers are borrowing from an alternative lender compared with about half her client base at the beginning of this year. ‘We’ve seen a huge increase over the last couple of weeks,’ she said.”

From Bloomberg. “One of the world’s most expensive property markets faces its biggest test in more than 30 years. Australia’s A$10 trillion ($7 trillion) residential real estate sector will this year have to absorb the sharpest interest-rate increases since 1989, if bond markets are right. The Reserve Bank last week began its first tightening cycle in 11-1/2 years, shaking the confidence of consumers with some of the world’s highest debt loads. That turnaround was on display at a weekend auction in the inner Sydney suburb of Darlington, where a two-bedroom home of 104 square meters yielded no bidders.”

“‘A property like that would typically get snapped up within 3-4 weeks and the auction would typically have 5-plus registered bidders,’ said auctioneer Alex Pattaro at real estate firm Ray White. ‘But the market is cooling, and as more stock comes into the market place it will have a bigger hit on the price.'”

“It remains uncertain how Australia’s households, with A$2.1 trillion in outstanding mortgage debt, will respond to rising borrowing costs. ‘Most buyers are worried about consecutive rate rises,’ said Thomas McGlynn, chief executive officer of Sydney-based real estate firm Bresic Whitney. ‘It would be ill-advised to have quick interest rate hikes because it’s something that the current group of buyers haven’t really had to deal with for the last 10 to 15 years.'”

From Reuters on New Zealand. “When Aarti and Gaurav Kathuria were saving for their first home, a three-bedroom townhouse in Auckland, they cut back on eating out and other expenses so they could put together the hefty deposit. Now, only months after paying NZ$875,000 ($560,000) for a home in one of the world’s most unaffordable cities, they’re faced with a new challenge: property prices are falling, while mortgage rates and living costs are going up. For people like the Kathurias, the hit to household wealth has meant a tightening of the purse strings. ‘All you can do is cut back on things,’ Aarti Kathuria said.”

“Miles Workman, senior economist at ANZ Bank, said recent buyers who borrowed heavily were most at risk of falling into negative equity as prices come down. ‘That is going to hurt from a psychological perspective,’ he said. ‘Hopefully those first-home buyers can just grit their teeth and get through it because the labour market is very tight.'”

From ICIR Nigeria. “Public endorsement of Ponzi schemes by Nigerian celebrities, greed and poor financial investment knowledge have been identified as some of the major enablers to the loss of billions of naira by investors in ponzi schemes, ICIR findings have shown. Nigerians lost over N300 billion in ponzi schemes in five years, according to a research. ‘Most Nigerians get into the ponzi scheme knowing it is a bubble, hoping they get in early enough to make some profit. Most players know it is a gamble, so they put in only small amounts they can afford to lose,’ the Managing Director of Norrenberger Financial Investments, Tony Edeh, toldthe ICIR.”

We Got This Covered. “Following widespread crashes of various cryptocurrencies, critics on Twitter are taking the opportunity to troll actor Matt Damon for being one of the many celebrities in recent years to do an advertisement for the blockchain-centered technology. While Damon isn’t the only celebrity shilling crypto, many people are not-so-fondly remembering his particularly cringey-in-retrospect ad that premiered last year for Crypto.com, called Fortune Favours the Brave. The one-minute ad, which had an impressively high production value, had quite the call to action for viewers and premiered on Oct. 28, playing on everything from TV screens to movie theaters.”

“There’s been some bad publicity surrounding the digital form of currency lately, as the cryptocurrency market, overall, saw a loss of more than $200 billion as of Thursday. People on social media were quick to point out how seemingly poorly the ad has aged, with its comparison of investing in crypto as analogous to inventing aircraft. Reporter Jason Schreier even went so far as to characterize crypto-backed non-fungible tokens as ‘the latest failed trend,’ along with the buzzy ‘metaverse’ companies keep blathering on about.”

“Professor and author Dr. Steven W. Thrasher was also vocal on social media about his criticism of both Matt Damon and Larry David, the latter of whom also starred in a Super Bowl ad for crypto. In his opinion, the actors may have ‘conned’ poor and desperate people out of their money. Another writer, Jon Schwarz, pointed out just how much money someone would’ve lost if they invested at the time the ad first dropped, compared to today. Assuming the calculation is correct, that would leave a person with about half of what they started out with.”

This Post Has 152 Comments
  1. Senator Rand Paul (5/13/2022):

    “My oath of office is to the U.S. Constitution, not to any foreign nation. And no matter how sympathetic the cause, my oath of office is to the national security of the United States of America. We cannot save Ukraine by dooming the U.S. economy.”

      1. Putin warns Finland has ‘made a mistake’

        He’s probably right. There’s no benefit for Finland to have to arm their border. As for nuking them because they make a mistake joining NATO, don’t be silly. Russia was founded by Fins.

    1. “We cannot save Ukraine by dooming the U.S. economy.”

      How about a quick edit? We cannot save Israel by dooming the U.S. economy.

    2. We cannot save Ukraine by dooming the U.S. economy.”

      We’re dooming the US economy to advance globalism.

    3. Off-topic, but I need an angry Coloradan’s input:

      I’m thinking of moving to either Falcon or Lone Tree so my kids can attend a Classical school k-12.

      Is CO too far gone for my kids to make a traditional, independent American family life there?

      It’s hard decision time now, and either CO, ID, or stay in California and fight like hell, knowing we’ll almost certainly lose and will always be cheated out of representation.

      Feel free to pile on, HBB. You’ve all made me stronger and smarter. Thank you.

      1. I don’t have kids and I don’t pay property taxes to fund a suburban Front Range school district, so I can’t really help you. Good luck with your decision!

  2. SoftBank Group Corp reported a record $26.2 billion loss at its Vision Fund

    They’re renting f%$#@g desks!

    1. What’s worse, with everyone who used to work in an office now working from home, nobody needs f%$#@g desks!

    2. Back when I was window cleaning office towers I would occasionally bump into one of these minimum wage “droids” hired to water the rented plants with a backpack water tank with a pump lever on the left side while the nozzle was held in the right hand. Some HR psychology wizard likely thought productivity would improve with fresh plants around the office.

      1. productivity would improve

        Had one of those big potted plants with long white flowers near my desk once. The massive pollen bursts triggered allergy symptoms. I moved the thing out doors.

  3. ‘the fintech industry will suffer a mass-cleanse of startups only held up by investor optimism, hype, good intentions and over-heated markets’

    Hardly a day goes by for years now without some half baked, can’t possibly work scheme raising many millions. Easy come…

    1. A reader sent this in:

      Ryan Lundquist

      ‘Opendoor has 155 active listings on the market in Sacramento and 28% of their listings had a price reduction this past week (44 listings). Opendoor represented 13.2% of all price reductions this past week while having only 5.5% of all active listings.’

      https://twitter.com/SacAppraiser/status/1524804413780463626?cxt=HHwWlMCotaPimKkqAAAA

      As I asked yesterday, is coastal Sacramento holding up? What’s that, there is no beach in Sacramento? So what exactly does it have? I’m seriously, I can’t recall any major attribute to this sh$thole ever being mentioned.

          1. Probably 30-sec of the birds and the bees followed by 30-min of begging the almighty forgiveness of sin.

        1. An article …

          Is Sacramento a good place to live? The rise of the mega-region. | abc10.com
          https://www.abc10.com/article/news/local/abc10-originals/bay-area-migration-to-sacramento/103-915709c1-40b2-415e-bc28-bca8e747ea24

          (a snip or two)

          “We actually have the space to build out’ | How Sacramento and the Bay Area are becoming a mega-region”

          “People are moving here as well as away. It’s indicative of what researchers found and what residents here are seeing — a massive amount of migration is happening in Northern California, especially from the Bay Area to Sacramento.

          “‘We had a decade of change in two years, essentially,’ Bernadette Austin, the Executive Director at the UC Davis for Regional Change told ABC10. ‘And an easy thing to point to is flexible work schedules.’

          “Austin is part of a multi-year-long study conducted between UC Davis, the University of Southern California and Occidental College that has been researching migration in Northern California.

          “What they found is the ability to work from home also brought the freedom to change where home is.

          “In 2018 and 2019, pre-COVID, about 150,000 people left the Bay Area. When the pandemic hit, that number doubled with nearly 305,000 leaving.

          “It’s just one of the shocking discoveries their research unveiled when they looked specifically at migration from the Bay Area to the Central Valley during the pandemic.”

          Link on the article to read the rest.

          A reminder …

          Charles MacKay — “Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, one by one.”

          1. **” For people like the Kathurias, the hit to household wealth has meant a tightening of the purse strings. ‘All you can do is cut back on things,’ Aarti Kathuria said.”

            speaking of Sacramento, and this article, I expect another round of ” HEY, _______
            city fire/police/teachers/nurses/govt workers got a raise, now WE GOTTA MATCH THE INCREASE OR LOSE GOOD WORKERSSSSSS hysteria to start up again!

            funny how necessary for the public good (but union) jobs that get those predictable hefty pay raises.
            I attribute it all to the 2000’s dot com boom when govt workers were leaving to make their so-called fortunes in tech, so the gov, supervisors raised wages substantially, and with automatic increases, to stem the outflow.

            and that’s how we have ended up with public workers w/great retirement plans AND high wages. the best of both worlds.

            good luck reversing or even halting THAT public union tsunami.

          2. “funny how necessary for the public good (but union) jobs that get those predictable hefty pay raises.”

            Lately the public sector jobs have had extreme swings in management style from bible thumping Birchers to obese, purple haired, 10-ring feminists, and both believe that it’s their way or the highway for the employees who must endure draconian training classes and sign documents acknowledging conditioning that ignore personal liberties.

  4. ‘industry watchers call this a ‘death spiral.’ Algorithmic coins are ‘just a fancy way of saying, ‘We are going to say that this is worth a dollar because it’s backed by another asset that we also create out of thin air,’ says Charles Cascarilla, the chief executive of Paxos, a blockchain infrastructure firm. In the case of TerraUSD, that other ‘out of thin air’ asset is the cryptocurrency Luna.”

    ‘The problem is that the entire ecosystem relies on traders believing Luna has value. Once investors lose faith in the system, all bets are off. ‘Any morning, people could wake up and say ‘wait a minute, you just made up this all up, it’s worthless’

    I love a good death spiral and nekked emperors in the morning.

    1. Algorithmic coins = 21st century snake oil

      According to the site coinmarketcap, as of today 19,431 different cryptos now exist, with a total ‘value’ of $1. 254T

      Scam of an epic level.

    2. All the cryptos are up again today. I guess they thought they “survived” the assault or whatever. And I’m wondering what happens if a crypto dies. Can it come back to life like a vampire or is it gone completely like a dot-bomb?

      1. All the cryptos are up again today. I guess they thought they “survived” the assault or whatever.

        Nothing goes straight to zero, although that Luna garbage sure tried to. It’s usually going to be a stairstep pattern with fools buying the dips all the way until even the dumbest of svckers are exhausted. Remember, in bear markets you can get some of the most massive price spikes before another leg down.

  5. Reminder: there is no such thing as a COVID “case.”

    It is a meaningless statistic that is not an actual medical diagnosis of anything, and is only reported for propaganda purposes to enforce unscientific medical tyranny.

    Denver raises COVID-19 community level to Medium as cases of the coronavirus increase (5/13/2022):

    “Denver and two other Colorado counties raised their COVID-19 community level risk to “medium” Friday, underscoring the need to remain vigilant as the BA.2 sublineage of the omicron variant continues to drive up cases across the state.”

    https://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/coronavirus/denver-raises-covid-19-community-level-to-medium-as-cases-of-the-coronavirus-increase

    Much of Denver has been irreversibly inflicted with a Mass Formation Psychosis.

    The number of people in Denver who are wearing masks while driving alone, wearing masks while walking on the sidewalk alone, is increasing.

    This is a Mass Formation Psychosis.

  6. ‘Already, borrowers are seeking variable-rate mortgages, which are at about 2.4 per cent today, according to mortgage brokers. ‘Qualifying for more money under a variable rate is a new phenomenon based on the recent rapid rise of fixed rates’

    ‘Borrowers are also turning to alternative lenders such as trusts and private mortgage-investment companies, which do not have to comply with federal banking rules. Samantha Brookes, chief executive officer of Mortgages of Canada, said her clients are now flocking to alternative lenders. Today, the vast majority of her customers are borrowing from an alternative lender compared with about half her client base at the beginning of this year. ‘We’ve seen a huge increase over the last couple of weeks’

    I need to slow down and take time to comment on something going on the land of hungry penguins. As I said I watched some videos this week and it’s crater up there. One UHS said all of the gains in January, February and March are gone poof. In Vancouver, Toronto but also pretty much all of British Columbia. A developer guy told about his father in law who bought a shack before he sold his current one. Now he has a buyer who wants out and he wants out of his next loan. They called these “distressed” deals.

    Appraisals are way down. So they have to find some private guy who’s going to sock it to them on rates. Right now there are hundreds and maybe thousands of these in limbo. Nobody seems very concerned about the long term cuz of panic.

    In spring 2016, Vancouver prices had a parabolic blow off of 30%, then immediately crashed. I spring of 2017, same thing happened in Toronto. We just saw the exact same thing happen in both cites at the same time.

  7. ‘Lancaster, PA, May 9, 2022-Armstrong Flooring announced that the company and certain of its subsidiaries have filed for voluntary protection under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware. ‘

    ‘In a continuation of its ongoing sale process, the company intends to continue pursuing an efficient and value-maximizing sale of its business through a competitive Chapter 11 sale process. The Company’s businesses in China and Australia will not be included in the Chapter 11 filing, but they are part of the sale process.’

    https://www.floordaily.net/flooring-news/armstrong-files-chapter-11-continues-seeking-buyer

  8. ‘Uber will cut spending and scale back hiring as investors cool on the tech sector, according to an internal email seen by Reuters. “The least efficient marketing and incentive spend will be pulled back. We will treat hiring as a privilege and be deliberate about when and where we add headcount,” Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said in an email to staff.’

    ‘Uber’s new strategy was a response to the “seismic shift” in investor sentiment, the rideshare and delivery company boss said.
    Uber’s New York-listed share price fell by nearly 12 per cent to $23.05 (€21.83) on the news. The company’s stock has lost more than 43 per cent since it first went public in 2019.’

    ‘Tech stocks have plunged overall from the highs reached during the COVID-19 pandemic as rising inflation has driven central banks to raise interest rates, ending a long period of cheap borrowing.’

    https://www.msn.com/en-za/news/other/uber-shares-slump-on-companys-plans-to-cut-spending-treat-hiring-as-privilege/ar-AAX5qlG

    ‘We will treat hiring as a privilege’

    Oh please, let me use my own car to drive into the asphalt and make sub-minimum wages!

    1. ‘Tech stocks have plunged overall from the highs reached during the COVID-19 pandemic as rising inflation has driven central banks to raise interest rates, ending a long period of cheap borrowing.’

      That reminds me: What about all those other companies that have used low interest loans to prop up their own company share prices in recent years? It seems like this went way beyond tech. And it just died in the ass.

    2. How many years has Uber been working on self driving cars, constantly saying: “We’re almost there”?

  9. “Two men involved in a $15 million mortgage fraud scheme in Orange County were sentenced Thursday to seven years in prison. Jimmy Phan, 47, and Vinh Phan, 47, both pleaded guilty Dec. 16, according to court records. The Phans are not related. Co-defendant Stephen Nguyen, 59, is a fugitive.

    Foreign-born fraudsters should be stripped of their U.S. citizenship and deported to their country of origin.

  10. ‘It would be ill-advised to have quick interest rate hikes because it’s something that the current group of buyers haven’t really had to deal with for the last 10 to 15 years’

    I’m seeing a lot of this sort of comment. It’s the REIC. “The shack market can’t take these interest rates, yer gonna have to bring it back down!”

    Maybe. What about food prices? Or gas? But it’s interesting that despite the “solid fundamentals” and “rock solid lending”, a half point increase from the central banks has everybody crying in their beer. We know rates are up alot more than a half a percent, so it’s the market doing the raising, and for reasons that matter to the market: risk.

    You know what adds to that risk? The knowledge that loanowners can and will walk out on their contracts if it suits them. Moral hazard is a wicked b$tch.

    1. After 13 straight years of extraordinary accommodation, the Fed finds itself caught between the fire of inflation and the ice of recession. And their mandate is to keep inflation low (e.g. 2 percent target rate) and employment high. Suddenly they face a double-digit rate of inflation, by my own math, for the first time in 40 years (since the early 1980s), at a point when unemployment is near its historic low level. So it’s kind of a no-brainer to anyone who passed a freshman macroeconomics course that they are going to need to raise interest rates somewhat to bring inflation under control, in their effort to steer the economy to a softish landing.

      It’s SOL for the reprobate speculators whose investment choices would only pencil out if the the central banking community pinned rates to the mat forever.

      1. a freshman macroeconomics course

        Do we need that to predict that flooding the country with funny money for years would lead to higher prices and crashing malinvestments?

        Since the money is already lent out and the malinvestments were gargantuan, that possum is gonna fall out of the tree. A “soft landing” cannot be engineered without alot more wasting of funny money. Correction is necessary for recovery to start. This was true eight years ago.

  11. For people like the Kathurias, the hit to household wealth has meant a tightening of the purse strings. ‘All you can do is cut back on things,’ Aarti Kathuria said.”

    The “stamp your little feet” moment approaches….

    1. They forgot to mention that wages in New Zealand, which are already about 35% lower than in the US and Kiwis pay stiff income taxes, will be dropping even lower as their economy craters.

  12. Crypto baggies, it could be that the sole purpose for your existence is to serve as a warning for others.

    The ‘evil genius plot’ behind the cryptocurrency market crash

    https://www.news.com.au/finance/markets/world-markets/the-evil-genius-plot-behind-the-cryptocurrency-market-crash/news-story/cac8af2a5d996ee7a88a45f753ffabc3

    The cryptocurrency market has had billions in value wiped off it after an epic fail and now the accusations are flying that something sinister went down.

    1. something sinister

      The sinister thing was that these scams ever got going in the first place.

    1. I’m not sure what to predict for this November.

      My gut tells me that that there will be widespread fraud and the Dems will actually gain seats.

      I suppose that the Dems could rig it to lose a few seats, but remain in control.

      A conservative wave would be the ideal outcome, but I do not consider it a slam dunk. The Left will crank up the after burners on the rigging jet before allowing that to happen.

      1. I think you’re going to need a lot more than 2000 mules to rig dozens of Congressional elections, especially since the single-name hate motivator appears to be gone.

        I’m a bit surprised that Roe V. Wade lasted only a couple news cycles. It will be back in June/July with the actual ruling, but will it last until November?

        1. They don’t have to rig all of them. Just like they didn’t have to rig every state in 2020

          1. MSM loves to play on “widespread” when only targeted election fraud is necessary.

          2. The 2020 shenanigans were designed specifically to take advantage of the electoral college. That is, they only needed a few blue mules in blue districts to rig the vote for an entire purple state.
            In November, those same mules would only be able to rig a congressional district, not an entire state (for the House of Reps, not the Senate).
            They would need a lot more mules to move the national needle. And this is an environment where they can’t focus the hate onto a single name, and they know the Rs are watching. I just don’t think they’ll be able to recruit enough mules for this.

          3. and they know the Rs are watching

            The RNC isn’t. Ronna Romney McDaniel dropped the ball in 2020. I would wager purposefully.

    1. Right now, BLM isn’t useful. Ditto with Antifa. If Roe is overturned that could change, and we could once again see the bus loads of “peaceful protestors” travel from city to city, like a circus of violence, mayhem and destruction, ready to perform.

      1. The price of gas in So Cal is around $5.85/gal (regular). The increased costs of food in supermarkets is hitting every average citizen in the wallet. I don’t think that rioting mobs will get much support or sympathy in November. Racism as a tool for the left is now worthless. Racism in the USA is exactly like crypto coins–it only works when people believe that it exists. In reality it’s just form of mass formation psychosis.

        Shortages of baby formula and $5/gal gas are getting all the attention now, and none of these things will resolve by November.

      1. A class act, Bill and Hill left the White House broke, but stole the furniture. You can take the hillbilly out of Arkansas, but you can’t take the Arkansas out of the hillbilly.

  13. Glancing at the front page of my dead tree copy of the Wall Street Journal this morning, the thought hit me: Could SoftBank possibly be on the brink of a Lehman moment?

  14. “In his opinion, the actors may have ‘conned’ poor and desperate people out of their money.”

    If they had money to gamble on crypto left over adter paying for food and shelter, they must not have been that poor and desperate.

    And somehow I doubt that anyone put guns to their heads and forced them to buy cryptocurrencies. So I am struggling mightily to muster sympathy.

    1. Seeing modern life on a smartphone is one thing, but actually being there seeing happy people smiling and enjoying themselves is just too much for a cave dwelling troglodyte who worships five times per day.

      1. And it seems that NOBODY understand that amount of maintenance that goes into those images of smiling people. Maintaining an open society is a lot harder than maintaining a lawn.

    1. There’s a guy out there named Patrick Lancaster who has been doing front line reports since 2014, I think. I subscribed and he posts every day or so. I will warn you: it’s war and you’ll see what war is.

      That said, I don’t see much “major” anything compared to most wars. Skirmishes. Mortars, wizbang tech stuff blowing up.

      1. “Truth is the first casualty of war.” There’s always going to be conflicting and contradictory reporting. I would disagree that this is not a major conflict with massive destruction to both sides.

        1. I’m just saying what I see. Having just lived survived the winter of death, I’m not buying the globalist horsesh$t about anything.

          1. Having just lived survived the winter of death, I’m not buying the globalist horsesh$t about anything.

            Same here. Back when cases were reported to be as high as a million a day and deaths were in the thousands and doctors would screech on the TV that the hospitals were bursting and were imploring everyone to get jabbed; all I knew was that no one in my larger social circle had been hospitalized from day 1.

            Likewise, I am not buying the “Ukraine is winning” narrative. If they are winning, why are they constantly begging for international help, including troops?

          2. El Salvador might beat Mexico at soccer one day. But El Salvador is never going to beat the Mexican army. I don’t think Ukranistan is going to “win” against overwhelming forces.

          3. It’s funny how nobody remembers the dire circumstances that were predicted to occur this past winter. Yet people still listen to the CDC and Fauci–they still wear masks and they still are getting “vaccinations”.

          4. As long as Zelensky’s got The Ghost of Kiev up there downing 50 Russian jets a day, what could go wrong?

          5. As long as Zelensky’s got The Ghost of Kiev

            I believe that the Ukes have quietly admitted that the Ghost was a fraud that never existed.

          6. Yet people still listen to the CDC and Fauci–they still wear masks and they still are getting “vaccinations”.

            Some people are just meant to be fleeced.

          7. dire circumstances that were predicted to occur this past winter.

            Some yokel told Biden there would be 100 million infections next fall and that we must have mo’ munny for mass vax boosters. Ugh. By that time, this thing is going to evolve to be a one-day cold. (especially since by then everybody will probably have natural immunity).

          8. especially since by then everybody will probably have natural immunity

            Ah, but the real journalists and the “real experts” say that herd immunity is unachievable and that everyone has to get jabbed and boosted for the rest of their lives.

        2. Deaths aside, the Russian artillery have enjoyed targeting Ukrainian infrastructure, power plants, water treatment plants, rail transportation, etc., which are very destabilizing to civilian populations while the recourse has been largely confined to ageing Soviet era military equipment.

        3. “…both rates and home prices continue to climb…”

          Train, meet impenetrable barrier.

      2. Patrick Lancaster

        I watch him from time to time as well. His Mariupol footage a few weeks ago was sad.

    2. As is often pointed out, the first casualty of war is the truth. I suppose it’s doubly true when you have a veteran spy and propagandist at the helm.

      1. at the helm.

        That’s nothing compared to a gay actor dancing in leather and heels!

        Sorry, couldn’t help myself.

        By the way, I heard this AM that the US is asking Russia for a cease fire.

          1. You could be right. I don’t know what Justin looks like and haven’t seen an episode of SNL for probably 40 years. So the comparison is lost on me.

    3. This isn’t the first time you’ve posted to DailyMail on this topic. Perhaps a site whose right-hand column is all about celebrities isn’t the best source of information for this topic.

      1. I’m glad you mentioned that. Way back I would post a link to the New York Post. New Yorkers would jump all over me: “that’s a tabloid, it’s not credible.” So it was with other web/paper/magazine sites as they were then. But I persevered, doing it as I saw fit. Fast forward to today: The New York Post has journalism that is better than the big flagship outfits (who have so much money, etc).

        There was a time when K-das “news” had these divisions. There was the snobby establishment press and the Toronto Sun, or Calgary Sun, etc. The Suns had the best housing bubble dirt. But they also had these side pages with the days “Sunshine Girl.” Now this is K-dan, maybe even rural sunshine girl, mind you. But it was classy and enjoyable. They eventually were separated but you can still find the Sunshine Girls out there on some pretty old website software.

        1. Who’s DM’s target audience? People interested in, yet blind to, satanic globalists.

          1. Maybe so. I am a consumer of these media to have the sort of blog I do. DM has been around a long time, and is more tabloid than not. But they again, have good housing bubble dirt. Aren’t afraid to rub peoples nose in it. Quotes other media might not ask for nor publish. Good stuff! (There’s Australia DM too.)

            We used to have this poster here long ago who enthusiastically celebrated every time a media outlet went out of business, which was happening a lot at the time. Especially newspapers, he called them fish wraps. I didn’t get it. More media is always better. When I started here, in California for example, there were dozens of local papers with web sites reporting housing news. I’d book mark them and check them regularly. Detailed local info, quotes. Now we got the Union Tribune, the LA Times and Orange County Register for the most part. And what the fudge happened to the Voice of San Diego?

            Anyhoo, the more the merrier IMO.

          2. the more the merrier IMO

            The problem is people’s discernment or rather lack thereof.

    1. “Khadavi — who owes tens of millions of dollars to several creditors, according to court filings — had hoped the auction would precipitate a sale price large enough to cover his debt. But the doctor told CNBC he wasn’t happy that the auction, which concluded Monday evening, coincided with large drops in both equities and crypto.

      Hate it when that happens!

  15. Re: The problem is that the entire ecosystem relies on traders believing Luna has value.

    That, of course, could also be said about all fiat currencies except that they have the pistol of Legal Tender Law aimed at the heads of potential objectors . . .

    1. It’s not the pistol that matters, but the monopoly rights to issue and regulate fiat currency to meet the defintion of money, supported by a rule of law and a powerful national military.

      By contrast, cryptocurrency is unregulated, and hence fails to quantify either as money or as a currency.

      1. Today I listened to an interview where a veteran stock trader harangued Paolo whatshisface in charge of Tether.
        Question: Why don’t you just release a schedule of the assets that are backing Tether’s dollar peg? Fidelity has to do it.
        Answer: Um ugh, we’re working with the AG [of New York]. And Fidelity is regulated and we’re not. So we don’t have to do sheet. So you can pound sand.

        I don’t Paolo is going to last that long.

        1. Why don’t you just release a schedule of the assets that are backing Tether’s dollar peg?

          Why doesn’t the person or people who invented Sh!tCON own up to it? The whole space is a fookin’ joke.

          1. My question is, what do you do with your sh!tcon that goes to $0?
            At least with tulips or Beanie Babies, you get to enjoy the physical item whose value collapsed.

    2. “The problem is that the entire ecosystem relies on traders believing Luna has value.”

      That, in a nutshell, is the problem with Ponzi assets. So long as another wave of greater fools come in to buy at a higher price, fools will universally agree the Ponzi asset has value, due to its ever increasing price. Once appreciation gives way to a sufficient degree of devaluation to convince dip buyers that no further appreciation is likely, everyone changes their mind overnight and decides the Ponzi asset does not have value. At that point, there is a very good chance that almost every HODLer who was buying every dip just last week will suddenly try to sell at the very same time, leading to Ponzi collapse, such as the one just witnessed in the case of Luna.

      1. PS Some may prefer to use the term “bank run” to describe what just transpired, but I respectfully submit that “Ponzi collapse” is a more accurate description. For one thing, banks hold deposits in actual money. By contrast, cryptocurrencies are not actual money, but rather they are Ponzi assets.

    1. Nasma Ali

      ‘Just got off the phone w another worried seller who’s not getting any showings at all. Not my client. Owns a cottage. Public doesn’t understand what a correction feels like on the ground. Right now on some listings, you can’t *pay* buyers to go see it. Fyi price already reduced by $100K. And still nothing. No showings even.’

      https://twitter.com/nasmadotali/status/1524870187878604805

      This person is in Toronto, Ontario.

        1. If you don’t admit it out loud then it doesn’t exist.

          When I would take my dog to the vet, he would refuse to look at Doc. She told me “If he doesn’t see me, then I’m not here.”

        2. “Most realtors are secretly petrified.”

          If I were involved in everything they’ve been for the last 12 years, I’d be petrified too.

      1. “Fyi price already reduced by $100K. And still nothing. No showings even.’

        They should try dropping another $100k and see if they get a nibble.

        “This person is in Toronto, Ontario.”

        As if this seller’s tale of woe wasn’t already bad enough. 🙁

  16. When you’re home thinking about [what the $40 billion aid package] is all about, just think about ‘when I was about to be exposed by Putin, you gave me’ Javelin anti-tank missiles from the Gospel of Biden and Pelosi, somberly paraphrasing Mathew 25:35.

  17. May 11 – Reuters (Lindsay Dunsmuir): “The average interest rate on the most popular U.S. home loan rose to its highest level since 2009 last week and demand for mortgages jumped for a second straight week despite the rising costs… The average contract rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage increased to 5.53% in the week ended May 6 from 5.36% a week earlier… It has now risen 242 basis points from 12 months ago, the sharpest rise in decades…”

  18. May 11 – CNBC (Diana Olick): “It could be more listings on the market, or perhaps just fear that interest rates will move even higher, but homebuyers are showing more demand for mortgages. They are, however, turning even more to adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs), which offer lower rates. That gives them an advantage as both rates and home prices continue to climb… At the start of this year, when rates were still hovering near record lows, the ARM share was just 3% of all purchase applications. At 11% that is the highest share since March 2008.”

    1. The ARM home-buyers remind me of those who respond to the television horoscope commercials. Imbeciles!

      1. Imbeciles!

        Do they really think interest rates will go back down by the time the adjustment comes? Or do they plan to sell at that point? Talk about gambling.

        1. Never mind that interest rates cycle over a multidecadal period:

          Up:
          1960 through 1982 (22 years)

          Down:
          1982 through 2022 (40 years)

          Up:
          2022 through ????

          Take home:
          Once rates start trending up, the uptrend can last for decades!!!

          1. So you think the US Gov is going to be able to make the minimum payments on the debt taken on at those uptrending interest rates “for decades?” No, something will break long before then. Probably in the next six months.

    2. I love this blog. This is why …

      “It could be more listings on the market, or perhaps just fear that interest rates will move even higher, but homebuyers are showing more demand for mortgages.”

      The fear of rising interest rates going up drives the demand for housing purchases. Got it.

      “They are, however, turning even more to adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs), which offer lower rates.”

      The fear of rising interest rates is also driving the demand for ADJUSTABLE-rate mortgages. I got that as well.

      “That gives them an advantage (bahahahahahaha, ah the humor, and the stupidity), as both rates and home prices continue to climb…”

      A nation of dummies.

      1. “Nice house you just bought. How much did it cost you?”

        “I don’t know.”

        “What do you mean ‘You don’t know’. Didn’t you agree to a price?”

        Yeah, I agreed to a price but I don’t know how much it will cost me because I signed up for an adjustable-rate mortgage so, despite agreeing to the price, the cost for me could be anything. Perhaps everything.”

    1. Did I just hear somebody say “the 2020 election was stolen?”

      Why yes, the 2020 election was stolen.

  19. “Another mortgage company Better.com has laid off approximately 4,000 over the past few months. Peloton, the home fitness company, is laying off 2,800. Carvana is laying off an estimated 2,500, according to multiple reports. Uber, Robinhood, and Netflix have all announced significant layoffs. And, Facebook’s parent company Meta has announced a hiring freeze. All of these cuts and freezes are not exclusive to the post-pandemic world or rising interest rates. Scotts Miracle-Gro has announced it is cutting about 10% of its workforce and even the cannabis industry is getting hit.”

    Not to worry! It’s not a recession until the National Bureau of Economic Research says it is.

    https://www.nber.org/research/business-cycle-dating

  20. A blatant Beatles ripoff, but at least someone tried.

    The Apples In Stereo — Strawberry Fire:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VDJwHjWzxA4

    I saw them at the Grog Shop in Cleveland in spring of 2009 and it was an ok show. Not spectacular, but worth the price of a ticket to live music before everything got inflated past it being worth paying money for.

    No live music since before CCP Flu, and possibly never again.

          1. My 25 year-old daughter reggae danced by my door while the first song was playing but I couldn’t get the January 6 protesters who were lured into entering the Capitol and have been locked away in the Gulag ever since while listening to “Hold Him Joe”.

            Nonetheless, many thanks to Ben and Deplorable for an enjoyable out of the box Saturday night HBB jam session here in Region IV.

    1. I understand retribution, but there’s no excuse for serial killing of innocent people, here or anywhere. The kid should have taken his own life.

      1. We will hear how bad guns are, but we will never delve into the real cause. Some of these young kids who snap were brutally bullied for years and years, and they become the monster they were treated like.

        Though I am getting on in years, I still remember some of the kids who were bullied back in school, and it was terrible. The cruelty that kids will inflict upon others is really unfortunate. I don’t have any answers.

        1. Strong disagree. 20 years in public schools have taught me that our definition of bullying is so loose as to have no meaning, i.e., the way we define it, EVERYONE is bullied.

          It’s mental illness, which is certainly exacerbated by the room 101-type prison that American public schools have become.

          The bullying narrative came out of the MSM after Columbine. Read Columbine by Dave Cullen for the full debunking of yet another retarded narrative that has justified the anti-bullying and the newer and more insidious Sociozemotional Learning (SEL) boondoggles in America’s K12 public schools.

          1. We’ll agree to disagree. Bullying is abuse. Abuse is abuse, doesn’t matter where it takes place. The abused become the abusers.

    1. The crypto folks remind me, in some ways, of the hippies who went to Woodstock. They really believed that crypto would save the world. All the governments would agree to give up their own currency for a crypto world currency that crosses borders. It would free them of The Man, and we would all live happily together in a peaceful world with one government and one currency.* I’m pretty sure that this hope and anticipation was what was “backing” Bitcoin. Yeah, kum-bay-ah.

      Of course, it was too good to be true. Any group of starry-eyed innocents will be instantly infiltrated by multiple corrupt shysters, such as the perpetrators of this ponzi scheme. Hopium is not a backing. And governments do not give up currencies willingly. The dollar is the world reserve currency only through the muzzle of a rifle. It was doomed from the start.

      ——————–
      *Of course, in such a world, these supposed would have a massive head start. They would have stocked up on the cryptocurrency at a low price, while the rest of us would start from 0 and have to work for the same crypto. So, in this ideal world of equality, they subconsciously planned to be the “more equal” pigs.

      1. The dollar is the world reserve currency only through the muzzle of a rifle.

        fiat currencies don’t get their value from militaries or any other form of coercion or force.

        they get their value from the average efficiency of production for the things people make in their respective countries.

        and no, the difference between money and currency isn’t stability. those two hacks you listened to, don’t know what they’re talking about. i told you what the difference was years ago.

      2. Woodstock

        A sensual party away from supervision. Get high, get naked, loud music.

        Crypto

        An imaginary path to personal unearned wealth.

    1. Cryptocurrencies Melt Down in a ‘Perfect Storm’ of Fear and Panic
      A steep sell-off that gained momentum this week starkly illustrated the risks of the experimental and unregulated digital currencies.
      The New York Times
      A crash in cryptocurrency prices has wiped away more than $300 billion in value this week.
      By David Yaffe-Bellany, Erin Griffith and Ephrat Livni
      May 12, 2022
      阅读简体中文版閱讀繁體中文版

      SAN FRANCISCO — The price of Bitcoin plunged to its lowest point since 2020. Coinbase, the large cryptocurrency exchange, tanked in value. A cryptocurrency that promoted itself as a stable means of exchange collapsed. And more than $300 billion was wiped out by a crash in cryptocurrency prices since Monday.

      The crypto world went into a full meltdown this week in a sell-off that graphically illustrated the risks of the experimental and unregulated digital currencies. Even as celebrities such as Kim Kardashian and tech moguls like Elon Musk have talked up crypto, the accelerating declines of virtual currencies like Bitcoin and Ether show that, in some cases, two years of financial gains can disappear overnight.

      The moment of panic amounted to the worst reset in cryptocurrencies since Bitcoin plummeted 80 percent in 2018. But this time, the falling prices have broader impact because more people and institutions hold the currencies. Critics said the collapse was long overdue, while some traders compared the alarm and fear to the start of the 2008 financial crisis.

      “This is like the perfect storm,” said Dan Dolev, an analyst who covers crypto companies and financial technology at the Mizuho Group.

      During the coronavirus pandemic, people have flooded into virtual currencies, with 16 percent of Americans now owning some, up from 1 percent in 2015, according to a Pew Research Center survey. Big banks like Northern Trust and Bank of America also streamed in, along with hedge funds, some using debt to further juice their crypto bets.

      Early investors are still probably in a comfortable position. But the rapid declines this week have been especially acute for investors who bought cryptocurrencies when prices surged last year.

      The fall in cryptocurrencies is part of a broader pullback from risky assets, spurred by rising interest rates, inflation and economic uncertainty caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Those factors have compounded a so-called pandemic hangover that began as life started returning to normal in the United States, hurting the stock prices of companies like Zoom and Netflix that thrived during lockdowns.

      But crypto’s decline is more severe than the broader plunge in the stock market. While the S&P 500 is down 18 percent so far this year, Bitcoin’s price has dropped 40 percent in the same period. In the last five days alone, Bitcoin has tumbled 20 percent, compared to a 5 percent decline in the S&P 500.

      https://www.nytimes.com/2022/05/12/technology/cryptocurrencies-crash-bitcoin.html

      1. “While the S&P 500 is down 18 percent so far this year, …”

        Getting pretty close to bear market territory…

    2. The stock market’s panicking, but you don’t have to
      From stocks to crypto, Wall Street is on edge.
      By Emily Stewart
      Updated May 11, 2022, 10:37am EDT
      Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on May 6, 2022.Spencer Platt/Getty Images
      This story is part of a group of stories called
      The Goods

      Alas, stocks do not only go up.

      The past couple of years have been quite exciting for many investors. After the stock market plunged at the outset of the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s been on a pretty good run. The S&P 500 climbed by 16 percent in 2020 and nearly 27 percent in 2021. Hordes of individual investors rushed into trading, getting into meme stocks like GameStop and AMC and enjoying the perks of a pretty broad-based bull market. Some dipped into cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, which traded above $60,000 per coin for parts of last fall. Tech companies, from Peloton to Netflix to Amazon, felt like pretty sure bets for growth.

      The environment made it perhaps a little easy to forget that bull markets don’t last forever, and the waters can get choppy. As the saying goes, markets often take the stairs up and the elevator down, and we’re on the elevator right now.

      The S&P 500, Dow Jones Industrial Average, and the Nasdaq are now well below where they were at the start of the year, down 16 percent, 12 percent, and 26 percent, respectively, as of market open on Wednesday. Last week, the Dow and Nasdaq saw their worst single-day declines since 2020. This week, the S&P 500 hit its lowest level in a year. Many names big and small in the tech sector, in particular, have been struggling. Bitcoin, which many proponents have long argued is a form of digital gold that could serve as a hedge for market turmoil, briefly fell below $30,000 more than once this week, less than half of where it peaked at nearly $69,000 in November 2021. The bond market has been hit, too.

      Stocks fell late last week and on Monday before offering a modest reprieve on Tuesday. On Wednesday morning, after the release of the latest inflation numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, stocks briefly slid before rebounding. The long and short of it is that markets are bouncy and on edge. Inflation remains near 40-year highs. Investors are anxious about what’s on the horizon and what policymakers are going to do about it.

      In the broader recent picture, there really haven’t been many bright spots. Chances are if you look at your investments right now, you maybe aren’t feeling so great.

      “In market dislocations, correlations always go to one. Everything moves together,” said Nick Colas, co-founder of DataTrek Research. “There is never a safe haven when the storm is in full force.”

      https://www.vox.com/the-goods/2022/5/10/23065007/stock-market-crash-bitcoin-price-inflation

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