word "IPO" written on golden sand

Never Give A Sucker An Even Break

Since Uber’s shareholders aim to fetch the highest possible price for the company, it is better for Uber, which remains unprofitable, to go public before its growth slows too much. If Uber times it right, it can make investors in public markets believe it is a good buy—even at a valuation greater than its most recent $68 billion. Wall Street...

Brexit – It’s not Over

By 2025 there will be a vast new firm, valued at an astronomical sum and run by people who look like teenagers from a futuristic building in . . . well, where will it be? Can you imagine it being in Europe? Me neither. Matt Ridley Never let the perfect plan be the enemy of the good plan. Various Luminaries The Brexit referendum...

Macro Overload

Brexit, negative interest rates, a China slowdown of undetermined extent, a bizarre American Presidential election  – that’s more than a full plate of macro unknowns for investors to grapple with.  And we can add to that a longer term unknown called the “rise of the robots.” Let’s start with Brexit. I have no idea whether this will pass or not....
The-Trump-Democracy

The Myth of the Rational Voter

The above title has been filched from a book with the same title written by economist Bryan Caplan in 2007. Today the book reads like a primer for 2016 American Presidential elections. Generalizing only a little, all three candidates are espousing populist policies which ignore basic economic principles. (I know. Trump doesn’t really mean what he says. We can...
Carl Ichan Investor

Carl Icahn Was Right

As this blog is written, Carl Icahn announced that he sold his entire extensive position in Apple. He cited macro and political risks in China. In my opinion, he made the smart move. For starters, this blog isn’t really about Apple. It’s about China. Let’s begin with the macro considerations. It’s fairly safe to say that China has been misallocating...

Beware of the Unicorn

A unicorn used to be a legendary beast from antiquity with a large, pointed, spiraling horn projecting from its forehead. But things have changed.  A modern  unicorn is defined as a private company with a net worth over a billion dollars.  By one source, there were 144 modern unicorns in existence at the end of 2015. Virtually all of these...

The Dismal Optimist Returns

After an absence of almost a year, I have decided to resume publishing The Dismal Optimist . During that period I took the time to get more informed about what was going on in the global technology sector. And to pass the time (I don’t play golf), I wrote a novel about Southeast Asia called Coco’s Gambit . The...

Investing Under the Law of Accelerating Returns

In Omega, we have in the first place the principle we needed to explain both the persistent march of things towards greater consciousness Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, The Phenomenon of Man, 1941. (Kindle Location 4960) Evergreen Books. Kindle Edition.   …given the emergence of life, the emergence of a technology-creating species—and of technology— is inevitable. Technology is the continuation of evolution...

Really Brave New World

“First, let us postulate that the computer scientists succeed in developing intelligent machines that can do all things better than humans can do them. In that case, presumably all work will be done by vast, highly organized systems and no human effort will be necessary…it may be possible that human control over the machines may be retained. In that...

Time to Pause?

I remain an unreconstructed long-term bull on the US stock market. Technology is accelerating and the economic recovery continues, albeit at its admittedly slow pace. And what else are you going to buy when you sell your stocks? Do you really want to buy bonds? Or BRICs? But markets never go in a straight line. And near term, there...