Breaking News #18: The Rise of the Raccoons

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Join Ben Hunt, Matt Zeigler and Jack Forehand as we break open the news to reveal the Nudging language behind the headlines. Media bias is real, but not in the way you think.

As anyone who has ever left their trash lid loose would know, raccoons have a tendency to come in and clean up the leftovers. And they make a huge mess while they do it. That isn’t the only place they exist, though. Raccoons also exist in the financial world, the self help world and a lot of other places. They come in and take what is leftover from what would otherwise be positive innovations and make a mess of them for their own benefit. In this episode, we take a detailed look at raccoons. We look at the tactics they use and how all of us can better spot them before they do their damage. We also discuss the danger of carved out inflation metrics, whether fundamental investing is dead, what steam boat operators have to do with finding your true self and a lot more.

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  1. I rate and respect Ben’s views on so many things, and I am curious about his views about Saylor. I know very little about Microstrategy as a business and it has not taken up a lot of mind space for me, but anyone that keeps up with Bitcoin these days get exposed to their fair share of Saylor. My impression of his “grift” (if you want to call it that) with Microstrategy has been that he has essentially hitched the entire “wagon” on the success (or lack thereof) of Bitcoin. Which would only be underhanded in my book, if he was somehow hiding this from anyone. Board members, employers, shareholders etc. which he most certainly have not.

    So I am interested in what the major issue with his current strategy is - is there a suspicion that he is doing something fraudulent? I understand that the guy is mired in tax issues at the moment but that seems to revolve around the question of where he actually lives most of the year. Reading about that case certainly does not endear me to Saylor, but considering what I know about most American’s attitude towards paying tax in general and how closely related tav avoidance and evasion are in “real life” - that doesn’t really tell me all that much.

    Is the issue that he keeps selling his own shares of MSTR? Or that he is seen as somehow suggesting that people should buy shares in his company instead of Bitcoin? Because, I have now heard him on multiple occasions say to vast crowds of people that simply buying Bitcoin is the superior choice. That MSTR is overvalued at the moment seems fairly clear to anyone actually trying to analyse the situation - except of course if you think that Bitcoin is the superior asset that Saylor says he thinks it is.

    I don’t know…after listening to I-don’t know-how-many-hours of the “What-is-Money-Saylor-Podcast-Series” (which I do actually recommend) my impression is that he personally believes that Microstrategy’s actual business revenues will continue to shrink in comparison to its Bitcoin treasury reserve asset. One day in the not so distant future, Microstrategy will be a 100% Bitcoin, the trend is pretty clear. And people should be free to think what they like about this - he is very up front and clear about this when he speaks in public, like at this event not long ago:

    So, without talking about Bitcoin and the arguments for and against - what are the arguments against Saylor behaviour at the moment? His behaviour during the dot com bubble? His personal moral compass and feelings about paying taxes? I can understand both of those, but I wonder if there is more that I am missing.

    I understand that if you believe that Bitcoin will go to zero that his conviction about the asset class is unnerving. I do, I get it. But he does seem very up front and honest about what he is doing with Microstrategy in relation to Bitcoin. And for those among us that believe that he is wrong, there seems a clear path forward. Don’t buy Microstrategy. And as the clip above shows, Saylor is essentially saying that even those who DO believe in the merits of Bitcoin - are better off simply buying Bitcoin.


  2. Avatar for bhunt bhunt says:

    Saylor’s stance on Bitcoin is what it is, neither here nor there for me.

    Saylor’s use of Microstrategy as a vehicle to defraud his shareholders is what I can’t abide. From 1997-2000, Saylor knowingly made fraudulent statements about company revenues, collapsing the stock when the lies were revealed and costing investors billions of dollars.

  3. Thanks Ben, that does clarify it for me. I don’t know very much about Microstrategy during the dot com bubble (I will read up!), but that certainly justifies your position.

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