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Showing posts from 2017

Smile :) Is Western Union is About to Have a Kodak Moment?

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Smile for the camera Western Union investors, let's see if this is a Kodak moment for you.

You remember Kodak, the iconic film company? Neither do we.

For decades upon decades Kodak served as the benchmark for film and processing, and its mighty brand carved a wide economic moat around its profit center.
Then, in a flash, they were obliterated by new technology (digital film) that passed their product by at the speed of light. (Funny enough, Kodak invented digital photography long before anyone else but kept it under wraps for fear of cannibalizing their cash cow.)

No Kodak investor should wistfully look back at that time with a pang of regret that they didn't sell; "If I only I had seen that coming ..."  No, they should be able to look in a mirror, diagnosis themselves as idiots, and shift their remaining capital to a no brain S+P index fund; it didn't take 20/20 forward vision to see this coming.
The same could be said for Blockbuster Video.

What about present …

Why Bitcoin Adoption is Spurred by Dr. Evil Governments- Fiat Meltdown

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You are a citizen of Evil Land, blessed with a leader described as
"intrepid and heroic" ... at least by your history books and national media.

Dr. Evil's government borrows a Billion dollars from his beleaguered citizens and a few idiot foreign donors, to weaponize sharks with frickin laser beams on their heads, and to fund a huge "coke and whore" party for his generals; only one of which works according to plan.
When his plan to hold the world hostage is thwarted by Austin Powers, his treasury is in the red. What's his solution? As a leader who cares deeply about his citizens Like any good dictator he simply instructs the Federal Bank to rev-up the printing presses, and he churns a billion Evil Dollars, "making good" on his debt by sending the engraved paper to his debtors.
Of course, when you can simply print currency, and people freely start spending it- prices go soaring. To give you a simplistic example, let's say your country is an isl…

Russia Disrupted US Elections to Fast Forward Global Warming + generate an Oil Windfall

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Capitalism 101- Final Exam

Q: Russia's owner Vladimir Putin (a self-described humble public employee who lives off his meager government salary,) is looking to maximize profit. Explain, in economic terms, why hacking the American election and disseminating fake-news in favor of one candidate, might help get Vladimir the 500 ruble a month raise he has requested from his fellow Russian oligarchs shareholders.  

A: The Arctic Ocean is host to vast untapped oil reserves and minerals below a surface that for eons has been covered in ice. As global warming speeds up, and the sea ice recedes, suddenly previous untouchable resources open up.
Due to her geography and sheer size, Mother Russia holds more rights to the Arctic Ocean area than any other country, thus making it in her interest to see the ice melt away enabling drilling for oil and gas before the resources are replaced by renewable energy, and lose their value.
Additionally, Mother Russia is not exactly the warmest place on the…

An Example of How The BlockChain will Spur Economies in Eastern Europe + other Corrupt Countries

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Eastern Europe has long been a haven for organized crime and relative lawlessness, and a notoriously risky and difficult place to do business.
I was in the Ukraine and can recount a young businessman describing why, despite the need and overwhelming desire from the country's citizens for foreign investment, next to none was taking place. He then explained why any company that did, would be crazy (or stupid) to do so.
"Let's say you and I wanted to start a hotel, a serious investment which takes a lot of planning, money, and a ten year forecast. So we get the financing together, we bribe all the necessary officials, we get our deed to the land, and we start work. A year later, our hotel almost done, some local "businessman" shows up with the exact same deed to the land, only it says it is from one day earlier than ours. We go to court with all our documents, evidence, and high priced lawyers, but it makes no difference, we lose the case and our investment. The go…

What is The Blockchain- and How Does it Work in Simple Terms

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So you've heard of Blockchain? For those unaware it's the technology underlying the cryptocurrency bitcoin, but what exactly is it, and what task does it perform and frankly, why all the hype?
Blockchain Simply Explained Blockchain is a distributed ledger with transactions verifiable on thousands independent nodes. Essentially you are able to instantly check and verify claims to an asset, the chain of ownership, etc. whether that be bitcoin, a house, stocks, etc. Trust comes not from a single authority in this case (be that a title company, Western Union, Wall Street) but rather is decentralized with thousands of independent operators paid to come to agreement on transactions and the order in which they took place.

A Stroll through Deals Throughout History

The Old West, the year 1859: a stranger trots into town and wants to sell us his horse at a reasonable price. Claims he bought it last year in Las Vegas from Betty-Sue Wynn which activates our intuitive lie-detector, mainly be…

Amazon's Valuation Showing Signs of Bubbling After the Whole Foods Acquisition

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Okay, so Amazon buys a company (Whole Foods) at a decent premium to its current valuation, and their valuation goes up.
In fact, market capitalization increased by more than $30 billion on the day the Whole Foods acquisition was announced; more than double the grocery chain's price tag, largely attributed to investor enthusiasm over the deal.
That's like me, a vaunted real estate developer, paying 20% above market price for a property and investors immediately saying, "He's such a genius! We're going to pay Twice what he paid for the property."
Now, granted Amazon is obviously large, and the amount paid for Whole Foods not earth shattering in relation to its valuation, but this doesn't take  away from the fact this action in the stock is seriously Bubbly. 
There are two possibilities: all these so-called brilliant analysts completely missed this possibility and are now falling over themselves to properly valuate Amazon shares as it gobbles up Whole Foods O…

Big Data is Electric - Who Is Set to Win the Data + Cloud Wars

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Previous discussions related to Big Data
Section I: what Big Data is, Who Makes Money off it, and how it Affects YOU
Section II:  Is "Data is The New Oil"
and now, the third installement:

The question paramount to investors once they understand the exponential growth and importance of Big Data: who wins?
First- Humanity Wins.
From helping make more of efficient use of natural resources, to easing the burden on healthcare resources, to, in the end, robotics and A/I which will satisfy humanity's every whim, creating a virtual utopia, before finally morphing into a sentient destructive computer-overlord.
Until then, what horses should you back in the stock market so that you're a multi-millionaire when Skynet launches the nukes. (on the off-hand chance you get to take it with you.)

To answer this I wish to make two distinctions between oft used analogy "Data is New Oil"
1. While oil has a fixed supply, data is being generated at an ever increasing rate.
2. While p…

Is Data Really the "New Oil?" (Hint: NO- here's why ...)

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A good analogy bridges the gap of understanding by linking the unfamiliar with something already understood. Let's dive into- “Data is the New Oil.”
Oil's Applications over time Oil of long ago when found bubbling up on a property was considered a nuisance. Thirsty American pioneers of the early 1800's would dig wells and be disappointed when they struck oil. * Following the invention of the kerosene lamp in 1854, petroleum began to replace whale oil, creating massive protests amongst the social justice warriors of that long ago era; "The greedy oil industry is displacing all those poor whalers! The sad, helpless souls!" And then one of the whalers standing beside them would spit tobacco juice in their face. **   
But it was when petroleum began to be refined into gasoline to power the newly created internal combustion engine that oil's value to society skyrocketed.
A single barrel of oil stores the equivalent of 25,000 man-hours of power and sells on the marke…

"Big Data" - Who Makes Money off it + How does it Affect YOU?

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Will data science increase operational efficiencies and create new savings, less waste, and thus greater wealth for humanity? What secrets can pouring over your data give to an organization, be they nefarious, marketers, or perhaps trying save your life?
What is Big Data?
In our everyday lives we take in and evaluate data almost unconsciously, whether it’s noting someone is consistently late and adjusting our expectations of them, to noting traffic trends and tailoring our schedule accordingly. 
“Big Data” refers to vast amounts of data recorded digitally and analyzed using vast and previously unavailable computational power to uncover trends and patterns. It is already being used in medical diagnostics, to keep physical machines running smoothly, and even to understand you as an individual. 
Examples of Big Data in Use
For each example I have put the data being used in italics. 
Video- How Big data is Revolutionizing Medicine
Medicine- After feeding a computer millions of breast tissue cell…

What Does it Take to Be in The top 1% of Global Earners?

Interesting fact: To be in the top 1% of earnings, Globally, do you know how much money you need to make?
$32,000 a year.
Thank God you were born in the West. 
Please, remember, in today's world it doesn't take 12 hours a day tilling a field to survive and live. Machines and technology have increased our productivity and yield dramatically. Say what we will about the soil and environmental degradation capitalism and the progress of civilization has wrecked upon the earth, there is no greater time to be alive than today! 
Count your blessings.