Back in May I became mildly obsessed by Sam Bankman Fried (aka SBF), now a household name as the new Bernie Madoff. This was after I read a feature on him in the weekend FT, in its Lunch with the FT column in which celebrities from all walks of life who are newsworthy at time are interviewed over a meal at the FT’s expense. The Silicon Valley tech geeks in this series tend to order the most repulsive woke food and talk the most bullshit and generally be the most dislikeable but SBF really took the biscuit in this regard, and I spent several hours trying to find a way to short anything to do with him, unfortunately with no result. Since the implosion of FTX I have been addicted to following this lurid story and all students of fraud should spend time on this case study of folly, greed and incompetance. It has everything (certainly sex and drugs and maybe even rock and roll) and gives out a great many examples as to the crazy environment that we have been living in for so long.
Before the market meltup, shares in Beyond Meat (BYND) closed at an all-time low of $11.90 on Wednesday night after releasing a disastrous Q3 earnings report. Is this a chance to buy into the BBC's favourite Nasdaq stock? No! Au contraire.
In my experience it is often better to short a company’s shares when they have already fallen sharply and it has indicated that its equity is worthless. After all, the upside for a short that goes to zero is 100% whether you open it at 100p or 10p.
While there is disagreement among the investment experts about whether inflation, stagflation or outright recessionary deflation is on the horizon, there seems to be a consensus that times are going to be tough for a the rest of this year and 2023.
Two weeks ago today at Sharestock, I spoke about Victoria Carpets Plc (VCP) and outlined the reasons why I thought it still had the makings of a good short, despite its fall from £12 in January when I last wrote on it. Although the stock closed yesterday at just 427p, the share price gyrations of the past fortnight underline why I stated that right now might not be a great time to open the short. The shares raced ahead post Sharestock but are now 53p below the share price then.
By my rough calculations the second of Versarien’s (VRS) disastrously expensive death spirals struck with Landstead has come to an end. The good news is that this prevents roughly 25,000 shares being dumped in the market every day. The bad news is that Versarien no longer receives around £100,000 a month from Lanstead. It’s also bad news for the unnamed “agent” who has been trousering a 2.5% cut of the money!
I wrote recently about Fevertree (FEVR) whose shares are now heavily down. I have closed and will not gloat because I was kind of right for the wrong reasons.