Medallion

Uber's Massive Cash Burn Problem: 2016 Loss Set To Hit A Record $3 Billion

Despite its eye-popping valuation courtesy of a growth curve which until recently was truly unprecedented (at least until the company's sudden withdrawals from China), Uber has a big problem: an unprecedented cash burn, which if not getting worse with every passing quarter, is certainly not getting better, and in 2016 is expected to hit a record $3 billion on over $5.5 billion in revenue.

Frontrunning: November 21

  • Dollar dips, stocks fall as Trumpflation trade pauses (Reuters)
  • A profile of RenTec's Medallion fund: Inside a Moneymaking Machine Like No Other (BBG)
  • Mattis, Christie, Giuliani in contention for top posts (Reuters)
  • Paulson’s Big Long: A Bet on Trump Yields Power and Profit (BBG)
  • Ex-PM Fillon is favorite to win French conservative presidential ticket (Reuters)
  • In weekend of deliberation, Mattis favored for Trump Pentagon chief (Reuters)

Lady Gaga Channels Hitler in Chilling Speech At Hillary Clinton Rally

Lady Gaga made waves on social media Monday night when she took the stage at Hillary Clinton’s final rally, sporting an outfit eerily resembling a Nazi uniform. The pop star pounded the podium and pointed at the crowd, ironically mimicking the powerful speaking style made famous by Adolf Hitler himself. At one point, Gaga declared “Hillary Clinton is made of steel. Hillary Clinton is unstoppable." Despite a social media backlash, numerous mainstream media sites rushed to her defense.

The Top 100 Hedge Funds Of 2016 According To Barron's

Here is the table of the Top 100 best performing hedge funds of 2016 ranked by their 3-year compound return, with an average return of 16.98% (ranging from 30% to 12%), outperforming the S&P's 3 year return of 15.13%.

The Enabler & The Lifeline: Diamond Resorts & Quorum FCU

Diamond has a good thing going with Quorum: they get access to ample credit, especially for those applicants with weaker credit profiles. From a Diamond investor's perspective, it would be a shame if anything changed. The post credit-crisis strategy of focusing on esoteric lending opportunities like VOI (as well as taxi medallions, hearing aids and fertility treatments) to generate revenues and membership has run into both a broader slowdown in the consumer credit cycle as well as more specific problems, like an increasingly worried regulator.

The Collapse Of The NY Taxi Cartel

It is interesting that the free market has actually found a way to undermine a cartel that up until recently appeared to be completely safe. In some cities, Uber is being fought tooth and nail to protect the sinecures of the established taxi industry. It is a microcosm of the cronyism that is the rule almost everywhere these days. Just think about how greatly our lives would improve if all the regulations that have been designed for no other reason than to protect established businesses against competition from upstarts were rescinded.

California Labor Commission Pops The Uber Bubble, Says Workers Are Employees

Without its drivers, Uber wouldn't have a business. The drivers are the backbone of the enterprise. Uber, with its "God view" monitoring system and volatile, sky-high surge pricing, definitely controls pricing and how the work is performed. Once Uber starts acting like a real business and faces normal business costs, we'll see how profitable they actually are. Until then, they are just a millennial sweatshop.

Drivers For $40-Billion-Uber Face Death Threats In Greece

Having raised money at a mind-numbingly bubblicious $40 billion valuation this week (which as a reminder is triple the value of the entire NYC tax medallion business), we thought the pushback from the world's tax-driving unions was at least worth noting as they resist 'disruption'. Nowhere is that pushback more evident than in Greece, where as KeepTalkingGreece reports, the President of Attica Taxi Association (SATA) said that taxi drivers cooperating with Uber “should be hanged at Syntagma Square” for being traitors.

The Yellow Cab Bubble Pops: Taxi Medallion Prices Tumble 17% From Last Year's Record Highs

A little over a year ago, we presented a "Yellow" asset, which was "the best performer of the past year." It wasn't gold: it was yellow cab medallions.  As we wrote then, "the best returning asset class traded in the NY Metro area is yellow but doesn't change hands on Wall Street.... over the last 12 months New York City taxi medallions have risen 49% in price, besting the relatively humdrum returns of the S&P 500 (up 21%), the NASDAQ (22%) and the Dow (18%).  Medallions – essentially the right to operate a for-hail taxi in New York City – now trade for as much as $1.3 million, an all-time record."  In retrospect it was also the perfect time to cash out on the "yellow" euphoria. According to the NYT, "the average price of an individual New York City taxi medallion fell to $872,000 in October, down 17 percent from a peak reached in the spring of 2013, according to an analysis of sales data. Previous figures published by the city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission — showing flat prices — appear to have been incorrect, and the commission removed them from its website after an inquiry from The New York Times."