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Peter Schiff On WhatsApp And The "Dysfunctional And Distorted Economy"

Tyler Durden's picture




 

Submitted by Peter Schiff of Euro Pacific Capital,

Two pieces of business news announced this week provide a convenient frame through which to view our dysfunctional and distorted economy. The first (which has attracted tremendous attention), is Facebook's blockbuster $19 billion acquisition of instant messaging provider WhatsApp. The second (which few have noticed) is the horrific earnings report issued by Texas-based retail chain Conn's. While these two developments don't seem to have much in common, together they shed some very unflattering light on where we stand economically.
 
Given the size and extravagance of the Facebook deal, it may go down as one of those transactions that define an era (think AOL and Time Warner). Facebook paid $19 billion for a company with just 55 employees, little name recognition, negligible revenues, and little prospects to earn much in the future. For the same money the company could have bought American Airlines and Dunkin' Donuts, and still have had $2 billion left over for R&D. Alternatively they could have used the money to lock in more than $1 billion in annual revenue through an acquisition of any one of the numerous large cap oil producing partnerships. Instead they chose a company that is in the business of giving away a valuable service for free. Come again?
 
Mark Zuckerberg, the owner of Facebook, is not your typical corporate CEO. Through a combination of technological smarts, timing, luck, and questionable business ethics, he became a billionaire before most of us bought our first cars. And in the years since social media became the buzzword of the business world, Wall Street has been falling over backward to funnel money into the hot sector. As a result, it may be that Zuckerberg looks at real money the way the rest of us look at Monopoly money. It also helps that a large portion of the acquisition is made with Facebook stock, which is also of dubious value.
 
But even given this highly distorted perspective, it's still hard to figure out why Facebook would pay the highest price ever paid for a company per employee - $345 million (more than four  times the old record of $77 million per employee, set last year when Facebook bought Instagram). The popular talking point is that the WhatsApp has gained users (450 million) faster than any other social media site in history, faster even than Facebook itself. Based on its rate of growth, the $42 per user acquisition cost does not seem so outrageous. But WhatsApp gained its users by giving away a service (text messaging) for which cellular carriers charge up to $10 or $20 per month. It's very easy to get customers when you don't charge them, it's much harder to keep them when you do.
 
Boosters of the deal expect that WhatsApp will be able to charge customers after the initial 12-month free trial period ends (it now charges 99 cents per year after the first year). Based on this model, the firm had revenues of $20 million last year. But what happens if another provider comes in and offers it for free? After all, the technology does not seem to be that hard to replicate. Google has developed a similar application. More importantly, no one seems to be projecting what the cellular carriers may do to protect their texting cash cows.
 
WhatsApp gives away what AT&T and Verizon offer as an a la carte texting service. As these carriers continue to lose this business we can expect they will simply no longer offer texting as an a la carte option. Instead it will likely be bundled with voice and data at a price that recoups their lost profits. If texting comes free with cell service, a company giving it away will no longer have value. People will still need cellular service to send mobile texts, so unless Facebook acquires its own telecom provider, it can easily be sidelined from any revenue the service may generate.
 
Some say that texting revenue is unimportant, and that the real value comes from the new user base.  But how many of the 450 million users it just acquired don't already have Facebook accounts? And besides, Facebook itself hasn't really figured out how to fully monetize the users it already has. In other words, it is very difficult to see how this mammoth investment will be profitable.
 
From my perspective, the transaction reflects the inflated nature of our financial bubble. The Fed has been pumping money into the financial sector through its continuous QE programs. The money has pushed up the value of speculative stocks, even while the real economy has stagnated. With few real investments to fund, the money is plowed right back into the speculative mill. We are simply witnessing a replay of the dot com bubble of the late 1990's. But this time it isn't different.
 
In another replay of that spectacular crash fourteen years ago, the appliance and furniture retailer Conn's has just showed the limits of a business built on vendor financing. In the late 1990's telecom equipment companies almost went bankrupt after selling gear to dot com start-ups on credit. For a while, these "sales" made growth and profits look great, but when the dot coms went bust, the equipment makers bled. Conn's makes its money by selling TVs and couches on credit to Americans who have difficulty scraping up funds for cash purchases. For a while, this approach can juice sales. Not surprisingly, Conn's stock soared more than 1500% between the beginning of 2011 and the end of 2013. These financing options are part of the reason why Conn's was able to keep up the appearance of health even while rivals like Best Buy faltered in 2013.
 
But if people stop paying, the losses mount. This is what is happening to Conn's. The low and middle-income American consumers that form the company's customer base just don't have the ability to pay off their debt. The disappointing repayment data in the earnings report sent the stock down 43% in one day.
 
In essence, Conn's customers are just stand-ins for the country at large. In just about every way imaginable, America has borrowed beyond its ability to repay. Meanwhile our foreign creditors continue to provide vendor financing so that we can buy what we can't really afford.
 
So thanks for the metaphors Wall Street. Too bad most economists can't read the tea-leaves

 

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Fri, 02/21/2014 - 21:15 | 4463867 HedgeAccordingly
HedgeAccordingly's picture

more inflation .. $100k Kiton suit - http://hedge.ly/1jSsgNM

Fri, 02/21/2014 - 21:20 | 4463879 Stackers
Stackers's picture

Conn's has been dieing for years. Their prices are high. They have pushy comission based sales people and all product inventory is kept in the back and takes forever to be brought forward after you buy it. It's a retail dinasour.

Fri, 02/21/2014 - 21:34 | 4463898 Landotfree
Landotfree's picture

Peter is mad because he missed the boat, again.   He called the housing top but didn't short the market and banks.  

Dude can't catch a break.   Like going to the strip club and forgetting your cash.

"From my perspective, the transaction reflects the inflated nature of our financial bubble."

And Peter your investment advise is based on the exact same thing.   The helicopters are coming... 

"Meanwhile our foreign creditors continue to provide vendor financing so that we can buy what we can't really afford."

Sorry Peter there is no backup system once this one implodes.   The system is simple.... American take on credit... expanding the money supply... buy cheap crap from Japan and China.   In 2007-2009 that system went into shutdown mode... as did the rest of the world.

There is NO OUT!  There is only IN!

Fri, 02/21/2014 - 22:03 | 4463938 jbvtme
jbvtme's picture

tonite is friday. i had two choices. either buff my weathered frame with a shit, shower and shave and hit the trail for cocktails and loose women. or stay at home and snuggle up with the hedge.

Fri, 02/21/2014 - 22:15 | 4464002 jbvtme
jbvtme's picture

who here has ever clicked on a facebook ad let alone even read one? the stock (a rockefeller chimera) is inflated with QE hydrogen and is one of the crippled legs on which this charade is supported.

Fri, 02/21/2014 - 22:35 | 4464066 HowardBeale
HowardBeale's picture

Facebook has ads?

Fri, 02/21/2014 - 22:49 | 4464106 SilverIsKing
SilverIsKing's picture

Did WhatsApp turn down an offer for $18B? There has to be a shareholder lawsuit for overpaying. You can't tell me that the sellers wouldn't have accepted a penny less than $19B.

Sat, 02/22/2014 - 10:43 | 4464806 Semi-employed W...
Semi-employed White Guy's picture

Maybe Zuckerweasel and the two WhatApp owners were playing darts and they decided the first triple score would be price for the company.  Somebody got a triple 19, so that's how it was set.   That would be no less sound of a valuation as the official one will be when we hear it.

Sat, 02/22/2014 - 11:46 | 4464953 Temporalist
Temporalist's picture

Farcepoop bought Instantcrap for 70% stock, or $700 million (I think or close to there), in case that wasn't mentioned somewhere.

 

And to keep things in perspective, WhatCrapp employs 55, Instantcrap employs 13 (maybe more now but even if both employed 200); Eastman Kodak used to employ 17,000, Verizon is laying off 3,200.

 

Cheering on the demise of their own generation. 

 

Everything is free apparently and I wasn't aware of it.  Party on!

 

And I thought waaaaazzzzaaaappp!!! was so turn of the millennium

Fri, 02/21/2014 - 23:01 | 4464142 chrispycrunch
chrispycrunch's picture

Only without ad block plus. On mobile, users accidentally pocket hit ads

Sat, 02/22/2014 - 01:55 | 4464460 rcintc
rcintc's picture

Blackberry recently offered up its BBM service for free.  It's the same, you just need to have someone else have the app also - just like whatsapp - the only catch is BBM is free - just not as widespread.

Sat, 02/22/2014 - 11:59 | 4464995 Kayman
Kayman's picture

What's a Facebook ?

Sat, 02/22/2014 - 00:23 | 4464313 Stuck on Zero
Stuck on Zero's picture

These new bubble stocks carry the same message as the dotcom stocks: "Of course we don't make any money on our transactions ...  but we'll make it up in volume."

 

Sat, 02/22/2014 - 04:38 | 4464581 irishlink
irishlink's picture

Face book is not about making money. It is about collecting users and their Data. The goal is 2 billion users world wide and these are the people that gov want info on. The guys who wanted to create a safe messaging system with Whattsapp just sold their soul no matter what assurances they are trying to peddle to their users . Money talks!

Sat, 02/22/2014 - 10:13 | 4464778 game theory
game theory's picture

It is the worlds largest facial recognition database...once people realize Facebook can sell that data to anyone, maybe they'll come to their senses and stop uploading images and tagging pictures. Or not.

Fri, 02/21/2014 - 22:39 | 4464084 Spankrupt
Spankrupt's picture

On the one hand you have every opportunity to get get lucky....and on the other you get fucked after debauched drunken explanations about dads/moms who didn' give a fuck.

Fri, 02/21/2014 - 22:50 | 4464109 johnQpublic
johnQpublic's picture

so if america stops paying , it bankrupts its creditors

like china

downside?

Fri, 02/21/2014 - 23:11 | 4464168 Spitzer
Spitzer's picture

You have been reading too much Keynes.

 

Anything you see that is made outside the US won't be coming in the door as an import anymore. Plus the devaluation that the dollar will experience will make capital investment too expensive.  Borrowing costs for even legitimate endeavors will be expensive. The devalued dollar will not , WILL NOT, improve exports. It will have the exact opposite effect because the US won't be able to afford capital investment.

China won't be the one going bankrupt either. They will take losses on their dollar holdings.

 

In other news.. That you won't hear on ZeroHedge.

Record spending by tourists has helped Greece post its first current account surplus since official data began.

Figures from the Bank of Greece showed the difference between the money going into and coming out of the country was 1.24bn euros (£1bn) last year.

 

^Imagine that... With a strong currency !! Fucking Keynes..

Fri, 02/21/2014 - 23:00 | 4464138 Spitzer
Spitzer's picture

@ Landotfree

 

Peter is mad because he missed the boat, again.   He called the housing top but didn't short the market and banks.

Fail. Peter Schiff did short the housing market, parterned with a hedge fund in 2008. Not that many people know about it but he did.

And Peter your investment advise is based on the exact same thing.   The helicopters are coming...

Bullshit. You don't seem to understand the difference between speculative bubbles caused by central bank balance sheet expansion and banana republic/70's style currency inflation caused by a central bank losing control. The loss of control has not happened yet. That is what Austrians are positioning for.

 

Sorry Peter there is no backup system once this one implodes.   The system is simple.... American take on credit... expanding the money supply... buy cheap crap from Japan and China.   In 2007-2009 that system went into shutdown mode... as did the rest of the world.

There is NO OUT!  There is only IN!

Ummm.. That statement makes no sense. Smoke another one.

Sat, 02/22/2014 - 00:28 | 4464326 machop
machop's picture

In ZH a comment with lots of Voted Down is really worthy reading. I am serious.

 

 

Sat, 02/22/2014 - 22:39 | 4466920 gafgroocK
gafgroocK's picture

 

 

So whats your definition of "lots" ?

Fri, 02/21/2014 - 21:20 | 4463881 The Vineyard
The Vineyard's picture

OK.  OK.  We get it.  We have a non-productive economy.  Bitches.

Sun, 02/23/2014 - 03:20 | 4467313 fooledbyfiat
fooledbyfiat's picture

Conspiracy Theorist

Fri, 02/21/2014 - 21:15 | 4463869 SilverIsMoney
SilverIsMoney's picture

He's a ZeroHedger lol...

Fri, 02/21/2014 - 21:16 | 4463870 freddymercury
freddymercury's picture

First bitchez!

Fri, 02/21/2014 - 21:21 | 4463882 SilverIsMoney
SilverIsMoney's picture

nope

Fri, 02/21/2014 - 21:18 | 4463874 knukles
knukles's picture

And confirming all this Happy Horseshit is the Class A-1+, P-1 AAA across by all services King of the Hill Bankruptcy of all Time, TXU, one of the Most Expensive Buyout/Takeovers Ever, which occurred in What of All Industries, but an Electric Utility.

Whoever thought that one up probably believes that Unicorns Eat Rainbows and Fart Big White Happy Puffy Clouds....

Fri, 02/21/2014 - 21:38 | 4463925 El Vaquero
El Vaquero's picture

Sheesh!  Everybody knows that Unicorns eat white happy puffy clouds and fart Skittles.  No wonder we're screwed. 

Fri, 02/21/2014 - 21:42 | 4463930 PT
PT's picture

Now roll that episode of The Simpsons where Homer starts his own company in his garage and just sits there all day ...

Sat, 02/22/2014 - 12:10 | 4465039 Kayman
Kayman's picture

TXU

Another of the Fed's drug addicted cheap money whores. Price/Value discovery in the real economy died a long time ago.

Everyone now is chasing the money sloshing around in a sinking row boat.

Fri, 02/21/2014 - 21:18 | 4463876 akak
akak's picture

Funny how they call it "social media", yet those most addicted to it invariably seem to me to be the most anti-social people I ever run across.

Fri, 02/21/2014 - 21:23 | 4463889 knukles
knukles's picture

akak...
Just think of the lost sales potential if it were called "Anti-Social Media"

Daughter and I took Mrs K out for her Bday dinner at an extraordinarily expensive wonderful magnificent local restaurant out here were we live in the People's Republic.
NYC prices for NYC quality French food.
Which is scarce out here.  CA cuisine is sorta mash-bland-fu-fu type food.

Table next to us a young couple comes in, orders a fabulous dinner, and sat there the whole time with their SmartPhones texting.
The whole fucking dinner.
No social interaction whatsoever.
Absolutely amazing...

There's something very wrong with this.  And just think, any and all information on the web can be redacted at any time....
Pure Orwell come true.

Fri, 02/21/2014 - 22:48 | 4463974 jbvtme
jbvtme's picture

i watch the young coed walking across the verdant campus, eyes intently fixed with both hands gently carressing her iphallus. with gaze cast down a blond lock draped wistfully on her wrist,  her innocent thumbs move like lightening up and down back and forth rhythmically across my keyboard. bout time to launder some delicates...

Fri, 02/21/2014 - 22:13 | 4464003 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

  I almost ran over an cart pushing, i-shit listening, two kids a-toting, brain dead breeder, earlier today. Thank goodness I was paying attention, or "Broom Hilda" would've likely become an hood ornament.

    Attempting to navigate the (jungle) Best Buy parking lot to purchase some cheap usb-2.0 flash memory for my 5 year old workhorse laptop, almost landed me in the FEMA camp. ;-)

Fri, 02/21/2014 - 22:38 | 4464080 phaedrus1952
phaedrus1952's picture

Interesting and astute observation, Knukles.  I am going to do a bona fide, accurate counting of the number of people I see on San Francisco's sidewalks one of these lunchtimes with their eyes glued to their smartphones as they stride along.  It has to be approaching 1 in 4 and rapidly rising.

The other day I saw two young kids sitting side by side in a Costco shopping cart with their total attention fixed on their hand-held tablets.

"Social Media"?  Not the face to face, eyeball to eyeball interaction that I've always  known.

Fri, 02/21/2014 - 23:13 | 4464174 johnQpublic
johnQpublic's picture

two anecdotes

drove thru a college town in southern P.A., and every damn kid was walking eyes down on the phone, to the point of crossing the street w/o looking up

being a college town it appeared set up for that

 

 

at a party...kids of the adults were present

hs seniors and first year college kids

tablet and phone equipped barely communicating

the adults got ripped

kids not old enuf to drive took the opportunity to use all the motorized contraptions available, and stayed up til everyone else crashed to rip around and smoke weed

i got up to piss and saw them

one positive sign of youth i guess

Sat, 02/22/2014 - 01:59 | 4464464 Omegaman2211
Omegaman2211's picture

And people wonder why there have been so many pedestrian fatalities in SF lately. Go figure.

Sat, 02/22/2014 - 10:01 | 4464759 roadhazard
roadhazard's picture

In the early seventies I used to stand on a corner in the financial district at lunch time and watch the hotties leave the buildings for lunch. I could fall in love several times in an hour. Ah the good old days.

Sun, 02/23/2014 - 14:45 | 4468190 endorush
endorush's picture

so you ever fuck any of that hot pussy? or just stand there doin nothin?

Fri, 02/21/2014 - 22:56 | 4464128 RaceToTheBottom
RaceToTheBottom's picture

They probably enjoyed the evening immensely.  They sound perfectly matched.  For each, their own

Sat, 02/22/2014 - 00:37 | 4464342 assistedliving
assistedliving's picture

k,

Bouley, Boulud or Jean Georges?  will be at JG Sat nite.  join us for a drink

Sat, 02/22/2014 - 01:16 | 4464402 tdogg
tdogg's picture

Give em hell Knuckles.

$19b for a company with 55 employees?!?!  That doesn't even own their own infrastructure?!?!

Obsurd.

 

 

Fri, 02/21/2014 - 23:56 | 4464268 hairball48
hairball48's picture

Amen!

Fri, 02/21/2014 - 21:21 | 4463884 wisehiney
wisehiney's picture

No wonder all the chicks are becoming bulldygers.

http://wtop.com/index.php?nid=1035&sid=3566972

 

Fri, 02/21/2014 - 21:25 | 4463896 El Vaquero
El Vaquero's picture

 

Topping the list, by a large margin is New Mexico, where an act of love lasts just over 7 minutes, according to Nerve, an online magazine dedicated to sex, relationships and culture.

BOOYAH!

Sat, 02/22/2014 - 03:51 | 4464555 jbvtme
jbvtme's picture

7 minutes?  they're lying...

Fri, 02/21/2014 - 21:47 | 4463943 Harry Dong
Harry Dong's picture

There really is a difference between north and south dekota. Who knew?

Fri, 02/21/2014 - 21:22 | 4463886 rustymason
rustymason's picture

This WhatsApp deal reeks of corruption. Bet you a dollar that some bodies from Faceplant are getting a chunk of that deal pumped back into their offshore accounts. It's a good way for those rat-faced bastards to loot the ship before it goes down.

Fri, 02/21/2014 - 21:54 | 4463950 PT
PT's picture

It's the "new" business model:
1.  Obtain complicit banker.
2.  Borrow money.
3.  Undercut your competitors, even if it means offer product for free or negative for a little while (4 years interest free!).
4.  Hope your banker continues to bail you out while your competitors go broke.
5.  You may want to buy a competitor or two.  Banks or muppets can finance this.  You need to figure out which works best for you and your bank.
6.  Now you have a monopoly, you can jack up the prices and repay your banker. 

Your business is a vehicle by which banksters do battle with each other.

Fri, 02/21/2014 - 22:26 | 4464047 Pseudo Anonym
Pseudo Anonym's picture

the service, whatsapp, may be offered free, but the nsa will pay shitbook top dollar for handing over all the captured communication of all the idiots that use it

Fri, 02/21/2014 - 23:56 | 4464267 PT
PT's picture

Naaah, they'll just get a court order or an executive order and then they can look at it all for free.  Unless, of course, they have good friends that own Whatsapp.  Then you are right -  they will pay "full market prices" he he he.

Sat, 02/22/2014 - 00:40 | 4464335 kchrisc
kchrisc's picture

Winner, winner, chicken dinner.

I would bet that with Facebook's dubious intelligence agency roots, the CIA is getting a good chunk of this.

Or is that just another "conspiracy theory?!"

Sat, 02/22/2014 - 08:03 | 4464665 goldinpenguin
goldinpenguin's picture

Unbelievable...literally,wonder what the second highest offer for WhatsApp was, I'd be surprised if it was 1/10 of the Facescam

Fri, 02/21/2014 - 21:25 | 4463893 monad
monad's picture

Its interesting that Obummer's cronies just anounced they are stealing 18.8B moar to create federal "cloud" boondoggles. The timing and numbers align like Pluto in Cancer... they still don't know what a cloud is.

Fri, 02/21/2014 - 21:24 | 4463894 FieldingMellish
FieldingMellish's picture

Conn --- says it all really.

Fri, 02/21/2014 - 21:27 | 4463899 Crawdaddy
Crawdaddy's picture

I look forward to buying Facebook's office furniture on Ebay some day.

Sat, 02/22/2014 - 09:38 | 4464736 homme
homme's picture

Thanks for that. I've occasionally wondered what happened to those guys.

Sun, 02/23/2014 - 03:48 | 4467340 PT
PT's picture

First time I've heard of them.  Sounds like a pretty sad ending to me.  Tell me again about how the internets is free from censorship?  Is that really all that is left of them?

Fri, 02/21/2014 - 21:27 | 4463902 The Shootist
The Shootist's picture

Taken $16 billion of physical delivery from Crimex.

Fri, 02/21/2014 - 21:34 | 4463916 Mitzibitzi
Mitzibitzi's picture

Makes a lot of sense, if...

You don't really care about money.

You know that the current paradigm called 'money' is bullshit.

You took all the bullshit fiat your bullshit company made early on and invested it in something that is actually worth something.

You are looking FAR more to the future datamining potential of the suckers you just bought the lives of than to immediate profit.

You are essentially the NSA/GCHQ/etc/etc, in terms of what you can take out of the deal in forward intelligence,  but the taxpayers are footing your bill, same as theirs!

 

 

Fri, 02/21/2014 - 21:57 | 4463965 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

What does Peter Schiff think actually goes on on Wall Street?

I don't disagree with the viewpoint...but the whole "i've got the Street by the balls" meme is really beyond "worn thin" here.
We've gone from "the dollar is gonna collapse any day now" to "i've collapsed just six months ago you people better start buying by bullshit."

I mean "look who's hocking used furniture now."
The irony is that Wall Street may indeed be "broke" again here (as all the profits have been siphoned off to finance the biggest Government in US history...but also a "Program" called Taper now)...how does gold keep those steel furnaces alight again?

"but, but...you're causing inflation! but...but...
not saying i have the answers here of course...but at least i have a question or two (million.)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k2UhROPfRmw

Fri, 02/21/2014 - 22:59 | 4464137 RaceToTheBottom
RaceToTheBottom's picture

"The irony is that Wall Street may indeed be "broke" again here (as all the profits have been siphoned off to finance the biggest Government in US history"

 

A bit of a stretch, don't you think...

Fri, 02/21/2014 - 23:18 | 4464195 Spitzer
Spitzer's picture

Just because it hasn't happened yet doesn't make him any less right now then he will be when it blows up. This is not guess work. Simple laws of economic gravity are at play here.

Use your head.

Sat, 02/22/2014 - 00:03 | 4464266 monad
monad's picture

The citizen is unconcerned as to the condition of his village, the police of his street, the repairs of the church or of the parsonage; for he looks upon all these things as unconnected with himself, and as the property of a powerful stranger whom he calls the Government. He has only a life-interest in these possessions, and he entertains no notions of ownership or of improvement.This want of interest in his own affairs goes so far that, if his own safety or that of his children is endangered, instead of trying to avert the peril, he will fold his arms, and wait till the nation comes to his assistance… When a nation has arrived at this state it must either change its customs and its laws or perish: the source of public virtue is dry, and, though it may contain subjects, the race of citizens is extinct. Such communities are a natural prey to foreign conquests, and if they do not disappear from the scene of life, it is because they are surrounded by other nations similar or inferior to themselves. Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy In America v. 1 c. 6

Sat, 02/22/2014 - 12:43 | 4465176 post turtle saver
post turtle saver's picture

the doomsayers are whirling because the petro-dollar just caught them with a blind left hook... namely, the largest energy producer in the world and the world's reserve currency holder are now one and the same... more importantly, heading towards becoming a net energy exporter... and, of course, still the holder of the largest gold reserves in the world by far and one of the top gold producers as well... to say this state of affairs changes things is an understatement

I forget who posted this in another thread but the quote went along the lines of "the US has resources"... the US is routinely under-estimated in this regard... the doomsayer crowd continues to act like there's nothing backing the "ocean of fiat and debt" but, if you look deeper, you come to the conclusion that the loans are still very low risk from the rest of the world's perspective (yes, even China's)

I predict that even my great-grandchildren will be well in their years before there's any hint of US world dominance fading from the scene... the world is a really... big... ship and it takes a lot to get it to turn in another direction

Sat, 02/22/2014 - 13:45 | 4465361 massbytes
massbytes's picture

So if we are the largest energy producer in the world, why do we still import 7 million barrels of oil per day?  And we will never, ever export any great quantity of oil.  Maybe some natural gas, stupid as that would be.  But even then, not very much.

Sat, 02/22/2014 - 14:47 | 4465614 post turtle saver
post turtle saver's picture

I think you need to read up further in the article chain where EIA states that basically the oil is imported because the US is so good at refining it... which we then turn around and export as diesel and gasoline at considerable profit

we're not necessarily importing that oil because we're using it ourselves... this is a common mistake that I see a lot of people making in their assumptions these days

Sun, 02/23/2014 - 01:37 | 4467225 monad
monad's picture

GMO e-coli that shits oil and nannites says, Obundant! The Indonesian (not African; not American; just vile) coward in the white hut sucks dicks. And the whoring senate and congress assholes. Are we clear? Officer Durden, your children - your posterity - have to live in this tyranny you allowed. May I defend my position? Fuck the light brigade, and I am a beohr, but I hold all the cards. Cheney? Remember me? Yeah fuck you. Holder, remember me? I remember you. I can save you all. Why would I? Your collective asshole masters have given me many reasons to not help you fucking parasites. Give me reasons to give you the fruit of my research. You're bluffing. I'm not. I am the best. And I am ready.

Fri, 02/21/2014 - 21:41 | 4463926 Harry Dong
Harry Dong's picture

What's with these too too descriptive company names?

Maybe my next venture will be called screwya...Our motto - how can we serve you?

Fri, 02/21/2014 - 21:43 | 4463932 Semi-employed W...
Semi-employed White Guy's picture

From a post over at Steve Sailer's blog, the two guys that founded this "$19 billion" wonder-company tried to get jobs at Faceplant but were rejected.  Steve theorizes they were too old and too expensive as employees for Zuckerweasel, since he dreams of moar cheap Chindian labor.

Fri, 02/21/2014 - 21:44 | 4463934 q99x2
q99x2's picture

I blame it on the robots. Those things are a terrible waste of space.

Fri, 02/21/2014 - 21:44 | 4463935 i_call_you_my_base
i_call_you_my_base's picture

These valuations are absurd, but the distorition needs more evidence, because to me they are straight up scams. Just because you have subcribers doesn't mean you can make money. These companies are successful because they're free. They are valued at a magical income level that doesn't exist. Valuation is based on eyes, not revenue. People think, "it must make money." No, actually, it mustn't.

Fri, 02/21/2014 - 21:45 | 4463939 BeerMe
BeerMe's picture

What is WhatsApp?  Texting for free?

Don't cell providers basically give texting away for free anyway?

How is it worth $1 million let alone $19 billion?

 

This seems retarded.

Fri, 02/21/2014 - 21:56 | 4463961 akak
akak's picture

"Texting" ... "retarded" ....

Brought to you by the Department of Redundancy Department.

Fri, 02/21/2014 - 22:00 | 4463971 El Vaquero
El Vaquero's picture

Fucking right.

Fri, 02/21/2014 - 22:15 | 4463986 akak
akak's picture

When the day ever comes that I decide to engage in such an agonizingly slow, inefficient and pointless means of communication as "texting", I will just build a fire and send smoke signals.

Isn't TALKING over the wires (or through the air) the reason that telephones were invented in the first place?  Why are we now degenerating backward into sending  the equivalent of telegrams?  And telegrams that have to be typed-out on ridiculously small keyboards?

What is the next latest and greatest "advancement" in "technology" going to be --- square wheels?

Fri, 02/21/2014 - 22:43 | 4464063 jbvtme
jbvtme's picture

moved

Sat, 02/22/2014 - 02:13 | 4464487 Serenity Now
Serenity Now's picture

* - * *

- - -

* - * *

 

(Morse Code.)

Sun, 02/23/2014 - 17:18 | 4468651 MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture

I can do a lot more with texting than I can with voice calls. I have to stop everything I'm doing to have a voice conversation. I don't for texting: I can be heading to work on the bus, watching for my stop, send a text & let the person respond when they're able.

I find voice calls a dire interruption of my time: I have to keep stopped & I probably don't want to have a conversation. It doesn't help that I'm always working overtime so most time people will call I can't take a call. It's not just rude, it's security. I work with all the contact information & private conference information for all the Big Evil Banks and that means no phones near the computer.

Wouldn't want an errant peak at Jamie Dimon's phone number, would we?

So I prefer a text arrive & I'll get to it when I'm NOT working.

Fri, 02/21/2014 - 22:41 | 4464090 fijisailor
fijisailor's picture

I hate texting but my teenage daughter is lightning fast at it.

Fri, 02/21/2014 - 23:49 | 4464240 akak
akak's picture

May I ask you Fijisailor, do you ever ask your daughter why she simply doesn't spend that time face-to-face with her friends instead?

Also, I can't help but give my opinion here that it is egregiously indulgent to be giving a child, or a teenager, their own cellphone or computer.  But I guess indulgence is the norm nowadays.

Sun, 02/23/2014 - 16:31 | 4468521 MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture

I generate lists of things to do including prices for food items.

They go from email from a computer to text on the phone, which has an email address linked to it.

It's from me, to me.

I know, many texters are fucking retarded, but I'd like to think what I did is useful. I can also text reminders back to myself that way so when I get home I do this-or-that and I never need to waste my time writing it all down, wasting paper. If a real paper note is worth making, I'll do it, as I'm very aware of grid-down situations.

Fri, 02/21/2014 - 22:06 | 4463983 Azwethinkweiz
Azwethinkweiz's picture

If and when we recapture our government and give it back to the people, I'm going short Facebook. I hope the new leader of the FREE world ends all this data collecting and 1984 bullshit.

Fri, 02/21/2014 - 22:11 | 4463996 gbresnahan
gbresnahan's picture

Couldn't agree more.  WhatsApp's days are numbered. Could be numbered over 1000 but I personally wouldn't bet on it.

Fri, 02/21/2014 - 21:46 | 4463940 DYS
DYS's picture

This is about NSA captring all your data, not about sound business deals.

Fri, 02/21/2014 - 22:02 | 4463967 fijisailor
fijisailor's picture

"But what happens if another provider comes in and offers it for free?"

Already has.  It's called Viber.  Also you can make international phone calls for free.  We do all the time to S. America.

Fri, 02/21/2014 - 23:21 | 4464205 Spitzer
Spitzer's picture

"Line" is another one.

 

"WeChat" is another one.

 

All my lady friends from Asia seem to have a diffrent variation of the same thing. These free apps that do the same shit.

Fri, 02/21/2014 - 22:14 | 4463972 Azwethinkweiz
Azwethinkweiz's picture

I don't have a Facebook account. Family and friends who do complain about it now...they're sick of it. They've already found their long lost friends, relatives, lost loves. Now, it's just a bunch of people (in their words) who they don't want to "unfollow" which post annoying messages, comments, egosticial remarks, religious and political beliefs, etc. When the economy turns down (when it actually does hit EVERYONE not prepared smack in the face) half these people will be asking others for jobs, handouts, what-have-yous, instead of pictures of their new car, house, vacation rental. Like AOL, it's easy to create multiple accounts. Most of these accounts are fake and bought and paid for to provide those with huge egos, status boosters. We all knows this. Facebook will someday go the way of AOL and MySpace. Anyone notice DropBox's new "opt out of arbitration" clause?

When will people realize, Facebook is in bed with the government. They mine your data and collect everything about you. Why aren't people up in arms that if Facebook can acquire users for X amount of money and sell your information for X amount of money....why don't people delete their accounts unless given X amount of money to stay with the service?

Morons. The whole lot of you.

Fri, 02/21/2014 - 22:21 | 4464027 Azwethinkweiz
Azwethinkweiz's picture

It just occured to me: all these people, who are unemployed, getting government paychecks. What if you could only get a government handout so long as you have a Facebook account so that your every idea, comment, thought, post, check-in is what you're getting paid for?

Imagine working for free for a company that makes gazillions of dollars and you barely make do. Yet, the company makes money passing along your information so that other companies know what you like...what to sell you. How to cater to your needs more effciently. This is Facebook.

Maybe the revolution starts with everyone removing themselves from this evil monster. I'd add Google to that too...but unfortunately, it's mighty hard to hide from the Google Monster. For he also hides in your closet and lurks beneath your bed.

Fri, 02/21/2014 - 22:40 | 4464085 jbvtme
jbvtme's picture

i demure...i get a shitload of good info on different facebook pages. politics, history, archeology, sacred geometry...

Fri, 02/21/2014 - 23:23 | 4464203 Azwethinkweiz
Azwethinkweiz's picture

And because of your Facebook account, Facebook knows what politics, history, archeology, sacred geometry you're interested in and will sell that to a company which will divy that up between other companies and feed you ads. You'll probably jump on an advertisement and buy something. So those you seek information from, they should have an independent website which you have in your RSS feed and bypass The Facebook.

Your demure is manure. And it smells like Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer's scrotum. (I follow Santa, he told me what it smells like...and now I get customized ads leading me to Gold Bond [the medicated powder, not an ETF].)

Sat, 02/22/2014 - 06:59 | 4464639 TeMpTeK
TeMpTeK's picture

The world is predicated on commerce.... Companies want to target customers who are more likely to buy their shit..mining this type of data isnt evil... its good business practice that yeilds a much higher ROI...Its only evil when the gummermint does it... PS.Have u tried the Kaboki yet?...

Sat, 02/22/2014 - 11:19 | 4464870 Vendetta
Vendetta's picture

I think the country has reached the saturation point with advertising some time ago. 

Sun, 02/23/2014 - 00:52 | 4467175 monad
monad's picture

Peak advertising? Nope, they're still going for it. Look at "the professor" Krugman. Huxley was kind. We gots ta hab diss VAT, hysteria hysteria hysteria hysteria ...etymology: circus = ring

Sun, 02/23/2014 - 16:29 | 4468518 MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture

Adblock exists for a reason.

I cut off my TV years ago. Had satellite in my new place, comes with the rent along with internet.

Cut off the TV again anyhow, returned the receiver.

Ads = visual assault

use Visual Combat to fight back - http://www.flickr.com/photos/expd/ - https://twitter.com/williambanzai7

Sat, 02/22/2014 - 07:50 | 4464659 PrDtR
PrDtR's picture

Hahahahhaha ..VERY funnnny! 

Fri, 02/21/2014 - 23:24 | 4464213 Spitzer
Spitzer's picture

I have a cop freind who says that it is the first place cops use to run a name on someone when they are doing an investigation.

 

 

Sat, 02/22/2014 - 00:11 | 4464292 monad
monad's picture

Thats funny. You don't know what you don't know. Look in your web browser cookie jar. Every webpage you visit is tagged with *multiple* google AND facefuckr cookies even if you never Facefuck... Anthony Weiner.
WOAR

Sat, 02/22/2014 - 02:13 | 4464485 spencer
spencer's picture

use NoScript

 

Sun, 02/23/2014 - 01:06 | 4467197 monad
monad's picture

As a rule I don't bash the ignorant. You are free to be wrong. I defend your right to figure shit out on your own. I'm busy enough wrangling my affairs, why would I seek to taunt you?
OK buddy. The cookie jar is what you can see. Google "server side" cookies. If you get too many results mash that with "profile" and "facebook". If I had wasted my precious time on this I would give you explicit google hacks. Any soulful google engineers out there, feel free to kick it up.

Sun, 02/23/2014 - 16:25 | 4468504 MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture

firefox + self-destructing cookies addon.

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/self-destructing-cookies

I already had adblock & noscript but this fucker catches a ton of things I didn't know were sitting there. The result is obvious. Not only do various sites forget a lot more about me than they used to, flickr & even zerohedge make me re-log in a ton more, but unless you get bored of it (I did) you can have it notify you with a tiny popup FOR EVERY cookie it deleted.

That fucker never stopped all day all night, forever, showing cookies out of nowhere for sites I never visited & were never enabled in noscript. Apparently scripting isn't needed for the site-references to bring in cookies. Well, now it doesn't matter, they're all erased.

Fri, 02/21/2014 - 22:21 | 4464033 laomei
laomei's picture

Solution: swap over to wechat, it's 100% free and better in basically every single way... it'll also never get eaten by fuckbook.

 

It's funny, cus some idiots seem to think that whatsapp will give fuckbook a beachhead in China, of course, it'll just be banned instead.  Wechat also has this amazing ability to actually make money without raping your face with ads, which is all that fuckbook has figured out how to do.

 

All that whatsapp has managed to do is be yet another messenger program, dat's it. The churn in messenger programs has been so enormous that actually paying money for one is a fucking joke.  Skype/Viber/AIM/Messenger/etc, etc, etc. Same fucking thing over and over and over again.  It's only worth a shit if there's something that keeps the userbase tied to it.  Wechat pretty much has that nailed down.  Sure, China might spy on you, but China's not the one doing drone strikes, conducting illegal operations on a global scale and NSAing everything.  China also ain't gonna be sharing jack shit with the US. 

Fri, 02/21/2014 - 22:30 | 4464058 eucalyptus
eucalyptus's picture

Didn't Twitter get hammered because most of their new and future growth (besides the fact it was down all over) is coming from foreign markets and marketers won't pay as much of a premium for those users as they do US users?

Whatsapp's exposure seems to be even more of a foreign market play so if the above is true, how can they get anywhere near the valuation they received? their users are just not that valuable it would seem?

Fri, 02/21/2014 - 22:39 | 4464082 adr
adr's picture

My company has revenues of $60 million and a thing called actual profit. We also manufacture and sell real tangible goods that make other corporations real profit. Our products are seen every day by millions of people. In fact what is the total audience of NASCAR, NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, NCAA, most other motorsports, and outdoor sports? Easily in the hundred millions. We are just the US division of a global company with offices in 38 countries.

Can we get bought for $19 billion +?

What the fuck is wrong with the big picture here. An almost zero revenue negative profit bullshit app no different from Yahoo messenger is worth $19 billion! Fuck.

Fri, 02/21/2014 - 23:09 | 4464165 Azwethinkweiz
Azwethinkweiz's picture

We live in a virtual world now. Only dreams and wishes and unicorn farts make a profit. My guess is that in some obscure app/game, unicorn farts can fetch a hefty sum. There's a Magic The Gathering card on ebay right now going for $100,000. Do you have any idea how many people you can feed by utilizing the powers of that one Magic The Gathering card? It's rare. You can beat anyone with it!

Sat, 02/22/2014 - 02:33 | 4464506 laomei
laomei's picture

I can understand it in theory.  In theory, the strength of a messaging app relies on the size of the userbase, which makes adoption relatively simple.  People don't generally want to have a ton of different messaging apps.  But it's still fucking retarded.  ICQ? AIM? remember those things? How about messenger? All of them and many others dead and buried.  The theory goes that users generate data, data is valuable to the right people, and can therefore be sold off for revenue, and even barring that, somehow it must be possible to monetize the userbase.  However, anyone sane dumps that shit asap if there is something that is private with better features.  With the advent of net neutrality possibly getting nuked... um, all this shit could just be turned off in a heartbeat.  Sorry, but your provider doesn't want you doing that on their bandwidth.  Poof, gone.  It's fucking worthless.  For WhatsApp, it's a relatively popular ultra-basic sms alternative, in other words a fucking chat program, that's it.  Fuckbook just didn't like the idea of their little chat program thing having competition.  Absolute joke.

Sun, 02/23/2014 - 16:17 | 4468476 MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture

sorry but your message is inaccurate:

there is an actual fuckbook site, not facebook, which actually serves the purpose of no-commitment hookus.

Perhaps fucktardbook, fuckface(tm), etc., would be great to make fun of facebook but since there's an actual real fuckbook.com site ... I think refering to the real facebook as fuckbook takes away the credibility of an actual site that actually gets 'er done (literally).

Sat, 02/22/2014 - 07:46 | 4464653 Offthebeach
Offthebeach's picture

Look at the Pyramids, all the feather merchant temples, church s, mosques, look at all the colored pig fat women spend to smear on their pie hole stuffing faces, think of the man hours of genius wasted on rusting weapons...

People have always wasted the unrecoverible hours of their lives for nothing or even worse like communism or mindless in free ish country on mindless consumerism

Fri, 02/21/2014 - 22:49 | 4464108 ramacers
ramacers's picture

the end is gonna be unimmaginably ugly.

Fri, 02/21/2014 - 22:57 | 4464131 BrigstockBoy
BrigstockBoy's picture

Schiff spoke out with verisimilitude
But the media only ridiculed
They laughed and they smirked
But their homework they shirked
For in the end it was they who were schooled

Fri, 02/21/2014 - 23:14 | 4464180 I Write Code
I Write Code's picture

Presume WhatsApp comes with a few patents that Faceplant can use to try to kill any competition.

If not, then even if they got a billion subscribers and charged them each ten bucks a year ... well, that might pay off after a few years I guess, but without patents they'd just be undercut.

It also is gonna *cost* something to support a modest user for a year, probably approaching a buck.

But it's all funny money, and consensus is they were right on the price for Instagram.

Me I'm an old fart and don't get any of this, or if I get it it makes me quesy and I don't use it unless I must.

Fri, 02/21/2014 - 23:33 | 4464225 Azwethinkweiz
Azwethinkweiz's picture

Is there a patent on stringing two cans together and talking from bedroom to bedroom? [Someone probably has a patent on that]

Fuck patents....such garbage should expire within a year and let the free market be innovative and provide better more cost effective solutions. If you can't reap what you're owed (within a year) off your invention and live off that, you're a greedy fuck! #freemarket

Fri, 02/21/2014 - 23:42 | 4464244 holdbuysell
holdbuysell's picture

iMessage does exactly the same thing...over IP vs the SMS system. And for free to boot. How is this not a MeToo add-on. For 19B!? WTF.

I agree with an above post. Something just doesn't smell right about this. How did this get past the board?

When this crashes and burns, there should be (but won't be) hell to pay at the board level.

Egregious lack of oversight, IMO.

Sat, 02/22/2014 - 00:13 | 4464298 gann1212
gann1212's picture

i wouldnt have settled for anything less than 20 billion, not a penny less

Sat, 02/22/2014 - 02:10 | 4464480 Savyindallas
Savyindallas's picture

I woild have paid $20 billion   -if I could get 100% non-recourse vendor financing. However, I would require a 2% commission deducted for my efforts.  A half  billion profit? yeah. I would deserve it. In factr, I would demand it. There's a lot of time, energy and sleepless nights involved with making such a big deal. If the company went bust, there would be a tremendous loss of credility and reputation. You don't think Zuckerberg went throough hell, shame and humiliation when FB was trading at 20? 

Sun, 02/23/2014 - 16:12 | 4468460 MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture

and it echoes even now. If you want to question what Zuckerberg does, how can you? If you're on an investor call and you're Goldman, JP Morgan or others able to lob softball questions, no problem: no one else is permitted to ask even a question, that much has been rigged. If you're a real investor (sheep) who got suckered in, your only recourse is to sell covered calls, hold steady, cash out when you can. For those who got in from 33 to 20 and were angry, if you haven't sold now, you're the slowest sheep in the flock & you were sheep to buy at all.

It's time. Run. I smell mint sauce & you know what that means.

Sat, 02/22/2014 - 00:56 | 4464380 williambanzai7
williambanzai7's picture

This is just a cost of doing business, Ponzi business...

Sat, 02/22/2014 - 02:18 | 4464489 Randoom Thought
Randoom Thought's picture

With respect to WhatsApp: "Que Bono?". My guess is that there is more to the story than Google spending stooopeeed money on a "me too" company with no revenue and 55 employees. There is more than likely someone or some entity that is siphoning money out of Google though the sale of WhatsApp and most likely it is not a couple of kids who started the business in their garage. It is either "connected" financiers or someone from the shadow government.

Sat, 02/22/2014 - 02:21 | 4464494 Bunga Bunga
Bunga Bunga's picture

Get over it, it's just a way for the 1% to cash out on Facebook without crashing the stock price.

Sat, 02/22/2014 - 08:18 | 4464672 tradewithdave
tradewithdave's picture

Gotta feed the growth gorilla... trees do grow to the sky in Farmville.

Sat, 02/22/2014 - 11:28 | 4464825 nakki
nakki's picture

If anyone was watching the Olympics last night they had a segment at the end about what people were talking about on Facebook. Ice Hockey before TJ Oshie's shout out was most talked about in Sweden, Norway and of all places INDIA. That's right last Saturday everyone in INDIA was fired up about Men Hockey. After the US shootout win it went global with many African nations joining in on the chat. Never knew that INDIA and AFRICA were such hotbeds for HOCKEY. When you see shit like this you just have to wonder how Fakebook is valued at 175 billion dollars.

Sat, 02/22/2014 - 13:17 | 4465276 Sufiy
Sufiy's picture


Peter Schiff: Gold Even More Bullish Under Yellen Than Bernanke or Greenspan!

 Peter Schiff continues his battle with the bubble media and discusses the solid values of Gold. Economic data is getting softer day by day now and Taper for The Taper is on the agenda again. Meanwhile gold stocks are leading this rally. Barrick Gold is breaking to the upside on the analyst upgrade yesterday, Royal Gold is going up anticipating  the Gold price action and McEwen Mining has printed The Golden Cross.

 

http://sufiy.blogspot.co.uk/2014/02/peter-schiff-gold-even-more-bullish....

Sat, 02/22/2014 - 14:44 | 4465571 MagicMoney
MagicMoney's picture

Some things just make you scratch your head.

Sat, 02/22/2014 - 16:59 | 4466036 jtlien
jtlien's picture

The good new is that Facebook has grown revenues at a high rate for the last 3 years.

The bad news is that they just spent more ($19 billion) money than the total of their REVENUE for the last 3 years just to try to stay relevent.

Amazing.

 

Sat, 02/22/2014 - 18:33 | 4466313 Chuck Knoblauch
Chuck Knoblauch's picture

It's great to have a customer who can print unlimited sums of money. Reduce the size of the federal government and watch companies like FB fade away!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

Sun, 02/23/2014 - 01:36 | 4467232 PT
PT's picture

You need the fake valuations so you can justify borrowing more money.  Repayments?  Oh, in that case, you need higher valuations so you can justify borrowing more money.  The trick is to keep doing it until you die.  Then someone else who "gets it" can take over.

There's lots of money to be had with a banker who accepts your valuations ...

Sat, 02/22/2014 - 18:30 | 4466308 Chuck Knoblauch
Chuck Knoblauch's picture

Could you please explain to me how Facebook makes money? It seems to receive a subsidy from NSA & CIA front organizations for access to lists of ignorant sheeple. Keep playing Farmville. Build your virtual dairy empires you sick bastards.

 

 

Sat, 02/22/2014 - 18:36 | 4466318 Chuck Knoblauch
Chuck Knoblauch's picture

The NSA facility in Utah has servers to fill with your FB likes and pictures of you, your family, and all your friends. Your government thanks you for your cooperation.

Sun, 02/23/2014 - 03:33 | 4467320 PT
PT's picture

Photoshop is your friend.

Sun, 02/23/2014 - 15:55 | 4468406 MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture

Just upload pictures that are not yourself. And don't let everyone upload pictures of you.

In your particular family, circle of friends or culcture this could be challenging.

My solution was to permit zero pictures of me to go online anywhere, any time. I also deleted my facebook account almost 3 years ago.

Sun, 02/23/2014 - 15:48 | 4468383 MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture

well, I just went to the whatsapp page for the first time. I don't have a phone that could use this, nor would I care. SMS is free on my plan. However:

Why we don't sell ads

Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we dont need. - Tyler Durden, Fight Club

Brian and I spent a combined 20 years at Yahoo! working hard to keep the site working. And yes, working hard to sell ads, because that's what Yahoo! did. It gathered data and it served pages and it sold ads. We watched Yahoo! get eclipsed in size by Google...

----

REALLY?

Whatsapp's homepage QUOTES TYLER DURDEN?

Well, how about that.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!