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   Strategies & Market TrendsThe Financial Collapse of 2001 Unwinding


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From: DinoNavarre11/10/2022 4:19:11 PM
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To: DinoNavarre who wrote (9881)11/10/2022 4:23:50 PM
From: DinoNavarre
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To: DinoNavarre who wrote (9894)11/11/2022 7:07:54 AM
From: elmatador
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Market access to buy good behavior

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From: elmatador11/11/2022 7:30:05 AM
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Big Tech job cull may be the start of things to come
Companies start to adjust their cost base for a low-growth economic climate

Richard Waters

For anyone looking for more evidence that some of the tech industry’s most successful companies are entering a new, low-growth phase, the arrival of mass job losses will look like an important moment. The companies’ high growth rates, even as they reached massive size, seemed to defy economic gravity. Not anymore.

Elon Musk’s precipitate move to axe half of Twitter’s workforce, with the loss of 3,700 jobs, came days before Facebook parent Meta said it was sacking 11,000 workers, or more than one in eight.

Meanwhile Stripe, one of the most successful private payments companies, cut around 1,100 people, or 14 per cent of its workforce — one of the most visible signs of the wave of job cuts that have been sweeping through the world of private tech startups.

This kind of company-wide “downsizing” — the euphemism once used by companies in other industries to justify mass job cuts — is just the most visible sign of the reversal in the tech industry’s hiring boom. Across the industry, marginal projects are being shut down and hiring freezes imposed.

What makes this all the more striking is that it has hit a group of companies that are still some of the richest on the planet, while also reversing a rapid period of expansion. Twitter’s headcount had doubled in the space of five years. Meta’s had risen more than three-fold.

A simplistic explanation is that the good times simply led to weak management that has now been exposed by a downturn in the economy. Blinded by a growth spurt, the tech companies simply failed to prepare for the inevitable reversal.

The combined revenues of the five biggest tech companies — Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, Meta and Microsoft — soared during the pandemic, jumping by 19 per cent in 2200 and 28 per cent in 2021.

This year, by contrast, growth is expected by analysts to fall back to 9 per cent, the same as it was in 2019.

ELMAT: They were loving Covid. Revenue was up big time. And they though the party, oh the "pandemic" would last forever
Yet Big Tech’s hiring binge has actually accelerated into the downturn. Leaving aside Amazon, which had a 1.6mn-strong workforce at the end 2021, the other four have added nearly 100,000 workers between them over the past 12 months, for a growth rate of 18 per cent. That is well above the 10-13 per cent annual growth seen over the last half-decade.

The mea culpas have been piling up from tech executives. One explanation is simply that they misread the economy. Stripe CEO Patrick Collison said he had been over-confident in thinking that the growth spurt that began in 2020 would continue through 2023.

Another was the mistaken belief that the pandemic jump in online activity would lead to a step-change in business. Instead, many people have quickly returned to old habits and ecommerce has fallen back to pre-pandemic levels. Meta co-founder Mark Zuckerberg said he was among the people to make this error.

Yet besides misjudgment and weak management, there were also some strong incentives behind tech’s hiring spurt. One was the race to attract scarce engineering talent. According to some, that left tech leaders like Zuckerberg with little choice but to increase hiring, even if they knew they would probably need to take severe corrective action later on.

A long period of rock-bottom interest rates also made it economically rational for tech companies to invest in new projects that would not see a payoff for many years. One venture capital investor who sits on a number of private tech company boards said this kind of thinking was pervasive.

Competitive concerns also played their part, this investor says: Companies were worried that if they didn’t sink money into long-term bets that might determine the future of the tech industry, their rivals would. Another strong incentive to hire was the clamour among stock market investors for growth at almost any price.

With the turning of the interest rate cycle, all of these incentives have evaporated. The only question now is how widely this has sunk in. Still flush with cash and beset by the habitual optimism that pervades the industry, many tech companies are still looking for a return to what, in recent years, has passed as normality.

Collison sounded an ominous note in his message to Stripe’s workers: “We think that 2022 represents the beginning of a different economic climate.” As that message sinks in more widely, there are likely to be many more job losses ahead.

richard.waters@ft.com

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To: DinoNavarre who wrote (9894)11/11/2022 7:33:21 AM
From: elmatador
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Sam Bankman-Fried’s crypto empire ‘was run by a gang of kids in the Bahamas’ who all dated each other

BY TRACY WANG AND COINDESK

November 11, 2022 at 2:14 PM GMT+3
“Shocking” is a word that aptly describes the rapid fall of Sam Bankman-Fried’s cryptocurrency empire. To a surprising degree, it’s a sentiment that pours out from people who worked for him, people who you’d think would’ve had a clue.

How can that be? It may have something to do with a luxury penthouse in the Bahamas. Elmat: The Play boy Mansion... That’s where 30-year-old Bankman-Fried is roommates with the inner circle who ran his now-struggling crypto exchange FTX and trading giant Alameda Research.

Many are former co-workers from quantitative trading firm Jane Street, others he met at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, his alma mater. All 10 are, or used to be, paired up in romantic relationships with each other.

That includes Alameda CEO Caroline Ellison, whose firm played a central role in the company’s collapse – and who, at times, has dated Bankman-Fried, according to people familiar with the matter.

CoinDesk spoke to several current and former FTX and Alameda employees who agreed to talk on the condition of anonymity, citing ongoing harassment and death threats due to the exchange’s solvency issues. And they said essentially this: It’s a place full of conflicts of interest, nepotism and lack of oversight.

“The whole operation was run by a gang of kids in the Bahamas,” a person familiar with the matter told CoinDesk on the condition of anonymity.

FTX and Alameda employees CoinDesk interviewed say they have been kept in the dark about the events of the past week, adding that only CEO Bankman-Fried’s inner circle may have had knowledge that the exchange, as reported by the Wall Street Journal, siphoned customer funds into corporate sibling Alameda.

“It’s been radio silence from Sam,” a second Bankman-Fried employee told CoinDesk on Wednesday. “When we saw the CZ [CEO Changpeng Zhao] tweet saying Binance was going to buy FTX, we honestly thought it was fake. But then Sam’s tweet just confirmed it.”

Bankman-Fried finally addressed employees later on Wednesday — a week after a CoinDesk article set the crisis in motion — writing, “I completely understand if you want to step away,” per an internal message to employees viewed by CoinDesk.

Among his nine housemates are FTX co-founder and Chief Technology Officer Gary Wang, FTX Director of Engineering Nishad Singh and Ellison of Alameda, Bankman-Fried’s trading business that’s at the center of the current chaos and on which the Wall Street Journal reported got $10 billion of FTX customer money. The remaining six are also FTX employees.

“Gary, Nishad and Sam control the code, the exchange’s matching engine and funds,” the first person familiar with the matter said. “If they moved them around or input their own numbers, I’m not sure who would notice.”

A third person familiar with how the company operated said: “They’ll do anything for each other.”

Bankman-Fried and Ellison did not respond to a request for comment sent directly to them. Wang and Singh could not be reached for comment. A spokesperson for FTX was also asked to pass on CoinDesk’s request for comment to Bankman-Fried, Ellison, Wang and Singh.

Bankman-Fried’s father, Stanford Law professor Joseph Bankman, also plays a role at the company. He appeared on an episode of the “FTX Podcast” in August, describing charity and regulation-related projects in which he was involved.

Wang, Singh and Ellison also comprise the board of Bankman-Fried’s FTX Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the company. Several housemates, including Bankman-Fried and Ellison, are active participants in effective altruism, a movement that “ aims to find the best ways to help others,” possibly through philanthropy.

In the Bahamas, FTX and Alameda’s offices are also located steps apart in a coworking compound in the Bahamas that also housed Solana developers and other crypto incubation projects.

“All of the stakeholders would have a hard look at FTX governance,” tweeted Bankman-Fried on Thursday. “I will not be around if I’m not wanted.”

While some FTX employees have voiced approval for Bankman-Fried’s more frequent communication of late, others are not so consoled.

“Some employees kept their life savings on FTX,” the second anonymous employee told CoinDesk. “We trusted that everything was fine.”

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From: DinoNavarre11/11/2022 8:27:25 AM
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From: DinoNavarre11/11/2022 8:31:13 AM
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From: DinoNavarre11/11/2022 8:39:23 AM
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From: Broken_Clock11/11/2022 1:49:58 PM
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Divide and conquer

zerohedge.com

and

https://www.oaklandinstitute.org/blog/who-owns-agricultural-land-ukraine

Who Owns Agricultural Land in Ukraine? | The Oakland Institute

95 percentof the shares of UkrLandFarming are owned by multi-millionaire Oleg Bakhmatyuk with the remaining five percent having been recently sold to Cargill. Similarly, Yuriy Kosiuk, Ukraine's fifth richest man, is the CEO of MHP, one of the country's largest agricultural companies, which holds over 360,000 haof farmland.

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To: DinoNavarre who wrote (9891)11/11/2022 3:57:55 PM
From: DinoNavarre
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