Friday, January 29, 2016

Financial Sarcasm Roundup for 01/29/16

People take self-identification to new extremes in the digital age. I self-identify as sarcastic, which ought to be a distinct personality type.

Japan's central bank goes for negative interest rates. That should pry the last yen out from under savers' mattresses and push Japanese investors into riskier territory. The positive feedback loop from such a nonsensical policy will never solve Japan's structural problems. Switzerland did this for a while but they had a strong currency. Japan's results will be worse.

Puerto Rico expects to issue new debt. The old debt isn't working out too well, so the new stuff will have to pay junk-bond type interest. Paying out 5% just isn't going to cut it with investors who got burned. No one likes taking a valuation haircut. I am so glad I never owned Puerto Rico bonds. They will make very nice wallpaper after several re-issues.

Theranos keeps having one problem after another. Specious tech claims and poor lab conditions should not justify a multi-billion dollar private market valuation. A whole bunch of top-shelf VC firms have staked their reputations on a business they never understood. I can imagine the panicked phone calls up and down Sand Hill Road about what desperate measures anyone can take to keep this unicorn from tipping over. Save the energy for the post-mortem court cases, people.

I may try self-identifying as a housecat just to see how people react. Nah, just kidding.