The Metropolitan Police have arrested 25 people since Saturday’s terror attacks, using hate crime legislation to crack down on words and actions deemed either offensive, or which target Muslims “because of their religion.
Since Saturday evening’s attacks, we have increased the number of officers on the streets and in communities to reassure local people that they are able to go about their daily lives in peace and without fear of harassment or intimidation. Dedicated ward officers have also made contact with their local places of worship to encourage them to report hate crimes and to reassure those who congregate there that the police will take these crimes seriously. The Metropolitan Police has made 25 arrests for hate crime offences since Saturday.
He said in an interview Wednesday morning: “I can’t follow 400 people… the Met Police budget, roughly 15-20 per cent comes from me, the Mayor. The rest is funded by central government. If the Met Police budget is being shrunk and reduced, they’ve got to prioritise and use their resources in a sensible, savvy way.”
Now, however, it seems we are learning of the Met’s priorities. The force boasted on Thursday of the large amount of resources they dedicate to policing hate crime. A statement from the police said:
All hate crimes are reviewed by a Detective Inspector and the MPS has also increased specialist investigators within the 32 London borough community safety units by 30 per cent, with more than 900 specialist members of staff dedicated to investigating all hate crime and domestic abuse crimes.
The force also noted in its statement that it regards TellMAMA — a group which lost government funding after it was found they were artificially inflating hate crime numbers — as a reliable go-to for hate crime reporting.
In 2014, TellMAMA lost its case with the Press Complaints Commission, when it objected to the original Telegraph reporting which revealed its dodgy figures.
The Telegraph reported that many of their hate crime claims were exaggerations at best, and that out of the 212 “Islamophobic incidents” reported by Tell Mama, 57 per cent happened only online, with a further 16 per cent of incidents not being verified. Only eight per cent of incidents involved physical targeting, and no attacks were serious enough to require medical treatment.
The Met Police statement adds: “We have increased the number of hate crime liaison officers who are a single point of contact for all those who need support after reporting a hate crime and we have introduced an Online Hate Crime Hub to tackle hate crime on social media.”
The news comes as London Mayor Sadiq Khan told Piers Morgan in an interview that London’s police did not have enough resources to monitor the jihadists returning to the United Kingdom from Syria and Iraq.
Uber reported yesterday that its NET LOSS totaled more than $700 million last quarter, despite pulling in a whopping $3.4 billion in revenue.
(This means they spent at least $4.1 billion!)
That’s the latest in a string of massive, 9-figure quarterly losses for the company.
The only question I have is– how much cocaine are these people buying?
Seriously, it’s REALLY HARD to spend so many billions of dollars.
You could have over 100,000 employees (‘real’ employees, not Uber drivers) and pay them $150,000 EACH and still not blow through that much money in a single quarter.
Even if you think about Research & Development, Uber still managed to burn through almost as much cash as NASA’s $4.8 billion budget last quarter.
The real irony is that this company is worth $70 BILLION.
And Uber is far from alone.
Netflix is also worth $70 billion; and like Uber, they can’t make money.
Over the last twelve months Netflix burned through over $1.7 billion in cash, and they made up for it by going deeper into debt.
The list goes on and on– Snapchat debuted with a $30 billion valuation after its IPO, only to subsequently report that they had lost $2.2 billion in the previous quarter.
Telecom company Sprint is still somehow worth more than $30 billion despite having over $40 billion in debt and burning through more than $6 billion over the last three years.
And then there’s Twitter, a rudderless, profitless company that is still worth over $13 billion.
This is pure insanity.
If companies that burn through obscene piles of cash and have no clear path to profitability are worth tens of billions of dollars, it seems like any business that’s cashflow positive should be worth TRILLIONS.
None of this makes any sense, and investing in this environment is nothing more than gambling.
Sure, it’s always possible these companies’ stock prices increase even more.
Maybe Netflix and Twitter quadruple despite continuing losses and debt accumulation. Maybe Bitcoin surges to $50,000 next month.
And maybe the Dallas Cowboys finally offer me the starting quarterback position next season.
Hey, anything could happen.
Call me old-fashioned, but I focus heavily on risk.
Remember Rule #1 in investing: don’t lose money. Rule #2? See rule #1.
It’s hard to abide by rules #1 and #2 if you buy expensive, popular investments that lose tons of money and don’t have a strategy to turn a profit.
There’s risk in EVERY investment. There’s risk in buying Apple stock. There’s risk in buying government bonds.
There’s risk in holding your money in a bank. There’s risk in stuffing cash under your mattress. There’s risk in doing nothing at all.
The idea is to invest where risk is low, while the potential for return is still high.
One of the best ways to do that is to patiently buy high quality assets for a deep discount.
Buying anything at a discount makes sense to anyone. People like discount clothes, discount cars, discount airfare.
Even in certain investments like real estate, investors look for bargains… like picking up a great home in a great neighborhood at a discount price because of the seller’s divorce or financial hardship.
But with stocks, this bias towards discounts tends to go out the window.
Granted, it’s a lot harder to find discount stocks these days given that just about EVERYTHING is in a bubble.
But if you have the right knowledge and you’re willing to put in the hard work and long hours, you’ll find hidden gems.
We leave it to none other than Aswath Damodaran, infamous valuation guru and finance professor at New York University – who nailed Theranos by warning in 2015 of numerous red flags about the unicorn…
“Uber is a one-of-a-kind company, in good ways and bad ways. It’s going to be a case study… This is a cash-burning machine.”
Global oil inventories have started to decline and the supply/demand balance will soon tip into a deficit, if it hasn’t already. That will accelerate the drawdowns in crude oil stocks, and bring the market back into “balance,” providing a lift to oil prices.
That, at least, is the working assumption. But there are a series of gigantic question marks out there – a handful of countries could upend the theory that the oil market is on a smooth trajectory towards balance.
Here are the five countries that could provide an unexpected jolt to the oil market
1. Venezuela. Venezuela’s economy has been in freefall since oil prices collapsed in 2014. The situation has deteriorated rapidly more recently, however, with hundreds of thousands of people taking to the streets. While things could certainly drag on, the situation in Caracas definitely has the feel of some sort of final stage for the Maduro government. Oil production already dropped by nearly 10 percent last year, and will continue to fall this year. Depressingly, total collapse of Venezuelan society is possible, threatening 2 mb/d of oil production. At a minimum, output will continue on its downward path. On the other hand, Bloomberg Gadfly points out that Venezuela’s demand would also plunge in this meltdown scenario, offsetting the supply loss but creating another, if different, risk to the oil market.
2. Libya. The North African OPEC member has successfully brought back a huge chunk of its latent oil supply, ramping up output to 700,000 bpd earlier this year, essentially double 2016 levels. But output has seesawed back and forth in the past few weeks, with oil fields and export terminals going offline for a week or so, only to quickly resume operations. Data is hard to come by, but recent reports suggest Libyan production is currently somewhere around 490,000 bpd. It is also difficult to incorporate Libya into oil forecasting scenarios because of the immense uncertainty. On the bullish side of things (for oil prices, that is), the outages in Libya could persist, leaving several hundred thousand barrels per day offline. But there is a bearish case as well – Libya’s National Oil Company is targeting production of 1.2 mb/d by the end of the year. That is far from a foregone conclusion, but it is hard to overstate the depressing impact that more than 500,000 bpd of additional supply would have on oil prices.
3. Nigeria. Nigeria is a somewhat similar risk factor to the oil market as Libya. Both countries are exempted from the OPEC cuts and both represent both downside and upside risks to the oil market. Last year, Nigeria made a lot of headlines because of the string of attacks on pipelines from the Niger Delta Avengers. The attacks have slowed dramatically, but critical infrastructure – such as the 300,000 bpd Forcados export terminal – remain offline. That has production down to close to a three-decade low of 1.6 mb/d, down from a peak of 2.2 mb/d reached in 2014. The upside potential in Nigeria seems more limited than Libya, given the damage to infrastructure, but so does the downside risk since much of the sabotage has passed. Still, Nigeria presents a lot of uncertainty going forward.
4. U.S. shale. While other countries present oil market risk because of conflict, the U.S. could spoil a lot of forecasts because of the uncertainty surrounding the pace of the shale industry’s comeback. Previous forecasts pegged shale growth at just a few hundred thousand barrels per day this year. However, preliminary data from the EIA has U.S. oil production up by almost 300,000 bpd already in 2017, and output could grow by another 400,000 bpd by the end of December. Not only is it difficult to forecast the pace of growth, but U.S. shale is much more sensitive to oil prices than other sources of production, so what happens for the remainder of the year is highly uncertain and subject to market conditions.
5. Russia. Finally, the largest short-term catalyst to global supplies and, thus, oil prices, is whether or not OPEC agrees to an extension of its cuts. There is roughly 1.8 mb/d that hangs in the balance (1.2 mb/d of OPEC production, plus 558,000 bpd from non-OPEC). For now, it appears that OPEC is on board with an extension, with the group’s monitoring committee formally recommending an extension. However, the final ingredient for an extension is the cooperation of Russia, which has so far declined to publicly state its position. One complicating factor for Russian calculations is, as Bloomberg reports, the fact that Russian oil production typically rises in the summer. That, plus the fact that Russian oil firms have some major projects in the works, could make the Kremlin’s decision on the extension much more fraught. Although it appears unlikely at this point, Russia could derail the deal, resulting in much higher levels of global supply and sizable losses to crude oil prices.