18 years in Wall Street, left after finding out it was all horseshit. Founder/ Master and Commander: iBankCoin, finance news and commentary from the future.
Joined Nov 10, 2007
17,120 Blog Posts

Former Japanese Convicted Criminal Launches New Foray into Beef Industry Dubbed “Wagyumafia”

There’s nothing unusual about this, just a former convicted criminal from Japan trying to jimmy his way into the world of fine dining by way of wagyu beef.

Takafumi Horie served 21 months in prison for securities fraud after manipulating the share price of his companies subsidiary, and now he’s going to manipulate the price of your steaks — because he wants to hack the world.

“I’m always thinking how to hack the world,” Horie said. “With Wagyu, I’ll make my name known to the world.”

Japanese beef has been soaring in demand in recent years, thanks to the special sort of fatty meat their cattle produces. Their black, brown, shorthorn and polled breeds of cattle, after viciously killed, make very soft and delicious meat, juicy with a rich varietal of blood and marbling that has a much higher percentage of non-artery clogging unsaturated fat, which some people propose is entirely healthy for the human species to consume is large quantities, even heavily salted with minerals that jack up blood pressure levels that every so often, and quietly, kill people dead via stroke.

It’s the world’s most expensive beef, fetching for $180 per steak, and the rich want to eat it, over and over again.

“While Wagyu is as scarce as good Burgundy, it has been sold cheaply by JA,” said Horie, referring to Japan Agricultural Cooperatives, the nation’s largest farmers’ group. “I’m confident that the beef can be sold at much higher prices in global markets.”


Horie has introduced a membership program, which has resulted in scores of affluent Japanese businessmen and women clamoring to get a piece of the action. Memberships have skyrocketed from just 300 to over 1,000 carnivores since September. For those of you interested in tasting his chops, there will be tastings in San Francisco, Paris and New York later on this year. Be sure to reserve your private jet and attend these once in a lifetime events.

The former convicted criminal explains his rationale for naming his company after what’s traditionally known as a crime syndicate.

“By mafia we mean a syndicate of ex-IT entrepreneurs,” said Hamada, 40, former publisher of an online movie magazine.

“Our project is to deliver Wagyu produced by selected farmers directly to global buyers, bypassing middlemen and without advertising. We find customers via social media and pop-up” events.

“Our cows have maintained a pure lineage over the past 2,000 years because they are kept in an isolated area surrounded by mountains,” Tanaka said in an interview in Tokyo. “Their purity is the biggest difference from other types of Wagyu.” His 40-month cow was selected as the champion in the Wagyu contest of Hyogo prerefecture last year, and sold for 200,000 yen a kilogram.

Their cows are simply better. Case closed.

“It’s incredible. There is nothing like this,” said American percussionist Lenny Castro after tasting Tanaka’s beef at a Wagyumafia restaurant opening in September. “It’s totally different from other beef.”

Such deliciousness is surely to fetch larger sums of dollars for Horie.

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These Are the Very Best of Times

I was at dinner last night at a very fashionable sushi restaurant, in an area that is almost rural. The line was long and the wait even longer. It took 45 minutes to be seated, so I went to the bar and ordered a few martinis. The bartender took her shaker tin and liberally spilled a cartoonish amount of premium vodka in it, nearly ruining an otherwise simple drink.

The restaurant was expansive and looked out of place in the neighborhood I was visiting. Gray and white marble draped nearly every inch of the walls and rustic black slate blanketed the floors — running through what must’ve been 10,000 square feet. River stones and tiny pebbles trimmed the marble and gigantic whorehouse mirrors festooned the walls downstairs next to the bathrooms. It was an elaborate and expensive set up, something I’d expect to see in Philly or NYC, but not 2 minutes outside pastoral rolling hills and working farms of central New Jersey.

Markets reach new highs highs on a daily basis and a new form of wealth has emerged with cryptocurrencies, now amounting to $175 billion in market cap, aka real money. There’s no denying that future generations will reflect upon these times and equate them with the decadence displayed during the roaring 20s. It’s always hard to appraise in real time, without the benefit of hindsight. But can anyone deny the fact that wealth is at record highs, alongside record levels of debt, alongside record levels of uncertainty for the future?

I’ve witnessed several boom to bust cycles in my lifetime and I’ve never seen such glibness, nonchalant superficiality, like I see now. One of my favorite follows on Twitter is @RampCapitalLLC, who spends his days discussing the fertile lands of Wall Street and the fruit he intends to devour thanks to it. He is unapologetic in his pursuit of Dow 1 million, bathing himself in the nectar of extreme extravagance and ornamenting himself with his very own wheeled chair, in spite of being well and able bodied enough to run marathons.

We are living through the most interesting of times. The phrases BOMB N. KOREA and BOMB IRAN produce praise on Twitter — because they’re a hateful group of people who get in the way of our dreams. We’re invincible, a generation of do nothing wastrels presiding over a broken ATM machine that keeps spitting out $100 bills. We don’t even call bubbles bubbles anymore, instead unicorns, because it rolls off the tongue better and reminds us of childhood fairytales that made us sleep better at night.

We can’t lose. We’re asleep and reality is someone else’s problem, maybe an unfortunate in Puerto Rico, Syria or Iraq, which we’ll gladly help out with catch phrases and $5 donations through one of the many apps on our $700 phones.

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CEO of Moviepass Tells CNBC How His Company Will Make Money

On Friday the CEO of Moviepass discussed his business prospects with CNBC, laying out how his company will make money. Essentially, he intends to burn through cash until he can gain leverage over theaters and force them to share concession revenues. Also, he’s going to sell your data and recommend “preferred theaters” to his members.

I am long HMNY and will never sell it.

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Here’s Why Friday’s Steel Breakout Was Significant

The iron/steel trade has always been predicated on Chinese demand. Late Thursday, China reported record imports of 102 million metric tonnes in September — eclipsing an old record set in 2015. Last year September, China recorded imports of 93 million.

Year to date, imports are up 7.1% to 817 million tonnes, partly thanks to China’s shuddering local mines in an effort to improve their air quality.

Some remain pessimistically inclined.

Source: Bloomberg

“High-grade ore is certainly gaining popularity,” Dang Man, an analyst at brokerage Maike Futures Co., said via text message. “Seasonally, September is a strong month for imports as mills tend to stock up before winter. We think purchases will drop significantly in October as steelmakers cut output.”

During the month of September, Chinese steel exports dropped by 5.1% — the lowest since 2014, in addition to a 370,000 tonne in aluminum cargoes.

It’s important to note that iron ore spot prices have been mired in a miserable slump all year long. But on Friday, iron/steel stocks came to life, with more than a handful of stocks higher by more than 5%.

“Chinese iron ore production has collapsed through the summer,” Macquarie said in a report on Oct. 10, citing a government-led clampdown on small, private and high-cost mines. Separately, the China Metallurgical Mines’ Association said in September the crackdown on small, polluting mines may gradually force the cancellation of more than 1,000 licences.

Thanks to China’s concern for their environment, foreign ore exporters are benefitting, especially those who mine high quality ore. If this trend continues, further share price gains in the sector is a foregone conclusion.

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Jamie Dimon Chimps Out Over Bitcoin Again, Says It’s a Great Vehicle for Venezuelans and Criminals

A broken limbed Jamie Dimon went on a 3 minute screed today about bitcoin, telling the world how much he doesn’t care about it — boasting about the amount of legal tender he moves around on a daily basis. He dismissed bitcoin as some trivial shit currency designed for mountebanks, hustlers and criminals.

Meanwhile, ETH is higher by 14% and BTC is hitting record highs, ballooning the cryptocurrency sector to over $170 billion.

“I could care less about bitcoin. I don’t know why I said anything about it. The blockchain is a technology which is a good technology. We actually use it. It will be useful in a lot of different things. Gold bless the blockchain. Cryptocurrencies, digital currencies, I think are also fine. JPMorgan moves $6 trillion around the world every day, and we don’t do it in cash, it’s done digitally. If it can be done digitally with the blockchain, so be it. But it will still be a dollar cryptocurrency. What I have an issue with is a non-fiat cryptocurrency. So crypto sterling, euro, yen, they are all fine. I don’t personally understand the value of something that has no actual value. You all can do whatever you want and I don’t care.

“I could care less what bitcoin trades for, how it trades, why it trades, who trades it. If you’re stupid enough to buy it, you’ll pay the price for it one day. I’ve also told people that it can trade at $100,000 before it trades to zero. Tulip bulbs traded for $75,000 or something like that.

“The only value of bitcoin is what the other guy’ll pay for it. Honestly I think there’s a good chance a lot of the buyers out there are out there jazzing it up every day so that maybe you’ll buy it too, and take them out.

“I quite mean that by the way. People are very good at manipulating the press these days and getting news out. Every day, you have CNBC, nonstop bitcoin — Who cares about bitcoin? The world economy’s so big, JPMorgan alone, $6 trillion, we move all this money, and bitcoin in total, all these currencies, $50 billion dollars, maybe a billion dollars trades a day.

“The other thing I’ve always [said] about bitcoin, governments — and this is not a technological statement — governments are going to crush it one day. Governments like to know where the money is, who has it and what you’re doing with it, in case you haven’t noticed. Right?

“And governments like to control their currency, like to control their own economy. So China’s already put curbs on it. Japan, they say Japan accepted bitcoin. No they didn’t. What I gather Japan did was they call it J-coin. It’s a yen cryptocurrency. It’s not a non-fiat [digital currency].

“People have said legitimately ok, it’s close to gold. Not really. Gold is limited, it’s been around for along time. [People also say bitcoin is] close to a fiat currency. Not really. A fiat currency is when a government says this is your legal tender, you have to give it and accept it.

“And a central bank — of course they can misuse it. The central bank [can also] inflate it. So there is a use case for bitcoin. If you live in Venezuela, North Korea, if you’re a criminal, great product. I mean that. It’s better than cash or deposits in that country. Cuba.

“But this is the last time I’m ever going to answer questions about bitcoin because I really don’t care.

“When I made that ‘stupid statement’ [calling bitcoin a] fraud, my daughter sent me an email saying, ‘Dad, I own two bitcoins.’ My formerly smart daughter.”

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Exodus Quant Crushed $SPY Again; Current Allocation is More Conservative

I made roughly 0.93% in my automated trades the past week, nearly double the return of the SPY. The Exodus Quant trading system has beaten the SPY 75% of the time since we started doing this, about 20 weeks ago. It’s important to note, this week’s allocation is mega cap, with a side order of TLT and GLD.

In other words, we are cautious.

How does that work?

I am chasing alpha, meaning performance. So whenever GLD/TLT outpace SPY for the week, I am forced to allocate 5% each in both. This is done to hedge against a downtrending market. Both GLD and TLT, traditionally, do well when stocks trade lower.

As for the market caps. I am merely buying which market caps perform best, then further filtered using Exodus‘ ranking system. It’s the easiest, most genteel, form of making money I’ve ever done. Join us and you’ll get the weekly alerts and be able to live out the rest of your days with my robots managing your money for you.

For those waiting for my book to come out in paperback, it’s here — a true collectors item with unique art. Buy it and leave me a 5 star review, you god damned wastrels.

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Fly Buy: $HMNY

I actually bought this earlier this morning, but don’t want to appear to be a cunt, bragging about it after the fact. I did a write up on it last night and said I’d buy it. Nevertheless, I’d still buy it up here and will continue to own it.

This is either a 10 bagger or a zero, the ultimate lotto ticket. Everyone in America should own this stock.

Via Maxim.

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Morning Poppers (Friday the 13th in October Edition)

Any of you supreme faggots into numerology? Apparently, it’s a bad omen to be forsaken with a Friday the 13th during the month of October. Satanic shit is about to pop off — Harvey Weinstein — Sonoma is burning style.

WTI is higher by 2% this morning. There is some serious strength in crude as of late. It’s notable.

What’s also notable is the faggot nature of all the bitcoiners, jerking each other off on Twitter. BTC is higher by another 3% to 5,600 and ETH is higher by 7.5%.

European markets are flat and Nasdaq futs are +4.

Here are some of the early movers.

TOPS +60.6%, ITEK +26.8%, EXFO +13.6%, TSE +8%, ZN +6.5%, EFX +2.2%, TWX +2.1%, HPQ +1.1%, NEO +0.8%, REVG +0.7%, BAC +0.5%

ATRS -39.7%, TNDM -27.6%, AAOI -20.9%, ECYT -9.3%, HMNY -7.6%, NANO -5.8%, SGH -4.8%, OPNT -4.5%, NPTN -4.1%, BTX -4%, FNSR -2.6%, ANAB -2.3%, ACIA -2.2%, OCLR -1.9%, SNCR -1.5%, PTEN -1.4%, LITE -1.3%, DISH -1.1%, EXAC -1.1%, AXTI -0.5%

Analyst refuse.

And…Trump killed Obamacare, without congress.

  • The payments reimburse insurers for discounts in health costs offered to low- and middle-income Obamacare customers.
  • Insurers were projected to receive $10 billion in subsidies in 2018.
  • Some premiums for 2018 are already higher because insurers feared the Trump administration would end the payments.

Top of the morning to you.

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A New Era Dawns on iBankCoin

When we launched iBankCoin roughly 10 years ago, I was 31 years old. At 31, I behaved like a 20 year old drunk with success — shitposting on the internet — euphoric about the idea of having an audience to talk to each and every day about my stock ideas. We had some good times. Coming to the site has always been therapeutic for me, through all of my ups and downs — this was a constant. Although I am quite garrulous on here and I impart tidbits of my life here and there, I am mostly guarded with the details of my life. I think it’s better that way.

There are several things that I love to do in life, two are investing and writing about it. One of my passions in finance has been to create tools that will help self directed investors and advisors make better decisions for themselves. Yadda, yadda, yadda. You know the pitch.

As some of you read in The Option Addict’s comments section, Jeff is likely to play a limited role in blogging here in the future. He will, however, continue to service the After Hour’s Trading Service. He just launched his own fund, which was a life long dream of his, and wants to give it his all. Why the heck not?

A few things about Jeff.

He’s one of the best, if not the best, traders I’ve ever met. I will always remember our time in Vegas, when Jeff lost $300 in like 2 minutes flat to a snarky dealer at the Encore, just like Chevy Chase in Las Vegas vacation, and of course The Yale Club, where we enjoyed a magnificent spread in the nightcap gathering in the famed library room. I’ve been blessed to have such a rare talent at the site for all of these years. I wish him the very best and he’s always welcome here. The blog will remain open.

Back in June, I bought out the co-founder of iBankCoin — Jeremy, aka Vincenzo Illuminati. It was time for young Jeremy to head out into the world and make his mark. Although iBC is great — it kept young Jeremy a prisoner in his home, working off site, and was somewhat monotonous, not exactly conducive with leading a productive life. Since then, I’ve retained the services of our long term partner Cypress North and am still in search of dedicated tech for the site.

Over the years, we’ve gone through numerous changes at the site. If you recall, we started off with just me, Danny and Woodshedder, then quickly brought on Ragin Cajun — who is still with us today. On the matter of RC, he bought some of Jeremy’s stake in the buyout and is one of the best persons I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing.

On the contrary, there have been so many fucking bastards come and go on this site, many of whom I had to fire, or foist onto other site’s. Granted, much of the discord might’ve been due to a much younger, energy soda’d up asshole of a boss, presiding over the site like it was his personal fiefdom. But I’ve changed since then, calmed down a bit, took the time to explore the world, intellectually.

My dream for the site has always been to have it survive for generations. Like the Pope, I will one day pass on the mantle of The Fly to someone else, who is young, deserving, and hopped up on speed. One thousand years hence, Fly XIII will blog via his Orbital Space Cannon (OSC), wishing all inter-planetary beings a merry Friday the 13th.

Starting November, heading into our 10th anniversary, I am going to launch some new blogs, from some fresh and familiar faces. I am tying to convince Jeff Macke to return; but it’s hard to negotiate with crazy genius. There are a few others I want on the site, one of whom recently agreed. But I’d also like to hear from some of you, lowly readers out there in the wind, sad and alone, afraid of the winter winds to come. Maybe you can be Fly II, Pope of iBankCoin when I decide to walk away. Email me ([email protected] if you want a shot at blogging greatness and I will decide if you’re worthwhile. You might have to give me a massage while I am naked (extra Harvey).

Since inception, here are the top 10 traffic leaders in iBC history.

Fly 23 million
ChessnWine 4.4 million (he abandoned us)
Option Addict 3.5 million
Ragin Cajun 2.4 million
News (Greenwriter/Cronkite) 1.9 million (he’s now a NYC chef)
ZeropointNow 1.6 million (the natural)
Chart Addict 1.3 million (foisted)
Woodshedder 1.05 million (left to run his wife’s sweatshop)
Jakegint 682,000 (too busy to care anymore)
Raul 570,000 (is anyone more loyal than Raul? I think not)
Scott Bleier 500,000 (my favorite CNBC personality back in the day. I miss him here)
Cain Thaler 356,000 (he’s all grown up now, family, career etc)
Danny 350,000 (he’s a serious CFA now)
Gio 286,000 (this man remains a mystery. We met once in NYC and he soon after stopped blogging)
Bluestar 260,000 (just launched his own fund)
Alphadawg 177,000 (no idea what happened to him)
Jeff Macke 165,000 (hoping he’ll come back to crush Alphadawg)
Rhino 105,000 (married now)

Looking back at some old posts, I see that I gave Trump an Asshat of the Month award back in ’07. He might be due for another one.

And now he’s President.

And here was my launch post. I had tricked people into thinking I was going to stop blogging. This was at my old website, FlyonWallStreet.blogspot. The whole time, Jeremy and I were scheming a new site. It was hideous looking, but it was fun. Here was my inaugural post and video, which was edited by Danny.

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Trump is Going to Kill Obamacare and There is Nothing You Can Do About It

FLASH IMPORTANCE: My book is now available in print. Collectors item!

I’m very sorry for all of you, including Jimmy Kimmel, who rely upon Obamacare for their insurance needs. Truth is, we live in an evil country that would prefer to sacrifice its citizens in satanic rituals than help them recover from the flu. While some of these things are distasteful, they’re also extremely out of my reach of control. I am merely a spectator in all of this. I do not care if Obamacare lives or dies. I would prefer that the insurance and drug rackets be punished to hell via rigorous restrictions on profits. A friend of mine, who is a consultant in the healthcare industry, told me that 90% of the expenses are, in fact, real estate related.

How absurd is that?

Politico is reporting tonight that Trump might sever subsidy payments to insurers that will expedite the death of Obamacare — which is hopping and running towards the exit.

President Donald Trump plans to cut subsidy payments to insurers in his most aggressive move yet to undermine Obamacare after months of unsuccessful repeal efforts on Capitol Hill, according to two sources.

The subsidies, which are worth an estimated $7 billion this year and are paid out in monthly installments, may stop almost immediately since Congress hasn’t appropriated funding for the program.

Scrapping the funding is likely to provide another jolt to the already fragile Obamacare markets. The impact may be cushioned by the fact that many insurers had priced next year’s plans higher than they otherwise would have, fearing this decision. Others have already fled the Obamacare markets, which are set to begin open enrollment in Nov. 1 for the 2018 plan year.

Insurers rely on the subsidies to reduce out-of-pocket costs for low-income Obamacare customers. They’re still on the hook to provide the discounted rates to their members under the law, despite no longer receiving the federal funding.

Trump has threatened for months to cut off the payments, deriding them as a “bailout” for insurers. While Republican lawmakers complained the subsidies were never properly appropriated by Congress, many were wary of ending them suddenly.

Failed Obamacare repeal packages considered by the House and Senate, H.R. 1628, included near-term funding for the program, which had been paid out through the executive branch each month.

The announcement, expected to be made Friday, may also put more pressure on a bipartisan effort in the Senate’s health committee to preserve the subsidies to shore up Obamacare marketplaces.

The Trump administration will also likely drop an appeal of a lawsuit contesting the legality of the payments, known as cost-sharing reductions. However, a group of Democratic state attorneys general will continue fighting in court to preserve the payments.

Some insurers are also likely sue the Trump administration over the failure to make payments that they believe they’re entitled to under the Affordable Care Act.

Trump has argued that Democrats will take the blame if the markets implode, but polling strongly suggests the public will point the finger at Republicans for Obamacare problems under Trump’s watch.

My feelings on this transaction is irrelevant, as are yours. What is relevant, however, is the way we might profit from it.

Might I interest you in a little HIIQ?

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