Only one question

Happy Friday!

Back when I worked on the sell-side, I hosted an “idea dinner” for several of my hedge fund and institutional buy-side clients. 

I started the dinner by asking everyone where they thought the S&P would end the year. Of the 30 or so in the room, only one client thought the S&P would be positive. Just one.

I asked him to tell everyone why he thought the market would be up that year, and he gave his reasons. He was from Charlotte, had no formal education, and had a southern draw that was very much out of place in a fancy NYC restaurant.

Just imagine how well his peers received his thesis. More smirks and eye rolls than in a presidential debate.

Anyway, he turned out to be right, and everyone else was wrong. I’ll never forget that night because it taught me that when everyone agrees on something, no matter how probable it may appear, you must consider the other side. 

I’ve been reading a lot of Wall Street research lately, and I can’t find many bulls out there. The forecasts for 2023 are as bad as I’ve ever seen, and much of the negativity is justified. But what if they’re wrong? 

That’s what I wrote about this week. What if Wall Street is wrong, and the Fed can pull off this “soft landing?” 


Here’s a stellar rendering of the  FTX Axis of Evil. The scale of this fraud is simply immeasurable. Before you try to wrap your head around it all, note the legend, or else you won’t get the full effect.

So, is this the end for crypto? I don’t think so, but when firms of this size can disappear in hours and eviscerate billions in venture capital, I’m not sure how it all plays out when interest rates are above 0.01%. 

But not so fast! Jim Cramer came out this week warning investors that “it’s never too late to sell” crypto. Maybe that’s the shot of adrenaline that crypto has been waiting for all year. 

We’re all going to die

The big news in tech this week was ChatGPT. It’s an artificial intelligence engine built by OpenAI on its GPT-3 architecture, with around 175 billion parameters. If you have no idea what that means, don’t worry because I don’t either. I literally copied and pasted most of that from an article I found online.

In English, this is an artificial intelligence program that is easy to interact with. You ask a question, and it gives you an answer. You start a conversation, and it will keep it going. 

While this may sound blah to some, take a look at how quickly ChatGPT got to 1 million users:

I tried all week to set up an account and finally got access this morning. While it shows potential, I was supremely disappointed with its answer to my very first question:

I guess I was expecting more. Like this AI was somehow capable of doing the math on its own. Taking the clues, overlaying them on the mountain of dirt he had on powerful people, comparing the travel plans of that cohort, tracking cash movements in and out of their bank accounts around the time of the fake suicide, maybe an eye scan somewhere near Rikers Island like in Minority Report, and then definitively point the finger at the culprit(s). 

But it appears to be nothing more than an internet search result formatted a little differently than Google or DuckDuckGo. Ok, fine. Google is probably shaking a little in its boots because their monopoly could be at risk. That’s objectively pleasing to think about, but it’s not like this thing can pass the Turing Test just yet.

To be clear, that doesn’t change where this is all headed. If there’s any doubt that humanity just got kneecapped by a few decades this week, check out what Boston Scientific has been up to over the years. You won’t sleep for a month.

Can’t end like that

It’s the holiday season, so I’m not going to end on an “end of the world” note. So, here’s something pretty amazing.

Enjoy the weekend…