Uber and the banks exercise the greenshoe to avoid becoming an IPO undercorn? #uber

Who knows what forces were at play here during the first day of the Uber IPO, but this bump in the middle sure looks like someone was trying to get the Uber stock out of the rut – perhaps the investment banks exercising the greenshoe option? Cue the usual pictures of two big hairy animals fighting each other.

Screen Shot 2019-05-10 at 1.51.25 PM

Bloomberg reports that out of 207 million shares allocated for the IPO total, 27 million were reserved for greenshoe. I wonder how much of that was spent in the first day.

Musk says things that are directly opposite to the current facts #tesla

I’m interested in EVs and have had a great experience owning one before, so naturally I’m watching Tesla with lots of interest. But this kind of stuff is just frustrating:

“If you buy a Tesla today, I believe you are buying an appreciating asset, not a depreciating asset,” Musk said during an interview with MIT research scientist Lex Fridman.

A Tesla will be worth $150,000 to $250,000 in 3 years, he claimed.

An actual report from the field:

It seems from the used market that the value has plummeted. The one I bought is easy $40k less just a year old.

Musk has pulled off some crazy shit before, will he be able to defy the current reality? It kind of looks like a matter of blind faith at this point. A quick Kelly Blue Book sanity check:

New 2019 Tesla Model S 75D $77,200

Used 2017 Tesla Model S 75 Sedan 4D $52,365 Private Party Value

Today, Model S value plummets like a dead bird. To me, it seems like a great toy for someone who has an extra $30k to piss away just to have some fun. But who knows? Maybe tomorrow will be radically different and Elon will be able to magically breathe some AI fairy dust over remote software update into all those existing cars. I guess the trick is to try to get a model and a set of options that will qualify for this utopian future upgrade.

Programmers wiped out by robots

There are 3.5 million truck drivers in the US. They will all be gradually replaced by robots in the next few years, and then we will have a massive bloodbath caused by 3.5 million (no offense) low-skilled, unemployed people hunting for food.

From their perspective, this may look unrealistic – heavy driving seems like a really taxing and complex activity: it demands lots of attention, it has many special cases, it often requires reading social cues from other humans that only humans can understand. Yet, the switch to robots (and the ensuing social cataclysm) look inevitable in short few years.

In my line of work, I’ve been long puzzled by a similar issue. Why in the field of computer science and engineering, which is ultimately governed by the physics of the circuits, switches, math and formal logic that stems from that, why so much of the routine daily work programming those soul-less machines involves so much of: human judgement, uncertainty, doubt, debates/flame wars over “patterns”, and straight up insane (for any other engineering line of work) rates of errors, crashes and bugs?

I mean, it’s hard to imagine a modern-built physical bridge that just crashes “because bugs”. Or take air travel: in the US, 0.2 deaths per 10 billion passenger-miles for the first decade of this century. For the whole second decade – 0 deaths (almost).

Modern planes are heavily computerized, is that software written by some kind of a different breed of humans than, say, web software? Because my online banking from Citi goes down every week, and it’s a freaking banking service with the same use cases since the 14th century, repeated many times daily by 7000 banks in the US, nowhere near as complicated as the software that’s automatically, near-flawlessly flying and landing the jets in this country.

But wait, the higher are the regular software stakes, the bigger seems the reliance on human judgement. “Our web service is facing unique performance challenges and only the team XYZ has enough experience to scale it to that level.” Mind you, human programmers still haven’t sorted out if something as long-used as OOP is even a viable concept – some say that it is an unmaintainable disaster, a non-starter, others have been building stable systems with it for decades. With stubborn opinions so polarized, mutually exclusive in a field, again, governed by the laws of physics, it seems kind of very wrong that so much of the programming and design is still performed manually by fickle, biased mortals.

I don’t see any replacement yet. But maybe I’m just a truck driver.

The end of #lendingclub’s most lucrative note grades

The return on my portfolio with LendingClub – my choice was mostly low-grade notes – steadily dropped all the way down to 5.88% over the last year and a half. Until we finally run into this:

As of 11/7/2017, F & G grade Notes are not available for purchase by investors.

because LendingClub

noticed an increase in prepayment and delinquency rate in F and G grade Notes

Seems like the 20+% APY party came to an end. Even without any major event or recession in sight yet. My guess would be that with a spike in demand, LendingClub had to loosen up some criteria and let in a bunch of borrowers they wouldn’t and shouldn’t have otherwise, so now all of us are paying the price. Still might get much worse when the economy starts to tank.

Your #SSN DOB credit cards were leaked. Go do a credit freeze at all 3 agencies (FTC): https://goo.gl/RXZAVL

Equifax Says Cyberattack May Have Hit 143 Million Customers (Bloomberg)

That’s 60% of all US adults, or pretty much everyone with a credit card. There is a big file floating around somewhere that has enough info on you for anyone to take out a bunch of money in your name and dump that debt on you. You can prevent that by putting a credit freeze on your personal info, which you can lift when you need to apply for credit yourself – here is an FTC link on how to do all three.

The most maddening thing about this leak is that – unlike Ashley Madison – this time you cannot opt out of this shit or “just stop doing it”. If you are a functioning human in USA, you are pretty much forced to store your most sensitive financial and personal info with these scumbags, and then they go on and leak all of it. I hope they get sued to death for being a bunch of incompetent de facto extortionists.

Of course, it’s another issue altogether that what used to be called impersonation and bank’s failure to verify its borrower, the same thing now is referred to by an idiotic oxymoron identity theft and somehow it became not the bank’s problem but yours.