Private Citizens vs. The Government

A pile of feedback over the weekend. Your thoughts on how free you really are:

“Is Kansas freer than California, probably. As far as the 2nd Amendment is concerned.”

Next, a Wyoming resident checks in from his sailboat, currently off the coast of New Zealand.

“Concerning freedom, I am free. Not because the United States or New Zealand or any other entity allows me that privilege, rather because I choose to be free and accept the consequences of my decisions.”

On government “fearing” an armed citizenry: “If it came to a fight, private citizens vs. the government, it wouldn’t be pretty but Afghanistan held out against the Soviet Union for how long? Who finally won that war?”

On billionaires lecturing about the pitfalls of capitalism: “It’s good when Wall Street keeps growing. CEOs making record salaries, traders getting million dollar bonuses. When blue collar wages start going up it’s wage inflation and must be stamped out. Something’s wrong with this picture.”

The final note on an armed citizenry: “Historians have suggested the Japanese considered launching their attack on the West Coast of the United States, but feared that choice as they believed ‘every farmer had a gun’, so they chose instead a surprise attack at Pearl Harbor.”

The variety of opinions on the question of “how free are you?” was amazing. It’s a matter of perspective. It’s local. And different factors matter to different folks.

Your Rundown for Monday, April 8, 2019:

Does The Market Need Another LYFT?

Just when you thought IPO-palooza 2019 couldn’t get any nuttier…

The New York Times this morning and Reuters last evening have details on Pinterest’s intention to IPO between $15 and $17 per share.

$17 a share would value the company right around $11.3 billion.

After taking over $1.5 billion in private money, an IPO under $12 billion would be a money loser for some of those who invested in Pinterest along the way.

That’s a change! Now Main Street purchasers of IPOs aren’t the only ones who can lose money!

According to the Times, Pinterest lost $63 million on $756 million in revenue in 2018.

Reuters said that was a 60% increase in revenue over 2017. There’s the good news.

Pinterest’s losses are also narrowing as the company makes more money. In 2017, for example, Pinterest lost $130 million. Also good news?

Any conversation of Pinterest’s IPO intentions right now invariably comes back to Lyft’s (NASDAQ: LYFT) strange ride to IPO last month.

From a rocket debut that saw the stock climb from $72 to $88.60 only to turn and bottom out at  $66.10, LYFT shares have since recovered to $74.45 as of Friday’s close.

Pinterest, the Times notes, has a clearer path to profitability than does Lyft or the 800-lb unicorn yet to go public, Uber.

That’s because Pinterest generates advertising revenue. Lyft and Uber… do not.

If you think this tech IPO business is crazy now, just wait a few months. Uber’s IPO will be the market’s 2019 Mardi Gras. Some estimates value the Uber IPO at almost $120 billion.

As to investment suitability, it should go without saying we are bearish on big ticket, money-losing, hype-driven IPOs.

Be careful, protect yourself, and don’t get caught up in the fever.

That goes for Lyft, Pinterest, and anything else that comes down the IPO chute this year. If our opinion changes, we’ll let you know.

Looking to the markets this morning….

Market Rundown for Mon. April 8, 2019

S&P 500 futures are off 3.00 at 2,893.

Oil is up $0.25 at $63.33. How much do you care about United States energy independence and the massive proven reserves in the Permian Basin? Is this the biggest untold story of the year?

Gold is up $5.90 this morning at $1,301.

Bitcoin is down $39.78 in fiat terms, at $5,159 this morning.

Have a good day. We’ll talk tomorrow.

For the Rundown,

Aaron Gentzler

Aaron Gentzler

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Aaron Gentzler

Aaron Gentzler is the publisher of Seven Figure Publishing. He is also the editor of The Rundown and has been with Agora Financial / Seven Figure Publishing since 2005. He's been covering technology and markets for over a decade.

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