Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Uber as a predatory lender

If you want to understand where Uber's business model is going read this stream on Twitter:



PS. I am currently on a business trip to the United States. Maybe it is just bad luck - but the quality of Uber service has dropped fairly dramatically since the last time I was here. I no longer feel the need to recommend Uber to friends - and indeed am coming close to advising against it.


Monday, May 9, 2016

Catching up with the Narwhal Empire in Nashville

Got a reasonable day off in Nashville. (You got to recover from jet-lag somewhere!)

Wound up at a cool blues bar on Bourbon Street. But the highlight was a busker. Her name was Heidi Keltner and she had a great sense of rhythm, a decent bluesy voice and could hold the crowd she had built up.

Its got to be a tough life trying to be a musician in Nashville. Heidi had to leave later to start a 3AM shift at UPS...

The street scene wound up as a jam with a drunk African American woman trying to do Aretha Franklin (whilst holding onto me for physical support and complaining I smelt like a white guy).

But lets stick to Heidi. Her original songs were fine.

Her YouTube channel is badly underproduced. But put on headphones and listen to this. You won't be disappointed. (The band is called the Narwhal Empire... but I only saw Heidi.)


Saturday, May 7, 2016

If someone disagrees with you they are certifiably crazy: Bill Ackman, Valeant and Herbalife edition.

The US Senate has released a lot of Valeant documents. Link here

There is quite a deal here - but I got to this email from Bill Ackman to Mason Morfit (of ValueAct) and Mike Pearson (the then CEO of Valeant). I can't resist posting it.

Mike and Mason 
Happy Thanksgiving. 
Please see below from my PR folks. The idea that Ubben blames me for the decline in VRX stock is absurd. I don't care but I think it is not good for Valeant. 
I had never previously heard of Andrew Left and I don't think his short position was motivated by animus for me. I just think he wanted to make money. With respect to John Hempton, I have never met him or spoken to him. He happens to be long Herbalife and certifiably crazy. How can I be responsible for his behavior? 
With respect to my email apology for the WSJ article, I don't understand what value it brings Valeant for the recipients to have shared it with the FT. I did my best to shape the WSJ article in a way that would be good for Valeant and I didn't love the outcome. I therefore apologized. Isn't that the appropriate thing to do?


I just want to put this up for posterity. But I wish to assure Bill that on both stocks I am research driven and quite sane.


General disclaimer

The content contained in this blog represents the opinions of Mr. Hempton. Mr. Hempton may hold either long or short positions in securities of various companies discussed in the blog based upon Mr. Hempton's recommendations. The commentary in this blog in no way constitutes a solicitation of business or investment advice. In fact, it should not be relied upon in making investment decisions, ever. It is intended solely for the entertainment of the reader, and the author.  In particular this blog is not directed for investment purposes at US Persons.