Well, last week in my column – “This Yost Column Can Make You Rich” – I recommended that everyone put all their money into the new Venezuelan Bitcoin – the novel South American cryptocurrency that looked pretty much like a sure thing.
Specifically, I believe I said it was a “good, solid, perfectly safe investment with a virtual guarantee of a big payback” and also that “I feel confident when I say that if you are someone who is retired or close to it who’s looking for a place to put your money where you can get both security and the near certainty of big gains, this is the investment for you.”
Uh, if you haven’t put your money in that already, you might want to hold off a bit; it turns out that, based on some things reported this week, this investment may not be the absolute sure thing it would seem to have been on the surface – and some Wall Street analysts have now said that the value of the Venezuelan Bitcoin is “heading to zero.”
Forbes, in an article titled “Venezuela’s New Cryptocurrency Is An Even Worse Investment Than Bitcoin,” called into question my advice from last week. In fact, they wrote of the new investment, “There is so much wrong with it that it’s hard to know where to start.”
And a very well respected Wall Street bank, Brown Brothers Harriman, called the new currency a “desperate gimmick” to prop up a government with “close to zero credibility.”
Some articles this week also pointed out that, under Venezuelan law, the creation of the new investment by that country’s government was likely illegal and also that, based on US law, the new cryptocurrency is illegal for Americans to purchase since the US Treasury Department has warned that buying Venezuelan Bitcoin violates US sanctions against the government of President Nicolas Maduro.
Anyway, my point in all this is that, on second thought, the Venezuelan Bitcoin may not be the perfect investment for everyone, including retirees and others who may be risk averse with their portfolios.
If you did invest in that and lost everything and/or are now in federal prison for violation of international law because you followed my advice – well, the Rhino Times regrets the error.
(In my defense, I did state very clearly in my column last week that, “I may be missing something.”)
On to cheerier matters …
There was a lot of internet outrage over the past week after revelations by the MoviePass CEO that the app is tracking users and their movements before and after a movie. I am tired of hearing people complain about this.
(1) Privacy has been a thing of the past since September 2011.
(2) Who cares if MoviePass knows that you had dinner at Houlihan’s.
(3) I will quote The Cultcast (one of my favorite Apple news podcasts). On that podcast, host Erfon Elijah expressed perfectly my reaction to the news: “Like 800 of you tweeted at me this week and said, ‘Oh my Gosh, did you see what MoviePass is doing!? You gotta talk about MoviePass; they’re tracking your every move!’ You know what? I don’t care if MoviePass is tracking my every move. I was saying on Twitter that, as long as they keep movies at $10 a month, I would let them put a camera in my bathroom. They could put a toilet-cam in my bathroom. I don’t care what they’re tracking. It’s unlimited movies for $10 a month.”
I think we can now safely say that we have a clear winner in the category of “Worst Money Ever Spent.” The award goes to the $130,000 in hush money paid to Stormy Daniels.
In a shocking and astounding revelation this week, it turns out that O.J. Simpson may actually have been guilty after all.
I swear, 30 years ago, it was amazing how fast something could make it into the News & Record late at night – especially when it came to a big Duke-Carolina basketball game. (And remember, this was before we had all this technology or even the internet.)
I remember big ACC games years ago that would end after midnight and then, around 3:30 a.m., the newspaper would show up in the driveway with giant pictures and extensive coverage of the game that had just ended a few hours earlier.
Back in those days, the N&R would even have a big photo of the big game and a blurb about it on A-1 – which meant they had kept that section open as well for the results and also meant they were all down there working hard late at night.
Last Friday night, the giant Duke-Carolina ACC Tournament game ended before midnight, and when I got my newspaper Saturday morning, there was a big story on the front page of the sports section about the rich tradition of the Northwest Guilford High School girls basketball team – because, as you are well aware, last Friday night everyone in North Carolina was all abuzz about the rich tradition of the Northwest Guilford girls basketball.
And there was nothing in the N&R on the Duke-Carolina game.
I will say that the News & Record did at least offer an apology in a below-the-fold blurb in the sports section. It stated, “We know what you’re looking for, and we’re sorry. But our deadlines have changed so that the paper can be delivered on time.”
That blurb pointed out that some coverage of the game could be found online at ACCextra.com. I guess that would be OK, except …
(A) My Wi-Fi signal doesn’t reach into my bathroom, thank you very much, and …
(B) If I have to sign in to my News & Record account to read it, I may as well be trying to hack the nuclear launch codes, and …
(C) This is from the same newspaper that has been arguing furiously for the past year that public notices from governments absolutely, positively have to be kept in print newspapers because there are so, so many people in the area who don’t have internet access.
Speaking of the big game Friday night (not the all-important Northwest High School girls basketball game as the N&R would have you believe, but the Duke-Carolina game), it’s a shame that Duke guard Grayson Allen was called for a flagrant foul for sticking his rear out and sending a Carolina player, Garrison Brooks, to the floor. That move almost certainly cost Allen the upcoming NCAA’s Best Sportsmanship Award.
The most amazing statistic I heard this weekend regarding the basketball tournament championship (again, the ACC, not the girl’s high school one) was this: Since 1991, either Duke or Carolina has had a spot in the ACC Tournament finals. That’s over a quarter of a century straight in which one of those teams has competed for the tournament championship. It’s even more impressive when you consider that, years ago, the ACC went from nine teams to its current count of 372 teams. (Next year, the conference is adding two universities in North Korea, the only country not currently represented by ACC teams.)
If you are still looking for a place to put your money, I have a new stock for you: Helios & Matheson (HMNY). This is the company that owns MoviePass. You can get the stock for a steal because a few months ago it was trading at $40 a share and now it’s at $4 a share.
Each month people pay movie pass $10 and then MoviePass takes that $10 and uses it to pay $50 to $300 to theaters for that subscriber to see movies that month.
If you ask me, there is no way that product doesn’t turn out to be amazingly popular. I may be missing something, but, if I were you, I would jump on this stock while I could.