Is it still worth reading the Gus Russo book on the Outfit’s history? I read the Roemer one about Accardo and thought it might’ve been lacking on Giancana and Aiuppa. However, I think I’d rather move on to reading up on organized crime in other countries if the Russo history is just going to outline the same stories
Is there any writing on the outfit’s involvement with white collar crime? I just read Five Families by Selwyn Raab and one of the most fascinating parts was the look at OC’s legitimate business rackets - construction/carting bid rigging, the concrete club etc. I’d be interested to see if there’s been in any writing on that aspect of the Outfit’s rackets since from what I’ve gleaned from most Outfit books is that they usually focus on traditional mob activities (gambling, union racketeering, casino skimming)
He claims he was Basically Frank Costello's adopted son in law.. says Costello saw him on the street in Little Italy in the late 40s/early 50s, got to know him, and then started sending him to pick up gambling slips, then gradually upped his responsibility, to eventually he was flying to Vegas assumedly before Genovese's hit attempt on Frank to pick up Casino skim ...this serms ludicrous to me as he wouldve been not even 20 when doing this? Any thoughts? Do any of you guys have accurate info on Russo's ties to the Mafia..i don't doubt he had mob ties, but the way he tells it he was like an honorary consigliere.
He claims he was the one who brokered the deal between Joe Columbo and Al Ruddy/ Bob Evans from Paramount to get The Godfather actually made? He says the Mob had the main gate at Paramount studios blown up as a message to not make the movie? ... ive literally never heard that portion of the story and ive read alot on the making of The Godfather and seen 2 documentaries on the movie and never once mentioned this fact....Russo claims that the head of Paramounts secretary at this time said "shit we rrall have a problem with the Mafia, the man we need to fix this is Gianni Russo, and thats how he got approached to broker a deal.....also claims that part of this deal was that he had to play either the part of Michael, Sonny, or Carlo...the two main parts that went to all time great actors.... Idk how or why he'd be able to sit down w a boss and arrange this or anything remotely true about his storybut... u gotta listen to this part alone its very hard to believe but so delusional its amazing
He claims he knew John Gotti, among many other made men in all families... claims Gotti didnt like him before he was boss bc he was jealous of Russos wealth and connections in the Mob? This is laughable but again u gotta listen to it for shits and giggles
He claims on this show that he killed 3 men( yes he actually admits to it .. u havr to hear this to believe it).. although he qualified his statement by saying they were all in self defense.. and the one in the NyT article he goes into detail in the podcast that the guy he killed was Medellin cartel member that was #2 under Pablo who attempted to kill a woman in his restaurant, he interceded, killed him after he stabbed Russo.. then Russo finds out the Cartel had a hit on him.. so he goes to see John Gotti who is boss now and asked for his help to get outta America and to Bogota to straighten this out.. Gotti declines but he went anyway, the Cartel finds him, kidnaps him, is about to torture him when Ewcobar himself recognized him as Carlo from the GF, then they proceed to run lines snd hes released..... then he says the brother of the guy he whacked wasnsome ex military Sicario who found him at his club/casino in Vegas; he then confronted the guy, challenged him to a duel outside and then on the way ambushed him, beat him to death by puncturing his lungs amd causing him to drown on his blood in his lungs....i know how fuckin batshit this sounds ... again highly recommend listening to this its so crazy insane its insanely entertaining
He claims he was tight with Fat Tony Salernos crew, and that he was w the GF cast pre production in Patsys in East Harlem with Brando.. said this place was controlled by Salerno and also at this time Brando questioned why he got the part since he had zero acting experience to which Russo says i was given this part as a favor to Joe Columbo and then he threatened Marlon not to fuck up his big break in front of Salernos men who were there in the back playing Ziganette at this mob joint.
He also claims to have killed other men he cant talk about, ,claims to have made millions in OC before he ever started acting, that he has 11 kids by 10 women, that he has so much property and boats and cars.....oh and that he fucked Marilyn Monroe while still a teenager.....it's like this he never heard theres no statute of limitations on murder Also he shits on James Caan and highlights his real connections to the Columbos and the rest of the 5 families... anyone have any insight on Russo and the mob and thoughts on his wild fuckin claims... he mentions other mob shit too Im blanking on If you go to Itunes podcast and search "Gilbert Gottfrieds Amazing Colossal Podcast" then scroll down to early 2015 episodes ull see Russos he was like the 3rd or 4th one.. and its totally free..... its an hr long and so worth it just to hear him brag and telling crazy fuckin stories
Throughout the 1960s the G-men eavesdropped on the private conversations of Meyer Lansky by bugging his personal residence where he lived with his wife in Hallandale, FL and the hotel rooms in which he stayed when in New York City according to FBI files. Although Lansky may have had a mind for numbers in handling the casino skimming and money laundering rackets of the Genovese mobsters for whom he worked, his own words reveal a small-minded man who was both embittered by and self-deluded about his station in life. Perhaps the most shocking revelations from the recorded confessions involved jealous rants about the Kennedy family and racist tirades against minority groups. There seemed to be few in the world whom Lansky liked, and perhaps least of all was himself. During his life Lansky was perceived by the press and the public as a wealthy man — some estimates put his net worth at $300 million — who was among the most powerful gangsters in the country. However, the reality is that Lansky was just a work horse harnessed by the Genovese family in its various incarnations as reflected by his own unguarded admissions and corroborated by other evidence. After Prohibition the Italians began consolidating their control over the underworld, and by the end of World War II the Jewish gangsters were either working for the Mafia, retired or dead. The bosses assigned capo Vincent “Jimmy Blue Eyes” Alo to keep a close eye on Lansky in Hallandale, FL, and everywhere that Lansky went Alo was sure to follow. After Vito Genovese took over the crime family from Frank Costello in 1957 Meyer Lansky dutifully stepped into line under the new boss. Congressional testimony by flipped mobster Joe Valachi in 1963 suggested that Lansky was a proxy for the Genovese family as paraphrased by the FBI in a January 19, 1968 memo:
Joseph Valachi, an admitted member of La Cosa Nostra, in testimony before the United States Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, Committee on Government Operations, during 1963, stated that Vito Genovese and Meyer Lansky had common holdings in gambling casinos in Las Vegas and Havana, Cuba. Valachi, a close associate of Genovese, testified that Lansky and Genovese were very closely associated in racket activities over the years and that wherever Lansky operated, Genovese had an interest.
No doubt vast sums passed through Lansky’s hands but little of it was his to keep. His lifestyle hardly suggested any accumulation of great wealth. He owned a modest home in Hallandale, FL and drove a rented Chevrolet. The simple living was not an elaborate ploy to keep the IRS at bay but an accurate reflection of his financial means. Indeed, in conversations secretly recorded by the FBI Lansky made it clear to associates that he worked out of necessity. For example, while staying at the Volney Hotel at 23 East 74th Street in New York in May 1962, “LANSKY complained that the necessity of making a living was taking a lot out of him,” and “remarked how lucky people are that ‘fall into it.’” In another conversation he remarked how “some people became millionaires since the War,” and “they shouldn’t hold a job.” Lansky clearly did not consider himself a man of independent means who could afford a life of leisure. Of course, whatever personal wealth Lansky may have accumulated likely was wiped out when Fidel Castro chased the mobsters out of Cuba in January 1959 after overthrowing corrupt dictator Fulgencio Batista. Upon returning stateside with his tail between his legs Lansky solicited a meeting with the FBI for the avowed purpose of providing intelligence on the communist infiltration of Cuba. The meeting took place on May 22, 1959, and Lansky stated that he “could lose heavily unless the situation changed,” and “he could not deny that the possibility of this loss contributed to his decision to discuss the Cuban situation.” Lansky’s own losses were likely insignificant compared to the reverses suffered by his Genovese bosses, and perhaps he was required to make a financial settlement with them for failing to read the handwriting on the wall. After all, it was Lansky’s job to be on top of such matters. Although Lansky later would rewrite history by telling associates that he warned the feds in 1958 that “Cuba was going Communist” the fact is that he did not do so until May 1959, and even then had nothing meaningful to offer. The G-men expressly noted that the mobster stated only the obvious, and “all of LANSKY’s comments were general in nature”:
When pressed for particulars LANSKY advised he was not in a position to furnish facts. * * * He stated he could not name any individuals in the present government who had publicly described themselves as Communists nor could he offer any facts which would set one person aside from the others as a Communist.
Frankly, Lansky’s purported concern about a communist Cuba is laughable. Neither Lansky nor his Mafia overlords cared a wit with whom they conducted business. In fact, while still in Havana, on January 5, 1959 Lansky gave an interview to Alan Jarlson from The Las Vegas Sun who reported that Lansky “talked freely” about his hope “that the new government will emerge from Fidel Castro’s liberation of Cuba and will continue to permit American gamblers to operate.” Similarly, when Lansky left Cuba on January 7, and arrived at Miami International Airport, the casino operator told Joseph Manners, a Special Assistant to the Attorney General, that “he expected to continue in business, and did not anticipate trouble from the new government.” Lansky developed his anti-communist animus only after it became clear that Castro was refusing to allow the American mobsters to continue their exploitation of Cuba. If Lansky thought his new-found anti-communist fervor — feigned or otherwise — would curry him favor with FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover he sorely miscalculated. Instead, the feds exploited his gambling losses as an opportune time to investigate him. A March 23, 1960 memo from the Director to the Miami Field Office states:
You now have residing in your territory one of the very most important individuals in the national crime picture in the person of Meyer Lansky. Information developed in Bureau investigations over a period of many years indicates strongly that Lansky is a very important individual in a segment of the criminal element. In pursuing investigations in your Criminal Intelligence Program, you should not overlook the possibility of employing extraordinary investigative techniques with reference to Lansky. Because of the loss of the lucrative Cuban gambling situation, Lansky is presently in a position of having to make decisions as to his future course of action. This may be a propitious time for close coverage of Lansky.
The memo further reflects Hoover’s lingering questions about the existence of the Mafia, and its relationship to non-Italians such as Lansky. Already contemplating the distinction between a mob member who must be Italian and a mob associate who can be of any ethnicity Hoover writes:
It is desired also to point out to you the need of continuous alertness to develop the existence or nonexistence of the “Mafia.” Persons who furnish information in this field should be thoroughly interviewed for a determination of what they mean by the use of the term “Mafia.” It is the Bureau’s desire to determine whether or not this is a mere term used to characterize criminal groups made up of a preponderance of persons of Italian birth or extraction, or whether it is a term denoting something of greater significance. Complete details of any facts available should be obtained from any persons contending that it is an actual organization which can be characterized as being a “Mafia.”
The federal investigation on top of his Cuban losses added insult to injury for Lansky, and was a constant source of stress for Lansky and his wife. When the G-men visited their South Florida home on May 2, 1961 for a spot check Mrs. Lansky “went into a tirade about the ‘harassing tactics of the FBI,’” and when agents again returned on May 17 the mobster “said he felt he was being persecuted because of his name.” FBI bugs caught Lansky routinely kvetching about the prying eyes. For example, in May 1962 while staying at the Volney Hotel in New York City Lansky described the G-men as “racketeers” and the “new mafia”:
They’re nothing but racketeers, every one of them. After five years they get out, get on a big corporation’s payroll. Now what happens, you and I . . . let’s say I work for IBM. You came. They say [redacted] is doing the same business. He has no FBI guys working for him. Pop, they chop his legs off. They find him with a sweetheart, they find him with this, they find him with that. This thing’s gonna get an investigation. It’s a new mafia. The investigators are going to get investigated. It’s just a matter of time. It’s the same with those senate investigators. You remember those McCarthy hearings. That lying (obscene) with the pictures.
Lansky directed most of his anti-government enmity towards the Kennedys which was fueled by Bobby Kennedy’s mob busting campaign and Jack Kennedy’s refusal to back the Bay of Pigs invasion to topple Castro. However, Lansky also was a terribly insecure man who undoubtedly felt like a bug under the long-cast Kennedy shadow. Lansky grew up poor on the Lower East Side in New York City, his education topped out at the 8th grade, he was a national pariah with whom no person of good standing would associate, and the poor thing was short, slight and ugly. Lanksy was nothing more than a greedy troll living under a bridge in the Kingdom of Camelot, and his bitterness was palpable at the mere mention of the revered Kennedy name. For example, FBI eavesdropping on the Lansky couple at their New York City hotel room in May 1962 captured on the following conversation on the Kennedys:
[Redacted] in discussing wiretapping bill presently pending, remarked that wiretapping is okay against the Communists, but otherwise is most sickening. She stated she believed the “KENNEDYs” were acting sincerely and in their best beliefs. When LANSKY disagreed, she reminded him that he came up “on the wrong side of the fence,” to which subject replied that he was brought up on the “unhypocritical” side.
On another occassion Lansky referred to Bobby Kennedy as “an arrogant punk” who had no right to judge the mob life:
Let me tell you something. Anyone who hasn’t lived, hasn’t the right to tell anyone else anything. He’s a young boy, 37 years old. He hasn’t lived yet and he wants to tell others how to live. He’s an arrogant punk.
“Arrogant punk” or not, the mobsters feared Bobby Kennedy. An FBI bug installed at the Lansky home in Hallandale, FL picked up an associate telling Meyer on August 18,1962 that “the person everyone is afraid of is BOBBY KENNEDY. ‘He is the hatchetman.’” In order to prop up his ego Lansky routinely pontificated before others on a variety of subjects, and sounded as much a bore as the insufferable Polonius from Hamlet who missed the irony behind his quip “brevity is the soul of wit.” For example, on June 5, 1962 Lansky held court for sycophantic groupies at his room in the Volney Hotel, and told everyone what a literate man he was even though he had “no education”:
LANSKY bragged about his ability to read several books at one time. He stated he is presently reading a history book, a grammar book, and a book on French quotations. He stated these are the things you need with no education because you can get mixed up. LANSKY expounded on various subjects and his listeners expressed awe at his knowledge.
On another occasion during his stay at the hotel “MEYER remarked that Saturday or Sunday he intends to go over to the museum and buy a photograph of ‘Aristotle Contemplating the Bust of Homer’ which is selling at $12.50.” Apparently Lansky hoped that a little culture would mask his mob stench. The self-delusion which gripped Lansky was shockingly apparent when on multiple occasions he savagely spoke with racial slurs of blacks and Latinos as “lousy minority groups” who are criminal by nature. For example, in June 1962 when discussing race with some associates at his New York City hotel room, Lanksy said the following with respect to blacks:
If you find a person stealing who doesn’t have enough to eat, there a reason. But tell me why you steal if you’ve got money in your pocket. You see these n***** [n-word] kids stealing. Their parents are ignorant, no education. There’s a certain spark in them.
He further stated that “n****** [n-word] are getting even with white people through welfare and they’re laughing at the white people.” And then when comparing Scandanavians against Latinos he stated:
They’re not only physically healthy, but their lives are more healthy. They’re cleaner. They’re not as criminal as some of the other nationalities. The Latins are more criminal. They had to steal to subsist.
Apparently Lansky conveniently forgot during these racist tirades that he was a former enforcer with Murder, Inc. Lansky may have read the classics and got his nails manicured but he still was nothing but a common thug with blood on his hands. Indeed, when Israel sent Lansky packing from the Promised Land towards the end of his life one wonders whether he had the courage and honesty to ask “what profit it a man to gain the world but lose his soul?”
11-10 05:08 - 'I read that Howard Hughes bought casinos from the mob, but mob guys still worked in the count room and consistently skimmed so much cash that Hughes was barely making anything, causing him to eventually get out of the...' by /u/ArchStanton44 removed from /r/history within 1403-1413min
[PC? GB?][90s?]Looking for a game with this melody (Online Sequencer included). I can't remember much more.
Platform(s): I think PC? But could have been Game Boy, NES or SNES. I can't remember the game, only the music. Genre: Maybe platformer but I'm not sure. Estimated year of release: I think I played it between year s 1990-2000 but could have been older. Graphics/art style: I can't remember. I mostly played pixel art games back then. Other details: I can only remember the music, I think it was MIDI. At the time I played Yoshi's Island a lot (on a PC emulator), Kirby on GB, Puzzle Fighter and all sort of random games that I got on magazines, so it's difficult to narrow it down. I hope the online sequencer helps! http://onlinesequencer.net/1774228 Edit: added a Vocaroo. Sorry about my whistling https://voca.ro/1mqN6hCt3AoH A million thanks in advance!
So I just finishing watching Casino, and thought it was amazing, though I do have a few questions. First off, what where the bosses doing that was actually illegal, I know the guy came into the count room and took money away in the briefcase, but I'm not exactly sure what was so illegal about their whole operation. Another question I have is why the pull and money taken to the bosses got lower as time went on and how Nicky was implicated for the lower takes. My last question is about how the whole operation came crashing down, I'm still unsure about how it all happened, I know Ginger got arrested and then people started getting arrested, and the bug in the supermarket was also the reason for it all as well, I'm just not sure about what the catalyst is for it all. All in all, it was an amazing movie, I'm just a little unsure about a few plot points.
/u/Enochx: "An "Israel First" Zionist-Jew, and International Casino Magnate is using skimmed cash from Asian casinos to force American Presidential Candidates to bow down to the will of Zionist-Jew war criminals in Israel.... and has ties Chinese organized crime? Ya don't say?"
Citron Pulls Plug On NIO, Says Valuation 'Can Never Be Justified' NIO Price Target is $25
I’ve posted the Benzinga Article below. I definitely feel like it’s something this sub (especially Nio mooners🚀) could benefit from seeing and discussing. I swear, it’s a 2 minute read: ———————————— Two years after Citron Research editor and notorious short seller Andrew Left made a bold bullish call on Nio Inc - ADR (NYSE: NIO), Left said Friday it’s finally time for investors to cash out of the red-hot EV stock. Back in November 2018, Left compared Nio to Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA) when Nio was trading at around $7 per share. Today, Nio shares are trading at $53. ($46.70 at the time of this Reddit post) “After a rocky road of trading, NIO has found itself in unchartered territory that can never be justified by its current standing in the China EV market or its near-term prospects,” Left wrote Friday. 2 Vulnerabilities: Left said Nio has two major vulnerabilities in the near-term. Tesla’s Model Y price cuts will apply significant pressure to sales of Nio’s ES6 hatchback model. Last month, Tesla sold nearly twice the number of vehicles in China that Nio sold, and Left is expecting China’s EV market to continue to be an intensely competitive pricing environment. Left is not a fan of Nio’s share structure. “While we commend Baillie Gifford (love those people) and early investors, right now we are looking at a share structure and an investor base that is more interested in spinning a casino wheel,” said Left. He also noted Nio's short interest is approaching a two-year low. What Nio Investors Are Buying: Left said investors buying Nio today should understand what they are getting into. “Anyone buying NIO stock now is not buying a company or its prospects, rather you are buying 3 letters that move on a screen,” he wrote. Left said there are better ways to play the China EV story: “It is time for investors to rotate out of NIO, enjoy your profits and look for the next disruptive technology.” Left's new price target for Nio is $25, suggesting more than 50% downside. Benzinga’s Take: There’s no question the Chinese EV market will be a major growth story for years to come. But Nio’s market cap has now surpassed Daimler’s despite the fact that Nio sells roughly 5,000 vehicles per month and Daimler sells about 1 million vehicles per month. ———————————————————— Thoughts? Edit: For those asking “WTF is Citron?” Below is what I skimmed from his Wikipedia, but there is a whole ass section about his reports on Chinese companies and what Chinese companies and leaders have taken legal action against him. He’s already banned from trading in Hong Kong for 5 years because of his report on a HK real estate company being insolvent. ———————————— Left initially started StockLemon.com in 2001 as a self-published blog containing reports on controversial companies. He rebranded the site as Citron Research in 2007.Left researches and short sells companies he believes to be engaged in fraud, have been suspiciously promoted, or have been mistakenly overpriced by the stock market. According to a Wall Street Journal analysis of 111 Citron short-sale reports spanning from 2001 to 2014, there was an average share-price decline of 42 percent in the year after Left's report was released. Of those shares, 90 were lower one year later while 21 gained, according to data from S&P Capital IQ. Citron Research has published reports on 18 Chinese companies, 16 of which experienced a drop in stock prices, with 15 of them experiencing drops of over 70%. This has caused a collective of Chinese business leaders, including Qihoo 360 CEO Zhou Hongyi (a company that has been targeted by Left), to launch a site called CitronFraud.com (no longer operating). Left sent a legal notice to the 60 Chinese executives involved, seeking an apology, and told Tech In Asia that he is consulting with lawyers and considering legal action in response.
Feiticeira (Clams Casino Remix) - Great remix, borderline too short but the sound is amazing and does the song great justice. Digital Bath (DJ Shadow Remix) - OK remix. I am a bit underwhelmed personally as I had very high expectations for this as I love DJ Shadow and Digital Bath is one of my favourite songs on White Pony. Elite (Blanck Mass Remix) - This is huge! Fast, noisy cinematic and epic at the same time. Do not know much about the artist but I will sure check more! Rx Queen (Salva Remix) - The intro is very similar to the original song but then it changes dramatically with the beats and the glitchy sounds. All in all good remix. Street Carp (Phantogram Remix) - Calming and different! Very M83-esque sound. I like it a lot personally. Teenager (Robert Smith Remix) - No comments as we all heard it already Knife Prty (Purity Ring Remix) - No comments as we all heard it already Korea (Trevor Jackson Remix) - Sounds apocalyptic! Feels like a completely different song, in a good way! I love this! My favourite so far. Passenger (Mike Shinoda Remix) - No comments as we all heard it already Change (In The House Of Flies) (Tourist Remix) - Very dreamlike and different than the original. I like it as well. Pink Maggit (Squarepusher Remix) - Retains some of the guitars of the original song with Squarepusher twist in the whole mix. Heavy, glitchy, noisy but very good! I tend to gravitate towards alternative rock/metal, industrial as my primary genres but I have eclectic music taste and like all sorts of music, including electronic music, trip-hop, big beat, 90s electronica and DNB. So I am used to sounds like this, although I did not know anything about most of the artists (except DJ Shadow, Robert Smith, Shinoda and Squarepusher). I will need to play it again but the first impressions are great. Edit: Those wondering, No Boy's Republic or Back to School on the original album or the remix either. I did not play White Pony but quick skimming left me with the impression that the album is untouched. I did not see a reaction megathread and if I missed it somehow the mods can move this there
Empire of Sin (Xbox) £15.99 delivered using code @ Boss Deals / eBay
The description of this deal was not provided by this subreddit and it's contributors. £15.99 - eBay Empire of Sin, the strategy game from Romero Games and Paradox Interactive, puts you at the heart of the ruthless criminal underworld of 1920s Prohibition-era Chicago. It’s up to you to hustle, charm and intimidate your way to the top of the pile and do whatever it takes to stay there. This character-driven game puts players smack dab in the glitz and glamor of roaring 20s all while having them work behind the scenes in the gritty underbelly of organized crime. Build A Crime Empire: Raise your criminal empire from the ground up by establishing rackets in your neighborhood (be it speakeasies, breweries, brothels, union skimming, protection rackets, or casinos) and recruiting a team of loyal mobsters to make your mark on the streets. Once you make a name for yourself, expand your influence by taking over rival territory and adding more ventures to your repertoire. Explore a Living, Breathing City: Take to the streets of vibrant 1920s Chicago and its distinct neighborhoods, such as Little Italy or West Loop, with real historical landmarks and events. Interact with a full cast of over 60 living, breathing characters with backgrounds that inform how they react to what you or other characters do. Each recruitable character has traits and relationships that significantly affect gameplay and vice versa. Schmooze, coerce, seduce, threaten, or kill them to get your way. Defend and Expand Territory: If it comes to blows, hypothetically of course, and your posse needs to send a message, face off in brutal turn-based combat. Recruit your goons strategically to build a strong chemistry within your crew to maximize combat damage and help secure your hold on the city. Wield Your Influence: Make and break alliances, bribe cops, and trade on the black market to gain an edge and expand the influence of your crime family. But always keep your enemies close and ensure you have a mole on the inside and eyes everywhere. Dominate the Neighborhood: Whether you make it to the top with violence, business smarts, or city-wide notoriety, there are a number of ways to become King or Queen of Chicago. With various starting conditions and constantly changing crew dynamics, no two playthroughs will ever be the same. This deal can be found at hotukdeals via this link: https://ift.tt/2LumSJi
I thought I would share my methodology for choosing SPACs for people starting out. Note that I am not endorsing any of the SPACs I mention here; the point of this article to help YOU find SPACs that YOU believe in. How I Use SPACs My goal with SPACs is to park cash in the current low interest rate environment and beat the performance of short-term treasuries over time (where my cash would normally be parked). I usually invest in SPACs near NAV, so if I need to pull out cash, my losses will be limited or non-existent. If the SPAC announces a target and I do not like the company, I immediately sell the position and reinvest with the next SPAC on my list. The upside of investing in SPACs is the opportunity to get in early on a top-class company (rare) going public. If you are using this strategy to invest in SPACs and to hold your cash, then it is better to diversify your holdings, so if you need to sell a position to raise cash, you will not be overly exposed to one SPAC falling precipitously for whatever reason. For reference, I hold 10 SPACs. Before researching, it helps to have a general idea on what areas you want to focus on (e.g., entertainment, technology, EV’s, healthcare). How to Research SPACs These are the three things I focus on when researching a SPACs strategy and management team: · Strong, relevant operational experience. Operational experience will not only imply good network connections in the specific industry, but it will lead to better management post-merger. Having operational experience helps convince a prospective company to jump on board with the SPAC sponsors, since it implies the SPAC sponsors will have relevant knowledge and advice to help a business improve vs purely giving generic management consulting advice. Examples: LEAP, RTP, ACND, RBAC, QELL, VGAC, etc. · Well-rounded management with extensive applicable M&A experience implying an extensive network of contacts. Wall Street and Silicon Valley are both incestuous and that is why it is good to target management teams with at least one person that ostensibly has extensive contacts in the investment industry. This will help not only in getting a merger done but can also help any time after the merger is announced or completed, as that person(s) can use his/her group of contacts to make future mergers or get additional funding. Examples: PSTH, AGCU, PACE, APSG, etc. · SPAC-related deal making experience. If management has led a successful SPAC merger before, the odds of it happening again are high because they are familiar with the process. This can also be a negative if it looks like the sponsor is churning companies for monetary gain, thus some research is important. Examples: FIII, PRPB, CCIV, WPF, GRSV, IPOD-F, etc. I notably left out university background, because schooling in itself tells us nothing. My prime focus is on business success, not schooling. Some of the sharpest and most successful business leaders did not go to the “top” schools. The main advantage of universities, especially business schools, is expanding networks, and if the university compliments later work experience, then that helps in supporting a positive outlook. SPAC Research Steps These are the steps I would recommend to start your research:
Start with spactrack.net
This wonderful website is without question the best place to start your search for SPACs nowadays. If you are looking for SPACs without announced targets, you can filter by “Searching.” Virtually every column in the table is useful, but if you are new, you can focus on “Target Focus” and “Prominent Leadership.” “Underwriter(s)” can also be telling, because big name investment banks like Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse, UBS, JP Morgan, Jefferies, Barclays, Citigroup and Goldman Sachs will usually be involved with credible management teams. Wall Street has a better handle than most on who is reputable. 2) For the SPACs you are interested in, click on the SEC Filings links, or google the SEC filings. Review the S-1 document. At a bare minimum you should read the “Summary” section of the S-1 to get an idea of what the SPACs mission is and what could make the SPAC unique directly from the mouth of the sponsors. Reading the Summary will not take long and is one of the best windows into seeing whether the SPAC sponsors are aligned with what you are searching for. There will usually be a section on the management of the SPAC and what makes their experience applicable and useful to a facilitating a successful merger with a great company. I am focusing on management teams, but it’s usually a good idea to review the subsections about Dilution, Principal Shareholders, and Description of Securities to get an idea of how many warrants there are, the potential impact to the share price in the future due to dilution, how warrants will be redeemed, etc., but a lot of this is repetitive between SPACs and people on this sub usually do a good job of identifying when something is “different” (e.g., with PSTH and LEAP). 3) Review the SPAC website. Spactrack.net does not always have the website, but a quick Google search can get what you want. If there is no website for the SPAC, search the capital firm that is sponsoring the SPAC and see if it has a website. These websites give more descriptions on the firms’ mission and the background of their management. 4) Do google searches of the individual members of management and look the teams up on LinkedIn. Researching the team’s background might expose you to something the S-1 or SPAC websites did not cover. You might find every member of management spent the first five years of their career in management consulting and none of the members have applicable operations experience. Or you might find that one of the directors has extensive M&A experience while another has extensive, focused operational experience in the area of interest the SPAC is targeting, yielding some useful synergies between the team members. 5) Review relevant news articles about the SPAC via a Google search. Most SPACs have a short article on Barrons, spacinsider.com, reuters, businesswire, and renaissancecapital that can be quickly skimmed. They do not always write the same thing, and you can pick up something useful from one of these sites. Other research that some claim is useful: · Review websites that shed light on who is acquiring shares (e.g., hedge funds, retail, institutions). Personally, I find this information ambiguous. · Review trading volume using yahoo finance, or your broker’s volume/price tracker. Goal of Research With everything, you are trying to craft a story on why you think a management team is qualified to find a company you believe in (or that will be popular), and each piece of information will add clarity to that story. Plus, all this information is free. The people on this sub, or any social media site are going to be biased to what they are invested in, so you should use your own judgement. Personally, I only want to park my money with people I believe are credible, and with teams who have a business objective that aligns with a focus area I want to be a part of. My biggest position is in PSTH because Ackman seems to be using SPACs as a vehicle to bolster his industry reputation vs monetary gain which means he care more about long-term performance, which cannot be said for all these SPAC sponsors. There are other examples of management teams I believe are primarily using SPACs to bolster their reputations, but I am speculating based on my research. Disclaimer Reasons to take all of this with a grain of salt:
The market is a casino
Some SPAC teams like VTIQ (NKLA) and SHLL (HYLN) did not have great management in my opinion, but found companies that were well received by the retail market
Sometimes a management team takes a complete left turn to what is described in their S-1; prominent recent examples include IPOC, NOVS, and most of the SPACs that shifted to EV-related companies
Current market conditions are leading to higher company valuations that imply limited upside even for great companies without continuously perfect operational success (e.g., over several quarters or even years)
Because of the last point, I will probably shift my cash out of SPACs and back to short-term treasury funds after some time, as we start to see most SPACs stay near NAV post-merger announcement. For now, I use my engagement in the SPAC world to keep track of new companies worth cursorily monitoring for the next couple of years. TL;DR summary: go to spactrack.net, read S-1’s and do simple google searches to find SPACs you believe in
This year, I finished a 2-year Something Awful forum thread in which I read and analyzed every James Bond book by Ian Fleming (and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang). I had only briefly attempted to read them back in middle school and ignored them for the most part, only to pick up Casino Royale on a whim and find myself enraptured by Fleming's writing. As I dove deeper into the books, I realized they were much denser than I had expected (having seen so many dismiss them as cheap pulp by a racist woman-beater). I decided to read along with other people and try to identify everything in the books, from the food and drink to the political and cultural climate of the time. Knowing how badly The Spy Who Loved Me got reviewed, I was shocked to find that not only did I quite enjoy it, but the entire thread did as well. Everybody came out finding Vivienne Michel to be one of the strongest Bond Girls (a high bar to clear, as Fleming by that point was almost exclusively writing such female leads) and loving the climax at the burning motel. Reading other reviews, though, I found that even many contemporary readers hate this book. Viv is denounced as a generic fainting girl who goes weak at the knees as soon as Bond shows up to punch her assailants. The "kitchen sink realism" first third of the book is likewise decried as dull and pointless. So why do I think this book needs to be revitalized? Far from pointless, the first part of the book does a ton of legwork in establishing Vivienne Michel as a rounded character with a meaningful past. She's a person who's gone through a lot of travels and traumatic experiences (abortion in the 50s and early 60s was not a pleasant or reputation-improving time). Knowing exactly why she's here and what she went through is the only reason we know why Bond's single night of passion with her is anything more than a casual fuck. But a greater part of my love for the book is that Viv is a legitimately strong character, and the people who have said otherwise were clearly skimming. When Slugsy and Horror first show up, she briefly manages to escape and even comes within an inch of killing one of them with an ice pick herself. The only reason she needs Bond's help at all is because she's not a trained or strong fighter. Far from collapsing at Bond's feet, she arranges to privately tell him everything going on with the gangsters so he can engineer a plan out. During the final confrontation, she reaches into a burning building without a second thought for a first aid kit and willingly takes up Bond's spare gun to fire at the gangsters. There's also something about Fleming's writing that shows a deep understanding of womanhood beyond what anyone would expect from a wealthy British man born in 1908. Multiple female (and trans men) readers in the thread said that the beginning of the book had an uncanny understanding of what it's like to grow up as a woman in general, with specific accuracy toward that time period. The book is unusually feminist for one written in 1961 by a man like Fleming; Viv is never castigated for having casual sex or multiple failed relationships, and Bond even all but says in the end that there's no such thing as being a "slut" for enjoying sex. When she's pushed into an abortion due to an accidental pregnancy, it's not shown as reducing her value or "damaging" her in any way. She's the victim of bad men through no fault of her own. I think that The Spy Who Loved Me needs to be re-read by the Bond-loving public. It may not make the character of James Bond look awesome (something else my reading discovered is that Bond is written as kind of a dumbass), but that's kind of the point. It's a story about a young girl trying to find her place in the world and deal with getting a few bad hands in life. And it proves just how much Ian Fleming understood about the humanity of the gender he's often (wrongly) accused of abusing.
Don't buy Genesis crystals, I did and I feel stupid now
Just bought 30$ of those, got Bennett and Noelle (the dream team) and duplicates... Then I started thinking I should invest more, because otherwise what I have spent is gone, luckily I didn't fall to that trap and stopped there. Basically the feeling I got while buying and wishing is the exact same as being in a casino and losing money. I knew it's gonna be shit and I still did it, guess I just had to... its not even about the money, its about looking at the shit you got after the act and feeling dumb. Even if I got 3 new characters (including a 5 star as one of them) I still think I would feel dumb. This is a great game, I really like it, but spending that money just ruined it for me probably... Buy for 15-30$ if you have to, dont get sucked into the gambling loop I almost did and some do (https://www.reddit.com/StopGaming/comments/8sp2c6/i_have_a_gacha_game_addiction/) A quote from that thread^ " And I've officially spent $450 dollars on a mobile app only to get - guess what, nada. Nothing of value. (Sides from those sweet anime drawings). And my bank account is at a stark $30 dollars - definitely a big change from the $900 I had in March. " yeah. I gotta make it clear that I do LIKE the game, just not its monetization system which makes you feel real stupid real fast. Thank you for coming to my TED talk, I actually feel better now. Also if this is against any of the rules I'm sorry, I skimmed through them and didn't find any particular thing.
VXX As An Insurance Bet - In Confusion, There Is Profit
I know what you're thinking, "Oh great, another douchecanoe typing 'words words words' who adds a crayon drawing because he thinks this is investing." No. Because sirs (and madams), this is a casino! In this casino there are Robinhood autists YOLOing at the roulette table, or trying to win their YOLOs back at the nickel slots. Then there's theta gang, sitting at the blackjack tables like the card counters they are. They're not as fun, but they're methodical, and can play for hours at a sitting. Your loss porn is their gain. They know the House doesn't always have to win if they bet more when the odds are in their favor. In blackjack, if the dealer shows an ace, you can buy insurance. It's almost always a bad bet, because in multideck blackjack it's really hard to count cards. But if you could count the cards, you would know that sometimes, an insurance bet is a good play. For the hand we're all holding right now, the cards that will be dealt next can be (mostly) counted. Your portfolio insurance doesn't have to be SPY puts. You don't have to be a bear right now, but if you're at least bear curious, VXX is a decent play at the moment. For a detailed explainer on what VXX is, click here. For those of you who don't care about messy details just understand that VXX is an ETN trading on current and future month VIX (market volatility) futures. Presuming you're buying calls/selling puts because that's all some of you do, you're buying calls on futures of an volatility index. That's a lot of crystal balls to be juggling in one ticker symbol. Now let's look at the chart of VXX since January 2018, giving us almost three years of history: VXX Jan 18 through Oct 20 For the two of you who have ever read the disclosure on your broker's investment pitches, you know "past performance doesn't guarantee future results". How could it? We're looking at futures here, not pasts. But... Note that in the last three years, VXX has only been below $20 from late October 2019 to mid February 2020 - when Covid decided it was going to wreck our fully employed, stable, almost nirvana of an economy. Since Late March, we've been working off that excess peak as stonks have only been able to go up. That last little spike, however, came in September when election uncertainty coupled with Washington gridlock/Stimulus failure/JPow saying the Feds needed to help his printer go BRRRR. The VIX popped back to 30 after the first "Presidential" (air quotes) debate raised uncertainty over the outcome of the election/transfer of power and then the President was diagnosed with Covid. As the polls started to shift toward a sweep for the democrats, however, the removal of election uncertainty and the likelihood of even bigger stimulus after the election started to outweigh the fears of additional taxes/regulation on businesses, along with Congress and the White House continuing to play Lucy & The Football with us over stimulus before the election goosed the market. Stonks resumed their "only go up" posture, and the VXX has been creeping back down. That's the past. What's actually going to happen here? (NOTE: I'm well aware of WSB's NO POLITICAL BULLSHIT! rule. You should be too - look to the right if unfamiliar. The following items are about illustrating how uncertainty will lead to volatility so we can make green, not to talk about how red or blue you are.) 1) Polls always, always close before an election. It's still hard to put together the electoral map where President Trump wins, but there are late polls showing states that were clearly in Biden's column moving back to toss up. Narrowing polls, by definition, will increase election uncertainty. 2) The greater use of vote by mail increases the likelihood that we won't know who won - especially control of the Senate - on election night...or maybe a day or three after. 3) Individual Senate seats are less guaranteed to flip than the White House. In addition, there are possible runoffs. In Georgia, where a candidate must get 50% plus one vote to win, there are two seats currently in the toss-up category, and their runoffs are NINE WEEKS LONG. It's possible the next Congress will only have 98 Senators when they are sworn in, with Georgia getting around to sending Senators a week or so later. 4) Late this week or next, The White House/Nancy Pelosi/Mitch McConnell are probably going to have to say definitely/out loud that there will be no stimulus agreement before Nov 3rd. 5) Half the country is not prepared to accept the outcome of the election, regardless who wins. 6) If you think partisans are bitter and unable to reach an agreement now, wait until they're lame ducks. I don't see how all of these problems get magically solved in November or December. 7) Sometime in November, the market will quit worrying about just getting November 3rd over with and will start focusing on policy changes. A Republican Senate that refuses to pass anything for a Democratic President? A Democratic Senate that decides to get rid of the filibuster and pack the Supreme Court, Green New Deal, resume soaking the rich? 8) The Pandemic? That old thing? Newsrooms are working overtime to turn ensure we're all preparing for new lockdowns as winter approaches. Again, taking political opinions - mine or yours - out of this, the market got way too comfortable too quickly with what is about to happen November - January, and the open questions should lead to quite a bit of additional volatility. Bringing this home to that crayon drawing from CNBC above, does this environment look like it should have a VXX trading at the same levels from last fall, when unemployment was 3.5% with no inflation in sight, and reasonably stable DC politics? I don't think so. But here's the bonus thing. I may be wrong about any and all of the 8 catalysts above. They lend themselves to shorter term calls, but at least once per year, the market gets caught offsides, and VXX spikes. The ETN appears to be worthy of a core trading position below $20, in addition to calls at times like now when the market seems to be too comfortable with the discomfort that is coming. If you're counting cards with me, you see a lot of 10's left in the deck and the dealer is holding an ace. I'm buying the insurance. Not so much as a hedge against the negative, but because in confusion, there is profit. Counter-argument/caution: I've skimmed several articles noting that the VIX was pricing the election as the single biggest risk event ever. Clearly, I'm not the first to suggest this play and some will argue that it's priced in. But as this article from Forbes points out, the VIX/VXX is back to all time historical norms just a couple of weeks out. My argument is that people sold their event profits too soon, and that I expect a rising VXX into the election and possibly after. TL;DR - The market is underpricing the uncertainty coming around and after the election, and VXX calls will help play the volatility spike as nervousness returns over the next few weeks. Positions: 10 Nov 20 $24 calls Likely adding new Nov or Dec calls Monday after writing this and convincing myself of my own BS.
Much has been written and there have been several documentaries about various organized-crime families taking cash — “skimming” — from Las Vegas casinos. The skim money was removed from the casino prior to it officially being entered into the books as revenue. Taxes weren’t paid on this unreported income, a fact on which the Internal… Skimming refers to the illegal transfer of funds from casinos to outside personnel without official documentation. Skimmed money is usually transferred in cash to evade taxes and to fund organized crime anonymously. The quantities of money skimmed are usually small portions of the casino's total profit so as not to arouse suspicion from regulators or law enforcement. Former Casino Security Worker Testifies At Skimming Trial. December 6, 1985 GMT. KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) _ The former head of security for a company that owned casinos testified he helped a former gaming executive and casino owner steal gambling receipts from Nevada casinos. Harry McBride on Thursday testified in U.S. District Court that he was a trusted member of a ″crew″ of casino workers ... KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) _ Nine people accused of skimming nearly $2 million from Las Vegas casino profits are to go on trial Monday, two years after they were indicted, in a case the government says reflects ties between organized crime and Teamsters officials in the late 1970s. Various Methods of Skimming. Mobsters walking out of casino money rooms with bags of money before any profits are entered into the casino books is just one method of skimming. There have been cases where casino staff rigged games played by members of crime syndicates, as well as cases where slot machines and other games have been tampered with, to ensure unfair game results. It has even ... Tropicana Casino Skimming - Gangland Wire Says: December 7, 2016 at 6:15 pm Reply […] Don Shepard (Tropicana employee) is Pecoradu (Sicilian for Shepherd) […] Rob Macfarlane Says: November 3, 2018 at 4:40 am Reply. My step fatherl set me up to be the runner who would drive the skim out of Vegas and to LA. Somebody was suppose to call me in In 1981 the Kansas City grand jury returned indictments in a casino skimming case involving the Tropicana Hotel, and convictions were voted by a trial jury there in July. Venue was available to ... Casino skimming. On March 20, 1974, Balistrieri met with Kansas City mobsters Nick Civella and Carl DeLuna, in Las Vegas. During the meeting, the mobsters agreed that Balistrieri would meet with the mafia front man in Las Vegas, Allen Glick, to secure an option to purchase part of his Argent Corporation. Glick would agree to sell half of the corporation's ownership to Balistrieri's sons, John ...
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