When Michelle Caruso-Cabrera ran her Riot Blockchain CNBC expose last Friday, sending the stock plunging, experienced financial commentators couldn’t help but snicker having known well in advance the company has been a fraud ever since it decided to “pivot” from veterinary products last October to chasing the latest and greatest stock boosting buzzword of the day (in this case, blockchains), while suckering in countless naive retail investors on the escalator up who would soon take the elevator right back down.
Still, many wondered if any more “respected” investors would be caught in the bloodbath.
As it turns out, the answer is yes.
As Dennis Gartman writes in his latest daily letter, none other than the “world-renowned” commodity guru admitted that “Friday was one of the worst days we have suffered through in a very long while” for the simple reason that Gartman was long – in his retirement account no less – Riot Blockchain.
To be sure, Gartman losing money (virtual or otherwise) in the market is hardly news, however the almost masochistic pride with which Gartman describes the details of his latest “investment” is indeed bizarre, to wit:
As for our retirement account, Friday was one of the worst days we have suffered through in a very long while for coming into the session we were long of a sizeable position in a blockchain focused company that was the victim of a CNBC expose, which sent the shares down more than 20% and which sent us “down” for the year to date, having been up about 6% previously.
Worse, we broke our own rule and bought more shares on the materially weaker opening and that proved wholly ill-advised causing us to say then and all weekend that “If you break the rules you pay the price!” We broke our own primary rule; we paid a very real and a very high price. Lessons have to be learned again and again and again it seems; or at least we apparently have to learn them over and over and over again.
Finally, for those wondering if Gartman has finally capitulated on his market short, whose stops were surely hit Friday, here is the answer:
Since mid-week last week we have obviously been wrong about the global market’s direction and although there is nothing wrong with being wrong for we are all going to be wrong a great number of times, there is a great deal wrong with adding to positions that have gone badly against us. So we are short, but only very slightly so and we shall remain so for at least another day.
We agree with the fundamentalists who tell us that “The domestic and global economies are strong; that earnings domestically and abroad shall grow, and that those rising earnings have supported higher stock prices.” However, stock markets discount the future and in our opinion stocks shall weaken as monetary expansion wanes and monetary contraction begins. Clearly… and here comes another of those pesky “howevers”… however, we are wrong for the time being.
That said we note again that as the market here in the US has rebounded the volumes have contracted while also noting that as the market fell precipitously two weeks ago the volume rose. Note then the chart of the broad Russell 2000 futures this page, and pay heed to the fact that as the market fell in late January and into the first week of this month that the volume soared, while the volume fell as the market has rallied these past 12-13 trading sessions. This is how bear markets act; this is not how bull markets act. Bull markets rise on rising volume; bear markets fall on rising volume.
But once again, at the moment we are wrong and it is that wrong-ness that carries the most weight; it is that wrong-ness that may well force us to cover out short position.