If you’re trying to figure out what the economy is doing and where financial markets are headed in the near future you can focus your efforts on a never-ending flow of charts, earnings reports and scores of daily analyses from professionals around the world.
But as it relates to the technology industry, namely those multi-billion dollar conglomerates and unicorn startups in Silicon Valley, a new report from Silicon Beat says that the answer may lie in Ping-Pong:
The table tennis game — as ubiquitous among Silicon Valley tech startups as free food and T-shirt attire — can be used to measure the market’s health, according to The Journal’s report.
Sales are down among local ping-pong table vendors, and many are blaming a downturn in the tech economy. Billiard Wholesale in San Jose reports sales to companies fell 50 percent in the first quarter of this year, compared to the quarter before. David Vannatta, sales team leader at Sports Authority in San Francisco, told The Journal that his ping-pong table sales have fallen since Christmas.
And big tech companies that have struggled with layoffs, shrinking revenue and lackluster quarterly reports, such as Yahoo, Intel and Twitter, have stopped buying tables, vendors told The Journal.
The Wall Street Journal explains that the phenomenon is real and tech companies all over Silicon Valley are pulling the plug on reckless spending, noting that startup funding has dropped 25% during the same period as ping pong table sales dropped:
In the first quarter of 2016, his table sales to companies fell 50% from the prior quarter. In that period, U.S. startup funding dropped 25%, says Dow Jones VentureSource, which tracks venture financing.
The table-tennis indicator is a peek into Silicon Valley culture, in which the right to play ping pong on the job is sacrosanct.
“If you don’t have a ping-pong table, you’re not a tech company,” saysSunil Rajasekar, chief technology officer at Lithium Technologies, a San Francisco software startup.
Table buying “tracks most closely with startups that hit that threshold where they’re taking out office space,” says Russell Hancock, chief executive of think tank Joint Venture Silicon Valley, which follows economic trends. “That’s when you’re going to get your first ping-pong table.”
Table sellers seeing a decline include David Vannatta, sales team leader at Sports Authority in San Francisco. The store was getting a “good flow of tech companies” buying tables, he says, but sales have fallen since Christmas.
A visual, via the WSJ:
But if that’s not enough to convince you there are serious cracks in not just the tech bubble, but the system as a whole, consider that renowned investor Carl Icahn recently unloaded his entire stake in Apple, Inc., totaling some 45 million shares and now holds a massive short position potentially amounting to billions of dollars in expectation of a major market correction or crash:
When asked about this unprecedented bearish position, Icahn Enterprises CEO Keith Cozza said during the May 5 earnings call that “Carl has been very vocal in recent weeks in the media about his negative views.” He certainly has been, although many though he was merely exagerating. He was not.
“We’re much more concerned about the market going down 20% than we are it going up 20%. And so the significant weighting to the short side reflects that,”Cozza added.
And he’s not the only one who’s keeping his eye on the ping pong ball.
As reported by Zero Hedge, hedge fund manager Stanley Druckenmiller, who delivered average gains in excess of 30% for his clients over 25 years, has shifted assets into a defensive position in anticipation of what is an apocalyptic mood in financial markets:
If it wasn’t clear already, Drucknemiller is very bearish stocks: “volatility in global equity markets over the past year, which often precedes a major trend change, suggests that their risk/reward is negative without substantially lower prices and/or structural reform. Don’t hold your breath for the latter.”
The former Duquesne hedge fund manager, who averaged annual returns of 30 percent from 1986 through 2010, also agreed that negative rates are “absurd”, said that he is bearish stocks, and concluded by revealing what his biggest currency allocation is. “Some regard it as a metal, we regard it as a currency and it remains our largest currency allocation” he said, without naming the metal.
We know what he was talking about. Gold.
The smart money investors aren’t the only ones preparing.
The elite around the world are downright terrified, as highlighted by their feverish pace to build emergency bunkers in an effort to insulate themselves from the revolution, rebellion and anarchy that would follow a widespread economic collapse.
You’d think they might be crazy for going to such extremes, but they aren’t alone. The US government has been simulating economic collapse and civil unrest scenarios since just after the Crash of 2008, which suggests they, too, are expecting nothing short of a national apocalypse when this thing blows.
As for the rest of us, if you haven’t already taken steps to prepare for the disaster to follow, now is the time. Major global investors are re-allocating their financial positions, the elite are already getting out of Dodge, and the U.S. government itself is stockpiling emergency supplies and, quite literally, billions of rounds of ammunition.
But don’t worry because President Obama saved the world from depression, so these people must be overreacting to all of that peddled fiction about the world being in crisis.
Prepare For Collapse: A Step-By-Step Guide
Mark Levin: Government Is “Simulating the Collapse of Our Financial System, the Collapse of Our Society and the Potential for Widespread Violence”
Analyst: “Millions Upon Millions of People Are Going to Die on a World-Wide Scale When the Debt Bubble Bursts”
Forrest Gump for president… Lol.
Be well all
Caught a blooper in the movie when Forrest jumped off his boat to meet Lt. Dan on the dock.
What was the blooper???
In the scene where Forrest sees Lt. Dan on the dock and jumps from his shrimping boat to meet him, the boat is moving right in the point of view of Lt. Dan. However, when the boat crashes, it had been moving left, impossible in such a short amount of time without a person steering it.
sorry eppe, i cheated. don’t watch movies. 🙂
it is a kinda slow night. we’re having a nice thunder storm with gentle rain. very peaceful.
ok eppe, you asked for it
i don’t know who the author was, but i like MOST of what he’s sayin’.
I am the Democratic-Republican-Liberal-, Progressive’s Worst Nightmare. I am a White, Conservative, Tax-Paying American , Gun Owning Veteran That’s me!
I believe in the freedom of religion, but I don’t push it on others.
I believe in American products and buy them whenever I can.
I believe the money I make belongs to me and not some liberal governmental functionary, Democrat or Republican, that wants to share it with others who don’t work!
I’m in touch with my feelings and I like it that way!
I think owning a gun doesn’t make you a killer; it makes you a smart American.
I think being a minority does not make you noble or victimized, and does not entitle you to anything. Get over it!
I believe that if you are selling me a Big Mac or any other item, you should do it in English.
I believe there should be no other language option for business.
I believe everyone has a right to pray to his or her God when and where they want to.
I don’t hate the rich. I don’t pity the poor.
I know wrestling is fake and I don’t waste my time watching or arguing about it.
I’ve never owned a slave, nor was I a slave. I haven’t burned any witches, and neither have you!
I believe if you don’t like the way things are here, go back to where you came from and change your own country! This is AMERICA …We like it the way it is and more so the way it was …so stop trying to change it to look like Russia or China, or some other socialist country!
If you were born here and don’t like it… you are free to move to any Socialist country that will have you. I believe it is time to really clean house, starting with the White House, the seat of our biggest problems.
I want to know which church is it, exactly, where the Reverend Jesse Jackson preaches, where he gets his money, and why he is always part of the problem and not the solution? Can I get an AMEN on that one?
I also think the cops have the right to pull you over if you’re breaking the law, regardless of what race or color you are.
And, no, I don’t mind having my face shown on my driver’s license, nor the necessity of showing my identification, to conduct normal business or especially to vote . I think those policies are more than prudent….
I think if you are too stupid to know how a ballot works, I don’t want you deciding who should be running the most powerful nation in the world for the next four years.
I dislike those people standing in the intersections trying to sell me stuff or trying to guilt me into making ‘donations’ to their cause….Get a job and do your part to support yourself and your family!
I believe that it doesn’t take a village to raise a child, it takes a man and woman …
I believe ‘illegal’ is illegal no matter what the lawyers, or progressive Democrats think!
I want to return this country to the values it was founded on, and prospered under for over 200 years!
My Country…I hope this offends all illegal aliens.
Hypothetically, my great, great, great, great grandfather watched and bled as his friends died in the Revolution and the War of 1812.
My great, great, great grandfather watched as his friends died in the Mexican American War.
My great, great grandfather watched as his friends and brothers died in the Civil War.
My great grandfather watched as his friends died in the Spanish-American War.
My grandfather watched as his friends died in WW I.
My father watched as his friends died in WW II and the Korean War.
I watched as my friends died in Vietnam , Panama and Desert Storm.
My son watched and bled as his friends died in Afghanistan and Iraq ..
None of them died for the Mexican Flag.
Everyone of them died for the American flag, and liberty.
Texas high school students raised a Mexican flag on a school flag pole, other students took it down. Guess who was expelled…the students who took it down.
California high school students were sent home on Cinco de Mayo because they wore T-shirts with the American flag printed on them.
Enough is enough!
This message needs to be viewed by every American; and every American needs to stand up for America .
We’ve bent over to appease the America-haters long enough.
I’m taking a stand.
I’m standing up because of the hundreds of thousands who died fighting in wars, preserving liberty and freedom both, here and in other besieged nations, for the American flag, and all she stands for..
If you agree, stand up with me.
And shame on anyone who tries to make this a racist message.
AMERICANS, stop giving away Your RIGHTS! Let me make this clear! THIS IS MY COUNTRY!
This statement DOES NOT mean I’m against immigration!
YOU ARE WELCOME HERE, IN MY COUNTRY, welcome to come legally, as did my grandparents:
1. Get a sponsor
2. Learn the LANGUAGE, as immigrants have in the past!
3. Live by OUR rules!
4. Get a job!
5. Pay YOUR Taxes!
6. No Social Security until you have earned it and Paid for it!
7. NOW find a place to lay your head!
If you don’t want to forward this for fear of offending someone, then YOU’RE PART OF THE PROBLEM!
We’ve gone so far the other way . . . bent over backwards not to offend anyone.
Only AMERICANS seems to care when American Citizens are being offended!
WAKE UP America !!!
If you do not pass this on, may your fingers cramp!
I MISS MY COUNTRY! God Bless America
Thank you BCOD.
I think like him also.
You do send great emails….
New Brit Floyd. Look them up, if you are a pink fan. Been jamming on them at work.
Getting tix for them in the Fox for June 18th.
Will be a fun night, going with old friends…
They sound better that the originals, if that is possible…
thanks for the kind words, eppe, sounds like you’ll have a great time….san bernardino county fair will host foghat in a couple weeks, so that’s where i will be…
Saw Brit Floyd for the first time last year. Great concert. Have tickets to see them in Houston on June 27th.
as do I…
Buttcrackofdoom is gonna look strange as a write in on my ballot.
LMFAO, jim…..thanks, i needed that!
I would prefer another extension or three.
“If you don’t have a ping-pong table, you’re not a tech company”.
I say what makes you a Tech company is a excellent on campus dining facility and a big parking lot.
Rolm, INTEL, HP, Xilinx, Loral, National Instruments, Hughes, Microsoft, are a few that come to my mind, but I’m old school.
Traffic was so bad around these places, they put in good food facilities, good food and cheap prices, to keep employees close to work. Most also had exercise facilities( to work off that steam) with showers.
The parking lot is for RV’s. A lot of guys have property and homes way away from work. They stay in a RV on Campus and go home on weekends. I think GeneTech in So. San Francisco even had a pump-out station so you didn’t have to go to Oyster point marina.
The really funny thing about that graph, is that the ‘venture capital deals made,’ is the same as the average P/E ratio of the tech stocks.
/No, not really. But some of them do come pretty close.
I used to love to play ping pong. Played in high school and college. Now, I love to grow my garden, go to the range, clean my guns, touch up my blades, can meat and veggies, work with the dog and run my business. Things evolve and or change. Can’t wait to see what happens next……
I should put in a pump out station for all this dog crap on my lawn. Tomorrow i will tell you all about the dog crap and potatoe gun it just diddent work out as planned
This article is saying to me. The more you hit your balls with a paddle the more it hurts or is going to hurt.
If the Big Shots are running scared it is more because the average American is beginning to realize how the Big Shots got where they are. More people than ever are using the Internet to learn what really happened during WW1&2. More people know that Europe, the home of our ancestors, is being ethnically cleansed of its Caucasian white Christian population and replaced by black Somali, black North African and Middle Eastern fanatical Muslims. More and more people have learned that Hitler, far from being a monster, was a supporter of Christianity. He passed laws removing an alien population from positions of power which they had usurped from the native peoples. If you research the events of the twentieth century, you find that the same people are orchestrating the downfall of Europe and America in the twenty first century. More and more people are coming to renewed determination that we shall not be bred out or die out.
More and more people have learned that Hitler, far from being a monster, was a supporter of Christianity? ? ? ?
Only when it opportunistically suited his purpose.
Hitler was a monster. period.
born in 1954, i heard the truth from many who lived WW2
There is a lot of revisionist history being pumped out to taylor-fit whatever prevailing ideology is popular at the moment. Newscasters don’t wait until the history books are written, they start spinning tbe stories live to suit and prop up their idiological biases. In some cases, they purposely create the stories with the help of ‘useful idiots’!
Ah,the irony!I remember playing Atari as a kid,pong obviously one of the more popular(most?) games as the tech world was just really starting to heat up.It’s demise to a degree being based on ping -pong,tis fucking great!
“PONG” was the very first ‘game’ that you could play on your TV …and “burn” it into the screen forever. Given how far things have advanced from THAT vantage point, it is stunning.
The government must be pushing PingPong tables so that we won’t waste our money on useless ammo and weapons. Everyone is pushing PMs like Gold/Silver. I prefer lead, antimony (an-TIM-on-ee) and brass or bronze (for the copper element …in part.
Can anyone tell me if nickel-plated ammo (in calibers of .40, .45 and 9mm Parabellum are an improvement over plain-ole brass casings?
I’ve a chance at many such ‘plated’ shells, but I have reservations as I can get the same amount “in brass” for just a tad more.
Suggestions? I’ve never paid attention to the nickel-plating ‘crowds’ any more than I have the “heavy-bullet crowds.” (Like 300+ grain HP projectiles flying out of .45’s INSIDE of The Tueller ’21-foot’ rule. EeeEEE-CrEE! SPLATTO! (Let’s you know you’ve got a .45 in your hand too). Business end goes UP and YOU slide back three feet unless you lean into it at a 45-degree slant! heheh.
As I read this, I thought of how you know a boom or bust in happening….by beer sales. It’s not an indication of boom or bust, it’s something that is going on as the event happens. Although, it did get me to read the article.