The Mania Rages On | Capitalist Exploits


And just when we thought we’ve seen it all…

From the article:


One of Vietnam’s biggest automakers has made a big splash on its entry to Wall Street, pushing its market capitalization above that of industry giants such as Volkswagen and Ford.

VinFast, an electric vehicle maker, enjoyed a red-hot debut in New York on Tuesday after merging with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), Black Spade Acquisition Co.

Shares of the newly combined company skyrocketed 270% on the Nasdaq on their first day of trade. They opened at $22, more than double the initial price of $10, and closed at $37 apiece.

The surge propelled VinFast’s market cap above $85 billion. That’s more than Volkswagen (VLKAF) or Ford (F), which are valued at 63.9 billion euros ($69.7 billion) and $48 billion, respectively, according to Refinitiv.

But wait, it gets even better…

So far, the company has released four electric vehicle models and delivered roughly 19,000 vehicles, according to its prospectus. For comparison, Volkswagen sold 4.4 million vehicles just in the first six months of 2023, more than 321,000 of which were electric.

Oy vey! Even for Cathie Wood this one might be a bit too much.


Long-time readers will know we’re big fans of various contrarian indicators here at Capitalist Exploits HQ.


More often than not, things like magazine covers, Superbowl ads, new ETFs and investment funds launching (or shuttering), etc. tend to signal market turning points with stunning accuracy.

With that in mind, this piece caught our attention the other day (h/t @PauloMacro)…

* Goldman Commodities Research Chief Jeff Currie Set to Leave Bank

This is the exact opposite of what we saw back in 2008 when oil rocketed to $150 and commodities went wild. There was a wave of commodity ETFs listed and commodity focused funds opened. Every week brought a new commodity fund… and just in time for the peak of the market.


But not right now. Today, most investors (still) prefer to chase money-losing EV companies rather than gorge on money-gushers in the commodities space.


Feels like a lifetime ago, when — back in February 2020 — we started warning that lockdowns will bring about inflation and shortages. Fast forward to today, and this pesky stuff is now part of our daily lives. We recently set up a dedicated inflation channel in our Insider private forum, where members can share their own experiences with all things “transitory”.

We’ve been mostly focusing on the price increases for “tangible stuff” in these missives — things like eggs, produce, you name it. But as this note from Insider member Ben illustrates, even “intangible stuff” like insurance is soaring in price:

Received my annual car insurance renewal documents through yesterday.

Premium had increased 50% vs 2022 price.

No changes to car, employment, address, not dinged the car, not received any speeding violations nor any health issues etc etc

So called the insurer and politely asked what the justification was eg risk level for my age cohort has increased. But nothing. No explanation whatsoever and no offer from the operative to get a line manager to contact me.

Maybe there’s a focused agenda to annihilate the standard of living of joe public? Or maybe because driving isn’t green? Or maybe I’m just selfish and should be sacrificing my money “for the greater good” ?

Answers on a postcard…

Another member, Russ, added:

My rates skyrocketed as well. State Farm and Nationwide each jacked car insurance premiums up 30%-40% according to my insurance agent, at least in the state of Minnesota. Happily, Progressive had better coverage for what I had been paying, so my choice was easy, but I feel the pain for those who don’t have a good option.

So much for “consumers getting a break from price increases…”


Check out this fascinating graphic from Charlie Bilello (@charliebilello):

We’ve been saying the bond market is a bug in search of a windshield for what feels like ages. And investing in bonds today — at the end of a multi-decade debt supercycle — strikes us as eating vindaloo that has been left out on the bench for a week and has gone furry. No bueno!


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Have a great weekend!

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