tv Squawk Alley CNBC February 8, 2021 11:00am-12:00pm EST
as well. and "squawk alley" is live ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ happy monday welcome to "squawk alley." i'm jon fortt with carl quintanilla and deirdre bosa stocks at record highs, but we're keeping our eye also on gamestop and the wall street bets phenomenon. that short squeeze that put wall street bets on the map for so many people appears to have played out at least the major part of it i think a big question now is what's next? it will be harder to shock the shorts with the next squeeze and
where there's more winning strategy to come out of this phenomenon it could go other way and dogecoin doesn't count. >> are you sure it doesn't count? >> beanie babies, deirdre. it's digital beanie babies >> hey, hey, for a while beanie babies were worth something. >> for a while >> of course dogecoin started for a while. we don't know how long they will last, gamestop and aig this is one of the most highly valued cryptocurrencies. you can argue whether it is a cultural product a or a financial asset but with a we're seeing now suggests this isn't straightforward and it does highlight at least some of the power of these stocks or assets we'll have to call them now. >> indeed or the general reddit rebellion which, by the way, hit a critical moment last night
with their gorilla style super bowl ad. take a listen. the ad says, quote, one thing we learned from our communities last week is that underdogs can accomplish anything when they come together around a common idea, end quote. on that note cnbc contributor, "new york times" opinion columnist cara swisher joins us having spoken to steve huffman in recent days good to see you. >> hi, how are you doing >> i'm good. what did steve tell you and what does the ad tell you about reddit's as frustrations >> we talked about a lot of things i think steve is an incredibly thoughtful person and had a much broader idea of what was happening at reddit and on reddit he discussed where the ideas are going and i think what's important he had a lot of respect for retail investors he had a lot of respect for the process, but he also was pretty
smart about the idea this isn't going to continue forever that it's going to change ideas of wall street. it isn't necessarily going to be this ongoing party -- speculative party thing. i thought he had a thoughtful idea and i thought the ad was adorable it was very smart, it was short and sweet. it was good. it was a good idea to take advantage of the interest around reddit to get more people using all kinds not just the wall street part but there's tons of stuff going on on reddit it's a smart idea. i think steve is a smart ceo as to the rallies i do think they've played out maybe they'll find another one and go on it i think wall street is pretty savvy and won't be taken in twice with these methods we'll see. >> yeah, that's interesting. so in other words sort of leveraging the moment that they have had handed to them, but trying to remind people it's not the totality of what reddit is >> right i think it's smart reddit is a really interesting
place. it has had a lot of controversial over the years we talked a lot about that they were one of the first to start to do a lot of moderation -- not perfect by any strej of the imagination but the first to talk about it it's a much smaller social network. in a lot of ways there's a lot going on there to look at. we'll see how well it takes advantage of this moment and continues to grow. i really like the ad and thought it was cute, better than the bruce springsteen ad i don't know what to say probably a lot less expensive. >> definitely a lot less expensive. >> i love a jersey cowboy. >> well, who doesn't we've been talking about this sometimes as a revolution but it seems really different from etrade and others 20-plus years ago which really was a kind of revolution of letting the individual investor invest in a
way they couldn't before reddit isn't built on cutting edge technology or algorithms. message boards have been around for a long time. i wonder whether this trading, betting, investor crowd -- whatever it turns out to be -- can actually advance this conversation, this financial conversation online in a way that builds long-term wealth, not just a headline that we'll look back on and say, oh, remember that market peak when people were betting recklessly on depressed stocks. >> right i hope so, too look, there are two discussions here, how smart individual investors are and then secondly what this speculation is like dogecoin, come on, you're right, beanie babies and even bitcoin it's just elon musk playing and trolling people, at the same time leaning into a trend that's really important as to what is an asset why is gold gold why is anything anything while there can be value in
bitcoin or some other asset classes people put their value in -- because that's all it is really, some of these games like dogecoin is speculative and it's fun until someone starts to lose money. they have to be aware of the price you pay in a casino and the underlying value is unlinked from any real value. i know that's old-fashioned but ultimately it's how it works out in most of these speculative bubbles. >> hey, kara, it's deirdre to be clear you're not grouping together bitcoin and dogecoin, are you? >> no, no, no, no. i said you'll see a bitcoin and a dogecoin, all these different things nobody thinks gamestop is going to change the world with its retail innovation. maybe someone does i guess the chewy guy does it's still a promising company if they did things to it i think bitcoin is a really interesting thing that a lot of people are looking at -- not
bitcoin but cryptocurrency i think that's something you have to lean into if you're an investor the speculative element is dangerous and that's the way it is with all kinds of financial assets and that's the part i would worry with retail investors getting caught in their own squeeze. that's all that's up to them. >> it does bring us to the 10k and tesla's news this morning, kara i guess there's the disclosure element we've tossed around on air but overall i think more interesting is this idea if they are willing to use it, if that is a seminal moment of at least bitcoin itself, is it that important? >> i think it's just elon musk leaning into the future. we'll see if it happens, if it occurs he's very strong minded. maybe he will. and the thing is it has to
iterate throughout the system. it can't just be tesla how many people are actually buying tesla stock and i think it's a great car and everything else but, i don't know we'll see if he does it. does it really need to be used as a financial instrument to pay for things not so far i think it's interesting to be in this. a lot of people are in it as a speculative instrument and that's great you should be aware of what kind of instrument it is and we'll see where it goes and maybe cryptocurrency will be used. i don't know if it will be bitcoin but it's a financial tools trend to lean into in the future going forward >> right, and you raise a good point if it will be used
some say that's what it needs to enter the mainstream in a bigger way. there's also square micro strategy do you think elon musk's move encourages more corporations to hold assets in bitcoin or allow them in transactions >> a lot of people pay attention to what he says. 80% is leaning into the future which is a smart thing to do he as sooisn't the first, he's t the loudest. he's always on the cutting edge of things. what's the difference if they hold it in that amount it's not an enormous amount of money and of people are doing that it will send the value up and then more people will look at it and buy it and that's how these things work, right i think it will be interesting if a lot more people hold it as a unit of value. we'll see. we'll see.
i don't know if you feel like playing in the market with an incredibly inflated piece of inflated instrument, go for it. not for me but for many people traps. >> kara, is that it tequila behind you on the table? >> yes, it's a lot of tequila. we are into the covid variant part of the pandemic yes, i like a good tequila >> i know. it's definitely stealing the shot good to see you as always. >> it's past 11:00, right? >> somewhere, kara somewhere. in london. meantime, pump the brakes. korea and hyundai are saying they are not currently in talks with apple to develop a car. phil lebeau has the latest phil >> reporter: jon, that sent news moving lower in overseas trading and two things came out in a
regulatory filing, an identical filing, two things came out. one is they say that, "a," there is no discussion right now with apple in terms of an autonomous vehicle program. here is the wording in the filing in south korea. hyundai motor is not in talks with apple on autonomous vehicle development. that is moving the stock lower they also said in this filing, kia, it is reviewing options for autonomous vehicle hyundai saying no decision yet so both companies indicating they are in discussions regarding this but specific in saying they do not involve apple. reached out to the company this morning. once again it declines to comment on these reports out of south korea regarding any discussions that may have been taking place between apple and
hyundai kia. so for now, guys, that is where things stand with hyundai kia saying there are no current talks with apple regarding apple car. >> the verb tense matters, i think. i've covered apple for a long time and there have been instances where if a partner talks, no more deal. they didn't say they are not and have never been. is this a warning perhaps to potential apple partners >> reporter: oh, i think it could be and i've talked with people who have dealt with apple in the past and almost everybody says the same thing which is apple wants to go on apple's time and apple wants to control everything as much as possible and, look, we were not the only ones who filed a report regarding apple and hyundai kia. others initiated a report, their own reports, which then raises the question did apple feel this is snowballing to the point
people are expecting an announcement one is not going to be happening anytime soon so let's shut this down as soon as possible or did hyundai kia say we know apple has been talking with others as well so let's make it clear that right now we are not in talks with them this is the second time, by the way, jon and carl, this has happened back in january there was an initial statement and they came back and said no, no, no, we're not in talks now they're out today once again saying we are not currently in discussions with apple >> certainly draining more market cap than apple on a percentage basis today, phil fascinating evolution of the story. we know you'll be on top of it that's our phil lebeau on that would-be apple car new data from the new york fed to steve liesman on that hey, carl, thanks. the new york fed's consumer expectations suggesting americans might be about to
embark on a spending spree consumer spending growth plans in the next year rising to 4.2%, the highest level in five years. and there are concerns about losing jobs dropped. the outflags outlook a mixed picture. price increases were steady. consumers worried when it comes to gas prices, rent and education. and respondents are upbeat about home prices with expectations for home price gains, the highest since 2014 good news if you're selling, maybe not so great if you're looking to buy >> certainly still to come on "squawk alley," social media app clubhouse no longer invited in china, like many br it we will explain after the break. what if you could have the perspective to see more?
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social media app clubhouse is now blocked in china after a brief uncensored period. >> reporter: the talk has been it was just a matter of time that before clubhouse would join the ranks of social media companies that are currently blocked in china, such as twitter and facebook clubhouse had gained a massive
popularity last week when elon musk had a conversation over the invite only app with robinhood's founder. so the invites quickly became a status symbol going for roughly $70 on second hand markets online chatrooms have been hosting freewheeling conversations since then, sometimes on topics that are normally quite touchy for beijing such as the national security law in hong kong. there are technical hurdles for people on the mainland to get into clubhouse, for example, you need a u.s. apple i.d., so that suggests the people who are in clubhouse are kind of from a select group here on the mainland or are from outside of the country. so far none of clubhouse's rivals have been blocked people have been logging in by using a vpn and when they do right now there's a conversation going on among 3,000 using
discussing the censorship on the app and, carl, it's interesting. people are suggesting that they sing together communist party songs and that they reconnect individually on china's popular social media app wechat in order to connect there they've also been saying just be sure you don't say anything political. >> yes, because the government is most likely monitoring it though it's banned and those vpns useful. meantime down in alabama amazon warehouse workers are being mailed out to vote on unionization efforts since 2014 and that could be the first domino to fall for other warehouses across the country and a major bad for andy jassy in his first year as ceo it comes despite major opposition from amazon
we got hold of one of the techs being sent to those workers and it says during a union negotiation no one can guarantee or predict the outcome everything is on the table you may end up with more, the same, or less. amazon is really fighting this, guys, but it's going ahead and we should get the results or start being counted at the end of march c >> this is important because of the amazon warehouse workforce looks a lot more like the walmart workforce than microsoft's seattle workforce, the corporate and engineering workforce looks like they have been so important to the economy and to all of us individually over the past year or so and this will be, i think,
a very clear clash of labor and the essential worker and one of these multibillion dollar tech behemoths that's also in its operation been so important to the continuing function of the economy, carl. without amazon, without apple and intel and microsoft and the productivity devices that we've had, the pelotons, et cetera, it would have been so much harder to get through this period >> it's funny, think about all of these super bowl ads where frontline workers whether they were in health care or delivery get so much respect, to your point. that is political capital maybe they're trying to use on this union issue with the company itself >> it's one thing, deirdre, when it's marketing and you're bolstering your brand by honoring your worker and another when you're giving worker power. >> the challenge for amazon is incredibly unique because it's
no longer an e-commerce company but is a juggernaut on efficiency if we see unionization efforts take hold, does that change in some way i think that's why you see amazon so opposed to the efforts, jon >> we will see the ballots are being mailed check out shares surging after announcing a partnership with ibm that will augment artificial intelligence offerings, that stock up about 170% over the last three months, about 9.5% today. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
i'm morgan brennan and here is your cnbc news update this hour as the impeachment preparations continue at the capitol, donald trump's lawyers are calling for immediate dismissal of the accusations against him arguing the house's article of impeachment is unconstitutional. in their final pretrial memo the
lawyers say, quote, indulging house democrats' hunger for this political theater is danger to our democracy. president biden didn't have much to say about the trial as he arrived at the white house >> we have an offer to come and testify, he's decided not to we'll let the senate work that out. thank you. >> today a biden administration envoy is telling the united nations human rights council the u.s. will re-engage as an observer reversing the trump administration's withdrawal. and word a short time ago u.s. representative ron white has died after contracting covid the 67-year-old texas republican had been hospitalized for two weeks. "squawk alley" will be right back i see a new kitchen with a grill and ask, “why not?” i really need to start adding “less to cart” and “more to savings.” sitting on this couch so long made me want to make some changes... starting with this couch. yeah, i need a house with a different view.
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welcome back to "squawk alley. over the next few weeks you'll meet some bright stars in black business venture capitalists, investors and found irs and ceos all changing the game and disrupting industry including today at 11:45. apple announced it's investing with harlan capital, planning to invest in 1,000 businesses led by women and underrepresented minorities in the next 20 years. stay tuned all this month for more we're hearing from some of our cnbc contributors. here is family and relation
therapist with advice for the next generation. >> if i have the opportunity to give advice to the next generation of black americans this is what i would say i never believed in financial limits that people tried to put on me whether because of my profession, my race or because my family didn't have money growing up don't limit yourself to what people say to you, believe in you. believe you can do for yourself financially. >> to read more on that go to c cnbc.com/invest.
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bitcoin surging more than 10% after tesla disclosed it has invested $1.5 billion in the cryptocurrency looking to add, quote, more flexibility to further diversify and maximize returns on its cash. our next guest believes countries should buy bitcoin to shore up their national security and prevent the risk of deplatt forming. formerly the ceo of coin base and general partner, good morning to you we may be seeing a more broader acceptance of bitcoin but we started talking about bitcoin and another much less serious cryptocurrency dogecoin. the idea that it can blow up, that elon musk is tweeting about bitcoin and dogecoin, does that
undermine or taint bitcoin by association? >> no, i mean, it's one of these things where dogecoin is meant to be fun and a meme you can trade meme stocks or meme coins on it but also send real things. >> the power of meme stocks, a group of retail investors, does that risk being confused, scaring off more institutional investors, corporations or countries eventually >> the internet is influencing everything just like media became more internet like and politics for better or worse became more internet like. i think we just see a convergence of the two >> balaji, i'm curious if we're
going to start talking about countries buying currency for national security purposes, how price sensitive do they need to be do they need to wait for it to drop 50% to 80% trying to ride waves of prior valuations? >> the thing is that in one sense buying digital gold is similar to buying gold central banks hold gold. india holds 600 tons of gold the u.s. has like 800,000 tons the difference, though, is that buying digital gold is still in its massive price appreciation phase. i think if you're a long-term investor you should just buy now. i've been saying this not when bitcoin is at 40,000 but at like $1 or less than $10. i've been consistent on this for many years
we bought very early so i think it's still on the ascent maybe 1% of the world or there abouts is waiting for it to drop 50%, you might have it appreciate 5x in the meantime. in five or ten years it will probably become much more valuable >> we have had some well established money managers who have come around to the idea of saying, look, take 1% of your cash and put it into bitcoin are you advising anyone on a retail front, average households who have the income and the means to do this to do that? >> i'm not giving specific financial advice everybody will have their own situation but i do know there are people who kept several years of cash as a cushion when you invest in crypto it can
go up 10x it can go down 90% so whatever you put into crypto has to be money you don't need to touch for a long time so that 1% rule makes sense from that perspective because you don't have to tap into that money to pay operating expenses. if you do, you might have to liquidate when the price is down and that's how you take a loss >> balaji, i want to go back to what tesla is doing. in their s.e.c. filing they say in part we invested in aggregate 1.5 billion in bitcoin and may acquire assets from time to time or long term i understand in the moment almost from a marketing point of view how it makes sense to be able to accept bitcoin as a form of famt, but how and in what ways is this important to holders and investors itself
because it doesn't seem tesla is committing to holding a certain amount over a certain period of time or anything like that >> as you know companies take their cash and don't always invest in operations they put it in treasuries or other assets and i think it's just the next step many companies have held btc for a while, many investors have like a few months ago. i think this is just the beginning. it's not just digital gold, it will be stocks, bonds, mortgages, derivatives this is all happens. you can see loans, derivatives, everything is going on assets will be obvious like saying i have files online, completely obvious in five or ten years, moreover another angle, any modern website or
tech company has a bunch of apis that are calls for payment or other things bitcoin is digital gold but other decentralized platforms like storage or messaging and you'll buy digital assets in order to use those compute services you're going to need to hold them almost like you have ram or memory or hard drive space you will need these assets to use. >> and this goes to what it tim draper was telling us a few days ago. i found it interesting he was talking about being able to do all kinds of transactions in bitcoin, not ever converting it to dollars is that a stage in the evolution of bitcoin as an instrument that you think investors should watch for specifically more moves like this to keep the bitcoin in circulation to not convert it to use it as a tool just as you described?
>> yes so this is already happening in the crypto economy it has been there the last several years, btc is the reserve currency of the crypto economy and this is counter intuitive because essentially the whole economy, we think of it as billing up main street first, you trade that back and forth and what not, right? and david graber has debt and it exchanges back and forth crypto from a third angle is coming from wall street first, speculation caused millions of people to pay attention and start valuing it as money and now you have this economy where people trade digital assets back and forth. a website is more popular since like 2017. so this is a global phenomenon, and btc is the reserve currency already.
>> balaji, lastly, talk a little bit about block chain and the last few weeks with gamestop and robin hood you said it could have actually fixed that fallout explain that >> one way of thinking about it all these fintech companies are on obsolete back ends. imagine with g mail behind-the-scenes it was printed out and taken via horse and buggy and scanned and they read it that way. and a front end was covering up for this antiquated old back end. this preinternet back end and that's exactly what fintech is it is this fancy front end where you have things like the ach system behind-the-scenes so it has like nightly settlement.
when you stress the system in weird ways, millions of people are buying the stock, what happened with robinhood it wasn't just a neutral conduit. effectively what everybody was doing wasn't betting against the hedge funds but against robinhood and robinhood was taking the risk of holding all of this stock in flight. the way of solving that there's peer-to-peer exchange. rather than robinhood having all of this inventory risk of the stocks on hand it would be an exchange and one party would sell to the other party and there would be a close to instantaneous transfer and that already happens in crypto. the obvious thing is marry it back in. >> but finances systems move very, very slow. do you think the past few weeks have woken up regulators to the fact what do you think the
willingness is to embrace some of that technology, not just the shiny front end? >> a great question. what we see now there is a lot of the pieces are together it's technology, a crypto front end but the social awareness that this is a more fair system with no privilege, a system where all are created equal, where people who have an internet connection can view trades and you don't have to be within a few seconds of the new york stock exchange. anybody is an equal competitor and that is truly free market. a lot of social and technical momentum do i think it will be easily reformed you can cut over to the new system in the same way people are still printing paper newspapers but they cut over as well to online media sites you might have the old system around
>> balaji, thanks for your talks today. i hope to have you back again soon >> awesome, thank you. meantime, guys, the softbank comeback continues thanks to the vision funds one and two this is a far cry from the previous losses but the conglomerate posting an $11 billion profit last quarter and shares hitting their highest level since its dot-com peak the earnings webcast was colorful he said the vision fund has, quote, finally entered the harvest phase and, john, delivered that line standing in front of a slide of a golden goose laying eggs. quite a turn around. you're looking at the older winners. sometimes these bets from masa son, take some time.
who thought we'd have been here? >> not me. i'm as guilty as anyone writing the obituary of the softbank thesis and we had these bets that softbank made, really cashed in right along the lines of that initial thesis of really strong technology names that are inventing movements that are going to change the real world economy. we work didn't work out but these others so far have >> i was going to say really quick whether or not we're going to see reputational rehab because of some of the winners overshadowing the losers >> i think masa son loves to be an underdog so, yeah, we're seeing it. shares hitting their highest level and if markets stay hot could see more ipos and some spacs lined up, carl
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highlighting some of the next up-and-coming black entrepreneurs and venture capitalists to watch our next guest's firm counts apple among its partners with the company investing $10 million with harlan capital. joining us now is the managing part>> interpreter: of harlan capital, good to see you again there's such a history and so many communities of keeping capital circulating within those communities to help with start-up funds and to keep businesses healthy what do you think is this generation, this digital generation's version of that >> that's a good question. i think it's ever-changing i definitely see a push for people wanting to democratize access so i think it's one thing to have dollars circulating in the community, but i think the biggest thing is making sure there's enough capital to start out with and that's what we're focused on at harlem capital i do see crowd funding as the next big wave. you do see diverse general
partners starting at firms and the biggest thing is having more education and access not just the capital but also the information and that goes with it. >> i see empowerment as such an important theme across so many things that we're talking about. we're talking about potential unionizing of labor warehouses in alabama labor wanting empowerment through collective action there. we're just talking about bitcoin and keeping bitcoin circulating in transactions with tesla's move today that they announced to hold bitcoin. it seems that there's a move for different types of empowerment for different groups of people across the economy, but knowledge and education has to be a part of that too, right >> i agree, i agree. at least on the venture capital side, we have seen that there are people that have a good amount of information and knowledge but if you actually think about how the big dollars
move, that has been a little bit more opaque and elusive. i think education empowerment is very important but at some point at least when it comes to entrepreneurship, you need capital to take risk you can't build the next facebook, apple unless you have the million dollars to start with people of color have much less wealth than the median white family in general, i'm happy to see more people get invested thinking about different ways to get capital and different ways to support labor as well as entrepreneurs. >> jar rid, how do you encourage start-ups to focus on diversity at the earliest level when some of the biggest decisions were made i was amazed to see instacart just 4 person board, three white men plus the founder
and its ceo told me having a small board has actually been helpful at the growth stage so how do you encourage companies, ones that have grown so big already to make this a priority earlier on >> yes, it has to start early and it has to start from the top. once you have a team that is pretty homogenous, it is tough to diversify one, you probably are all, in sync, you have group think but also any new person doesn't want to be the only one so you have this cycle where once you start off on the wrong foot, it's very tough. we have information at least for publicly traded companies, more diverse boards lead to outperformance i think it's tougher at the earlier stage but data points. i do definitely respect company's willingness to stay nimble but you should absolutely at minimum have a diverse executive team, a diverse employee base and once you get to the stage of series c or d level, potentially going public, at that point, you should
absolutely have diverse board members. >> jarrid, i know it's hard to simplify you don't want to paint it with one brush but the companies you follow led by a diverse set of executives are in this period where we don't know whether we should continue to allow, say, tech giants to buy smaller scale. in general, do they want to run their own public company or take the advantage of getting bought and selling out to a giant >> it's an interesting question. the ones we talk to want to go all the way. one of our founders, he wants to be a public company ceo. i think companies, i sul he wants to do that the tough part is if you never had wealth, it is alluring to sell company if you haven't turned down
multiple m&a offers along the way. that's why i do like the fact that some firms are pro liquidity or pro secondary so when you do a big financing round, take some money off the table. aligning incentives so that you're well positioned and can go the long way to go public it's something we need and makes you no longer diverse owned and actually, the other side of it is, it actually stifles innovation if you have big tech companies acquiring folks before they get to that scale it's going to continue to create these dynamics where people have effective monopolies and i think that's ultimately bad for consumers and for innovation at large. >> well, we certainly are watching harlem capital push to change the game. jarrid tingle, thank you >> thank you market day has gotten a little more interesting. settled off the highs down to 217 point gain s&p, of course, got above 3900 not too far below that at the moment we're back in a mome nt
that was one of several commercials that aired back in tom brady's first super bowl nearly 20 years ago back in 2002 other companies to buy ad time back then, circuit city, copywest a, sears, hot jobs, yahoo, gateway this courtesy of a great tweet by our friend john on twitter. i mean, just tells you, "a," how long he's been playing but also about the churn, the life span of companies. >> that bunny's name was carl, i think. i enjoyed thoo in the commercial also, pop quiz deirdre, do you know who the halftime performer was in 2002 it was u2, the first super bowl after 9/11 the big wall
never forget >> there you go. it's amazing, i don't want to say where i was back in 2002 radioshack as well hey guys, if gamestop can be a $20 billion company, who knows, maybe blockbuster could have a comeback, just needs investor act activism >> stranger things have happened exactly. the earnings picture will start. let's get to the half. welcome to the halftime report bull run for stocks as s&p 500 tops 3900 for the first time ever and one big time watch say the correction is over we'll discuss, we'll debate that in the state of your money with the investment committee today joining me for the hour, our joe t t terinova and managing partner
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