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tv   Tech Check  CNBC  April 7, 2022 11:00am-12:00pm EDT

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merck and pfizer bmy lily up nicely. >> it goes back to the conversation we were having about name like costco that's going to do it for "squawk on the street. "tech check" starts now. ♪ happy thursday welcome to "tech check." carl is on assignment today. we will break down the move and how it fits with berkshire's other tech invests investor dan niles with us this
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hour speaking of deals and valuations fresh off a more than $10 acquisition orlando bravo is going to join us and buffett on the heels of elon musk joining twitter's board and moderation with the former ceo of reddit. we're going to kick off with warren buffett's new investment. berkshire hathaway with an 11% stake worth more than $4 billion. investors like buffett are making big calls about what has value. mike, a lot of the commentary today is what is hp? is it an apple or an ibm it is interesting because these legacy tech plays are a little easier to understand typically. >> no doubt. i think there's a little bit of
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both of apple and ibm in the investment proposition when it comes to hp, the cheapness of hp and the fact that it's more of a cash flow buyback story, hp has done a little bit better in te terms of preserving cash flows apple is worth more than 20% of berkshire's current market cap at over $150 billion you see berkshire stock and apple have tracked well over the past year. union pacific, the railroad a big part of berkshire. it sort of makes sense how berkshire has performed given this backdrop. one interesting thing about hp is that buyback is very aggressive hp is doing it's going to buyback $4 billion worth of shares. if you assume berkshire is not
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selling into it, that only leaves 89% of the stock. that's a pretty big percentage of the $30 million market value of the non-berkshire hp market cap. it seems like a pretty good backstop for berkshire's purchase. >> thank you it's an interesting challenge trying to figure out what the value of hp. if i think back ten plus years, there was a time when hp was trying to figure out software place, both in consumer and enterprise they never really did it if you think about the important productivity trends that have come through, zoom and accessories, you look at it's printers, it's pcs. that's pretty much it. the software plays didn't really work if they're looking for another leg of growth, are they going to
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design their own chips are they going to push into productivity software? haven't really done that. >> to mike's point, is that why berkshire hathaway bought this company or did they buy it for the buyback story? we're going to be talking to orlando bravo later. we're seeing these deals happen at a time where the market is stumbling a little bit the nasdaq is down another .3% today. a lot of folks are calling it a bear market rally. is there a mandate we know so much money had been accumulated over the last few years. do they have to spend it now it will be interesting if we see funds with a nontech mandate or experience start to dip their toes into some of these companies that have seen their
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valuations compress. >> i think the problem for tech investors is in tech a lot of times if you're not growing aggressively, you're crumb ling before too long. so where else could you look for opportunity in today's market? joining us is dan niles. interesting move from buffett buying hp. doesn't sound like what you would do. >> no. i like companies that are in growing industries that there's more value to it ten years from now than today i think you touched on it. they've tried to get into things like software, hasn't worked out very well. i think this company is a lot more like ibm. you can switch from an hp computer to dell there's just no walk-in.
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at least with an apple if you are on their ecosystem and you've bought things off of itunes or movies, there's some sort of walk-in there. there's none with hp it's great for a buyback, great for the dividend utility stocks are the best performing sector on the market, up 6%, which is unusual because usually utilities move inversely to whatever interest rates are doing. if the ten-year treasury is going up a lot like this year, you normally expect utility stocks to go down. that's not what's happened this year so far. hp is going to sort of go down, unfortunately, the same path as more ibm versus an apple in that regard. >> interesting how dell, which was once a peer of hp's more significantly made aggressive moves into software and storage and is configured differently today as a result. let's get caught up on how you're looking at this market,
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especially your don't fight the fed mantra which means something different with interest rates on the rise what have you learned since we last had you on about how the market is reacting to the anticipated interest rate moves? >> i think the biggest thing you look at what -- had to say she said inflation is just as bad as not having a job. that's from a dovish member of the fed. so that tells you the fed for whatever reason, whether it's powell getting renominated in november or the data since then has decided we have to deal with inflation and we're going to have to get very aggressive to deal with it people love to use don't fight the fed for justifying why to buy stocks when the stock market should go up remember, the fed added 4.8 trillion of stimulus since the
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start of the pandemic. the government gave us 5.5 trillion the u.s. economy is only 25 trillion in size that's why the stock market has gone up over the last two years. you have the market go up with a global pandemic the last two years. so the same thing applies on the way back down and you've seen that as rates have continued to go higher and the markets continue to struggle, particularly technology stocks which are the worst sector within the s&p 500 >> you say don't fight the fed but the nasdaq still down 15% from its 52-week high. how much of this is baked in i know you think the recent rally was a bear market rally. how much further on the downside could we go? >> i think there's a lot more downside i said i thought the market would be down at least 20%
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i would say at least i look at this and say i've got europe, which obviously business there is starting to slow down you've seen adobe, restoration hardware russia invaded on february 24th. that's only four days left in their quarters they all said europe is slowing down those stocks are down 35-75% this year. they went down about 9-26% the day they reported after they had already been down a lot. that shouldn't make you feel particularly good if you're going into earnings season between currency, the dollar being strong between what's going on in europe, between china being in lockdown and being the biggest market in the world for autos or pcs or smart phones all of that should make you very concerned given where valuations are sitting and given the fed is looking at inflation as a big
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problem even akin to not having a job. that should make you very nervous. >> you're recommending cash for the average investor given that macro backdrop what do you make of all the deal making taking place? we had berkshire hathaway this morning. do you think these funds have a mandate to spend do you think that could spur a recovery do you think we'll see more of it >> yeah. that's not the way i look at -- every firm is different. if you're private equity, venture capital, you're given money to go out and invest they're making management fee on the amount of assets they have as well as the return on their portfolio. for them in a big way you go into a downturn, you have a lot of assets, you're still getting paid your 2% management fee whether the portfolio is performing well or not that's a little different.
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so it depends on the firm. you have to remember those people might be investing. as i said earlier, you had 10 trillion come into the market between the fed and government stimulus checks over the last two years that aren't coming in. they're reversing. that's going to more than overwhelm whatever you're seeing from the thomas bravo's of the world. it's easy to get caught up in the market is down today, up the next day, et cetera. the big picture of don't fight the fed, that's what you want to be focused on. don't break the fundamentals numbers are moving lower for the first time in six or seven quarters at this point in the pandemic that's even more important in my mind, because you don't know how much things are going to slow down we're looking at stag flags in 2023 as our base case, high
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inflation, low growth. we think a recession is likely toward the end of next year because of all these factors we've weighed it out on with a lot of detail in terms of our thought process. >> finally, do you expect earnings and the reaction to them to be the next triggering event? >> absolutely. as i said earlier, you look at adobe, restoration hardware, i was shocked to see those stocks go down 9-26% the day they reported off the numbers it shouldn't be a surprise that europe is slowing down obviously russia is in the ukraine. stocks got clobbered anyway after being down a lot i think you've had an extra month. this war has gone on even longer who knows when it will end i think it will end at some point in q-2
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between that and lockdowns in china, that doesn't make you feel particularly good especially you've got people going from spending on goods to now services so some of those items like autos or smart phones or pcs, you may see a big slowdown in that which is going to cause more consternation some of those sectors like pc, obviously that's considered value. but if numbers have to get cut, you may see a big problem in value sectors. >> thank you > (vo) for me, one of the best things about life is that we keep moving forward. we discover exciting new technologies. redefine who we are and how we want to lead our lives.
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. there's a strong pipeline for growth with the company's recent acquisitions arguing low expectations make it a safer bet. shares are less than half what they were at the start of the year citi's foundation is solid thanks to a strong software
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engine and momentum in mobile. let's turn to one of the biggest names in private equity. thoma bravo is a private equity firm that just made waves with their buyout of anna plan. with us is orlando bravo who joins us from the bitcoin 2022 first, with the nasdaq at session lows i want to get your thoughts on the broader market we saw a decent rally in tech but markets seem to be getting more cautious again. how are you thinking of deal making at this moment? >> first of all, thank you for having me. i spent all week in new york the first part of the week where it was raining and then i came in last night to do a panel at the conference
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i feel like i need sunglasses here it is bright there's music. there's 30,000 people in bitcoin, completely different and very interesting environment. it is very clear to us that the market has changed the market is looking for profitable growth. these great software businesses and great innovators for about a decade have done a great job at innovating and focusing on their top line and accelerating growth rates. those trends are very powerful and even doing better today. investors are looking for shorter term profitability especially with a riesing interest rate environment nap has caused software stocks that are unprofitable today, yet they are great company to be down on average over 50% everyone needs to get the memo that the market has changed and you need to be highly profitable and show that while you're growing your business.
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we have been buying software companies and partnering with these great innovators now for 25 years we have one mission. can we work with these great innovators to also have them be great companies? the way we're seeing the market now is incredibly attractive if you can buy control with existingexist ing software business to create that profitable growth that all investors want. >> as you say, toehoma bravo has 25 years experience. you're starting to see firms with little experience come into the space. valuations to them may be looking more attractive but what is the risk that it end badly for them especially as rates rise and they may be unable to make them profitable because of
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lesser experience? >> in the overall industry, competition is good. we actually need more control private equity players in the software space software today is over a $2.5 trillion market cap just in the public companies the more players that come in and understand it and do a good job, it means firms like us and some of our peers have more places to look for liquidity what are the odds that this ends badly, as you say, for owners? look, if you have a clear operating plan in alignment with management, it comes back to operations that's what's different about private equity than the public markets. if you have a clear plan and a track record where you can produce high margins, what are the odds that it ends badly?
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very low, because you have incredible tailwinds behind you where the whole world is going digital, where software is not an industry anymore. it's the business of every industry on top of that you have incredible business economics. wh higher growth, all recurring revenue, better businesses, they'll trade at a premium to the s&p. if you can produce that in your business case, you should be in good shape. >> what's the particular playbook that's important now? about six months ago you finished the acquisition of tallend. now anaplan, you would think businesses of all sizes need to plan these days. how do you position them outside of the operational excellence to reenter the public market, or is it acquisitions combining them
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with other companies what's the playbook? >> our philosophy on the playbook has not changed for 25 years, the overall philosophy. that is work with existing management, adapting yourself to the culture of the company, make a great innovator also a great operator and then look to pursue acquisitions as you build balance sheet capacity to do that you asked a really good question, because within that philosophy our tactics have changed over time as we got into infrastructure, cyber security and ana plan in particular one of the key things is to recognize these companies have the potential to change the way an entire function is run. and some of these businesses, the way entire industries are set up you add to that the ability to think big and take good and big
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risks so you can create these huge market caps of tomorrow we think the next decade is going to be absolutely the decade of the digital enterprise in the enterprise space, it all happens first with the consumer. the enterprise space, you take a while for organizations to adapt to these technologies and new ways of doing things it is so clear from what we're seeing that these trends are only accelerating now. >> talent and technology talent also a very important piece of this, attracting it, retaining it tell us about thoma bravo oasis and this idea of allowing employees in the company to cash out their equity without a go public event what are you working on there and what do you expect the impact on portfolio companies to be >> you are the first person publicly that asked me about
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that and i really appreciate that it's a very important innovation that our team in thoma bravo set up they want issue that the whole tech industry has now and software being very specific, regardless of location now, is employee retention how do you get the best young people working at your company, how do you motivate them, how do you work with them we have coming from our world of owning businesses, we believe that one owner with one agenda aligned with management and that leadership team produces a better result than thousands of owners with thousands of agendas, ie, the public market we look for how can we continue to improve the private equity model? the market does give colleagues and employees in these great firms the ability to have more liquidity to restrictive stock now through oasis, we have created the capability of
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providing liquidity to employees and management over time as the build these companies. you can correlate and receive the benefits directly of your operational improvements and results and accountability with financial gain without needing to be public in the short-term. >> no doubt it helps your competitive edge in getting into some of these deals. it's hard to ignore the bitcoin ball that is right behind you in sunny miami. you were hosting a panel and you were going to reveal your aha moment when you really bought into crypto and web 3. what was that and do you think it's happening at a faster pace among traditional institutional investors? >> it really does. i am here because i am very excited about this movement and the value that it has to society as a whole young people and innovators have
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created a peer to peer financial system that continues to get better security will be better, speed and transparency will be better. when you think about what it does, it makes government that have a monopoly over their currency more accountable because it gives people the ability to have more voice competition in currency is a very good thing and this movement allows that or enables that to happen my aha moment in bitcoin and digital currencies came really late i lived in san francisco for many years before moving to miami. i would go to all these places and dinners and what have you and this was all around me, but i was so focused on the next software deal, which is what our team loves to do now when the pandemic came, it allowed me to slow down and think and read a little more and to meet people
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when i was spending time in puerto rico during the pandemic, there were all these young people that would look at their phones and i was looking at my stocks and they were looking at their digital currency it made me think about it and it's very consistent with our values. >> you talked about competition. i want to ask you about some of the exchanges. thoma bravo is in ftx. some say it's a race to the bottom this morning i spoke to cz who said they were getting ready to cut fees to zero are these platforms good investments? >> i think they're phenomenal investments. the key here is what we believe in our private equity business that was done out of our growth fund, which we have quite a bit of exposure to some of these great business models and companies, is what is your ability to execute, who has the
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better management team, because it's relatively early. there are a lot of things to navigate including big regulatory hurdles we firmly believe sam bankman is an amazing leader. it's so unusual to have a founder, leader and ceo combine incredible strategic intent with the ability to operate at a really high scale. sam has that, the team has that and we believe they're going to be one of the huge winners, if not the one in this space. >> i think you and others believe there will be more than just these to make money off of. thank you for joining us >> thank you for having me nvidia 30% off the year after a great 2021 don't miss more of today's market action after the break.
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welcome back markets lower this morning as china names lead the nasdaq lower. plus, elon musk joining twitter's board, raising questions about what content moderation should look like on the platform we will break things down with alan powell in a moment. here's what's happening at this hour. weekly jobless claims have fallen to a 54-year low. the 166,000 new claims are estimates. continuing claims are up slightly but still near their lowest since 1970. constellation brands getting a boost from strong beer sales that topped estimates. the company is giving profit guidance that is below forecast. lamb weston is surging 7% after raising its outlook for sales
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and margins, also posting a big earnings general motors is starting to sell its all electric chevy bolt gm is laurnching a major ad campaign for the bolt. the commerce department says carriers are violating u.s. sanctions tied to the invasion of ukraine commerce officials say today's orders cut off international support in u.s. parts needed to support the carrier's jets back to you, john. as elon musk joins twitter's board of directors, his history on the platform has some concerned what it might mean for content moderation our next guest hopes twitter is figuring out how to limit his influence rather than embrace it ellen powell joins us.
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i don't think it's possible to limit musk's influence he's got 80 million followers on twitter. doesn't seem inclined to control the impulse. their best hope is he just decides to exercise some level of restraint. >> i think that you can't control him as an individual we've seen even the sec has put restrictions on his tweeting because he's violated their rules and he hasn't followed them so i think what i'm most worried about is that he gets the company to change its overall standards for all users. he's talked about wanting to be kind of free speech, which i'm not sure what it means for a private company. if you start loosening the restrictions and allow people to harass others more, it's going to be a bad day. >> it seems to me also like the best possible outcome for twitter would be something like
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the steve jobs disney relationship he became the biggest individual shareholder when disney purchased pixar. certainly disney's animation apparatus was in rough shape he was able to help them, but he didn't do it publicly. he didn't publicly criticize them he seemed to have a good relationship with bob ieger. how would that playbook look for elon musk to pursue that avenue in this? >> i think that would be better having a bunch of tweets trying to make decisions around and having his users vote about it doesn't seem like a very effective or useful process. but i think what is he going to try to convince them to do i think that's the piece that doesn't look good. he's tweeted a bunch of fairly negative tweets.
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he's fwtweeted hitler memes, hes tweeted calling somebody a pedophile without any evidence you wonder what does he want to be able to do and is he going to change the rules to allow him to do that and what does that look like for everybody using twitter. >> at the same time elon musk is doing all of this out in the open, he's polling people to find out what they think about changes at twitter he's announcing the sale of his shares before he's even legally required to. is there an argument that elon musk is more transparent than he's required to be? >> my understanding is he actually violated sec regulations by not reporting his ownership. i think he went over the 5% bar much earlier than he actually reported his 9% ownership and he made over $150 million by not reporting it i don't think he's as transparent as he tries to
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position himself as. i think the polls which his users are different than the overall twitter population i'm actually blocked by him. there are a bunch of people who never see those polls and aren't going to be able to participate. while he thinks that's representative of what twitter users want, it's actually not going to be. >> is there a risk that more content moderation could make certain groups feel like their content is being censored that could lead to more polarization. is there an argument to be made that people should decide for themselves >> i'm sorry you cut off there. >> is there a worry if you have more content moderation you risk some groups feeling like their information is being censored and they're not able to make up their minds for themselves how much content moderation are
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you talking about? how do you balance that and not go down that slippery slope? >> if you want to harass people, i don't think that should be protected. maybe you feel bad because you feel restricted that you're not able to yell hate speech at people if twitter wants to create an environment that's more healthy, getting rid of harassment which often leads to real life harassment and harm is an important thing for them to do i don't see it as limiting people's speech. a lot of what twitter's done in the past couple of years is not limiting speech. it's limiting the ability of people to call other people by racist slurs, but sexist slurs it's limiting the ability of people to shout others off of the digital town square. i think in a better world it would be like a set of rules
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that govern the acceptable and up acceptable behavior but right now you have a bunch of people harassing over people off of a platform and they're deciding what is and is not acceptable speech. you have people like lindy west who aren't on twitter anymore because they don't want to deal with the harassment and they've been pushed off of the platform. >> i'm sort of feeling for or at least thinking about the ceo of twitter in the situation you have been ceo of a social network trying to execute some changes and get growth going in a healthy way while not being a founder. what do you think he needs to do or think about and consider at this tenuous moment? >> i don't envy him. at some point we have to draw a line in the sand we can't be always pushing for
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growth at whatever cost it is on other people, on society you look at where facebook has gone, where they've actually have a product instagram that harms girls' self-esteem that their own research shows and it's inciting violence in myanmar. where is the line where we're not just going to focus on growth, we're going to focus on healthy growth, which in the long-term is better for the platform more people will participate but in the short-term it may limit -- at reddit we got rid of a bunch of harmful subreddits and it still kept growing. people think if we get rid of hate and harassment, it's going to cut engagement and fewer people are going to be want to to be on the platform.
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we've actually seen that the opposite happens more people want to participate. i take three week breaks at a time because it gets to be too toxic and i know a lot of people who do that. i think if you had a healthier platform you'd have more people involved i don't know it's necessarily the case that everybody assumes that getting rid of hate and harassment is going to limit growth. >> thank you. >> thank you for having me speaking of investors they are weighing what elon musk's twi twitt ter ar cldeashesou mn.
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quick check on the markets the nasdaq hitting fresh lows down about .9% >> also software stocks have been volatile in this market but some specialized companies have a new playbook turning to developers who drive deliberate growth i spoke with scott macfarland about the company's recent move to help partners build smarter tools into their platforms >> what i think is really exciting and why people like api
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so much and if you do it right and you provide a tool that people can do this really easily with, is it allows them to create applications that we haven't even thought about i mean, use cases that they see how what we do is inside their work flow, and we can make it simpler for what they do. >> investors take note i'm hearing more and more these days, especially from companies with a specialized industry focus. they want their software to be an ingredient that customers can bake into the experience as a way to spur growth, so construction management software company procorps and shipo in the private space. up next facebook's idea for a new currency back in a moment
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as we watch the nasdaq move lower a third day in a row, shares are falling sharply after the fin tech company lowered its 2022 guidance. the company saying that the biden administration's extension of the pause on studentloan payments could hit their businessof loan refinancing.
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shares are now cut in half since january, down 12% today. on the other side of this break, finance ceo. (ceo) ♪ i want today. ♪ ♪ i want tomorrow. ♪ (dispatch) ♪ i want it noooooow! ♪ (vo) get 5g that's ready right now. fortitude gold producing high grade low cost gold in nevada usa. a gold investment delivering monthly cash, dividends and substantial yield. fortitude gold.
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finance's u.s. arm, the american subsidiary of the largest crypto exchange by volume raising $200 million at a $4.5 million valuation this morning in a tech check + live stream i asked him about
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fees of crypto platforms as his u.s. arm uses to gain market share. is it a race to the bottom >> on the face most likely it will be a race to the bottom at least in the short term, so i think we are prepared to do that race and we may -- we most likely will lead it. so we may cross that i believe that binnance has a strong advantage with a much lower cost base and it should be able to and with the fund-raiser that they should be able to assist for a long time so i think that's going to happen, yeah >> and he said that unlike other crypto companies here in the u.s. they're not going to be spending big on advertising and marketing. i also had the chance to ask him what cryptos he's holding. the answer might surprise you. >> it is very simple >> bnb and btc i still hold them and i have bnb myself and that's it i only hold those two. >> interesting
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why is that? >> i don't have time to look at other crypto most people think i know every crypto out there, but that's not true i have a company to run. i have regulators to talk to, and i have prime ministers to talk to. i don't have time to research, and read about different cryptocurrencies i don't recommend for most people, i don't recommend for people to hold five to ten cryptocurrencies because if you hold less than five you can pretty much follow the company and follow those projects very carefully. >> there's a lot out there for more let's bring in kate rooney who is live on the scene in miami at bitcoin 2022 and joins us >> kate, c.z. also said he was busy because he's spending most of his time on regulation and prime ministers and heads of state and talking about what that looks like. >> that was so interesting i love that conversation about the fact that he's only holding a few and that definitely caught
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me by surprise this conversation at bitcoin 2022 about the bitcoin currency, we had cathie wood just onstage. they wrapped up 30 minutes ago and they did talk a lot about politics cathie wood says she's seen the politics around bitcoin changing radically and she says at this point she thinks it's bipartisan here's what she said >> there is someone whispering in the ears of politicians, if you want to lose, if you want the u.s. to lose out on this, one of the most amazing innovation platforms of all times, you keep talking like that so she has changed her tune so i'm very positive here, i think the movement is spreading pretty quickly now >> so that was in reference to janet yellen and her speech about cryptocurrencies today and cathie wood also pointed to some of her early comments about bitcoin being used for money laundering and nefarious use cases and she's noticed a change
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in other politicians and also mentioned gary gensler and chair of the sec they can use more clarity on the other cryptocurrencies aside from bitcoin his stance being a commodity he's been clear about that and that has solidified bitcoin's position as the go-to here and she says it's not going away we have other news out of the conference, but michael saylor and cathie wood did draw a pretty big crowd right now >> all right kate reason, thank you >> jack dorsey's block leading into the name change with the preview of the newest bitcoin wallet tweeting out some images showing several devices what appear to be fingerprint readers and usbc charging points it looks like the fake rock where you hide your spare house key in the garden. we'll keep an eye on that. it is up next.
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zuck bucks the financial times reports meta is exploring the creation of a digital currency for the metaverse or zuck bucks as some employees close to the project have taken to calling it this wouldn't be a crypto that exists on the block chain, but closer to in-app tokens controlled by the company like the robucks used do you know what my favorite digital currencies are dollars and credit card loyalty points i'm just happy with those. >> what about your chuck e. cheese token, jon. you used to talk about those just for fun i had asked him about zuck bucks and he hadn't read about it and the ceo of the latest crypto exchange doesn't hear about the digital currency it's not a vote of confidence and i don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing. meantime, jon, the nasdaq near the lows of the day and the three-day losing streak
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continues. c.z. is talking to prime ministers and regulators to worry about zuck bucks or dealing with a whole bunch of random cryptocurrencies. y yes, you mentioned tech stocks, hpq, hewlett-packard which you mentioned earlier up 15.5% halftime report starts now welcome to "the halftime report" i'm melissa lee in for scott wapner quantitative tightening on the horizon. when will we know this tightening is priced in especially for the beaten down techtrade and we'll debate that and how to position your portfolio from here. our investment committee today, brenda vingiello, john farr, and josh brown and jon najarian, co-founder of market the s&p and nasdaq on pace for their first losing week in four. right now we are close to session lows on the s&p 500.


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