Newsletters

August. 2020

The Nation's Malls Just Threw Up a Hail Mary, But Even Amazon Can't Save Them

By Berna Barshay

Empire Financial Daily,
Wednesday, August 12, 2020
The nation’s largest mall owner could soon be converting space into e-commerce distribution centers… Over the weekend, news broke that mall real estate investment trust (“REIT”) Simon Property Group (SPG) was in talks with Amazon (AMZN) to convert vacant mall space into fulfillment centers. Such a deal would solve problems for both companies… For Simon […]

Berkshire Hathaway's second-quarter earnings; It Feels Like Deja Vu All Over Again; It May Be Time for Bank Stocks to Trade Higher; The lowest-ever U.S. junk bond yield; Your Worst 1%

By Whitney Tilson

Whitney Tilson's Daily,
Wednesday, August 12, 2020
1) My longtime friend and former partner, Glenn Tongue, is the ax on Berkshire Hathaway (BRK-B). So, as I do every quarter, I asked if he’d share his thoughts on the company’s recent earnings report (here are links to the press release and 10-Q). Here’s what Glenn sent me: Berkshire Hathaway reported Q2 2020 earnings […]

The Day-Trading Popularity Contest Is Over

By Berna Barshay

Empire Financial Daily,
Tuesday, August 11, 2020
► It was fun while it lasted… Much to the chagrin of both novice traders and Wall Street veterans, trading app Robinhood announced late last week that it would end its practice of disclosing the popularity of individual stocks on an hourly basis. The news effectively put the uber popular Robintrack website out of business. […]

Excerpt from my other upcoming book: Calamity No 1: Loss of Reputation

By Whitney Tilson

Whitney Tilson's Daily,
Tuesday, August 11, 2020
In yesterday’s e-mail, I included an excerpt from my upcoming book, The Rise and Fall of Kase Capital. Believe it or not, I’m also putting the finishing touches on a second book that I hope to publish by the end of the year: The Art of Playing Defense: How to Get Ahead By Not Falling […]

'Sweatpants Nation' – Is This the End of Fashion as We Know It?

By Berna Barshay

Empire Financial Daily,
Monday, August 10, 2020
► High fashion in the COVID-19 era is the definition of ‘all dressed up and no place to go’… To state the obvious, when you’re working from home and not going to any parties or on any exotic vacations, there isn’t a big need to ever dress up… let alone freshen up your wardrobe. During […]

Excerpt from my upcoming book: How to Avoid Getting 'Faked Out' By a Company's Management

By Whitney Tilson

Whitney Tilson's Daily,
Monday, August 10, 2020
I’m almost finished with my new book, The Rise and Fall of Kase Capital, which I hope will be out by the end of the year. Here’s the current draft cover: I’ll be sharing excerpts from the book in my daily e-mails. Below is the first. Enjoy! How to Avoid Getting ‘Faked Out’ By a […]

The Update Issue: Movies Pivoting, Ralph Lauren Disappointing

By Berna Barshay

Empire Financial Daily,
Friday, August 7, 2020
► Not coming soon to a theater near you… In late July, the great reopening took a hit when major Hollywood studios stopped pretending that the movies aren’t canceled for the rest of summer 2020 in the U.S. On July 20, WarnerMedia announced that Batman Begins writer and director Christopher Nolan’s latest film, Tenet, would […]

Prosecutors suspect Wirecard was looted before collapse; White House Seeks Crackdown on U.S.-Listed Chinese Firms; Henry Blodget Built a Financial Media Empire; Ben & Jerry's Radical Ice Cream Dreams; My engagement story

By Whitney Tilson

Whitney Tilson's Daily,
Friday, August 7, 2020
1) The story at German payments processor Wirecard (WDI.DE) keeps getting crazier… Here’s the latest news from the Financial Times, the lone media organization that did good work over the years to expose the fraud (which I warned my readers about many times, starting on March 20, 2019): Prosecutors suspect Wirecard was looted before collapse. […]

Streaming Killed Cable... But Not This Company

By Berna Barshay

Empire Financial Daily,
Thursday, August 6, 2020
► Why did MTV devote 113 hours of a 168-hour week to airing just one show? This is what the ViacomCBS’s (VIAC) cable network did in late June, when the channel put Ridiculousness – a half-hour compilation of viral videos hosted by skateboarder Rob Dyrdek – on the schedule 226 times. When media outlet Variety […]

A special place in hell for Purdue Pharma and Mallinckrodt; Lights Out: Pride, Delusion, and the Fall of General Electric; The world's best-performing large-cap stock; Global Entry open to New Yorkers again

By Whitney Tilson

Whitney Tilson's Daily,
Thursday, August 6, 2020
1) You know, I really shouldn’t be so hard on Eastman Kodak (KODK)… Whatever the company’s sins (which my colleague Berna Barshay covered in her always-outstanding Empire Financial Daily yesterday), they pale in comparison to those of companies like drug makers Purdue Pharma and Mallinckrodt (MNK), for which there is a special place in hell. […]

This Market Looks a Lot Like 1999 – the Sequel

By Berna Barshay

Empire Financial Daily,
Wednesday, August 5, 2020
► A head-scratching deal prompts a speculative frenzy… Last Tuesday, imaging company Eastman Kodak (KODK) announced a $765 million loan from the Federal government intended to fund the ramp up of its pharmaceutical ingredient manufacturing capacity. The news sent the company’s shares soaring. KODK shares spiked 200% from Monday’s close of $2.62 to close nearly […]

Klarman/Baupost second-quarter letter; Coronavirus update; We may be in the 8th inning; Economic recovery may be stalling; SEC investigating Kodak

By Whitney Tilson

Whitney Tilson's Daily,
Wednesday, August 5, 2020
1) Seth Klarman has compiled one of the best track records of all time over the past three decades as the founder and CEO of hedge fund Baupost Group. In addition to being a great investor (and philanthropist), he’s a brilliant writer and teacher, which is why his timeless 1991 classic, Margin of Safety: Risk-Averse […]

Moving From the 'Little Pond' to the 'Deep, Blue Ocean'

By Eric Wade

Empire Financial Daily,
Tuesday, August 4, 2020
Editor’s note: Longtime readers know we’re skeptical of cryptocurrencies. In fact, Whitney Tilson has gone so far as to call them a “techno-libertarian pump-and-dump scheme.” But we know many of you are interested in cryptos, so today, we’re taking a brief pause from our regular fare to share this excellent essay from Eric Wade, an […]

China Grapples With Epic Property Boom; A Bubble That Just Won't Burst; China's Red-Hot IPOs; Fraud, Fraud, Fraud; How Chinese Officials Hijacked My Company

Whitney Tilson's Daily,
Tuesday, August 4, 2020
Other than shorting a few obvious frauds when I was running a hedge fund (I wish I’d shorted more!), I’ve never invested in China. It’s the Wild West of capitalism, and I know too many people who’ve been defrauded there (see articles below for more on this), so it remains in my “too hard” basket. […]

The Breakout Star of the Pandemic Is Under Fire

By Berna Barshay

Empire Financial Daily,
Monday, August 3, 2020
► How did tweens doing dance videos become a national security threat? On Friday, President Donald Trump told reporters on Air Force One that he was planning to ban the wildly popular short-form video app TikTok from the U.S. as early as the next day. Yet the app is still running… and D.C.-focused news site […]

SEC's pathetic agreement with Bausch (formerly Valeant); Insys documentary; Opioids, Bribery, and Wall Street; Novartis bribery settlement; Kodak; My podcast interview

By Whitney Tilson

Whitney Tilson's Daily,
Monday, August 3, 2020
1) On Friday, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) announced a totally pathetic agreement with Bausch Health (BHC), formerly Valeant Pharmaceuticals, and three of its former top executives: CEO Michael Pearson, CFO Howard Schiller, and controller Tanya R. Carro. In light of the massive, well-orchestrated, multiyear fraud that took place here – resulting in […]
Whitney Tilson

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About Whitney Tilson

Prior to creating Empire Financial Research, Whitney Tilson founded and ran Kase Capital Management, which managed three value-oriented hedge funds and two mutual funds. Starting out of his bedroom with only $1 million, Tilson grew assets under management to nearly $200 million.

Tilson graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College with a bachelor’s degree in government in 1989. After college, he helped Wendy Kopp launch Teach for America and then spent two years as a consultant at the Boston Consulting Group. He earned his MBA from Harvard Business School in 1994, where he graduated in the top 5% of his class and was named a Baker Scholar.

Click here for the full bio.