Amazon over valued (draft)

The Amazon Con: Bulls May Be Crying A River One Of These Days




About:, Inc. (AMZN), COST, HD, TGT

Special situations, growth at reasonable price, value, micro-cap


AMZN is a stock one has to believe in to justify its price, yet current quarter results are improbably bad once again.

MD: Anyone who has used Amazon’s services is likely to be a believer. What the richest person in the world is a big holder in the company, doesn’t that say something about “his” belief in the company?

Its acquisition of Whole Foods is a case of a 200X P/E stock buying a 30X P/E stock, showing the former stock is overvalued.

The entire move from mail order (or e-mail order) delivery to stores was done 90 years ago, but there is no first-mover advantage now for AMZN.

MD: Now that is abject nonsense. Amazon began by making it easier and more efficient for buyers to find sellers and vice versa. It was just a “classified advertising” implementation on the WWW … and it wasn’t the only one. Bezos sees business as three days: day one it develops; day two it rides the wave; day three it dies. Bezos will never leave day one if he can help it.

As competition ramps in e-commerce, with big box chains with the advantage of pick up in store, AMZN may see worsening losses in its core retail division.

MD: Pretty amazing someone can see the big box chains with the advantage. “Pick up in store” is no enticement for me. Save me the trip is my enticement. I think there is a middle ground. Deliver to my nearby convenience store and I’ll pick up there … and enjoy lower shipping cost of course.

Thus, while timing is impossible and there are no certainties, risk-reward for AMZN looks poor, while many other stocks trade normally and are therefore priced for positive returns.

MD: This guy would have thought Standard Oil looked poor … and of course Microsoft and Apple and Oracle (both of which were on the ropes at one time) and Google.

Introduction – rationale for another bearish article

When the facts change, I change my mind (per Keynes). But when the facts get stronger, I carry on with a bullish or bearish thesis, and that’s the case in my humble opinion with’s (AMZN) stock price. This article happens to propound a bearish hypothesis, but as an example of sticking with a bullish hypothesis that is not working, on September 15, 2015, Seeking Alpha published my final Apple (AAPL) article. The stock was going nowhere, hanging around a pitiful $100, yet the title of the article was a straightforward:

Mr. Market Errs: Apple Is Unlikely To Be Stopped In Its Rise To Further Heights

In the bullet points, I argued that:

  • … facts suggest that the iPhone (and therefore Apple) may in fact be on the verge of a major, historic victory.
  • Even if that does not occur, AAPL remains an undervalued stock with strong total return potential for patient investors.”

As it happened, 8 months later, AAPL was down another 10%, and as late as July, it was below $100: but look at it now. So – I was early but (so far) basically correct.

MD: I wouldn’t touch Apple with a long stick. How in the world can they compete with a Linux based system? How can they compete with Open Source? They have to keep innovating … or they are killed by commodity providers.

I look at AMZN that way, in reverse. Timing things like this even to the year is impossible. (And, of course, sometimes I am simply wrong.)

MD: I wonder what he thinks about BitCoin. That who concept is laughably wrong on its face … the the price of a BitCoin continues to go up exponentially.

Next, a few introductory clarifications. First, the “con” referred to in the article is about the stock price, more specifically the resurrection of the 1997-2000 con game that eyeballs, or in AMZN’s case, eyeballs plus sales at near-zero profit margins, mattered to the exclusion of earnings.

MD: If you pour all your earnings into building infrastructure, are you creating a worthless company? If you expense everything instead of capitalizing it, are you creating a worthless company? If you only had to look at earnings, a financial statement would be just one line instead of may pages and many many lines.

I’ll end my comments here. This guy is going nowhere! You can read the rest of the article by going to the link at the top … repeated here.



This Money Delusions site is about removing delusions about money … what it is … how it works … how people are deluded about it.

Investopedia is a source of information on money and finance … an authoritative encyclopedia so-to-speak.

It turns out that Investopedia, by describing “what is” rather than “what should be” becomes an excellent platform for the process of removing delusions. What better place to begin removing delusions about money than with the “keeper of the delusions”.

The style of this site is to begin with copies of articles and essays and present them complete and with full attribution. I peel off lots of the gook, but I leave the meat. I then annotate the work “in-line”. This removes any chance of my misstating what they are writing … I show you what they are writing. It removes any chance of my taking something out of context … I show you their context. But it does open me to attack for plagiarism.

If you think I’m plagiarizing your work, just let me know. I’ll address the issue with you. Otherwise, I know of no better or fairer way to approach this controversial subject.

Don Boudreaux quoting his St. James Buchanan

Re: 2017/07/31:

Don Boudreaux seems to be a Mises Monk. He, and the other acolytes, have gone apoplectic over comments by a Nancy MacLean that evidently wrote a book that took some shots at one of their saints … a James Buchanan.

This quote is typical of the type presentations you get from these people. Saint James Buchanan is said to have written:

The abiding genius of Karl Marx lies precisely here, in his acute understanding of the possible reaction of the ignorant intellectual to the workings of the capitalist or market order.

Now there is nothing mystical about a capitalist. A capitalist is easily defined as “two years”. That’s what it takes for a person with elite connections, and thus privileged under banking laws granting them 10x leverage, to double the “capital” they put into a bank … assuming they make a conservative 4% spread (which x10 is 40%/year on “their” money) on the so-called “loans” they make.

After that, they can take “their” money off the table, and leave the other half to ride forever. In a 30 year career, their con of compound interest turns their money into over 24,000 times what they “put in” for just that “two years”. It’s infinite when you consider they had zero capital at risk over the other 28 years.

Pretty slick deal isn’t it. What’s not to like about capitalism. And of course, anyone who takes a shot at capitalism must be a “communist”. That’s the only other alternative, right? That’s what they would have you believe, yet they repeatedly qualify their “capitalism” with the adjective “crony” when they don’t think it’s pure … i.e. when it is mostly communism and corruption and what they like to call “corporatism” (they never seem to run out of “isms”) as it is in the USA … and everywhere else capitalism is claimed to be found.

Here at Money Delusions, we talk about “traderism”. We know and we prove that “money” is created only by traders ( … oh, and of course counterfeiters … these being easily and quickly mitigated in a proper process). Money is “not” created by banks. It is “not” created by the governments banks institute to protect their con.

So, putting so-called capitalism aside for now (i.e. ignoring everything we read about it herein), let’s keep our eye on their other subject … that being “market order” … something we here know at MD is not “order-able” … it is free to do what it pleases … and if not, it is “rigged” and is not a market at all. Of course all markets are rigged because money is rigged.

Just keep that in mind as you read these annotated excerpts of some of Don Boudreaux’s nonsense:

From Bourreaux’s Essay/

… is from page 167 of Vol. 19 (Ideas, Persons, and Events [2001]) of The Collected Works of James M. Buchanan; specifically, it’s from Jim’s 1986 paper “Liberty, Market and the State”:

The abiding genius of Karl Marx lies precisely here, in his acute understanding of the possible reaction of the ignorant intellectual to the workings of the capitalist or market order.

DBx: Fancying themselves to be unusually insightful, thoughtful, and knowledgeable, a great many intellectuals are, in fact, mindless pack animals.


MD: When challenged to disprove the definition and proof of what money is as given by this MD site (see side panel), Boudreaux responded like a “mindless pack animal”. He said he doesn’t feel compelled to address my “unorthadox” treatment of the subject. I reminded him that Columbus and Copernicus also presented unorthodox views on subjects we take today as being obvious.

And here’s some more of the Boudreaux pot calling the kettle black:

They mistake their slogans – which sound fine to the ears of intelligent second-graders – for insight and knowledge.  Never bothering to learn economics, and also never bothering to think realistically about politics or to study history with care, they criticize without careful reflection, condemn without sound judgment, and propose without information, insight, or wisdom.

MD: Now, I have not found a single economist that knows what money is. How in the world can you teach a subject like economics without knowing what money is? So anyone who has “never bothered to learn economics” really has a leg up on those who have. They don’t have to unlearn any of that nonsense.

It all begins with knowing what money is. At this site we will repeatedly bring up their confusion and shine light on it. Remember … Boudreaux says the obvious truths explained here are “unorthodox” … what a properly religious term he uses to explain his own behavior.

What is money?


Definition: Money is an “in-process promise to complete a trade over time and space”


Examine trade: (1) Negotiation; (2) Promise to deliver; (3) Delivery.

In simple barter exchange in the “here-and-now”, (2) and (3) happen simultaneously, on the spot. Any exchange of “value for value” (e.g.corn for piglets;  gold or gold backed exchange for other stuff; etc.) is in this category and does not involve money.

Money enables simple barter exchange over time and space. Thus, money is obviously “a promise to deliver”. It can be nothing else. It doesn’t exist before the promise is made nor after delivery is made”.

Money is only created by traders (like you and me buying things over time). It is not created by banks nor the governments they institute. In fact, “all” governments are just traders. But unlike you and me, they never deliver on their trading promises which create money. They just roll them over. And that is DEFAULT. And purposeful DEFAULT is COUNTERFEITING.

Banks sustain themselves on tribute collections (and all your tax payments go to the banks as tribute collections). Governments sustain themselves on counterfeiting. You give them sustenance through the INFLATION their counterfeiting generates.

We have never had a proper Medium of Exchange (MOE) process. But it is trivial to institute one. And anyone, or any group of traders, can create a “proper” MOE process. And multiple processes can co-exist and compete (by minimizing costs).


The trader sees clear to make a trade over time and space and chooses to create “money” to effect the trade. For example, you or I choose to trade 360 monthly payments for a house, which we can take possession of and live in now and over the whole term of the promise and beyond.

The trader gets his promise “certified” (now bankers make you come hat-in-hand begging for what they fictitiously call a loan “of their capital” … that’s the scam). “Certification” means the trader’s identity and the terms of his promise are recorded and performance on the promise are transparently displayed to all lookers.

The certificates … first in the form of a simple ledger entry that creates the money and then transfers it to the seller … then circulate as the most common object in “virtually” every simple barter exchange. We know it as money (it may be a ledger entry; coin; or currency … but only one at a time).

The dollars we use everyday come from a “nearly proper” MOE process run by the banks and their “association”, the Federal Reserve. It has a leakage goal (i.e. INFLATION) of 2% and delivers 4% INFLATION on average. It gives it’s members privilege to create 10x as much money as they have … earning 4%x10 or 40% annual return … doubling “their” money in less than two years. Thus “a capitalist is simply two years”.

“A proper” process monitors performance on the promise (e.g.: did the trader make his monthly payment). If he did, all is well in paradise. If he didn’t, the process “immediately” makes an INTEREST collection of an amount equal to his DEFAULT … reclaiming the money as if he paid it back.  This guarantees perpetual perfect balance of the supply and demand for the money … it guarantees perpetual zero INFLATION.

The operative relation is: INFLATION = DEFAULT – INTEREST = zero.

Who pays the interest? Non-responsible traders do.  An existing well known model is the Mutual Casualty Insurance Company. Here INCOME = PREMIUMS – CLAIMS = zero. The money is made on the investment income and works to reduce premiums actuarially. Another distinction with the money process is that “all” members of the insurance group pay PREMIUMS. With a proper MOE process, responsible traders  (i.e. traders like you and me who never DEFAULT) experience zero INTEREST load over the duration of their promise.

Note: For any given money creating trade, no money exists “before” the trading promise is certified, nor “after” final delivery (delivery returning the money which is then destroyed). And since “all” money is created in this way, “all” money in circulation is an “in-process promise to complete a trade over time and space”.

With a “proper” MOE process, banks are “competed” out of existence. A “proper” MOE process could be instituted right now (unless the governments they institute outlaw it) and banks would have to change or go out of business. And since INFLATION is perpetually zero, the governments “must” sustain themselves only on tax and fee collections. They cannot counterfeit. Irresponsible traders are drummed out of the marketplace.

What could be simpler and more obvious?

What hoax could be larger than that leveled on virtually all of us by the banks and the governments they institute?

Why did WTC7 fall down?