Kerrisdale Capital: Boldly Betting Against Success – A Hilarious Misadventure

Kerrisdale Capital: Boldly Betting Against Success – A Hilarious Misadventure

In an audacious move that has financial markets buzzing with laughter, Kerrisdale Capital has declared a bold short position against Riot Platforms, a bitcoin mining company that they believe is as reliable as a chocolate teapot. Armed with a report dripping with pessimism, Kerrisdale is banking on Riot's apparent incompetence to make them a fortune. The only problem? The comedic potential that Kerrisdale itself may be the one to take a financial pratfall.

The Grand Exposé: A Masterpiece of Financial Comedy

Kerrisdale's report reads like the script of a dark comedy. Riot Platforms, they argue, is a company that excels at everything except making money from mining bitcoin. With capital expenditures that make drunken sailors look frugal, and a business model that could only be loved by a masochist, Kerrisdale paints a picture of a company doomed to fail. But here’s the kicker: Kerrisdale has bet their money on this failure with the confidence of a gambler on a losing streak.

"Our short position in Riot Platforms is a testament to our belief in their inefficiency," said a Kerrisdale spokesperson, presumably while counting the future profits from their short sale in Monopoly money.

Riot Platforms: Masters of Shareholder Dilution

According to Kerrisdale, Riot Platforms has perfected the art of issuing stock at a rate that would put the U.S. Mint to shame. In 2023 alone, the company managed to dilute its shares by 18%, raising over $507 million by April. One can almost hear the executives at Riot toasting to their genius—raising money while eroding shareholder value faster than a bitcoin miner can say "blockchain."

"Why not issue more stock when the going gets tough?" mused CEO Jason Les, possibly while dealing a hand of poker. "It’s not like we need to worry about profitability when we can just print more shares."

Texas Tango: The Regulatory Square Dance

Kerrisdale’s report highlights Riot’s turbulent love affair with Texas, a state known for its cheap energy and love of deregulation. Unfortunately for Riot, it seems the honeymoon is over. Texas, like a jilted lover, has started to scrutinize the environmental impact and energy consumption of bitcoin mining operations. In Navarro County, the rejection of tax abatements for Riot’s Corsicana facility is a clear sign that not everyone is impressed with Riot’s plans to consume enough electricity to power a small nation.

"Navarro County’s decision is a setback, but we’re confident in our ability to annoy local governments elsewhere," said Riot’s PR team, possibly while drafting their next batch of stock certificates.

The Halving: Cutting Rewards and Hopes in Half

The bitcoin halving event, which slashes the reward for mining new blocks, is Riot’s latest challenge. Kerrisdale predicts this will halve Riot's profitability, which might be a bit optimistic given that Riot’s profit margins were already thinner than a bitcoin wallet after a crypto crash. Nevertheless, Riot remains undeterred, pushing forward with plans to expand their operations in a desperate bid to outpace their dwindling returns.

"Think of it as a hamster wheel that spins faster every four years," said one analyst. "Except this hamster is blindfolded and the wheel is on fire."

The Global Comedy Competition

Riot faces stiff competition from bitcoin miners worldwide, from Kazakhstan to Kosovo. Kerrisdale’s report gleefully points out that Riot, burdened with high labor costs and public company expenses, is unlikely to emerge as a market leader. It’s like watching a race where Riot is running backwards while everyone else sprints forward.

"The global race to the bottom is heating up, and Riot is at the forefront of going nowhere fast," quipped a financial expert. "It’s a bit like betting on a horse that’s already been turned into glue."

Why Own Bitcoin When You Can Own Riot? (Spoiler: Don’t)

Kerrisdale’s argument that owning Riot stock is a poor substitute for owning bitcoin itself is a point well taken. Riot’s declining bitcoin production per share and reduced bitcoin holdings per share make its stock less appealing than a bowl of cold oatmeal. With the advent of low-fee bitcoin ETFs and ETPs, investors can now avoid the headache of owning shares in a company that seems more interested in mining shareholder value than cryptocurrency.

"Why buy shares in a sinking ship when you can just hold the lifeboat?" asked a bemused trader. "Riot is the Titanic of bitcoin mining—grand in scope, but destined for the ocean floor."

Executive Compensation: A Comedy of Riches

Riot’s executive compensation strategy is a masterclass in rewarding failure. CEO Jason Les and Executive Chairman Benjamin Yi have each received $51 million in stock awards over the last three years, on top of hefty salaries. It’s the kind of financial mismanagement that would make even the most corrupt politician blush.

"They’re being paid handsomely to steer the ship into an iceberg," noted an industry insider. "It’s like watching a slow-motion train wreck, but with more zeros on the checks."

Conclusion: Betting on Failure and Reaping It

Kerrisdale Capital’s short position against Riot Platforms is a gamble that might go down in history as a cautionary tale of hubris. By betting on Riot’s failure, Kerrisdale is banking on a collapse that, ironically, might just see them losing their shirts instead.

As Riot continues its epic saga of shareholder dilution, environmental destruction, and financial mismanagement, one thing is clear: the real winners in this comedy of errors are the spectators, watching with popcorn in hand as the financial farce unfolds.

So, dear investors, if you’re looking for a front-row seat to the funniest show in finance, look no further than Kerrisdale Capital’s short position on Riot Platforms. It’s a high-stakes game of chicken where everyone is destined to come out a loser.

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