Weekly Digest: Palantir Buys Gold, Bezos vs. Musk


4 minutes read

Aug 18, 2021

us tech giant palantir banner on the phone screen with a black and white palantir logo in the background

18/08/21: The U.S. tech giant Palantir buys $50.7 million worth of physical gold, Bezos' Blue Origin sues NASA over it’s deal with Musk’s SpaceX, Afghanistan in chaos. And more.

Investment news

Gold expanded its winning streak to a fifth day, supported by a drop in U.S. bond yields and concerns that an increase in the COVID-19 Delta variant cases could hinder the global economic recovery. On Tuesday, spot gold went up 0.40% at $1,793.85 per ounce.

Lower U.S. yields and the fact that equity markets are slightly softer on the back of the weakness in Asia markets is helping gold. Some governments are slightly overreacting to COVID-19 cases, raising concerns that there could be another economic slowdown,” said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK.

Palantir goes for gold: the U.S. tech giant has bought $50.7 million in 100-ounce gold bars, saying that “such purchase will initially be kept in a secure third-party facility, and the company is able to take physical possession of the gold bars stored at the facility at any time with reasonable notice.”

Palantir has also expanded its portfolio of investments in special-purpose acquisition companies (SPACs)* to more than $300 million.

*A special purpose acquisitions company is a shell company set up by investors with the only purpose of raising money through an Initial Public Offering to eventually acquire another company.

The Dow fell more than 300 points on Tuesday as July retail sales dropped, signaling that the economy may be slowing down amid the resurgence of COVID cases.

The Dow fell around 355 points, or 1%. The S&P 500 shed 0.8% and the Nasdaq Composite lost 1%.

Crypto rebound: crypto market retakes $2 trillion market cap, with Bitcoin reaching as high as $48,152 on Saturday, the highest level since May 16. Other cryptocurrencies, including Cardano, XRP, and Dogecoin advanced as well.

Cardano, which is now the third-ranked cryptocurrency after Bitcoin, was up 47% over the past week. Binance Coin gained 14%, XRP 61% and Dogecoin 18% over the same period, according to CoinGecko pricing.


Gary Wagner, editor of TheGoldForecast.com, makes forecast regarding the Federal Reserve’s tapering measures ahead of the annual Jackson Hole Symposium which will take place this year on August 26-28.

The dollar continues to stay strong. Of course, tapering would strengthen the dollar, I believe. What we have right now, any dollar we’re seeing has been directly related to yields going lower in U.S. debt, such as the 10-year treasury note. I think that the talk of tapering would in fact be supportive of the dollar, that would put some pressure on gold,” Wagner said.

What else is happening

After nearly two decades of war and over 100,000 Afghans killed, the speed of the Taliban takeover of the country has shocked the world. Some analysts have called it “an intelligence failure of the highest order.”

On Sunday, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled the country, letting the Taliban and its fighters take political power.

Hours after the Taliban’s capture of the capital, thousands of desperate Afghans have flooded the international airport, grasping at their last chance to escape the country.

Many fear the Taliban would take Afghanistan back to the religious dictatorship: during the 1996-2001 rule by the Taliban, women could not work and punishments such as public stoning, whipping, and hanging were administered.

While analysts don't expect this situation will have an immediate market impact, they are expecting for longer-term risks such as the possibility the country could become a breeding ground for international terror attacks.

🥊 Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin takes NASA to a federal court over the space agency’s decision to award a $2.9 billion lunar lander contract to Elon Musk's SpaceX. “This bid protest challenges NASA’s unlawful and improper evaluation of proposals,” Blue Origin’s lawyers wrote in a court filing.

In case you’ve forgotten (2020 was a long year), NASA originally selected the three companies — Blue Origin, SpaceX and Dynetics — to propose a lunar landing system that could put boots on the moon in 2024. The next step was to pick two companies to move forward with the proposal. But when the time for awards rolled around, only SpaceX got a contract.

The deal of the century? Cryptocurrency platform Poly Network was hit with a major attack last week which saw the hacker (or hackers) stealing more than $600 million worth of tokens. But instead of seeking for punishment, Poly Network promised the hacker a $500,000 bounty for restoring the user funds, and even asked him to become the company’s “chief security advisor.”

And what do you think happened next? The hacker has returned most of the stolen money but is withholding more than $200 million until “everyone is ready”… 🤷‍♀️

Backed by Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures, Austrian cryptocurrency trading platform Bitpanda tripled its valuation to $4.1 billion in just five months.

Bitpanda has tapped investors for a further $263 million, taking advantage of a growing interest in fintech companies and a rebound in cryptocurrencies.

The investment was led by Valar Ventures, alongside billionaire financier Alan Howard and REDO Ventures, among others.

And finally…

Excuse me, sir, are you hungry? A member of Japan's gold medal-winning softball team will have her medal replaced with a new one after a mayor of her hometown … chomped down on the original.

Medal-munching mayor Takashi Kawamura later apologized for the incident, saying that he was ready to forfeit three months’ pay totaling $13,000.

See you next week!


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