Stephen Clapham on IPO Bubbles, Earnings Manipulation, and Balance Sheet Jiggery-Pokery

Published on
December 17th, 2020
Duration
61 minutes


Stephen Clapham on IPO Bubbles, Earnings Manipulation, and Balance Sheet Jiggery-Pokery

The Interview ·
Featuring Stephen Clapham

Published on: December 17th, 2020 • Duration: 61 minutes

Real Vision editor Jack Farley welcomes Stephen Clapham, founder of Behind the Balance Sheet and author of "The Smart Money Method." Using the tools gained as a forensic accountant in the hedge fund business, Clapham analyzes the current ploys that companies use in order to flatter earnings, garnish cash flow, and hide risk. These hijinks include one-time charge-offs, stock-based compensation, and the widespread practice of listing "adjusted earnings" – the holy grail of financial chicanery. Clapham considers the flurry of IPOs and SPAC mergers, which he calls a "bubble," sharing his views on companies such as Nikola, Airbnb, and DoorDash. Clapham's article on stock-based compensation can be viewed here: https://www.behindthebalancesheet.com/blog-1/stock-based-comp-the-disappearing-expense. Filmed on December 15, 2020 Key learnings: IPOs and SPAC deals are in a bubble that reminds Clapham of the dot-com crash. Investors should be wary of adjusted earnings, but since almost every company in the S&P 500 employs that metric, research and prudence is required to separate the wheat from the chaff.