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High-Profile Data Company Makes Unusual Investment

Palantir buys $51M worth of gold as a hedge against 'black swan event'
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 19, 2021 12:23 PM CDT
High-Profile Data Company Makes Unusual Investment
Stock photo.   (Getty/Shutter2U)

(Newser) – In its latest SEC filing, the data analytics firm Palantir revealed what Bloomberg calls an "unusual investment strategy." The company bought $51 million worth of gold bars. "You have to be prepared for a future with more black swan events," chief operating officer Shyam Sankar tells the outlet. A black swan event refers to some unforeseen catastrophe that can upend world markets. (The current pandemic is a widely cited example, though the originator of the term disagrees.) Palantir's "move reflects a growing company stashing cash in an unconventional asset in response to economic uncertainty," writes Jordan Novet at CNBC. The logistics of that: Palantir in its filing says its 100-ounce gold bars are stored somewhere in the Northeast, and "the company is able to take physical possession of the gold bars stored at the facility at any time with reasonable notice."

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Palantir, founded by Peter Thiel and current CEO Alex Karp, among others, makes software used by governments and businesses. One version, for example, is in wide use by governments to help them track the pandemic. The company also has expressed support for Bitcoin, and all of the above makes Andrew Paul at Input a little nervous. Given that the company's clientele includes intelligence agencies, police forces, and militaries, "it's safe to say that Palantir is privy to a whole host of information that would keep any sensible person up at night," he writes. Therefore, seeing it "begin investment and integration of alternative currencies like Bitcoin and precious metals doesn't inspire a whole lot of confidence in the company's belief that geopolitics or macroeconomics are gonna improve anytime soon." (Read more Palantir stories.)

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