‘I hate Trump’ but small business loan program worked


Angel investor Jason Calacanis told CNBC on Tuesday he hates President Trump, but praised the administration’s small business loan program for saving many jobs during the coronavirus pandemic.  

Of the roughly 250 startups Calacanis invests in, he said in a “Squawk Alley” interview that around 20% saw their revenue drop to zero as the pandemic battered the economy.

“Thank goodness for the PPP loans and the unemployment [payments]. I hate Trump with every fiber of my being and he’s the worst human being on the planet,” said Calacnis. “You’ve got to give him credit for pouring money into the system, which saved a lot of jobs.”

Calacanis also said around 30% of the startups in his portfolio saw revenues double or triple. “These are the ones that are used by with people with keyboards or who are staying home and have extra time.”

Calacanis, an early investor in Uber, also told CNBC he still believes in the ridesharing company. CEO Dara Khosrowshahi told “Squawk on the Street” earlier Tuesday he is “very confident” Uber will become profitable in 2021 thanks in part to its acquisition of the food delivery service Postmates. Calacanis, who called the deal a “sleeper acquisition,” said both businesses have been losing money until now because they were in a “dog fight” but Uber “will easily be profitable” once the competition is reduced.

Calacanis, who founded newsletter provider Inside.com and a dot-com era newsletter called Silicon Alley Reporter, also commented on the recent disputes between technology investors and journalists. In recent weeks tech figures have complained on social media platforms such as Twitter and the new audio app Clubhouse about overly negative media coverage of their industry, particularly from the New York Times.

Calacanis said tech investors tired of such coverage are “just going to route around the press. We’re now getting follower counts on Twitter that are greater than the journalists.”

“All I’m asking for is a little balance,” said Calacanis regarding media stories on technology companies. “If you want to beat us up, if you want to criticize us… go for it. It only makes us better at what we do…. But I would love if the New York Times would just cover one or two of the world-positive companies that I invest in.”



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