May the source be with you, but remember the KISS principle ;-)
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(slightly skeptical) Educational society promoting "Back to basics" movement against IT overcomplexity and  bastardization of classic Unix

Financial Humor Bulletin, July 2009

Jan Feb Mar Apr May June July Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

[Jul 31, 2009] The Dreaded Return of Five Minute Macro

Anonymous said...
9:48 AM
Agree with Anon 9.48 re bloomberg's new CNBC slant. Must have taken ths fed/GS/illuminati shilling ..

Its all like living in "the Matrix" at the moment. The governing powers are sucking dry the very lifeforce of the populace for their own means, all the while providing there comatose bodies with an illusion of a false reality.

Dish out the Red Pills!!


Mr and Mrs Bollox-Innit and their son Saul

[Jul 29, 2009] Bashing Goldman Sachs Is Simply a Game for Fools  by Michael Lewis

Humor aside, the way GS is making profits (excessive trading and pyramid lending is nothing but a way to extract cash pumped in by the government ) at the time when economy is in the downturn is perverse and, well, not entirely honest. The clawback provision in Sarbanes-Oxley should probably be used on GS executives including Paulson.
July 28, 2006  | Bloomberg

...America stands at a crossroads, and Goldman Sachs now owns both of them. In choosing which road to take, ordinary Americans must not be distracted by unproductive resentment toward the toll-takers. To that end we at Goldman Sachs would like to dispel several false and insidious rumors.

Rumor No. 1: “Goldman Sachs controls the U.S. government.”

Every time we hear the phrase “the United States of Goldman Sachs” we shake our heads in wonder. Every ninth-grader knows that the U.S. government consists of three branches. Goldman owns just one of these outright; the second we simply rent, and the third we have no interest in at all. (Note there isn’t a single former Goldman employee on the Supreme Court.)

What small interest we maintain in the U.S. government is, we feel, in the public interest. Our current financial crisis has its roots in a single easily identifiable source: the envy others felt toward Goldman Sachs.

The bozos at Merrill Lynch, the dimwits at Citigroup, the nimrods at Lehman Brothers, the louts at Bear Stearns, even that momentarily useful lunatic Joe Cassano at AIG -- all of these people took risks that no non-Goldman person should ever take, in a pathetic attempt to replicate Goldman’s financial returns.

For too long we have allowed others to emulate us. Now we are working productively with Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and the Congress to ensure that we alone are allowed to take the sort of risks that might destroy the financial system.

Rumor No. 2: “When the U.S. government bailed out AIG, and paid off its gambling debts, it saved not AIG but Goldman Sachs.”

... ... ...

Rumor No. 3: “As the U.S. government will eat the losses if Goldman Sachs goes bust, Goldman Sachs shouldn’t be allowed to keep making these massive financial bets.

... ... ...

Rumor No. 4: “Goldman employees all look alike.”

... ... ...

Rumor No. 5: Goldman Sachs is “a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money.”

... ... ...

Those words are of course taken from a recent issue of Rolling Stone magazine and they are transparently false.

For starters, the vampire squid doesn’t feed on human flesh. Ergo, no vampire squid would ever wrap itself around the face of humanity, except by accident. And nothing that happens at Goldman Sachs -- nothing that Goldman Sachs thinks, nothing that Goldman Sachs feels, nothing that Goldman Sachs does -- ever happens by accident.

(Michael Lewis is a columnist for Bloomberg News and the author of “Liar’s Poker,” “Moneyball” and “The Blind Side,” soon to be a major motion picture. The opinions expressed are his own.)

[Jul 29, 2009] CapitalistImperialistPig One Idiot's Guide to the Economosphere

[Jul 28, 2009] Case-Shiller House Price Seasonal Adjustment and Comparison to Stress Tests


Goldman Sachs: Buy U.S. Steel

High-profit front-running opportunity identified!

[Jul 28, 2009] Merle Hazard

Simply brilliant. compare with Merle Haggard -- Are The Good Times Really Over

[Jul 28, 2009] The Bernanke ReappointmentTour

[Jul 28, 2009] Alan Blinder Was Out of the Country During the Housing Bubble

"You know, Paul, Reagan proved deficits don't matter." Dick Cheney to Paul O'Neill
Beat the Press

Does Blinder's thumb-sucking cheerleading for the status quo get you a tenured position at Princeton and a column in the NYT, or do you get a tenured position at Princeton and a column in the NYT because you are a thumb-sucking cheerleader for the status quo?

Inquiring minds want to know!

[Jul 28, 2009] “Tell Ben Bernanke To Go Home” - Housing Doom

[Jul 27, 2009] Lawmaker mistakes Bernanke for Paulson at hearing - Political Wrinkles

Excuse me Miss Moron...

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur came to a House committee hearing on Thursday prepared to ask U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson tough questions about his involvement in the subprime mortgage crisis.

Unfortunately, she was questioning the chairman of the Federal Reserve.

The Ohio Democrat, at a ouse of Representatives Budget Committee hearing, said she wanted to know what Wall Street firms were responsible for the securitization of subprime mortgages.

She then asked: "Seeing as how you were the former CEO of Goldman Sachs ..." But the only person testifying at the hearing interrupted.

"No, no, no, you're confusing me with the Treasury Secretary," said Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.

"I've got the wrong firm? Paulson, Oh, OK. Where were you sir?" Kaptur said.

Bernanke noted that he was head of the Princeton University economics department.

"Oh, Princeton, oh, all right, sorry. I got you confused with the other one ... I'm glad you clarified that for the record," she said.

[Jul 27, 2009] Feldstein- Risk of Double Dip

[Jul 21, 2009] Cunning Realist Does It Again

Financial Armageddon

The Cunning Realist has done it again: he's uncovered an oldie-but-goodie quote that seems to sum up the analytical capabilities of at least some of those who are charged with looking after our nation's economic interests.

"It's a safe banking system, a sound banking system. Our regulators are on top of it. This is a very manageable situation."

-Hank Paulson one year ago today.

One question: are these the words of a liar or a moron?

[Jul 20, 2009] Resist The Urge To Punish Success by Mark Gimein

Money can't buy love, but they can buy WaPo authors. For proof, look no further than Mark Gimein ;-)

Money can't buy love? For proof, look no further than Goldman Sachs.

Selected comments

The Failure of Macroeconomics

I like that "after all" ;-)


after all, Joseph Stiglitz is as much of the economics discipline, if not more, than Eugene Fama.

Selected comments

Charles N. Steele

I had a good laugh when I heard that AER has offered authors with papers scheduled for publication the chance to withdraw them if they predict a strong economy -- and no one accepted. Getting published is more important than getting it right.

The macro profession failed to see the crisis coming, and I think it's because modern macro is indeed an apparatus, a body of techniques that's first of all for tackling academic puzzles and publishing, rather than a body of theory that deals with the behavior of real humans in any important way. Summers' "The Scientific Illusion in Modern Macro" deserves a re-reading.

[Jul 19, 2009] Goldman Sachs to Jobless

Jack Mark Fiore's Animated Cartoon Site

Jobless Jack is up and running (er, falling) for your viewing pleasure and employment tips. Take a lesson from Goldman Sachs and learn all about bailouts and recession fun!

[Jul 19, 2009] What’s email ?

FT Alphaville

And what was the most enlightening snippet of crisis-related information Henry Paulson, former US Treasury Secretary, revealed to some very hostile US House of Representatives?

The fact that he never used email while in office.

Here’s the exchange between Congresswoman Jackie Speier and Henry Paulson:

JS: Do you use email?
HP: Do I use email? No, I don’t use it, personally.
JS: You don’t use it personally or professionally?
HP: I just don’t. I’ve never used it for any business communications, I just never use it.
JS: So while you were  Treasury secretary you never used email?
JS: How did you communicate with people?
HP: Telephone?

[Jul 19, 2009] Five questions for Robert Reich Free exchange


In the past Reptilicans and Sociocrats were so evenly matched that the American economy was in a constant state of schizophrenia, never quite committing itself to one failed philosophy or the other. The irony was that somewhere in between was about as good as it gets for America.

Now that Reptilicans have committed ritual self-immolation Sociocrats finally have the stage all to themselves and will predictably proceed to hang themselves in a few years at the end of their tired, 20th century socialist cliches.

What then? Perhaps in two or three years the pain will have grown so great that the blinders will finally fall from the average Americans' eyes and they'll see their true problem for what it is . . . that their society has been saddled with so many public and private sacred cows that it can't possibly compete and provide jobs until

[Jul 19, 2009] The Usual Suspects By Barry Ritholtz

 July 18, 2009 | The Big Picture

Amusing photoshopping:


>via Thrilltone

[Jul 19, 2009] Goldman Is Scum – Max Keiser

No-one can deny that the United States, for all its financial follies, is a rich country.  It turns out that it is possible to be corrupt in a fundamental way and still be rich.

Banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies. ~ Thomas Jefferson


From that socialist rag, The Economist:

"For a firm that probably would have collapsed without government capital, debt guarantees and fast-track approval to turn itself into a commercial bank (not to mention a multibillion-dollar payout as a counterparty of American International Group), such largesse is cheeky at best, distasteful at worst."

The key is to keep your torso well clear of the "blood funnel" of Goldman Sucks.

[Jul 19, 2009] Goldman Sachs in Talks to Acquire Treasury Department

Sister Entities to Share Employees, Money

In what some on Wall Street are calling the biggest blockbuster deal in the history of the financial sector, Goldman Sachs confirmed today that it was in talks to acquire the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

According to Goldman spokesperson Jonathan Hestron, the merger between Goldman and the Treasury Department is “a good fit” because “they’re in the business of printing money and so are we.”

The Goldman spokesman said that the merger would create efficiencies for both entities: “We already have so many employees and so much money flowing back and forth, this would just streamline things.”

Mr. Hestron said the only challenge facing Goldman in completing the merger “is trying to figure out which parts of the Treasury Dept. we don’t already own.”

Goldman recently celebrated record earnings by roasting a suckling pig over a bonfire of hundred-dollar bills.

Elsewhere, conspiracy theorists celebrated the 40th anniversary of NASA faking the moon landing.

And in South Carolina, Gov. Mark Sanford gave his wife a new diamond ring, while his wife gave him an electronic ankle bracelet.

Selected Comments

[Jul 18, 2009] On the Unwillingness of Economists to Recant, Even in the Face of Evidence

From reader Andrew, a newly minted PhD:
I ran into another Harvard student who recently had lunch with Ken Rogoff. Rogoff is telling students the following anecdote. Apparently Rogoff is involved in some way with the American Economics Review. (I couldn't find him on their web site, so some of the details in this story may need to be checked. But the student in question is not the type to make serious exaggerations.)

The AER has a backlog of two to three years between when papers are submitted and when they appear in print. Some of the papers currently in the pipeline, submitted before the crisis broke, predicted that the U.S. or global economy would remain prosperous and stable for many years to come. Rogoff wrote to all of these authors, asking them if they would like to withdraw their articles or at least modify them. All refused.

Consequently, for something like the next three years, the AER will interleave articles explaining why the crisis occurred with articles explaining why the crisis could not occur.

[Jul 18, 2009] Goldman Sachs are scum Corrente

Of balance sheets of investment banks:

"On the left side, nothing is right. On the right side, nothing is left."

[Jul 18, 2009] And to liven things up one for the weekend:

[Jul 18, 2009] CNBC vs Denninger vs Roubini The Big Picture

[Jul 17, 2009] Vampire squid, illustrated edition by Izabella Kaminska

Jul 16 |  FT Alphaville Matt Taibbi’s description of Goldman Sachs being ” a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money” seems to have really captured the world’s attention (at least if this Google news search is anything to go by).

Selected comments (from Is Goldman Sachs a blood-sucking vampire squid Business

[Jul 16, 2009] Goldman Sachs: Thank You Mr. President by James Raider

July 13, 2009 | OpEdNews

Dear Mr. President,

This should prove a challenging week on the PR front for us at Goldman Sachs. There are a few situations surfacing for which appropriate clarification will provide you sufficient context in the event that the inevitable questions arise. We also have a couple of suggestions.

... ... ...

On other matters, thank you for keeping those lovable and sleepy bureaucrats at the SEC off our backs. We also have to express our sincere gratitude for leaving the AIG dogs to die without clamor. Our involvement was very profitable, but if it had surfaced too visibly, the exposure would have been embarrassing. Our boy Tim is pretty slick isn't he? He left all the folks in place at AIG who rode that trick pony over the abyss. Amazing talent. Keep him in the job for another year, or two, won't you? Make sure the billions in bailout checks are cashed before sending him to Paris as ambassador. We need to make sure our friends on the Street are still standing. Competition is good for us, to a certain extent. The smaller fish keep prying eyes busy.

On a sadder note, we feel really bad for the Iceland economic implosion, but hey, we didn't force them to buy our derivative packages. We sell what we can to make money. They had cash that needed to find a home, and we obliged.

We should point out that operating speculative derivative or futures markets outside the bounds of national or international oversight is fundamentally critical and necessary given the world we now live in. How else could we possibly continue to take advantage of events and situations around the globe unfolding at lightning speed and impacting the fluctuations in such things as commodities or financial instruments. You can get more background on this from Tim, but being nimble in a rapidly changing environment is critical to success. Nothing moves faster than money flowing over electronic waves. Agility is part of our very survival.

[Jul 16, 2009] Goldman roaches ;-)

Like one commenter noted "government is of Goldman Sachs (GS), for GS and by GS". Reminds me famous quote "This is far and away the strongest global economy I've seen in my business lifetime."
--Hank Paulson soberly planning for contingencies, July 12, 2007.

[Jul 16, 2009] Manhattan Office Vacancy Rate Increases, Effective Rents off 44%

Calculated Risk

"neutron bomb for RE equity": destroys CRE investors, but leaves the buildings still standing.

[Jul 14, 2009] Guest Post- Chooching Pension Funds

"I know of many rats (no pun intended) in the pension industry who I suspect took kickbacks and used fraudulent accounting to "juice up" their returns. There is an old Greek saying, "he who has honey on his fingers, can't help licking them."

[Jul 14, 2009] Media Appearance- The Kudlow Report

A clown playing a role of "nonsense for a long run" professor is a nice match to a clown playing a role of financial talk show host , "an impersonation of the late Phil Hartman doing a caricature of a financial talking head."
  1.  Mark E Hoffer Says:


    maybe you should remind J. Siegel that if “Juanito” had defaced UPenn signage the way his ‘works’ have blemished the Quakers reputation, he’d be in Jail.. with that, you should ask him if feels fortunate for the Tan he’s sporting..

  2.  franklin411 Says:

    Sorry Barry…watching you on Larry K’s show would mean I would have to watch Larry K from 4:00 to 4:05 Pacific, which is about 5 minutes longer than the maximum Kudlow exposure allowed under the Geneva Convention.

  3.  Dogfish Says:


    I just realized I’ve never seen Kudlow in my life.

    First impression: He looks like someone doing an impersonation of the late Phil Hartman doing a caricature of a financial talking head.

[Jul 14,2009] Wells Fargo Sues Wells Fargo, Wells Fargo Denies Allegations

2009-07-11 | CalculatedRisk

For a little Saturday night amusement ...

From FoxBusiness: Wells Fargo Bank Sues Itself (ht Rama)

... I could not resist asking Wells Fargo Bank NA why it filed a civil complaint against itself in a mortgage foreclosure case in Hillsborough County, Fla.
In this particular case, Wells Fargo holds the first and second mortgages on a condominium, according to Sarasota, Fla., attorney Dan McKillop, who represents the condo owner.

As holder of the first, Wells Fargo is suing all other lien holders, including the holder of the second, which is itself.

... court documents clearly label "Wells Fargo Bank NA" as the plaintiff and "Wells Fargo Bank NA" as a defendant.

Wells Fargo hired Florida Default Law Group., P.L., of Tampa, Fla., to file the lawsuit against itself.

And then Wells Fargo hired another Tampa law firm -- Kass, Shuler, Solomon, Spector, Foyle & Singer P.A. -- to defend itself against its own lawsuit, according to court documents.

Wells Fargo's defense lawyers even filed an answer to their client's own complaint.

"Defendant admits that it is the owner and holder of a mortgage encumbering the subject real property," the answer reads. "All other allegations of the complaint are denied."

Your TARP money hard at work ...

[Jul 13, 2009] Researchers- "Few Preventable Foreclosures"

Selected comments


"The employers and the states want near 90-100% output for 70-80% pay. A good deal for them. This is will turn into permanent pay structures over time. Second-world, here comes the USA."

And the employees on reduced salaries and wages buy 90-100%? Time for an Orwell quote: ""If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - forever.""

Jim Cramers Next Donut:

Joe Goodpay: Hey, Neighbor Bob! How's it going?

Neighbor Bob: Pretty good. Just found out our bank lopped sixty large off our mortgage balance. Seems they're nervous about us maybe trying to walk.

Joe Goodpay: Ya don't say? Why would they think that?

Neighbor Bob: Probably 'cause we haven't made a payment since last October.

Joe Goodpay: Wow. Sixty grand, huh?

Neighbor Bob: Yep. Credit's dinged, sure, but I reckon we can deal with that. Free money's free money.

Joe Goodpay: Right. Well, see you later, Bob. Gotta catch the wife before she writes that next mortgage check!

[Jul 12, 2009] Unemployment and GDP

[Jul 11, 2009] Something Wicked This Way Comes - Goldman Sachs & Software The Economic Populist

[Jul 10, 2009] Reich- "When Will The Recovery Begin- Never."

[Jul 9, 2009] What's next Inflation or deflation - MSN Money

[Jul 7, 2009] Samuelson on Greenspan

The Big Picture

“But the trouble is that he had been an Ayn Rander. You can take the boy out of the cult but you can’t take the cult out of the boy. “ (Paul Samuelson on Alan Greenspan)

[Jul 6, 2009] Economist's View Blinder Why Inflation isn't the Danger

[Jul 5, 2009] Anything But A Financier

Cassandra Does Tokyo
Attention all media personnel:

Please cease referring to Alan Stanford as "a Financier".

If your prose is feeling naked and you are looking for an appropriate job description might I suggest "Ponzista", "Contrapreneur", "Confidence Man", "Trickster", "Financial Huckster" "Snake-Oil Salesman", or "Pathological Liar", Barricuda, Bilker, Bunco, Cheater, Clip Artist, Crook, Deceiver, Fleecer, Flimflammer, Fraudster, Hoser, Hustler, Mountebank, Scam Artist, Scammer, Shark, Sharpie, Smoothie, Swindler, or Antiguan Anti-Christ.

Should you feel these tags a tad premature (editorially-speaking), do not hesitate to preface it with "alledged", or for those willing to go out (but not too for out) on a limb, "likely".

Thank you,


[Jul 4, 2009] EconoSpeak How Bureaucracy prepares for Social Collapse

1. Formulate comprehensive plan
2. Generate community enthusiasm
3. Get 'buy in' from industry/government/UN/Vatican etc
4. Use mass media to create public awareness
5. Form action committees and grant structures
6. Develop legislation and lobby parliaments
7. Secure corporate sponsorships
8. Execute pilot programs
9. Publish papers, present results at conferences

[Jul 4, 2009] Robert Reich's Blog What Can I Do

[Jul 4, 2009] The latest feat of well-known Goldman Sachs’s stock clown (aka chief forecaster for stock market)  Abby Joseph Cohen

She cunningly forgot the unemployment rate and the fact that  California, NY, New Jersey and couple of other prosperous states that are on edge of bankruptcy...  Goldman Sacks probably was shooting the rally at the moment she  made her bold prediction.  But I think that even completely brainwashed 401K lemmings became a little bit more realistic after the recent carnage... In the meantime, earnings forecasts are being trimmed steadily for the balance of the year. In fact, forward P/E multiple of 15x operating and 30x on reported EPS are not that compelling. So, we do not have a strong valuation argument. We do not have a strong earnings argument.

Goldman Sachs’s Cohen Says S&P 500 May Surge to 1,050

May 1 (Bloomberg) -- The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index may jump 20 percent to 1,050 over the next six to 12 months as investors buy stocks trading at low valuations, said Abby Joseph Cohen, Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s senior investment strategist.

[Jul 3, 2009] Does Lack of Insurance Distort the Market for Romance?

[Suggested by email]

Posted by Mark Thoma on Friday, July 3, 2009 at 01:43 PM in Economics, Health Care, Video  Permalink  TrackBack (0)  Comments (4)

[Jul 2, 2009] Economist's View Hire the Unemployed

[Jul 2, 2009] Unemployment Forecast: Too Much "Hope"

Which is worse - bankers or terrorists (profile) wrote on Wed, 7/1/2009 - 12:07 am

List of failed states 3.0

1. Somalia
2. Pakistan
3. California
4. Afghanistan
5. Arizona
6. Minnesota
7. Seychelles (world's highest debt-GDP ratio)
8. Rhode Island
9. Zimbabwe
10. etc....

[Jul 1, 2009] Recession Hard On Porn Stars

The Big Picture

“How bad is this recession? Even sex doesn’t sell: This recession is so bad not even sex sells




Groupthink : Two Party System as Polyarchy : Corruption of Regulators : Bureaucracies : Understanding Micromanagers and Control Freaks : Toxic Managers :   Harvard Mafia : Diplomatic Communication : Surviving a Bad Performance Review : Insufficient Retirement Funds as Immanent Problem of Neoliberal Regime : PseudoScience : Who Rules America : Neoliberalism  : The Iron Law of Oligarchy : Libertarian Philosophy


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Vol 25, No.12 (December, 2013) Rational Fools vs. Efficient Crooks The efficient markets hypothesis : Political Skeptic Bulletin, 2013 : Unemployment Bulletin, 2010 :  Vol 23, No.10 (October, 2011) An observation about corporate security departments : Slightly Skeptical Euromaydan Chronicles, June 2014 : Greenspan legacy bulletin, 2008 : Vol 25, No.10 (October, 2013) Cryptolocker Trojan (Win32/Crilock.A) : Vol 25, No.08 (August, 2013) Cloud providers as intelligence collection hubs : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2010 : Inequality Bulletin, 2009 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2008 : Copyleft Problems Bulletin, 2004 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2011 : Energy Bulletin, 2010 : Malware Protection Bulletin, 2010 : Vol 26, No.1 (January, 2013) Object-Oriented Cult : Political Skeptic Bulletin, 2011 : Vol 23, No.11 (November, 2011) Softpanorama classification of sysadmin horror stories : Vol 25, No.05 (May, 2013) Corporate bullshit as a communication method  : Vol 25, No.06 (June, 2013) A Note on the Relationship of Brooks Law and Conway Law


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