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(slightly skeptical) Educational society promoting "Back to basics" movement against IT overcomplexity and  bastardization of classic Unix

Financial Humor Bulletin, August 2009

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[Aug 30, 2009] When at First You Don't Succeed ---- Make It Up

Bush-Obama "New Deal for Wall Street" is really a joke... The Obama Administration is doing a fairly good imitation of Japan Inc.
Jesse's Café Américain
This morning the spokesmodels for Wall Street on Bloomberg Television were touting the 'better than expected' unemployment claims figures.

They came in at 'only 570,000.'

Wait a minute. That does not seem right. Have another cup of coffee and look up the figures.

The consensus of expectations was 565,000. The actual was 570,000. That's better?

Betty Liu went on to explain, 'they are better than expected because they fell from the week before.' The prior week's figures were revised from 576,000 to 580,000.

In her defense, she just says what they put in front of her. I wonder if the same can be said for Obama.

We're not in Kansas anymore.

[Aug 30, 2009] Goldman Sachs: A huddle is not a forum for sharing stock or sector tips.

Aug 27, 2009 | Dealbreaker

The issue here is not whether we broke a few rules, or took a few liberties with our stock recommendations; we did.

But you can't hold all of Goldman Sachs responsible for the behavior of a few sick, perverted individuals. For if you do, then shouldn't we blame the whole investment banking system? And if the whole investment banking system is guilty, then isn't this an indictment of our financial institutions in general?

I put it to you, dear readers - isn't this an indictment of our entire American society?

Well, you can do what you want to us, but we're not going to sit here and listen to you bad-mouth the United States of America.

[Aug 29, 2009] Read Between the Decimals

“Forget properties or shares,” writes a dear reader. Here’s how to make real money:

From the Bristol Evening Post:

“Outside Bristol Zoo is the car park, with spaces for 150 cars and 8 coaches. It has been manned 6 days a week for 23 years by the same charming and very polite car park attendant with the ticket machine. The charges are £1. per car and £5. per coach.

“On Monday 1 June, he did not turn up for work. Bristol Zoo management phoned Bristol City Council to ask them to send a replacement parking attendant.

“The Council said, ‘That car park is your responsibility.’ The Zoo said, ‘The attendant was employed by the City Council…wasn’t he?’ The Council said, ‘What attendant?’

“Gone missing from his home is a man who has been taking daily the car park fees amounting to about £400. per day for the last 23 years…!

“Total sum just short £2.9 million.”

What a summer.

[Aug 29, 2009] "The Five Stages of Panic Buying"

This was too good to pass up. The key section of an offering at The Reformed Broker (hat tip reader Gonzalo):

The Five Stages of Panic Buying!

  1. Denial (Late March/ Early April)
    “Ha, another Bear Market rally…wait til the foreclosure/ new home sales/ confidence data comes in! Right back to 6500, maybe lower…bagholders”

    “Dude, the stress tests are coming out next month. B of A may be done-ski. Sell the May 10 calls, you’ll never have to cover.”

  2. Anger (Mid-April)
    “What the [email protected]&% do you mean the goddamn banks are cheap based on normalized earnings? They will never ever earn anything again, ever! Idiot!”

    “You gotta be kidding me with these retailers running now. RETAILERS? Are you nuts? They’re FINISHED!”

    “If one more consumer discretionary name rallies on a less-than-expected loss, I’m gonna kick this Bloomberg down a flight of stairs.”

  3. Bargaining (May-June)
    “Okay, I can stomach picking up some large cap tech and I’ll nibble – NIBBLE! – at discount retailers, but I will absolutely NOT buy Goldman Sachs at 130.”

    If China would just pull back 5 to 7% I’d get in, but I can’t chase it here…except Sohu, and I guess a little Baidu and I’ll just take a quarter position in China Mobile just in case. But I’m not chasing here.”

    “(whispered) Dear market god, please stop the tape. Just give me one crack at the Nazz and some banks and I will never doubt the solvency of the US balance sheet or the wisdom of the Troubled Asset Relief Program ever again.”

  4. Depression (July)
    “I can’t believe I missed it. Those D-bags next to me are high-fiving after every earnings report. Hate those [email protected]&%ing guys.”

    “How could Las Vegas Sands do this to me? I’ve been watching this stock go up for 900% now. Couldn’t just give me one chance to get in. I suck.”

  5. Acceptance (Early August)
    “That’s it! I don’t give a damn anymore, GET ME IN NOW! Forget the big ones, they’re already up too much, are there any $5 stocks left that haven’t done anything yet?

    “I gotta blow out this stupid GLD, it does nothing, sick of it and sick of hearing about inflation. Even Paulson blew it out. Get me some $2 biotechs and some midwest regional bank stocks, I gotta get poppin’ over here! We’re going to 10,000 baby!”

[Aug 29, 2009] Fed's Dual Mandate Is Mission Impossible


“You can lead a conservative corporate treasurer to a low interest loan to buy back shares, but you need a board approved bonus to make him do the deed."


“Of course you can make the horsey drink. You just select the LONG WAY to the water. Horsey will be thirsty. And horsey will drink."

[Aug 28, 2009] Nation's Unemployment Outlook Improves Drastically After Fifth Beer The Onion - America's Finest News Source

Hat tip to Barry Ritholtz's The Big Picture
WASHINGTON—Despite ongoing economic woes and a jobless rate that has been approaching 10 percent, U.S. unemployment projections drastically improved Monday after the consumption of five beers.

"It's going up," leading economist David Singleton said confidently, indicating the predicted growth in jobs with an upward wave of a Bud Light bottle. "All the way up. By the end of the month. No problem."

Singleton said the economy would begin its rebound once employers realized that there were many currently unemployed skilled laborers across the country who would "bust their asses" in a number of growing fields.

"Whether it's manufacturing, finance, hospitality, or manufacturing, these dudes trying to reenter the workforce right now have awesome skill sets and, most of all, they really deserve it," he said. "They're great, great guys. All of them."

According to analysts, both long- and short-term forecasts showed signs of recovery between the third and fourth beer...

... Reports from those well on their way toward putting away a whole six pack suggested that unemployed Americans could look forward to increased job security and much higher salaries. In addition, many half-in-the-bag analysts said they foresee greater career satisfaction and massive quality-of-life improvements following the inevitable arrival of new employment opportunities.

"Why should those who've lost work have to live paycheck to paycheck, doing some miserable wage-slave job a goddamn monkey could do?" said Donald Ellington, a completely hammered senior adviser at JPMorgan Chase. "All these layoffs, they're totally a blessing in disguise. Now these people can do the thing they've always wanted to do. Like becoming a sportswriter. Or a musician. Or a pilot, even!"

... Joblessness was not the only domestic problem that began to appear eminently solvable after the rapid downing of five beers. Also substantially improved were projections for the housing crisis, the affordability of health care, getting hot wings later, and being able to drive home just fine.

Though most on their fifth beer showed unbridled optimism—and in some cases outright cockiness—in terms of the employment landscape, those who greatly exceeded that number said they saw the current job market as hopelessly bleak. Contrary to the rosy prospects he had described earlier in the evening, economist David Singleton, after imbibing nine beers and an unknown quantity of Wild Turkey, lamented that there would have to be a comprehensive shift in the nation's entire economic structure before any lasting improvement could be realized.

Who Does Ben Bernanke Really Work For -- Seeking Alpha

the Federal Reserve Chairman’s 2008 salary of $191,300 is less than half the guaranteed minimum a rookie MLB relief pitcher would get... the Goldman Sachs equivalent of a waiter’s tip.

Why Did Obama Reappoint Bernanke on His Vacation by  Ezra Klein

Media Management, what Media Management ;-). That's a "Change we can believe in" -- a complete break with Bush administration traditions :-) 

The surprise isn't that Barack Obama reappointed Ben Bernanke. It's that he announced reappointing Ben Bernanke today. Obama is on vacation in Martha's Vineyard. It's a rare person who reappoints the Fed chairman in order to relax.

Bernanke's Self-Promotional Reappointment Campaign A Stunning Success

Bernanke: Why are we still listening to this guy?

The following video should make people think twice about listening to anything that Chairmen of the Fed Ben Bernanke says. It's a compilation of statements he made from 2005-2007 that will have your head spinning.

Repeating John Hussman: "We continue to expect a fresh acceleration of credit losses as we enter 2010. It would be best if we faced these challenges with more thoughtful leadership."

Armey- It Was All Government’s Fault

The Big Picture

sufferer of cognitive dissonance, from the Phil Gramm school of denial and ignorance.

Steve Keen's Debtwatch

“For too long it’s been McHouses, McHummers and McFlatscreens, all financed with excessive amounts of McCredit .. What a colossal McStake.”

Bill Gross

“No-one saw this coming” Balderdash! Steve Keen's Debtwatch

From comments...

I think I’m starting to know how the Romans felt when Nero became Emperor. All hail the The United States of Goldam Sachs!

Hoover on the Recovery By Barry Ritholtz

A few good quotes:

“The spring of 1930 marks the end of a period of grave concern…American business is steadily coming back to a normal level of prosperity.”

– Julius Barnes, head of Hoover’s National Business Survey Conference, March 16, 1930

“While the crash only took place six months ago, I am convinced we have now passed through the worst — and with continued unity of effort we shall rapidly recover. There has been no significant bank or industrial failure. That danger, too, is safely behind us.”

– Herbert Hoover, May 1, 1930

Aug 16, 2009] The U.S. economy has made a bottom

From the David Horsey collection at the Seattle Post Intelligencer.

Today's retail sales figures kind of back up this assessment of the U.S. economy.

[Aug 14, 2009] Weekly Unemployment Claims Increase

Cinco-X (profile) wrote on Thu, 8/13/2009 - 5:52 am

What if you've been unemployed for over 26 weeks and DON'T want a job; are you discouraged, or just independently wealthy?

[Aug 8, 2009] Trend, Not a Single Data Point

The Big Picture
  1. cvienne Says:

    White House’s Romer sees normal post-recession growth


    “Romer said in an interview on Reuters Television. “I haven’t seen anything yet about this recession or about what’s happened to our basic infrastructure, our factories and whatever, that would lead me to think that we’re in for a period of lower normal growth.”

    What mood altering drugs are these people on?

Five Reasons the Market Could Crash This Fall -- Seeking Alpha

>>I am officially going on record now and stating that IF the S&P 500 hits 1,000, we will see a full-blown Crash like last year.<<

LOL... Fortunately, when you wrote this, you followed Rule #1 of economic predicting: If you give them the price, don't give them the timing!

[Aug 4, 2009] Artist Sues Author Over Use Of Wall St Bull Image

  1. bonderman Says:
    August 1st, 2009 at 12:50 am

    I read the Heller blog but I’m still confused.

    Could an artist rearrange the sidewalk outside 85 Broad to look like a pig feed lot where the feed trough is filled with fake dollars and the biggest pig bears a resemblance to Lloyd Blankfein? Who would own the copyright and can someone else copyright Mr Blankfein’s image.

     Its all so complicated. Can you help?

[Aug 4, 2009] "Mr. Bailout"

[Aug 4, 2009] Run for the Hills: Fed Plans to Build on Sham Stress Tests as Basis for Regulation

Looks like nobody but the S&P500 index (with gentle GS support ;-) takes Obama administration "confidence building tricks" seriously
naked capitalism
Saturday Night Live nailed it in this mock address by Geithner:
Earlier this week, I reported to you the results of the so-called stress tests my department ran on the nation’s 19 largest banks. This was an effort to determine each bank’s fiscal soundness…Tonight, I would like to reveal to you, the American people, the results to part 2 of the stress tests, the written exam taken by all 19 banks’ CEOs…. Initially, my department had planned to give each bank a numerical grade of one to 100, 100 being a perfect score. But then we decided that might unfairly stigmatize banks who scored low on the test because they followed reckless lending practices or were otherwise not good at banking. So we changed to a simple pass/fail system.

However, on reflection, a few of us felt that system was too rigid, so we changed it once again, to pass,/pass*. This seemed less judgmental and more inclusive.

Eventually, at the banks’ suggestion, we dropped the asterisk and went with a pass/pass system.

Tonight, I am proud to say that after the written tests were examined, every one of the 19 banks scored a “pass”. Congratulations, banks!

[Aug 4, 2009] The Mess That Greenspan Made Bill Maher feels disconnected from the Fed

"Is it just me or is Ferguson one of the worst apologists for the Fed?"

Ferguson is someone I've always wished I could buy for what he's worth and sell for what he thinks he's worth.

[Aug 3, 2009] Econbrowser Comparing the Current Recession and the 1980-82 Recession

...the Fed is like an addict who realizes his actions are wrong, but he continues to do them nonetheless because he is so used to it and has never learned to do the opposite.

[Aug 1, 2009]  Daily Show, A Lonely Condo Owner and the Market

Calculated Risk

Keeping with the recent theme of an end of market day mishmash ... first from the Daily Show (link here if embedded video loads slow)

And from the Downtown Fort Myers condo has 32 stories, and one lonely tale




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