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Financial Humor Bulletin, October 2010

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October

[Oct 27, 2010] Gonzalo Lira On The Identity Of The False Religion Behind The Mask Of Economic Science

zero hedge

deadparrot:

Economics is a social science that uses some simple math and graphs to pretend it is a hard science. Frankly speaking, the broad assumptions that markets are efficient and market participants are rational are the functional equivalent of early "scientists" operating under the assumption that the earth is flat and is also the center of the universe.

Moonrajah:

Didn't you hear? Under Palin most current posts will be cancelled and new ones will be created:

trav7777 :

you are just threatened by powerful women

jm:

Austrian economics is only truly valid in a free market and we have never had one and probably never will.

So it's fucking worthless, right?

Sean7k:

Within the current restraints of the system, yes, except for the purpose of providing an alternative viewpoint. Which allows us to see just how criminal monetarism is.

AnAnonymous:

...Abrahamic religions have this in common: they are the only true religion at the exclusion of others.

Thanks to your efforts, it appears austrian followers share the same convictions.

zen0:

I asked an economist for her phone number.

…She gave me an estimate.

A man was sent to Hell for his sins. As he was being processed, he passed a room where an economist he knew was having an intimate conversation with a beautiful woman.

"What a crummy deal!" The man complained. "I have to burn for all eternity and that economist spends it with that gorgeous woman."

An escorting demon jabs the man with his pitchfork and shouts, "Who are you to question that woman's punishment?"

"Everything that can be invented has been invented."

—Charles H. Duell, Commissioner, U.S. Office of Patents, 1899.

[Oct 24, 2010] Exclusive Excerpt America on Sale, From Matt Taibbi's 'Griftopia' Rolling Stone Politics

My buddy was a young guy who'd come up working on the derivatives desk of one of the more dastardly American investment banks. After a few years of that he decided to take a step up morally and flee to the Middle East to go to work advising a bunch of sheiks on how to spend their oil billions.

Aside from the hot weather, it wasn't such a bad gig. But on one of his trips home, we met in a restaurant and he mentioned that the work had gotten a little, well, weird.

"I was in a meeting where a bunch of American investment bankers were trying to sell us the Pennsylvania Turnpike," he said. "They even had a slide show. They were showing these Arabs what a nice highway we had for sale, what the toll booths looked like . . ."

I dropped my fork. "The Pennsylvania Turnpike is for sale?"

He nodded. "Yeah," he said. "We didn't do the deal, though. But, you know, there are some other deals that have gotten done. Or didn't you know about this?"

As it turns out, the Pennsylvania Turnpike deal almost went through, only to be killed by the state legislature, but there were others just like it that did go through, most notably the sale of all the parking meters in Chicago to a consortium that included the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, from the United Arab Emirates.

[Oct 24, 2010] Guest Post U.S. Financial Markets The Well Has Been Poisoned (Anger of the Honest Part II) zero hedge

treemagnet :

friends don't let friends go long.

[Oct 22, 2010] Bamsters, banksters and the Homeland Property Title Rectification and Forward-Looking Rule of Law Act of 2010.

The Obama Administration is entirely predictable. It ever and always sides with large corporate interests, while trying to create the impression that it is actually concerned for the welfare of the average citizen. Admittedly, the occasionally tough talk with little follow through feeds a perverse spectacle of plutocrats sulking, pouting, and claiming that they are really, really badly treated.

Roger Bigod

Why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like this? It will all be taken care of after the election in the Homeland Property Title Rectification and Forward-Looking Rule of Law Act of 2010.

Always look ahead, for looking back may force you to think about the consequences of your actions and that is Unamerican. Forwards always, may the bridges you burn light your way into the future.

[Oct 22, 2010] The Obama Recovery Has Finally Succeeded... If You Are A High Frequency Trader

A headhunter firm is either helping GETCO build the 21st century equivalent to the atom bomb, clustering every single HFT trader under one roof for the most destructive group of momo lemmings ever assembled, or the Obama recovery is truly working... for those who know nothing but how to frontrun what remaining traders are left.

[Oct 21, 2010] Stern Foreclosure Factory $260 Million in 2009 Revenues

Mr. Stern mused about possibly naming the larger yacht Su Casa Es Mi Casa — “Your House Is My House.”
October 21, 2010 | The Big Picture

JerseyCynic

oh what a fabulous story!!!

….In a nod to his foreclosure work, according to the acquaintance, Mr. Stern mused about possibly naming the larger yacht Su Casa Es Mi Casa — “Your House Is My House.” But his wife and others cautioned against it, according to this acquaintance, and Mr. Stern named the boat “Misunderstood.” Mr. Stern denies that he considered the “Su Casa Es Mi Casa” name.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/05/business/05house.html?_r=1&pagewanted=5

Unsympathetic :

Barry, he will not be spending any time in jail.

He will, however, buy late-night TV infomercial time describing how you can get rich quick using his tried and true techniques.

b_thunder:

My odds on David Stern’s future:

5% – he’ll pay at most 10% of his gains as a fine, and will lose law license for at most 3 years w/out admitting anything
25% – he’ll become a billionaire suing evil banks on behalf of foreclosed homeowners
20% – he’ll become a billionaire AND in 4 years will be elected the Governor of Florida
60% – he will be the next CFTC judge;

[Oct 21, 2010] "BC Law Student Asks for Money Back,"

A third-year Boston College Law School student facing dismal job prospects and a mountain of student loan debt has offered the prestigious Hub institution a unique deal: Keep the degree ... and give me back my tuition!

In an open letter to BC Law’s Interim Dean George Brown posted on EagleiOnline— an online student-run newspaper at BC’s law school — the anonymous dissatisfied customer said soon-to-be grads are about to enter “one of the worst job markets in the history of our profession” and an “overwhelming majority” of them can’t find jobs.

“We are discouraged, scared, and in many cases, feeling rather hopeless about our chances of ever getting to practice law,” the student wrote.

The law school student’s missive then proposed a “solution to this problem.”

The student offered to leave law school without a degree at the end of the semester in exchange for a full tuition refund — a move the erstwhile aspiring attorney says would help BC’s US News ranking because it wouldn’t have to report another graduate’s state of unemployment.

BC Law is not warm to the idea.

[Oct 20, 2010] Guest Post Don't Bother with Comparisons to the 1970s... They're Useless

zero hedge

In my best Ron Popeil (Billy Mays RIP) voice over:

We've all heard of inflation, deflation, stagflation, hyperinflation, and thanks to the ZH community "Biflation"...

Well, now we are proud to bring to you a cutting edge, state of the art 'flation that will blow all of the others away..BUYflation.

Yes, that's right, BUYflation. Why BUYflation, you ask...

It is the culmination of an incompetent governments policy to embrace paper liabiliities to buy all of the shit no one else wants in an effort to prop up deteriorating values forever. That's right...FOREVER.

But wait, there's more, buying crap like MBS and UST was just not enough, nooooo... Now, this entity, locally known as the Treserve, is buying other crap like public stocks all in an effort to kill the dollar and inflate its way out of many decades of bad, bad monetary and fiscal decisions.

And the best part is there is no payment needed as all the costs will be passed onto the U.S. taxpayer. You heard that right...YOU.

No rush to order because the stink is being shipped to you directly and will keep coming and coming and coming...the Treserve knows where you live bitchez.

Legal disclaimer: Due to strict patent rights and some other bull, BUYflation cannot be sold outside the good ol' USA since nearly every other country has its own dungpile to pass on to its citizens as they have been working on BUYflation for quite some time already. As all of this global shit is collecting in one big dung pile, the race to the bottom will be competitive.

[Oct 18, 2010] A Man, A Tan, A Plan

"I wonder how rusty those old guillotines are in those dusty old museums, anyone been there lately?"
The Big Picture

MinnItMan

Countrywide Home Loans had the subsidiary Full Spectrum Lending which in 07-08 benefitted greatly from the subprime shutdowns. As competitors closed their doors, FSL kept rolling up record production months. It actually bought out local mortgage brokers and made the head an employee at a guaranteed salary for 6 months to a year. As production everywhere else was drying up, it was an easy sell. In part attempting to avoid the fate of Ameriquest and its practical shutdown by its settlement with state AGs, CHL began funding as much as it could through Countrywide Bank, fsb, so as to have state regulation (primarily cease and desist powers) pre-empted because it was a nationally chartered bank. It dropped the FSL name. When the SHTF in August 2007, CHL completely re-organized the retail structure, shutting down most of its branches and centralized operations into a few regional operating centers. The recent business model of originating 3-point plus fee subprime and alt-a loans quickly changed into originating FHA loans when the market for sub and alt-a paper collapsed. CHL coudn’t survice without a fed charter once it became identified as the boiler-room successor to Ameriquest (whose trademark was originating 4-point plus fee subprime and alt-a loans). “Seven Minute abs, man!”

Mr. Mozilo was entrepeneurial. CHL originated loans at least twice (maybe 4 times) as efficiently as the norm in the industry. While it never matched Ameriquest in turn-around time for getting money in its borrowers’ hands (about 11-12 days), it came close, like 17 or so, until it couldn’t sell anything but agency loans. Unlike Ameriquest, CHL at least pretended to keep underwriting and sales separate (although commissioned underwriting seems like a dubious quality control). Also, unlike Ameriquest, you had to get above the branch level to really make big money. Branch managers at AMC frequently made more than $500K, but CHL/FSL branch managers made less than half that.

Hitchhiker: You heard of this thing, the 8-Minute Abs?
Ted: Yeah, sure, 8-Minute Abs. Yeah, the excercise video.
Hitchhiker: Yeah, this is going to blow that right out of the water. Listen to this: 7… Minute… Abs.
Ted: Right. Yes. OK, all right. I see where you’re going.
Hitchhiker: Think about it. You walk into a video store, you see 8-Minute Abs sittin’ there, there’s 7-Minute Abs right beside it. Which one are you gonna pick, man?
Ted: I would go for the 7.
Hitchhiker: Bingo, man, bingo. 7-Minute Abs. And we guarantee just as good a workout as the 8-minute folk.
Ted: You guarantee it? That’s – how do you do that?
Hitchhiker: If you’re not happy with the first 7 minutes, we’re gonna send you the extra minute free. You see? That’s it. That’s our motto. That’s where we’re comin’ from. That’s from “A” to “B”.
Ted: That’s right. That’s – that’s good. That’s good. Unless, of course, somebody comes up with 6-Minute Abs. Then you’re in trouble, huh?
[Hitchhiker convulses]
Hitchhiker: No! No, no, not 6! I said 7. Nobody’s comin’ up with 6. Who works out in 6 minutes? You won’t even get your heart goin, not even a mouse on a wheel.
Ted: That – good point.
Hitchhiker: 7′s the key number here. Think about it. 7-Elevens. 7 dwarves. 7, man, that’s the number. 7 chipmunks twirlin’ on a branch, eatin’ lots of sunflowers on my uncle’s ranch. You know that old children’s tale from the sea. It’s like you’re dreamin’ about Gorgonzola cheese when it’s clearly Brie time, baby. Step into my office.
Ted: Why?
Hitchhiker: ‘Cause you’re fuckin’ fired!

This guy an entreneur, too.

[Oct 16, 2010] Obama is giving empty suits a bad name

Mark Thoma: "A willingness to sacrifice jobs for political gains is the opposite of leadership...

Goldilocksisableachblonde said in reply to bakho...

"Bush poisoned the well for the GOP...."

"Obama has done the same for the Dems..."

In that case, my advice to both parties: Drink Up !!

[Oct 15, 2010] Discouraging Greg Mankiw From Working Would be Good for the Economy by Rdan

An not only this supply side Harvard prostitute Mankiw, all Chicago school can be closed with tremendous beneficial effect on the economy.
10/15/2010 | Angry Bear

by Mike Kimel

Discouraging Greg Mankiw From Working Would be Good for the Economy
Cross posted at the the Presimetrics blog.

A few days ago Greg Mankiw had an op ed piece in the NY Times talking about how even small increases in the marginal tax rate would keep him (and by extension, other talented folks like him) from working.

For a laugh, I pulled data on the top marginal tax rate from the IRS and real GDP per capita from the BEA's NIPA tables. Data on the latter goes back to 1929, and the tax rate info goes back further.

More below the fold...

[Oct 15, 2010] The Beauty of American Justice

99er:

(Reuters) - Former Countrywide chief Angelo Mozilo agreed to a settlement of $67.5 million to resolve charges that he duped the home loan company's investors while reaping a personal windfall, but Bank of America will pick up two-thirds of the bill.

Rainman:

The Beauty of American Justice !! Who said this crony capitalism ain't a great gig ?? Dude made off with .........$ 139M (-minus) $ 44.5M = $ 94.5 M. Beats the shit out of shakin' down the pizza parlors.

[Oct 13, 2010] Unveiling The Economy Nobel Award in Darwin Economics --- This Year’s Nominee

Named in honor of Charles Darwin, the Darwin Awards commemorate those who improve our gene pool by accidentally removing themselves from it. I therefore propose the ‘Nobel Award in Darwin Economics’. The recipient of the award would graciously be asked to remove (just) their ‘economic genes’ from our economic gene pool. If they teach economics, they’d be asked to cease and desist, if they were the Secretary of the Treasury, the Chairman of the Federal Reserve, or the President of the United States they’d be asked to resign.

I’ll let you the reader decide who should be nominated to receive this years ‘Nobel Award in Darwin Economics’.

[Oct 13, 2010] Bond Investors Are People Too

Last week, bond prices were so high that a two-year government note yielded a miniscule 0.43%. To get more than one percent interest, you have to accept the five-year Treasury note yield of 1.32%. The ten-year yield? 2.60%. The 30-year long bond? A laughable 3.78%! Hahaha! This is insane!

And, as astronomically high as bond prices are, money is still flowing out of equity funds and pouring into bond funds, which has a lot to do with the price of bonds rising so high that they produce such pathetic, less-than-inflation yields.

It all reminds me of an old cartoon I once saw, which I adapt here. A guy is strapped down on the floor of the desert, baking in the sun. Behind him is a sign that says, “Bond Investor One-Day Training Course.” The guy is looking up and says, “Wow! That sun’s so hot it will bake your brains out in less than a day!” Hahaha!

[Oct 11, 2010] HFT cannibals

What a nice nickname :-) "Fancy words meet cold reality." 60 Minutes tried but the sheeple are no longer "invested" in equity markets so they don't care.
chopper read

No market is well-functioning that drives out participants in such mass numbers. as on May 6th, liquidity will disappear when it is needed most because 'liquidity providers' have been driven out of business by HFT cannibals. most likely, HFTs will cannabilize each other while the rest of us wait patiently on the sidelines to capitalize on 1 or 2 major 'flash crashes' per year.

Bob:

NASDAQ and the NYSE have failed to protect their franchise . . .

That's it. Hubris in the context of full regulatory capture got them cocky and thinking they were untouchable. Good old greed, they just couldn't leave a good enough thing alone.

chopper read

yep. they used to just "sell Levi's" (gain their transaction fees) as speculators rushed in for equity market gold. But the lure of HFT transaction fees paying them much more quickly than 'joe speculator' has now resulted in a total boycott of their exchanges.

speculators have always understood that the markets exist to take our money, not the other way around.

Cognitive Dissonance

When the mainstream media (MSM), aka the fawning corporate press, get their teeth into an issue, I become very worried. There is little doubt that just as Congress and the regulators have been completely captured, so is the MSM. In fact, the MSM has been playing ball for decades. And I could make a coherent argument its been centuries.

So what's going on here? How are they going to spin this? What straw man are they setting up to take the fall? Who's the patsy in this one? Because that's the sole purpose of the MSM as the appointed spin doctors for the Powers That Be. To pre-condition the public mind and direct public opinion away from the real fire and towards the diversionary blazes they set alight.

[Oct 09, 2010] Mortgage Broker Association strategic default by Rdan

Oct 09, 2010 | Angry Bear

I just can't resist this story of moralizing and posturing for the cameras by MBA and matter of fact dailey business practice. Out loud, in the open, in your face...and no surprises, but are we really that disconnected from ourselves?

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Mortgage Bankers Association Strategic Default
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full Episodes

[Oct 09, 2010] American People Hire High-Powered Lobbyist To Push Interests In Congress

The Onion

Citing a desire to gain influence in Washington, the American people confirmed Friday that they have hired high-powered D.C. lobbyist Jack Weldon of the firm Patton Boggs to help advance their agenda in Congress.

Known among Beltway insiders for his ability to sway public policy on behalf of massive corporations such as Johnson & Johnson, Monsanto, and AT&T, Weldon, 53, is expected to use his vast network of political connections to give his new client a voice in the legislative process.

Weldon is reportedly charging the American people $795 an hour.

"Unlike R.J. Reynolds, Pfizer, or Bank of America, the U.S. populace lacks the access to public officials required to further its legislative goals," a statement from the nation read in part. "Jack Weldon gives us that access."

"His daily presence in the Capitol will ensure the American people finally get a seat at the table," the statement continued. "And it will allow him to advance our message that everyone, including Americans, deserves to be represented in Washington."

Weldon says he hopes to spin the American public, above, as a group worth Congress' time.

The 310-million-member group said it will rely on Weldon's considerable clout to ensure its concerns are taken into account when Congress addresses issues such as education, immigration, national security, health care, transportation, the economy, affordable college tuition, infrastructure, jobs, equal rights, taxes, Social Security, the environment, housing, the national debt, agriculture, energy, alternative energy, nutrition, imports, exports, foreign relations, the arts, and crime.

Sources confirmed that Weldon is already scheduled to have drinks Monday with several members of the Senate Appropriations Committee to discuss saving the middle class.

"If you have a problem, say, with America's atrocious treatment of its veterans, you can't just pick up a phone and call your local congressman," Weldon told reporters from his office on K Street Monday. "You need someone on the inside who understands how democracy works; someone who knows how to grease the wheels a little."

Weldon said that after successfully advocating on behalf of Goldman Sachs and BP, he is relishing the opportunity to lobby for the American people, calling it the "challenge of a lifetime." The veteran D.C. power player admitted that his new client is at a disadvantage because it lacks the money and power of other groups.

"The goal is to make it seem politically advantageous for legislators to keep the American people in mind when making laws," Weldon said. "Lawmakers are going to ask me, 'Why should I care about the American people? What's in it for me?' And it will be up to me and my team to find some reason why they should consider putting poverty and medical care for children on the legislative docket."

"To be honest," Weldon added, "the American people have always been perceived as a little naïve when it comes to their representative government. But having me on their side sends a clear message that they're finally serious and want to play ball."

According to Washington heavyweights, hiring Weldon is an immediate game changer and should force politicians to take citizens' concerns seriously for the first time in decades. Moreover, sources said, Weldon will be able to help lawmakers see the American people as more than just a low-priority fringe group.

"Jack is very good at what he does," said Joseph Pearlman, a headhunter for the McCormick Group who specializes in placing lobbyists. "He can take an issue that is nowhere on the congressional radar, like the pursuit of happiness, for example, and make it politically relevant. The next time Congress passes a bill dealing with civil rights or taxes, I wouldn't be surprised if the U.S. populace is mentioned somewhere in the final language."

Though Weldon has only been on the job for three days, legislators have already seemed to take notice.

"Before today, I'd actually never heard of this group," Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) told reporters. "But if Jack says they're worth my time, I'll take a look and see if maybe there are some areas where our interests overlap."

"But I'm not making any promises," he added. "I'm a very busy man."

[Oct 09, 2010] Jon Stewart on the Foreclosure Fiasco

Wealth Daily

Without comment, here is Jon Stewart’s take on the developing mess.

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Foreclosure Crisis
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor Rally to Restore Sanity

The sad part is that it’s all true and you have no idea how bad they screwed you.

[Oct 09, 2010] Non-Farm Payrolls- US Economy Doing a Great Imitation of a Developing Double Dip

The US is a Potemkin Village economy with the appearance of prosperity hiding the rot of fraud, oligarchy, and political corruption.

[Oct 06, 2010] Who is holding hot potato

In the meantime, and contrary to what CNBC was misrepresenting on national TV, the 22 weeks of consecutive outflows now amount to $76 billion in capital taken out by retail investors from domestic stock funds, and $75 billion YTD. And here is the scariest statistic for the administration, the Fed, and bankers around the world: in September $20 billion was pulled out from domestic stocks. This occured despite the nearly 9% surge in stocks. Which means that the bankers, the HFTs, the Fed, and whoever else may be accumulating stocks in expectation of retail jumping in for the latest round of passing the hot potato, is out of luck.

[Oct 06, 2010] zero hedge on a long enough timeline, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero

Hyperinflation is caused by a political collapse, for example disintegration of the country. That still not very probably for the USA.
zero hedge

"The number one performing stock market in the last ten years has been Zimbabwe - in nominal terms" - that is the most memorable soundbite of Kyle Bass' presentation to David Faber at the Bearfoot Summit, because unfortunately, in real terms investors have lost all their money.

[Oct 01, 2010] YouTube - Stephen Colbert Opening Statement

 

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