Archive for November, 2008

Things I In Finance Is Thankful For

That is actually me at my new job as a Turkey Basting EngineerThis Thanksgiving is going to be a special one for those who work(ed) in finance, so I thought it would be especially helpful to put together a list of what I am thankful for in this new climate:

  1. Employment! You are great, I am sorry that I ever doubted your greatness but rest assured I will never doubt your greatness again! Until my personal wealth cycle is back in bubble land and I am no longer under-overcompensated, at which point I will regain a severe disdain for the thing that prevents me from writing my screenplay/novel/landscape painting full-time.
  2. Owning a gun! Before I thought it was just a way to overcompensate for what I lacked in my pants, now I realize that it belongs in any pragmatist’s “portfolio”.
  3. The Government! If it weren’t for you, these is no way I would be pocketing these unemployment checks which are allowing me to maintain my high cost mistress for 1-2 dates longer than I thought would have been possible after my earning potential suffered a “correction.”
  4. A return to hourly wages! Before, when I used to be on salary, I always found it stressful not knowing the discrete amount of time that I would have to spend to make say, $7.15 before tax. Based on several interviews I have been on recently, I know that for me to make $7.15 before tax, it will now take exactly 1 hour.
  5. Certainty! Previously I didn’t know when the housing bubble would burst, whether there would be independent investment banks, whether any politicians would be held accountable for cramming housing on people and generally putting the short term way ahead of the long term, whether the stock market could really lose 50% of its value in the post-WWII world and who the biggest dick/fraud on the planet was. The answers were 2007, no, no, yes and Greenspan!
  6. Other countries! They are still way worse off than the US and I am thankful for that. The only thing worse than losing substantial wealth and earnings potential is having your ego destroyed. But given that the US is still superior, my ego still beats like the US economy — strong relative to the rest of the world.
  7. Debt! Leverage got us into this mess, so I reckon that it will be leverage that gets us out — go leverage! Buy Treasuries! Unless I know you, then I recommend shorting Treasuries.
  8. The ability to play fast and loose with grammar in post titles and most everywhere else! I is totally thankful for it.
  9. Most of all, our subcriberstakeholdership! Without all of your contributions, none of this would have been possible. And by “this”, I mean specifically fucking up finance, the economy and this country while living an obscene lifestyle for a twentysomething, thirtysomething or an anyagesomething.

This post is much longer than my original one which was just going to be “Nothing, absolutely nothing, you mother fucker”. I do not kiss my mom with this mouth because that would just be weird. Who invented that expression? Oedipus? I am also thankful that he carved out his own eyes. Spoiler alert.

What will an Obama Presidency look like?

What will an Obama Presidency look like?

Black. No seriously, we elected an African American, and history suggests this has never happened before. Like most people though, history is wrong (Editor’s Note: although history is wrong slightly less often than herstory). There have in fact been many black presidents in America’s past. Our research indicates there is one who is a particularly strong comp to Barrack Hussein Obama. His name is David Palmer.

David Palmer was President for a single term in the early 2000’s, after a charismatic and effective campaign swept him into office. While he handled crises well with his unwavering leadership, his thoughtfulness, and his even-keeled temperament, the very fact that there were so many crises should give pause in any evaluation of his presidency’s quality.

Here is a partial list of what happened during Palmer’s Presidency:

  • He was ousted from his position via the 25th amendment during a nuclear bomb threat. He was subsequently reinstated.
  • His Chief of Staff, Vice President and other members of his staff were known to betray him and act in ways that could be construed as treasonous.
  • High-ranking advisor Lynn Kresge was pushed down a flight of stairs by the Chief of Staff.
  • There was a biological threat against the US launched by a Latin narcotics syndicate.
  • He divorced his wife, whom it was subsequently made clear was some sort of sophisticated criminal/political mastermind.
  • His brother was implicated in the killing of his married lover’s husband, also an important Palmer supporter.

I could go on, but I think you get the drift. It should be noted that Palmer ably guided the country through these crises, but one cannot escape the fact that some of them were wholly created by Palmer’s lack of good judgement about who he surrounded himself with. As Obama selects his staff, consider this precedent. Can we state, unequivocally, that Rahm Emmanuel is not somehow aligned with a crazy hawkish intragovernment syndicate with unclear objectives? Precedent says No. Can we feel comfortable that Michelle is not some backroom political power broker and/or criminal mastermind? Precedent says No.

We don’t know a lot more about Palmer’s presidency, including the quality of the economy, or the specific years, or why he was so often in Los Angeles, but at least we have some idea of what to expect. As an aside, after Palmer retired, he later went on to become an important senior advisor to the Government, and eventually the head of the top secret military unit, the Unit.

No Punch Line Needed

The president of the United Auto Workers union said the dire financial troubles of the three U.S. auto makers is the result this year’s spike in gasoline prices and the meltdown on Wall Street, not missteps by management or high labor costs.

“This industry is in a crisis situation not of its own making,” Ron Gettelfinger said in an interview Saturday afternoon with The Wall Street Journal

Long or Short Capital to Become Bank Holding Company

Long or Short Capital has received preliminary approval to become a bank holding company as of November 13th 2008. Long or Short Capital, through absolutely no fault of management, has been hit by The Perfect Storm of Perfect Storms. This storm impaired our capital and destroyed our ability to continue paying lucrative dividends to subscriberholders. These dividends are the lifeblood for our investors/readers, many of whom derive the majority of a minority of their income from Long or Short Capital dividends. Transforming the company from a purely fictional producer of financial satire into a bank holding company will allow Long or Short Capital to access the TARP, the Fed discount window, and the slush fund to pay US auto workers*. The company plans to immediately draw down the full amount of money available and prudently pay it out immediately to our subscriberholders after first contributing heavily to the executive pension fund and rewarding management performance with large bonuses. We anticipate there will also be a meaningful amount of embezzlement, but only to a level that is market. We appreciate the continued support of all our stakeholders.

*for voting Democrat (Thank You!)

Quotes Entirely Relevant to Investing 11-09-2008

Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled. Whenever you hear the consensus of scientists agrees on something or other, reach for your wallet, because you’re being had.

Let’s be clear: the work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus. Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world. In science consensus is irrelevant. What is relevant is reproducible results. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus.
-Michael Crichton on Global Warming

Past Quotes Entirely Relevant to Investing

Fidelity Isn’t Faithful to Arithmetic

Fidelity, the privately held investment management firm, wants to manage billions and trillions of dollars. In other words, it wants 7 or 8 figure of AUM according to Fidelity math. Here is an actual ad the firm was running in Yahoo Finance’s retirement section, pointed out by a reader.

If their advice on how to retire a millionaire is to become a thousandaire…well that is the exact way in which they have managed much of their clients’ retirement portfolios over the past 3 years, so we give them points for consistency.

Recommendation: Take Fidelity public for the sole purpose of shorting it.


Which Came First?

What did you eggspectMany investors have longed (no pun intended) to know which came first, the chicken or the egg. If it was definitively known whether the chicken or the egg came first, then a well-heeled speculator (rhymes with More Close) could corner the market for BOTH by buying up either chicken or eggs. Our research indicates you should make your bed out of eggs and lay in it. According to this report from Japan, a giant chicken egg laid a chicken egg, obviating the need for an ovulating avian.

A second, normal-sized egg popped out of a giant egg laid by a chicken raised at a high school in Shiga Prefecture, a school official said Saturday after breaking open the shell.

But school teachers decided on Friday to remove the shell by using a scalpel and tweezers after finding a crack. They later discovered another medium-sized egg inside the giant egg as the yolk and the white portion spurted out.

The hot topic at the high school now is whether another egg is hidden inside the second, medium-sized egg.

Recommendation: Long all eggs, especially large eggs which may contain many smaller eggs Russian doll style. Our expectation is that this market will be launched into speculative frenzy when the large pools of capital which read our site read this report. In fact, if you are still reading this report right now and not buying eggs, it may be too late.

Quotes Entirely Relevant to Investing 11-02-2008

“Whatever regulatory changes are made, they will pale in comparison to the change already evident in today’s markets. Those markets for an indefinite future will be far more restrained than would any currently contemplated new regulatory regime.”
-Alan Greenspan

[Ed note: As frequent critics of Greenspan over the years, we feel comfortable saying that this time he’s right.]