Archive for August, 2009

Dear Ben

Dear Ben,

Congratulations! I have heard the good news that you will be reappointed as Fed Chairman and I have to say that you’ve earned it! It’s been a long fourish years, but in that period of time there isn’t likely a single soul who wouldn’t agree that Fed’s commentary and actions have reeked of unequivocal success. When you make a call, Ben, you nail a call. I remember back to November 2007 when you said:

Our forecast is for moderate but positive growth going into next year. We think that by the spring, early next year, that as these credit problems resolve and, as we hope, the housing market begins to find a bottom, that the broader resiliency of the economy, which we are seeing in other areas outside of housing, will take control and will help the economy recover to a more reasonable growth pace.

Paulson may have been the hammer, but you provided all the nails when it came to nailing that economic forecast for 2012. People may quibble about timing, especially since your policy for the dollar and your far-reaching Fed actions of questionable legality were predicated on the timing and accuracy of your forecasts, but those people are the vocal minority; those fools probably hope to have grandchildren whose government won’t be crippled by an untenable debt load. Selfish morons!

Now, I can’t say I always envisioned you in your current role. As a child, when you weren’t eating dirt or inflating sandbox economies, you spent most of your time forming your arms into rotor blades and making yourself into a helicopter, or a Bernankptor as you liked to call it. PHWIT PHWIT PHWIT PHWIT would be the accompaniment your mouth provided before you’d set down the Bernankptor with a THWOMP. You were so happy then as a boy, it brings a smile to my soul to know that boy is still spinning his rotor blade arms inside the Federal Reserve walls. I can picture you now, alone in your office, behind your mahogany desk, arms out, PHWIT PHWIT PHWIT PHWITting about.

But this is neither here nor there. I’m writing because I’m just so proud of you. It was always clear that you were around 70% tardass and we thought you’d never even become a helicopter pilot of any kind. Today, The Obama is reappointing you as Dollar Force Pilot 1. It fills my heart with pride.


Quotes Entirely Relevant to Investing 08-23-2009

I like men who have a future and women who have a past.
-Oscar Wilde

Past Quotes Entirely Relevant to Investing

This Week in Tweets for 2009-08-22

  • What % of our demo has eaten government cheese? What % has a friend that they know has eaten government cheese?I'd say 5% & 20%, respective #
  • @itsdannynaylor Y.E. ….HOO? Damn Jim Nantz in reply to itsdannynaylor #
  • Just watched like 15 mins of Jim Cramer's show in the gym, never really watched for that long before. It embarrasses me that people watch it #
  • I mean I was embarrassed to watch it and I was doing it for science. #
  • Awesome news if you like awesome things #

Italy, A Country I Can’t Take Seriously

Last week I wrote this quite racistly:

And as we all know Crabs:Cephalopods as WWII Italians: WWII Germans — fun-loving incompetent bottom-feeders who love spaghetti and wouldn’t mind being along for the world domination ride.

Well I can only blame that I grew up with The Untouchables, and, in that movie, the character of Malone colored my view on the whole country when he described a would-be assailant with a series of slurs which made impaled the assailant’s Italian descent. But, much to my racist chagrin, only days after feeling a smidgen of guilt for comparing Italians to bottom-feeding crabs, I read something like this, headline: In Italy Parmesan Is As Good As Money. Seriously.

The vaults of Credito Emiliano SpA hold the pungent gold prized by gourmands around the world – 17,000 tons of parmesan cheese.

The regional bank accepts parmesan as collateral for loans[.]

The bank offers loans for as long as 24 months, equal to the time it takes the parmesan to age, at the euro interbank offered rate, plus 0.75 percent to 2 percent, Bizzarri said. The bank gives producers as much as 80 percent of the value of the product, based on current market prices.

The bank considered taking prosciutto ham, another of the region’s specialties, and olive oil as collateral, but such products are harder to store and brand, Bizzarri said.

I bolded the AYFKM parts.

Recommendation: Let me just reiterate that I can’t take any country or group of people seriously if they keep up with this kind of stuff. This cheese shit doesn’t cut the mustard of taking a country seriously.

HT to MO


Actually based on the numbers, probably not so good for you as more than 50% failed Level I, II and III. But think of it this way — you fit in. You finally fit in! More people are like you, a pathetic failure, than are not like you. Bright side! Don’t think about how many hours you poured down the drain, hours wasted with nothing to show for it other than the empty husks of relationships left that decayed and unspent nights of your twenties that you will never be able to reclaim. Especially don’t think about the stress that has subtly (but surely) caused your hairline to recede a few millimeters. Rogaine won’t work for that, so don’t bother.

June 2009 Pass Rate
Level I Pass Rate: 46%
Level II Pass Rate: 41%
Level III Pass Rate: 49%

Comments are open for anyone proud to have passed, humiliated to have failed, humiliated to have passed or proud to have failed.

This Week in Tweets for 2009-08-15

  • Last two items on this got caught off
    , now restored to its proper greatness #

How to Cure Station Casinos: Gamblex

Running this company has failed and the company has filed for bankruptcy protection. It’s time for management to roll the dice. Literally. They need to take their entire capex budget to the craps table and bet it on the Six to Win. Or better yet the No Pass Line. I don’t get why they haven’t thought of this. It’s called Gambling Expenditures or Gamblex. It can be a positive amount, but generally it’s a negative number on the cash flow statement. The owners’ equity checks are already toast, so what do they have to lose?

Worst case they go bust and they screw their debtholders, but who cares about those morons who signed up for a convoluted structured deal for a company run by certifiable madmen? And shouldn’t they expect the Fertitas to do something like gamble all the capex money in a dice game? That is why you do due diligence — to avoid providing debt financing to people who are certifiable madmen.

Best case, they win and get the opportunity to double down, which of course they’d need to do again 2 or 3 times. Station should act like responsible irresponsible managers they are and pour all the cash they can into gamblex.

Crabs — Cephalopods or Crustaceans?

Reader Fadi commented that “Mmm. Crabs are crustaceans, not cephalopods.” This really depends on what the definition of “cephalopod” is. Scientists mistakenly use the term “cephalopod” to mean a very specific type of creature. Per wikipedia:

The mollusc class Cephalopoda characterized by bilateral body symmetry, a prominent head, and a modification of the mollusk foot, a muscular hydrostat, into the form of arms or tentacles.

Unfortunately for Fadi, for scientists and for people of that ilk, we live in the real world and not the world of science. Here a “cephalopod” is a cephalopod and all their allies. And as we all know Crabs:Cephalopods as WWII Italians: WWII Germans — fun-loving incompetent bottom-feeders who love spaghetti and wouldn’t mind being along for the world domination ride.

Cephalopod Index Composition

Full Disclosure: As required by SAAP and the SEC, we will periodically release the 10 largest positions in our proprietary Cephalopod Index.

Top 10 Holdings of Long or Short Capital’s Cephalopod Index

The Squid
Vampire Squid (NYSE: GS)
The Crab
Humboldt Squid
The Octopus
The Cuttlefish
Calamari Default Swaps
The Nautilus

Quotes Entirely Relevant to Investing 08-09-2009

You rush a miracle man, you get rotten miracles.
-Miracle Max in the Princess Bride

Past Quotes Entirely Relevant to Investing

This Week in Tweets for 2009-08-08

  • That picture should have been in the post originally, blame slack internal controls for its initial absence #
  • RT @felixsalmon Hugo Lindgren invents the Hot Waitress Index – no sympathy for the fembots! #
  • bread and circuses: #
  • Depressing:"households w an income under $13,000 spend an average of $645 annually on scratch-off tickets" from old TMQ #
  • @Anal_yst FB is trying to tell you something. Maybe it knows you better than you know yourself. in reply to Anal_yst #
  • That post was our 500th tweet! 500 tweets, I never thought we'd get there, such a big number, even bigger than 318 or 186 or even 427. #
  • Suggest people for us to follow on Twitter. We only follow 10. We want people who can really tweet, no crap. #

JD Loves WSJ Headlines!

Sometimes I think you people (yeah I said it, and I’ll say it again, YOU PEOPLE) read this rag too much, so I’m going to help you out. Stop reading it immediately. I have read everything* in today’s WSJ and will give you all the usable information you need right here. Since you won’t waste your time reading the long pieces, it’s more efficient for you. Since I won’t waste my time writing about how whales are gossipy bitches, it’s more efficient for me. Mugabe Optimal.**

Format: Headline —> Digest

As Congress Goes on Break, Health Lobbying Heats Up —> Elected officials, former elected officials, former staffers, and the Healthcare industry are deciding how much they plan to redistribute from us and our children to their wallets. The amount they agree on is “A Lot.”

Economists Upgrade Second-Half GDP Forecasts —> The same economists who didn’t predict this recession, didn’t predict the last bull market, and forecast a hockey stick second half for 2008, got together and decided that things look fantastic now. And this time they mean it.

China Says Migrants Are Employed Again —> In China, most migrants are still unemployed and subsisting on a diet of toxic water, battery acid, “recycled” US computer monitors and corn syrup. This is the way it is despite reports to the contrary from the Chinese government.

Kabul Is Shelled By the Taliban —> The Taliban is so cocky that they actually went to the shores of Cape Cod where they summer, collected quahogs, and then flew back to arm their catapults and trebuchets with these taunting shells. Kabulians said on the street that the Taliban attacks are entirely “shellfish.”

Bogus Theories, Bad for Business —> Consultants are tardasses.***

Quick! Tell Us What KUTGW Means —> This piece is ROFLMAOWFYMITA funny. Short version: old people are still old and are pushing to understand transient language without using their brains. If someone asks you the headlined demand and is not fucking with you, send them this link

Morningstar India Gets Its Start —> Indian mutual funds will now be rated based on short term historical returns, connections and the veneer of competence.

Me & MY CAR —> Fred is lonely, his wife leaving him two years ago for a man named Teake, twenty years his junior and built like a big red firetruck. As a 54 year old divorcee, Fred has spent the last two years trying to find love through blind dates, Great Expectations (the dating site, not the book, although as a result of his old age (see above, Quick! Tell Us What KUTGW Means) and a misunderstanding, he originally did try the book only to discover it would not actually help him find love) and Craigslist. To give you an idea of how it’s gone, he started on Craiglist’s “men seeking women” category, then moved on to “casual encounters” and has only been frequenting the “services > adult” section in recent months. But what Fred has discovered is that his true love is his car, which he calls “MY CAR.” “MY CAR” really revs his engine and the time he puts into maintaining it is paid back in the form of miles and miles of pleasurable driving, while the time and money he poured into the women in his life has only ever given him an empty heart, sex whose quality was always depreciating to zero and a crater in his bank account. An automobilistic modern day fairy-tale.

* None of these articles were actually read.
** This doesn’t actually describe a Mugabe Optimal state.
*** Tardass. Like a time machine from a Brit Scifi show, but more tard, less time travel.

Cephalopod Valuation under SAAP

Submitted by user Bean Counter

Long or Short Capital LLC (LoSC) has consistently maintained a long position in the Cephalopod Index (C.I.). Through anonymous tips and other sources (we believe that they are coming from the recently retained legal counsel of Pleb due to his jealousy in not getting into the C.I. early enough), Bean Counter Associates (BCA) decided to review the valuation of LoSC’s investment in C.I. according to SAAP, which calls for the value to be recorded at Lower of Cost, Market or Whatever We Say (LCMWWS).

During our analysis, we were tempted to recommend a write-down in the valuation of the holdings, just to shake things up a bit and to reflect the now-public knowledge of the squid invasion, which will drive up squid casualties to beer batter and lemon wedges. However, we then discovered that the valuation may be even higher than originally booked, due to a potential jellyfish alliance.

It appears that not only are the squids attacking, but they’ve been able to solicit the help of their fellow aquatic invertebrates in the assault against mankind. This can only bode well for the squid invasion plans as they form a modern-day Axis of Tentacles. Squids will be able to focus their efforts on the Americas, leaving the jellyfish to complete the Asian conquest with only Godzilla standing in their way.

BCA recommends that LoSC book a gain of (perf)*(initial investment) in its C.I. holdings and for all fellow long holders to do the same. This is entirely permissible under SAAP, especially the part where the accountant gets to make extremely subjective valuation calls about things it barely grasps.

Quotes Entirely Relevant to Investing 08-02-2009

Carp Diem…Roman term, it means, yknow, live for the now…Fish they live a very limited lifespan so by nature they *must* live for the now. It’s basically the basis for the entire expression.
-Sean Garrity on Rescue Me

Past Quotes Entirely Relevant to Investing

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