Dear LoS: To Dag or Not To Dag

by Johnny Debacle

Dear LoS,

I work for a bank in London. Or rather, I had been working for a bank in London, and now, I have to fight for not only my job, but my life. You see, after the recent bumper bonus tax, my firm is downsizing its staffing levels in London. Some jobs are being relocated to more favorable geographies; others like mine, well, they are being fought over. In a gladiatiorial ring. With knives and nets and shit.

You see my bank, decided to just give the British government what they really want — bankers’ blood. Half a billion pounds sterling is a drop in the bucket, but cutting down bankers for the masses is worth its weight in gold. So for the bank employees who want to continue to be 1) employed in 2) London, my bank is having us step into the ring.

All of which leads to my question. My fight is scheduled for the next bank holiday in Green Park. It will be a duel between a combatant who is completely blindfolded but has a dagger against a man who has full use of his vision, but has no weapon. He who lives, works. As a Senior VP I have the right to choose which combo I’d prefer. I know you have been going through something similar recently, what would you do here?
-Markus Orlyius

In the kingdom of the blind the one-eyed man is king. I’ve never had the opportunity to say that in context, so today is a good day amicus (gladiator for friend). A no-brainer — choose sight and then fight a battle of attrition. He can only use that dagger in close, and he cannot flail it around wildly without having to stop. Pick your spots — if you see an opening kick him in the balls, then retreat tactically. Is he crouched in a protective fetal crouch? Maneuver so you can kick him in the head, and again tactically retreat. Rinse. Lather. Repeat. Veni. Vidi. Vici. Just grind him down like this, until he gets sloppy and you can get a stomp in on his knife-arm, either getting him to drop the weapon or breaking the arm. Know that he will nick you during this fight, be prepared for that, but just avoid getting gored. You will prevail if you fight like you bank — smartly. Good luck.

The Tiger Syndrome

by Mr Juggles

Swine flu looks tame compared to the current disease sweeping the nation. Tiger Syndrome is the newest, most deadly, and fastest spreading epidemic seen to date. It appears to mainly affect women who date or are married to men who travel for work. The symptoms are grotesque: hallucinatory paranoia, erratic insecurity, and general moodiness. The Syndrome attacks the central nervous system of females, rendering them unable to differentiate between their husbands and famous billionaire athletes. This lack of discernment persists even when the men in question do not own a private jet, hold court in Vegas nightclubs, or appear in advertisements on national TV promoting household products.

Recommendation: If your wife or SO are at high-risk for Tiger Syndrome, it is advised you immediately stockpile tranquilizers, preferably of the fast-acting variety. Chloroform will do in a pinch (be sure to just use a pinch). These will be necessary to calm your wife or girlfriend when her symptoms flare up to the point that (your and) her own safety are jeopardized. A mutated form of this disease, the Uchitel Strain, has been spreading like herpes in a VIP room of a Las Vegas Club, but it focuses on women who resemble knock-off Barbie dolls, whose first name is the misspelled version of a common first name (e.g. Jenn vs Jen or Jammiee vs Jamie) and those who suffer from chronic duck lipitis; our research indicates that no on who has ever read this site is in the high risk group for the Uchitel Strain.

Quotes Entirely Relevant to Investing 12-13-2009

by Mr Juggles

Marlo: That’s my money.
Omar: Man…money don’t have no owners. Only spenders.
-The Wire

Past Quotes Entirely Relevant to Investing

Quotes Entirely Relevant to Investing 12-06-2009

by Mr Juggles

Anything that doesn’t take years of your life and drive you to suicide hardly seems worth doing.
-Cormac McCarthy

HT to The Paleolithic Fish

Past Quotes Entirely Relevant to Investing

This Week in Tweets for 2009-12-05

by Mr Juggles
  • — friend wondered whether $1m in hookers would ever be delieved to my door. My reply — that's a high class problem. #

Quotes Entirely Relevant to Investing 11-29-2009

by Mr Juggles

The most exciting returns are to be had from an asset class where those who know it best, love it least.
-Don Coxe

Past Quotes Entirely Relevant to Investing

This Week in Tweets for 2009-11-28

by Mr Juggles
  • RT @pkedrosky: RT @mathewi: had a bad day? read this email exchange — I had to stop reading I was laughing so hard: #

Today I Am Thankful For

by Mr Juggles

Patrick Bryne
You have provided us with years of bizarre entertainment. You may have peaked with the Sith Lord episode and your campaign against naked short selling but you continue to amuse. Your 3Q earnings press release, in which you made various statements about your auditors’ alleged views on Overstock’s latest accounting mishap was excellent. Grant Thornton’s reply to the SEC, in which they basically accused you of lying, took this episode to the next level. But I am really thankful that you took it one step further and “corrected [their] mistatements“.

Steve Wynn & Sheldon Adelson
Wynn always provides great quotes on his conference calls. Whether he is telling investors that he will take advantage of their stupidity or directly confronting the administration for their suicidal policies. Thank you Steve.
And to Sheldon Adelson, thank you for all the amazing commentary you provide on your conference calls. Among the many quotes worth saving, my favorite was your joke that you may be cooking the books at your recently IPO’d Macau subsidiary.

Thank you for creating an information firehose that distracts me from work and play. If only I could post half as often as I tweet.

Thank you for loaning our country so much money. And thank you for being such a fascinating place, a parallel universe where collusion is OK and business operates on the businessman’s terms. I am hopeful you avoid the credit growth and over-investment fueled crash towards which I fear you are headed.

Happy Thanksgiving to all. Please tell us what you are thankful for in the comments.

Quotes Entirely Relevant to Investing 11-22-2009

by Mr Juggles

Here is the deal. Inside one of these boxes is a key. If your box has a key in it, you will be the last person today to get one of those cute little G6’s, ok. Who will it be? Are you ready? Hold on, JR is back in our audio booth, I want, y’know. this calls for a drum roll, cue the drum roll, alright open your boxes. Open your boxes 1 2 3, YOU GET A CAR, YOU GET A CAR, YOU GET A CAR, YOU GET A CAR, YOU GET A CAR, YOU GET A CAR, YOU GET A CAR, YOU GET A CAR, YOU GET A CAR, YOU GET A CAR!!!!
-Oprah Winfrey

Past Quotes Entirely Relevant to Investing

Quotes Entirely Relevant to Investing 11-15-2009

by Mr Juggles

I feel useless. Like a woman with a college degree.
-Kenneth on “30 Rock”

Past Quotes Entirely Relevant to Investing

This Week in Tweets for 2009-11-14

by Mr Juggles
  • RT @jodiecongirl: In a sign the economy may be recovering, NYers started buying big ticket items again, like elections and championships #
  • Geithner reaffirms strong dollar policy. Very credible. Thanks timmay! #
  • Add this to the list of things that will not end well: #
  • RT @pkedrosky: The Price of Gold in Gold: From price, the price of gold in gold. This is awfully suspicious. Wher.. #

Quotes Entirely Relevant to Investing 11-08-2009

by Mr Juggles

I’ve never taken the high road BUT I tell others to. Because it leaves more room for me on the low road. (Driving gesture)
-Tom Haverford on “Parks and Recreation”

Past Quotes Entirely Relevant to Investing

This Week in Tweets for 2009-11-07

by Mr Juggles
  • RT @TheStalwart: This is awesome. RT @hblodget: Business lessons from the battlefield in Iraq #
  • RT @pkedrosky: It is insanely interesting wariness about complex systems and coupling doesn't extent from financial markets to climatology. #
  • — he neglected to list us, but we were there, and we're insider trading the shit out of what they told us, more soon #
  • Relevant to todays post #
  • just got sent this, on GS's trading "The firm lost money on just 3 days in the last two quarters", LoS beats that fyi #
  • RT @jodiecongirl Haha, vegans vs. carnivores (funny pic from Megan McArdle) #
  • RT @felixsalmon Autumn Trends in the Pirate War: #
  • "investment in piracy in last yr, can place a # of motherships in a chain, 40 nautical miles apart; pirate tactics like U-Boats in the WWII" #
  • @onetwoko Olivia Wilde can look like a frightening space elf from certain angles. Also too skinny. Bar Rafaeli is shattering. in reply to onetwoko #
  • @jodiecongirl Reason No 1 for me: I don't want groundhogs to die in a fire. in reply to jodiecongirl #
  • @Anal_yst J youll see a notebook titled Raymond’s Recipes Id recommend making the barbecued halibut with chile watermelon salsa, its his fav in reply to Anal_yst #
  • tremendous from @Anal_yst #

Risk in our Doomsday Device Fund

by Johnny Debacle

Dead_Cat commented on the Screw You, Science piece thusly:

I hereby launch my new fund Doomsday Device Partners Fund I LLC. This is a private equity-style product specifically focused on the acquisition and exploitation of doomsday devices. The fund will develop a diversified portfolio of doomsday devices, which may include particle accelerators, nuclear research and generation facilities, underground virus research laboratories and key religious artifacts. Nicolas Cage will be Chief Investment Officer and Milla Jovovich will be Chief Risk Officer.

Unfortunately for you, and really for all of us, Long or Short Capital already has a Doomsday Device fund, one which is itself a doomsday device. We designed it with an automatic trigger system, a sophisticated system of arrays and failsafes such that, if any competing doomsday fund were ever to be launched, we would be able to retaliate no matter what happened to the value of our assets.

And unfortunately for you, and really all of us, we may not have been entirely sober when we designed this system. We called it The AYFKM system, but we generally referred to is as “No Whammy.” Kaiser conceptualized the structure. The first part of the design is an array which monitors an assortment of global communication channels. There is also a direct line of communication from No Whammy to the Long or Short Capital bunker, which is not a euphemism for our moms’ basements.

The device can be activated in one of three ways:

  1. If No Whammy’s array detects that any doomsday fund has started pitching investors, the No Whammy goes live.
  2. If the Long or Short Capital bunker signals for The AYFKM device to go live, it goes live. An instance where the line of communication between the LoS bunker and The AYFKM device is severed or otherwise goes down, The AYFKM device goes live. Just in case.
  3. If there is seismic activity in Manhattan greater than 0.7 on the Richter scale or an unusually large flock of Canadian geese, No Whammy goes live.

What does it mean for No Whammy to go live? It means that within 72 hours, thermonuclear missiles will be fired from silos we have across the globe, rendering the Earth uninhabitable. We did design a fail-safe in case of a mistaken triggering of No Whammy: we have a bunker with a single person in it who has access to a button that can stop the process, provided he first gives enters the correct password.

Unfortunately for you, and really for all of us, that bunker is staffed by Yuri, a drunk and a loudmouth. And Dmitri absolutely HATES Yuri. Dmitri, you see, was the first button-pusher we hired. We had a following out with Dmitri over a heated game of Risk in which one party did not honor his agreed upon alliance, and in fact, exploited the truce that the illusory alliance provided in order to build up forces and launch an invasion from said party’s (it’s Dmitri, duh) Kamchatka base. We immediately replaced Dmitri with Yuri, because we are a responsible firm, one who cares about things like not negligently letting our doomsday device render the Earth uninhabitable. But what we could not control was how many times Yuri had had sex with Dmitri’s wife Ludmilla. Or in how many different positions. Or on how many internet webcams. And when he learned of them, these numbers very much upset Dmitri and he refused to divulge the appropriate password to Yuri. Or to us. So if No Whammy goes live and at that time Yuri deems it appropriate to stop the launch of the missiles, it’s on Yuri to correctly guess the appropriate password.

And thus here we are. Not for long mind you, but here we are.

Recommendation: This is a clear demonstration of how important it is that when deploying an automatically triggered doomsday device, one must first SIGNAL that such a device is being deployed. That is really the whole value in the device in the first place. This is a mistake we won’t make again, we promise you. Amazingly, this has happened before.

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