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Posted: 24 February 2010 - 1 comment(s) [ Comment ] - 0 trackback(s) [ Trackback ]
Category: Off-beat

 

The London Telegraph reports that Austrian millionaire Karl Rabeder is “giving away every penny of his £3 million fortune after realising his riches were making him unhappy.”

Rabeder told the paper, "It was the biggest shock in my life, when I realised how horrible, soulless and without feeling the five-star lifestyle is. My idea is to have nothing left. Absolutely nothing. Money is counterproductive -- it prevents happiness to come."

Rabeder will be giving his money to charities he set up in Central and Latin America. He said he made his decision while on vacation in Hawaii.

Rabeder follows in the footsteps of other people of means who have come to the conclusion that, net worth does not equal self-worth.

There seems to be a (non-scientific, admittedly) correlation between the amount of money given to charity by the country’s most generous businesspeople and the success of their businesses.

1. Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft (MSFT)
Total donated: $28 billion


The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation backs coalition groups that attempt to solve seemingly unsolvable health issues, particularly HIV, malaria, and tuberculosis.

Here’s how Microsoft has fared over the years:

alt

2. George Soros
Total donated: $7.2 billion


Soros gives to a variety of causes, including needle-exchange clinics in California, he funds scientific research in Russia, and founded MoveOn.org.

As Soros does not head up a public company, no chart is available to track his financial success.

3. Gordon Moore, co-founder of Intel (INTC)
Total donated: $6.8 billion


The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation focuses on science, environmental issues, and takes a special interest in nursing education, as Betty Moore once received the wrong medication from a nurse while in the hospital.

Here’s how Intel has fared over the years:


alt

4. Warren Buffett
Total donated: $6.7 billion


In 2006, Buffett made a pledge to give more than $30 billion over 20 years to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation -- the largest single charitable donation in history.

Here’s how Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) has fared over the years:

alt

But in at least one case, the converse appears to hold true: Donald Trump.

Trump, who has chased the almighty dollar unlike any other -- lending his name to everything from clothing to vodka to bottled water to magazines to disposable cameras to steaks to golf courses to modeling agencies to an online travel website -- will even lend himself out for cash. If you're having a party, The Donald will appear for the jaw-dropping rate of $300,000 an hour.

Trump also happens to be one of the business world’s least-generous figures.

The Smoking Gun calls Trump “an absolute cheapskate” and points out that the Donald J. Trump Foundation doled out $287,000 in 2002, down from 2001's $306,000. (These were the latest figures available at press time). They describe these figures as “remarkably paltry -- not to mention pathetic -- sum[s] for someone who's reportedly worth 10 figures.”

Let’s take a look at how Trump Entertainment Resorts (TRMP) has fared over the years:

alt

Yes, you’re reading that chart correctly. The stock is currently trading at $0.08 a share.

Which means, if you’re an investor holding 3,750,000 shares of TRMP, you’ve got just enough to spend 60 minutes in the company of the great man himself.

From MInyanville


Total votes: 0
Average(Out of 5): 0
Posted: 24 February 2010 - 1 comment(s) [ Comment ] - 0 trackback(s) [ Trackback ]
Category: Off-beat

 

The London Telegraph reports that Austrian millionaire Karl Rabeder is “giving away every penny of his £3 million fortune after realising his riches were making him unhappy.”

Rabeder told the paper, "It was the biggest shock in my life, when I realised how horrible, soulless and without feeling the five-star lifestyle is. My idea is to have nothing left. Absolutely nothing. Money is counterproductive -- it prevents happiness to come."

Rabeder will be giving his money to charities he set up in Central and Latin America. He said he made his decision while on vacation in Hawaii.

Rabeder follows in the footsteps of other people of means who have come to the conclusion that, net worth does not equal self-worth.

There seems to be a (non-scientific, admittedly) correlation between the amount of money given to charity by the country’s most generous businesspeople and the success of their businesses.

1. Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft (MSFT)
Total donated: $28 billion


The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation backs coalition groups that attempt to solve seemingly unsolvable health issues, particularly HIV, malaria, and tuberculosis.

Here’s how Microsoft has fared over the years:

alt

2. George Soros
Total donated: $7.2 billion


Soros gives to a variety of causes, including needle-exchange clinics in California, he funds scientific research in Russia, and founded MoveOn.org.

As Soros does not head up a public company, no chart is available to track his financial success.

3. Gordon Moore, co-founder of Intel (INTC)
Total donated: $6.8 billion


The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation focuses on science, environmental issues, and takes a special interest in nursing education, as Betty Moore once received the wrong medication from a nurse while in the hospital.

Here’s how Intel has fared over the years:


alt

4. Warren Buffett
Total donated: $6.7 billion


In 2006, Buffett made a pledge to give more than $30 billion over 20 years to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation -- the largest single charitable donation in history.

Here’s how Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) has fared over the years:

alt

But in at least one case, the converse appears to hold true: Donald Trump.

Trump, who has chased the almighty dollar unlike any other -- lending his name to everything from clothing to vodka to bottled water to magazines to disposable cameras to steaks to golf courses to modeling agencies to an online travel website -- will even lend himself out for cash. If you're having a party, The Donald will appear for the jaw-dropping rate of $300,000 an hour.

Trump also happens to be one of the business world’s least-generous figures.

The Smoking Gun calls Trump “an absolute cheapskate” and points out that the Donald J. Trump Foundation doled out $287,000 in 2002, down from 2001's $306,000. (These were the latest figures available at press time). They describe these figures as “remarkably paltry -- not to mention pathetic -- sum[s] for someone who's reportedly worth 10 figures.”

Let’s take a look at how Trump Entertainment Resorts (TRMP) has fared over the years:

alt

Yes, you’re reading that chart correctly. The stock is currently trading at $0.08 a share.

Which means, if you’re an investor holding 3,750,000 shares of TRMP, you’ve got just enough to spend 60 minutes in the company of the great man himself.

From MInyanville


Total votes: 0
Average(Out of 5): 0
Posted: 24 February 2010 - 1 comment(s) [ Comment ] - 0 trackback(s) [ Trackback ]
Category: Off-beat

 

The London Telegraph reports that Austrian millionaire Karl Rabeder is “giving away every penny of his £3 million fortune after realising his riches were making him unhappy.”

Rabeder told the paper, "It was the biggest shock in my life, when I realised how horrible, soulless and without feeling the five-star lifestyle is. My idea is to have nothing left. Absolutely nothing. Money is counterproductive -- it prevents happiness to come."

Rabeder will be giving his money to charities he set up in Central and Latin America. He said he made his decision while on vacation in Hawaii.

Rabeder follows in the footsteps of other people of means who have come to the conclusion that, net worth does not equal self-worth.

There seems to be a (non-scientific, admittedly) correlation between the amount of money given to charity by the country’s most generous businesspeople and the success of their businesses.

1. Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft (MSFT)
Total donated: $28 billion


The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation backs coalition groups that attempt to solve seemingly unsolvable health issues, particularly HIV, malaria, and tuberculosis.

Here’s how Microsoft has fared over the years:

alt

2. George Soros
Total donated: $7.2 billion


Soros gives to a variety of causes, including needle-exchange clinics in California, he funds scientific research in Russia, and founded MoveOn.org.

As Soros does not head up a public company, no chart is available to track his financial success.

3. Gordon Moore, co-founder of Intel (INTC)
Total donated: $6.8 billion


The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation focuses on science, environmental issues, and takes a special interest in nursing education, as Betty Moore once received the wrong medication from a nurse while in the hospital.

Here’s how Intel has fared over the years:


alt

4. Warren Buffett
Total donated: $6.7 billion


In 2006, Buffett made a pledge to give more than $30 billion over 20 years to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation -- the largest single charitable donation in history.

Here’s how Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) has fared over the years:

alt

But in at least one case, the converse appears to hold true: Donald Trump.

Trump, who has chased the almighty dollar unlike any other -- lending his name to everything from clothing to vodka to bottled water to magazines to disposable cameras to steaks to golf courses to modeling agencies to an online travel website -- will even lend himself out for cash. If you're having a party, The Donald will appear for the jaw-dropping rate of $300,000 an hour.

Trump also happens to be one of the business world’s least-generous figures.

The Smoking Gun calls Trump “an absolute cheapskate” and points out that the Donald J. Trump Foundation doled out $287,000 in 2002, down from 2001's $306,000. (These were the latest figures available at press time). They describe these figures as “remarkably paltry -- not to mention pathetic -- sum[s] for someone who's reportedly worth 10 figures.”

Let’s take a look at how Trump Entertainment Resorts (TRMP) has fared over the years:

alt

Yes, you’re reading that chart correctly. The stock is currently trading at $0.08 a share.

Which means, if you’re an investor holding 3,750,000 shares of TRMP, you’ve got just enough to spend 60 minutes in the company of the great man himself.

From MInyanville


Total votes: 0
Average(Out of 5): 0
Posted: 24 February 2010 - 1 comment(s) [ Comment ] - 0 trackback(s) [ Trackback ]
Category: Off-beat

 

The London Telegraph reports that Austrian millionaire Karl Rabeder is “giving away every penny of his £3 million fortune after realising his riches were making him unhappy.”

Rabeder told the paper, "It was the biggest shock in my life, when I realised how horrible, soulless and without feeling the five-star lifestyle is. My idea is to have nothing left. Absolutely nothing. Money is counterproductive -- it prevents happiness to come."

Rabeder will be giving his money to charities he set up in Central and Latin America. He said he made his decision while on vacation in Hawaii.

Rabeder follows in the footsteps of other people of means who have come to the conclusion that, net worth does not equal self-worth.

There seems to be a (non-scientific, admittedly) correlation between the amount of money given to charity by the country’s most generous businesspeople and the success of their businesses.

1. Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft (MSFT)
Total donated: $28 billion


The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation backs coalition groups that attempt to solve seemingly unsolvable health issues, particularly HIV, malaria, and tuberculosis.

Here’s how Microsoft has fared over the years:

alt

2. George Soros
Total donated: $7.2 billion


Soros gives to a variety of causes, including needle-exchange clinics in California, he funds scientific research in Russia, and founded MoveOn.org.

As Soros does not head up a public company, no chart is available to track his financial success.

3. Gordon Moore, co-founder of Intel (INTC)
Total donated: $6.8 billion


The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation focuses on science, environmental issues, and takes a special interest in nursing education, as Betty Moore once received the wrong medication from a nurse while in the hospital.

Here’s how Intel has fared over the years:


alt

4. Warren Buffett
Total donated: $6.7 billion


In 2006, Buffett made a pledge to give more than $30 billion over 20 years to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation -- the largest single charitable donation in history.

Here’s how Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) has fared over the years:

alt

But in at least one case, the converse appears to hold true: Donald Trump.

Trump, who has chased the almighty dollar unlike any other -- lending his name to everything from clothing to vodka to bottled water to magazines to disposable cameras to steaks to golf courses to modeling agencies to an online travel website -- will even lend himself out for cash. If you're having a party, The Donald will appear for the jaw-dropping rate of $300,000 an hour.

Trump also happens to be one of the business world’s least-generous figures.

The Smoking Gun calls Trump “an absolute cheapskate” and points out that the Donald J. Trump Foundation doled out $287,000 in 2002, down from 2001's $306,000. (These were the latest figures available at press time). They describe these figures as “remarkably paltry -- not to mention pathetic -- sum[s] for someone who's reportedly worth 10 figures.”

Let’s take a look at how Trump Entertainment Resorts (TRMP) has fared over the years:

alt

Yes, you’re reading that chart correctly. The stock is currently trading at $0.08 a share.

Which means, if you’re an investor holding 3,750,000 shares of TRMP, you’ve got just enough to spend 60 minutes in the company of the great man himself.

From MInyanville


Total votes: 0
Average(Out of 5): 0
Posted: 24 February 2010 - 1 comment(s) [ Comment ] - 0 trackback(s) [ Trackback ]
Category: Off-beat

 

The London Telegraph reports that Austrian millionaire Karl Rabeder is “giving away every penny of his £3 million fortune after realising his riches were making him unhappy.”

Rabeder told the paper, "It was the biggest shock in my life, when I realised how horrible, soulless and without feeling the five-star lifestyle is. My idea is to have nothing left. Absolutely nothing. Money is counterproductive -- it prevents happiness to come."

Rabeder will be giving his money to charities he set up in Central and Latin America. He said he made his decision while on vacation in Hawaii.

Rabeder follows in the footsteps of other people of means who have come to the conclusion that, net worth does not equal self-worth.

There seems to be a (non-scientific, admittedly) correlation between the amount of money given to charity by the country’s most generous businesspeople and the success of their businesses.

1. Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft (MSFT)
Total donated: $28 billion


The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation backs coalition groups that attempt to solve seemingly unsolvable health issues, particularly HIV, malaria, and tuberculosis.

Here’s how Microsoft has fared over the years:

alt

2. George Soros
Total donated: $7.2 billion


Soros gives to a variety of causes, including needle-exchange clinics in California, he funds scientific research in Russia, and founded MoveOn.org.

As Soros does not head up a public company, no chart is available to track his financial success.

3. Gordon Moore, co-founder of Intel (INTC)
Total donated: $6.8 billion


The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation focuses on science, environmental issues, and takes a special interest in nursing education, as Betty Moore once received the wrong medication from a nurse while in the hospital.

Here’s how Intel has fared over the years:


alt

4. Warren Buffett
Total donated: $6.7 billion


In 2006, Buffett made a pledge to give more than $30 billion over 20 years to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation -- the largest single charitable donation in history.

Here’s how Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) has fared over the years:

alt

But in at least one case, the converse appears to hold true: Donald Trump.

Trump, who has chased the almighty dollar unlike any other -- lending his name to everything from clothing to vodka to bottled water to magazines to disposable cameras to steaks to golf courses to modeling agencies to an online travel website -- will even lend himself out for cash. If you're having a party, The Donald will appear for the jaw-dropping rate of $300,000 an hour.

Trump also happens to be one of the business world’s least-generous figures.

The Smoking Gun calls Trump “an absolute cheapskate” and points out that the Donald J. Trump Foundation doled out $287,000 in 2002, down from 2001's $306,000. (These were the latest figures available at press time). They describe these figures as “remarkably paltry -- not to mention pathetic -- sum[s] for someone who's reportedly worth 10 figures.”

Let’s take a look at how Trump Entertainment Resorts (TRMP) has fared over the years:

alt

Yes, you’re reading that chart correctly. The stock is currently trading at $0.08 a share.

Which means, if you’re an investor holding 3,750,000 shares of TRMP, you’ve got just enough to spend 60 minutes in the company of the great man himself.

From MInyanville


Total votes: 0
Average(Out of 5): 0
Posted: 31 August 2010 - 1 comment(s) [ Comment ] - 0 trackback(s) [ Trackback ]
Category: Off-beat

There has been a lot of comment about banks, their role in the recent market turmoil, and their raison d'etre.

 

Back in 1957, this piece from UK humour magazine Punch seemed to understand what many people still wrestle with...

 

Cheers

Stuart

 

___________________________________________________

 

 

 

Q: What are banks for?
A: To make money.

Q: For the customers?
A: For the banks.

Q: Why doesn't bank advertising mention this?
A: It would not be in good taste. But it is mentioned by implication in references to reserves of $249,000,000,000 or thereabouts. That is the money they have made.

Q: Out of the customers?
A: I suppose so.

Q: They also mention Assets of $500,000,000,000 or thereabouts. Have they made that too?
A: Not exactly. That is the money they use to make money.

Q: I see. And they keep it in a safe somewhere?
A: Not at all. They lend it to customers.

Q: Then they haven't got it?
A: No.

Q: Then how is it Assets?
A: They maintain that it would be if they got it back.

Q: But they must have some money in a safe somewhere?
A: Yes, usually $500,000,000,000 or thereabouts. This is called Liabilities.

Q: But if they've got it, how can they be liable for it?
A: Because it isn't theirs.

Q: Then why do they have it?
A: It has been lent to them by customers.

Q: You mean customers lend banks money?
A: In effect. They put money into their accounts, so it is really lent to the banks.

Q: And what do the banks do with it?
A: Lend it to other customers.

Q: But you said that money they lent to other people was Assets?
A: Yes.

Q: Then Assets and Liabilities must be the same thing?
A: You can't really say that.

Q: But you've just said it! If I put $100 into my account the bank is liable to have to pay it back, so it's Liabilities. But they go and lend it to someone else, and he is liable to have to pay it back, so it's Assets. It's the same $100 isn't it?
A: Yes, but....

Q: Then it cancels out. It means, doesn't it, that banks haven't really any money at all?
A: Theoretically......

Q: Never mind theoretically! And if they haven't any money, where do they get their Reserves of $249,000,000,000 or thereabouts??
A: I told you. That is the money they have made.

Q: How?
A: Well, when they lend your $100 to someone they charge him interest.

Q: How much?
A: It depends on the Bank Rate. Say five and a-half percent. That's their profit.

Q: Why isn't it my profit? Isn't it my money?
A: It's the theory of banking practice that.........

Q: When I lend them my $100 why don't I charge them interest?
A: You do.

Q: You don't say. How much?
A: It depends on the Bank Rate. Say a half percent.

Q: Grasping of me, rather?
A: But that's only if you're not going to draw the money out again.

Q: But of course I'm going to draw the money out again! If I hadn't wanted to draw it out again I could have buried it in the garden!
A: They wouldn't like you to draw it out again.

Q: Why not? If I keep it there you say it's a Liability. Wouldn't they be glad if I reduced their Liabilities by removing it?
A: No. Because if you remove it they can't lend it to anyone else.

Q: But if I wanted to remove it they'd have to let me?
A: Certainly.

Q: But suppose they've already lent it to another customer?
A: Then they'll let you have some other customers money.

Q: But suppose he wants his too....and they've already let me have it?
A: You're being purposely obtuse.

Q: I think I'm being acute. What if everyone wanted their money all at once?
A: It's the theory of banking practice that they never would.

Q: So what banks bank on, is not having to meet their commitments?
A: I wouldn't say that.

Q: Naturally. Well, if there's nothing else you think you can tell me....?
A: Quite so. Now you can go off and open a banking account!

Q: Just one last question.
A: Of course.

Q: Wouldn't I do better to go off and open up a bank?
 

Total votes: 0
Average(Out of 5): 0
Posted: 5 April 2013 - 1 comment(s) [ Comment ] - 0 trackback(s) [ Trackback ]
Category: Off-beat

 Its interesting how people see what they look for.

 

Glance at this tree, and count faces...and then ask yourself whether as you look for signs or calls to action in the market, are you being thorough enough? Or too thorough?

 

Also useful for fundamentals people looking at and for valuations...

 

Cheers

Stuart

 

alt


Total votes: 0
Average(Out of 5): 0
Posted: 26 November 2009 - 2 comment(s) [ Comment ] - 0 trackback(s) [ Trackback ]
Category: Off-beat

Where Hannibal succeeded two millenia ago, with elephants, a Swiss fighter pilot has failed in his attempt to cross from Africa to Europe. Equipped with a jet-powered wing, Swiss adventurer Yves Rossy ditched in the sea Wednesday 5 minutes into bid to make aviation history by flying from Africa to Europe using a jet-powered wing attached to his back.

 

The 50-year-old former fighter pilotwas attempting to complete the first intercontinental flight using just a jetpack.

 

It is believed his mental attitude to life could be well suited to trading in the derivatives markets.

 

He had planned to fly 38 kilometres across the Strait of Gibraltar from Tangier in Morocco to Atlanterra in southern Spain from a height of about 2,000 metres while wearing a flame-retardant suit. His journey was to last 13 minutes — reaching top speeds of 290 kilometres an hour — but at about the mid-way point Rossy parachuted into the ocean apparently because of a wing malfunction, organizers said.

 

"It is going to be historic. No one has ever done this before," he told reporters on the eve of his attempted crossing. Rossy made headlines in September 2008 when he became the first person to cross the English Channel between France and Britain using a jet-powered wing. He made the crossing from Calais to Dover — tracing the route of French aviation pioneer Louis Bleriot, who became the first person to fly across the Channel in a plane 99 years earlier — in just 15 minutes, after reaching speeds of up to 200 kilometres an hour.

 

His team said Wednesday’s Africa to Europe attempt was the logical follow-on from this. The carbon-fibre wing, two metres across and weighing 60 kilos (130 pounds), is powered by four jet engines and steered by the pilot’s body movements. It was designed by Rossy. Before taking off he said the main dangers were engine failure and losing control of the wing. "But there’s always plan B. I can ditch the wing and open the parachute. If I land in the water, there are people to come and get me," he told AFP by telephone.

 


Total votes: 0
Average(Out of 5): 0
Posted: 25 January 2010 - 0 comment(s) [ Comment ] - 0 trackback(s) [ Trackback ]
Category: Off-beat

 

Websites to expand your consciousness

www.Hayibo.com

The Onion theonion.com still the satirical newspaper of record.

B3TA b3ta.com beyond classification; its forum has spawned many memes... and trolls.

Lolcats icanhazcheezburger.com captioned cats and other animals.

PostSecret postsecret.blogspot.com notes of secrets sent by people who want them posted. So they are.

Passive-Aggressive Notes passiveaggressivenotes.com would it be too much trouble for you to have a look?


Total votes: 0
Average(Out of 5): 0
Posted: 30 March 2010 - 1 comment(s) [ Comment ] - 0 trackback(s) [ Trackback ]
Category: Off-beat

OK

 

After the long weekend, a little reflection on stuff is appropriate, necessary even.

 

Given the recent modest increase in tickertalk activity, maybe the attached shows where to from here?

 

Let's watch...

 

 


Total votes: 0
Average(Out of 5): 0
Posted: 8 April 2010 - 1 comment(s) [ Comment ] - 0 trackback(s) [ Trackback ]
Category: Off-beat

 

Humor: The noble public service of Goldman Sachs

 

Far from humbled by recent financial stumbles, Ron Rapacious offers a new line of derivatives: betting on future legal settlements.

By Steve Clifford of Flipside

 

Flip Side: Our guest today is Ron Rapacious, a Goldman Sachs partner. Ron, through September Goldman has set aside $16.7 billion to pay bonuses. How much do you expect to receive?

 

Rapacious: Only $20 to $25 million. They will probably screw me again.

 

FS: You deserve more?

 

RR: My department has already made $1.2 billion this year.

 

FS: What do you do to make so much money?

 

RR: Serving the public interest and spurring the American economy.

 

FS: How do you do that?

 

RR: By trading legal futures.

 

FS: What are legal futures?

 

RR: With advances in systems biology, DNA analysis, microfluidics, blood diagnostics, and nanotechnology, some diseases are becoming predictable and preventable. Therefore whenever one gets sick, one should sue. Someone — a doctor, a technician, a drug manufacturer, a tarot card reader, a motorcycle mechanic — should have predicted and prevented the disease. Such lawsuits are enormously expensive, requiring reams of depositions and testimony from expert witnesses for-hire — systems biologists, DNA analysts, microfluidians, blood diagnosticians, nanotechnologists, and other professionals paid to lie. To finance the lawsuits, lawyers sell off portions of the future settlement. Goldman Sachs buys, slices, dices, and leverages these future payment streams, mixing them in three types of publicly traded derivatives: CONS (Collateralized Obligation Notes), GYPS (Generalized Yearly Payment Securities), and SCAMS (Securitized Cumulatively Amortizing Monetized Securities).

 

FS: So you structure and issue CONS, GYPS, and SCAMS?

 

RR: Not me. A six year old could do that. Nonetheless, my shameless partners get bigger bonuses than I do for underwriting this garbage. Is there no justice in the world?

 

FS: Then what do you do?

 

RR: I trade GYPS, CONS, and SCAMS in the secondary market.

 

FS: How does trading complex derivative securities on the secondary market help society?

 

RR: It provides liquidity for buyers and sellers. Liquid secondary markets for complex derivative securities are the bedrock of American freedom and prosperity.

 

FS: How do you supply liquidity?

 

RR: Mostly I sell legal futures short. I bet that the price will go down and I can buy them back at a discount. Although being rated AAA, they are really trash. Thus far this year, we have made $700 million shorting legal futures.

 

FS: One part of Goldman issues these securities and another part shorts them? Isn’t this unethical?

 

RR: That not a word that we, at Goldman, understand. This is precisely what with did with subprime CMOs. We sold them to our valued clients, and then bought default swaps against them. This allowed us to escape the meltdown that killed Bear, Merrill, and Lehman.

 

FS: Goldman sold subprime CMOs to their clients and then bet against them? Now you are selling CONS, SCAMS, and GYPS to your clients and making $700 million by shorting them. Doesn’t this indicate that Goldman initially overcharged its clients?

 

RR: We should supply liquidity for free?

 

FS: But what about the clients?

 

RR: At Goldman, the clients always come first. We pride ourselves on taking care of our valued clients. That’s why we developed BOHICA, our new client service program. Whenever we think about the client, we think BOHICA.

 

FS: What does BOHICA stand for?

 

RR: Bend Over Here I Come Again. In the old days after we screwed a client, they would go to Merrill and Merrill would screw them; then they would go to Lehman and Lehman would screw them; then they would go to Bear, and Bear and would screw them; finally they would return to Goldman and we would screw them again. Now there is nowhere else to go. It’s BOHICA, BOHICA , BOHICA all day long.

 

FS: So you make your money by screwing your clients?

 

RR (exasperated): No. We make our money by assuring that markets are efficient, liquid, and transparent. Efficient, liquid, and transparent free markets are the bedrock of American freedom and prosperity.

 

FS: If markets were efficient, liquid, and transparent, how could a trader make money?

 

RR: A trader couldn’t. We trade only in markets where we have the edge, the inside track, the lock. Once we have squeezed all the profits out, the markets are again efficient. It is really a public service. Our way of giving something back.

 

FS: At the height of the financial crisis, Goldman became a bank so it could off load bad assets to the Fed. Now being a bank, is Goldman loaning money to American businesses to create jobs?

 

R: Not directly. We’re really not set up to do this nickel-dime stuff. However, by actively trading derivatives in the secondary market, we are indirectly benefiting every small business in the nation.

 

FS: Because actively traded derivative markets are the bedrock of American freedom and prosperity?

 

RR: How did you guess?

 

FS: Goldman then accepted $10 billion of TARP investments. Do you think you owe the something to the taxpayers and the government?

 

RR: Absolutely. We are very public-spirited company. Think of the public service performed by Goldman partners such as Bob Rubin, Steve Friedman, and Henry Paulson.

 

FS: Rubin and Freidman helped to deregulate financial markets and repeal the Glass-Steagall Act. Paulson not only loaned Goldman $10 billion. He loaned AIG $180 billion, knowing that if AIG went under, Goldman would go under.

 

RR: That demonstrates how public-spirited Goldman partners are. They weren’t just looking out for themselves. They were looking out for the entire financial sector.

 

FS: As top government policy makers should they have also been concerned about employment outside the financial sector?

 

RR: Yes. They should have helped remove government regulations that stifle job growth and full employment. For example, requiring honest citizens like me to pay Social Security for their nannies, yardmen, and cooks. We could have full employment by repealing the ban on indentured servitude.

 

FS: With a $20 million plus bonus, do you think you are overpaid?

 

RR: Overpaid? You want overpaid? Check out those pricks in our M&A department. Overpaid? How about Alex Rodriguez? That steroid junkie makes $28 million a year. That’s more than I make, and A-Rod would lose his ass trading legal futures.

 

FS: So you think you are fairly paid?

 

RR (wearily): I don’t think about it. Like all Goldman partners, I am not in this for the money. Public service is what motivates me. There are times I say, “The hell with it. Let someone else trade legal futures. Let someone else make $20 million.” But then I remember American freedom and prosperity depends on efficient markets for GYPS, SCAMS, and CONS, so I say “If not now, when? If not me, who? Certainly not those assholes on Goldman’s currency desk who love to steal my business and my $20 million bonus.”

 


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Posted: 6 May 2010 - 0 comment(s) [ Comment ] - 0 trackback(s) [ Trackback ]
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As stated so eloquently of champagne by Lily Bollinger of the eponymous brand:-

 

"I drink it when I'm happy and when I'm sad.

Sometimes I drink it when I'm alone.

When I have company I consider it obligatory.

I trifle with it if I'm not hungry and I drink it when I am.

Otherwise I never touch it, unless I'm thirsty."

 

 

tickertalk member John Newton http://www.tickertalk.co.za/profile.php?user=JohnN has got a nice snippet in the FM for his classy champagne importing business - see

 

http://www.fm.co.za/Article.aspx?id=106985 

 

or their actual website at

http://www.cuveesclassiques.co.za/

 

Cheers (the real kind this time!)

Stuart


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In the late 90s, when the world’s markets were supposedly red-hot, and New York was supposedly the world centre of diligence,  I remember suffering from cognitive dissonance when so many of my colleagues were heading home from Manhattan between noon and three pm on a Friday. I should have known then what is clear - a new economic miracle is available at low cost, according to 50-something London columnist Lucy Kellaway. The essence of her point – so little gets done on a Friday, that it makes huge business sense to get your week done by Thursday, and give the whole crew a long weekend, every weekend!
 
Cheers
Stuart
 
 
IN BRITAIN they are cutting about a million jobs. In France, they have axed the Bastille Day garden party. All governments are looking for ways to cut spending. But there is a better way that no one has yet considered: cut Fridays. By making Thursday the last day of the working week, 20% would be cut off the wage bill, yet, miraculously, productivity would hardly fall. The seed for this beautifully simple idea was sown in my mind quite unexpectedly. I was reading random news items on the BBC website when I came upon a survey conducted by Debenhams, the UK retailer, showing how much trouble people take over their appearance in the mornings.
 
On Mondays, the average woman spends 72 minutes blow- drying her hair, applying make- up and deciding on the right outfit. By Tuesday she is a little less meticulous and, by Friday, she spends only 19 minutes getting herself ready. For men, the pattern is similar. The first shock is the sheer amount of pre-work grooming that appears to be going on. My morning routine — a considerably more elaborate affair than it used to be — takes rather less long than the average man spends on his most slap- dash day. More interesting than the amount of time, however, is the distribution. We start every week eager to put our best, well- shod foot forward, but four days later have lost heart and are practically pitching up to work in bin liners. If this attitude is mirrored in our attitude to work, then the current pattern of working five days a week is clearly not the right one.
 
I have tried to marshall some facts but found no recent studies on how productivity varies over the week. All I could find was a survey of cotton pickers in 1922 showing that on Monday output was a bit depressed as workers had got out of the swing of cotton picking over the weekend. It improved midweek, only to slump to its lowest level on Friday. The same pattern is borne out by a scantier poll from Accountemps, the US employment agency. Office workers were asked which day of the week they got most done. Most said Tuesday was the most productive; only 3% said Friday. Maybe the absence of proper numbers doesn’t matter: we know the answer anyway. We work badly on Friday because we are tired and because we are happy before the weekend.
 
Like many women with children, I’ve been living the new model for years. At first it was strange adapting: the week felt like a stool with one of its legs removed. But then I became more efficient. Parkinson’s Law did its magic. The pattern of four days rather than five feels better, happier and more natural. It is perfectly possible to work relatively hard for four days at a stretch; there is no temptation to shift Friday’s sloppiness onto Thursday. In fact, on Thursdays I enjoy what the productivity theorists call an “end spurt”, trying to get things finished before the lovely, long weekend.
 
There are all sorts of other advantages to the new pattern. There is less temptation to skive or to pretend to be ill. And, to the extent to which one is happier, there is less temptation to engage in pointless, expensive job-hopping. These benefits were remarked upon a long time ago; what is surprising is that no one has taken note. In 1930, WK Kellogg decided to cut the working week of his corn flakes makers from 40 to 30 hours. He declared: “The efficiency and morale of our employees is so increased, the accident and insurance rates are so improved, that we can afford to pay as much for six hours as we formerly paid for eight.”
 
Messing with the days of the week has been done before — without much success. In 1929, Stalin tried to abolish the weekend, but the problem then was that he was trying to move the goalposts the wrong way. He was forgetting that humans and machines are rather different. The hunter-gatherer knew better than Stalin what was what, and worked only about two-and-a-half days a week to feed his family. But he was only working to get food. Had he also been trying to pay the mortgage and save for an iPad, he might have found that the rhythm of Monday to Thursday suited him down to the ground.
 
Don’t cut jobs, get rid of Fridays
 
LUCY KELLAWAY ©2010 The Financial Times Limited

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Some might feel that American humour is an oxymoron, but this parody is worth a look

 

Cheers

Stuart

 

 


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With market manipulation in the foreground as QE2 sails into a frosty reception, here is a clear exposition of tax cuts and their impact.

For some reason often mis-attributed to David R. Kamerschen, Professor of Economics.

 

 

Suppose that every evening, 10 men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to R100.

 

If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this :- The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing. The fifth would pay R1. The sixth would pay R3. The seventh would pay R7. The eighth would pay R12. The ninth would pay R18. The tenth man (the richest) would pay R59.

 

So, that's what they decided to do....... The 10 men drank in the bar every evening and were quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner said, "Since you are all such good customers, I'm going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by R20". Drinks for the 10 men would now cost just R80. The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes. So the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free.

 

But what about the other six men? The paying customers? How could they divide the R20 windfall so that everyone would get his fair share? They realised that R20 divided by six is R3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody's share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to drink his beer. So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man's bill by a higher percentage the poorer he was, to follow the principle of the tax system they had been using, and he proceeded to work out the amounts he suggested that each should now pay. Therefore, the fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing. The sixth now paid R2 instead of R3 (33% saving). The seventh now paid R5 instead of R7 (28% saving). The eighth now paid R9 instead of R12 (25% saving). The ninth now paid R14 instead of R18 (22% saving). The tenth now paid R49 instead of R59 (16% saving). Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to drink for free.

 

But, once outside the bar, the men began to compare their savings. "I only got a rand out of the R20 saving," declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man, “but he got R10!" "Yeah, that's right," exclaimed the fifth man. "I only saved a rand too. It's unfair - he got 10 times more benefit than me!" "That's true!" shouted the seventh man. "Why should he get R10 back, when I got only R2? The wealthy always win!" "Wait a minute," yelled the first four men in unison, "we didn't get anything at all. This new tax system exploits the poor!" The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.

 

The next night the tenth man didn't show up for drinks, so the nine sat down and had their beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn't have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill! And that, boys and girls, journalists, labour unions and government ministers, is how our tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes will naturally get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore. In fact, they might start drinking overseas, where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.

 

For those who understand, no explanation is needed. For those who do not understand, no explanation is possible.   


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Tax cuts - 101 is absurdly simplistic.

 

Here is how it really works...

 

In the US (and throughout most of the rest of the world), the richest man would have paid off a politician for $10 to get a beer subsidy of $30 per night (to create jobs for the bartender). Of this $30, $10 of course would have covered the lobbying expense, $10 would go in his own pocket, $1 would go to the bartender to keep his mouth shut, and $9 would go to the bar. The Bar would give him a kickback of $10 each night for bringing in his 9 buddies to make them into alcoholics, repeat customers for life. The Bar would then raise their prices to $130 citing inflation and higher taxes. The richest man would then secure his finances in a Dutch Holding Company managed by a trust in Ireland which invests in Chase and Bank of America. He would then explain to his buddies that he is as poor as the rest of them and can’t afford to pay himself as he cries into his beer that night citing his latest financial report which shows him to be broke on paper so that he doesn’t have to pay taxes in the United States ever again.

Citing his former generosity, the other nine men would agree that the tenth man can now pay nothing like the 4 poorest.

The others would then be faced with an adjusted amount of
* The fifth would pay $3.
* The sixth would pay $10.
* The seventh would pay $22.
* The eighth would pay $38.
* The ninth would pay $57.
 
Now the group would recognize that this is not fair and so would lobby the Government for an Earned Drinking Credit for the Poorest men. The government would oblige and give the four poorest men $2 each, but they would tax the 5th - 9th men $2 each as well.

* 4 men receive a total of $8 and 5 men pay $10 in total.
The adjusted amounts would then look like this for all 10
* First Receives $2 pays $2 | Net 0
* Second Receives $2 pays $2 | Net 0
* Third Receives $2 pays $2 | Net 0
* Fourth Receives $2 pays $2 | Net 0
* Fifth Pay $1 to bar pays $2 to tax | net paid $3
* Sixth Pay $8 to bar; pays $2 to tax | net paid $10
* Seventh Pay $20 to bar; pays $2 to tax | net paid $22
* Eighth Pay $36 to bar pays $2 to tax | net paid $38
* Ninth Pay $55 to bar; pays $2 to tax | net paid $57
* Tenth Man (Richest): Tax Credit Received: $30 ; Pays $10 to politician; $1 to bartender; Receives $10 from Bar
NET RECEIVED $29 per night and free beer
 
Of course this can not go on forever as the sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth men can’t afford to pay those rates forever. So they start paying with their credit cards.
 
The tenth man would start demanding a higher Return on Investment from his investment managers, who would be hearing similar requests from all of their other investors. They would then expand their holdings into mortgaged back securities where a good deal more profit could be made. Meanwhile the Fifth through ninth men are racking up debt on their credit cards from drinking every night, their health care costs are increasing as their livers fail, and they are also spending more on gasoline as they drink and drive as they can no longer afford to cab it. Ultimately, they end up refinancing their credit cards into their house where they still have equity. The mortgage broker promises them a 4.9% interest rate on the refinance which sounds good as their credit card interest rate is up to 21%. The broker promises them that they will not have to verify their income, provide W2’s nor copies of their tax paper work.

Their mortgage broker doesn’t tell them, but lies about the value of their house in order to refinance their credit and help them avoid paying private mortgage insurance. At their current income levels, and without verifying their income, their mortgage would be classified as Sub Prime and the interest rate would be 10.9%. The mortgage officer lies about their income levels as well to boost the internal credit scoring mechanism and get them financed, not at 4.9% but 5.9%, which is better than 10.9% and happens to pay the mortgage broker a higher commission than a loan at 4.9% that is not sub prime.
The mortgage broker also promises them a payment of $900 per month, but fails to mention the balloon payment of $50,000 in the 5th year and doesn’t mention the adjustable rates in year 3.
 
The men separately show up with a hangover and sun glasses on the date of their close for their new mortgages. They trust their broker and do not read the paperwork in detail flipping and signing almost as fast as they could raise a beer bottle to their lips. The loan closes, the mortgage broker gets a fat commission, the bank securitizes the mortgages by selling them to an Irish Hedge Fund and pockets collectively a billion dollars in profits that year.

The hedge fund holds the investment for a year, shows a 35% gain on paper and starts selling shares to retirement funds and 401ks in the US that the Sixth through 9th men just happen to have the rest of their life savings sitting in. The tenth man sees the writing on the wall, literally, in magic marker on a stall in the restroom of the bar.

He pulls his money out of the Irish Hedge fund invested in real estate and invests in Gold at $600 a troy ounce.

Meanwhile, he lobbies congress to tighten bankruptcy laws for credit cards in which he still has a sizable investment. Congress tightens bankruptcy laws and makes it impossible to absolve credit card debt, forcing people into chapter 13 where they must pay off the debt within 3 years or go to debtors prison where they can work it off in 7 years.

Gas prices are still going up so the President ignores a minor terrorist threat, allows the terrorists to blow up a major building and then goes to war with the terrorists home country where there is no oil, and simultaneously with a country that sits on 10% of the worlds oil reserves that has a decimated military infrastructure.
Oil prices shoot through the roof with Gold following close behind. The President, whose family comes from oil barons, makes a fortune and become famous at their skull and bones country club outside of Yale.

Meanwhile our famous 10 guys, start paying even more money at the pump. The first 4 guys end up taking second jobs working at Wal-Mart and have to give up drinking at the bar so that they can try and beat their teenage kids out of a promotion. The fifth and sixth guys get foreclosed upon. They were forced to stop paying their mortgage payments so that they could pay their mandatory credit card payments as required by the new bankruptcy law.

The seventh, eighth and ninth men all previously traded up their homes for McMansions that they can not afford with interest only payments of $2300 a month. When foreclosures start happening their plans on flipping their McMansions and cashing in on the equity slips through their fingers. To make matters worse seven and eight get laid off from the companies they work for when their jobs get outsourced to China. The ninth man keeps his job at a law firm, but fails to notice that his 401k fund is slipping and has lost 10% in the last year. Things are looking up as his law firm seems on the edge of landing a big contract with Merrill Lynch.

Then real estate crashes and the sub-prime mortgage scandal erupts. Banks start dropping like flies to be saved not by the cash strapped government that can barely afford the war for oil any longer, but by China. Oil and Gold soar, Gold hits $900 a troy ounce and Oil hits $130 a barrel (about the same amount for 10 rounds of beer prior to the crash). Beer prices hold steady for the first few months, but then start to edge up as gas prices for delivery creep into the bar owners expenses.

Then the first four men one night remember their favorite bar. They sneak around back around 4:30 am and steal 50 empty kegs that just happen to be made of pure aluminum. Those kegs are now worth about half the value of a keg that is full in scrap metal prices or about $80. They are not stupid and don’t want to get caught turning the kegs in at the dump where the police are already looking for keg thieves. So they head out to the closed down manufacturing plant where they used to work. They start a big fire, and melt down the aluminum into big messy aluminum splashes on the cement.

They turn in the aluminum for cash and get caught up on their back alimony and child support before heading back to work at Wal-mart where they now work for their teen age kids that beat them out for that promotion earlier in the month because their job skills weren’t as good as recent high school graduates. They then begin dreaming of new ways to find aluminum alimony allowances
.
Meanwhile, the banks and mortgage companies lobby congress spending about $10,000 a head in an election year to bail out the economy. Congress provides the major banks with government backed loans to refinance the bad sub-prime loans so that the government can personally guarantee those bad loans. They also put $100 billion of actual cash into the hands of Americans hoping to stimulate the economy.
Americans however, are all in debt up to their eye balls and use the extra $1200 they receive to make 2-3 credit card payments. They take the $300 for each kid and buy groceries for the month and then they start worrying about next month.

The banks get away free as they have Chinese financing now and no bad loans as they have refinanced them over to the US Government. The US government had to print more money to pay for all of these actions and so Gold goes up to $1500 a troy ounce.
 
The tenth man is now worth Billions and moves to Costa Rica to retire taking the new trophy wife that used to be the bartenders girl friend with him.

The first four men end up going to county prison for 3 months for stealing aluminum dog crap receptacles after running out of kegs to steal.
The fifth and sixth men end up living in an apartment and then homeless after they lose their jobs at Wal-Mart.
The seventh and eighth men whom we previously left hanging in our story after they lost their jobs and ability to pay for their homes, end up losing their homes, and their kids. They and their spouses are each convicted of mortgage fraud by the FBI in a major sting operation after it is revealed that they lied on their mortgage applications. Their mortgage brokers who actually did the paper work cop a plea agreement in exchange for immunity with the Feds and rat out each of their unsuspecting customers.
The ninth man ends up losing his entire retirement fund which took a big hit as the dollar rapidly plummeted into free fall. He ends up refinancing his own house under a government backed loan for $650,000. Unfortunately, a tornado comes through that winter in a freak coincidence and levels the home. FEMA promises to provide assistance but never shows up and the ninth man freezes to death attempting to salvage the shreds of his belongings. His home insurance policy refuses to pay as they claim that his house was over valued and then they prove it with comparables studies from his own mortgage broker's database.
The tenth man ends up dumping his new bride a year later, moving back to the states a year after that when the US appears to have hit rock bottom and he leads up a Chinese real estate investment initiative in the states. He makes another $10 billion in ten years, but is then executed in Beijing for espionage.
Meanwhile, the bar tender goes on to win American Idol and sleep with Paula Abdul. They are now blissfully happy, doped up on anti-psychotics, and the biggest two idiots the world has ever seen.
 
Note this article is not written to refute the article titled ‘How Tax Cuts Work’ by David R Kamerschen. That is because David R Kamerschen refutes having ever written the original! This is just an article to expand on the concept of the original article written by unknown viral writers.

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Posted: 21 January 2011 - 0 comment(s) [ Comment ] - 0 trackback(s) [ Trackback ]
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This Recession is hitting everyone.........

I got a pre-declined credit card in the mail...

Wives are having sex with their husbands because they can't afford batteries...

CEO's are now playing miniature golf...

Exxon-Mobil and JPMorganChase each laid off 12 Congressmen...

A stripper was killed when her audience showered her with rolls of pennies while she danced...

I saw a Mormon polygamist with only one wife...

If the bank returns your check marked "Insufficient Funds," you call them and ask if they meant you or them...

McDonald's is selling the 1/4 ouncer...

Angelina Jolie adopted a child from America ...

Parents in Beverly Hills fired their nannies and learned their children's names...

My cousin had an exorcism but couldn't afford to pay for it, and they re-possessed her!

A truckload of Americans were caught sneaking into Mexico...

A picture is now only worth 200 words...

When Bill and Hillary travel together, they now have to share a room...

The Treasure Island casino in Las Vegas is now managed by Somali pirates...

Congress says they are looking into this Bernard Madoff scandal. Oh Great! The guy who made $50 Billion
disappear is being investigated by the people who made $1.5 Trillion disappear!


 


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alt


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Posted: 21 June 2011 - 1 comment(s) [ Comment ] - 0 trackback(s) [ Trackback ]
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It may be weird, but a mega-successful hedge fund manager, one John Paulson  , has just lost a lot of money in his fund by buying into an over-reported forestry asset Sino Forest . On finding (thanks to someone else's undue diligence) that the plantations and production were less extensive than he had thought, he dumped the shares, and took a fat loss. Well if US$720m is a fat loss - maybe you see it as a small tactical reverse.

 

( Read more at http://www.tickertalk.co.za/blog.php?user=vestact&blogentry_id=3048 )

 

And he isn't the first, or the last.

 

Remember Leisurenet? The Health and Raquet Club company, with its board dripping with CA(SA) designations? By mechanically following accrual rules of accounting, they telescoped multi-year contract revenues into the year in which the contract was initiated. This meant that the top line of the company's financials was way overstated. And so was the growth. And investors followed the growth story - letting their gullibility steer. Why did so few just ask:- if they have x gyms, and y turnover, then given the subs per month that means people will have to be jogging nine per treadmill 24 hours a day to make the maths work? Something doesn't smell proper here.

 

I think a reason is that once a few people start talking positively (or negatively for that matter) about an investment proposition, many of us are happy to follow the "group think" - and neglect to do our own work. Surely common sense would have and should have saved Paulson and his clients? And should have limited the scope of the Leisurenet debacle?

 

But we are all a bit gullible.

 

To gauge the extent of your gullibility, take this quick test...and then you may like to review some of your your investment rules...

Gullibility Test

 

 

Cheers

Stuart

 

 


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