Monday, August 31, 2015

First World Problem of the Day

August 31, 2015
Minecraft billionaire complains about being rich

In a series of tweets over the weekend, the video-game designer bemoaned the loneliness, isolation and lack of motivation that large wealth can create.


1. Get a mirror.
2. Start each day by saying:

I deserve good things, I am entitled to my share of happiness. I refuse to beat myself up. I am an attractive person. I am fun to be with. - Stuart Smalley

On the off chance that doesn't work, you could always try living well below your means and you could stop telling people you are a billionaire.

Dennis Gartman vs. Donald Rumsfeld

August 31, 2015
Gartman: I'm confused, but still buying stocks

I think this morning's action is as confusing as any as we have seen, all predicating upon whether the Fed shall or shall not move in September, whether it can or cannot move in September. And listening to the various comments from the monetary authorities in Jackson Hole Wyoming, I'm still confused as to whether they can or cannot move in September. - Dennis Gartman, August 31, 2015

The message is that there are no "knowns." There are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say there are things that we now know we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we do not know we don't know. - Donald Rumsfeld, June 6, 2002

Your opinion may vary, but I believe that Rumsfeld won this round. If nothing else, he was much more concise. ;)

Automated Inbound Phone Tree Investment Idea

August 25, 2015
4 Things Clients Want From Advisors That Robos Can’t Do: IMCA

...83% wanted their advisor to help them “stay calm when the market drops.”

Thank you for calling Stay Calm Automated Market Solutions.

Would you like to pay 99 cents for basic financial advice? Please press 1 for yes, 2 for no.

You have pressed 1 for yes. Has the market dropped? Please press 1 for yes, 2 for no.

You have pressed 1 for yes. Please stay calm. Would you like to pay $1.99 for advanced financial advice? Please press 1 for yes, 2 for no.

You have pressed 1 for yes. Do not panic. Nobody ever made a dime by panicking. Would you like to pay $2.99 for expert financial advice? Please press 1 for yes, 2 for no.

You have pressed 1 for yes. Although past performance is not necessarily indicative of future returns, history suggests that stocks in the United States, over the long term, may only go up. Would you like to pay $3.99 to speak to a global financial customer support specialist? Please press 1 for yes, 2 for no.

You have pressed 1 for yes. Due to unprecedented call volume during this period of extreme market uncertainty, all of our international call centers are currently assisting other customers. Current wait time is estimated to be 438 minutes. Would you like to pay $4.99 to hold? Please press 1 for yes, 2 for no.

You have pressed 1 for yes. Thank you for holding. Your call is important to us. Please enjoy the following premium advertisements from our partners while you wait.

Goldman Brings a Knife to a Falling Knife Fight

August 31, 2015
Goldman takes a knife to China GDP forecasts

The more gloomy assessment by Goldman is the latest setback for China which has had a tumultuous few weeks.

Quote of the Month

August 31, 2015
Origin Energy's weird and wacky $900m hybrid was created to confuse

Warning. If you wish to believe that our capital markets are built on solid logical foundations rather than mind-altering Escher-like feedback loops that distort your perception, then read no further.

Dammit!! I kept reading.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Train'd to Use the Rear-View Mirror!

August 29, 2015
CNBC: Don't panic in stormy market, experts say—focus on fundamentals

While looking in the rear-view is key, Lassus reminded investors that planning for financial security long-term doesn't stop at retirement. He suggested investors take a bigger picture view when assessing their returns and potential risks.

August 25, 2015
Truck crashes into TRAX train in West Jordan

The driver told police he was looking into his rear-view mirror and when he looked back up, the train crossing arms were down.

He then went through one arm and hit the side of the train.

Pun intended.

A Future Angie's Delist in the Making?

August 28, 2015
Google Tests Home-Services Search, Taking on Yelp, Angie’s List

Google Inc. wants to help you find your next plumber or home cleaner.

Angie's List Stock Price

07/13/13: $27.78
08/28/15: $5.21

That's an 81% loss from the 2013 peak.

Angie's List 2014 Annual Report

We have incurred annual net losses each year since inception.

It's not looking too good for Angie's List investors these days. You might consider paying them a membership fee just to write up an "unbiased" review of their performance. Just a thought.

For the record, I have no desire to become a paid member of Angie's List. I wouldn't trust their "reviews you can trust" any more than I would trust the free reviews I can sometimes trust over at Yelp.

What can I say? I'm just not all that trusting, especially around those who make it a point to say that I can trust them (politicians, new car dealers, used car dealers, door-to-door salesmen, telemarketers, asset managers, stock analysts, central bankers, and so on).

Source Data:
Yahoo Finance: ANGI Historical Prices

Quote of the Day

August 29, 2015
Without suing, owner is locked in a losing battle with HOA board

My home has become a paper jungle of file cabinets, faxes, copy machines and chalkboards. All my savings have been spent fighting this association, and I lost my job because of it. I want to sue the board but can't afford it. How did I get in this mess and what can I do about it?

I remember attending a homeowner association meeting a few years ago, near the peak of the housing bubble. Homeowners had become especially fixated on property values, as you might expect. I sat next to one of my neighbors. In front of him was a large thick binder filled with pictures of things his neighbors did that annoyed him.

He wished to share his pictures with me, and I was more than a bit curious. My neighbors had rarely done things to annoy me. One by one, he flipped the pages. Each picture became a puzzle for me to solve. I recall a picture of garbage can. Turns out that this particular neighbor left the can out too long. Oh, the humanity. There were many more pictures of similar things that he found equally horrific.

At some point, he flipped to a page showing a metal sign in a person's yard that showed a dog with an arched back and poop on the ground below it. The sign also had a red circle with a line through it. Finally! I understood exactly what he was talking about! That sign did seem a bit over the top and more than a bit tacky. I was just about to agree with him when he told me something that really surprised me. It was his sign. He apparently felt the need to put it in his yard to discourage the neighbors from letting their pets use the bathroom on his property. Hahaha! I therefore opted to keep my mouth shut.

Was he a bit crazy? Yeah, maybe. I will say this for him though. To the best of my knowledge, he did not turn his home into a paper jungle of file cabinets, faxes, copy machines and chalkboards. He did not spend his life savings on his obsession, nor did he lose his job over it.

Moral of the story? Do yourself a favor. Don't let homeowner association politics consume your life. Otherwise, you might someday find yourself asking the following question too.

How did I get in this mess and what can I do about it?

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Investment Idea of the Day: Crowdfunding the Needy

August 26, 2015
CNBC: Offering alternatives to lofty retirement dreams

They were shocked, because they'd done so much correctly—worked hard, lived within their means and consistently saved for retirement, putting away $2.3 million between retirement and non-qualified investments.

There are so many needy people in the world.

For example, take Matthew and Elizabeth. They are in a serious bind. He's 66 and they have just been told by their financial advisor that $2.3 million just isn't enough to retire on.

Here's what we can do to help. If we were to raise an additional $2.3 million then they might have enough. It would give them an enormous safety buffer. We could structure it like an annuity. They could invest the $2.3 million in us and we would make payments to them as if they had $4.6 million. It would double their cash flow for the rest of their lives!

So how could we win? Well, at the time of their passing we would stop paying them, sort of like how an annuity investment works. Therefore, if they pass away quickly then we would still have most of their $2.3 million.

In an effort to make the world a better place, I'm therefore looking for qualified investors. What are the qualifications you might ask? It's quite simple really. Watched every episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents and Columbo? That's a plus. Have you been convicted of murder? That's also a plus. Have you murdered but did not actually get caught? Huge plus. Any experience with making it look like an accident? You are at the top of the list, let me assure you.

Shame on me. Bad Mark! Bad! Bad! ;)

In all seriousness, how many more sob stories about multi-millionaire retirees must we endure? It's enough to make me want to bash my own brains in. Don't believe me? Well...

Forehead. Desk. Whack. Whack. Whack.

Could Robots Replace the Fed?

August 29, 2015
Yellen ally pours cold water on rule-based monetary policy

On Saturday a Yellen ally and former adviser at the Fed delivered a provocative retort: the economic models underpinning those simple rules don't work that well, and the best policy decisions come when central bankers look beyond those models to the unexpected forces shaping the economy.

Could Fed robots, using artificial intelligence and rule-based stock market valuation algorithms, have spotted the growing insanity in dotcom stocks? Perhaps.

Could Fed robots have popped the Nasdaq bubble before it became the Nasdaq Hindenberg? Perhaps.

Could Fed robots have spotted the growing insanity of mortgage refinancing offers heading into the Great Recession? Perhaps.

Could Fed robots have popped the housing bubble before it became the housing Hindenberg? Perhaps.

Could Fed robots ever truly replace human Fed monetary policy makers? Probably not. It would be extremely difficult to program a self-learning and adaptive robot to make the exact same epic monetary policy mistakes that a group of isolated and detached ivory tower thinkers could make behind closed doors.

That said, advancements in artificial intelligence using chaos theory could make it possible for robots to replace the Fed at some point in the distant future. And when I say distant future, I really mean early Monday morning just before the markets open, lol. Sigh.

The Crock of @#$% Report v.028

August 28, 2015
Robots will steal our jobs, but they’ll give us new ones

But the one thing it doesn't do, says J.P. Gownder, an analyst with the Boston-based tech research firm Forrester, is steal jobs.

Robots will steal our jobs but the one thing they won't do is steal jobs.

This has got to go down as the easiest Crock of @#$% Report ever! Woohoo!

Gownder predicts that new automation will cause a net loss of only 9.1 million jobs by 2025.

I might be wrong when I call it a crock of @#$%, but my math indicates that 9.1 million is greater than zero. If so, then robots will be taking some jobs away. I know. Call me crazy.

Humans must build these machines and program them and repair them.

Build them? Hello? Automated factories?
Program them? Hello? Artificial intelligence?
Repair them? Hello? Field Repair Bot 74A?

I saved the best for last.

You're going to see doctors taking more of the role that involves the personal interaction with patients and less of the role of trying to keep huge amounts of evidence in there head.

First, you did not just say "there head" did you? Writers should keep "their heads" clear. I will be the first to admit that my grammar isn't always perfect, by any stretch of the imagination, but good grief. A robot would have never made that mistake. That makes it so much harder to believe what you say!

Second, I will eat my weight in gummy bears by day's end if the ultimate goal of hospitals and insurance companies is to turn highly compensated doctors into chat specialists. Put another way, I doubt very much that I will ever see "Extra Chatting" as an allowed charge on my insurance company's explanation of benefits.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Retailers' Shifty Strategy

August 27, 2015
Retailers shift strategy to lure teen customers

A major component for Abercrombie’s turnaround hinges on branding and merchandising, with the company announcing just prior to the earnings announcement that a new brand leadership team had been put in place.

Mark, do not go there. You will regret it.

They are trying to lure teens? They want new leadership? The former spokesperson of Subway is available. And when it comes to fashion, orange is the new black! Woohoo!

Dammit. I went there. Shame on me. Bad Mark! Bad! Bad!

Evil Government Regulators Just Destroyed More High Paying Jobs in Arizona

August 27, 2015
FTC: Vemma shut down for running pyramid scheme

1. The Federal Trade Commission said Wednesday that Vemma Nutrition has been temporarily shut down for operating a pyramid scheme that promised college students riches...
2. The consumer protection agency said that Vemma told recruits that they could make as much as $50,000 per week selling its nutritional beverage Vemma, energy drink Verge or protein shake Bod-e.
3. Vemma earned $200 million a year in 2013 and 2014, according to the FTC.

If college students could make up to $2.6 million each year ($50,000 x 52) to help pay their escalating tuition expenses, and the founders of Vemma could earn up to $200 million per year to live luxurious nutritional beverage executive lifestyles, then what was the harm?

Why must there be so many government regulations? Why can't we just let everyone enjoy all this wonderful prosperity?

Sarcasm, it isn't just for breakfast anymore.

Quote of the Day

As seen on the Internet today:

Donald trump is the best thing that has happened to US politics since sliced bread! - jr

Very few people realize just how much the invention of sliced bread improved US politics. Many would not expect a strong connection between sliced bread and politics but that is simply not the case. For those unaware, please allow me to enlighten you.

Sliced Bread

Sliced bread is a loaf of bread that has been sliced with a machine and packaged for convenience. It was first sold in 1928, advertised as "the greatest forward step in the baking industry since bread was wrapped". This led to the popular phrase, "the greatest thing since sliced bread".

The invention of sliced bread, in 1928, along with other rapid advancements in factory automation, ushered in a whole new era of "Great" political things, especially over the next few years or so.

It led to the abandonment of the gold standard. It also led to the creation of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, Homeowners Loan Corporation, Tennessee Valley Authority, Agricultural Adjustment Act, National Industrial Recovery Act, Public Works Administration, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Glass–Steagall Act, Securities Act of 1933, Civil Works Administration, Social Security Act, Fair Labor Standards Act, and so on, and so on. Yes, the invention of the automated sliced bread machine helped create a really big political New Deal. Thanks Great Depression!

In sharp contrast, Trump's "new deal" will build us the Great Trump Wall! I just hope it will include gift shops where Trump hats and Trump bottled water will be sold. And maybe, just maybe, the Great Trump Wall will be built with a mighty golden throne where a modern day Pharoah might sit. One can dream.

A Cunning Plan to Earn 9% Returns

August 28, 2015
Where you can get 9% returns outside of stocks

1. Since 2009, average net annual returns for investors who lent money through Lending Club and Prosper Marketplace, two of the largest peer-to-peer lending platforms for consumers in the U.S., have ranged from 5 percent for its most creditworthy borrowers to to 9 percent for its subprime borrowers.

2. Borrowers receive money directly from investors, both individual and institutional, while online marketplaces, such as Lending Club and Prosper, take a fee from issuing the loan. Both Lending Club and Prosper charge investors a 1 percent annual fee.

The Cunning Plan

1. Create list of the most subprime borrowers.
2. Call psychic hotline to weed out the riskiest.
3. Lend them the money.
4. Call Janet Yellen. Tell her to end the business cycle and prevent all future recessions.
5. Summon Lucifer.
6. Sell soul. Sign contract in blood.
7. Perform human sacrifices to guarantee timely interest payments.
8. Use portion of interest payments to pay the 1% annual fee.
9. Summon Lucifer again.
10. Use portion of interest payments to buy back soul. (This may require tricking him.)
11. Repeat.

Easy 9% returns lending to subprime borrowers, baby. That's what I'm talking about.

CNBC May Save Your Life Today

August 28, 2015
CNBC: Your ground beef contains…what?!

A recent report by the nonprofit Consumer Reports claims solid evidence "that ground beef can make you seriously sick, particularly when it's cooked at rare or medium-rare temperatures under 160° F."

Undercooked meat is dangerous...what?!

Cutting Edge Factory Automation

Thursday, August 27, 2015

StarKist Those Fraudulent Profits Goodbye

August 27, 2015
StarKist settles canned tuna lawsuit; consumers can get $25 or $50 in fish

Though StarKist Co. denies any wrongdoing, it settled the suit by offering to pay consumers either $25 in cash or $50 in fish.

I claim they are lying when they deny any wrongdoing. It is wrong to put less fish in a can than the legal standard.

Filing a false claim would be perjury.

What if I simply denied any wrongdoing? Wouldn't that make it okay?

We get all our tuna at Costco. It's Chicken of the Sea, so we won't be filing a claim.

If you bought even one StarKist 5-ounce can of chunk light or solid white tuna, in oil or in water, between Feb. 19, 2009 and Oct. 31, 2014, then you are entitled to a fairly hefty sum as compensation. Don't worry about finding your receipt. Ironically enough, they're using the honor-system. Go figure.

The Real Reason for Today's Stock Market Rally

August 27, 2015
CNN: New words in the dictionary? Awesomesauce!

You can pretend the word won't cheer you up, but deep down, we all know the truth.

It's virtually impossible to have a bad day if someone says awesomesauce to you! Just admit it! Hahaha!

I am NOT using the sarcasm label on this post unless someone can miraculously disprove my theory and/or the stock market ends the day in the red.

Thanks for stopping by! May your day be filled with awesomesauce!! :)

Quote of the Day

August 27, 2015
Trump Talks Bush, Bible and White Supremacist Backers

I refer you to the comments:

The problem with america is politically correctness and trying to brainwash, dumb down and controling the minds of the american people. it all starts with the racist mind controlling media. america's elites want a president that they can get in their pockets that is brought and paid for. no other candidates has done what trump has done and that is paid for his own presidential campaigning. trump is a threat to the right and left establishment. both are the same coin but different sizes. the media is so corrupted that now americans are begaining to see that most of what is in the media are all lies , to control the minds of the masses. the media created racism, the media tell you who to like and who to hate. the media uses deceitful charts, graphs, statistics, left leaning experts, scentists, etc to keep americans under control and dumb down. nothing changes for the american people. take the black ghettoes, poor schoolings, mass incarcerations, drugs being dumped in black communiities and liquor stores, broken families, high unemployment, welfare , entitlements, freebie and handouts, etc, all these things are done deliberately by our leaders. this is done to make certain people feel like they made it in society, that they are superior and that black people are inferior. we spend billions of dollars a years on cats and dogs grooming them yet we will not spend a dime cleaning up and buiilding our black communities. trump has exposed them that is in power. that they talk about wantiing to fix america's society but has not done anything but lied to the american people and are going around and round in ciircles like a rat in a cage. the elite media will do all in it's power to destroy trump. because trump is allowing americans to take their power from tyranny. trump knows that the greatest threat to all americans is illegal immigration. america needs a wall , without walls we are unprotected. it is like not locking your front door and it is filled with wealth. illegals are taking americans jobs and keeping down wages, american is filled with illegal aliens problems. welfare and help for the poor should only be temporary, before an illegal alien can get any help they must be in america for one year. no jobs, housing, and any other support for illegal aliens. american must follow the immigration laws that are on the books. but the wall must be build. americans of all races, creed and cultures must stand by mr. Trump with all they got. if america fail mr. Trump america is doomed, it is lost as we know it. mr.trump will go through hell and high water, he will be lied on called a racist, spit on , cursed out, tricked, scorned, try to be manipulated. mr.trump is like christ when he was in the desert for 40 ays, and satan offered him this world. and christ when he was being crucified and all his disciples has betrayed him. we are the disciples and got another change to follow the light. if we lose trump we are doomed and may not get this opportunity again. trump can not be brought. jorge ramo's has sold his soul to the elites. they send him to bring down trump and trump recognized who this demon was. Megin kelly, mc cain, lindsey graham, etc are all brought and paid for demons. trump 2016. - Annie Hall

Woody Allen called. He wants his paragraphs back.

Shame on me. Bad Mark! Bad! Bad!

Only a 99.7% Chance?

August 27, 2015
ALBERT EDWARDS: There's a 99.7% chance we're in a bear market

In his note, Edwards references a model developed by his colleague Andrew Lapthorne, which incorporates macroeconomic and fundamental equity variables, and which currently indicates a 99.7% probability that we are in a bear market.

I have a doomsday model of my own that I am currently using. It's based on 100 years of historical data. I can say with 100.0% accuracy that no asteroid or comet at least 60 meters in diameter will ever strike our planet. Of course, I could be wrong. There could be a flaw in my model as new data emerges. Anything interesting happen in 1908?

In all seriousness, I'm trying to remember the last time I was 99.7% sure about anything. I remember thinking I was pretty sure that I could pry open a stuck weed whacker with a nearby Phillips screwdriver once. I still have a small scar in the shape of a plus sign from that one. ;)

How Many Pollocks Does It Take to Replace an American Worker?

Trick question. A pollock is either a marine fish or a famous dead painter. Granted, some might argue that they would still be fine replacements for their current bosses, lol. Sigh.

If you came here looking for an insensitive Polish joke, then you will be sorely disappointed. The joke is actually on us this time.

August 27, 2015
UPDATE 1-Goldman Sachs to hire several hundred people in Warsaw

The decision follows moves by Swiss banking giants UBS and Credit Suisse to expand their operation centres in Poland, seeking to benefit from the country's relatively inexpensive and skilled labour force.

November 9, 2009
Goldman Sachs’ Blankfein on Banking: ‘Doing God’s Work’

And God said unto him, seek the relatively inexpensive and skilled labor in faraway lands to make America great again.

Just as Greenspan once said that there can be no safe store of value in a welfare state, so too can there be no safe store of employment. First "they" came for our manufacturing jobs, and I did not speak out - because I was not a manufacturing employee. Then "they" came...

The Sarcasm Report v.238

August 27, 2015
Fox News: Walmart to stop selling semi-automatic weapons

As a responsible, but not rabid, owner of a very popular semi-automatic handgun, this headline sure caught my attention. Thanks Fox News for letting me know!

Lundberg said the company had seen a decrease in sales of the particular models of guns, but declined to give specific sales numbers. He said stores would increase inventory of other models of shotguns and rifles popular among hunters.

Particular unpopular models will be replaced with more popular models? What? The headline says that Walmart would stop selling semi-automatic weapons. After reading that headline, I became justifiably convinced that we were heading back to single-shot flintlock muskets and pistols. Whew!

In related news, I just heard that McDonald's will stop selling chicken soon! I swear it is true! Here, let me find the link.

March 4, 2015
McDonald’s to stop selling chicken treated with human antibiotics in US

Move comes in response to consumer demand for transparency

Oops. My bad. McDonald's will keep selling chicken. They are simply replacing unpopular chicken with more popular chicken. I didn't mean to be such an alarmist for those who love chicken as much as I do.

Attention Wal-Mart Shoppers: The Holiday Season Starts on Friday! (Musical Tribute)

August 26, 2015
Wal-Mart boosts holiday layaway, eyeing Star Wars toy launch

The company will kick off the program that allows shoppers to pay for holiday gifts and other products in installments, on August 28, two weeks earlier than last year, Anne Marie Kehoe, vice president of toys, said in a briefing.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Piper Jaffray Threw in the Towel on Monday

August 24, 2015
One of Wall St's biggest bulls throws in the towel

Piper finally slashed its uber-optimistic market call for 2015, cutting its S&P 500 price target from what now seems an unreachable 2,350 all the way down to 2,135.

The S&P 500 was apparently trading somewhere around 1,900 when they threw in the towel. The price target is now 2,135. They therefore expected the index to rise roughly 12% by year end, or at roughly a 40% annualized pace.

Oh, my! Only a 40% pace? Full capitulation! Uber-pessimistic! They've become permabears! Buy now or forever be priced out! They're just not making any more towels!!

Forehead. Desk. Whack. Whack. Whack.

The Biggest Risk Facing US Taxpayers

August 26, 2015
Holmes sentenced to life plus 3,318 years for Colorado theater massacre (+video)

Assuming he lives another 60 years, he never becomes eligible for parole, he has just $10,000 in student loan debt now, and the interest rate is locked in at 5%, then he will owe $3.8 x 1075 upon his release (in 3,378 years).

That's far more dollars than the number of milligrams of mass in the known observable universe (estimated to be 3 x 1058).

Is it just me, or are we going to need yet another bank bailout of epic proportions at some point in the future? Has he set into motion the method of our country's demise?

Exponential growth, whatcha gonna do? *shrug shoulders*

Lipstick on the Chinese Pig

August 26, 2015
China Doesn't Look That Bad Compared to Other Market Meltdowns

The 43 percent decline so far in the Shanghai Composite Index looks modest when compared with a 78 percent peak-to-bottom retreat during the bursting of the dot-com bubble in 2000...

The 43 percent decline took two months. We have no idea if it is over yet, hence the "so far" disclaimer. As seen in the table within this article, the Nasdaq drop took 31 months. Those bullish on the Shanghai Composite Index better hope the drop does not continue for another 29 months. Might be nothing left, lol. Sigh.

Look, all I am saying is that if you find yourself in an auto accident and you feel your front bumper beginning to crumple in the first 0.02 seconds, then you might not want to unbuckle your seat belt quite yet. There still may be 0.29 seconds of accident left to play out. Have the airbags deployed? Is your head making forward progress towards the steering wheel? These are important questions for consideration.

Backup Quote of the Day

Dammit! I wasted my quote of the day on Cramer and have to resort to using a backup. That means I have nothing left in reserve and there's still nearly 7 hours of day left (in my timezone)! Dangerous!

August 26, 2015
Stocks are ready for more rock and roll

I think we'll have this screeching volatility going on until we don't. - Ward McCarthy, Chief Financial Economist at Jefferies

Mind blowing! This explains why chief economists are paid more than the typical American. It takes years of financial training to accurately predict the future like this! ;)

Quote of the Day

August 26, 2015
Cramer: Astonished more people weren't disheartened

"I was actually astonished this morning that more people weren't disheartened by what happened yesterday—the buyers came right in again."

In all honesty, this is a rather feeble quote of the day. I apologize for wasting your time. I realize that it doesn't take much to astonish Jim Cramer.

June 20, 2010
The Sarcasm Report v.52

I think that people don't think of Lenny as sophisticated, but I am telling you Bernie, that not only is he sophisticated but he's one of the great ones in this business. He's one of the great ones. - Jim Cramer

If I didn't know any better, I would tell you that everything you hear from Lenny is an act, because there is just no way that you would ever feel like he's as smart as he really is. - Jim Cramer

July 13, 2012
Former MLB star Lenny Dykstra admits to financial fraud

Dykstra, 49, entered his plea in U.S. District Court to one count each of bankruptcy fraud, concealment of assets and money laundering.

One of the great ones, says Cramer.

He previously pleaded no contest to grand theft auto and exposing himself to women he met through Craigslist.

Sophisticated, says Cramer.

He is currently serving a three-year prison sentence after pleading no contest to grand theft auto and providing a false financial statement. In that case, Dykstra was arrested last year by police who said they found cocaine, Ecstasy and synthetic human growth hormone at his Los Angeles home last.

There is no way you would ever feel like he's as smart as he really is, says Cramer.

My Prediction for Thursday

Early this morning, I predicted that there would be no fireworks to the downside in the last hour of trading. I listed four reasons. Score one for silly predictions! Woohoo!

I'm going double or nothing for Thursday. Here is my prediction.

Expect a wild ride!!

Here is my reasoning.

August 26, 2015
USA Today: Dow roars back, rallies 620 points, in sign of market stabilization

Heading into Wednesday's trading session, David Rosenberg, chief economist and strategist at Gluskin Sheff said in a note, "It is how we close, not open that matters."

If a 620 point roaring move in the Dow is a sign of market stabilization, then I am the frickin' king of all the woodland fairies!! Hahaha! :)

Who is David Rosenberg you might ask? He has been investing for 30 years, yet is not quite sure if he has had more winners than losers. I kid you not.

August 17, 2015
Where David Rosenberg is putting his money

1. I have been investing for about 30 years.
2. I think I’ve had more wins than losses, but there have been both.

If you've been investing since 1985 and don't know with 100% certainty that you've had more wins than losses, then either you have an extremely poor memory or you spent way too much time being on the wrong side of the rising stock market tide lifts all boats trade. Either way, why should I listen to you?

This is not investment advice. Once again, I am not a trader. I have no money backing this "wild ride" prediction. I'm simply offering it for kicks-and-giggles.

May we live in interesting times!

The No @#$% Sherlock Report v.003

August 26, 2015
Despite stock fall, financial health of many is still solid

Add it up, and the evidence suggests that many Americans — though certainly not all — are doing comparatively well.

Many? Was "most" too strong a word? Why? Couldn't we make it to at least half? Is that how f%^ked up our country really is?

If I was throwing a party at our house for the top 1% and even 1/10000th of them showed up, do you know what I would say?

1. OMG! There are way too many of you! I don't have enough chairs!!
2. Isn't it great to live in a country where so many of you are doing comparatively awesome? Thanks so much for taking the time out of your busy schedules to attend! There are burgers on the BBQ and the refreshments are in the cooler. Enjoy!
3. For those interested, we'll be showing a movie about the declining middle class on the TV in the family room. Or, alternatively, you can play with our dogs in the backyard. Wow! You all want to play with our dogs? I didn't expect so many of you to be pet lovers! Fantastic!!

My Prediction for the Last Hour of Trading

If I was forced to predict what will happen in the last hour of trading today, then I would say that there will not be any downside fireworks.

1. The King of Booyah (Cramer) is urging caution. Enough said.
2. Much of the temporary excess fear seems to have been squeezed out.
3. It would be way too easy to predict that what happened yesterday will happen again today. Since when is anything ever that easy?
4. Steve really needs to catch a break. I'm pulling for him! ;)

That's my reasoning. I'm not a trader. I'm not putting any money on this prediction. I'm just throwing it out there as an opinion. How confident am I? Let's call it just over 50%.

Why am I predicting this? Just for fun. That's it.

The WisdomTree Chinese Yuan Strategy Fund

August 24, 2015
Forbes: OIH, CYB: Big ETF Outflows

And on a percentage change basis, the ETF with the biggest outflow was the WisdomTree Chinese Yuan Strategy Fund (CYB)...

What went wrong? It's got Wisdom and Trees and China and Yuan and Fund right in its name! And Strategy too! We like strategy, remember? Makes us all smart and stuff!

It seems like it's been about 5 years since I was contemplating investing my entire nest egg in it. Yes!

May 22, 2010
China's Foul Assets

It's got the safety and return of U.S. money market securities (minus 0.45% annual fund expenses) with the potential risks and rewards of forward currency contracts and currency swaps. What's not to like? I don't know about you, but I can't seem to get enough forward currency contracts and swaps into my retirement nest egg. *sarcasm*

Perhaps the typical CYB investor knows exactly what he or she is doing though.

If the typical CYB investor was looking for a whole lotta nothingburger, then Mission Accomplished! Fear not. It wasn't all just an exercise in futility though. The fund manager strategically got paid, and isn't that all that really matters?

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

China's Economy Is Sound (Musical Trubute)

August 25, 2015
China’s market uncertain following interest-rate cut

Chinese authorities have moved to assure investors that despite the ongoing volatility — and their failed efforts to stop it — the economy is sound.

Which sound is it? Why won't they tell us?

The Sarcasm Report v.237

August 25, 2015
Cramer: Time to sell your danger stocks

The market is down big so this is clearly the best time to act! Let's sell all 10 of our danger stocks! We've been waiting 15 years! The moment is finally here! Booyah!

February 29, 2000
The Winners of the New World - JIM CRAMER

OK. Here goes. Write them down -- no handouts here!: 724 Solutions (SVNX), Ariba (ARBA), Digital Island (ISLD), Exodus (EXDS), (INSP), Inktomi (INKT), Mercury Interactive (MERQ), Sonera (SNRA), VeriSign (VRSN) and Veritas Software (VRTS).

Uh, oh. Things aren't looking good. I used the Google search engine to find the Inktomi ticker symbol but came up empty. I then tried using the Google search engine to find the Inktomi search engine. I figured the vastly superior Inktomi engine could find what Google's engine couldn't. This is what I found.

May 12, 2012
Why Google Beat Inktomi: the Inside Story From Former Engineer

In March 2000 Inktomi had a market cap of $25 billion. Exactly one year later, the stock dropped 99.9 percent. Why?

WTF! I have a very uneasy feeling that we're 15 years too late when it comes to selling Cramer's Winners of the New World, the most dangerous of our danger stocks. Sigh.

The Compound 10% Rule

Earlier today, I heckled the 10% rule. Based on the market activity in the last hour of trading, I've had a change of heart. I am here to embrace it!

The Compound 10% Rule

1. Pick an "interesting" stock.
2. Buy it.
3. When you've lost 10%, sell it.
4. Repeat.

It's just like compound interest on savings! I totally get it now! Well, sort of, assuming interest rates are negative ten percent. Let it grow they said. Can't lose they said. It's a sure thing they said.

This is not investment advice. It isn't even gambling advice. If I truly knew where prices were headed then I'd be gambling too, either by being short or being long.

Anyone who has been actively trading stocks in the past week based on the market's gyrations, who doesn't also think they are gambling, should look in a mirror. Congratulations. You've more than likely found a greater fool.

Cheer Up! $13 Trillion Sitting on the Sidelines!

August 25, 2015
Forbes: Why The Market's Pullback Signals Good News Ahead

On the other side of this downward momentum is all of the cash that has been sitting on the sidelines waiting for the aforementioned pullback to occur before allocating more investment dollars to the market.

There's $13 trillion sitting on the sidelines in MZM money stock! Just imagine what will happen when that money stock is put back into the stock market! Up! Up! Up!

Here's how it will work on a smaller scale. Picture two investors.

Retail Investor A has $1000 in cash.
Retail Investor B has $1000 worth of stocks.

Retail Investor A buys the stocks from Retail Investor B.

Retail Investor A now has $990 worth of stocks.
Retail Investor B now has $990 in cash.
Wall Street now has $20 in trading fees.

Woohoo! See how much more prosperous everyone is now? We just need to repeat it until all $13 trillion is spent on trading fees.

We also need to convince Wall Street to physically burn the money and not spend it on more luxury yachts. For if they spend it, then it will end up right back on the sidelines, yet again. Go figure.

Dead Pride of Lions Bouncin'

I do not believe that "dead cat bounce" fully conveys what the stock market did today. That final hour was brutal, almost as brutal as a dentist with a crossbow.

The Crock of @#$% Report v.027

August 25, 2015
USA Today: Ask Matt: Why the 10% rule is important

The rule is very simple. If you own an individual stock that falls 10% or more from what you paid, you sell. Period. You don't rationalize the loss and wait for the "good stock" to "come back."

Oh, man. Don't you see what this means? We have just found a get rich quick scheme that is bound to work!

All we have to do is find a stock that is down 10% from a recent high, assume someone else bought it at that price (a very reasonable assumption), and then short the hell out of it! The rule says they should sell so that means we can safely sell too! Just think of the money we'll make!

And what better time to do this than yesterday afternoon! The entire market was down 10% from its recent high! Opportunities like that sure don't come around very often! Sell it all! Short the entire market! Borrow against the house if need be! What a great plan!!

Hold on. Why are the Dow futures currently showing a 500+ point spike to the upside? How are we going to make easy money shorting the entire market using the 10% rule as our guide? WTF!

We may need to rethink the strategy. It's possible that we shouldn't believe everything we read. It's also possible the 10% simple rule is a bit too simple-minded to go head to head with the advanced trading algorithms of professional traders.

You know what? The more I think about it, the more the 10% rule is sounding like a preachy crock of @#$%. Perhaps someone should ask Warren Buffett how many times he has used it.

In all seriousness, I have used the 10% rule in the past. It was enormously frustrating. I bought a new car, drove it off the lot, and bam! I was forced to sell it. Period. I therefore drove right back onto the lot and bought a different new car. I used the previous one as the trade in. This continued a few more times. I'd be on that lot today if I hadn't run out if money. Oops. I said I was going to be serious. Good luck on that theory! Hahaha! :)

The Black Eyed Investment Retirement Guide

1. I don't want to touch that junk, all that junk inside the trunk. There's a reason it's called non-investment grade and there's a reason dead junkies tend to end up in trunks.

2. I don't want to be spendin' all my money on me, up on me, or anywhere near me. I'd really like to have a safety buffer in case I live too long.

3. I don't want to be made, made, made, made to scream. Made to scream, made to scream. I'd rather sleep better each night. Life's too short to always be worried about my retirement nest egg.

4. I don't want no drama. No, no drama, no, no, no, no drama. When it comes to investing, drama is a euphemism for s%^t hitting the fan. Way too much drama in the last week. No thanks. I continue to pass, regardless of what riskier assets do or don't do from here.

5. I don't want to be made, made, made, made to work. Made to work, work, made to work. The thought of being a WalMart greeter at the age of 85 because I lost my nest egg gambling on supposed "sure things" is more than a bit depressing to me. Further, I might not even get the job! There are no sure things!

Better hope most other retirees don't start thinking like I do. It's a heck of a lot easier selling stocks to others before the others are trying to do it too. I can offer a ray of hope though. You need never worry about me selling stocks. I haven't owned any for 11 years. No complaints.

This is not investment advice, certainly nothing that anyone should spend money on. You know it can't be because I have offered no professional charts showing past performance of ideal "sure thing" investments presented on slick high gloss paper with fees shown in conveniently fine print.

Quote of the Year

August 24, 2015
Cuban: China fell prey to top mistake an investor can make

"There are so many smart people with so much money chasing so few opportunities, that there are no hidden opportunities any more," he wrote on Cyber Dust, an app similar to Snapchat that Cuban funds and advises.

For the typical retail investor such as myself, I agree with that quote with every fiber of my being. It's one reason I have no interest in being long nor short the stock market. I don't see many opportunities either way, any more than I would in a casino.

I have stated since this blog began in 2007 that it would be harder and harder to make money off of money. Mark Cuban clearly agrees. Too much money chasing too few opportunities!

That's why I had and have been so willing to embrace long-term TIPS and I-Bonds. I was very concerned that many smart people would use so much money to continue to drive real yields down. It therefore seemed prudent to buy sooner rather than later, and preferably before they bought even more. So what does an investor today do? Well...

What is scarier?

1. The 2.77% yield on the 30-year treasury is still an opportunity.
2. The 2.77% yield on the 30-year treasury is definitely not an opportunity.

Both are certainly scary, but in different ways. In any event, some investors expecting 10% returns from here in a world where there is so much money chasing so few ideas, over the long-term, are likely to get seriously f%^ked. :(

Score One for the Rational Gold Bugs

August 24, 2015
Looking for a safe haven? Here's why gold won't work

According to statistics going back to 2005, a bet on gold in times of market turbulence is often no better than a coin toss.

Assuming gold bugs stick to rational arguments then I'm going to give them the counterargument victory in this CNBC debate.

Example Rational Arguments

1. Since 2005? Wow. We're really backtesting the bejesus out of this theory. Aren't we? You'd think there would be more long-term big picture data for an investment like gold that has existed since the creation of dirt.
2. According to Kitco, gold averaged $444.74 in 2005. For those who foresaw the housing bubble popping in all its grandeur, has gold met their long-term safe haven needs so far?
3. Does a "bet on gold in times of market turbulence" seem like a good bet? Isn't that a bit like trying to buy fire insurance while your house is burning? Good luck getting a good price!

Example Irrational Arguments

1. Gold is money. I know it is money because I always pay my credit card bills by sending gold coins in the mail. Money is always a safe haven.
2. Gold is not a commodity, even though Gold has every property of a commodity. Unlike commodities, Gold is not prone to bubbles and Gold is therefore always a safe haven. Note that I capitalized Gold repeatedly so that you would know that Gold is extra safe heavenly. Amen.
3. The dollar is going to zero, so gold is always a bargain at any price, just like stocks and real estate.

Disclosure: Bought a great deal of gold in late 2004 as a safe haven inflation hedge. Sold all that gold as a risk asset in early 2006. It had appreciated 50% and I wanted off the crazy parabola. Hindsight says I could have waited longer, of course. I think most would agree that buying cheap low lying fruit and selling too soon beats the heck out of buying expensive high flying fruit and selling too late though, if the past week's stock market is any indicator.

Just opinions. As I write this, $1,149.30, markup, and some opinions will buy you an ounce of safe haven and/or risk asset. Your call. Opinions are always optional.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Barclays Joins the Illusion of Prosperity Team!

August 24, 2015
Barclays: Fed unlikely to hike before March 2016

The Federal Reserve's first rate hike will likely occur in March of next year amid financial volatility and uncertainty surrounding growth in emerging markets, according to Barclays.

As some of you might recall, in December of last year I made a prediction, with 80% confidence, that the Fed would not raise rates in 2015. I continue to believe it with 80% confidence.

It's nice to see Barclays finally joining the team. The score is tied at zero. The game is more than half over. Better to join now than wait until midnight of December 31st, because that might tend to look a bit pathetic.

The Fed has the ball with instructions to punt on first downs, second downs, third downs, fourth downs, or any other time the markets are down. Don't ask me how I know their playbook. I don't. I can't read Japanese. I'm simply basing it on being a keen observer of the Fed with decades of observational experience, just like pretty much everyone else on the planet, lol. Sigh.

Hey, I live in the Seattle area. This game will be decided on defense! Punt it Fed! And if the ball ever ends up in your hands again, then immediately punt it again!! Don't risk a fumble!! ;)

Two Signs of Extreme Desperation

August 24, 2015
Apple CEO Tim Cook may have violated SEC rules with Jim Cramer email

Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook’s decision to give a rare midquarter update on the company’s performance in a private email to CNBC’s Jim Cramer on Monday may have violated federal disclosure rules, lawyers said Monday.

The second sign of extreme desperation will come when Janet Yellen calls the host of Mad Money on live TV to ask his opinion on the fair value of clown horn manufacturers. "Because, you know what? We're probably going to need a helluva lot more of those in the years to come! Booyah!"



Civil Authorities

Issued a

Financial Prophet Abduction Emergency

The civil authorities' communication center is looking for a financial expert who was last seen on 8/21/15 sarcastically attempting to verbally minimize his 3.7% losses for Thursday. The expert is believed to be in danger. His name is Steve Reitmeister and has 35 years of investing experience. He is believed to be a lover of cats. Today's cat did not survive the fall and therefore bounced upon impact. He is also believed to be a good buyer of the dips, but may have been deceived by the latest "goodbye the dips" facade. If you have any information regarding the whereabouts of this financial expert then please contact 1-800-555-FAIL xEPIC immediately.

It's official. I am very worried about Steve.

See Also:
I'm Worried About Steve

The #1 Thing on Investors' Minds

August 24, 2015
Fox News: The real story behind Night Ranger's 'Sister Christian'

“People have always asked, ‘what does motoring mean?’ You know, ‘Motorin’ what is it?’ It’s driving around in your car.”

We can all relax now that all that uncertainty is finally behind us. ;)

Two Icy Concoctions That Can Give Us Brain Freeze


Slushy frozen carbonated beverage sold at 7‑Eleven stores


Sub Zero Interest Rate Policy Insanely Engineered

One of the two hasn't been invented. Yet.

Ever get the feeling that this economy requires constantly falling interest rates in order to keep the party going? Yeah, me too. I first started thinking about it in 2004. Sigh.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Sounding the Alarm on the Rising Interest Rate Environment

The Question: Do Buy or Not Do Buy?

Not Dubai.

August 23, 2015
Dubai, Saudi markets lose 7 percent after oil price dip

Oil futures have been falling for eight consecutive weeks because of ample supplies of crude and a slowing global economy. Prices have fallen almost 60 percent since this time last year.

This was all accurately predicted many years ago, when ShadowStats created their first Hyperinflation Special Report. Other than the prices of goods and services, they really nailed it! ;)

I'm Worried About Steve

August 21, 2015
My Name is Steve. I Lost 3.7% Thursday

Let's start dealing with reality, folks. After 36 years of investing I have learned that the day to day movements of the market are unknown and unknowable in advance. It is only when the fundamentals change can we get a truer sense of where things should be headed down the road.

He apparently started investing in 1979. What a fantastic time to start! He might have lost a bit in those earliest years but boy, he's sure had quite the run. My hat is off to him for having the good luck in inadvertently timing that so well. And congratulations to his parents too for that matter. They timed the pregnancy perfectly. Heck, he probably wasn't even required to fight in a world war. Nicely done!

Now he'd like to start dealing with reality and changing fundamentals. I assume he's finally noticed that only three of the S&P 500 companies are still rated AAA. That's gotta be a bit depressing for someone who believes in fundamentals as strongly as he clearly does. And then there's the whole ZIRP thing. Since 1979, there's really been nothing quite like it, except in Japan of course.

Thursday was really hard on him. Can't you just feel his desperate plea for help? The signs are there if you look closely. He doesn't want you to panic any more.

Friday must have been even worse. Why won't he give us an update? Has anyone seen him? What will he try next? I'm very worried about his well-being and state of mind.

Steve, we know you are an Executive VP at Zacks. If the market continues lower for whatever reason, know that you are not alone. We have your back. Don't let the darkness consume you.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

The $2.2 Trillion Recipe Question

August 22, 2015
Global financial markets battered again after $2.2 trillion wipeout

Global financial markets were battered again yesterday, ending a bruising week as investor concern over a slowdown in China showed little sign of abating.

Investors are chicken, they've been doubled battered, and they're being deep fried in a glut of oil. This leaves us with just one question.

How did Wall Street blend the eleven herbs and spices?!

Three Examples of Premature Crisis Management

It's totally premature to speak of a crisis in China. - Carlo Cottarelli, IMF Executive Director, August 22, 2015

You cannot speak of a crisis.- Rafael Pacheco, Housing Director, Spanish Government, October, 2007

I met a girl at a bar and we ended up at her place.

I said, "I'm not very experienced and you are incredibly attractive. I should warn you that I can tend to be a bit premature in that situation, if you know what I mean."

She smiled and said, "We'll take it very slow. How premature do you think you will be?"

I replied, "Well, do you remember the last thing you said to me at the bar?"

She said, "I asked you over to my place for sex?"

"Yes, you did. I don't mean to blame you for the current crisis, but were those last two words of your question really necessary? Had I known you would say them, I would have been thinking of baseball!"

Shame on me. Bad Mark! Bad! Bad! Hahaha! :)

The Market Through the Eyes of a Roofing Contractor

August 22, 2015
Markets may see more free fall

“It’s just a vicious cycle. All the international markets are going to open down, and unless they can rally, we’re going to open down,” Armstrong told the Herald.

The rain is really coming down so I'm doing the best I can to fix your roof. It's just that the more questionable shingles I remove, the more water keeps pouring in through the holes.

“We need to keep our eyes on things, because if it gets a whole lot worse, you can lose confidence and we can make it bad,” she said.

We need to keep our eyes open for any new leaks that appear. Do you have enough buckets? If I keep removing shingles and it keeps raining hard like this, then you might lose confidence in me if the water level starts rising in your house. That will make it bad. It will be your fault because I'm telling you right now that I do not work well under pressure.

“Everything we’re thinking about we’re not sure about, and the market hates that.”

What's with all the hatred? This is my first day on the job! I didn't want to fall off your roof. It's pretty slippery with all that rain so I decided to wear ice crampons. I'm not sure about that though. I'm getting excellent grip, but you can kind of tell where I have been walking. There are even more holes now? Should I go to the store and buy more buckets? Throw me a bone here. I'm not sure about anything. You've got me second guessing myself. That's bad. I warned you that I don't work well under pressure.

“In another few months when you look at it, you realize how insignificant this move is over your investing lifetime,” she said. “Sometimes things get worse. We don’t see it. We’re really optimistic about the future.”

In a few months you will look back and laugh when you realize how insignificant all these problems were. Hey, sometimes things get worse. I can't see it. I'm really optimistic about the future. Like I said before, this is my first day on the job. I expect to get a lot better as I learn more. The future is so bright I gotta wear shades, once it stops raining anyway.

Oh, there is something I forgot to ask. You know how they tell you to make sure your contractor is licensed, bonded, and insured? Any thoughts on how I might go about doing that? I think it might help me get more business. It's probably the main reason it took me so long to find my first customer.

I tease therefore I am. :)

Beware of the Warning that There Is a Bubble in Stock Market Bubble Warnings

August 11, 2015
MarketWatch: Opinion: Beware of the bubble in stock market bubble warnings

It's sure been a rough 10 days for those who found comfort in his warning.

Today’s equity market doesn’t resemble the one in 2000


The dividend premium.

Unlike the dotcom bubble, investors are flocking to dividends and dividend growth. Some even call it chasing yield. Agreed.

Shares of new corporate cash from equity issuance.

Unlike the dotcom bubble, corporations are generally buying their own stock instead of selling it. The more they buy the more the public buys. That's great news for corporate executives with fat stock options! Agreed.

What could possibly go wrong? Here's a crazy theory. I'm really swinging for the unbelievable crackpot fences on this one.

What would happen if new corporate cash was coming from debt issuance? What if companies used that cash to buy their own shares and help fund their dividends? What if they were doing so because they thought all this cheap "junk" credit was a perpetual free lunch that only offered enormous upside and no downside?

What are the odds of that ever happening though? Like I said, it's a crazy theory. Nobody in this country embraces debt. It ranks right up there with being a McDonald's investor and worrying about a new chain of Puff the Magic Dragon restaurants appearing. Hey, I'm just being silly to make a point. Can you imagine? Puff the Magic Dragon? Hahaha!

May 29, 2015
Time: ‘Puff, The Magic Dragon’-Themed Restaurants Might Actually Happen

WTF! I want whatever they're smoking! Am I allowed to say that? Are there children present?

No word on whether these stores or restaurants will open in Colorado or Washington, where marijuana is legal for recreational use.

We can only hope... that there is no stock market bubble, again. Investors love those restaurant stocks. Everyone needs a place to eat! They just aren't making any more restaurants! Buy now or forever be priced out!

Shake Shack! Has both food and housing right in its name! Can't lose! Ever! Unless one bought the stock about three months ago. What's a 50% loss among friends? Opinion: That bubble HR Popnstuf'd.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Shake it Off (Musical Tribute)

August 21, 2015
Relax, we're about to hit the bottom in stocks: Jeffrey Saut

"I've been in this business for over 45 years and I've seen this act before," he said. "It's kind of like pornography. You know it when you see it."

Investors were told to relax this morning with talk of bottoms. Now they've got losses 3% of the way up them. D'oh! Did he pump and dump? Or did he pimp and dip? Either way, the market is like a box of pornography. You never know how #%^*ed you're gonna get.

August 21, 2015
Short seller Chanos on China: 'It's worse than you think'

"It's worse than you think."

Sticking with Jeffrey Saut's pornography theme, I'm thinking it must be obscenely bad. No, I'm going to change my answer. I think it's twice as bad as obscenely bad! That will give me a nice safety buffer.

"Whatever you might think, it's worse."

Oh, crap. Sigh. This is going to ruin my entire weekend! :(

Hold on. What am I thinking? I don't own stocks, much less Chinese ones. Never mind! I own those long-term government bonds that are so despised these days, yet continue to perform.

As a long-term bond investor, and as an owner of a parrot, I'm going to party like it's 1999 and 2007! Shake it off! Woohoo!

Risk On?

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Quote of the Day

August 20, 2015
CNBC: S&P 500 is having a dull year, and that's good for investors

There are so many things disturbing about the mindset of this article that I've decided to just dwell on the one that is the most glaring.

"It's not a fun market right now, but the past 23 years has been, and if this is the 'pay back' for that—which at this point is a break-even year—sign me up again." - Howard Silverblatt, senior index analyst at S&P Dow Jones Indices

If cherry picking the starting point of the fun as the depths of the early 1990s recession, ignoring the current lofty levels of the stock market that's showing serious cracks, ignoring the dotcom bubble and bust, ignoring the housing bubble and bust, ignoring how many millions lost their jobs, ignoring how many millions lost their homes, ignoring the widespread fraud, ignoring the government bailouts, ignoring the emergency monetary policies that have left us in ZIRP to this very day in the aftermath of the Great Recession, and ignoring the trillions of dollars of debt we've racked up in order to make that all happen can be considered fun, then yeah, let's sign ourselves up for a repeat. I'm sure it will be an even bigger hoot the second time around.


Forehead. Desk. Whack. Whack. Whack.

The One Thing You Need to Know

Just 127 days left until Christmas!

Based on today's stock market action, the sales should be starting any second now. Gotta tap that wealth effect before it's gone! Woohoo!

I joke. Maybe.

Infestor Head Games (Musical Tribute)

August 20, 2015
Mutated 'Super Lice' Strike in California and 24 Other States

“They just want to give up,” Wilson said. ““If that bug is crawling around the head and then someone is giving hugs, sharing hairbrushes, or by that person, that bug can transfer like that.”

What? You thought I was referring to today's stock market activity? Well, I kind of am. How am I going to shop at the local mall if I am afraid to leave the house?

Big man like me shouldn't be afraid of tiny mutated 'super lice' you say? I should hang out by the McDonald's ball crawl to prove my bravery? F%^k that! Hahaha! Sigh.

Yellen's Top 10 Rate Hike Excuses

10. Our black spherical economic model says, "ASK AGAIN LATER".
9. Does not the deer know when to freeze when the headlights appear?
8. Abnormal is the new normal.
7. Rate hike lever lost in Great Recession perfect storm.
6. Dogs of the Dow ate homework.
5. Loose lips sink ships. Bits of careless talk are pieced together by the enemy.
4. 0.5% concentration might dissolve Emperor's new clothes. Seriously. Not joking.
3. China is not even remotely dishwasher safe!
2. Rates ARE razed.
1. Gentlemen, in exactly five days we will be 100 billion dollars richer.

Groundbreaking Research Suggests Companies Purposely Hire Fraudsters

August 19, 2015
Companies Purposely Hire Fraudsters: Study

Groundbreaking research suggests that when hiring accountants, companies weigh a proclivity toward "earnings management" more highly than any other trait.

So, "risk on" investors have that going for them, which is nice.

On a more personal and anecdotal level, I probably shouldn't bring up the fact that investors lost $19 billion betting on the last company I worked at. I wouldn't want to look petty or biased.

November 1, 2006
Chairman of Cendant is convicted of fraud - Business - International Herald Tribune

At the trial just concluded, Cosmo Corigliano, a former chief financial officer of CUC, testified that the books had been cooked for years at Forbes' direction and that he and Forbes met regularly to discuss how much money would be taken from inflated reserves and used to increase profits to meet targets.

Oops. My bad. I seem to have brought it up after all. Shame on me, lol. Sigh.

Six Is Greater than One

If you are like me, then you have probably been wondering why the makers of Flonase feel the need to continually tell us in their TV advertisements that six is greater than one.

Click to enlarge.

Mystery solved! ;)

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Greenspan Is Off His Meds Again

August 19, 2015
Greenspan warns about bond-market bubble

Greenspan said “normal” interest rates have always been in the 4% to 5% range.


As seen here, from January of 1934 to July of 2015, the 3-month treasury bill interest rate has been between 4% and 5% only 111 months out of 979 months, or just 11.3% of the time.

Stick that in your "normal" pipe and smoke it.

“There are two possibilities. Either we move slowly back to normal, or we do it in a fairly aggressive manner. History tells us it’s the latter which tends to be more prevalent than the former,” Greenspan said.

Japanese investors might offer a third possibility, especially those who began investing in the early 1990s shortly after their housing bubble popped. Just sayin'.

Quote of the Day

August 19, 2015
Cramer Remix: Why a drop in oil is a good thing

"Before I get all positive, here's a caveat: nothing I'm about to say will mean anything to you unless you have at least a 10-day time horizon," the "Mad Money" host said.

Wow. 10 whole days. I wonder how Mr. Long Term Thinker arrived at that.

Weather Forecasts: Just How Reliable Are They?

As for the 10-day forecast, it’s likely that meteorologists know exactly how unpredictable the weather conditions 10 days in the future can be. And they provide it to us weather-watchers nonetheless because we still want some sense of what the future holds, despite the unreliability of the predictions. But it’s good to know which forecasts we can really count on, and which come closer to fortune-telling!

Today's Sermon

August 19, 2015
REVEALED: Josh Duggar revealed as having 'paid almost $1,000 for multiple Ashley Madison accounts' as 37million would-be love-cheats are named by hackers who stole Ashley Madison accounts

The site reports; 'Someone using a credit card belonging to a Joshua J. Duggar, with a billing address that matches the home in Fayetteville, Arkansas owned by his grandmother Mary - a home that was consistently on their now-cancelled TV show, and in which Anna Duggar gave birth to her first child - paid a total of $986.76 for two different monthly Ashley Madison subscriptions from February of 2013 until May of 2015.'

May 21, 2015
9 Times Josh Duggar Lectured People On Family Values Before He Admitted He Was A Child Molester

“Our family is like the epitome of conservative values,” Duggar said. “People connect to us in that way.”

This backs two long-standing theories of mine.

1. Let he with massive sin throw the first nine stones.

2. When you are trapped in a hole or willing to spend $986.76 to find one, Duggar deeper.

Two Things Worth a Billion Dollars

August 19, 2015
This messaging app for teens is now worth $1 billion

If you do not believe that the Dachshund is worth as much as the messaging app, then you are entitled to your opinion. I gotta tell you though, as a former owner of a Dachshund Terrier mix, that you are taking a big risk here. ;)

Tooth Decay

August 18, 2015
Is the Tooth Fairy cutting back this year?

According to Visa's annual Tooth Fairy survey, American children are getting an average of $3.19 per tooth this year, down 24 cents from the previous year. This is the second year in a row that the average compensation for lost teeth has declined.

Without a doubt, children are this country's #1 priority! It's just that other things are more important right now.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

The No @#$% Sherlock Report v.002

August 18, 2015
Cramer Remix: Wrong way to play a big market trend

In Cramer's experience he has seen that whenever the expectations get too high going into a company's quarter, the odds are that the stock will get slammed when the results are released.

In my experience, what is the most reliable way to know if expectations are too high going into a company's quarter? The stock gets slammed when the results are released. I therefore tend to agree with Cramer on this.

This theory has enormous implications and is therefore definitely worth exploring further.

If the stock trades mostly flat when the results are released, then the expectations were probably just about right. It's just an opinion though. I'd be curious to know if Cramer would agree.

And lastly, if the stock trades significantly higher when the results are released, then the expectations were probably way too low. Once again, it's just an opinion. I'm trying to make sense of this difficult concept as best I can.

Granted, I am not a financial expert with my own TV show. I don't have sound effects buttons I can push every time I think up something amusing to say. I don't have a degree in finance or economics. It's just a few things I have picked up on the street. Take it with a grain of salt. This is not investment advice.

Yay! The second No @#$% Sherlock Report has been successfully posted! I was beginning to think it was just a one hit wonder. Thanks Cramer! :)

America's Finest News Source vs. Amazon

August 18, 2015
The Onion: Jeff Bezos Assures Amazon Employees That HR Working 100 Hours A Week To Address Their Complaints

“Nothing matters more to me than the well-being of our employees, and our HR staff will continue to work their fingers to the bone—not seeing their families or friends or anything at all outside their offices—for as long as it takes to make this right.”

Nobody does hilarious satire better than The Onion. Hahaha!!

Vocabulary Word of the Day: Necessarily

August 18, 2015
GM may import a Buick built in China

But even if GM does start to export Chinese cars to the U.S., that won't necessarily be opening the door to Chinese cars flooding the market here, said Brinley.

The prosecution has laid out a very impressive set of reasons why my client should be found guilty. I'll admit that. There was the hatred my client expressed whenever the victim's name was mentioned, even during this trial. I get that.

There is the smoking gun that was found in his glove box. There are 17 witnesses who saw him pull the trigger. There is the victim's blood that was found on his shirt, pants, and shoes. His fingerprints were found on the victim's eyeglasses. The victim's DNA was found in my client's trunk.

But just because my client bragged about the ease of the kill and the burying of the body during his confession at police headquarters, it doesn't necessarily mean he is guilty. There is still plenty of reasonable doubt!! My client is trustworthy. The body was found in a shallow grave just 50 yards from my client's house, right where my client said it would be!

Quote of the Day

August 17, 2015
Lightning Round: Hottest biotech I've ever seen

"When I was speaking to the Fibonacci Queen [Carolyn Boroden] and she was saying to me be very careful. But it looks like we might be getting a buy signal...Me? My charitable trust owns them, we are under water on them...but we are not selling any oils." - Jim Cramer

Fibonacci Queen? Jim Cramer? Not selling any oils? Call me skeptical!

The Sarcasm Report v.236

August 18, 2015
USA Today: 5 things you need to know Tuesday

1. Thai prime minister vows to track down Bangkok bombers

I need to know this because I'm heading to Bangkok this morning to have breakfast with the Thai prime minister. This will make a good topic of conversation.

2. FDA to vote on drug for women's sex drive

I need to know this because I plan to have a busy afternoon in Thailand. Very busy. Enough said.

3. Manning may face solitary confinement for breaking prison rules

I need to know this because I will be in Bangkok. I may need cash. Manning, the transgender Army private convicted of leaking national security secrets, is who I trust most to call when I have forgotten my bank account number.

4. Assange sex-assault investigation expires

I need to know this in case I can't get a hold of Manning. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is my backup plan. Once again, I will be in Bangkok. Seems like a good fit.

5. Labor Day travel surge should make this the busiest summer ever for airlines

I need to know this because if Bangkok is half the place it is rumored to be, I'm going to have a really good time. I'll want to book my next visit ASAP.

How on earth did USA Today know me so well? They picked the exact 5 things I really needed to know!

Monday, August 17, 2015

An Inconvenient Truth: With Gore, the Bulls Will Run

August 17, 2015
Four men gored to death by bulls in Spain in three days

Politics? No.
Stock market? No.

Darwin awards, baby. That's what I'm talking about. Nothing will make a person feel more alive than willingly being gored to death on the streets of Spain.

A Tiger, a Bobcat, Two Wolves, a Naked Lady in a Trench Coat, a Photographer, an Amazonian, and a Guy with a Weed-Whacker Walk into an Abandoned Detroit Autoplant

August 17, 2015
Why a Tiger Was Let Loose in the Historic Detroit Packard Plant

"There was a naked woman with a trench coat. It was a high-fashion shoot, which seems like the dumbest thing," Didorosi told ABC News. He also spotted two wolves, and the Detroit Free Press noted there was also a bobcat.

Which one doesn't belong? The Amazonian.

Looking for the punch line? The Amazonian is standing on it.

Why did you clock out early? POW!
What do you mean you have cancer? BAM!
You thought you could vacation in Detroit? BONK!
Are you incompetent or just lazy? THWACK!
Why didn't you work smarter? THUNK!

This fight scene inspired by Jeff Bezos and old school Batman.

The Last Days in the Cookbook of Revelation

August 17, 2015
The Surprise Ingredient in Starbucks' New Pumpkin Spice Latte

Starbucks announced that it's adding a special ingredient to its "beloved" pumpkin spice latte this year: pumpkin.

As foretold in the Cookbook of Revelation, the end times are upon us. Halloween be thy name.

A major global corporation will run out of fake pumpkin spice. They will have no choice but to turn to pumpkin harvesting. The Great Pumpkin bubble will form. No other crops will be grown. Costs will go up by orders of magnitude. The Fed will raise interest rates to no avail. Profitability will plummet. False profits will appear. Layoffs will ensue. Famine will become commonplace. Wars will rage. The planet will burn. A man will emerge from the flames. He will seek to enslave us all. Blood will stream from his whatever.

Quote of the Day

August 17, 2015
This is the market you've been wishing for

Investors might turn out to regret getting what they wished for, but it’s still too early to say so for sure.

Quote of the day? Nah. For some inexplicable reason I am drawn to the comments. Four people have given the following comment by Dilligaf a thumbs up, and there are no thumbs down yet. By popular opinion, that currently makes it the quote of the day!

blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah,blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah,blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah,blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah,blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah,blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah,blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah,blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah,blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah,blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah,blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah,blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah,blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah,blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah,blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah,blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah,blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah,blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah,blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah,blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah,blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah,blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah,blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah,blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah..."


August 17, 2015
Wall Street's angst shifts back to Fed

Angst doesn't seem so bad. Angstrom has angst in it and it's only one ten-billionth of a meter. In the grand scheme of things, that's nothing. On the other hand, gangster has angst in it too. That's kind of depressing, especially if one is talking about the Fed.

Perhaps we just need to go to the definitive source on the matter to see how much we should worry.

Urban Dictionary: Angst

Rage, rage, my ovaries have exploded. Rage, I like to eat babies. Rage against the machine, my mother slammed me as a baby and now I want her dead. Kitchen. Kitchen full of knives. Shall I eat them, too, or will that give me heartburn? Death. Death...death and manatees. I choose the former, for the latter are slimy to the touch. Rage against the fish, the fish, the blasted salmon that swim upstream. Why can't I do it too?!... Death. Death and monkeys...The first is as fun as a barrel of the second.

Poets have angst. Quite often too much.

by Fax Celestis October 21, 2004

Whew! It's not as bad as I thought. ;)

Braver Husband Pranks Wife

Brave Pet Cat Stands Up to Mountain Lion

If you listen carefully to the video, then you'll understand just how brave the husband is. Hahaha! :)

First World Problem of the Day

August 16, 2015
Mr. Incredible? Steelers linebacker vows to return kids' 'participation trophies'

I refer you to the comments.

I won a half-dozen plaques and trophies in my bowling league when I was seventeen (high series, third-high game, triple-200, etc.), and couldn't have imagined getting an award just for showing up. How pathetic. Harrison is right on. - Ray Gordon

When I was seventeen, or thereabouts, I won two trophies in my bowling league. I managed to bowl both the high game and the high series that year. There was just one small problem. I received the high game trophy but the second trophy I won was for perfect attendance.

This came as a bit of a shock to me. It seemed like there must have been a mistake. I asked if that was the case. Nope. In an effort to spread the trophies around, the kid who bowled the 2nd best series deserved to win the high series trophy apparently. Must have made him very proud.

True story. Some in my position might have become incredibly upset about it. I did find it annoying at the time. However, I figured nobody in the real world was ever going to give a rat's @$$ about a bowling trophy awarded one year in a small farming town of just 800. I think hindsight clearly shows that I was right.

At the age of 51, I still have that perfect attendance trophy. It reminds me that life isn't always fair. It also really keeps things in perspective when I read about atrocities in third world countries that involve machetes. We all have our problems. It's a small world. Some just have problems bigger than others. Much bigger. Go figure.