Friday, June 18, 2010

The Sarcasm Report v.51

Proof that Interest Rates Are Getting Ready to Rise Sharply

Barron's says rates will stay low as far as the eye can see.

Fantastic proof!!

A special thanks to the columnist for for showing us all his work too. There's just no disputing it once all the evidence is laid out like that.

There's more though. Unlike Barron's, we know we can trust to tell us how it is. They are always spot on.

August 26, 1999 "Outlook: A perfect economy"

While the trade deficit may counter GDP growth, it's not a bearish sign for the economy. On the contrary, U.S. consumers' seemingly unquenchable demand for cheap imports is an undeniable indication of the strength of the U.S. economy relative to the rest of the world.

The S&P 500 closed that day at 1,300.29. It's only 14% lower today. That's nearly 11 years of solid "undeniable" perfection.


EconomicDisconnect said...

Who can deny such performance??

I had an Uh-Oh moment today on gold, check this headline that I had up tonight:
"Stocks climb for 4th day after rise in gold stocks"


Submitted without further comments.

Stagflationary Mark said...

Side topic...

Based on the overwhelming success of partial comment moderation to reduce SPAM, I'm reducing the filtration even more.

You may now comment on posts that are up to 7 days old without waiting for me to read them first. That's an increase from the current 3 day policy. (I do still read all comments though.)

I'd also like to remind everyone that off topic comments are encouraged here. If it amuses you, then it might amuse me. :)

EconomicDisconnect said...


"Mahoney, what kind of clown do you think I am?'
"A juggling clown sir??"

Stagflationary Mark said...


This would be my oh-oh moment.

Cramer: How to Buy Gold

Just look how smug he was. That was said back in April. Think how smug he is now.

Jim Cramer's Portfolios of the Week

In a June 17 blog post, he said the rally in gold is one of the most powerful moves he can recall. Cramer mentioned that the move in gold is just stunning and gold stocks are soaring.

Stagflationary Mark said...


Police Squad!

watchtower said...

Hmmmm, I'm the world's worst at interjecting an off topic comment, but since your encouraging it, here goes:

Your June 14th 2010 post entitled 'What Do These Five Commodities Have in Common?' has a chart attached to it showing the absolute moonshot of the 'Total Number of Discovered Elements' happening somewhere around the late 1700's(?).

I had no idea that this had happened like that.

My question is why did man go along for thousands of years at a somewhat steady pace and then 'Shazam!' we have internal combustion engines, airplanes, lightbulbs, computers, and then space exploration.

What the hell happened?

The table of discovered elements seems to mimic that of our increase in knowledge, but I don't think that is the only reason for the mind blowing jump in tech these last 100 years?

I don't believe ancient man was a dumba** either, far from it.

Have you ever pondered this?

EconomicDisconnect said...

the means to observe increased as well as , and I said this on my blog, people just stopped thinking small.

Stagflationary Mark said...

watchtower (& GYSC),

"Have you ever pondered this?"

I ponder it many times a day. Seriously. I'm amazed. Consider...

1. My dishwasher is currently washing my dishes instead of me.
2. My washing machine is currently washing a blanket on my behalf.
3. I ate a 1 year old steak yesterday. It tasted fresh. It was stored in a food saver bag and kept in my freezer. I cooked it in a toaster oven. I didn't even need to make fire.
4. I watched that X-Men Wolverine movie yesterday on my schedule through Comcast's On Demand.
5. If I so desired, any time of the day or night I can drive to the grocery store and it will actually be open. It's about 6 miles round trip. The trip uses just 75 cents worth of gasoline.
6. You can send me a piece of paper from 3,000 miles away and it will cost you less than 50 cents.
7. The lawnmower does most of the work. I simply push it. The same is true of the vacuum cleaner.
8. Don't even get me started on the improvements in video games!

A. More free time to solve problems.
B. More training/education to solve problems.
C. More tools/information to solve problems.
D. More people to solve problems.

The combination is truly amazing to me.

Peak oil may be a problem, but I wouldn't want to bet on us not solving it. It borders on arrogant to think we couldn't, not as long as we have the sun in our solar system anyway.

Stagflationary Mark said...

From 2007...

Productivity Miracle

If I'm wrong to be a stagflationist, this is the sort of thing that would do me in. It is also something one needs to factor in when hoarding hard assets in general.

watchtower said...

"The combination is truly amazing to me."

Yes, I agree, it is truly amazing.

Just getting that much milk out of a cow nowadays would probably astonish a farmer from Abraham Lincoln's time, let alone space travel.

It seems like anything is possible at this point.

GawainsGhost said...

Yeah, well, WT, and SM and GYC, if you want an off-topic comment, I'll give you one.

I am the man who killed New Coke. Seriously, I'm not making this up and it is true.

You have to understand the situation and the circumstances. My mother loves Coca-Cola. When I was a kid, she used to tell me stories of how she and her sister would walk for miles to the only Coca-Cola machine in the small town they grew up in, just to buy a Coke. She drinks more Cokes in a day than most people drink in a week!

I will never forget the day New Coke came out. All the hype, the media push. She took one sip, spit it out and refused to take another.

This was a disaster, because you know she cannot survive without Coca-Cola. Then she found out that the Coca-Cola plants in Mexico had not changed the formula, so she gave me a directive. "Go to Reynosa and buy me some Cokes!"

Well, that's an all day trip. You have to drive to the border and park (on the US side of course), pay the toll and walk across the bridge, go into a store and buy the Cokes (2 wooden crates with 24 bottles in each, which was about all I could carry), lug them back across the bridge, pay the toll, go through customs, then put them in the trunk and drive back home. I did this every week for three months.

Finally, I said to myself, Myself, I have had about enough of this. So I sat down and wrote an open letter to the president of Coca-Cola and sent a copy to The Monitor, the largest newspaper in the area. Not only did they publish my letter, they gave me a Golden Pen Award and republished it as a guest editorial in the Sunday edition!

Baseball, America and Pear Pie? That was the headline. I asked a simple question. "Why don't we change the main ingredient of apple pie to pears? And call it new."

Wouldn't you know that the owner of the largest Coca-Cola distributorship and a major shareholder lived in McAllen at the time? I know for a fact he read my letter, and I can guarantee you that he was on the phone the next morning.

Now, it's one thing to get a complaint from a dissatisfied customer. It's another thing entirely to get a complaint from the largest distributor and a major shareholder. Three weeks later New Coke was dead.

I saved America! Coke Classic came out, which is still not the same as real Coke (it uses fructose corn syrup instead of sugar). But it was an impressive victory nonetheless, especially considering I was only 21 at the time.

I liberated the American people from the horror that was New Coke. Now they are free to buy Coke Classic or a real Coke, which is . . . hecho in Mexico. (It is imported, by the way, if you know where to find it.)

watchtower said...

"I am the man who killed New Coke. Seriously, I'm not making this up and it is true."

If this is so Gawain, then you have my undying gratitude, yeah I'm serious.

Coca-Cola is almost a religion here in the Midwest and the South.

Last year I got to drink a real Coke (with sugar) in Canada, and recently our local grocery store started carrying Coke from Mexico (with sugar).

GawainsGhost said...

It is so, and I still have a copy of the newspaper with the Golden Pen Award editorial to prove it.

Stagflationary Mark said...


You have just "proven" why I don't mind off topic comments.

Loved your story!

P.S. It might not even be all that off topic. This proof contrasts nicely with the proof offered for consideration by the columnist for, lol.

Stagflationary Mark said...


It seems like anything is possible at this point.

Yes indeed! I offer one more example.

Americans managed to create a Great Depression in the 1930s. They did this without the marvel of modern computing power.

If they figured out a way to do it then, then surely we can figure out a way to improve upon it using vast banks of highly innovative and sophisticated... BANKS!!

We can also watch it in nearly real-time thanks to sophisticated Internet technology. Woohoo!

Assets at Banks whose ALLL exceeds their Nonperforming Loans

You've got to love the following letter.

August 2009
SEC: Dear Chief Financial Officer

Clear and transparent disclosure about how you account for your provision and allowance for loan losses has always been critically important to an investor’s understanding of your financial statements. While generally accepted accounting principles regarding how to account for these items have not changed in recent years, the current economic environment may require you to reassess whether the information upon which you base your accounting decisions remains accurate, reconfirm or reevaluate your accounting for these items, and reevaluate your Management’s Discussion and Analysis disclosure.

Are they serious?

Finally, although determining your allowance for loan losses requires you to exercise judgment, it would be inconsistent with generally accepted accounting principles if you were to delay recognizing credit losses that you can estimate based on current information and events. Where we believe a financial institution’s financial statements are inconsistent with GAAP, we will take appropriate action.

It would seem that they are!

You know it is bad when the SEC feels the need to remind "certain public companies" what "generally accepted accounting principles" are. Just a thought!

GawainsGhost said...

Yes, well, the pen is mightier than the sword, and some things simply will not be tolerated for very long.

All of this "new and improved" crap, I look upon it as either a Pet Rock or a New Coke.

We need to get back to what's real.

Stagflationary Mark said...


So I take it the new and improved Barbie models are right out. ;)

The New and Improved Barbie Models

Recovery Barbie

Too many parties have finally caught up with the ultimate party girl. Now she does Twelve Steps instead of dance steps. Clean and sober, she's going to meetings religiously. Comes with a little copy of The Big Book and a six-pack of Diet Coke.

GawainsGhost said...

The New Barbie is definitely out. Unless she comes with a New Ken, of which I am certainly not one. So either way she's out. Whatever happened to G.I. Joe?

EconomicDisconnect said...

that is a great story! As a diest coke addict they best never mess with my formula!

GawainsGhost said...

They've already messed with it, GYC. Coke Classic is not the same as real Coke.

It's no different with KFC. The Kentucky Fried Chicken you buy today is not the Kentucky Fried Chicken you bought back in the day.

This is what I'm talking about. The America I grew up in is not the America of today. Everything's cheap! And nowhere near as good.

We need to get back to what's real.

Stagflationary Mark said...

"Everything's cheap! And nowhere near as good."

Plastic Army Men

These army men are very hard and sturdy, unlike most of the cheap ones. They all stand up straight without falling. The bad thing is that mine came with an army man with out hands and there was an extra hand that didn't match him.

I'm both laughing and crying. Sigh.

remy said...

my favorite barbie from the list:
"Divorced Barbie
Sells for $199.99. Comes with Ken's house, Ken's car, and Ken's boat."

Regarding the Coke story, sounds fantastic! I was a 7-Up addict in Canada and was traumatized when they changed the formula (added a zest of lemon among other things) I called them to complain and they told me there was nothing I could do (guess I should have written a letter to a local paper...) Long story short, I live in CA and a few years ago bought an imported 7up from Mexico and I was pleased to discover it was the same old formula. I no longer consume carbonated drinks because they are not healthy but was amazed at how difficult it was to give up the habit.



GawainsGhost said...

If it ain't broke, don't fix it. That's all I know.

They fixed Coca-Cola, when it wasn't broke. They fixed Kentucky Fried Chicken, when it wasn't broke. And look at what we ended up with.

It's the same with the economy. The greatest manufacturing plants the world has ever known, innovation and rennovation everywhere, a rising middle class. And now look at it.

I'm disgusted. And I blame the Baby Boomers. They were given the world on a silver platter, and promptly proceeded to turn it into a mound of crap on a paper plate in not even one generation.

Sigh. You can't even buy a G.I. Joe with a kung fu grip anymore.

What has happened to America? When the only place you can buy a real Coke is in Mexico.

EconomicDisconnect said...

With ya Gawains!

Stagflationary Mark said...

remy (& all),

"...was traumatized when they changed the formula..."

I worked at Rax one summer in the late 1980s.

Rax (restaurant)

Rax Roast Beef is a small regional U.S. fast food restaurant chain specializing in roast beef sandwiches, currently based in Ironton, Ohio. Once a big player in the fast food segment, Rax has extensively scaled down their operations since their peak in the 1980s due to poor marketing decisions and internal corporate problems.

Every day I'd have a milkshake with my lunch.

The manager knew what a milkshake addict I was and one day presented me with a free milkshake.

I drank my first sip. She asked me what I thought of it. I said something was different. She asked me if it was a good thing. I said it was not a good thing. It tasted like ice milk. She looked extremely disappointed. They'd just replaced the ice cream formula with an ice milk formula apparently on the hopes nobody would notice.

When my job ended, I never ate there again. It eventually closed.