Friday, July 31, 2015

The Crock of @#$% Report v.021

Fortune: 100 Best Companies to Work For: 28. World Wide Technology

With 29 sites in the U.S., supplier of high-tech products works hard to keep all hands in the loop. has dramatically underestimated the value of this perk!

Many people would pay a small fortune to keep all hands in the loop! This company should easily be in the top 10!

July 31, 2015
Man Allegedly Spent $470K on Strippers With Company Credit Card

Investigators allege Berrett spent more than $476,000 on his World Wide Technology company credit card to not only purchase tokens redeemable on a site where "women perform stripping routines via webcam," but also to tip and buy gifts for strippers. He reportedly paid one $26,800 so she could pay for her college tuition bill, new tires for her car and her parents' utility bill.

This is the kind of perk generally reserved for the CEO. All hands in the loop? Might be the best company to work for in the whole world! And the best part? It's a private company! Or, at the very least, would like to be!

The 7 Stages of the Vegetarian Psychopath in the Making

1. Somebody else killed a plant. Didn't want it to go to waste. Ate it. Felt a bit guilty.
2. Killed a plant with own hands. Ate it. Felt indifferent.
3. Tortured a plant. Killed it. Ate it. Disappointed. Deserved a trophy.
4. Tortured a plant. Killed it. Took a picture of it. Mounted picture on wall. Put remains in compost bin.
5. Paid $500 to hunt an uncommon plant far from home. Tortured it. Killed it. Put its flower between pages of a book. Keep book under pillow.
6. Paid $50,000 to hunt rare plant in Africa. Tortured it. Killed it. Put its root in a box filled with extracted teeth. Keep box at office. Nobody else needs to know.
7. Root Canal Appreciation Day! Time to admire the box again! Woohoo!

Today's Reason to Join Facebook

July 31, 2015
Windows 10 may share your Wi-Fi password with Facebook

Most people have many contacts or Facebook friends whom they barely know — would you really trust your Wi-Fi password with your second cousin's boyfriend, or that guy in the neighborhood who once fixed your toilet?

Although I am hopefully not my second cousin's boyfriend, I am that guy in the neighborhood who once fixed my toilet. And you know what? I do kind of trust me. ;)

That's it. I'm joining Facebook once they get done fully monetizing it. I will then, as an introvert, befriend everyone on the planet, read everything they have to say, and urge them to all use my Wi-Fi network while I am attempting to watch Netflix! Everyone loves a slideshow!

Safe, secure, high-speed data throughput, baby. That's what I'm talking about.

Quote of the Day

July 31, 2015
A $600 million coal mine just sold for less than $1

As seen in the comments:

Well done Obama this is one promise you kept jobs and tax dollars gone. - JAMES

Quote of the day? Not exactly.

Wait, so a Brazilian company and a Japanese company sell their Australian joint venture to an Australian miner and somehow Obama is tied in to it? - Gamer

Bingo! As a fellow gamer and firm believer that Obama cannot possibly be responsible for every bad thing that has ever happened, is happening, and will happen, I might be a tad biased though. Your call.

The Real Reason Samsung Is Cutting Its Prices

July 31, 2015
Samsung’s slashing Galaxy prices

Samsung has announced plans to slash prices on its Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge smartphones, indicating an effort to boost lagging smartphone sales.

That's the stated reason but those of us into conspiracy theories can certainly think up a better reason than that!

What if Janet Yellen secretly met with Samsung executives? What if she did so because she was very concerned about the impending hyperinflation predicted each and every year by shadowstats? What if she had obtained secret emails of these executives using our country's Patriot Act? What if these emails included pictures that these executives would not want to go public? What if she showed them a chart of silver starting in 2011? What if she claims responsibility for it? Tells them she also has compromising photos of silver company executives? Tells them she has vaults filled with pictures? And paintings? And drawings? And doodles? What if she also reminded these executives that the Fed can be a key player in corporate bailouts should the need ever arise? Could perhaps put in a few good words for them? What if there was a lot of winking and head nodding over a few other perks that could go their way? What if she pointed out what happened to JFK, Jimmy Hoffa, and Elvis? Followed it up with even more winking and head nodding? What if she showed a video of an alien autopsy? What if she said that it wasn't an alien at all, but rather a former foreign corporate executive who once crossed her? Then what?

Hey, just harmless questions. Somebody needs to ask them. Do I have any proof that this is why Samsung lowered its prices? No, I do not. I find that very suspicious and you should too. Why no proof? What are they trying to hide? ;)

Thursday, July 30, 2015

The Crock of @#$% Report v.020

July 27, 2015
Fortune: Student loan debt is not hurting America's housing market

The problem is, there isn’t any proof that higher student loan debt is actually causing young people to own homes at lower rates than they did in the past, or that the overall student loan burden is leading to a smaller share of first-time home buyers.

Agreed! $1.36 trillion in student loan debt is just the tiniest of straws. There's no proof that it is hurting the housing market camel in the slightest!

Do you want to know something else? There isn't any proof that can stop me from clicking on its subscribe link. Not one single shred of evidence! Might do it right now! Might do it tomorrow! There's just no telling how soon I might click on it. ;)

Great News for the Earth's Human Locusts!

July 30, 2015
World population: Quarter of Earth will be African in 2050

But the report notes that "[c]ontinued population growth until 2050 is almost inevitable, even if the decline of fertility accelerates."

The earth's food supply is apparently projected to be good for at least 35 more years! Woohoo!

Risk-free long-term human locust sustainability, baby. That's what I'm talking about.

Seattle's New 10-Year Plan to End Homelessness

July 27, 2015
More homeless people camping under Seattle's freeways

Sola Plumacher with the Department of Human Services in Seattle says homelessness has increased 21 percent this year over last.

21 percent? Tent and sleeping bag investors must be making out like bandits! No wonder the economy is booming!

It seems like things have gotten worse, not better since the city launched its 10-year effort to end homelessness in 2005.

The old plan probably involved crashing the housing market so that homes would become more affordable to all. If so, it was a good plan, especially with the starting point being the peak of the housing bubble. Unfortunately, the plan had some minor unintended consequences though. Who knew jobs would fall with housing prices?

This anonymous blogger has just discovered a new 10-year plan that the city is considering. I managed to get my hands on a secret document emailed from one city planner to another. It includes the following copy of a proposed advertisement suitable for all Minnesota newspapers.

Attention All Dentists:

Is the thrill of hunting lions not as strong as it once was? Looking to up your game in a safe environment free from judging eyes? Then please consider Seattle! Starting August 1st, we are adding a "big game" designation to our growing homeless population in the hopes of attracting expert hunters with strong dentistry backgrounds to help cull our herd.

No permits needed! No drudging through jungles or walking endlessly over plains required. Our big game is located within just a few feet of convenient freeway off ramps! It will be like shooting fish in a barrel! It just doesn't get any more sporting than that!

Do you have what it takes? Will you shoot anything that moves? Even the ones with tracking collars? Will you sever their heads, extract their teeth, and scan them so that we can identify them through their dental records. We need that information to notify their next of kin and bill them for services rendered.

Please consider Seattle for your next wildlife expedition! You won't be disappointed and near as we can tell, it will all be perfectly legal! Maybe! Just be sure to hunt only at night and silently slip away if there's trouble. We do not want a repeat of any recent African adventures. A good hunter must understand the meaning of patience.

Shame on me! Bad Mark! Bad! Bad!

The Ills of More Affordable Housing Are Far from Cured!

July 30, 2015
More homeowners drowning in debt

Home prices are still rising, and the economy is improving, but the ills of the housing crash are far from cured...

Just Added Vacationing in Spain to My Bucket List!

Why? Missed the opportunity to visit Germany from 1933 to 1945!

That said, if you are employed in the Spanish tourism industry then do not hold your breath anxiously awaiting my arrival. I'm not planning to go unless four conditions are met.

1. I have been diagnosed with a terminal disease.
2. I have exhausted my retirement savings.
3. I have less than two weeks to live.
4. I have at least a 50% chance of surviving long enough to reach the front steps of your Ministry of Truth.

I'll be looking to drop off a human fecal sample for the benefit of all mankind!! ;)

July 30, 2015
Mish: Police State "Ministry of Truth" Hits Spain; Man Fined for Calling Police "Slackers" on Facebook

The Wisdom of Alan Greenspan Revealed Yet Again

July 30, 2015
Alan Greenspan: This is 'extremely dangerous'

However, he noted that he sees a "strong and growing labor market" despite concerns about productivity growth.

Fred: I heard your team had to hire another programmer. Is that true?
Ted: Yeah, it's true.
Fred: Despite the lack of productivity growth of your existing programmers?
Ted: Despite? Why would you think that? No, more like because. I had to hire BECAUSE there was a productivity problem.
Fred: How so? I don't get it.
Ted: Since I couldn't get the programmers to work any faster, I was forced to hire more of them.
Fred: I don't understand. I just read that the economy has a strong and growing labor market despite concerns about productivity growth.
Ted: What idiot thought that crackpot economic theory up?
Fred: Just some former central banker.
Ted: Ah, sounds like something Alan Greenspan might say.
Fred: Damn you are smart! I'm going to give you a 5% raise!
Ted: I accept on one condition.
Fred: What's that?
Ted: I will not be working 5% longer hours!
Fred: F%^k! I was looking to pay for it with a productivity miracle!

Doctored and Gambled

July 30, 2015
UPDATE 1-Procter & Gamble sales fall for sixth straight quarter

P&G recorded a $2.03 billion charge in the quarter for a change in the accounting method of its Venezuelan operations, reflecting its inability to convert currency or pay dividends.


P&G, which gets roughly two-thirds of its revenue from international markets, has been raising prices to offset the impact of the dollar, but customers have been turning to cheaper local alternatives as a result.


The Zombie Corporation Infection Is Spreading

July 30, 2015
Bill Gross says Fed recognizing zero percent rates causing harm to U.S.

What was equally troubling, Gross said, is that because double-B and single-B rated and in some cases triple-C rated companies have been able to borrow at less than 5 percent, "a host of zombie and future zombie corporations now roam the real economy."

The Sarcasm Report v.230

July 30, 2015
Dow briefly dips 100 points on earnings, US economic data

"Pick your poison but the Fed really is trying desperately for one if not two rate hikes."

Mother: Why won't you clean your room?
Daughter: Things keep coming up.
Mother: It's been almost a decade since you last cleaned it.
Daughter: I know but I haven't found the time.
Mother: How many times have you told me you would?
Daughter: About 50?
Mother: Janet Louise Yellen! Don't you be smart with me!
Daughter: Um, sorry mom.
Mother: You will clean this room today or you are grounded!
Daughter:  But mom!! I've been trying desperately to clean it one to two times all week!
Mother: Have you had full control over the cleaning process?
Daughter: Yes.
Mother: So what is stopping you?
Daughter: Market forces.

Quote of the Day

July 29, 2015
NYC investigates Legionnaire's outbreak

City officials are "concerned" about the outbreak, health commissioner Mary Bassett said in a statement.

That's not the quote of the day. I refer you instead to the one and only comment posted so far.

I've made $64,000 so far this year working online and I'm a full time student. I'm using an online business opportunity I heard about and I've made such great money. It's really user friendly and I'm just so happy that I found out about it. Heres what I've been doing...

That was definitely in the running for the quote of the day. I therefore read it to my girlfriend to hear what she thought, especially since two people have given that quote a thumbs up.  Here is what she said:

I love it when I see comments like this! It completely renews my faith in humanity to know that someone out there is so selfless and cares so much about others that they would be willing to share the secrets of their wealth, knowing that it could diminish their own financial gain. I'm so overcome with emotion right now, I don't even care that this comment contains a run-on sentence!

That's the quote of the day. I might be a bit biased, since she is my girlfriend and I am fond of sarcasm, but I think it goes deeper than that. It clearly shows a firm grasp of economics.

If a person is happily making $64,000 in just 7 months and they share their online business opportunity with millions of other Americans (some of whom may actually be infected with the Legionnaire's disease), then the law of supply and demand dictates that they probably won't be making $64,000 in the next 7 months. Their income will drop dramatically due to the impending online employee glut.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Breaking News: Debt and Rent Not Part of Economy

July 29, 2015
More millennials living at home, and you can't blame the economy

Got it. Can't blame the economy. So what can we blame?

1. Part of the problem can be linked to student loan debt, which can hinder independent living, according to the report.

2. The report doesn't go into more detail about why millennials are choosing to live with their parents, but Fry said rising rents in metropolitan areas, along with a change in attitudes about moving back home, could be part of it.

In summary, we can't blame the economy for millennials living at home. We should instead blame debt and rent.

Forehead. Desk. Whack. Whack. Whack.

See Also:
The New Yorker: The Debt Economy
CBS News: The Rental Economy's Big Problem: Apartment Rents

Rick Perry vs. Donald Trump: A Pull Up Contest! Yes!!

July 29, 2015
Rick Perry Challenged Donald Trump to a Pull-Up Contest

May the driest and most mature candidate win! Hahaha! :)

The Rest of the Story: The Lion Hunter

Last year, a dentist from Minnesota was out hunting lions in Zimbabwe for sport and love play.

His guides lured a lion from a protected game reserve so that he could pretend to shoot it.

The dentist takes his first shot but misses. The lion rushes up to him and offers a deal. Drop to your knees and blow me. I'll let you live. The dentist obliges.

As the lion walks away satisfied, the dentist fires another arrow. The lion once again rushes back and offers the same deal yet again. The dentist obliges.

The lion, looking extremely satisfied at this point, prances away with a renewed sense of life. The dentist fires his third and last arrow at his target. It too misses. The lion, in utter amazement, rushes back to the dentist and asks a simple question, "You are not in this for the hunting, are you?" Oh, how they laughed as the dentist once again obliged him.

This year, armed with those same three arrows, the dentist, a lover of big game, returned to his favorite vacation getaway. Much to his horror, the first shot hits. Unfortunately, he's just an incredibly bad shot. He had no intention of harming the lion. That's why he tracked the wounded animal for 40 hours and severed its head, much like he's done in the past. For example, when something had gone seriously wrong on his college dates. It's just a horrible misunderstanding! A crime of passion!!

This is a fictional story. Any resemblance to actual dentists from Minnesota and actual lions from Zimbabwe is purely coincidental.

In all seriousness, am I being a hypocrite when I hunt big game hunters for sport? I don't even feel guilty. Why is that?

Your Vitally Important Retirement Plan

July 29, 2015
Does the Ideal Retirement Portfolio Look Like?

It is vitally important to have at least a portion of your retirement savings growing faster than the rate of inflation, because this allows you to increase your purchasing power over time.

It is vitally important that:

1. You study the ancient writings of stock market performance to fully understand the future of stock market performance, even though, as we all know all too well, past performance is not necessarily indicative of future performance.
2. You believe your investments will always grow faster than inflation. Failure to do so, especially if your heresy becomes widespread, will virtually assure that they can't.
3. Your investments actually do grow faster than inflation over the long-term, using our country's free lunch perpetual motion debt-based prosperity machine.
4. You did the bulk of your investing between 1982 and 2000. Trust me on this. It will make things a lot easier.
5. You no longer embrace safety. With so many years of ZIRP under our belts, you must swing for the fences to have any hope at all. Compound interest, once the pride and joy of a well balanced portfolio, is now considered only for schmucks.
6. You were born in the United States. If you were born in Zimbabwe, for example, some wealthy U.S. dentist might shoot your most profitable lion just for sport. That will make it very hard for your investments to keep up with inflation. That's especially true if your country has struggled with inflation in the past. For example, Zimbabwe.
7. You diversify your portfolio to include all the very best growth stocks, such as Twitter and Yelp (down 15% and 25% respectively today).
8. You spend more time on your certified financial planner's yacht. If you dangle enough dollars every now and then, and if you negotiate properly, he should offer at least one weekend per year to schmooze you. Not doing so is just money down the drain. You paid for some of that yacht. You know it. He knows it. You should enjoy it too. Think of it as a floating timeshare. Also consider visiting his kids at Yale if the markets head south. You might be able to guilt one of them into buying you a dinner.

Yelp Upgraded to Adamantium Buy

July 29, 2015
Yelp shares plunge, chairman steps down

Shares of the online reviews site toppled 28% Wednesday after it reported grim second-quarter earnings Tuesday and said chairman Max Levchin is leaving.

August 22, 2014
Yelp (YELP) 2015 Price Target - $130

In early 2014, YELP went parabolic and hit $101.75 per share, just $3.25 shy of my 2014 price target of $105. This move satisfied all of my expectations for the year in 3 short months. I have since been focused on my 2015 price target of $130.

The unsustainable parabolic trend came to an end. Who would have guessed?

Yelp (YELP) is now a buy in the $65-$70 range.

Buy! Catch that falling knife!

In conclusion, don't fear big drops, buy them. Buy between $65-$70 on the next major correction and add more if it drops from there. Look to sell between $100-$130 in 2015 and then attempt to buy back lower when everyone is betting against YELP again.

Don't fear the big drops! Buy them! Yelp is now an adamantium buy at $25 per share. That's right. It is the Captain America's shield of safe stock buying opportunities! No further harm can come to you!

Yelp! Don't let the fat cats bite your ear off with your complacency! You can always sell at $130 later this year! Just think of the profits!!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The Crock of @#$% Report v.019

July 28, 2015
How much money you need to save each day to become a millionaire by age 65

It also assumes a 12% annual return.

Savvy Chinese Investors Strike Again

July 28, 2015
Chinese farmer invested life savings in stocks, lost it all

But after sinking his entire life savings—$164,000—and his relatives' money into shares of a local mining company, he lost everything. Not only that, but Yang's brokerage convinced him to borrow more than $1 million to buy stocks on margin. He now owes roughly what he originally invested after liquidating his portfolio.

The Great Chinese Famine Corporation

Mining "fa" since 1959! Proven track record! Can't lose! Every investor loves a famine! Publicly owned, locally operated.

The Sarcasm Report v.229

July 28, 2015
After strong quarter, Ford aims to 'disrupt like a startup'

"We are really pushing ourselves to think, to act, and disrupt like a startup company," said Fields, who heads the automaker founded by Henry Ford 112 years ago.

January 16, 2015
90% Of Startups Fail: Here's What You Need To Know About The 10%

Nine out of ten startups will fail. This is a hard and bleak truth, but one that you’d do well to meditate on. Entrepreneurs may even want to write their failure post-mortem before they launch their business.

Speaking as a taxpayer who has grown weary of auto company bailouts over the years, what's the worst that could happen again?

Speeding Motorcyclist Feels Little Impact from Latest Crash

July 28, 2015
Global investors feel little impact from China market plunge

Despite the global jitters emanating from China's stock market moves, the value of publicly owned shares traded there represents about 7 percent of the world's total, according to the latest figures from the World Bank.

When asked how the motorcyclist felt about the future growth prospects of his beloved motorcycle career, he remained optimistic.

My hands weighed about 3 pounds, my emptied colon weighed 4 pounds, and my spleen weighed just half a pound. That means I only lost about 4 percent of my body weight. It's no big deal. There will be little to no change in my long-term strategy. Can I ask one favor before you leave though? Could you pass me a fresh colostomy bag?

American Inquisition vs. Spanish Inquisition

July 28, 2015
Trump adviser Michael Cohen apologizes for rape comment

American Inquisition

"I will make sure that you and I meet one day while we're in the courthouse. And I will take you for every penny you still don't have. And I will come after your Daily Beast and everybody else that you possibly know," Cohen said, according to the Daily Beast. "So I'm warning you, tread very f---ing lightly, because what I'm going to do to you is going to be f---ing disgusting. You understand me?"

Spanish Inquisition

"I will make sure that you and I meet one day while we're in the church. And I will take you for every drop of blood you still don't have. And I will come after your pet beast and everybody else that you possibly know," the cardinal said, as heard by your pet beast. "So I'm warning you, you risk burning very painfully and slowly, because what I'm going to do to you on the stake is going to be painfully disgusting. You understand me?"

I sure am glad that we have advanced as a society.

Monday, July 27, 2015

An Ideal Running Mate for the 2016 Presidential Election

If you are looking to win the 2016 presidential election, then you will want a running mate who has great problem solving skills, offers great advice when needed, will remain calm under pressure, and maybe, just maybe, can perform a good scalp massage.

Stock Market Investing Should Be Really Fun!

July 27, 2015
2015 has simply not been a fun year in the stock market

In 2015, the S&P 500, which opened the year nearly at all-time highs...

1. Really fun in 2000! :)
2. Not so fun in 2001. :(
3. Really fun in 2007! :)
4. Not so fun in 2008. :(
5. Really fun in 2014! :)
6. Not so fun in 2015. :(
7. Really fun in 2021? :)

Call me an optimist! Woohoo!

In all seriousness, what's the worst that could happen? Again?

Reality Check: "Best July in a Decade"

July 27, 2015
Calculated Risk: Vehicle Sales Forecasts for July: Over 17 Million Annual Rate Again, Best July in a Decade

If you look at your paycheck, expect it to grow with inflation, and you see that it is pretty much the same nominal amount that it was a decade ago, then which phrase would you likely say?

1. "Best July in a Decade"
2. "F%^k that s%^t!"

If you look at vehicle sales, expect it to grow with the population, and you see that it is pretty much the same nominal amount that it was a decade ago, then which phrase would you likely say?

1. "Best July in a Decade"
2. "F%^k that s%^t!"

Practical Advice for Restaurateurs

July 27, 2015
These 2 unlikely fast food restaurants are killing the rest of the industry

"It's been a process," Arby's CEO Paul Brown told Business Insider in February.


"We're in a unique position because consumers perceive our food as high-quality, but we are routinely priced below fast-casual competitors," Brown said.

1. Give consumers what they want! Condiment lipstick on the "processed" pig!

Burger King also doubled down on its marketing strategy to appeal to young and cash-strapped customers.

2. Never underestimate the resiliency of American consumers! Unless of course, you know they are cash-strapped, and you see an opportunity to double down on their misfortune.

IMF Paints Dim Picture for Europe's Debt Addicts, Suggests More Debt May Be Needed

July 27, 2015
IMF paints dim picture for Europe, suggests more money printing may be needed

BRUSSELS/FRANKFURT, July 27 (Reuters) - The International Monetary Fund warned on Monday that the euro zone's prospects were modest and that more money printing than planned may be needed.

Oops. Did I say debt? I meant money printing! How embarrassing! Sorry about that.

Why would the world's governments ever borrow money when they can simply print it as needed? It would make no sense! What was I thinking?

But the U.S. government has a technology, called a printing press (or, today, its electronic equivalent), that allows it to produce as many U.S. dollars as it wishes at essentially no cost. - Ben Bernanke (2002)

See? Only a fool would borrow money when it can be printed at essentially no cost! Now, if I could just figure out why our country has $18 trillion in federal public debt. Did we make a large purchase using a cash back credit card? That's not just smart, it's wicked smart!

The Cunning Plan at Lands' End

July 27, 2015
Lands' End CEO on her post-Sears plan: "I am here to move the needle"

In the first quarter of 2015, Lands’ End revenue fell 9.4% to $299.4 million, hurt in part by a 15.5% decline in its retail sales, which overwhelmingly come from its 235 shops inside Sears stores.

1. Find the needle.
2. Move the needle to safety.
3. Help extinguish the haystack fire.

What We Know vs. What We're Told

Here's what we know:

1. The 30-year treasury averaged 3.4% in 2013.
2. The 30-year treasury averaged 3.4% in 2014.
3. The 30-year treasury is currently below 3.0%.
4. Interest rates go up in a rising interest rate environment.

Here's what we're told:

1. It's a rising interest rate environment.
2. The Fed won't allow another recession.
3. The stock market always goes up.
4. The moon is made of green cheese.

Gartman vs. Cartman

July 27, 2015
Why Dennis Gartman changed his mind on US stocks

"Two [or] three weeks ago I was quite bullish on stocks," he said. "[But] now I see a lot of reasons to be at best neutral on stocks here in the United States and even slightly bearish of them."

If 6 trading days ago actually means two or three weeks ago, and telling us we'd be foolish to short stocks actually means you were quite bullish, then yes, you have definitely changed your mind yet again. What did it? The roughly 3% lost on the S&P 500?

1. Screw you guys.
2. I'm going home.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Quote of the Day

I'm watching a horror movie right now on IFC and I gotta tell you, I'm a bit disturbed by something I just heard.

You'd think educating children would be more of a priority in this country. But you'd be wrong. Government's got better things to spend our money on. Like corporate handouts, and building bombs. - Irene, The Mist (2007)

2007? Holy crap! This is conspiracy theory level stuff. What did Stephen King know and when did he know it?

Oh, wait. Irene said corporate handouts, not corporate bailouts. Never mind. Whew! ;)

See Also:
Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008

How to Pick a Gambling System on YouTube

Novice gamblers should pick the system that pays $2,000 per day.

Advanced gamblers should pick the system that pays $515 per hour.

Expert gamblers should pick the system that pays $902 per hour.

If you aren't sure what skill level of gambler you are, then do not worry. As long as you pick any system showing a craps table, a right hand, some chips, and some dice then you cannot lose. It's the dirty little secret casinos don't want you to know.

See Also:
Sarcasm Disclaimer

The Sarcasm Report v.228

July 25, 2015
Rent the Runway's designer closet tops $800 million

Amid a recession and stagnant wages, she saw that there was a way to get young women into higher quality clothing.

My top priorities when confronted with recessions and stagnant wages have always been:

1. Higher quality clothing.
2. Bigger television with crisper images.
3. More powerful stereo with surround sound.
4. Bigger and more luxurious apartment.
5. Mercedes Benz S-Class. Enough said.
6. Puppies!

Given enough easy credit, you too can live the renting and leasing dream!

December 6, 2012
Puppies for Rent - a real live business

The puppies are available for rent for a fee of $15 for one hour or $25 for two.

The more you rent, the more you save!

The 10 Defense Readiness Conditions (DEFCON) of a Dog Owner

1. Good dog.
2. Stay. Good dog.
3. Sit. Stay. Good dog.
4. Come. Sit. Stay. Good dog.
5. No! Come. Sit. Stay. Good dog.
6. Why would you eat that? No! Come. Sit. Stay. Good dog.
7. What did you just eat? Why would you eat that? No! Come. Sit. Stay. Good dog.
8. F#%^!! What did you just eat? Why would you eat that? No! Come. Sit. Stay. Good dog.
9. Oh s%^t!! F#%k! What did you just eat? Why would you eat that? No! Come. Sit. Stay. Good dog.
10. What are you doing? Oh s%^t! F#%k! What did you just eat? Why would you eat that? No! Come. Sit. Stay. Good dog.

The goal is to never reach level 6! Hahaha! :)

This post inspired by:

Here Are 14 Things You Will Say To Your Kids A Million Goddamn Times


This Country Needs More Unsophisticated Investors

July 25, 2015
For novice restaurateurs, risk of failure is high

“It's generally not the kind of economic investment for a sophisticated investor just because there is such a high failure rate for these kinds of ventures.”

How else can we continue to sustainably grow our thriving service economy now that the Fed has permanently put an end to all future recessions?

Brace for the Greek Optimism!

July 26, 2015
Debt conundrum to keep Greek banks in months-long freeze.

"The banks are in deep freeze but the economy is getting..."

We've all seen it hundreds of times before. You know, that false sense of hope that comes after the but. It's once again time to brace for that little ray of sunshine. Here it comes!

"...weaker," said one official, pointing to a steady rise in loans that are not being repaid.

WTF! Weaker? Seriously? That has to be just about the most pathetic confidence booster I've ever seen. And it came out of an official's mouth? Seal the watertight doors. Man the lifeboats. Fondly recall flashbacks of your childhood. This ship's hit an iceberg!

I should be a Greek official, for I could certainly do better than that. When I think of Greece, I think of Atlas, Prometheus, and Perses! That's what would make me optimistic. Let's work those legendary titans into the narrative and cast aside all this doom and gloom.

I'm trying to think of a word that could represent them all. Let's see. If oceanic means something relating to the oceans then what word could be something relating to the titans? Is there a word that has both "titan" and "ic" in it?

Yes! Titanic! Of or relating to the titans! Genius! I am filled with optimism! That ship's unsinkable!

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Quote of the Day

July 24, 2015
Newsweek: Why Europe Is Drowning Beneath a Tidal Wave of Debt

Arguably, then, Greece is not drowning in debt. It has already drowned. It may seem fanciful to suggest that other countries could be in danger of a similar fate, but equally, it is probably dangerous to assume that Greece is unique: a spectacle we can observe from a safe distance with a mixture of voyeurism and horror.

I would never attempt to observe the spectacle in Greece from a safe distance with a mixture of voyeurism and horror! Never!

That said, I am generally risk averse, my favorite movie of all time is Alien, and I like to watch. Okay, who brought the popcorn? ;)

Ripley: Ash, that transmission... Mother's deciphered part of it. It doesn't look like an S.O.S.
Ash: What is it, then?
Ripley: Well, I... it looks like a warning. I'm gonna go out after them.
Ash: What's the point? I mean by the, the time it takes to get there, you'll... they'll know if it's a warning or not, yes?

Shame on me! Bad Mark! Bad! Bad!

Two Simple Questions, Two Easy Unbiased Answers

July 22, 2015
How Many Sandra Blands Are Out There?

1. Did Trooper Brian Encinia really need to pull her over?

Yes. In the interest of public safety, a driver who fails to signal is a danger to everyone.

2. Once he had, did he need to escalate the encounter?

No. In the interest of public safety, an armed police officer who cannot remain professional is a danger to everyone.

Two simple questions, two easy unbiased answers.

The Sarcasm Report v.227

July 25, 2015
Greek bailout talks pushed back by a few days on logistics-official

"The reasons for the delay are neither political, nor diplomatic ones," the official added.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see what's going on here. If it isn't political, it isn't diplomatic, and it involves logistics then it must be cosmetologistical.

And for the benefit of those who have not heard the term before, cosmetologistical is the complex process of managing all the hairstyling, skin care, cosmetics, manicures, pedicures, and electrology appointments that all of the leaders must go through in order to work out a bailout deal.

One must always look one's best when the fate of millions of people are on the line, especially when the news media's camera crews are out in force. ;)

The Crock of @#$% Report v.018

July 25, 2015
The oil crash has done nothing for America

Not only is it impacting Visa directly, but the company also said this is adding up to a more or less stagnant economy.

And so this increased saving, on some level, is fine and well for American consumers.

The fall in oil prices has clearly helped Americans, but it certainly hasn't helped America! Not one bit!

Where's a frickin' terrorist when we need one? Maybe disrupt some oil in the Middle East? Get our troops back into action and get oil prices up past the $100 level again!

At the very least, each and every one of us should hope for the mother of all hurricanes to sweep through the Gulf of Mexico! Let's reduce those rig counts and get Visa back on their game! Just think of the increased consumer credit card spending if the hurricane touches land! Cha-ching!

Because, as we all know deep down, what is best for Visa is best for America! If Visa says lower oil prices are stagnating this economy then somebody needs to do something about it!

Too much sarcasm? I know it must get tiring for me to keep asking, but I don't want to alienate any Visa executives who might read this blog on a daily basis. That would be the last thing I would ever want to do! From a deeply sarcastic standpoint, trust me on this.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Volvo's Test

You have 30 seconds to complete the test. You may begin.

1. Why do we do it?
2. Why do we spend every waking moment thinking about people?
3. Why are we so committed to keeping you connected?
4. Why combine performance with a conscience?
5. Why innovate for a future without accidents?
6. Why do any of it?
7. Why do all of it?

Here are the answers. See how well you did!

1. So we can increase the price of our vehicles and increase our sales volumes while increasing our profit margins.
2. We don't. It's an advertisement. The government regulators and typical Americans are willing to accept that excessive exaggeration does not necessarily constitute fraud.
3. We want you to always have easy access to our advertising.
4. We want the most tech savvy drivers to think we use cyborg technology.
5. We are eternal optimists. Optimism creates confidence. Confidence increases auto sales.
6. So we can increase the price of our stock.
7. So we can increase executive compensation.

Clearing Up Naive Investor Misunderstandings at Sears

July 24, 2015
Sears Holdings: How $3 Billion Turned Into a Negative

It isn’t really clear why the stock is in a huge downtrend other than possibly typical misunderstandings of the transaction and Sears in general.

Here is an example of a typical misunderstanding that everyone can relate to.

Let's say you have a friend who once had a great high paying job as a senior financial analyst. When the Great Recession hit, he lost his job and is now the head fry cook at a local fast food chain. He wanted to maintain his standard of living though, so he clearly had some cash flow problems.

Using the problem solving and negotiating skills of his last job, he decided to raise cash by selling his 2014 Lamborghini Veneno Roadster. You, being one of his friends, were amazed at how much money he got for it.

In an effort to continue maintaining his standard of living, he worked out an equally impressive deal leasing that car back from the current owner. It wouldn't be forever of course. He would just do it until he got fully back on his feet. You know, just until the financial services industry started hiring massive numbers of financial analysts again.

So, you are probably wondering how you can invest in his turnaround story, now that the Fed has permanently put an end to recessions. Well, that's not a problem. He's just incorporated himself, once again using the skills he gathered at his last job, and is now accepting cash from new investors.

This also explains why your voice mail is full. He's being very persistent and won't seem to take no for an answer. Seems to think that a true friend would not allow another friend to miss out on his once in a lifetime opportunity. And that restraining order? Doesn't seem to stop your doorbell from ringing at 3am. But what else can you really do? He's a true friend who is only looking to help you now that he's down on his luck. It's probably all just a typical misunderstanding.

Of course, the biggest direct issues for shareholders is that the company traded the large cash position for an ongoing lease payment. The higher expenses have a direct impact on earnings that were already extremely negative.

You think? I have no desire to be a Sears investor, even at these "low" prices. Could be wrong to think this way of course, but the long-term risk is way too much for me. And further, I wouldn't want to be a hypocrite. One of my predictions for 2015 was that department store sales for the industry as a whole would be lower in 2015 than they were in 2014. Unfortunately, no pleasant surprises on that so far. Way to go Amazon, I guess.

I Twat: I Taw a Puddy Tat!

The past tense is twat.

Reader dearieme left this comment in a previous post for me today regarding tweets that have happened in the past. Who am I to argue differently? It's perfect!

My father would tell a joke then laugh at it even if nobody else did. That's how I feel today. You can laugh or not laugh but I can tell you this much with absolute certainty. I'm laughing. Hahaha! :)

See Also:
I Tawt I Taw a Puddy Tat

The Sarcasm Report v.226

A third sarcasm report in a row? What can it mean?

July 24, 2015
Mish: Hedge Funds Net-Short Gold First Time in History; Contrarian Views

First time in history? First time in geological history? First time in human history? First time in recorded human history? Does this predate the bible? Inquiring minds want to know!

Hedge funds are holding the first ever bet on a decline in gold prices since the U.S. government started collecting the data in 2006.

Ah, the extensive history that goes all the way back to 2006. That's the year I sold gold for a 50% profit. That must mean that "history" also shows that I never bought gold, since my purchase was in 2004, long before "history" began. Put another way, "history" shows that I only sell gold.

I remember 2006 well, which is odd given how long ago it was. I was just a 42 year-old retired kid when the desire to sell gold entered my thoughts, barely old enough to feed myself or start a blog. In fact, it wasn't until the Great Recession appeared imminent in 2007 that the blogging thing became a reality.

Good times. I will always look back with fond memories at that distant era of my life.

Sorry Mish. Everything is fair game to a sarcastic heckler. Guilty as charged. ;)

Disclosure: I have little opinion regarding the current price of gold. I have claimed in the past, when gold first breached $1000, that hoarded toilet paper would be a better (safer) long-term store of value. I stand by that but it's just an opinion. I would not dare to predict what others will ultimately pay for gold, any more than I would dare to predict what investors in other assets prone to bubbles would ultimately be willing to pay.

The Sarcasm Report v.225

Two sarcasm reports in a row! Woohoo!

July 24, 2015
What Miniature Nuclear Reactors Could Mean For The World

The basic idea behind miniature nuclear reactors is that by building a small scale reactor in a modular cube, the system allows for cost savings, better flexibility to move power where it is needed, better protection from terrorists and natural disasters, and a simpler operating design.

1. The ability to easily move nuclear reactors will offer much better protection from terrorists, assuming the terrorists aren't parked by the roadside anxiously awaiting the next miniature nuclear reactor to pass by.

2. Speaking as a responsible gun owner (Kimber 1911 .45), I think that we can all agree that one reason there are so few murders in this country is because howitzer technology was miniaturized to the point where almost anyone on the street can gain access to a .44 Magnum given the proper motivation.

Similarly, expanded use of reactors on naval vessels to power directed energy weapons and railguns clearly makes sense as well.

3. It makes perfect sense. You know what else makes perfect sense? In hindsight? Hundreds of years from now? Or less?

The Sarcasm Report v.224

July 24, 2015
CNBC: This pro says millennials are not prepared to lead

Jeanne Meister, Future Workplace partner, discusses what boomers can do to improve the workplace experience for millennials who are not prepared.

Well, speaking as a boomer, and assuming that millennials want to really lead this country from the very top, then the first thing I would do is show them how to communicate by using two tin cans and a long string. Once the basics are mastered, I'd show them how a wet blanket and a campfire can create smoke signals under the right conditions. And lastly, their training would end with a brief rundown on the merits of morse code and flag semaphore technologies.

As we all know, effective and efficient communication in this modern world is what separates a great leader from a weak one.

March 8, 2015
Lindsey Graham: I've Never Sent an Email

He's been a U.S. senator for 12 years, and was a Congressman for eight more before that, but South Carolina Republican Lindsey Graham says he has never sent an email.

God's Estimated Net Worth Rises a Billion Fold?

July 24, 2015
NASA estimates 1 billion ‘Earths’ in our galaxy alone

That’s a billion planets where human beings, or their genetically modified descendants, as well as their dogs and cats and tomato plants and crepe myrtle trees and ladybugs and earthworms and whatnot, could plausibly live.

Can you say glut? What was He thinking? There's no way He will ever get a fair price on all of His real estate investments. The best He can hope for is that the chief economist at the Galactic Association of Realtors (GAR) points out that everyone in the galaxy needs a place to live and that He just hasn't been making much more land lately.

Disclosure: I'm agnostic with seriously atheist tendencies. Happy to have been born when and where I was, for this is the kind of thing that once could have seen me burned at the stake for heresy. Seriously.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

The Most Polarizing Thing on the Planet

The United States presidential election of 2016?

No! It is Nissan’s GT-R LM NISMO!

July 23, 2015
The Nissan GT-R LM Nismo: Winning by Losing at Le Mans

Some race cars inspire love. Others generate hate. Nissan’s GT-R LM NISMO does both. It couldn’t be more polarizing if it were a nuclear-powered, transgender cyborg engineered to perform Masses and abortions on alternating weekends.

My hat is off to you Preston Lerner. That has to be the most amusing quote I've read all year! Hahaha!

This is my bread and butter (virtual gold farming) car in Real Racing 3, a free to play video game on the iPhone. Very addicting. Has me hooked in a most deflationary free to play way.

Threat of the Day

July 23, 2015
Trump threatens independent run, on sidelines of border visit

But on the sidelines, he was making news for other reasons -- his threat to mount an independent run for the White House if the Republican Party won't welcome him.

If I was a member of the Republican Party then there would be some small part of me that would be thinking the following:

I know you could syphon off some Republican votes if you ran independently, but your threat is a bit like Santa Claus threatening to deliver clown horns to anyone who wants one.

Disclaimer: Not a big fan of Donald Trump. I feel the need to say this on the off chance he reads this post and proclaims that Illusion of Prosperity bloggers all love him.

Why Won't Europe Let Greece Pee?

July 23, 2015
Laws passed, Greece to open bailout talks as recession pushes goals further

In a sign of how the goal of coming to grips with the country's debt is swiftly sliding even further away, Greece's most influential think tank predicted a sharp drop back into recession.

Greece knows Greece needs to pee. You know Greece needs to pee. I know Greece needs to pee. Europe knows Greece needs to pee. So why isn't Greece allowed to pee? What's the point of postponing the inevitable?

April 24, 2015
Girl wets herself on live TV; reporter continues interview

A Mississippi reporter ignored a young interviewee’s insistence that she needed to go to the bathroom — and continued to grill the girl as she wet herself on live TV.

You might think this is funny, and maybe it is, but c'mon, we've all been close to the edge. Sometimes you just gotta pee.

Talking about it endlessly won't help. Trust me on this. The only thing that can really help is peeing.

The Crock of @#$% Report v.017

July 23, 2015
Ferrari IPO could come by end of year

"Ferrari controls the number of cars it produces, so they have power to set prices."

1. Every company on this planet controls the amount of goods and services it produces. Every single one.

2. If that's all it took to have the power to set prices, then we would have a never ending stream of global hyperinflation.

The Illusion of Prosperity Burger Cafe

Attention customers. Due to the rising popularity of our gourmet burgers made from only the healthiest and freshest ingredients, in combination with our desire to have more free time to pursue outdoor recreational interests, we will be limiting our burger production for the remainder of the summer. Our new restaurant hours will be 1pm to 2pm on Wednesdays. We will be creating a single exclusive burger each week. One and only one customer will have the privilege and honor of eating it. Since our power to set prices is based on having complete control over our production, the burger will be sold at a minimum price of $100,000. An additional fee of $20,000 will grant you full access to the condiment bar, where you will find a single exclusive whole onion handpicked by our master chef, a cutting board made from premium hard maple, and a top of the line J.A. Henckels' stainless steel knife second to none. Nothing but the best for our weekly customer! Bon app├ętit!

Gambling: A Fortune to Be Made!

July 22, 2015
Caesars faces bankruptcy after losing key ruling

Caesars, formed through the 2008 buyout of Harrah's Entertainment, has been shuffling casinos and resort properties within the company's corporate family as it struggled with unsustainable debt and mounting losses.

Unsustainable debt? Mounting losses? Are you starting to wonder if my headline was a wee bit sarcastic? While that may be true, I assure you that it isn't quite what you might think!

"There is now the potential that this bankruptcy can get very litigious, complex and long," said David Tawill, president of the Maglan Capital hedge fund.

Very litigious? Complex? Long? The lawyers have hit the jackpot! Bravo!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

What You Will Need to Survive the Coming Apocalypse

A loyal dog!

Um, two loyal dogs! Two! ;)

Sobering Advice for New Mothers

Speaking as a guy who is a huge fan of H.P. Lovecraft, I have some potentially lifesaving advice for new mothers:

Keep the fathers away from the babies!

July 21, 2015
Weighing fatherhood? Gaining a few pounds comes with the territory

Then comes parenthood — and with it, an average weight gain of roughly 3 to 5 pounds for a man who lives in the same home as his child.

Occam's razor

The principle states that among competing hypotheses that predict equally well, the one with the fewest assumptions should be selected. Other, more complicated solutions may ultimately prove to provide better predictions, but—in the absence of differences in predictive ability—the fewer assumptions that are made, the better.

Baby shows up. Father gains weight. Do the math.

why did my gerbils eat their babies?

Males tend to kill off the babies because it puts the mother back in heat. That way, he can mate with her again.

You really need to put the male in his own cage when there are babies around. Once they get the taste of meat, they never stop eating the babies, or even weaker cage-mates.

Please tell me that I did NOT just go there!! I did? Shame on me! Bad Mark! Bad! Bad! ;)

How Many Horses Would It Take to Split the Chips?

July 22, 2015
RPT-UPDATE 1-Qualcomm says may split itself, cut jobs

July 22 (Reuters) - Chipmaker Qualcomm Inc said it may break itself up as it delivered its third profit warning this year and announced plans to slash jobs and spending.

One horse! It's so simple that even top executives can do it.

Quote of the Day

July 22, 2015
Report: Airlines Installing Uncomfortable Bumps In Seatbacks Because It Pleases Them

Smisek noted that for an additional fee, customers would be allowed to purchase seats with only a single, pointed protrusion in the lower back.

I should probably point out that the article is from The Onion. I'm fairly certain they still mostly do satire. Mostly. ;)

The One and Best Reason to Own Real Estate as an Investment

July 22, 2015
Is real estate really the best investment?

"The singular and best reason to own real estate as an investment is to use leverage," said Stephen Lovell, a certified financial planner in Walnut Creek, California.

You heard it here first. The one and best reason to own real estate as an investment is to use leverage.

Confusing? Not sure what that even means? Let me help.

If you have some extra leverage lying around the house then it would be a shame to let it go to waste. You can use it to buy a real estate investment. It's the one reason you'd want to buy. It's also the best reason.

Many people seem to think you need to know what both ends of a hammer do, that a nail gun has nothing to do with the NRA, that electricity doesn't just magically come out of the dry walls, that water leaks can't simply be turned into decorative fountains, and that roofing is not optional even if there's a pool. Those people are wrong. Skill at repairing and maintaining a real estate investment pales in comparison to the power of using any excess leverage you might have built up over the years, much like the creosote that accumulates in a chimney. Dangerous. Use it now or risk the consequences.

There are some risks though, since there is just the one reason to own real estate as an investment. That means the worst reason is also to use leverage. We saw this many, many years ago when the housing bubble popped. It was so many years ago that many people don't remember it at all. And to be completely honest, they don't really need to remember now that the Fed has permanently put an end to recessions.

Still confused? Let me offer a real world example of the general concept.

The singular and best reason to own a 10-speed bicycle is to use the leverage of the 10th gear. Downhill? Sure. Uphill? Absolutely. Just put it in 10th gear when you buy it and always keep it in 10th gear as you ride it. Your legs will thank you for it! Don't be a wimp. Gears 1 through 9 are for f%^king p%^#ies! Every certified bicycle planner knows it!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The Sarcasm Report v.223

July 21, 2015
Cramer: Why I was so wrong about oil

The oil winners of the new world?

As Jim Cramer watches one breakdown after another of high quality oil stocks and master limited partnerships, he is completely boggled. How could he have been so wrong about oil stocks?

The oil winners of the new world?

I wonder how I could have been so wrong...

The oil winners of the new world?

What the heck?

The oil winners of the new world?

That gets to the guts of where I think I got confused, or early or wrong. Let's just call it wrong.

The oil winners of the new world?

None of this made sense to Cramer...

The oil winners of the new world?

He has searched high and low to figure out how he could have been so wrong...

February 29, 2000
The Winners of the New World - Jim Cramer

You want winners? You want me to put my Cramer Berkowitz hedge fund hat on and just discuss what my fund is buying today to try to make money tomorrow and the next day and the next? You want my top 10 stocks for who is going to make it in the New World? You know what? I am going to give them to you. Right here. Right now.

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).

Quote of the Day

July 20, 2015
Toshiba president, senior execs quit over $1.2 bn scandal

"In some cases top management and division leaders appeared to have shared a common objective to inflate profits," the panel said.

There is no way anything like this could ever happen on American soil!

Laughing within the confines of a U.S. corporate jet flying off to a U.S. corporate retreat for top U.S. corporate executives after the U.S. taxpayer has stepped in to artificially inflate your profits?

Um, no comment.

November 12, 2012
5 Awesome Resorts For A Corporate Retreat

If you’re in the mood to party like it’s 2008, look no further than the St. Regis Monarch Beach in Orange County. This is the high-end hotel where AIG reportedly spent over $400,000 on an executive retreat — less than a week after the government’s $85 billion bailout of the company. (The bill included over $23,000 in spa treatments; we guess the executives had a lot of de-stressing to do after their company nearly went down the toilet.)

"Hey, man. Looks like you can pick some numbers."

This is what the cashier at the local 7-11 might tell you if you tell him you have $10 and would like to play the state lottery.

July 16, 2015
Looks like Trump can pick some stocks

Trump's total self-reported profit on stock sales in 2014? More than $27 million.

How did he do it?

How did a person reportedly worth $10 billion manage to make $27 million in the stock market in a year when the S&P 500 was up 11%? How did his profit reach nearly 0.3% of his net worth?

Let's ask that same 7-11 cashier what he might have told Trump at the start of 2014 if Trump had told him that he had $10 billion and wanted to play on Wall Street.

"Hey, man. Looks like you can pick some stocks."

Here are a few other things that can pick stocks:

1. Kindergartners.
2. Trained monkeys.
3. Dart boards.
4. Rocket scientists.

As they say, bull markets make geniuses out of everyone.

Apple Unveils iLifeboat

July 21, 2015
Apple Inc. (AAPL) Tumbles After Q3 Earnings

As of this writing, shares of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) were down 6.93% at $121.70 per share in after-hours trades.

Women and children first please. There is ample iLifeboat for everyone.

LifeLock Unlocks LifeBoat

July 21, 2015
LifeLock Plunges After FTC Alleges Data Security Firm Made False Promises To Consumers

Shares in LifeLock plunged over 48% to $8.22 in the wake of the FTC’s release.

Women and children first please. There is ample LifeBoat for everyone.

Retail Day Trading Profits Unlikely to Have Surged in Second Quarter

July 20, 2015
Morgan Stanley Shares Rise As Trading Profits Surge Nearly 70% In Second Quarter

...bolstered by a sharp rise in trading-related profits...

Call it a far-fetched hunch, but I'm assuming someone must have been on the other side of those trades.

Quit Your Job To Trade Stocks?

Trading is often viewed as a high barrier-to-entry field, but this is simply not the case in today's market. Now, anyone with ambition and patience can trade, and do it for a living, even with little to no money. Sound fantastic? It is, and there are so many options available to people with the desire to put in the time to learn.

Anyone can do it! And do it for a living! Even with little to no money! Too good to be true? Hardly!

Day trading with little to no money is like house flipping with little to no money, but with the added benefit of going head to head with investment bank advanced and proprietary high frequency trading algorithms looking for any potential flaw in your ultra-short-term reasoning! Learn by doing I say! The sooner you get started, the more money you can make!

March 30, 2014
Michael Lewis' "Flash Boys" Exposes Shady World Of Dark Pools; Some Funds Have Already Pulled Out

The author compares these banks who run dark pools to casino owners who need players to attract other players.

5 Things Children Shouldn't Share with Others

1. This nation's nuclear launch codes.
2. This nation's medical records.
3. This nation's Social Security numbers.
4. This nation's financial account numbers and passwords.
5. My f%^king personal cell phone number!

July 21, 2015
Donald Trump gave out Lindsey Graham's personal cell number to America

Trump gave out the number and urged attendees to call it.

If it can happen once, then it can happen again. Is this really the sort of person we want in charge of the Patriot Act? Or even the Do Not Call list for that matter?

Monday, July 20, 2015

The Sarcasm Report v.222

July 20, 2015
Wall Street Lenders Growing Impatient With U.S. Shale Revolution

“They certainly don’t want to push anybody over the edge because the last thing the banks want to do is to try to run a company,” said Robert Gray, a partner at law firm Mayer Brown LLP who has worked on company restructuring.

Speaking as a taxpayer who is on the hook for trillions of dollars in banking bailouts, I can certainly understand their concern. I have often thought that the top bank executives should not be running companies. That's especially true of bank executives running banking companies.

Quote of the Day

As seen on the Internet above a photo of a Confederate flag:

I just seeing how mite want so I can get so more flag but they went up in price does eneyone want some for $12

My girlfriend's oldest friend, born and raised in the South, has offered a translation for the benefit of the Yankees.

Unfortunately, I can translate. You see, the low supply and higher demand (that's something called E-CO-NOM-ICS) of this item has resulted in a price jump. Before buying more inventory, the poster is wondering whether anyone would like to make additional purchases and, if so, how many?

I'd share the link but it is a closed Facebook group.

Bethesda's Next Buggy Hit: The Elder Care Scrolls

July 20, 2015
Families face tough decisions as cost of elder care soars

"If you have any money, you're going to use all of that money," Goldblum said. "Just watch how fast it goes."

As is typical in any role playing game, one must burn through resources to level up.

The Elder Scrolls

Like most works of high or epic fantasy, the Elder Scrolls games are typically serious in tone and epic in scope, dealing with themes of grand struggle against a supernatural or evil force.

You awaken to find yourself trapped within the confines of a nursing home. Your next monthly payment of $14,000 is due in three days. As you look around the room, you see a variety of tools to assist you. There's a small bowl containing a red gelatinous substance sitting in front of you, a spoon made of steel to its right, and an enchanted bedpan of holding on the table to your left. Let the adventure begin! What will you do?

Hey, don't blame me. I use humor as a defensive mechanism, lol. Sigh.

The Sarcasm Report v.221

July 20, 2015
Kiplinger: Great Mutual Funds to Earn Income for Retirement

He has also built big positions in Venezuela and Russia, two oil-exporting countries where falling energy prices have pushed up yields. Carlson believes the countries can still make good on their debt—and, over the years, he has often been proved right.

So, there I was in the casino using my guaranteed system that was sometimes proved right. This guy comes in and sits down next to me. We started talking about the hypnotic qualities of the roulette table. Over the next few hours something miraculous happened. He was consistently losing about half as much as me. I asked him how he did it.

It turns out that he was using a guaranteed system that has often been proved right. That was clearly a step up from my system. I obviously wanted to know more. He would not tell me the details though. Said it was a trade secret and that telling me could result in him being banned from the casino.

So, I began to observe his play more closely looking for any possible patterns in his betting. After several more hours it hit me like a ton of bricks. He was only betting half as much as I was. I was floored. Why hadn't anyone else thought to do this? I was gambling in the presence of genius!

I tried using his guaranteed system and more often than not, it did indeed prove right. However, the thrill just wasn't there. I could not maintain the slower pace. Boredom set in. That's when I thought up a third guaranteed system. I used my credit card to increase how many chips I could have at the table. Turns out that the more chips you start with, the longer you can play! It almost always has been proved right so far!!

My quest for a guaranteed system that is always proved right continues to elude me, but that's okay. It is only a matter of time before I stumble upon it and win back everything I have lost, and then some.

Mathematical gambling proofs, baby. That's what I am talking about.

Opinion: One Primary Reason the Price of Gold Has Fallen

July 20, 2015
Commodity Prices Plunge to Their Lowest Since 2002

I refer you to the comments:

What is a picture of a gold bar doing in a commodities article? - PABLO

Um, because gold is a commodity?

Oxford Dictionaries: Commodity

1. A raw material or primary agricultural product that can be bought and sold, such as copper or coffee.

Most reasonable people would agree that gold is a raw material that can be bought and sold.

1.1 A useful or valuable thing, such as water or time.

Most reasonable people would agree that gold is a useful or valuable thing.

There is no reason to elevate gold to be more than it is. If you have come to believe that gold is the only element from the periodic table that demands our worship, then I would suggest going without oxygen for a few minutes and getting back to me. Seriously.

Barclay's Redundancy Program

July 20, 2015
Barclays plans to cut more than 30,000 jobs: The Times

This redundancy program, which could reduce the bank's global workforce below 100,000 by 2017 end, is considered as the only way to address the bank's chronic underperformance and double its share price, the newspaper said, citing senior sources.

As heard over the company's loudspeaker:

Attention employees. Our department of redundancy department has implemented a redundancy program intended to reduce the redundancy of any and all redundant employees.

If you meet our department of redundancy department's criteria for redundancy then you have been deemed redundant. You, as a redundant employee, will be contacted shortly through email, text message, voice mail, and first class letter by the department of redundancy department's automated redundancy program's program. The message will direct you to the department of redundancy department's special apology hotline. As a previously valuable yet currently redundant employee, the department of redundancy department's redundancy program's programmed apology hotline provides a nearly infinite number of computer generated apologies customized just for you.

If you do not meet our department of redundancy department's criteria for redundancy then you are invited to join us tomorrow for an all day reorientation meeting provided by our backup department of redundancy department. The backup department of redundancy department's redundancy program will match employees with nearly identical skill sets and place you in new two-person teams of two. One employee will be designated "the primary" and the other will be designated "the secondary". This reduction in redundancy will allow our company to prosper well into the distant future.

This message will repeat hourly until further notice. Copies of this message can be found in the lobby. Thank you and have a great day. Have a great day. Thank you.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Chicago's Cunning Sales Tax Plan

July 17, 2015
Chicago will have nation's highest big-city sales tax rate come January

Chicago stands out because it's a high sales tax amidst a sea of high taxes...

A great number of people across the country will soon be packing up their stuff and moving to the windy city. Everyone loves a winner and the new sales tax will make it #1! Just think of the extra tax revenue that will generate over the long-term!

There is one small problem that could slow them down a bit though.

July 1, 2015
Talking to a Chicago Crime Reporter About Covering the City's Murders

I hope Chicago media is able to find a way to constantly improve on its murder coverage.

The city with world class taxes really should have world class murder coverage too. That pretty much goes without saying.

The Crock of @#$% Report v.016

July 18, 2015
Trump Worth $10 Billion Less Than If He’d Simply Invested in S&P 500

Imagine Trump had retired in 1982, sold his real estate holdings and invested his $500 million in the S&P 500 — that is, 500 stocks representing the American stock market.

Okay, I'm imagining a guy worth $500 million putting every last penny of it into the stock market in 1982, perfectly timing the start of the bull market in a most undiversified way I might add. I'm imagining him not touching any of it for 30+ years so that it can really grow.

I'm imagining him with no job, no ability to pay rent, no ability to buy food, no ability to buy a small economy car. I'm imagining this multi-millionaire with a small cardboard sign asking those who walk past him on the street to spare a few dimes for a guy down on his luck.

Per this calculator, every dollar invested in January 1982 would have been worth $40 by December of 2014. That means Trump’s initial $500 million would have grown to $20 billion. That’s twice what Trump says he’s worth today.

I'm imagining what a guy in his tax bracket must have done to avoid paying any taxes on all of those dividends and capital gains over the years. I'm imagining this poor homeless man being charged with tax evasion. I'm imagining him going to prison for the rest if his life.

You can beat The Donald

If by beating the Donald you mean that I can become a wealthy homeless man, who never under any circumstances spends a penny of it, who will instead someday be "spending" the rest of my life in prison, then I gotta tell you just one thing. I pass.

Only one thing could sweeten the deal for me. Could I tap some of that worth to buy cat food occasionally? I think my life would significantly improve with a herd of 15 cats or so continually scurrying around me. If it is my plan to be crazy, then I'd really like to look the part. As an added bonus, I could share their food when times get tough!

Saturday, July 18, 2015

I'm Looking to Secure $1 Billion in Crowdfunding to Build Spanish Ghost Ship Armada

You cannot lose! I guarantee that you'll get at least some of your money back! Maybe even $1 for every $110,000 you invest!

And if this investment is successful, and I know it will be, then I'll be looking to secure another billion dollars to build a Spanish ghost harbor near the closest Spanish ghost airport! You know, to maximize the undead logistics and stuff. That's right FedEx, I'm gunnin' for you!

The possibilities are endless! Ghost airships? There goes another billion! Yes! Spanish undead steampunk, baby. That's what I'm talking about.

Do not let this opportunity pass you by!

July 18, 2015
Costly Spanish 'ghost airport' gets 1 meager bid at auction

MADRID (AP) — One of Spain's "ghost airports" — expensive projects that were virtually unused — received just one bid in a bankruptcy auction after costing some 1.1 billion euros ($1.2 billion) to build. The buyer's offer: 10,000 euros.

What If Creative Accountants Were Also Masters of Creative Job Offers?

Then it might look something like this:

We have offered you $7.25 per hour to work part-time washing dishes. You are understandably concerned that it might not be enough to live on.

Let's do some crude back of the envelope math to see how much you will earn in a year.

$7.20 per hour is exactly 20% of a penny each second that you work. That certainly makes the math easy. Of course, you won't be making just $7.20 an hour. You'll actually be making a nickel more than that, thanks to the national minimum wage. Our crude estimate based on 20% of a penny per second may therefore be a bit low.

There are 60 seconds in a minute, but let's round that off to 100 to keep the math easy.

There are 60 minutes in an hour, but let's round that off to 100 to keep the math easy.

You will be working 5 hours per day, but let's round that off to 10 to keep the math easy.

You will be working 5 days per week, but let's round that off to 10 to keep the math easy.

There are 52 weeks in a year, but let's round that off to 100 to keep the math easy.

You will therefore be making about $200,000 per year, give or take.

20% x $0.01 x 100 x 100 x 10 x 10 x 100 = $200,000

As you can see, we are being more than generous with our part-time job offer. You'd be a fool to turn it down.

Don't forget about our unique stock option plan. Like other highly compensated employees here, you will always have the option to buy our company's stock at market prices. Of course, that's true even if you decide not to work here. That just shows how generous we can be.

And if that wasn't enough, ask us about our health insurance plan once you start working, or anything else that might interest you: like an annual all expense paid vacation to Disneyland, a well funded company pension, or a chance to win a million dollars each time you come to work on time. We are firm believers in the theory that there are no such things as stupid questions.

A Cynic's View of Tesla's Ludicrous Physics

July 17, 2015
Tesla Offers New ‘Ludicrous Mode’: Zero to 60 in 2.8 Seconds

Here is what we are told.

1. Tesla Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk introduced a new “Ludicrous Mode” for the dual-motor version of the Model S during a call on Friday, allowing the all-electric sedan to go from zero to 60 miles per hour in 2.8 seconds.

2. Ludicrous Mode “is an extension of Insane Mode,” Musk explained. With acceleration of 1.1 Gs, “it’s faster than falling.”

Here is what we know.

3. v = at.

4. g = 32.174 feet per second per second.

5. 1 mile = 5,280 feet.

6. 1 hour = 3,600 seconds.

7.  A car accelerating at g can go from zero to 60 mph in 2.735 seconds.

60 = 32.174 x 2.735 x 3600 / 5280

8. A car accelerating at 1.1g can go from zero to 60 mph in 2.486 seconds.

60 = 1.1 x 32.174 x 2.486 x 3600 / 5280

9. If it takes 2.8 seconds for a car to go from zero to 60 mph then it isn't accelerating faster than gravity, and therefore certainly cannot, on average, be accelerating at 1.1g.

10. In sharp contrast to creative accounting, creative physics can be very easy to spot for those who bother to look.

11. I must be cynical because when given the choice of trusting the numbers or verifying the numbers, I seem to always prefer the latter.

12. Oscar Wilde once wrote that a cynic is a man who knows the price of everything, and the value of nothing. I know the market price of Tesla's stock, but, for the life of me, I have no idea what its market value should really be.

13. Oscar Wilde also once wrote that a sentimentalist is a man who sees an absurd value in everything and doesn't know the market price of any single thing. One could easily imagine a scenario where many stock market mutual fund participants are sentimentalists. Heck, under the right conditions, they might not even know the market price of any single stock they own. What might those conditions be? 6+ years of ZIRP and a sentimental belief that the Fed has permanently put an end to recessions? Call me cynical, but that sounds just about right.

Friday, July 17, 2015

CVS Goes Full Monty Python

July 17, 2015
CVS and Walmart Canada Are Investigating a Data Breach

“Nothing is more central to us than protecting the privacy and security of our customer information, including financial information,” Ms. Pensa said.

No one expects a data breach! Our chief protection is customer security... executive bonuses and customer security; two chief protections... executive bonuses, customer security, and profit margins! Er, among our chief protections are: executive bonuses, customer security, profit margins, and near fanatical devotion to $10 billion share buybacks! Um, I'll come in again...

Quote of the Day

July 17, 2015
Homebuilders take a 'beating' from lack of labor

"We've lost about two-thirds of our Hispanic and South American population in South Carolina, and that has had a profound effect on labor," said McGuinn.

3 Changes Congress Can Make Right Now to Improve Retirement for the Working Poor

July 17, 2015
3 Changes Congress Can Make Right Now To Improve Retirement

In 2015, workers can stash $18,000 in these accounts ($24,000 if they're over 50), but why limit them at all?

1. The single guy working 2,000 hours per year at $10 per hour is only able to sock away 90% of his income, assuming he pays no taxes or has any other expenses. This needs to change.

Currently, seniors need to start taking money out of their traditional IRAs by April 1 of the year following the calendar year in which they turn 70.5.

2. The single guy making $10 per hour who is still working at age 70.5 should have the option to take his IRA distributions later in life, presumably once he has had more time to make the first contribution to his retirement plan.

If you're single, your ability to contribute the full amount to a Roth is eliminated if your income is north of $116,000.

3. The single guy making $10 per hour is being totally shafted by this $116,000 income threshold. It's really limiting his options. It therefore needs to go.

Congress is better known for gridlock than its willingness to embrace change -- especially, when tax implications are in the mix. That makes me pretty skeptical that these rules will change anytime soon, but maybe, just maybe, I'll be pleasantly surprised.

I hear that. The guy working hard for $10 per hour can always dream for a better retirement life though. There's no law against that. Congress needs to wake up and address this first world problem of the working poor, or they'll have no retirement at all.

In all seriousness, if I was part of the working poor then I would find this entire article very depressing and disgusting. Why is it that those with the most always seem to need more? And not for everyone, but just for themselves?

I don't see one thing here that actually helps the working poor. It would certainly help those making $200k+ though. Big shocker. Sigh.