...news, moderately offensive commentary, f-bombs...

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

i made a funny

Banker lacked a certain something

Sir, In a meeting recently with a particularly innumerate banker (a history major with no sense of irony) with whom we were discussing risk management, our team were tempted to describe our prospective client as “one derivative short of a financial crisis”. I wonder if your readers have any other double-edged insults that they may care to share?

John Whiteman
Director at Board: Investment Strategy,
The Zeta Fund
Why yes, yes we do.

A history major responds

Sir, Though John Whiteman’s swipe at innumerate history majors struck a little too close to home for me, I’d assure him that I’m merely one tranche short of a collateralised debt obligation.

Todd Fitzgerald
Harrisonburg, Virginia
So many rich people are laughing themselves to death hopefully right now. "Hahaha! Where is Jeeves? He simply must read this."

Also, did you know the Zetas are a renegade Mexican special forces outfit that decided selling/doing drugs was way more fun than not doing that? It's true. Why does John Whiteman work for them?

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

God Save Europe (actually don't)

Faced with a teetering economy, a possible sovereign subprime debt crisis, a breakup up of the currency union, and the hellish prospect of working into their late 50s, Europe's citizens demanded an epic meeting of minds, a concerted action to assuage them of their plight, that they may pull themselves up by their own bootstraps, even if those bootstraps are made by illegal Chinese immigrants in Italy.

That effort was made this week as Euroweeners and their "footballs" voted for the winner of the Eurovision song contest. It's like American Idol but with fewer toffs and more socialism. Anyway, this annoying fucking thing from Germany will save Europe from debt deflation:

I'm no music critic but this is basically the soundtrack to the Holocaust. If the devil take the hindmost then all the other continents have nothing to worry about. Even Antarctica, because whatever sounds penguins make blowing each other can't possibly be as bad. Excuse me while I diversify my foreign currency holdings.

A Mr. Bloggington Achievement Award, however, goes to Azerbaijan, who used their Eurovision entry as a ploy to take back Nagorno-Karabakh while Armenia was busy checking out this girl's ass:


Saturday, May 8, 2010

this explains everything

Have you ever been merrily driving along listening to the Jonas Brothers or whatever when some asshole cuts you off, and you're suddenly overwhelmed by the desire to make a shelter out of that person's skin? Well now we know why:

The draft sequence of the Neanderthal genome, obtained from DNA fragments extracted from 40,000-year-old bones, shows that ancestors of modern Eurasians interbred to some extent with the Neanderthals they encountered as they moved out of Africa between 50,000 and 80,000 years ago.

The discovery, published in the journal Science , contradicts the view of most palaeontologists that there was no interbreeding between Neanderthals and modern humans.

Right, grandpa10. You only "talked" and went out on "one date". Way to slum it.

But hey, good news for Africans finally:

To their surprise, the researchers found that everyone of Eurasian origin – including people from East Asian and New Guinea where Neanderthals never lived – carried a similar amount of Neanderthal DNA, while sub-Saharan Africans had none.

Yea yea, AIDS, poverty, ecological disaster, "government", sure. Well you know what? At least we didn't FUCK NEANDERTHALS.

All this, by the way, on the day the S&P drops 8% in 5 minutes because some dingus forgot his dialing wand and typed a "b" for "billion" instead of an "m", which is significantly less, according to math. But they are very close on the keyboard almost.

[below]: Citigroup trading desk reacts to the share price collapse of Squirrel Pelts, Plc. Thursday. (photo: Bloomberg)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

marketing challenges

ISDA, the business association tasked with defending the usefulness of useless synthetic collateralized debt obligations that destroyed the solar system, thinks the time is ripe for a whole new kind of derivative: sharia-compliant ones.

Haha, everyone hates derivatives enough already without the word "Muslim" attached. Good luck with that. But for those who have longed to make leveraged bets on how many times some trilobite on Saudi TV says "death to Israel", your wait will soon be over.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

This Week in Poorly Thought-Out Currency Unions

Germany finally decided to bomb Greece with money to save the euro. But it will cost them:

On top of the wage freeze, public sector workers will lose their “13th and 14th month” salaries, paid at Christmas and Easter, and see further cuts in allowances.

Andreas Loverdos, social affairs minister, told the Financial Times that pensioners would also lose seasonal bonuses as part of an overhaul of the underfunded state pension system. The average retirement age would be raised from 53 at present to 67, he said.

So Greek public sector workers no longer get paid for "Smarch" and "Cocktober", and they have to work past 53. Quelle horreur! But in Greek.

You know what'll solve this? Setting banks on fire, obviously.

Also, someone slipped Brad, the photoshop guy at The Economist, the brown acid. (KEEP DOING THIS.)

Thursday, March 4, 2010

everyone kill yourselves

My hometown of nearly 30 months, Harrisonburg, Virginia, until now famous only for that dog food smell on Thursdays, was yesterday struck by a 50-megaton spray-tanned nuclear solar flare from space, nearly neutralizing the dog food smell.

James Madison University, the local learning college, hosted Snooki, a human female famous for doing things. She was invited by JMU's Program Board as part of their Distinguished Lecture series. Snooki gave a wide-ranging presentation on topics such as derivatives regulation and Middle East peace for nearly seven minutes, a friend's brother tells me, in a talk titled "At Least Hell Has Free Tanning".

Event organizers were pleased with the turnout, arguing that "bringing a speaker like this is a good way to attract students to events." Sticking with this logic, the Program Board is already preparing for next month's event, Vodka and Cupcakes Night featuring Two Dogs Fucking.

Also, she's not even hot.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

best four consecutive words ever

Eh, this guy, Judd Gregg, the moderate fiscal-conservative bipartisan-curious Republican hero of New Hampshire who was nearly Obama's Secretary of Trains. He simply does not care for "facts".
Mr Gregg also disputed non-partisan economic studies that showed last year's $787bn (€585bn, £520bn) stimulus cushioned the impact of the recession. "The facts are wrong," he said. "I can understand how a Keynesian would make that argument. I find them absurd on their face."

HAHAHA. Gold medal. Suck it, South Korea.

Even devoted Friedmanist follower of Milton Friedman Milton Friedman wouldn't make this argument. He preferred monetary policy to ward off recession, but when monetary policy was exhausted agreed that government spending and tax cuts could be effective, but that tax cuts were better because governments have cooties. Fine, but still.

Gregg then goes on to argue that George Bush's tax cuts "were actually paying for themselves" as Edward Luce develops several aneurysms trying to explain how 1) they actually didn't, and 2) Gregg's logic would at least lend weight to the idea that government spending could in fact blunt a recession. Watch the hardcore action! Or don't, because Edward Luce sounds like a British Harvey Fierstein, only gayer.

What else. Oh right, Judd Gregg then thanks our Chinese overlords for threatening to dump US debt as a fine public service for drawing awareness to our mounting long-term budget problems which the tax cuts he voted for had absolutely nothing to do with you fucking communist.

Haha, Judd Gregg hates the biggest fact of all: America.

Extra credit:
If Mitch McConnell takes a dump in his pants on C-Span 2, does it make a sound? 500 words, double-spaced, on my desk Monday.

Monday, February 22, 2010

UN to tax America's precious moo-cow farts

First they took our guns, then they took our Medicares, FOR CHRIST'S SAKE WHAT DO WE EVEN HAVE LEFT?!

Livestock should be taxed to reduce the contribution made by their flatulence to greenhouse gas emissions, the United Nations said yesterday in a report that will give anti-livestock campaigners fresh ammunition.

The novel suggestion by the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation to use taxation comes as campaigners focus on the impact on climate change of emissions of methane from cattle, sheep and pigs.

This is exactly the kind of thing Charlton Heston warned us about. Wake up, America!
I think I hear taps. Wait, no. Definitely not taps.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

trading fail

No dialing wand?:

J-Com in new 'fat finger' trade case

J-Com, the Japanese re-cruitment company at the centre of a "fat finger" trade in 2005 , has been caught up in another case of market inefficiency after a trader mistakenly bought up a chunk of its shares instead of those of a similarly named but unrelated company. The trader is thought to have mistaken J-Com for Jupiter Telecommunications, a cable television group widely known as JCom and which on Monday was the subject of a tender offer by Sumitomo Corp announced after markets closed.

To make matters worse, the stock price of both Jupiter Telecommunications, Japan's largest cable television operator, and J-Com were at similar levels before the market opened for trading yesterday.


It is not the first time that the recruitment company has been subjected to ill-fated events in the market. J-Com stock was the focus of a botched trade when it listed in December 2005 when Mizuho Securities, the Japanese brokerage, accidentally tried to sell 610,000 shares in J-Com for Y1 each.

Mizuho had been trying to sell one share for Y610,000. The error was compounded by a glitch in the TSE's computer system that blocked attempts to cancel the trade.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Important Financial Regulation Nooz

Oh god damnit. Barack Obama's bank regulation thing. First Obamers rolled out a plan to tax big ole banks to recoup losses on TARP bail-out money. This is around $100bn and would be paid back over 10 years and would be easier on banks with large deposit bases. Fine. Except that:

1) TARP money did not go to just banks, even though they're the only ones who are being asked to pay the new tax.

2) Most banks that took TARP money have already paid the government back at a LARGE PROFIT TO THE GOVERNMENT. Did you know this?

And 3) some shit I can't remember.

Anyway, banks called bullshit on this and its the first time in awhile (history) that they've had a point. Still, it made them cry, and this is funny.

THEN, a few days later, oh man, Obamington rolled the big mother financial regulation thing no one saw coming. This is the Volcker Rule, after Paul Volcker, the 9ft-tall former Fed chairman who wears a blinking red light on his head so as not to be struck by low flying aircraft. The Volcker rule seeks to ban banks from proprietary trading, i.e. trading on their own account. Gambling with customer's money would be fine as long as the customers want to. Gambling with banks' own capital is not. The new rules would also impose limits on banks' size.

Egh. The good thing that can be said about this is that its big and disruptive. Something to shake banks out of their complacency. A modified Glass-Steagall, sort of. Whatever. BUT, if we're looking for actual solutions to actual problems revealed by the actual financial crisis that actually just happened, then I have no fucking idea what any of this is for. Let's review...

At the root of the financial crisis was basically a guess. A guess that people would not default on their mortgage payments in as big numbers as they turned out doing. For most other markets there is a huge statistical history where you can extrapolate all sorts of nerdly things to give you some sort of reasonable idea about where things will go or wont. As is made clear in this book here, banks simply had no idea what default rates for subprime mortgages would look like because there was no such history. So there it is. The guess.

From this guess a massive edifice of complex mortgage-backed securities was built. Banks securitized mortgages and sold them. Other banks bought and repackaged them into even more complex mortgage-backed securities and sold them again. Credit ratings agencies gave them AAA ratings, which means their likelihood of default was the same as the most stable of governments. How did they know this? They didn't.

At the same time trillions of dollars of credit insurance were written between banks on these same securities, and why not, since it was very cheap to do so, and the insurer was more than happy to, since the likelihood of default on AAA assets was by definition very low if not impossible. And since banks thought this effectively immunized them from any risk this only reinforced the process further.

Finally to lubricate this trade a fragile "shadow" banking system arose, with super short-term just-in-time financing and off-balance sheet vehicles with no capital requirements. And the minimal capital cushions banks were required to have under Basel II international banking regulations turned out to be wholly inadequate because those rules used, haha yes, ratings agencies to risk-weight certain assets, the shittiest of which were rated AAA.

Yea well, the guess was wrong. Even people who saw the housing bubble a mile away were shocked by the impact on the financial system. Losses once thought impossible happened daily. The financial system froze. America elected its first black Muslim communist president.

So do you see where the Volker rule fits into all of this? No you don't because IT FUCKING DOESN'T.

I just don't get it, man. Banning banks from proprietary trading, trying to maintain a core of safe banks that can't fail while pushing the risky stuff out into the ether seems to create more problems than it solves, and I'm not convinced it solves any. Goldman Sachs for example can trash its new banking charter to avoid the proposed regulations, but does anyone think this would stop Goldman from getting bailed out if necessary? So what's the point? This would needlessly tie down regulators who would be left bickering over what is proprietary trading and what isn't. That would be fine if that contributed to the financial crisis but Jesus fuck it didn't? Moreover there's no real evidence that size per se had anything to do with the likelihood of failure.

So I have no idea what's going on. At best the new proposals are irrelevant. This is like the financial regulation version of the response to 9/11. Yea, bin Laden attacked us WOO LET'S INVADE IRAQ. But at least we had an idea why George Bush wanted to invade Iraq (freedom). This Volcker rule is just baffling. I really want to believe that this had nothing to do with a certain naked Republican teabagging Ted Kennedy's headstone, but I'm having trouble finishing this sentence.

Fortunately much of the real work to strengthen the financial system is being done through the Basel Committee.

And I am getting way ahead of myself.

The Volcker rule still has to go through Congress where Ben Nelson will make it a tax cut for fetuses somehow.

update: I almost forgot. The Volcker rule also bans banks from investing in hedge funds and private equity, because golly we all know how many hedge funds and private equity companies had to be bailed out: 0.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Senator Oldpants

I signed up to John McCain's mailing list simply to make fun signs like this:

Hilarious, right? I know.

But was it worth having to read things like this?

Our national debt has reached an all-time high of $12.4 trillion dollars as a result of the astonishing expansion of big government under President Obama. And now, Congressional Democrats want to raise our national debt ceiling by an additional $1.9 trillion. This is unconscionable.

If Democrats are successful in raising the debt ceiling, our country will have a budget deficit of nearly $14.3 trillion! It's outrageous and frightening to think of passing on such a staggering amount of debt to our children and grandchildren.

Leaving aside whose fault this all is, and leaving aside that not raising the debt ceiling would require immediate and arbitrary spending cuts (or a fucking default, Jeebus help us)---leaving aside all that---is it too much to ask that someone who's been Senatoring since the Pleistocene know the fucking difference between the budget deficit and the national debt?


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

FT front page Executive Summary

Still a week behind hooray! God damnit, why did I start doing this again?

ESPN is set to launch history's first 3D tele-mo-tron station. And you thought seeing Derek Jeter scratch his nuts in HD was the pinnacle of human progress? Well, you, sir, are a fucking idiot.

Google is opening a store, on the internet somehow (?), to sell its new Google phone thing that no one is buying.

Everyone thought Warren Buffett was going to intervene in the Cadbury bunny saga but it turns out he didn't because this story is a week old.

The Bank for International Settlements invited top private bankers for a top-secret entirely public meeting that Ron Paul and Lyndon LaRouche think is completely nothing to worry about. Actually the BIS yelled at them for their risky business dealies.

Senator Chris Dodd and his hair are sick of Senatoring and will retire this year so as not to lose embarrassingly to a Republican. Democrats will now get a chance to run someone with approval ratings in the double digits and will likely win, because the hedge fund capital of America is also solidly communist somehow. Since Dodd is leading financial regulatory reform efforts in the Senate, everyone is now wondering whether he'll roll over to banking lobbyists with their free handjobs, or "stick to his principles", which is the same thing.

Goldman Sachs is parting with its Japanese mistress of 24 years:
The relationship was cemented by an agreement that allowed Goldman to tap SMFG’s vast balance sheet to help its corporate clients execute trades and do deals.
This is how it always starts. One minute she's letting you tap her "vast balance sheet", now its all arbitration proceedings and paternity suits.

Two dingleberries in the British Labor party---oh, I'm sorry, "Labour" party---thought it would be a good idea to challenge Gordon Brown's leadership just as he actually started gaining on the Conservative's sexy David Cameron in the polls. Poor Alistair Darling was left to twitch his massive eyebrows in confusion.

Ghanian authorities are probing, in the butt, allegations that an oil company with links to a former president helped a Texas-based company secure blocks in a newly discovered offshore oil field at unreasonably sexy terms.

President Obama said "the buck stops with me" over that whole weenerbomber thing. This is a welcome improvement over George W. Bush's "the buck stops here. Well, over there, actually. No, not there. Back a little. No, left.....no......just keep going. Almos--HEY LOOK A PONY!"

Former McKinsey director Anil Kumar, who may or may not frequent White Castle, pleaded guilty to funneling information to his fat Sri Lankan friend in that insider trading thing everyone's already forgotten about.

America added to its massive army of killer mutant Unemploids.

JP Morgan completed the assimilation of Bear Stearns, a famous bank-type thing that collapsed while its boss played cards (this is true). Gone forever is Bear Stearns' memorable corporate logo, the, uh, typed words "BEAR STEARNS". *Tear*

The Financial Times sent a questionnaire to leading banks about how they will deal with UK banker bonus tax. Paying even more ridiculously large bonuses and telling shareholders to suck it was a popular response. Except for Goldman and JP Morgan, who just threw the survey in the trash like normal people.

A Swiss federal court ruled that Swiss authorities broke Swiss bank secrecy laws when Swiss authorities gave up secret Swiss banking information to the United States, from Switzerland. Also they ski and make cheese there.

And in Ukraine, the IMF postponed Christmas so their indigenous munchkins were forced to put off the traditional "stand in line like idiots" until January 7th.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

FT Front Page Executive Summary: Pound of (Camel?) Flesh Edition

Dubai unveiled the world's tallest building, in Dubai of all places, and threw in some fireworks since everyone already knew it was there, what with it being a large building. It was renamed the Burj Khalifa after the president of Abu Dhabi, which had to bail their dumb asses out. There are, hmm, some vacancies.

Some of the world's most important-sounding investment funds are set to cut holdings of US and UK bonds. Say it ain't so, Pimco. 10-year Treasuries creep towards the 4% mark of death, which is uh still really low.

Haha, former Time CEO Jerry Levin is VERY SORRY for the AOL merger that crippled shareholders and urged other CEOs to apologize for the dumb things they did ten years later.

Optimism prevails in the thing-making industry.

And some guy from New Jersey says the US public pension system faces a $2 trillion shortfall, according to math, if you take into account today's lower interest rates and some actuarial shenanigans. Bitchin'.

FT Front Page Executive Summaries

Haha, Ben Bernanke, the new "I didn't do it" boy. Pretty much everyone with any responsibility for the financial crisis this year has at least pretended to be contrite. But he gaveth a speech at the American Economic Association that blamed poor financial regulation rather than low interest rates. And he's probably correct, according to blogs.

December was the first month since ever that the US suffered zero combat fatalities in Iraq. Knock on wood times a million.

Iranian opposition leader Mir-Hossein Moussavi is all like "you know what, go ahead and kill me, you fucks."

Kraft is just so intent on violating the Cadbury bunny.

A TERROR SUMMIT was called by western governments over what to do about Yemen. How bout not bombing the shit out of it? Let's try that once, just to say we did. Separately the US and UK embassies closed for a few hours after unspecified terror threats that may or may not have involved underpants.

Walmart summarily executed the low-price smiley face queer. He wasn't a "team player".

Lobsters 1, Canada O.

And Pope Nazius the Whateverth engaged in a little youthful indiscretion during his New Year's address. Unlike most of us who were able to experiment with controlled substances in our youth (Jergins), Pope experimented with German artillery pieces.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

FT Front Page Executive Summary: Can I Avoid a Borat Joke Edition

If your bank gets bailed out, and you still feel the need for an entertainment budget, then just seriously go ahead and die.

The US International Trade Commission imposed dooties on imports of Chinese steel pipes. Oh fuck BORING.

Kazakhstan is probably the world's biggest uranium miner now, and they might have been trying to sell some to Iran, unless they're not and weren't.

Okay, let's say you're a Muslim, you're from Nigeria, your dad's already warned the US embassy that your skullcap is on a little tight, you're known to have had sexy internet chats with a nutcase Yemeni cleric already known to have had sexy chats with another recent terrorist murderer douche, and intelligence agencies have already caught wind of a possible terrorist attack involving some Nigerian Muslim with connections to Yemen. How 'bout we don't let you on the plane? Take a cab. Or drive one. Dots. Connected.

Relatedly, some European airports will use full body scanners ("Dutch ovens") to defend planes against anymore Hanes bombs. And they come with Dance Dance Revolution. Have you ever tried to dance with pentaerythritol in your anus? Not easy.

FT front page Executive Summary

Ugh, so behind. Anyway... ::drum roll:: ::fanfare:: ::armpit fart:: ...NEWS!

Iran's government wants to know how anyone in Iran could possibly hate its repressive secretive stupid illegitimate government of retarded incompetent rednecks? Oh right,
because of Britain, flobviously. Still sore about Mossadeq.

China also tried to settle historic scores with the UK by
executing a British mental for drug trafficking, because of the Opium Wars, why not. Some complained the trafficker, Akmal Shaikh, was a few bricks short of a stash, given that he, oh let's see, TRAVELED TO CHINA TO BECOME A POP SINGER VIA TAJIKISTAN, as we so often do. But China was all like "lick my dumplings, bitches" and shot him.

President of America Barack "Re-Run" Obama pointed his righteous finger at intelligence agencies who failed to point theirs at the
appropriate underpants. They promised to "go commando".

Russia is considering capital controls to halt the rise of the rouble which is funny because last year they were draining reserves like mad to defend it. Markets are retarded, the end.

And Russian autoworkers brace for the inevitable bearing-of-the-moobs Vladimir Putin is famous for.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


I thought I knew a lot about Yemen. But this suggests I could stand a little more research. Especially with you two. And bring the guns.

FT front page roundup: Economics Fail

Chinese premier Wen Jiabao is all like, "why these peeps be all protectionist and shit when we only subsidizin' our exporters by massive currency intervention? Why you hatin'?"

Obama will check his terrorist watch list, and check it twice.

Also, this watch list is actually called the Terrorist Identity Datamart Environment (TIDE), another sad case in the annals of Struggling To Arrange Awkward Things Into A Cool-Sounding Acronym (STAATIACSA).

A consortium of South Korean companies won a contract to build nookyaler plants in the United Arab Emirates. Nothing bad can come of this.

IMPORTANT STATISTICAL FINDINGS: Countries with large "shadow" (semi-to-not-at-all-legal) economies tend to be cushioned from recession better than others, except in the many cases that they are not, because countries exhibiting pervasive honesty tend to be cushioned from recession better than others. Thank you, interns chained to your desks in the basement of Deutsche Bank.

And lo, pity the poor Iranian police, trying to have a peaceful college-student-whomp-slash- dirtbike-rally (?) only to be pummeled with concrete.

FT front page roundup: Underpants of Terror Edition

Some toolbag from Nigeria tried to blow up a Christmas plane but merely succeeded in esploding his weener. So only THAT will be nailing virgins in paradise. His body gets to stay on Earth and get raped in a Supermax for awhile.

President of America Barack Obama warned the terrifying terrorists that Americans will not be terrified by their terrible terrifying terrorpants of terror.

Republicans and Joe Lieberman (Republicans) think we should invade Yemen. Not double-checking our paperwork or improving airport security, no, this is for pussies. Invading the country with more guns than people is the reasonable thing to do.

In other news...
Terrorists in Pakistan think Shi'a Muslims are not nearly Muslimy enough and cannot stand seeing them live.

The Fed is extending its favorite new monetary policy tool--the ability to pay interest on reserves (also, that's what she said)--to offer banks term deposits as it prepares its exit strategy from quantitative easing.

Haha, this is genuinely funny on its own so read it. It's about boardgames in Argentina. For reals.
Also available is Bureaucracy, which exploits locals’ disenchantment with the country’s notoriously cumbersome civil service. Argentina ranked 118th out of 183 nations in the World Bank’s latest Doing Business survey, which benchmarks obstacles to commerce.

The game is designed to elicit groans of recognition to anyone who has ever spent hours grappling with regulatory issues in public offices in Argentina.

The game, made by toymaker Habano, cheerfully invites players “to waste time and lose their patience” as they move across the board with a lengthening list of documents to procure and departments to visit in their quest to complete a simple piece of paperwork.

It is a game “where everyone loses”, crows the box.

Friday, January 1, 2010

FT front page roundup: Christmas Edition? why not.

Italian authorities uncovered several dead hookers and 80bn in undeclared assets in a tax amnesty but will lose it all what with the government being staffed by Italians.

Haha, the Senate deathcare bill will impose a 10% tax on tanning salons, as John Boehner and his 15-year-old niece cry orange tears.

Let's see, investment banks this (last) year saw a large increase in revenues from service fees from debt and equity issuance, but this was offset by a decline in revenues from merger and acquisition activity. A million points if you can find a joke here.

Glencore, a Swiss commodity trader, is set for an IPO, who cares.

In Bethlehem, Israel is showing the Christmas spirit (AND WHY WOULDN'T IT?) by restoring the original nativity scene with the 30ft concrete barriers that kept baby Jesus from riding his donkey cart on Roman-only roads, for historical accuracy.

And in another Christmas miracle, Sinead O'Connor tackled the Pope or something.

Hard to tell here, but it doesn't look like he signaled fair-catch, and all the flags were late.