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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?
















Yes.

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

uhh..

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.