Category / Fun

The drugs do work October 15, 2012 at 6:17 am

The news that Lance Armstrong’s lawyer is calling for lie detector tests in his dispute with USADA makes me wonder if the Texan has found a new pill to beat the test. Or maybe has has just taken so much stuff that his perception of reality is permanently warped. As the Mash so perceptively observes

As the US Anti-Doping Agency presented definitive evidence of Armstrong’s drug use, the legendary cyclist insisted all the words in the report were ‘dancing like little funky pixies’… A spokesman for the USADA said that Armstrong’s response was predictable, but conceded: “He is phenomenal at taking drugs.”

Now this may of course not be entirely accurate reporting, but you have to wonder what impact years of world class drug taking might have on a man…

The Clash on Standard Chartered August 17, 2012 at 12:51 pm

I fought the Lawsky and the Lawsky won.

(HT Jonathan Weil, music video here.)

Stay with me July 31, 2012 at 12:12 pm

Inspired by Jonathan Weil on the breakup (or not) of Bank of America, and with apologies to Ronnie Wood:

In the morning
Don’t say you sex me up
Cause I’ll only kick you out of the door

I know your name is Tom
Cause your losses smelling sweeter
Since when I saw you down on the floor [of the NYSE]

Won’t need to much pursuading
I don’t mean to sound degrading
But with a tax loss like that
You got nothing to laugh about

Red P/L and risk limits
I hear you’re a mean old trader
Lets go up stairs and mark to market

Stay with me
Stay with me
For this financial year you’d better stay with me

Jubilee party comment of the week June 2, 2012 at 10:38 am

From, of course, the Daily Mash:

A government spokesman said: “It’s time for everyone to go home. Seriously, before we get the army out.

“Admittedly when you tell a nation of mostly-unemployed drunkards it’s going to be ‘the best party ever’ you might expect it to get a little rowdy. But I’ve just seen Rolf Harris being cooked on a spit by a group of children in Kate Middleton masks.”

Balanced economic analysis May 21, 2012 at 8:57 am

New Bank of England

With all the recent gloom on the UK’s economic prospects if the Eurozone goes into meltdown, it is a relief to read a balanced, nuanced analysis. From the Daily Mash:

Britain will be a prehistoric barter economy within two years, the Bank of England has predicted.

The bank’s latest projections show that negative growth and the collapse of the eurozone will create an economic system based on flint axes, chickens and shiny stones.

Is this really much less plausible than some of the Bank’s predictions? Therefore, in the spirit of providing a helpful tail risk hedge, let me present a possible new location for the Bank if things do get really bad. It needs a bit of work, true, what with the missing roof and all, but you could store quite a few shiny stones there.

Buy New England banks, sell the rest May 17, 2012 at 6:53 am

The St. Louis FED map of bank failures clearly suggests buying banks based in New England against shorting those in the rest of the US.

US Bank Failure Map

I’m joking of course, but it is interesting – and I am sure this map gave someone in the Boston FED a good day.

Fracking story of the day April 21, 2012 at 10:32 am

From that most reputable of news sources, the Daily Mash:

The chances of shale gas exploration releasing a monstrous denizen of the underworld are less than one in three, experts have claimed.

As the army continues to fight two hundred chittering, horned creatures released during a test extraction in Blackpool, energy companies insist they can keep demonic activity at levels that would be classed as ‘normal’ for a seaside town.

Roy Hobbs, an engineer with Shell, said: “By my calculations the Shadow Lord Cthulhu currently rests nine leagues deeper than the shale gas so I’m sure it’ll be fine.

Funding Greece March 8, 2012 at 7:32 am

Thank you to a good gentlemen for this. Click it, it’s amusing.

@twitmericks March 1, 2012 at 1:24 pm

There once was a very old horse
Who after some years in the force
Was lent to Ms Brooks
Who had cops on the books
A fact unrelated of course

(Yes it is terrible. Rebekah Brooks deserves no better.)

The full Argentina (and other options) February 24, 2012 at 6:40 am

Try playing So, what would your plan for Greece be?; it’s fun and insightful.

I got 52 the first time around, 5 the second. Interestingly reading the comments, those, 53, and 10 seem to be the most popular answers, with the full Argentina leading. My favourite comment though was the suggestion that the game should be called Dungeons and Draghi…

A gift from Hereford for Moody’s February 15, 2012 at 11:25 am

The last post, BTW, was no. 1,500. Thank you wordpress for your sterling service over one and a half thousand posts.

Now to substantive if not entirely serious matters. You see, I was musing given all the furore over Moody’s placing us on negative outlook, shouldn’t we really teach them not to mess with sovereigns? We have those men in Hereford who work for the government, so surely some gentle persuasion can be applied…

Seriously though, does anyone really feel comfortable with the power the agencies still have, despite their manifest failings? As Claire Hill puts it, the history of rating agency reform has not been inspiring. Perhaps it is time to have another go.

The best of #FedValentines February 12, 2012 at 9:23 am

This was amusing…

@justinwolfers: You’re my long-run target; my nominal anchor.

@SFFedReserve: I’m going to extraordinary measures to increase your stimulus

@AtlantaFed: I long for you as the economy longs for its long-run maximum potential

@PhiladelphiaFed: Her deviations are never standard, her probabilities never mean.

@PhiladelphiaFed: My initial projections never forecast someone like you would be in my next quarter.

@alanbeattie: I’d like to borrow you overnight and then hold you to maturity

@planetmoney: But, soft! What light through yonder discount window breaks? It is the East, and Ben is the sun.

@sffedreserve: My love is elastic, my commitment too big to fail

@ABWashBureau: You’re a systemic risk… to my heart.

@mckonomy: The sight of you fills me with irrational exuberance…

@CurtNickisch: My love for you is not nominal. It’s real.

@MarkThoma: The non-traditional stimulus was way better than I thought it would be.

Ratings agency comment of the day January 22, 2012 at 10:30 am

From the Daily Mash:

Credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s has upgraded itself to Triple-A Plus Super Fantastic.

(I was going to go with Philip Stevens’ somewhat more sober post on a similar theme in the FT, but I can’t resist the Daily Mash’s nuanced, balanced stance.)

Now, before we go, let’s remind ourselves as to what the collateral looked like behind the mortgages in some AAA tranches…

AAA Super Fantastic

The new Eurozone will be called Bolon Yokte December 3, 2011 at 6:49 am

Let me explain. First, some news from Mayan archaeology:

The end is not quite nigh. At least that is the conclusion of a German expert who says his decoding of a Mayan tablet with a reference to a 2012 date denotes a transition to a new era and not a possible end of the world as others have read it.

The interpretation of the hieroglyphs by Sven Gronemeyer of La Trobe University in Australia was presented for the first time on Wednesday at the archaeological site of Palenque in southern Mexico.

Gronemeyer has been studying the stone tablet, which was found years ago at the archaeological site of Tortuguero in Mexico’s Gulf coast state of Tabasco.

He said the inscription described the return of the mysterious Mayan god Bolon Yokte.

Now, turning to the Eurozone, we have Angela Merkel’s comments yesterday:

Angela Merkel has vowed to create a “fiscal union” across the eurozone with wide-ranging powers to avert catastrophe, saying the process was already under way as part of the “marathon” effort to solve the European debt crisis.

The German chancellor said she was determined to push for treaty changes at next week’s EU summit.

It’s all pretty clear. The new Eurozone will begin in 2012 and, as per the prophecy, it will be a God amongst currency zones, with one bank to rule them all. Now I admit that ‘Bolon Yokte’ is not quite as catchy as the ‘Neues Eurozone’, but it could catch on…

Breaking news November 8, 2011 at 7:02 am

From the Daily Mash:

G20 leaders revealed as covert anti-capitalism activists

THE leaders of the G20 nations are undercover anarchists who have deliberately destroyed the West’s capitalist economy, it has emerged.

Suspicions were aroused after key participants of last week’s acutely dysfunctional summit left with dejected facial expressions that looked suspiciously like ham acting.

French customs officials subsequently searched President Obama’s suitcase to discover a Guy Fawkes’ mask, luminous juggling clubs and dog-eared back issues of Class War magazine with notes pencilled in the margins.

Entirely plausible isn’t it?

Spam comment of the week September 29, 2011 at 3:47 pm

My spam blocker diligently stopped this:

This website is certainly relatively useful considering that I’m with the minute making an online floral site…

But deleting such charmingly random (if ungrammatical) spam is a little harsh. Clearly I should try to help.

Red Flowers

All too true September 19, 2011 at 6:41 am

Wasted lives

From that high quality news source, The Daily Mash, following on from the earlier police raid to free ‘slaves’ in Leighton Buzzard:

As many as 60 million slaves could be living in Britain, it was claimed last night.

Experts said the slaves were being forced to do horrible, demeaning jobs and live in disgusting conditions.

Tom Logan, director of SlaveWatch, said: “We reckon they are being lured from schools and universities and then forced to work for about eight hours a day doing something completely pointless for a wage so small it may as well not exist.

“They are kept in tiny, beige-carpeted rooms, usually near dual carriageways or retail parks. Often these rooms contain little more than a television, a beige sofa and a Wii. It’s just sickening.”

I just have one question. Is this humour or reportage?

Scorecard July 1, 2011 at 3:57 pm

Strauss-Kahn sex assault case ‘close to collapse’. Score 1. (Deus Ex post here.)

French Finance Minister Lagarde chosen to lead IMF. Score 0. (Deus Ex post here.)

Greece Set to Get Aid Payment as Banks, Lawmakers Fall in Line on Crisis. Score 1. (Deus Ex post here.)

Total 2/3: pass but must try harder.

Llama llama llama comedian June 26, 2011 at 2:20 pm

You come and go, you come and go.

A Fox looking, well, Foxy

(I know, this is a new low.)

Looking pretty foxy June 25, 2011 at 9:15 pm

A Fox looking, well, Foxy