Friday, May 14, 2010

The Gimp's Suit

Well, whaddaya know..?  People are finally waking up to the fact that a common currency requires a common fiscal policy (duh).  This being (almost) the weekend I don't feel like writing some sort of acerbic diatribe on the euro, so I'll just throw in a joke. 

A man decides to finally give in to his wive's constant nagging about his old, ill-fitting clothes and heads to his tailor for a new suit.  After a couple of fittings the suit is ready and the man proudly takes it home to try it on for his missus.

"Oh dear", says she. "Can't you see the left pant leg is too short?"  

The man goes back to his tailor. "Eh.. just lift your leg a tiny bit and it will look OK.  No sense ripping the whole thing up, no?" says the tailor.  The man tries the trick and goes back to his wife.

"OK, fine... but, wait a minute, the right jacket sleeve looks too long.  Take it back to the tailor."  The crafty tailor, predictably enough, tells the man to just stretch his hand out a bit.. To make a long story short, a bunch of neeeded alterations are circumvented by the tailor's advice to crane his neck, throw his hip out a bit, puff his chect, etc. 

As the man walks out of his tailor's shop wearing his badly-tailored suit and trying all the tricks to make the suit "fit", a street urchin takes a good look at him and cries out: "Hey wow!..  Ain't that a fine suit the gimp's wearing?"

Have a nice weekend... (and if you think that a bunch of europeans will sit down and agree on a common fiscal policy, I have a suit for you. Cheap.)


  1. Geez, Hell, you sound REALLY DEPRESSED these days...
    I hope not QUITE as depressed as the Chinese man who just took out 9 schoolkids in ? and did himself in afterwards...
    Globalization, courtesy of us, has delivered melancholy to the Chinese...
    Gotta get out of this "model" to find some HOPE again. Better than hope. Some.. JOY.
    And the ability to get up in the morning and look at ourselves in the mirror without throwing up or wanting to take somebody out along with us...
    I'm not sure just HOW MANY different perspectives there ARE on this one...
    Even the filthy rich get hangovers. The bad guys raking in the profits that everyone keeps pointing their fingers at. Even the Wall Street types occasionally get that... anesthetized feeling that rings warning bells in their heads, and gives them queasy stomachs when they STOP moving long enough to be able to FEEL something. (Like adolescent male dolphins, those Wall Street types. The dolphins are smarter than we are. They kick their testosterone driven males OUT OF THE PACK until the hormones settle down a little bit...)
    I know.. Occasionally I have seen them in my office. (Not the dolphins... I don't speak dolphinese yet..) Usually they don't stay very long because lots of them have what YOU call attention deficit disorder.
    I call it... a short attention span due to too many flickering gadgets that atrophy their minds.
    By the way... I HAVE found hope. You can find it too, if you start looking for it in the right places.
    End of advertisement... ;-)

  2. Hell: "(and if you think that a bunch of europeans will sit down and agree on a common fiscal policy, I have a suit for you. Cheap.)"

    Those poor Europeans don't have the efficient payolla K street type of system we Yanks have.

    When we have financial crisis we ask what's best for Goldman Sachs not what's best for the majority of citizens.

    This was the magic deception of "Trickle Down" theory. What's best for Goldman is best for the majority. Well is this theory now considered treacle? Nah, it still sells.

    The US has the advantage of being better kick-the-can players than Europe. We'll just wait till they come crying to us for a new Brenton Woods scheme--and then we'll ask for Goldman's advice.

  3. Your joke is a sketch by Fernand Raynaud in the 1960's named : Le tailleur (y a comme un défaut)" which means "The taylor (there seems to be something like a flaw)".
    You can see the beginning here, but it is pay per view. Impossible to find anything in youtube, I think that there are some legal (money) problems. It is a pity. He had some very interesting sketches especially about racism. In one of them some french people in a village are fed up about strangers who come and eat their bread out of their mouths (a french expression) until the stranger goes home, but then not no bread any more, as he was the baker.

  4. After a long festive night at a charity event for the benefit of Destitute Real Estate Speculators, I awoke the following morning with a throbbing headache and a bitter taste in my mouth, wondering how I had misplaced my fiancee the previous evening.

    As I crawled out of bed, I noticed my tuxedo, rumpled and lying on the floor near the foot of the bed. Realizing that I would need the same tux for tonight's event "An evening with the Widows and Orphans of Currency Arbitrageurs", I quickly gathered my tuxedo and noticed that there was a vomit stain on the jacket. Panic was the only sensation I felt at that moment. I threw on a t-shirt, jeans and a pair of loafers, tossed my tux into a shopping bag and ran out into the hot glaring sun beaming down on Central Park South. I ran to the local dry cleaner where I encountered the proprietor, I quickly pulled the tux out of the bag and showed him the stain on the jacket, he squinted his eyes, nodding his head, as he examined the ugly stain. I casually told him that my fiancee had too much to drink last night and she accidentally threw up on me... I then told him with great urgency that I need the tux for tonight and begged him to have the jacket and the pants cleaned and pressed and ready by five PM. He looked at me with his squinting grimace and barked out..... "FIFTY DALLA......!".

    When I came back that evening, the proprietor was standing behind the counter with my tux hanging to his left... I examined the black, supple texture and laid a fifty dollar bill on the counter... The proprietor with his permanent, squinting grimace barked out.... "HUNDRED DALLA...! I looked at him flabbergasted and conveyed to him that this morning, he had quoted a price of fifty dollars.... He smiled at me and said... Yes... But you didn't tell me then, that your fiancee had also taken a dump in your pants....

    That's my suit story....

    Best regards,


  5. WOW... Great. Look at all the LITERARY talent on this blog today (that's for you too, Arnould, if you get rid of that one little word, it should be readable.)
    I love Fernand Reynaud, and... "Tonton, tu tousses ?" It doesn't get any better than that, does it ? ;-)

  6. Just a gut call... Mark the time... I'd take a crazy bet on the market rebound today. Friday... Payday. (for weekly, bi-weekly, and bimonthly's) so institional cash will be there. I'd suspect, one could ride the backs of the 401k buyers. (...but then again, maybe that's the big players angle too? ...knowing cash is coming in, they may all be looking to sell to the "tough luck" losers that the 401k community is... through our sheep like / lambs being led to the slaughter, style of bulk investing that our 401k/penFds do. This is really how the pain gets passed along to the middle class!!!)

    Either way... just a hunch we go on a run.

  7. Moi, je prefer Louis de Funes et Bourvil... Le Corniaud, par example.

  8. So I've been thinking of a solution to Europe's problem of fractured collective.

    Since there have been all these discussions on the Greenback- e.g. a currency based on something "fixed", etc...

    Can't the EU and the ECB just take the tried and true approach of kicking the problem down the road?

    Let all Euro countries adopt a 2 currency solution where BOTH currencies are simultaneously legal tender for all contract payments within a particular national boarder.

    The two currencies would float against each other however every second of the day.

    The first currency would be the ECB's Euro and would remain completely legal tender in all Euro Zone countries as we have today.

    Each country would also get its own national currency.

    And any payment by any public body/government must be made in the local nation's currency. This includes all government wages and pensions, etc...

    So if Greeks wants to behave like Greeks, they can. But all payments are in drachmas, just like all borrowing is in drachma.

    If they want to kill the drachma, they can and they only have themselves to blame.

    There would be other problems created by this to say the least, but at least it would push the problem down the road a while.

    Would this work?

  9. Wow... you know more about French culture than me, Hell... Who is Le Corniaud ? Oh, is it a sketch by De Funes ?
    Louis MOVES a little too much for me.. Too fast, too. Too BUSY for my tastes.
    I am a Raymond Devos person.
    But... comedy is REALLY hard to understand if you don't speak the language fluently.
    But "Asterix et Cléopatre" definitely got all my attention. That great scene where Edouard Baer, doing an Egyptian scribe act launches into a metaphysical discussion worthy of... me... (mea magna culpa...) You see Idefix's eyes go all glazed, a little bit like... Tiago's eyes when I seize the bit and start running ? Pretty cool, that scene...
    I have achieved the dubious distinction of having dropped out so far on both continents that it is sometimes difficult for me to communicate these days...
    Not enough shared culture with my contemporaries.
    Cf. Robertson Davies...
    Sorry for the off topic, but then...
    WHAT IS THE TOPIC of this post ??
    Arnould, can you manage to read this comment ?
    I think you would get a kick out of it...

  10. OK then let me continue. "Le Corniaud" was the first movie with both de Funes and Bourvil. But "La Grande Vadrouille" was way better. Its plot is during WW2 and it is about how French, German and Brits see the world differently. A must see that was the most popular french film for more than 40 years.

    To come a little bit back to the topic (how to continue to build Europe?), de Funes is very popular in Germany and it is nearly sure that Angela Merkel asked her staff to watch de Funes movies again in order to try understand Sarkozy...

  11. Thanks for the link Arnould, I had no idea what you were talking about

    From your de Funes Wik: "n a personal statement he claimed only to be interested in films that would draw an audience of 500,000 at least."

    And here I thought Masters of the Universe Bankers were the only ones with big egos. ;-)

    So Arnould, if you were going to rank in order of priority the following issues against the mindset of the average Euro zone citizen who is supporting someone else, how would you rank them?

    Please think from the perspective of the golden rule, namely the man with the gold makes the rules.

    1. Welfare state security
    2. Personal Freedom
    3. Social Solidarity
    4. National identity
    5. Personal responsibility
    6. National Sovereignty
    7. Accepted common rules
    8. Keeping historical precedent
    9. Democracy
    10. Globalization

    ... I'm sure that I'm missing a few others which you can add on your own as you are so inclined.

    If you rank/choose correctly what (s)he is collectively willing to sacrifice for, you will predict the outcome of Europe's dilemma.

  12. I don't know how to rank this list, I am only pessimistic (so many wars here, why not a new one?).
    But when I get too pessimistic I take 2 minutes to watch this.

  13. Thanks, arnould, I have suddenly developped a CRAVING for Louis de Funès movies, (and I'm not even pregnant...)
    Thai, is that your personal version of the golden rule ?
    That one is.. Midas's version, not Jesus'...
    What's the deal with blogger's spam blocker stuff ?
    It's starting to look more and more like Greek to me..
    Are we soon going to have to type out a full page of characters to comment ??

  14. Alas I don't speak french (though I'm very good at speaking English with a french accent when french speakers fail to understand me).

    I noticed the Hitler visual but that's all.

    Deb, the irony that there are many versions of the golden rule is not lost on me one bit. ;-)

    But in this particular example, I stick with Midas' view for it seems that:

    1.Greeks are a little less fond of suicide than the rest of us as a means of cooperating. ;-)

    2. If physician honesty is a surrogate for national integrity, Greek doctors simply can't be trusted

    PS- I only hope this applies in matters of tax only ;-)

    3. Public workers entrusted with the public welfare don't always seem to be personally sacrificing for the greater good of the public (chose any link on public pensions that you want).

    So at least as far a Greece goes, I'll take Midas' version of the golden rule vs. another slightly more southern version we both know so well as my own predictive model for Greek behavior

    Hell may have other thoughts on this of course.

  15. Geez, Thai, if you were in a certain category of people you would realize just how YOUR government makes it... IMPOSSIBLE to be a totally law abiding citizen.
    I get tired of repeating myself, but it seems that too many people here have NOT UNDERSTOOD YET that there is NO WAY IN HELL (not you, Hell) that you can ever keep up with the law. (Except maybe Okie Lawyer...)
    That makes me rather more tolerant of what everybody on this blog loves to finger point at, and calls "fraud". Fraud comes in all kinds of nuances of black and white. And in all degrees.
    Greece is a Latin country.
    France is a Latin country too.
    Thank.. GOD for Latin countries.
    A little story for y'all on the differnce between Latin countries and.. PROTESTANT countries.
    When I came back home after my Mom's funeral, and came through customs with all her.. jewelry on, and touting her NOW ILLEGAL little mink stole that dates from the 1950's, I hailed over a French custom's official and said to him : "I've just come back from the States.... etc etc." He looked at me, he looked at my stuff, and waved me through.
    Now... CAN YOU SEE AN AMERICAN CUSTOMS OFFICER in the same situation ?
    Na. No way.
    I would have spent the morning filling out forms in a small, neon lit office.
    You gimme a choice, and I take the Latin country ANY DAY.
    It sure beats filling out all those forms...

  16. Regarding Greece (I concede the problem with/market pessimism surrounding the euro is bigger than Greece alone), how big is that problem compared to, e.g., the Fed's $1.25T MBS purchase program? Not to mention its other QE activities.

  17. Re: Greece is a Latin country.
    France is a Latin country too.

    Great places to visit but fraud is rampant ;-)

  18. I was wondering if you would catch that error ;-)

  19. I also notice you didn't protest the fraud

    Be well ;-)

  20. Re: Fraud in Greece

    For a country where Aristophanes said it all 2500 years ago, my commenting on fraud in Greece would be like carrying coals to Newcastle or, as the Greeks themselves would say, bringing owls to Athens.

  21. Yeah, but... look at all those olive trees...
    Taste the milk and honey.
    The... figs, too.
    Eat your hearts out, you guys... ;-)
    Greece IS a Latin country.
    Mediterranean civilization.
    Where it... started for us.
    Before we got all hung up on balancing the budget and the dry and dusty stuff that takes all the JOY and PLEASURE out of existence...

  22. Deb, re: assisting Greeks since they like to break plates and appear less depressed than all the rest of us.

    No one is stopping you from writing them a personal check.

    I'll even bet that if you search the web, you might find that someone has set up a website with PayPal in French features and all. So you don't even have to leave the comforts of your own home to do it.

    We don't all have to be the same in what we do now do we? ;-)

  23. I'm doing all I can to desert MONEY these days, Thai...
    It's an almost full time occupation, but definitely very interesting. Keeps me on my toes. Very very challenging... I have always liked my little "venture capitalism" efforts to be extremely personalized and SMALL.
    And I'm NOT a freeloader either...
    What really intrigues me is how MANY American people seem to have imagined that THEY were going to... GET SAVED ? earn brownie points ? for working themselves into an early grave. (Like my Dad, by the way. NO MONEY can pay me for all those lost years.)
    We are at a very bad point because... in the U.S you guys have suddenly woken up to the fact that... money, wherever it comes from, can't buy salvation.
    So... now many people are really pissed that... THEY spent (spend) SO MUCH TIME working for money when their "virtue" isn't even going to SAVE them !
    How unfair ! How... unjust !
    And now... they're finger pointing because of envy and jealousness.
    It's not very pretty.
    And.. THEY are imposing THEIR ideological solutions on us all.
    And because WE have been brainwashed by all this neoliberal gospel that we hear all day on our news programs, we have started to believe this... PROPAGANDA.
    In France and in other parts of Europe.. WE BOW DOWN to the AMERICAN WAY OF THINKING.
    It really pisses me off.
    And we bow down DESPITE THE FACT that the U.S. way of looking at things and doing business is taking us ALL down.
    Good thing I'm not into despair these days...