Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Pizza Delivery, Anyone?

The following anonymous email is making the rounds (It's in FT Alphaville).
“We are Wall Street. It’s our job to make money. Whether it’s a commodity, stock, bond, or some hypothetical piece of fake paper, it doesn’t matter. We would trade baseball cards if it were profitable. I didn’t hear America complaining when the market was roaring to 14,000 and everyone’s 401k doubled every 3 years. Just like gambling, its not a problem until you lose. I’ve never heard of anyone going to Gamblers Anonymous because they won too much in Vegas.
Well now the market crapped out, and even though it has come back somewhat, the government and the average Joes are still looking for a scapegoat. God knows there has to be one for everything. Well, here we are.
Go ahead and continue to take us down, but you’re only going to hurt yourselves. What’s going to happen when we can’t find jobs on the Street anymore? Guess what: We’re going to take yours. We get up at 5am & work till 10pm or later. We’re used to not getting up to pee when we have a position. We don’t take an hour or more for a lunch break. We don’t demand a union. We don’t retire at 50 with a pension. We eat what we kill, and when the only thing left to eat is on your dinner plates, we’ll eat that.
For years teachers and other unionized labor have had us fooled. We were too busy working to notice. Do you really think that we are incapable of teaching 3rd graders and doing landscaping? We’re going to take your cushy jobs with tenure and 4 months off a year and whine just like you that we are so-o-o-o underpaid for building the youth of America. Say goodbye to your overtime and double time and a half. I’ll be hitting grounders to the high school baseball team for $5k extra a summer, thank you very much.

So now that we’re going to be making $85k a year without upside, Joe Mainstreet is going to have his revenge, right? Wrong! Guess what: we’re going to stop buying the new 80k car, we aren’t going to leave the 35 percent tip at our business dinners anymore. No more free rides on our backs. We’re going to landscape our own back yards, wash our cars with a garden hose in our driveways. Our money was your money. You spent it. When our money dries up, so does yours.
The difference is, you lived off of it, we rejoiced in it. The Obama administration and the Democratic National Committee might get their way and knock us off the top of the pyramid, but it’s really going to hurt like hell for them when our fat a**es land directly on the middle class of America and knock them to the bottom.
We aren’t dinosaurs. We are smarter and more vicious than that, and we are going to survive. The question is, now that Obama & his administration are making Joe Mainstreet our food supply…will he? and will they?”
Whoever wrote this truly believes that the years he/she spent trading sardines in front of a bank of flat screens has prepared him/her for the real economy.  What's more, he thinks he/she is "smarter and more vicious".. Well, I'll definitely grant him/her "more assinine" - but, "smarter"?

Yo, dude.. wake up.  Do you really think anyone will hire you to teach third graders?  With an attitude like that? I can just picture you strutting into the primary education office in Smallville, smirking like a Master Of The Universe.  Your oh-I'm-so-understated Barneys chinos alone will scream "I've been eating your lunch" to the lady behind the desk, who could only afford chinese crap from WalMart since god knows when.   Let me put it another way: do you want someone like you teaching your kids?  Oh boy, are you in for a real world comedown.

What you haven't figured out yet is that you are the roadkill here, that you are confusing brains with a bull market.  Maybe you can get a job delivering pizza, but I seriously doubt it.  You probably don't have enough pimples and your teeth are definitely way too straight and white.  Maybe you should have saved the good-times money,  instead of throwing it to the skin specialist and the orthodontist, eh?  Now, that would have been a heck of a lot smarter.   And you wouldn't ever have to ponder hitting grounders for summertime peanuts.

OK, one last thing, since you mentioned dinosaurs.

It's the Jurassic, it's been raining a lot and there is a sh*t-load of yummy giant ferns around.  So, you've been feasting and gorging, ultimately becoming a huge plant-eating brontosaurus.  And then, this Big-Ass Mama From The Sky slams into Earth and turns your world into the Gulf of Mexico.  You survive, but the dust cloud is killing most of your food.

And what do you decide to do? Size-down and search for smaller ferns someplace else. Bad decision, there are way too many of you and too few ferns.  That makes you a loser, lizard, and you said so yourself.  Because true winners fight like hell to always stay at the top of the food-chain pyramid.  Like, adapt and  turn carnivore - velociraptor? 

Dude, you're my very own walking bronto-burger. Yum.


  1. "What’s going to happen when we can’t find jobs on the Street anymore? Guess what: We’re going to take yours. We get up at 5am & work till 10pm or later. We’re used to not getting up to pee when we have a position. We don’t take an hour or more for a lunch break. We don’t demand a union. We don’t retire at 50 with a pension."

    Sounds like the perfect Wal-Mart employee. Now we know where they got the idea from. Please Wall St, if there is a god, come take these jobs. You deserve the 16k per year far more than anyone else does. None of those lazy Americans with "families" and other priorities can compete with you. Please grab a mop and show us how it's done.

  2. Hey Zork, great comment !
    The smirking cynicism of misunderstood, vulgarized Darwinism just oozes from this little letter.
    Today's idols are thrown on tomorrow's dungheap.
    Childish disappointment in our Santa Clauses brings us down every time...
    This guy is wearing the Santa Claus suit in May...
    As for WORK WORK WORK... y'all already know how I feel about that one.

  3. "you are confusing brains with a bull market"

    Yes they are. And confusing a lack of compassion with superior social strategy. I foresee karmic consequences in their near future.

  4. That guy is really missing something in his life. I hope for him that somebody will pour a tear on his tomb without already having a hand on his wallet.

  5. If that guys trophy wife gets hold of this e-mail, she's going to drop him like a toilet seat......

    It's Okay......! I Guess it will be up to me to take care of all those neurotic ex-wives. Oh my.... what will I do with their children....? I mean really, I can't have a bunch of spoiled, narcissistic, "gifted", little lacrosse players, running around the house while I'm entertaining "the ladies".... I know.... I'll send them to a Catholic orphanage and let the priests entertain them....

    Problem solved.....

    I've got some Beanie Babies I'm securitizing and selling to the Palm Beach County Teachers Union Retirement Fund. Anyone out there like to write some CDS protection for me.....?

    Best regards,


  6. Hell, do you think this was really written from someone working on Wall Street, and not a snark from someone who wants to play into the public's general perception of Wall Street being arrogant pr!cks?

    Does this reflect the reality of the people who work there?

    I don't doubt that this attitude does exist there, but would they be dumb enough to put it in writing?

  7. Dear Okie,

    Yes, and yes. Wall Streeters' hubris is SO enormous.

    If you need proof, just think of Goldie's God's Work.

  8. PS It doesn't really matter if the actual text was written by a wall streeter. it accurately reflects the attitude.

  9. Na... "people" don't suck.
    Some people are not the kind that we would like to hang around with for more than five minutes, the time it takes us to size them up.
    Jesus was a person, too...
    Come to think of it... there are dogs and cats, and other animals we would not like to hang around with for more than five minutes either...

  10. @ Hell… This was way too easy a target for you. …but it is still fun to play with. I could go over the top with cynicism, …but I already ramble too much on your site.

    @ Okie. I agree with hell. I talk to the traders.

    I've stated my frustration with them in the past. I can't state this any more strongly. "THEY ARE FROM ANOTHER PLANET!!!"

    They just don't get it. That whole "doing gods work" has become a cliche... but the guys I know actually believe it. ...and my industry looks to find the guys that think like this.

    For the guys I know, money and their role, is a religion!

    p.s. Okie… Couldn’t agree with you more about science /economics and the concept that science fails to truly equate when fraud is added in. When Thai replied, he/she was misquoting you (as you also acknowledged) …I wasn’t sure what his reply would be if he correctly applies what you asked him/her. I’d still like to know. (“where gravity can’t be cheated… and all” Gravity can’t be cheated. …but if Cheating/Fraud is allowed to exist within economics… Then economics and science are not playing on a level playing field. Thus his zero sum science is flawed in parallel application.)

    @ Thai – humor me… you were looking for 1 example of how zero sum from a consumption standpoint would not have some butterfly effect here on earth… 1 sample?
    Space travel. When we go to the moon, and leave a flag behind, or fuel to get there… those resources are not being returned. Deep space rovers… same thing.

    All the best,
    Miss America - RH

  11. Are you not missing the point?

    No doubt the author of the letter comes across as a prick, however he is spot on in many things. There are people that work really hard to make it to the top in finance and they would be dedicated teachers etc... I have mates in this world and they are driven people - to be the best in anything they do. These are people cracking out 12 hours a day and running sub 3 marathons - failure is not an option.

    Not saying they could have the sympathy to nurture 3 year olds but they would have the drive to succeed and if success if making sure that half the losers in school actually pass it will happen.

  12. Geez, it's AMAZING how often I have to say this...
    So often that it's a symptom of our dysfunctional society.
    What's wrong with being ambitious, having drive AND being empathetic ?
    WHAT ?
    Can't we walk and chew gum at the same time ?
    All those little boxes in our heads are bringing us down.
    Exclusion is an ugly mecanism.
    It makes us.. DUMB.
    And as for the traders... they are playing OUR game.
    Which doesn't eliminate THEIR personal, individual responsibility, of course.
    But we really SHOULDN'T let OURSELVES off the hook so easily..

  13. Hey Rich, I just read through your explanation one ? two ? threads ago about money creation for the second or third time, and while I'm definitely no economist I think I can say with confidence.. that this is where fiat ends up in the long run anyway.
    It's breathtakingly LOGICAL, that end.
    For anybody who knows anything about psychology/symbolic systems, that is...
    And we don't even have to haul DELIBERATE, VOLUNTARY FRAUD in to account for that end..

  14. this piece is an interesting analysis on the demise of all fiat currencies because of the government continuing to print money, which benefits those like the writer of that letter to the detriment of nearly everyone else:


  15. @ Deb…

    Just finished reading lilies. Long and short… I think you are right and partially right about our crisis. It is most definitely a metaphysical crisis. …but it is also “not just a crisis of fiat money” …but a crisis of fiat everything!!!

    It’s fiat!

    In a true bank run. What are you taking? Cash??? Most of the banks money is computer code. Bytes!

    Well the same goes for that gold ETF. Cash it in. Lets see a run on the gold. …or will you realize that it too is like taking the cash. The rest are bytes.

    How about oil… Take possession. Oil run.

    How about collateral… Take possession. A home/office/product run.

    I am in a weird position.
    I like my life. I’m just frustrated with abuse. You see, I understand fully that the entire system has essentially gone ponzi. And while knowing this, I accept it and acknowledge that it can work. …because of FAITH!

    Faith that a new level is always put in. Faith that we keep progressing. Faith that our population and life expectancy continues to grow.

    …but when Fraud, crime, greed take hold… It shakes the faith. Acceptance of the ponzi scheme as a means of an economy seems CRAZY!!! …but it actually works.

    The problem is, it has been REDICULOUSLY ABUSED!!! When the compounding errors associated with fraud and greed allow it to run so far amuck… it needs correcting.

    Do I reaaly want correcting? I like my life. So I am in a “careful what you wish for state”.

    I agree to paper over the wounds (only cause I fear the alternative), so long as we set some things straight. …and the abusers need to be set straight!
    If the choice is to paper over, and let the abuse continue… I say (in my head) burn it all down, but I don’t know what I say aloud, if I was the deciding vote.

    All the best,
    Miss America - RH

  16. After I provided those links to despair.com, I received and e-mail regarding a new T-shirt they just produced:

    BP: We're bringing oil to American shores.

    Well, I guess that's one way to look at it.

    Sorry, I just had to share it.

  17. Why would anyone even want to read this letter?

    Yuck. May as well read about Ted Bundy

    Agree with Sue. People can suck.


    Seems like you and I need a blackboard and a pitcher of Guinness. ;-)

    Two seperate issues:

    #1: yes it is still zero-sum

    If you go to the moon, it becomes part of your system. You can't go to the moon, give it your flag, return and then pretend like it isn't there and that it is not part of your system (this is what Wall Street bankers do with "off book" accounting). So once you add the moon into your system (as well as the space between the moon and earth) your example still becomes zero-sum.

    Earth loses a flag, the moon gains a flag and the space in between gets some of the energy released by the rocket in the form of heat.

    Resources may not be returned, but they have not "vanished". They have simply moved to a different part of your system which you didn't include in your definition of your system in the beginning but most certainly is (or you could not go there). The moon is your mental externality but it is very real.

    #2- science dealing with fraud. I'm not sure what you mean here.

    Are you are asking why science can't predict when individual cases of fraud will occur?

    My response: "science" has already answered why it cannot predict this.

    Rich, may I ask you the following?

    Do you understand there is a difference between Gaussian and non-Gaussian probabilities?

    Chaotic systems are impossible to predict.

    And while I'm not sure whether "systems" like love, trust, morality and fraud are chaotic, I do know they are not Gaussian.

    Black Jack and Craps are Gaussian. The 6 sigma BS first year business school grads try to push on physicians is Gaussian.

    Nothing that really matters in live is Gaussian.

    Does this make any sense?

  18. You guys all miss the point...although this guy is clearly arrogant....most wall streeters are highly educated and motivated. They will not lay down and become dinosaur food. For the most part they are also entrepreneurs, and in this respect they will compete with all those who are used to coasting through life on the governments largesse. They will probably win because they are willing to take risks....

  19. Yup, anonymous.
    You just need to take a look at how WE've been channeling our BRIGHTEST into this little niche (OUR VALUES, ahem..) to understand what you're saying.
    But.... maybe WE'VE gone too far in our survaluation of "intelligence" (this kind of intelligence, in any case) ?
    Maybe this is an example of ANOTHER ONE of our prejudices ?
    Maybe there are OTHER kinds of intelligence that our species could develop these days ?
    And... WHY the hell do we talk about "winning" and "losing" all the time ?
    WHEN did life become a... MONOPOLY game ??

  20. @ Thai… UUUUGGGGHHHHH!!!!!!! OK,, I’m trying not to get frustrated here… I will ask this in the simplest form possible. I am not looking for an overcomplicated answer…

    In you application of science to economics (as the world does) how is this answered

    If the same laws that govern economics, govern a science like gravity…
    I.E. Laws for Science / gravity = Laws for Economics.

    Then how does gravity deal with fraud? How do you cheat gravity? Myself, Okie and others SAY YOU CAN’T CHEAT GRAVITY!!!

    We say “Can’t”. Can NOT.

    (in your replies you’ll make mention like we are saying you can cheat gravity…. but we’ve NOT been saying that.)

    So if you can NOT cheat gravity, but you can cheat in economics…

    Then Gravity does NOT = Economics… Thus laws of zero-sum are not applicable. Fraud has run rampant in economics and scientific laws do not account for them.

    All the best
    MA – RH

    p.s. I took a shot with the moon thing… I didn’t realize you could expand the boundaries so unrealistically. …but I still don’t exactly know how/if there would be any proof of the fuel consumed from the space travel being returned in any way. (I’ve never heard Hawking or any study that examines what the byproduct of fuel becomes in the vacuum of space. (Nor do I really care) I’d just rather hear your answer on fraud in science.

  21. @ Anonymous.

    My childhood friend and roommate in my early Wall St days was the assistant (then head, after the rats jumped ship) compliance officer of Taluca Pacific (sp) Some of my other buddies worked over at Sterling Foster… (Mob on Wall St & The Boiler Room)

    When these crime houses were broken up… the dispersed all over wall St to the reputable side. All these Chop shop guys integrated into our system. Now while the world “boomed and bubbled” these guys stuck their claws in. Instead of learning lessons from their past… they used their past, and things like Enron, to know how far they can take things, just short of getting convicted. (I’ve said it before, the trial and strip down of Enron showed the world how to play their angles… just short of the defined crimes.)

    These modern day (last 10 years of geniuses have been trained in the grey areas of finance. The rush, the brainwashing, the religion is nearly impossible to deprogram. If you really think a guy on Goldman’s top equity desk or developing market strategist is ready to go back to school to get his student teaching hours, along with the 36 additional credits he’ll need…. just to start off at $42,000… YOU ARE INSANE.

    You don’t know their religion. Or should I say: Cult?

    If the letter is real, fake or whomever wrote it… does not matter… This is the fear factor they truly want the world to believe for their own good. Not only do they believe they are doing gods work… but they need you to believe it too. …and if the world stops believing, then the world will go to H3LL. To many of their credit… they don’t think of it as a threat. They are brainwashed into believing it to be true… so they’re not “lying” when they say it… (as far as they (and we) know) It’s conceptually like Catholicism. (Don’t hang me on the analogy… If you are catholic, I did not mean to offend.)

    All the best,
    MA - RH

  22. My first boss at Merrill was a bear of a man called Stan. He trawled the floor and pushed the merchandise (as he called it) mercilessly. Limited partneships, IPOs, secondaries, bonds, whatever, this guy brought out ranking sheets at LEAST daily, showing where each one of us stood relative to everyone else. His one and only motivational tactic was intimidation. Nothing else.

    I should point out that he was almost always #1 in the region and nationally in "production".

    That same man was also perennially harassing the female employees, to the point that a couple of years after I had left Mother Merrill (I only stayed a couple of years) he was finally sued by a bunch of ladies there and the firm had to settle in arbitration.

    What did they do to him? They shipped him out to head a branch office in Arizona, where he retired in style.

    Stan The Man, we called him.

  23. Oh and PS..

    Stan's theory of how to hire personnel: "It's like cooking spaghetti. Throw them to the wall and if they stick, they're done".

    From him, I learned how to NOT manage and motivate my employees. Very valuable.

  24. Over here in the land of châteaux and over 200 varieties of cheeses STILL MADE WITH UNPASTEURIZED MILK (and we don't die from them, as a matter of fact we're even healthier than the squeamish who eat the pasteurized stuff on grocery store shelves..), I am STILL wondering WHERE this "BIBLE" of management came from ?
    It certainly does not look too much like Dale Carnegie's stuff....
    WHO has come up with this... concentration camp management style ?...
    Based on.. WHAT theories, by the way ??

  25. If you are trying to ask Thai to be reasonable or logical, you might have better luck getting a transfusion from a rock. Educated fool from apparently uneducated schools.

  26. Anon, I'm so glad you noticed that too ;-)

    Rich, I seem to have a hard time why you see this as inconsistent- there is clearly one of these aspect issues we are coming at this issue from I'm having trouble with that others clearly see.

    Re: "So if you can NOT cheat gravity, but you can cheat in economics…

    Then Gravity does NOT = Economics… Thus laws of zero-sum are not applicable. "

    Of course gravity and economics are not the same thing but saying this does not mean that fundamental laws of the universe do not apply to both.

    ... And "yes" Deb, I understand that conservation laws are just that- i.e. "laws" and can therefore never be proved. We accept them on faith and if a single instance is ever discovered where these laws are found untrue, then everything based on them is wrong.

    Gravity is a force which no person can cheat

    Economics is the study of a kind of of system we all reside reside within

    Yet the second law of thermodynamics applies to both gravity and economics.

    The fact that fraud is seen in economic systems does not in any way invalidate that economic systems are bounded by the laws of thermodynamics.

    We can have fraud within a system that a conservation law still applies to (e.g. zero-sum), they are different things.

    And my saying this has nothing to do with the fact that mathematics is used as a language to describe gravitational systems and/or economic systems as Okie alleges, math is simply the language of description, nothing more.

    I nothing but an apparently educated fool from uneducated schools (as long as Anon is not insulting their basket ball teams war has not started), but what little I do know is there is that knowledge is a scalable structure where and some depends on prior.

    Information "structures" like physics or economics or medicine or law, etc... are are all built with base structures or foundations on which other but the two do not necessarily preclude one another.

    Put another way, you could not have fraud between people in society without zero-sum in economics. One very much depends on the other.

    Would you please answer me two questions:

    1. How do we get nonzero-sum economics?
    2. How does non-zero sum economics still become zero-sum?

    As for "unrealistic" boundary conditions.
    1. It was your example
    2. If you can get to the moon, why is it unrealistic to put it within in your boundary condition?

  27. Oops, some kind of editing error

    I meant to say:

    "but what little I do know says knowledge is a scalable structure where what we do "know" depends on earlier knowledge structures as a kind of foundation or base.

    So "information structures" like physics or economics or medicine or law, etc... are all built upon a base "information structure" or foundations to which all new knowledge is added.

    You could think of this is much akin to the relationship between the foundation of a building and the framing or roof of the same building built on top of that foundation.

    Yet the fact that the base does not look exactly like the higher floors of the building does not preclude the fact that the base is still connected/related to/necessary to support the top.

    The base is still there. Its existence is still necessary for the top of the building to even exist.

    There is a relationship and they cooperate ;-)

  28. Rich:

    Thai (it's a he, BTW) and I had a phone conversation about this, so let me clear it up for you since he can't explain it in simple-to-understand terms.

    When he says that it's "zero-sum," what he means is that if you don't have a dog in the fight, then as you are not affected, it does not change your viewpoint of things. I got him to admit that for the actors involved, it is not zero-sum (which is what we are focusing on). When you are talking about financial transactions, he says that, for example, space aliens would not notice any difference from space and therefore it is zero-sum to those on the spaceship looking down.

    Basically, he is saying it is merely a matter of perspective (he uses the word "boundary" or "aspect" or "frame of reference," but as far as I can tell, they all come back to perspective.

    I still think he is wrong because of the loss of energy at all times (2nd law of thermodynamics) in the known universe means that energy is the penultimate proof that zero-sum argument is wrong. Even if you don't notice the change, that doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

    You know the old idea about "if you don't hear a tree falling in the forest did it really make a sound?" kind of argument. We are arguing "yes" and he is arguing "no."

    The fact that you didn't hear the tree or see it fall doesn't change the fact that there has been a change in condition to the forest, and therefore not zero-sum.

    I doubt that it is worth our time to be arguing about this.

    But that is just my perspective.

  29. @ Thai… I kinda get where you are coming from… but still disagree.

    1. How do we get nonzero-sum economics? As I’ve stated… Cost, fraud/default/waste, time

    Time = the ability to bend the force that should be unbendable. Economics is allowed to push out to infinity the net effect of it’s opposite action. (the way we push repayment, is conceptually like dropping newtons apple, and about half way to the ground, it stops, hovers, …and 30 years later, at maturity, it finishes it’s fall.) The gravity law was never broken in terms of the apple reversing course… it was just slowed or delayed.)

    Cost = The cost, can NEVER balance with replenishment. Their may me more returned. Their may be less returned. Conceptually, it’s like inflation/deflation to the return.

    Fraud = +1 / -1 = 0 While no one was looking… I erased that “-1” and wrote +2. No matter whose view we look from, (the +2(-1) person, the +1 person, or the outsider.) the net effect when that +3 is spread everywhere, …and used to consume, it leaves you with a shortfall that goes beyond just the new “value” associated with the products we consume. It’s the same as saying, let’s drop 2 identicle rocks, from identical spots with identical situations, and see what the laws of gravity tell us. They shoulkd hit the ground at the same time… but instead the rock on the right (while no one was looking was caught and redropped from the original position again.) …and then we wonder why they didn’t hit the ground at the same time?

    2. How does non-zero sum economics still become zero-sum?

    Time… repayment! Now (on the unsustainable amount. Like I say, pozi works up to a degree)

    Cost = Never net’s 0, we just try to balace this out in circle of life form. As we grow, consume, ect.. we have to learn to replenish and become more efficient… or face an “event” that we don’t have control of and Nature takes its course.

    Defraud – Charity? Printing? efficiency to lessen the cost?

    I wish I could answer #2. Ironically I have to go # 2 right now. (It’s replenishing!)

    As far as the moon… You put the challenge out there of “come up with any example…” I was giving it a go. Doesn’t hurt to try. I kinda liked my stab since I’m not sure I agree with your answer.

    All the best, MA- RH

  30. @ Okie... Fantastic descriptive. You confirmed what I kinda thought "he" was getting at.

    Whether or not this was worth the discussion... ???

    I found part (views other then mine) enlightening. I actually enjoyed it too much.

    I'd love to hang with guys around the fire pit on a saturday night. ((my frinends might not, and I'd probably get kicked out of our meat head sports lovin frat though...)

    Tahnks to all.
    MA - RH

  31. Rich, for some reason I'm just not following you here though I do agree with you that non-zero sum economics is intimately intertwined with time (which is why risk is always conserved in a closed system).

    At best, and I have to think about your example a little more, and assuming you too are correct, we are in one of those classic relativistic paradoxes you read about in cosmology regarding the conservation of energy and general relativity.

    Let me think a bit on this over a few pints tonight

    PS- Street Dog, you listening and want to comment?

    Okie, "yes", perspective is everything

    Hell, any interest in bridging the gap?

  32. Rich

    I found your problem

    Your statement "the net effect when that +3 is spread everywhere, …and used to consume, it leaves you with a shortfall.

    This is not the same as zero-sum invalidation.

    You created an externality in your use of the term "spread everywhere and used to consume" you are not including in your definition of your system just like your forgot to include the moon in your earlier definition.

    You can't create off balance sheet bookkeeping. It doesn't work that way.

  33. http://www.newsweek.com/id/237396

    ...an unlikely folk hero is emerging on Wall Street: Fabrice Tourre.
    He has two Facebook fan pages devoted to him. New York magazine breathlessly reported on his life, including the $4,000-a-month Manhattan apartment he once rented. The 15 Wall Street employees—20- and 30-something bankers, traders, and former Goldman employees—whom NEWSWEEK interviewed for this piece say they admire the way Tourre foresaw the collapse in the housing market and structured a lucrative deal for his client, hedge-fund impresario John Paulson. Goldman Sachs refused to comment or to pass along Tourre's contact information. "Everyone thinks he has a bit of swagger," says former investment banker and Columbia Business School professor David Beim. "Everyone is cheering for him."
    Two nights after Tourre testified before the Senate and denied the SEC's charges, young Wall Street types gathered at bars on Pearl Street in lower Manhattan. They drank draft beer as they bantered about the Mets' winning streak and the trading that day. Then came the questions about Tourre. One banker called him a political scapegoat. Another called him a hero for masterminding Abacus 2007, Goldman's portfolio of mortgage investments that the SEC alleges misled investors. No one would give their name, since the bankers and traders were concerned about being fired for speaking on the record, but to them Tourre was simply doing his job—not to mention doing it well.
    For these young Wall Street types, Tourre embodies the culture of the financial world and offers a road map for success. He's the real-life Gordon Gekko from the movie Wall Street: the cocky alpha male who writes e-mails in which he calls himself the "only potential survivor ... standing in the middle of all of these complex, highly leveraged, exotic trades." He's a doppelgänger to Michael Lewis's autobiographical protagonist in Liar's Poker, who sells bad products to unknowing chump investors, and he's becoming a cultural icon to his contemporaries because they empathize with him. One of them could just as easily have been the salesman on the Abacus deal, if only they had been that smart or lucky. "There's a self-serving role in this. If what he did is wrong, then what they do is wrong on a daily basis," says Adam Galinsky, professor of ethics and leadership at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management. "It's not wrong to them, because it's the water they swim in."
    This fascination with Tourre also spells disaster for transforming or regulating Wall Street. The future Fabulous Fabs of the world will not be deterred by this case, says Wall Street historian Charles Geisst, because this line of work will continue to appeal to those who want to make piles of money or develop financial products in lieu of curing cancer, building bridges, or marketing tangible products. To the bankers, Tourre's e-mails in which he expresses doubt about the validity of the products he's selling only make him that much more likable. "The fact that his e-mails have a slight sarcastic bentd to them makes them more noteworthy," says Galinsky. "He's not just a machine. He has a playful nature. At some level, the tone mitigates it. At some level, it makes it more horrific." Wall Street financial historians and business-school professors predict that Tourre will land on his feet with a hefty salary. "The bravado of what people do will likely be the same," says Donna M. Hitscherich, professor at Columbia Business School. "It's just a question of whether they put that in an e-mail."

    Like myself and Hell stated… these people are different from most. (For those of you not exposed to the traders… Maybe this validates the letter?)

    All the best,
    MA - RH

  34. for anyone interested... I finally "finished" an article.


    MA - RH

  35. Whoops... here's the right link.


  36. On the alternative jobs for bankers thing:

    Here in Holland a ladies magazine did a special on adultery. As part of the promotion campaign they offered new subscribers a night out with a gigolo - or, alternatively, a handbag. When the magazine's owner was asked wether this didn't amount to exploitation she said the men did this on the side; in daytime they worked at a bank.

    I think I'd go for the handbag.


  37. Thanks for the great post regarding pizza delivery. Good job!! Keep it up.