Monday, January 03, 2011

Goldman, Sachs' Next Bubble: Facebook et al.

Via John Gruber, I came across this darkly hilarious article from NY Times, "Goldman Offering Clients a Chance to Invest in Facebook:"
In a rare move, Goldman is planning to create a “special purpose vehicle” to allow its high-net-worth clients to invest in Facebook, these people said. While the S.E.C. requires companies with more than 499 investors to disclose their financial results to the public, Goldman’s proposed special purpose vehicle may be able get around such a rule because it would be managed by Goldman and considered just one investor, even though it could conceivably be pooling investments from thousands of clients.
It is unclear whether the S.E.C. will look favorably upon the arrangement.

Gruber responds to this, "Unclear, eh?" But being the loud-mouth and cynic that I am, I responded thusly via email:

Seems pretty clear to me, they're working on inflating their next bubble. Obviously, I'm a cynic, and maybe FB is worth as much as everybody says but this is a classic GS move, complete with the bending of "minor" rules that are designed to keep them honest.

It sure would be interesting if NYTimes and Co. could get GS or anonymous people inside on record as to whether they already have short positions against this special purpose vehicle. Should the biggest assholes in the world really be allowed to escape such skepticism in articles like this? Are there no investors out there willing to go on the record as simply not trusting the seller?

The part that's unclear to me: Are people really going to buy this shit? I'm sure they are, but I'm awfully curious who will admit on record that they think it's a good bargain.

Maybe someone should ask Jim Cramer.

Or, Matt Taibbi, now that I think of it.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Aristocrats Are Proud!

That disgraceful Wall St whore, the retiring Senator Chris Dodd is on my radio (wnyc) congratulating himself for a financial reform bill that doesn't reform and a shitty health insurance bill that will likely prevent universal health care from ever happening, "it took a hundred years, best we could of done, the right thing to do," blah blah blah BULLSHIT, all of it.

Quick fact check for Chris Dodd: it did NOT take 100 years to pass a bill forcing everyone to buy shitty private health insurance to make rich pariahs even richer (in particular making sure that PHARMA will be one of the most powerful lobbies, ever). It HAS taken 100 years to get universal healthcare, and we still don't have it. And probably never will, thanks to you, buddy.

But, you know, the Republicans are scary so I should just shut the hell up and make some phone calls, donate some money. Get tested for drugs, that sort of thing.

The Aristocrats!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Newt Gingrich descends to new level of self-parody

From the Disgraced Former Speaker of the House, a family values champion and defender of marriage (he's had four now), Newt Gingrich actually has the gall to say this about anybody else:

"In the Alinksy tradition, he [Obama] was being the person he needed to be in order to achieve the position he needed to achieve . . . He was authentically dishonest."

Steve Benen has more.

"It pushed them in an actual lake. Filled with sharks."

Holy shit, this column by the Macalope really nails what's got me depressed about the state of Android these days. And this bit about the MSFT of yore is hysterical:

Everyone wants to compare the Apple/Google mobile OS wars to the Apple/Microsoft desktop wars of the 1990s. But if Compaq ever got out of line, Microsoft always told them to go jump in a proverbial lake. And then it pushed them in an actual lake. Filled with sharks. A special breed of freshwater great white sharks that the company had genetically engineered for that particular purpose. And then it poured petroleum into the lake and lit it on fire.

Google doesn’t seem to be able to exercise that kind of leverage

Also, I get quite a kick out of an author who refers to himself as "the horny one" in the third person.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Killing the California Dream Sounds A Lot Like Killing the American Dream

If you want your tax dollars to be spent on education, health, transit, infrastructure, and re-building our crumbling edifices – instead of the banksters, corporations, and endless wars – then you should read Michael O'Hare's "A letter to my students":

Now, your infrastructure is falling to pieces under your feet, and as citizens you are responsible for crudities like closing parks, and inhumanities like closing battered women’s shelters. It’s outrageous, inexcusable, that you can’t get into the courses you need, but much worse that Oakland police have stopped taking 911 calls for burglaries and runaway children. If you read what your elected officials say about the state today, you’ll see things like “California can’t afford” this or that basic government function, and that “we need to make hard choices” to shut down one or another public service, or starve it even more (like your university). Can’t afford? The budget deficit that’s paralyzing Sacramento is about $500 per person; add another $500 to get back to a public sector we don’t have to be ashamed of, and our average income is almost forty times that. Of course we can afford a government that actually works: the fact is that your parents have simply chosen not to have it.

Read the whole thing, and then think about your state's budget woes and ballooning deficits. You know where all those crippling debts, with ever-increasing interest come from? They come from elected officials who won't fund our public services, but won't admit to it. So they take out loans they know are bad (and in many cases, it seems better than just shutting down all services -- until you can't borrow anymore), often with the very goal of saddling the people, and the state, with so much debt that we can't get out of it and then must admit that Government Is the Problem. At that point we don't have to wonder what it would be like to live in a Glibertarian paradise where roads, schools, and healthcare only exist for the independently wealthy -- because we've allowed them to create that very heaven on earth for themselves.

This is so applicable to NY, but definitely to NJ as well, and probably most states in the Union. There's this insistence that any other viewpoint beyond "we must cut and destroy all services to save ourselves" is un-serious and wishful thinking, but that's total bullshit. I have to wonder: for electeds looking to stay in office, wouldn't "take back the american dream," or similar make a better platform than, "legislating huge corporate giveaways was better than doing nothing"?

May the People save America, because God isn't coming.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Sucky Liberalism Kinda Kills It

As Atrios wrote quite recently, when liberalism doesn't work, it discredits liberalism.

So there I was last night watching the aforementioned comics at Comix, and one of the best set-ups and lines of the night was when this one comic starts talking about having his appendix burst on him recently:

"I cost me $40,000! Aaaaand I didn't have health insurance because I thought Obama took care of that. There I am under the knife and they stop to ask me 'what kind of insurance do you have?' Obamaaaaaaaa..."

It was actually a really funny moment, it wasn't the usual right-wing Obamacare fear-mongering, but a more apt and specific criticism: The Administration Fucked Up Universal Healthcare, and Everyone Knows It.

It's going to make "fixing" it damn near impossible. But, y'know, had to take the best we could get and all, last chance to ever do anything ever or else ben nelson will take his steak and go home.