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    Quote of the Day

    "You should be more conscious when you are sleeping"

    -Isabella Hatkoff  (June 2010) on the breaking a pinky promise by her dad who was a sleeping


    "You can't solve a problem with the same kind of thinking that created it."
    -Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)

    "Give a dog a fish, feed him for a day.  Teach a dog to fish, feed him for a lifetime."

    - Walter the Farting Dog

    "Wouldn't it make more sense to read the legislation before approve you it? It's like asking the architect to design the house after it is already built."

    -Paris Hilton


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    Just in from WTF? NEWS


    Published Irregularly Weather or Not We Feel Like ItAny Damned Time We Please

    Important Dislaimer: In case any reader doesn't quite get it, this is parody protected under the first amendment of the Constitution of United Statements of America. If you don't like the law then feel free to go try and change it. If you are interested in further information on freedom of the press we suggest you start with John Milton's masterful essay "Areopagitica" (1644) http://www.uoregon.edu/~rbear/areopagitica.html

    Like the Plane Itself, Rumors Afloat: "Soft-Landing Sulley" Has Been Approached

    Airbus A320http://cdn.necn.com/files/2009/01/17/vlcsnap-1672800.jpg

    Timothy Geitner's troubled confirmation for Secretary of the Treasury due to his "H&R Block" problem have lead to speculation that ther Obama Adminstration has quietly sent out feelers to Captain Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger as a potential replacement for Geitner should the confirmation hearings hit a brick wall. An anonymous source who would not comment directly but did concede that Sullenberger's miraculous "soft-landing" of an Airbus 320 on the Hudson River filled with 155 passengers has created a new sense of national pride and confidence that could break the psychological grip of fear surrounding the global financial markets.

    The well-placed source said "Hell, this guy took a $100 million, 85-ton piece of flying steel (see actually specs )with no engines, plopped it down right in the middle of the Hudson River in a picture perfect crash landing, got everyone off the plane within 2 minutes with virtually no injuries. Can imagine what this guy could do with $8 trillion at his disposal for a soft landing of the global economy?" Arianna Huffington commented, "it's a very interesting idea!"

    Sullenberger's Facebook Fan Page has been inundated with well in excess of 350 ,000 requests to "friend" Sully and has been growing at the rate of nearly 1,000 requests an hour. It appears that "passengers" are seeking information on his future flight plans just for the honor of taking a ride with our nation's newest hero. http://blogs.zdnet.com/feeds/?p=394.


    Quote of the Day

    Commerce is so far from being beneficial to arts, or to empire, that it is destructive of both, as all their history shows, for the above reason of individual merit being its great hatred. Empires flourish till they become commercial, and then they are scattered abroad to the four winds.

    William Blake
    1757-1827, British Poet, Painter

    How many investments I make and how much money I invest is always flexible.

    Melvin T. Reid

    American Investor, Financier, and Businessman

    (also Bernie Madoff)


    Frankly, I don't want to see a rapid upturn. I want it to hold until some of these idiotic competitors go bust.

    Joe Bamford
    American Business Executive

    Among the worries of today's business executives is the large number of unemployed still on the payroll.



    Just in from WTF? NEWS


    Published Irregularly Weather or Not We Feel Like ItAny Damned Time We Please

    Important Dislaimer: In case any reader doesn't quite get it, this is parody protected under the first amendment of the Constitution of United Statements of America. If you don't like the law then feel free to go try and change it. If you are interested in further information on freedom of the press we suggest you start with John Milton's masterful essay "Areopagitica" (1644) http://www.uoregon.edu/~rbear/areopagitica.html

    "Meet the Booba" (Bank Officially Owned By America)

    Lumbering Banking Giant "BofA" Name Change In the Offing?

    What's in a name? Known to tens of millions of customers simpy as "BofA", the newly enlarged prostate of the banking systeming is said to be considering changing it long-standing acronym along with its ubiquitous red and blue flag logo with the squiggly lines. Marketing executives are surprisingly warming up to the idea of rebranding from "BofA" to "Booba" that is simply short for the truth: Bank Officially Owned By America. A bank spokesman declined to comment but a credible source requesting anonymity said "Even though Booba sounds a little silly at first, preliminary focus groups results indicate it put a more human face on the bank." The now-bloated banking behemoth encountering severe Merrill indigestion however may have come up with the first impactful post-Lehman marketing coup.

    This rebranding solution would enable the transformation of B-of-A that must be clumsily articulated in three syllables (as in "B of A") into a longer five letter (B-O-O-B-A) trademark but much easier to pronounce as a two syllable acronym:"Booba". The source commented, "this is a case where more is less! It's really out of the box when you think about it." Citing other really silly sounding but highly successful market campaigns such as Geico's Geckko, the quacking duck for AFLAC and the completely annoying WaMu (the recently siezed Washington Mutual) that sounds more like the post-coital exhortation of a Blitzen the Reindeer, the source said, "we are optimistic that this could be the stroke that turns the tide of the credit crunch. The source continued, "who wouldn't want to pridefully exhort: "I bank with Booba!"

    Some critics decried this as an attempt to play off the popularity of two Presidents: William "Bubba" Clinton and the natural asssociation to Obama.


    Just in from WTF? NEWS



    Published Irregularly Weather or Not We Feel Like ItAny Damned Time We Please

    Important Dislaimer: In case any reader doesn't quite get it, this is parody protected under the first amendment of the Constitution of United Statements of America. If you don't like the law then feel free to go try and change it. If you are interested in further information on freedom of the press we suggest you start with John Milton's masterful essay "Areopagitica" (1644) http://www.uoregon.edu/~rbear/areopagitica.html


    Yes Pecan! Ben & Jerry's In Hot Water for Influence Peddling

    Company's Newest Flavor Causes Big Stir; Investigation Underway.... developing


    With an  all-too-transparent effort at achieving undue influence with the new Obama Adminstration, Ben & Jerry may have step into one big pile of cow manure by naming their newest creation "Yes Pecan"  The legal ramifications are unclear pending a congessional investigation that is hastily being convened to assess possible lobbying and campaign law violations.  It is not clear whether this was Ben's idea or Jerry's but the two men have hired counsel to untangled what is at best going to be a public relations nightmare for the anthropomorphic marketing geniuses. According to sources, this comes at a particularly delicate moment as they are trying to influence EPA legislation on cow fart emissions that are increasingly seen as one of the greatest sources of carbon-induced  global warming. According to the UN study that lead to Al Gore's Nobel Prize :

    All told, livestock are responsible for 18% of greenhouse-gas emissions worldwide, according to the U.N. – more than all the planes, trains and automobiles on the planet.

    There is speculation that the two men are trying to buy the manufacturer of anti-flatulent "beano" but but are facing an uphill battle in getting FTC and FDA approval. Hence this thinly veneered brown-nosing campaign to cozy up to the President-elect may ultimately backfire... developing




    Study Finds Seven Cups of Coffee a Day May Lead to Hallucinations

    Boy Would This Explain Alot! A Potential Defense for Madoff?

    It's really all Starbucks' Fault

    I am beginning to get a handle on what might have happened with this whole Bernie Madoff thing. Perhaps he wasn't the biggest crook of all time. He was just drinking waaaay too much coffee and thought he was actually investing all that money. He actually believed he was executing stocks trades with Goldman Sachs all along. He was just hallucinating for ten years.

    That might at least me feel better that no one could be this big an evil-doer. He was just like one of those somnambulists on ambien who take the car out at night, kill some one, come home, raid the fridge and eat two quarts of B&J's cherry garcia, wake up the next morning and don't remember a damn thing. Nah!!! Still wouldn't explain how the SEC fockered this one up. Oh well... there goes that theory. Felt better for second... unfortunately it's back to reality and more digging for truth.


    By Naomi Kresge

    January 14, 2009

    Consuming the caffeine in seven cups of instant coffee a day may leave you more likely to see, hear and smell things that aren’t there, U.K. researchers said.

    People who drink at least 330 milligrams of the stimulant a day were three times as likely to have hallucinations as those who consumed less than 10 milligrams a day, Durham University researchers found in a study of 219 college students published today in Personality and Individual Differences.

    The study, the first to link caffeine and hallucinations, explored the relationship between high caffeine consumption and an increased release of cortisol, a stress hormone believed to contribute to delusions, lead researcher Simon Jones said. It forms the first step toward examining nutrition as a factor in the occurrence of hallucinations, he said.

    “Given the link between food and mood, and particularly between caffeine and the body’s response to stress, it seems sensible to examine what a nutritional perspective might add,” Jones said in a statement.

    It may also be that people under stress and more susceptible to hallucinations are also more likely to consume high levels of caffeine, Jones said in an interview. Caffeine is also contained in tea, chocolate, energy drinks, and some foods.

    “There would be no real reason for me to stop drinking tea,” said Jones. “I don’t see a reason to change a moderate intake.”

    Read Full Article at: http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601124&sid=a9S5gzERwwQE&refer=home


    Mirror Mirror on Wall Street: Bank For International Settlements Confirms It; We've Lost Our Minds and the Very Likely the Shirts Off Our Backs

    Caveat Emperor: Be Sure to Read Table 19

    Outstanding Global Derivatives Exceeds $658 Trillion.
    That's right-- $658 Trillion not Billion!

    Download Full PDF at: http://www.bis.org/statistics/otcder/dt1920a.pdf


    The arcane world of unregulated derivatives has trumped even Hans Christian Anderson's delightful fable called- as every child knows- the "Emperor's New Clothes". Wanna know why there is fear in the streets or at least why there should be? Just look at the Bank for International Settlements June '08 Report on the OTC Derivatives as voluntarily reported by "market participants". First of all, voluntary information from "market participants" is crap.  It's like asking someone in public "how many times a week do you beat your wife?" Or a hot chic who expects that her "official" campus sex survey form that she filled out on the porch of Delta House will  remain confidential.

    I don't know about you by every time I hear that nasty little phrase, "credit default swaps" or CDS my sphincter starts to invert. And it always seems to be accompanied by that really,really  scary number: $60 trillion.  Holy Mother of Merde  (hereinafter referred to as H-MOM) !!!! Do you have any idea how big $60 trillions? The entire GDP of the US  is $14 trillion and China  is a mere pittance at $3 plus trillion.  Every time one price changes in the market place/universe every other pricing relationship also changes.  It's kinda like gravity of which we know everything about except why it exists (thank you Buckminster Fuller).

    So take  $60 trillions in CDS and now overlay total global derivative products as per BIS Table 19 and you've got $658 trillion of toxicity simply because no one in charge has a clue as to what any of it means. I've yet to meet a politician, regulator or CEO of a financial institution who has a) ever executed a derivative transaction; b) has ever read a derivatives contract; c) if they did read a derivatives contract would have any idea what it said; d) can possibly explain or calculate the risk entailed in this tiny little over-the-counter unregulated $700 trillion market.  Why don't we just ship some enriched plutonium to Osama Bin Laden? It might be safer.
    It's not that all derivatives are  bad...it's just gotten completely out of control  and assessing the risk is  so damn complicated compounded by the little annoying fact that  no one in charge understands any of it.  As Jamie Dimon said "what on earth were we thinking!"

    The experts say "$658 trillion! Don't be ridiculous!That's not the real exposure. That's the notional amount, not the "gross" market value. We must look at the "net" exposure."Net shmet my ass! Well, If you don't understand it or can't explain it in Congressional Testimony we shouldn't be doing it at least where taxpayer money is the lender of last resort.

    Here is an excerpt from a most excellent article from December, 2008 Atlantic magazine entitled, "Be Nice to the Countries That Lend You Money. (http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200812/fallows-chinese-banker) It is an interview with China Investment Corporation's Gao Xiqing, the man who oversees $200 billion of higher risk investments of China’s $2 trillion in dollar holdings. American trained he's the man who makes the big decisions for China's corporate investments in the U.S.and is the prime Sino-financial strategist With those very attractive U.S. treasury yields approaching zero you can expect to hear more about and from Gao in the future. (big hint: He doesn't invest in treasuries and he ain't too keen on the dollar either!)

    Here is a wonderful excerpt on how Gao tried to explain derivatives to China's State Council:

    If you look at every one of these [derivative] products, they make sense. But in aggregate, they are bullshit. They are crap. They serve to cheat people.

    I was predicting this many years ago. In 1999 or 2000, I gave a talk to the State Council [China’s main ruling body], with Premier Zhu Rongji. They wanted me to explain about capital markets and how they worked. These were all ministers and mostly not from a financial background. So I wondered, How do I explain derivatives?, and I used the model of mirrors.

    First of all, you have this book to sell. [He picks up a leather-bound book.] This is worth something, because of all the labor and so on you put in it. But then someone says, “I don’t have to sell the book itself! I have a mirror, and I can sell the mirror image of the book!” Okay. That’s a stock certificate. And then someone else says, “I have another mirror—I can sell a mirror image of that mirror.” Derivatives. That’s fine too, for a while. Then you have 10,000 mirrors, and the image is almost perfect. People start to believe that these mirrors are almost the real thing. But at some point, the image is interrupted. And all the rest will go.

    When I told the State Council about the mirrors, they all started laughing. “How can you sell a mirror image! Won’t there be distortion?” But this is what happened with the American economy, and it will be a long and painful process to come down.

    I think we should do an overhaul and say, “Let’s get rid of 90 percent of the derivatives.” Of course, that’s going to be very unpopular, because many people will lose jobs.


    So there you have it. Ninety percent of all derivatives is a bunch of crap.  George Soros agrees 

    with Gao and so do I.  Derivative are appropriate for hedging activities and capital raising activites in well-define transactions. In other words they have to be attached to some product or some underlying transaction (fixing the rate on floating rate borrowings or borrowing in yen and converting to dollars.  In other words no naked positions no trading -- at least not at institutions where tax payer money is at risk which is soon to be all. Want to speculate? Try Atlantic City or Vegas.  Knock yourselves out.

    So how do we untangle this mess of $658 trillion of derivatives.  I'm working on. Got a few ideas.  See you at the great unwind.  Caveat Emperor.