Monday, 30 November 2009

Easily Understood

As Jim so eloquently stated in his puffy people talking movie that everyone's been making lately thing (they're generally quite funny), I'm probably insane. Be that as it may, I also believe that I'm right. I haven't decided exactly what the venue will be, but I've started putting together lots of thoughts I've had and discussed with various unlucky people over time. Some of them would definitely line people up outside of my house, rotten tomatoes in hand. Since this is the worldwide home for happy shininess, all inclusiveness and general positivity, I won't be besmirching this smiling island of hope. I'll probably make an evil twin site and do that. "Don't worry about stuff you can't do anything about" is advice I've never been able to take.

In the meantime, an easy to understand allegory about our recent unpleasantness, courtesy of my brother (and if you think I'm bad...)

An Easily Understandable Explanation of Derivative Markets

Heidi is the proprietor of a bar in Detroit. She realizes that virtually all of her customers are unemployed alcoholics and, as such, can no longer afford to patronize her bar. To solve this problem, she comes up with new marketing plan that allows her customers to drink now, but pay later. She keeps track of the drinks consumed on a ledger (thereby granting the customers loans).

Word gets around about Heidi's "drink now, pay later" marketing strategy and, as a result, increasing numbers of customers flood into Heidi's bar. Soon she has the largest sales volume for any bar in Detroit.

By providing her customers' freedom from immediate payment demands, Heidi gets no resistance when, at regular intervals, she substantially increases her prices for wine and beer, the most consumed beverages. Consequently, Heidi's gross sales volume increases

A young and dynamic vice-president at the local bank recognizes that these customer debts constitute valuable future assets and increases Heidi's borrowing limit. He sees no reason for any undue concern, since he has the debts of the unemployed alcoholics as

At the bank's corporate headquarters, expert traders transform these customer loans into DRINKBONDS, ALKIBONDS and PUKEBONDS. These securities are then bundled and traded on international security markets. Naive investors don't really understand that the securities being sold to them as AAA secured bonds are really the debts of unemployed alcoholics.

Nevertheless, the bond prices continuously climb, and the securities soon become the hottest-selling items for some of the nation's leading brokerage houses.

One day, even though the bond prices are still climbing, a risk manager at the original local bank decides that the time has come to demand payment on the debts incurred by the drinkers at Heidi's bar. He so informs Heidi.

Heidi then demands payment from her alcoholic patrons, but being unemployed alcoholics they cannot pay back their drinking debts. Since, Heidi cannot fulfill her loan obligations she is forced into bankruptcy. The bar closes and the eleven employees lose their jobs.

Overnight, DRINKBONDS, ALKIBONDS and PUKEBONDS drop in price by 90%. The collapsed bond asset value destroys the banks liquidity and prevents it from issuing new loans, thus freezing credit and economic activity in the community.

The suppliers of Heidi's bar had granted her generous payment extensions and had invested their firms' pension funds in the various BOND securities. They find they are now faced with having to write off her bad debt and with losing over 90% of the presumed value of the bonds. Her wine supplier also claims bankruptcy, closing the doors
on a family business that had endured for three generations, her beer supplier is taken over by a competitor, who immediately closes the local plant and lays off 150 workers.

Fortunately though, the bank, the brokerage houses and their respective executives are saved and bailed out by a multi-billion dollar no-strings attached cash infusion from the Government. The funds required for this bailout are obtained by new taxes levied on employed, middle-class, non-drinkers.

Now, do you understand?


Jim said...

Dude. I was only joking.

I think your idea of putting your 401(k) into DT wheelsets is totally the right idea.

My only real question for you is, 1.1 or 1.2 rims? Which do you think will have better yield.

Chuck Wagon said...

1.2s are boat anchors. Your long
term value is in the 1.1, double eyelet. And none of that white stuff neither. Diversify with the new grey - it's hella.

I was just happy for the mention.