The people on the short side of the subprime mortgage market had gambled with the odds in their favor. The people on the other side — the entire financial system, essentially — had gambled with the odds against them. Up to this point, the story of the big short could not be simpler. What’s strange and complicated about it, however, is that pretty much all the important people on both sides of the gamble left the table rich. . . . The CEOs of every major Wall Street firm were also on the wrong end of the gamble. All of them, without exception, either ran their public corporations into bankruptcy or were saved from bankruptcy by the United States government. They all got rich, too.
What are the odds that people will make smart decisions about money if they don’t need to make smart decisions — if they can get rich making dumb decisions?
Notes from the Golden Orange
EppsNet Archive: Money
I have a very difficult time imagining the economic ‘theory’ that motivates proposals such as this one by Pres. Obama [to "streamline" the Fair Labor Standards Act so that more white-collar employees would be eligible for overtime pay]. The best that I can do is to imagine how a two-year-old child would respond if asked to propose a way to raise workers incomes.
Mega Millions uses 75 numbers for the first five selections and 15 numbers for the Mega ball.
The number of unique combinations of five numbers selected from a pool of 75 is
Multiply that times 15 possibilities for the Mega ball and the odds of winning come out to 1 in 258,890,850.
BUT THE CURRENT MEGA MILLIONS JACKPOT IS OVER $350 MILLION!
Any time you can get 350 million to one odds on a 258 million to one bet, you’ve got to take it.
I dropped Lightning off at the vet for grooming . . .
“Make it like a spa day for him,” I said. “With lots of pampering. Don’t just put him in the sink and soak him down like we do at home. Make it free pampering though, nothing that will cause extra charges to accrue. By the way, where’s Erica?”
Erica is usually at the desk on weekends but today there was a new girl. The new girl, Lauren, said that Erica is moving to Arizona and won’t be working there anymore.
“She will be greatly missed,” Lauren said.
She sure will. People are insane when it comes to their pets and Erica was always extremely patient and attentive — extremely.
I wish I had the kind of personality that makes people miss me when I go away but oh well . . . I guess I have other qualities. Everyone’s different.
Later, when I picked Lightning up, they’d put a bow around his neck, which is a new thing. Usually they don’t decorate the dog.
“Oh that’s nice,” I said. “Is there an extra charge for that?”
“Yeah,” said Lauren, “it’s 50 dollars.”
I miss Erica . . .
The mayor of Los Angeles, Eric Garcetti, said this the other day:
“Some of the monies that will come from that will go to other parts of the city too that connect in with that . . .”
OK, that’s out of context and it doesn’t make any sense, but — “monies”?!
“Hi, I’m Eric Garcetti. I have a dollar bill so I have a money. If you give me another dollar, I’ll have some monies.”
No. You can have a dollar or a billion dollars. One word covers all the possibilities and that word is “money.”
“Monies” is a word used by politicians and academians and other posturing pricks who’d like you to think that they’re doing the Lord’s work and not soiling their hands with anything as grubby as “money.”
But I think American liberals have also made the mistake of focusing too much on income and wealth as the measures of success. Every chart and graph we see about America’s increase in “inequality” is about either money, or the likelihood of getting money. Sure, disparities of wealth are distasteful. Sure, money is one thing that confers social status. But by focusing on it obsessively, I think liberals are helping to cement its paramount importance as the end-all and be-all of social outcomes.
- Redistribute wealth? No, redistribute respect. (noahpinionblog.blogspot.com)
I did not win the $586 million. Will have to continue to get by on my wit and virtue . . .
The Mega Millions jackpot is up to $586 million. I bought two tickets at the gas station where I buy sodas every morning.
“I hope I don’t have to split it,” I said to the guy. “I want the whole $500 million.”
“What are you going to do with all that money?” he asked.
“First of all, I’m going to buy a new cup for my sodas every morning, instead of bringing the old cups back in for the refill price.”
“I’ll also be a lot harder to get along with at the office. No more Mr. Nice Guy.”
Fast food workers staged a one-day strike for “living wages.” More specifically, they want the federal minimum wage to be raised from $7.25 an hour to $15.
You want to make a living wage? I’ll tell you how to make a living wage. I’ve had a lot of jobs and this method has never failed me.
Here it is: Before accepting a job offer, you always ask yourself, “Does this job pay enough for me to live on?” And if the answer is no, then you don’t take that job.
If you want to earn $15 an hour, do what I do: get a job that pays $15 an hour. Who’s stopping you?
If no one’s willing to pay you $15 an hour, it’s because the skills, intelligence and motivation that you bring to the table don’t allow you to do anything that’s worth $15 an hour. You need to do something about that. You need to be able to deliver $15 of value to an employer. Figure that out.
Setting the minimum wage at $15 is not going to help you. If you set the price of something at more than it’s worth, people are not going to buy it.
Imagine this: My friend Paul Epps is a programmer. Let’s say we passed a Minimum Wage for Programmers law that says that programmers must be paid at least $200,000 a year. Is that good news for Epps?
No, it isn’t.
His boss calls all the programmers into a meeting and says, “Well, according to the new Minimum Wage for Programmers law, I can’t hire any of you for less than $200,000 per year. You know what that means?”
“We all get a big raise?” Epps suggests hopefully.
“No, it means you’re all fired. Get out of here.”
Or imagine this: We pass a Minimum Price for Restaurants law that says you can’t get a meal in restaurant unless you pay at least $15 for it. What will that do to sales of Quarter Pounders and Jumbo Jacks?
People will stop buying those things. Many restaurants serve meals for which customers are willing to pay $15, but a fast food burger isn’t worth $15, even with fries and a drink, so people will stop buying those things.
- Some Minimum-Wage Links (cafehayek.com)
- Obama and the Evidence on Minimum-Wage Legislation (cafehayek.com)
- Minimum Insight (thebigquestions.com)
- Maximum Insight on Minimum Wages (cafehayek.com)
- Good Thoughts on the Bad Policy of Pricing People Out of Jobs (cafehayek.com)
- More Questions for Proponents of Pricing Low-Skilled Workers Out of Jobs (cafehayek.com)
- Scott Sumner Has Some Empirical Data on Minimum-Wage Legislation (cafehayek.com)
- Krugman Concludes That the Evidence for Minimum-Wage Legislation Is Strong If the Evidence Against Minimum-Wage Legislalation Is Ignored (cafehayek.com)
There are three classes of men; lovers of wisdom, lovers of honor, and lovers of gain. — Plato
Cindy Vinson and Tom Waschura are big believers in the Affordable Care Act. They vote independent and are proud to say they helped elect and re-elect President Barack Obama.
Yet, like many other Bay Area residents who pay for their own medical insurance, they were floored last week when they opened their bills: Their policies were being replaced with pricier plans that conform to all the requirements of the new health care law.
Vinson, of San Jose, will pay $1,800 more a year for an individual policy, while Waschura, of Portola Valley, will cough up almost $10,000 more for insurance for his family of four. . . .
Covered California spokesman Dana Howard maintained that in public presentations the exchange has always made clear that there will be winners and losers under Obamacare. . . .
“Of course, I want people to have health care,” Vinson said. “I just didn’t realize I would be the one who was going to pay for it personally.”
Jane Lynch’s ex wants $94,000 in monthly spousal support — MSN TV News
You’ve gotta be careful what you wish for.
We want to be able to marry our same-sex partners. We want to enjoy the blessings and sacraments of love just like straight people.
O-kay . . . do you also want to pay $94,000 a month to your same-sex partner when things don’t work out?
Back in the pre-gay-marriage era, Jane Lynch could have ended the relationship with a handshake and perhaps a modest gratuity if she felt like it.
People don’t know when they’re well-off. Group A feels put upon in comparison to Group B, wants to be more like Group B, and doesn’t think about having to give up the advantages of NOT being like Group B.
As Bobby Fischer used to say, “To get squares, you’ve got to give squares.” Everything’s a tradeoff.
Detroit used to be known as “the Paris of the midwest” – a city of wide streets, imposing buildings, and home to the great US auto industry. In 1960, it had the highest per capita income in the nation. But decades of decline, racial tension and corruption have brought the motor city to its knees.
Highest per capita income in the nation! I did not know that.
Anyway, Detroit filed for bankruptcy last week with debts of more than $18 billion.
The city’s population has dropped from 2 million in 1950 to 700,000 today, as Detroiters have become fed up with decades of mismanagement and rising crime and poverty. Detroit’s murder rate is at a 40-year high, only a third of its ambulances are in working order, and nearly half its streetlights are broken.
Citizens wait 58 minutes for the police to respond to calls, compared to a national average of 11 minutes. There are 78,000 abandoned buildings . . .
Detroit (1701-2013). Don't cry for us, America. You're next.
— Michael Moore (@MMFlint) July 19, 2013
Michael Moore, like a stopped clock, is occasionally right. It’s funny he should say that though — “You’re next” — because he’s never been an advocate of fiscal responsibility or not spending lots and lots of money that you don’t actually have.
Maybe I’m misinterpreting but if what he’s saying is that America is on track for bankruptcy, then I couldn’t agree more.
The Louisiana State University Board of Supervisors Wednesday approved newly hired LSU offensive coordinator Cam Cameron’s three-year contract but not without faculty members voicing concerns. According to the terms, Cameron will receive $600,000 for the 2013 season, followed by $1.3 million and $1.5 million in the last two years of his contract.
LSU has faculty?!
Donald McKinney, director of wind ensembles and conducting and associate professor in the school of music, said he was “disheartened” in LSU’s handling of the future. He said the morale has been low and hopes LSU would change to retain faculty. McKinney, who’s a newer faculty member, said he’s heading to another university at the end of the semester. . . .
Nathan Crick, an associate professor in communication studies, echoed similar sentiments. Crick said he was sold false goods and now “it’s time to return them.” The professor said he’s leaving LSU for Texas A&M.
GOOD RIDDANCE, YOU PUSSIES! Your departure frees up more money for football!
Newly appointed LSU President King Alexander said he isn’t surprised of the issues in Louisiana because they are strikingly similar to California. Alexander is currently the president at California State University Long Beach but will take the lead at LSU beginning July 1.
King Alexander!? Well, President of LSU is quite a stepdown from King of Macedonia. He must be a big football fan.
Wait — what? Cal State Long Beach?! That place is a shithole. I guess it’s hard to find a guy who’d consider LSU an academic advancement.
God-DAMN I can’t wait for football season!
Hi, everybody! Here’s a picture of me taking a nap on my porch.
I know what you’re thinking: “Lightning, did you refinance to take advantage of the low interest rates?”
HAHA . . . I OWN THIS PLACE FREE AND CLEAR! IT’S PAID OFF!
Stop one heart from breaking. Ease one life the aching or cool one pain. Or help one fainting robin unto his nest again.
What’s the billing code for that?
I never actually noticed it before, but the gas station where I buy sodas every morning has a sign out front showing the current jackpots for Powerball and Mega Millions.
Both of the jackpots were three digits this morning (nine digits if you add six zeros for the millions) — one a little more than 200 and one a little less. Maybe that’s why I noticed them today, because there were so many digits. Or maybe it’s my destiny to win the lottery and the hand of fate turned my eyeballs to the jackpots.
“I noticed the numbers out front,” I said to the clerk. “Give me a ticket for Powerball and Mega Millions.”
“That’s a lot of millions,” he said.
“It sure is. I’ll still stop by in the morning for sodas though.”