Posts Tagged ‘economy’

Molecule–*This story on gut microbes will have you talking about all the wrong things when it comes to the coronavirus.

–*These people who would have drunk bleach for the coronavirus luckily had already died because of some other stupid thing they did.

–*Bad advice about the coronavirus has now become airborne.

–*These six women couldn’t agree on their book club title. So the book club broke up, and they all survived the coronavirus.

–*This guy ate shellfish and his face swelled up. It has nothing to do with the coronavirus, but it is a pretty cool picture.

–*Self-quarantining is undoubtedly the best way to protect not only yourself but also vulnerable communities. And what better way to show your love of humanity than by being a reclusive, selfish bastard?

–*If you have a dry cough and flu-like symptoms, Emily Post’s new etiquette book suggests that you stay far away from Emily Post.

–*Jean-Paul Sartre said hell is other people. Yes.

–*Remember that panic is also contagious, so check in with a health care specialist to find out more about whether or not you are really panicking.

–*Home schooling is a great way to discover how much you are underpaying teachers.

–*Here’s a list of celebrities who aren’t dead.

–*Coronavirus has upended the way we understand health care, our economy, statistics, arcade games, Hot Wheels cars, kelp, mayonnaise, Christmas trees, the Wu Tang Clan, the Oedipus Complex, butter …

–*But some things about America are resilient, even amid a pandemic: Our political attitudes magically don’t change.

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–*Trump managed to cobble together a unique coalition of voters: the not bright, and the far dumber than not bright.

–*Americans with nothing to lose but low unemployment, a rising stock market and rising wages and health care coverage decided to roll the dice on a tax cut that might get them a new 16 inch television.

–*Middle-class white Americans made it loud and clear that they are tired of nobody listening to them mistakenly blame their problems on immigrants.

–*Americans are tired of the elites looking down at them … so here, elites, this tax cut should teach you a thing or two.

–*Americans in the middle class with stagnant wages are hurting. But rather than a minimum wage increase, they’d really just like permission to use the “N-word” again.

–*Everybody needs somebody to harass and victimize and look down on, and Obama had given middle class whites nobody to do that to.

–*Middle class whites are concerned about the ways skyrocketing debt is going to affect their kids. That’s why they elected a guy mostly known for putting up giant buildings with enormous debt attached to them.

–*The whole, “watch me get drunk and vote for this guy” crowd is bigger than we thought.

–*The Washington and New York government and media establishments are out of touch because they spend too much time reading and analyzing and thinking.

–*Americans don’t like political dynasties. Also they don’t like authoritarian populist regim….never mind. Americans don’t know what they like.

–* … or who they are.

–* … or what they stand for.

–*”Take that, college-educated people!”

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell by 185 points on Tuesday, a huge slide that halted a week and a half of rallying. What’s causing the roller-coaster ride in the stock market?

–*Analysts realized that America had been leaning too much on Britney Spears, Miley Cyrus and candy necklaces to prop up the economy.

–*Despite its phenomenal success in vacuum cleaners, the Dyson ball innovation has proved much less successful in automobiles, cranes, nuclear fission and sexual intercourse.

–*Michael Jackson memorial magazine issues were not directly convertible to gold plate as many investors had hoped.

–*The market had in the last few weeks already priced in economic recovery, a manufacturing surge and an increase in home sales, but it had not yet responsibly factored in a possible attack by zombie Morlocks.

–*Americans might start showing responsible saving behavior and stop living a fat life of plenty on the backs of Saudi Arabian and Chinese debt. In other words, they’re just being selfish assholes.

–*Radio host Glenn Beck wants to kill everybody with a shovel.

–*You can’t get a decent burger anymore.

–*Banks are still failing. As well they should because sometimes we have to kill capitalism to save it, say American schizophrenics.

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(Originally posted Friday, January 09, 2009)

Washington, D.C. (API) As America faces increasing job losses and rising financial insecurity, President-elect Barack Obama has proposed the elimination of verbs in American speech as a belt-tightening measure.

“In an age of big American financial crisis, paper expensive. Verbs — unnecessary,” Obama said. “Predicates needless.”

The proposed measure would eliminate predicates and all words denoting actions or states of being until the American economy was well on its way to recovery.

“Americans strong,” said Obama. “Even without verbs. In the future, less verbal waste. And so more buildings, more food, more money. Hooray!”

House Democrats were fuming about the measure, which they said was proposed without their knowledge.

“No verbs? How no verbs?” asked Speaker Nancy Pelosi. “Communication limited now. Too difficult, speech.”

Obama said he expects the cessation of verbs, a major component in syntax, will save the government millions of dollars in paper and also help Americans increase productivity by spending fewer minutes per person on unnecessary verbiage.

“A travesty, this,” said former Nixon administration speechwriter and self-described “language maven” William Safire. “The end of knowledge. The end of reason. Devastating. Utterly devastating.”

Americans said that they would have trouble adapting to the challenges of a verbless society, and that Obama’s proposed changes would likely have them soon stooping over and muttering in some kind of strange simian Neanderthal-speak.

“No verbs too hard,” said law professor Felix Diaz. “Language and communication difficult.”

“No verbs? Not too hard,” said Lila Montgomery, a customer greeter at Wal-Mart. “Toothpaste? Aisle 3. Videotapes? Aisle 10.”

“Speech rugged, even when no verbs,” said linguist Noam Chomsky. “Grammar universal, innate.”

Verbs are words that vary according to many factors, including tense, voice, mood and aspect. Obama was unsure whether the moratorium on speech would extend to gerunds, infinitives and supines, verbs which can sometimes act like nouns.

“Maybe yes, maybe no! A conundrum!” Then he shrugged.

“America no money,” continued Obama. “Thus, America no verbs. Not until America money again.”

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(Originally posted Tuesday, September 23, 2008 )

NEW YORK (API) — As the last of the old Wall Street investment banks were, with the swipe of a pen, written out of existence, the United States financial system as known for most of the past two centuries was finally dismantled today, and America was well on its way to becoming once more a land of cheese makers, candle molders and butter churners.

“It makes you want to cry,” said former Lehman Brothers analyst Jacqui MacQuarie, a tear forming in her eye as she stood outside her old offices in Midtown Manhattan. “Two weeks ago I was splitting up tranches of triple-C rated unsecured debt. Today I’ve got my pink slip and I’ve got a job interview planting rutabagas. I’ve got to tell you, though, it’ll be nice to start doing some honest work for a change.”

As thousands braced themselves for more bad news from the stock market, with the Dow Jones up and down in equal measures by some 900 points in the last week, many stock brokers’ eyes turned to simpler and more stable jobs like raking asphalt and working in gravel quarries and smelting pig iron.

MacQuarie and her former co-workers met together for one last time at famous Wall Street rathskeller Ulysses’, where many traders have gathered to await news about their fates over the last week.

“Hank Paulson is doing the right thing,” said Angus Stewart, a Scot who had come to America ten years ago to pursue his dream of being a stock analyst. “It was right for the Treasury to pay $700 billion to nationalize the financial system. Pretty soon, the process of collectivization will take place, and you know that if Republicans are doing it, then there really was no choice. Now I’m going off to learn how to coagulate cheese or maybe start a printing press. Smell the air. It’s so clean. It smells like truth.”

Stewart then began chatting up a female employee of Merrill Lynch who had up until a few days ago been a senior trader.

“She’s probably feeling pretty vulnerable right about now,” he said. “When an alpha female crashes, she crashes hard, if you know what I mean. Easy peasy.”

All five of the major independent investment banks that defined the landscape of modern Wall Street just six months ago have ceased to exist this week, having either imploded under the titanic weight of dubious loans, been folded into bigger commercial banking companies, or changed their status into regulated commercial bank holding companies to protect themselves from the fallout of bad debt–a virulence that has undone the great bulls of the financial world like a recalcitrant strain of bovine rinderpest.

“I’m going to cut limestone with a pen knife,” said Jason Hofstedder, an MBA from Wharton who up until a few days ago analyzed consumer durable junk bonds. “Side by side with my Dad. I used to think he was a fool. How wrong I was to have confidence in things of phantom value like capital and credit.”

“I’m going to build Earthen berms with recycled tires,” said Martha Salsbury, a merger arbitrage specialist. “God, it feels so good to think of doing something meaningful with my life.”

“I’m going to grow banana plots on the side of the river and sell them to passing boats,” said Lawrence Needlebrook, a commodities futures trader. “It’s time that I stopped looking at a banana as a market commodity with excess trading value and time I started eating it.”

A few hours later, the long urban valleys of Manhattan whistled in eerie silence as people took their goods away from the city in oxcarts, droshkys and baby prams.

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