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Bank of America, Now Channeling Peanuts

Every year Lucy tells Charlie Brown that she’ll hold the football for him while he kicks it. We all know how that works out. This week I felt like Charlie Brown, with Bank of America holding the football. The football was my new Bank of America Debit card, which arrived in the mail appearing to be an EMV CHIP and PIN card. Wow, I’ve been … Continue reading

We Are All PIN-Heads, If You Believe The Bankers

After a series of ever more serious data breaches, and millions of identities stolen, the banking industry promised to introduce credit cards with advanced security features this year. Just Another Fantasy. Turns out that instead of introducing ‘Chip and PIN’, they are going with ‘Chip and Signature’. Which may sound equally secure, but is in fact, a real meh. As reported … Continue reading

MetaData For Dummies; Or How Isaac Grokked The Cloud

Main-stream media sites lit up this week with the disclosure that the NSA has tapped into private databases in order to subvert terrorist plots. And surprisingly enough, there are actually some interesting sidebars to the original story. A fascinating article in the NY Times explains how recent advances in the analysis of Big Data are being … Continue reading

Big Latte

I was recently surprised to learn from The Economist that a Starbucks Tall Latte sells for the same price as a McDonald’s Big Mac in the USA. $2.80 to be exact, and really I shouldn’t have been surprised. This in The Economist’s latest update on their annual exchange rate survey of PPP, which we’ve written about previously … Continue reading

This “L” Train Doesn’t Go To Brooklyn

Why, oh why, did John Paulson sit down for an interview with Businessweek magazine? Here’s a guy who became a financial legend by betting against subprime mortgages before the market collapsed in 2007, netting his investors $15 billion while putting almost $4 billion in his own pocket. And historically he’s kept a very low profile. “I … Continue reading

Hey Manolo, Now These Are Some Really Green Shoes

There’s fine print, and there’s even finer print. The very finest print, is used by our banker friends on Wall Street. The recent Facebook IPO generated a lot of money for the company and their original investors. Then there were fees for the bankers that took Facebook public. A syndicate of investment banks, lead by Morgan … Continue reading

JP Morgan FUBAR’d

As tempting as it is, I’m not going to pile on JP Morgan for their $4 Billion write-off. Really. I have to give Jamie Dimon credit (sic) for his candid review of the situation: The bank’s strategy was flawed, complex, poorly reviewed, poorly executed and poorly monitored, Mr. Dimon said … He called the mistake … Continue reading

Muppet Taxpayer Triumphs Over The IRS

[Disclaimer: Since starting up the blog again, my goal has been to avoid posts that ranted against the daily insanity visited upon us by our institutions. But after filing my 2011 taxes that goal has been set aside for today.] This from my inbox, where I am being Congratufuckinglated for having the IRS Accept my … Continue reading

Surprise! Bankers Want To Be My Fcuk Buddy.

During the greatest transfer of wealth from savers to borrowers in history, my banker has a better idea. Instead of depositing my savings in their institutions (for which I get essentially zero interest), they are steering me towards the bank’s common stock, promising several percentage points of yield and price appreciation.

Next We’ll Be Streaming The Big Mac Index

Talk about fast news cycles. It’s the Economist’s Big Mac Index for 2010 … again! In a sign of these unusually uncertain times The Economist has speeded up their news cycle, and in the process seems to be taking themselves and their index more seriously. Used to be we’d get annual updates to the index, … Continue reading

It’s Hard To Argue With Gravity While Ordering A Hamburger

Being an expert must be harder these days. Nobody seems to have any good answers to tough questions about the economy. Morningstar pundits are usually pretty good when it comes to personal financial advice. But in is a recent answer on how to maintain yourself in retirement, they managed to coin the phrase ‘pre-tire’ when … Continue reading

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