WC Varones

Don't lend your hand to raise no flag atop no ship of fools

Don't say she didn't warn you


I'd never seen Millenial spokesfigure Lena Dunham before her appalling "voting for Obama is like losing your virginity" ad (and long before her even more appalling rape hoax).

But perusing Amazon Prime tonight, I found the pilot of her show, "Girls." The first scene is actually a moderately amusing lampoon of the spoiled, entitled, perpetual victim mentality that Dunham has come to represent.  Watch the brief clip here.

The parody became the self.

Hillary Clinton, call your office


Indebted college dropout in hole, keeps digging

Portland Press-Herald:
Hardest hit: College students who never finish school

When Kat Ragot, 42, accepts her diploma for a bachelor of arts degree Saturday from the University of Maine at Machias, she will finish a journey that began 25 years ago and left her nearly $40,000 in debt.

While fellow classmates who graduated from her first college, Carnegie Mellon University, went on to enjoy successful careers, Ragot dropped out, then struggled to make ends meet while working a series of low-paying jobs and raising two children on her own. She defaulted on her student loans, but later restored her credit so she could borrow more money and return to school.

She needs that college degree, she says, so she can get a better-paying job and climb out of the financial hole she has fallen into.

“There’s no way around it,” she says of her lingering debt. “It’s kind of like a mortgage. The payoff will ultimately be more security – and that’s a debt worth taking on.”
What in-demand career is Kat taking on more debt to prepare for?  Engineering? Computer Science? Nursing?

Nope. Fine Arts. Performance Art. Good luck with that! I hear Broadway and Hollywood have a severe shortage of middle-aged theatre majors.

Lest we forget: bonds are for dicks.

November 23, 2012, with the 10-year Treasury at 1.69%:


Today:
U.S., European and Japanese bonds fell as governments in some of the biggest markets sell debt amid a rout in fixed-income securities.

The global selloff is intensifying after already pushing U.S. yields to the highest level this year and driving Germany’s 10-year yield 14 times higher in less than a month. The U.S. plans to auction $24 billion of three-year notes Tuesday, the same amount of 10-year securities Wednesday and $16 billion of 30-year bonds May 14.

The S&P 500 is up 57% since November 23, 2012 and yields 3% on your cost that day.

So much for that consumer windfall from cheap gas


How's that new SUV working out for ya?

Canada's Tea Party destroys Canada's RINOs, tips Canada's Texas to Canada's Democrats

Some definitions will be useful here.

Alberta = Canada's Texas
Wildrose Party = Canada's Tea Party
Progressive Conservatives = Canada's RINOs
New Democratic Party = Canada's Democrats

Long story short, Canada's RINOs have been in charge of Canada's Texas for ages.  They got fat and happy and spent like drunken sailors during the oil boom years.  Then when the price of oil crashed last year meaning a huge hit to the state budget, they proposed a budget that both raised taxes and still ran a massive deficit.

So the voters of Canada's Texas were disgusted with Canada's RINOs, and threw them out of office yesterday.  Canada's RINOs lost so many seats that they are no longer even the official opposition, that role being taken by Canada's resurgent Tea Party.

Canada's Texas won't tolerate Canada's Democrats for long.  Expect Canada's RINOs to come to Canada's Jesus and rediscover fiscal responsibility, and join forces with Canada's Tea Party.

Elton Simpson goes to meet his 72 virgins

I love a story with a happy ending.

Watch out for the guy who goes in to buy 72 vibrators

'Halal' sex shop set to open in Mecca


End ECB Dick-Tatorship

A woman just jumped up on the table at Mario Draghi's press conference and dumped confetti all over his head.

Her T-shirt was classic.







Widespread appeal




Source: WSJ.

John Maynard Keynes on non-traded REITs

I haven't written about non-traded REITs before, but they are one of the more widespread investment scams out there.  Typical REITs trade like stocks on an exchange and play a valuable role in asset allocation for most investors.  Non-traded REITs, on the other hand, are sold to unsuspecting small investors by their unscrupulous stock brokers, but can't be readily traded should the investor want to cash out.

The broker gets a huge commission, typically at least 5% and often even worse.  What the investor gets is ownership in a REIT that is immediately down by the amount of the commission.  Large "dividend" yields that sound good often turn out to be unsustainable, and dividends end up falling along with the portfolio value over time.

In addition to the unsustainable high dividend yields, risk-averse investors can be persuaded to buy non-traded REITs because they have stable values.  If they don't trade on an exchange, and don't have daily prices, there's no volatility!  Which is absurd, of course.  Just because you can't see the value of your holdings changing price every day doesn't mean that the underlying value isn't fluctuating just as much as an actively traded REIT.

So I found it interesting to see John Maynard Keynes making exactly this point way back in 1938, long before the modern non-traded REIT racket:
Some Bursars will buy without a tremor unquoted and unmarketable investments in real estate which, if they had a selling quotation for immediate cash available at each Audit, would turn their hair grey. The fact that you do not [know] how much its ready money quotation fluctuates does not, as is commonly supposed, make an investment a safe one.

The Courage to Hit Ctrl+P like a Spastic Monkey

Zimbabwe Ben considers himself courageous in new book title.

UPDATE: William Banzai7 has a corrected book cover.

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