How Wall Street is Making its Billions

From Philip Greenspun:

Wall Street banks have had profitable quarters. JPMorgan Chase reported $3.6 billion in profit (more than $1 billion per month). Goldman Sachs was only slightly behind, at $3.2 billion. These profits supposedly came from “trading.” I asked a friend who has worked in the money business how this was possible. “For someone to make money trading, there has to be someone on the other side of every trade who is losing money. Where does each bank find someone who can lose $1 billion every month?”

He explained that “carry trade” would be a more accurate description of what they’re doing. Because of the Collapse of 2008 financial reforms, the big investment banks are able to borrow money from the U.S. government at 0 percent interest. Then they can turn around and buy short-term bonds that pay 2 or 3 percent annual interest. Now they’re making 2 percent on whatever they borrowed. They can use leverage to increase this number, by pledging some of the bonds that they’ve already bought as collateral on additional bonds.

(via Boing Boing)

I Get Email

Being a blogger means that you get several of these types of emails a week. Everything in brackets has been redacted so that I can show you guys this without giving this person the free publicity they’re looking for.

Hey Chris-

I wanted to personally invite you to partake in the blogging program surrounding the [x]th anniversary of [You Know Who’s] legendary TV series, [Whoseywhatsit].

Named the #1 television series of all time by the [Unicorns], the [Marquis de Sade] celebrates this comedy classic by releasing the deluxe, special edition DVD box set – [Whoseywhatsit] Remastered. Each episode was painstakingly restored from the original program masters to present this [type of show] in crystal clarity as never seen before. Along with every episode of the series, this must-own DVD box set comes loaded with fresh bonus material including newly recorded commentary from [the Pope], all-new cast interviews, and much more. The [Laser]-disc [BastardShitCock] Remastered will arrive in stores on [a carriage pulled by zebras] for the suggested retail price of $[1 trillion Zimbabwe] and is currently available for pre-order at [probably Amazon. It’s always Amazon] for $[More money than it’s worth].

[Suklah Hoffman] also invites fans everywhere to join the celebration by entering the accompanying costume contest for a chance to win a signed DVD from [Mama Cass] himself and lots of other goodies. We’re still awaiting details, but it will go live sometime this week (most likely [after payday so we can milk everyone for more of their money… suckers]).

If you would like to share this info with Cynical-C readers, please visit our social media release (link below) for extended info and images. Want to be involved even more? Ask me about our giveaway opportunities (US/Canada only; while supplies last).

On behalf of the [Balloon Boy], I do hope you consider being a part of our blogging program to give Cynical-C readers a first-look pass at this special edition [Car Stuck Girls] Remastered DVD box set for the ages!

[A big fat douche]

My response:

Dear Douchie McDouchebag,

I’m not your advertising monkey.


I sell advertising on the blog. Blogads and Google Adsense. Both types are clearly marked as advertising. I get no money, nor have I ever, for any of the 14,058 blog posts that I have done since starting blogging. I have received two gifts from this blog, a shower curtain from someone who made them as a side business and a book from the Museum of Hoaxes and both times there was no agreement that I had to post about them. (I ended up posting about both of them however but with a disclaimer). One of the reasons why I like to think that readers keep coming back to Cynical-C is that for all my faults, I’m at least honest with what I post. The only rule I adhere to when it comes to blogging is that I have to be interested in what I’m blogging about. I think longtime readers know wherein my interests lie and we obviously have a lot of those interests in common for you to keep coming back. Marketers who try to take the trust that I’ve developed through six years of blogging and exploit it for a free plug pisses me off to no end.

And it makes me wonder how many blogs out there will fall for it. Blogging is really annoying me at the moment.

Comedian Louis CK Gets BitTorrent Content Removed By Asking Nicely

From TechDirt:

A reader, who prefers to go by the name Angry Young Man, points us to an interesting set of comments on a torrent of a recent stand up comedy performance by the comedian Louis CK, where it appears the comedian himself showed up on Mininova and asked nicely for the content to be removed, even explaining his reasoning:

HI. I’m Louis CK. Can you please take this down? This show is a work in progress and was not intended to be passed around the internet. I have absolutely no problem, personally, with file sharing, and if you take everythign I have on the market on DVD, CD, and put it up for free downloading, I don’t care. But this is an artistic and personal request. Please take this torrent down. thanks.