Posts Tagged ‘economics’

For Whom the Nobel Tolls

Posted in General on October 13th, 2008 by Eugene Finerman – Be the first to comment

White House Adds Nobel Committee to Axis of Evil

Citing his remarkable clarity for an economist–and unpredecented happenstance of actually being right–the Nobel Committee awarded Paul Krugman its prize in economics. In announcing his prize, the Nobel Committee spoke of Professor Krugman’s cogent economic analysis: “Whereas other economists would describe George Bush’s counter-intuitive cerebralizational calibrations, Professor Krugman says ‘moron.'”

Krugman’s most recent works are “I Have Never Heard Such Rubbish!” “How Can You Believe This Idiot?”, and “I Told You So, I Told You So.”

Unfortunately, Krugman has proved too correct. Whereas the usual Nobel Prize in Economics amounts to 10 million Kroner, this year hasn’t been so good. If the professor can get to Stockholm–at his own expense–he is welcome to stay at Max von Sydow’s apartment; there is a fold-out couch in the living room. As for the prize, this year it amounts to 1400 Kroner, the deluxe blue-ray DVD of “Fanny and Alexander” (the full length–all 47 hours), one tenth of a Munch painting (his choice), and a monthly delivery of two pounds of lox for the rest of his life.

While flattered by the award, Professor Krugman is not sure that a trip to Stockholm is worth the risk. There is some question whether he would be allowed back in the United States once he left. Press Secretary Dana Perino would only say, “Why would an economist need a beard? What is his real motive?”

My RDA of Self-Sacrifice

Posted in General on October 1st, 2008 by Eugene Finerman – 5 Comments

If I had to choose between betraying my country and betraying my friend, I hope I should have the guts to betray my country.” E.M. Forster

Forster had it easy. Tonight, in the name of friendship, I am going to watch “Lou Dobbs.” I normally would avoid his show because I never had an inordinate fear of Gabriel García Márquez, Jose Ferrer or King Juan Carlos mowing my grass–and thus dispossessing the millions of Episcopalian Harvard graduates who were vying to be my lawn service.

However, tonight at least, Mr. Dobbs will be changing the subject of his tantrum. Dobbs is vehement (as if he had any other adjective) in his opposition to the Federal bailout of Wall Street. To discuss this fulmination, Dobbs has invited on his show a friend of mine who–for lack of self-respect and social skills–is a professor of economics.

So, in the masochistic name of friendship, I will watch Loud Dobbs tonight. But I would feel less shame if the good professor were appearing on Maury Povich and being subjected to 600 paternity tests.

A Foreclosed House of Cards

Posted in General on September 26th, 2008 by Eugene Finerman – Be the first to comment

American Greetings 2Q profit falls 73 pct on costs
Associated Press

Sep 26th, 2008 | PORTLAND, Ore. — American Greetings Corp. said Friday that second-quarter profit dropped 73 percent on lower margins and higher costs as the greeting card company invested in products to drive sales growth.

Profit dropped to $2.3 million, or 5 cents per share, in the three months ended Aug. 29 from $8.4 million, or 15 cents per share, a year ago. Sales rose 2.2 percent to $385.8 million from $377.5 million a year earlier.

The company’s best-selling cards may have been harbingers of the current economic situation.

The most popular Mother’s Day cards said, “Thanks for nothing” and “Why Did You Even Bother?”

Popular birthday cards expressed such sentiments “If you received this card, at least you still have an address” and “Can you pay me back for this card and the stamp?” The best-selling sympathy card read, “I wish it had been me.”

In response to the economic downturn, American Greetings is introducing a new line that should prove popular: a combination Christmas card and resumé.


Dunce Ex Machina

Posted in General on September 25th, 2008 by Eugene Finerman – 4 Comments

Once Congressional leaders agreed on the $700 billion Wall Street welfare program, Senator John McCain descended from the ceiling to take credit–and applause–for everyone else’s work.

“Yes, my friends, my selfless example of putting patriotism over politics has been the inspiration for you all. I can’t stress enough how selfless I have been, suspending my campaign because my country needed my economic leadership. I understand the meaning of $ 700 billion; that is like marrying Cindy 3500 times. But I would make that sacrifice for America.”

When asked the specific details of his economic leadership, the Senator reached for his index cards and replied, “Regardless of what Senator Obama believes, I support the decimal system. I would never shortchange the American people by making the dollar worth three quarters. That one quarter might not mean much to my opponent but it does to millions of American children–children that Senator Obama would have aborted. And just for their quarters.”

Senator Obama denied any intentions to kill millions of children for their allowances, although he could offer no disproof of it. However, he did use a dictionary to demonstrate that a three-quarter dollar would be illogical. He was subsequently denounced for elitist arrogance in having a dictionary and flaunting his mastery of fractions.

The Bear Market of A.D. 455

Posted in General on September 23rd, 2008 by Eugene Finerman – Be the first to comment

Transcript of Genseric’s testimony to the Roman Senate

Senators of Rome. There is no point in telling you that your glorious city has been sacked. Being King of the Vandals, I can speak with an objective perspective: Rome has nothing left to steal. But this is not the time to look for culprits. We must look to the future and restore a Rome that once again is worth looting.

So I am asking you for at least 700 billion denarii to rebuild and revitalize Rome. Believe me, I know exactly what the Vandals have done. Because this is an emergency, I will require your complete cooperation. No questions, no supervision, no appeals to the Pope. In fact, I will require his powers as well.

Some of you–on the left side of the Curia–might question a Vandal’s reliability. And that is exactly the type of question that can be divisive and unproductive. So, as I said, no questions. Some of you might think that the Vandals could lend Rome the money. Well, yes, we have had a good year–that is just a coincidence–but the upkeep of a barbarian horde can be expensive. And unless we sack Constantinople, next year’s profits will definitely be down. So, despite our sentimental attachment to this city, we Vandals will not be investing in Rome. No, you Romans have to make the effort and scrounge up your last denarii.

I just am here to spend it for you.

Robbing Peter to Pay Paulson

Posted in General on September 22nd, 2008 by Eugene Finerman – Be the first to comment

“Don’t think of it as extortion,” said Secretary of the Treasury Paulson of his “don’t ask, just pay” demand for $700 billion dollars to bail out Wall Street’s current embarrassment. “You are investing in a ransom.”

Congressional Democrats objected to Paulson’s insistence on dictatorial authority in carrying out the financial rescue. Republicans countered that their plan already was a generous compromise: “We are not going to blame the Jews.” However, with the Democrats’ insistence on relief for homeowners, the Bush administration responded with a new economic plan: the Secure Employment and Resettlement Foundation.

Under the SERF system, anyone who lost a home would be welcome to stay on the private estates of designated participants. In return for this free housing, the guests would be obliged to express their thanks with a little work: cleaning pools or moats, yard work, windows, crops. In certain locations, the SERF assignments would include building walls along the Mexican and Canadian borders.

Guests can be reassured: SERF housing and employment would be in perpetuity. The system includes a food plan–and it is a dietitian’s dream: all the advantages of root vegetables and none of the risks of meat. As for healthcare, life expectancy would not be an issue.

When asked if the SERF system would pay its workers the minimum wage, the White House replied, “You don’t need to pay your guests.” The editorial page of the Wall Street Journal praised the plan, noting that it had been used in a previous Dark Ages “And look how well things turned out.”