Saturday, October 11, 2008

In Which Our Hero Briefly Acknowledges That There Is Some Sort of Gigantic Financial Clusterfuck Going On

    So, on Friday Wall Street staggered to the end of its worst week in history by absolutely every measure, including the closely followed CBOSA index.
    In positive financial news, I received my first paycheck the same day. This made me very excited for two reasons: 1)I could now buy things like food, which meant my brief devotion to Breathairianism would be coming to an end; and 2)I could begin stashing away funds to build my fortune, with which I plan to one day purchase a laser I will use to inefficiently dispatch my enemies.
    Food, luckily, can be acquired for the local currency. Manufacturers of the equipment of villainy, alas, will take only crisp new greenbacks. This meant I would need to send my profits home to the States. Now, you may think that this is a less than brilliant idea, given that my U.S. bank is not only failing, it is failing so badly that suitors stopped fighting over who would get it and started fighting over who had to take it. But I have faith in the FDIC's voodoo, mainly because I am way too stupid about money to understand exactly what it is the FDIC actually does.
    So dreaming of green and concluding with totally sound logic that if the US market is going down faster than a Thai hooker then the Asian markets must be shooting up faster than the proverbial John in this overworked metaphor; and furthermore reasoning that if one economy is all roses and the other dead flowers, the exchange rate between their currencies must reflect their economic relationship in exact proportion; and finally calculating greedily the profits to accrue me from such a fantastic catastrophe in my homeland, I skipped merrily over to, assured of the won's meteoric ascent.
    Well, you could call it that:

    The above is how many won it takes to buy one USD. Perhaps the following graph better illustrates the situation and the state of my health upon grasping it:

    This is the fraction of a dollar each won is worth.
    Viewing and reviewing this graph, I have become increasingly convinced that the won's relative value to the dollar is tied to nothing so much as my awareness of it. Drive right with me along the x-axis, and you shall see:
    —May 26: I have barely graduated from university. I know South Korea is south of North Korea.
    —June 24: The idea of living in this country first occurs to me. South Korea is now 'the one that isn't China or Japan.' My Korean is limited to 'kimchi.'
    —July 23: The issue is more or less settled. I have learned where South Korea is, the word for 'hello', and–significantly for the world economy–the name of her money. Please note the movement of the blue line between this and the next tick.
    —August 21: My ticket is booked, and I know that should I get the job millions of won will be mine. Things are looking the opposite of up.
    —Sept. 19: End of the second week of work. I have become very acquainted with the won in a thoroughly non-theoretical sense. Payday is on the horizon. The won has sensed–see graph–my excitement.
    —October 10: Payday. My mind is all about money. Ahem.
    Coincidence? I think not. On the upside, without diabolical lasers to save for, I can spend a lot more money on soju bombs.

    But global recessions can be a cause for brilliant parodic logorrhea. If ye have despaired of the state of Internet commentary, of the economy, of Bob Dylan parodies, let this jewel I tripped over at the financial news site The Big Money inspire you:

Subterranean Dow Jones Blues
by williambanzai7

Johnny's in the basement
Trading on the internet
Out on the pavement
Thinking about the government
The banker in the trench coat
Kicked out, laid off
Says he's got a bad cough
And wants his mortgage paid off
Look out kid
It's that bad trade you did
God knows when
But you're doin' it again
You better duck down the alley way
Lookin' for a new scam
The man in the red cap
With the the big bailout pen
100 Billion dollar bills
You gotta find some new thrills

Mack's got a big position to foot
Morgan's full of CDS soot
Talkin' that Lehman put
All of us on same bus but
The markets tanked anyway
Mack says that many say
We can go bust anyday
Orders in from Ebay
Look out kid
Don't matter what you did
Walk on your winged tip toes
Don't try "No Doz"
Better stay away from those
Carry round a financial fire hose
Hard to keep a clean nose
Watch the men in plain clothes
You don't need a weather map
To know which way your stock goes

Get sick, get well
Hang around a red ink well
Closing bell, hard to tell
If anything their goin' to sell
Try hard, get tarred
Get back, go to jail
Get enjoined, jump bail
Join a hedge fund, if you fail
Look out kid
You're gonna get hit
But losers, cheaters
Crooked subprime CDO dealers
Hang around with 500 dollar Chelsea strippers
Sitting in the toxic asset whirlpool
Lookin' for a new fool
Don't follow market leaders
Watch the Federal debt meter

Ah get burned, keep warm
Shorts dance, lose your pants
Get dressed, sell distressed
Try to be a new success
Please buy, don't sell
Its a steal, need a lift
Twenty years of Wall Street hell
And they put you on the day shift
Look out kid
Try to keep it all hid
Better jump through a loophole
Light yourself a roman candle
Don't get caught wearing greek sandals
Try to avoid the market scandals
Don't wanna be a Wall Street bum
You better chew some new gum
The Fed pump don't work
Cause the vandals stole the handles

Next post (probably): More junk food!


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