Tag Archive for 'finance'

Prince Alwaleed, you are awesome.

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What is it about Prince Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdul Aziz al Saud that captivates me so? Is it that serious “I will buy and sell your whole family” look that draws me in? The Wayne Newton hair? Those dope tinted aviator eyeglasses? The Ron Jeremy porn-stache? Or is it all of the above?

No, its the fact that according to him in a recent interview, he mentioned that he bought his roughly 180 million shares of Citigroup at an average price of $2.75 a share. The last time it was around that price? 1991. And he has the balls to gloat about it! What a badass. Even at its current prices, that is still over a 10X gain on his money.

When discussing a possible successor to Chuck Prince, Alwaleed had the following to say:

Q: Do you have anybody in mind?

A: Frankly speaking [and he LOVES to say “frankly speaking”], I don’t have anybody in mind….My recommendation and advice for them is they don’t hire anyone unless this guy has expertise in banking. I told them, next time no lawyer, please.

Ouch. Guess I should withdraw my resume.

ANGRY!

Goddamnit.

Me: so that stock I was talking about…I never pulled the trigger. Its up 30% today
Friend: nice.
Me: fuck ME.
Me: @!#$?@#$!@#$

Friend: some you win, dimsum you lose

Why the New Dollar Coin Will NEVER Work.

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ParisLemon wrote a story titled “How the New Dollar Coin COULD Work.” As you may not know, the US Mint is going to release a new dollar coin to the public. Like ParisLemon says, this one will be newer, snazzier, and will include all new dead presidents. Sadly, ParisLemon is right on the rationale, but wrong on the result. Here is a corrected analysis.

Why the dollar coin is screwed:

“First, they are the exact same size and weight (and made of the same material) as the Sacagawea dollar coin of a few years back.” The same obnoxious, bigger, heavier than a quarter but not so big that you can’t easily confuse them with a quarter size that was unsuccessful the last time they tried to peddle it.

“Second, by taking a page from the successful series of State quarters and releasing the coins in sets of 4, each of which are different, they are creating a demand among collectors and an interest among the general public each time a new one comes out.” Not exactly. Quarters were already popular and heavily used before they came up with the idea to have individual quarters for each state. Not so with the dollar coin, a universally shunned coin.

“Now, these two thing certainly don’t guarantee success or acceptance of the coin, after all coins are pretty annoying to carry around in large quantities…” You got that right.

“They could work with the soda manufacturers to set the price of a vending machine pop to $1. Currently it seems like vending machine drinks range anywhere in price from 50 cents to $1.50…why not split the difference and make them all $1? Imagine how simple it would be if you didn’t need to fumble around in your pocket for change to buy a pop in the machine, or better still, if you didn’t have to keep feeding those awful dollar-bill readers that just won’t accept your crumpled paper money. All you would need to do is insert your dollar coin and out comes the drink.” Thanks jerk. There’s nothing like knowing that the dollar coin is responsible for my office soda machine going from $.50 to $1.00 to encourage me to use more dollar coins! Oh, and I don’t see any problems with the government mandating the price of consumer goods!

“Though the Sacagawea coin has been out for a few years, I’ve only seen a few vending machines that will take them.” Ok. Guess what? The increased cost of compliance just went up. Guess who is going to pay for it? (Hint: it’s not the vendors).

Dollar coins are infuriating. Like the penny, they are totally useless. When I was a kid, I noticed that my dad had a big drawer full of change. Why? Because any change he would get that day would go into that drawer, never to be used again. That was great for me when I was 10, but now I do the same exact thing he does. Coins are for kids, and they will never be anything more.

We have dollar bills, they work. Dollar coins are a perfect example of the government trying to fix something that isn’t broke. Or we have some seriously numismatically-obsessed (that’s coin geeks to you) people working in government. The dollar coin is going to cost YOU money, both at the federal government level and every time a vendor is forced to comply in accepting them. Printing money isn’t free, bub. Moreover, coins, being subject to prevailing metals prices, often cost more than originally planned. I’m sure you’ve heard that with prevailing copper and zinc prices, many pennies are worth more melted down into copper than they are in their present form.