Monday, May 20, 2019

May 20th Links

  • Now with the UBER IPO, the Ponzi Sector may finally be peaking. On Friday, May 9, we saw conclusive proof that there simply isn't enough dumb money left to fund endless operating losses, while simultaneously absorbing all the VC shares that are desperately seeking exits before their various Ponzi Schemes detonate. Remember, a Ponzi Scheme dies when more money goes out than comes in. This is especially true of schemes that rely on greater fool theories where most purchasers feel that they are "in on the scheme," and will sell out to someone stupider than them in the future. When it becomes obvious that there are no more "bag-holders," look out below. [AiC]
  • Nate Silver correctly predicted one presidential election where the losing candidate took a dive and another where the losing candidate correctly predicted that he would lose because there was a winning majority already on the payroll of the incumbent. [CBS]
  • He notices simple things that some might call innuendo, but any gay man will instantly recognize, like the fabulous interiors of the gay cardinals' palaces, always with their "assistants" or young "relative" on hand. Or he simply describes Burke's appearance: "The 70-year-old cardinal [is] sitting on an asparagus-green throne twice as large as he is, surrounded by silvery drapery. He wears a fluorescent yellow mitre in the shape of a tall Tower of Pisa, and long turquoise gloves that look like iron hands; his mozzetta is cabbage-green, embroidered with yellow, lined with a leek-green hood revealing a bow of crimson and pomegranate lace." [NY Mag]
  • Below is a compare and contrast photo to help illustrate what I mean by nice homes being replaced by extravagant ones. It's difficult to explain the size and length of this home under construction. To get a better understanding, I included an average sized beach house in the picture (to the right). I've labeled these monster residences "Quantitative Easing Beach Homes," as many were built after the Federal Reserve implemented its asset purchase programs and expanded its balance sheet. While I need to do further research, I suspect the average size of a new beach house has grown commensurately with the Federal Reserve's balance sheet. [Cinnamond]
  • PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that the hearing to consider approval of the Disclosure Statement for Joint Chapter 11 Plan of Sears Holdings Corporation and Its Affiliated Debtors scheduled for May 16, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. has been rescheduled to May 29, 2019 at 1:30 p.m.. The Disclosure Statement Hearing will be held before the Honorable Robert D. Drain, United States Bankruptcy Judge, at the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, Courtroom 118, 300 Quarropas Street, White Plains, New York, 10601-4140. [Prime Clerk]
  • Oklahoma City was born in an event called, with extreme dramatic understatement, the Land Run. The Land Run should be called something like "Chaos Explosion Apocalypse Town" or "Reckoning of the DoomSettlers: Clusterfuck on the Prairie." It should be one of the major events in American history — dramatizations of it should be projected onto IMAX screens with 3-D explosions, in endless loops, forever. Because the Land Run was, even by the standards of America, absurd. It was a very bad idea, executed very badly. It would be hard to think of a worse way to start a city. Harper's Weekly, which had a reporter on the ground, called it "one of the most bizarre and chaotic episodes of town founding in world history." [NY Mag]
  • The Art Institute's famous western entrance on Michigan Avenue is guarded by two bronze lionstatues created by Edward Kemeys. The lions were unveiled on May 10, 1894, each weighing more than two tons. The sculptor gave them unofficial names: the south lion is "stands in an attitude of defiance," and the north lion is "on the prowl." When a Chicago sports team plays in the championships of their respective league (i.e. the Super Bowl or Stanley Cup Finals, not the entire playoffs), the lions are frequently dressed in that team's uniform. Evergreen wreaths are placed around their necks during the Christmas season. [Wiki]
  • I was shocked at how over-hyped this museum was in relation to the awful curating and presentation of what is without a question a world class collection of impressionist masters, along with other genres. Famous works of art stacked on top of each other, some hung above doorways near the ceiling of small badly lit rooms so that it was impossible to even see, much less appreciate those works. As other reviewers have observed, there are many rules that the staff take a special delight in enforcing like Nazi guards. My friend was not allowed to bring her small handbag, though while waiting for the elevator, we saw one women with a handbag large engough to carry her laundry. The walls are covered with a hideous burlap material, with many paintings missing and in their place are left ugly nails and other items. There is no space in between paintings so that the visual experience is cluttered. [Trip Advisor]
  • American gave all its boarding groups numbers, even the premium ones, and "Group 1" became "Group 5." Citibank had to send an email to American co-brand cardholders telling them they'd now be boarding in "Group 5," but that this wasn't a demotion because they'd really been in the fifth group all along. Actually, "Group 5" is the sixth group — American still allows its most elite Concierge Key fliers to board before "Group 1," as a sort of Group 0 — but who's counting? (Just kidding: These people are definitely counting.) [NY Mag]
  • High in the Andes, La Rinconada has an alpine / tundra climate, with no month having average temperatures even close to the 10°C threshold that would permit tree growth and a subtropical highland classification for the city. Far above the tree line, La Rinconada is unique in its high elevation and population, with the highest city of comparable population (Cerro de Pasco) being over 700 m (2,300 ft; 0.43 mi) closer to sea level. Owing to the extreme elevation of the town, climatic conditions more closely resemble that of the west coast of Greenland than somewhere only 14° from the equator. The town has rainy summers and dry winters with a large diurnal variation seeing cool to cold days and freezing night time temperatures throughout the year, with common snowfalls. [Wiki]
  • The couple spent hours soaking in natural hot springs in Oregon's Owyhee Canyonlands and swimming in the Burgdorf Hot Springs in central Idaho. In Washington, Kathy said, the Goldmyer Hot Springs, near Snoqualmie Pass on the Pacific Crest Trail, were magical. "You actually step into a narrow cave in the top pool," she says. "You feel like you're in a womb." They lodged with hunters near the Wilderness Gateway Campground in Idaho, staying in cozy canvas tents with wood stoves. A detour took them on a 55-mile walk along an abandoned railroad. [Outside]
  • The third-generation edition of the Buick Roadmaster line, made from 1994 to 1996, is especially coveted. That one packs the same 5.7-liter LT1 V8 engine that GM also put into its Corvette. At 260 horsepower and with a top speed limited to 108 miles per hour, the wagon's engine had been detuned to produce less power than the 300-horsepower Corvette, but that didn't hamper enthusiasm for it then nor has it now. [Bloomberg]
  • I'm not debating the political merits of Cash for Clunkers. I was just saying that these qualified for the program right about the same time as 1) they hit the bottom of the depreciation curve and 2) a lot of people needed money. Thus, many otherwise good vehicles were scrapped, making them more scarce now than they would have been. [Bring a Trailer]

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