atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#7510: Just desserts

Some folks from Reddit screwed over a hedge fund and I laughed my balls off.

The hedge fund was selling stocks short, but a bunch of gamers got together and did what they do best: used the rules of the game to score points. So people started buying the stocks because they were going up precipitously, and a bunch of people made quite a bit of money by doing so, and were able to pay bills etc with their profits.

I think that's fantastic.

Here's the thing: the hedge funds essentially manipulate the market, such that they can extract money from it. The funny thing about the markets is that generally, when you win, someone else loses.

The mechanics of short selling are too complicated for me to bother explaining, but the practical upshot of it is, you can essentially place a bet that a stock is going to tank, and if it does, you make money. Of course, if the stock does not tank, you lose money.

Autoplay warning but this has an explanation that seems simple enough:
When short-sellers bet a stock will decline, what they effectively do is sell shares they don't have, with the promise of delivering those shares to the buyer at a later date. That's where the term short-sale comes from.

The problem is that if the stock goes up instead of down, short-sellers must quickly buy the shares they don't actually own to avoid further losses. If many short-sellers all think that a given stock will fall, as they were with GameStop, which hasn't turned a profit in three years, and the stock goes up, mayhem can ensue in the rush to buy shares. That's what appears to have happened.
And it couldn't have happened to a nicer bunch.

Take, for example, futures. Heard this on the radio a long time ago: you can bet that a commodity--say, corn--will rise ten cents a bushel. If it does, you make a shitton of money; but the guy who took the other side of that bet loses a shitton of money. The converse is true: if you invested ten grand in corn futures and bet wrong, you lose that ten grand. If you bet right, though....

The American financial industry has spent literal centuries on adjusting the conditions of the American economy to suit them and to make sure they get very rich very quickly. Because of regulatory capture (where there's a revolving door between the industry and the government agency that polices it) we have stupidity like 2009 where Barack Hussein and the democrats subsidized their core constituency at the expense of...well...everybody else in the country.

It's only natural, therefore, that the hedge fund that bet wrong is crying "foul" over this, even though they probably did something similar to another company last month or last year or whenever.

The financial industry doesn't create wealth. It doesn't make anything. It creates money, but money is intrinsically valueless (especially fiat money) unless there is something you can trade it for. Think of Mr. Howell on Gilligan's Island, "the millionaire"--he's extremely rich, but what good is his money? It's worthless on that island because there are no goods to trade it for. He can't buy--at any price!--a boat, for example, nor can he buy passage off the island. The paper might be useful for something, but cash is otherwise worthless to everyone there.

Seriously: can he eat a $100 bill? Will his wife's jewelry serve to keep the rain off his head? No--and because the only people on the island are the ill-fated passengers and crew of the SS Minnow, there's no one he can pay to build a house or tend a garden for him. The rest of the bunch have their own shelter and food to supply, so I doubt they're willing to take his worthless cash to work double time so he and "Lovie" don't have to soil their hands with manual labor.

The financial industry makes money by moving the stuff around, from one pile to another, always taking its cut of the action. It's about time someone took them for the same ride they've taken us on for the last fifty years.

* * *

Well, this is certainly an interesting theory.
...start agreeing with Antifa and BLM that those rich people in their gated communities are the problem, and they deserve to be held accountable. We've already seen how their revolutionary talk turns into shrill shrieking when the mob comes for them. Don't defend them, not even verbally. Turn those gated communities into prisons that they don't feel safe leaving and can't get services into without great expense and inconvenience. Bleed them dry, demoralize them, and isolate them.
Look: leftism is the purview of the very rich and the economically illiterate. The former essentially pay the latter to do their dirty work--rioting in the streets, for example--and consider them expendible.

Seriously, do you think the warlords of CHAZ or CHOP or whatever the hell it was, do you honestly believe they had day jobs? Don't be silly; they were paid to be there by rich communists. People like Armand Hammer (well, not him, he's dead) and George Soros and so forth. Probably a lot of Chinese money being thrown around, too. But some of the richest people in the world are communists; that doesn't seem to make a lot of sense but you have to realize that when they advocate the workers owning the means of production, they mean means of production that don't already belong to the rich communists.

And those people, the rich communists who finance all the revolutionary fronts and the antifa and the BLM crowd and so forth, they don't live in middle-class neighborhoods. They live in gated communities with 24-hour security. Remember Obama's preacher, the one who yelled "God damn America!" from the pulpit? He lives in a gated community not so very far from the bunker. Very big expensive houses, right next to an exclusive country club.

In America, in general terms, the left is rich and the right is poor. Anyone on the left who tells you they're only in it for the fairness is lying through his teeth. (Which should not surprise you. Being a habitual liar is the second-most vital trait of being a leftist; being a hypocrite is the first.)

Sorry, Mr. Communist, but I can't get the parts for your air conditioner until at least next week."

Actually, no, I don't really advocate any of this. What I advocate is compliance, to the letter. "I need a new power adaptor for my phone." "Oh, okay, here." "Where's the cord?" "Oh, I'm sorry; do you need a cord as well? You said 'power adaptor'." "The power adaptor comes with a cord!" And so on.

Like the guy who's lost, flying his helicopter, so he flies near an occupied building and holds up a sign: "Where am I?"

And the people in the building hold up a sign that says, "You're in a helicopter." Technically the correct answer, but still wrong.

* * *

Democrats from states that rely on the petroleum industry are losing their shit over Biden's executive order that bans fracking. Because of the economic damage it's causing.

I had to laugh at New Mexico, which went something like 53% for Biden (allegedly, anyway) and now they're upset because Biden's executive extrusion is going to cost the state something like five hundred million dollars in tax revenue. "He said he wasn't going to ban fracking!"

Ha! "You fucked up! You trusted us!"

"Biden just fucked every Democrat in a state where drilling and fracking is a major employer or contributor to the economy." Indeed he did. And not just drilling and fracking, but mining, too!

* * *

If the democrats get their way, we are headed for a lot of no-fun.

But perhaps not as bad as folks like me think. Look: people who can do useful things will not be hurting nearly as bad as the HR people and hedge fund managers and the east african history professors. If you've spent your career on making ever-more-lucrative plays in the markets, when the currency hyperinflates because of your shenanigans you won't be able to buy a loaf of bread with your whole net worth, but maybe the guy who kept your Ferrari tuned up (and that you traded for five pounds of hamburger last week) will let you sweep the shop floor for one of the loaves he got for fixing the baker's delivery truck. Okay, so you made your first million at 25 and you ran a fund valued at fifty billion dollars, but can you change the washers in a faucet without flooding the kitchen or put a plug on an extension cord without burning down half the neighborhood? Because if you can't, you're going to be getting rather hungry until and unless you learn.

In the kind of economy that the democrats want us to have? A lot of what we take for granted no longer works.
Poor Bill Gates, addled by his fortune, has bought up something like a quarter-million acres of farmland. His grandiosity prompts him to believe he can organize farming on the super-giant scale--Walmart for corn and turnips. Nothing could be further from the real coming trend: a reduction of scale and scope of farming and of the distribution supply lines that serve it. Poor Bill doesn't seem to realize that the oil-and-gas-based "inputs" (fertilizers, pesticides) won't be there for him, nor will the million-dollar diesel-powered combines. Nor the trucking industry. He could do more good for mankind getting into the mule business. (He won't. Lacks razzle-dazzle.)
Without a robust supply of fossil fuels at market prices, there are a lot of things that simply don't work any longer, and those big farms are one of them. You can't convert a combine to run on electricity, for crying out loud.

* * *

Ominous creaking noises from the world economy. Brickmuppet agrees that the plural of anecdote is not "data" but it still gives one pause, doesn't it?

* * *

Schemer wants Biden to declare a "national climate emergency" in order to enable the dictatorial power the democrats want so badly. And yes it's right out of the Nazi playbook. I told you that I saw this movie before--well, actually, I read the book, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. Let's face it: Hitler's plan worked, didn't it? It got him into total power over one of the world's most powerful industrialized nations. If he hadn't been such a strategic idiot--more correctly, if his generals and Reichsmarshals had been able to tell him the truth without fearing for their lives--then Nazi Germany might still be a fact even today, in one form or another.

Let's face it: declaring war on the US after Japan bombed Pearl Harbor--dumb idea. Going to war against Russia at the same time he was still fighting in Europe--dumb idea.

We are told that Hitler attacked Russia because Russia was about to attack him. I'm not so sure; a common theme in WW2 history these days is to insist that Russia won the war and the US only helped a little bit. But American production of war materiel was what won the war; for every plane the Germans shot down the US built two-three-four more. For every merchant marine ship sunk by U-boats, ten more came out of the shipyards. Russia could not do that.

Anyway: Hitler's plan worked, right up until his military successes went to his head. Certainly the civilian government ended up under his total control, and the people loved him for it.

...that's really the problem that the democrats have, here. No one loves Joe Biden. No one's going to love Commie Harris when it's her turn. Everyone knows what happened in the last election, but everyone is pretending really hard that it didn't go that way...and the democrats are desperately afraid of the little kid who's just about to say, "But the Emperor is naked!"

We don't know when the kid will pipe up with that, but I don't think it's possible to avoid it. And when he does, all hell breaks loose.

Tulsi Gabbard is the only person who ran in 2020 who had a chance of beating Trump in a fair fight but the democrats are arrogant to the point of stupidity, which is why she didn't get the nomination.

Anyway she's trying to help Americans keep their constitutional rights, and she doesn't seem to understand that the democrats want to infringe on those rights with impunity, because those rights make it harder for them to seize total power over the United States.

This is a laugh and a half. The Quantico KGB arrests a guy for twittles he peeped out four years ago, telling people they could vote by text message. They can't, of course, but anyone who would believe you can vote by text message probably shouldn't be voting anyway.

I'd like for the FBI to point to the exact line in the Constitution that guarantees the right to vote. I'll wait.

...I'd be waiting a long time, because there ain't any sech critter. At the founding of the nation, the franchise was restricted to a certain sector of the population, yes. Since then, it has been expanded considerably, to the point now that even illegal aliens and citizens of other countries are going to be able to vote in American elections. (This is the only way democrats can win elections without constantly having to gin up fake ballots and rig the voting machines.) And by the very logic that led to the Bill of Rights, if voting were a right it would be stated that the right "shall not be infringed".

But the simple fact is, there's no right to vote. Except in the demented imaginations of the left.

Oh, and the FBI, of course.

* * *


So, in December, get a call from a guy upstairs who can't use external devices on his computer. Laptop plugged into docking station, no external mouse or keyboard.

Turned out, one of the USB ports on the motherboard was shorted to ground. Stuck some Post-It in there to isolate it, and presto the other ports worked fine, so I put a call in to Dell to have the motherboard replaced.

Dell finally got someone out there to replace it in late December. Ever since then, user had to call periodically to get the BitLocker key so he could use his computer. I tried various remedies but nothing helped, and eventually twigged to the fact that the replacement motherboard didn't have TPM. Dell screwed up and shipped the wrong mobo, and tech didn't catch it; so I contacted Dell and set up another appointment.

Today they came out to replace the thing...just as I was going to lunch.

Foolishly I thought the tech would be competent and there wouldn't be any problems, so I went to lunch...and when I came back, got a call from the user who said his PC wasn't booting at all now.

What I wanted to say: WHAT? Are you fucking kidding me?

What I said: "Well, let me come and look at it."

Sure enough: not only was the machine asking for the BitLocker key, but then it would bluescreen afterwards and restart.

I called the tech up and--for the first time in my life!--tore him a new one.

I mean, for fuck's sake, the guy took a working computer and turned it into a non-working one, then left, and had the balls to blame me for it. "There's a problem with the BitLocker! We couldn't get in contact with anyone!"

What he should have done was to--upon finding that the new motherboard didn't work--reinstall the old one. He couldn't be fucked, though. No problem, he just fucked off and left a brick in his wake. He didn't understand why that was the wrong thing to do.

I finally gave up trying to explain to him why it was his responsibility to have left a functioning computer in his wake, and hung up on him. Contacted Dell tech support to get another tech out to fix what that one had broken, then took a loaner up to the guy's office and brought his machine back to my office with me.

...and had it working ten minutes later.

What do you do when you have to replace the motherboard in a working computer? What is the very first thing you do?

You go into BIOS settings and make a note of what they are.

Idiot stick didn't do that. I went into the machine's BIOS, changed SATA operation to "AHCI" from "RAID", and the thing booted up just fine. Asked me for the BitLocker key on the first boot, but the next five restarts were 100% normal without any fuss at all.

One BIOS setting.

If the incompetent fool had bothered to do one little bit of thinking about the issue, he could have fixed it and gotten glowing feedback from us. But now? Hell no. And in fact, going forward, I'm going to insist on checking each machine they touch myself before I let them leave.

This kind of shit is inexcusable. When I did on-site service, I would not leave until the customer's machine was working; and if I absolutely could not make it work, they would have a much better explanation than just, "Well, there's something wrong with the thing that was working PERFECTLY FINE before I put my dickskinners all over it."

* * *

Anyway, frustrating day and I need to kill a few monsters before bed.

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