Tag Archive for 'bankers'


Igor Yopsvoyomatsky, editor of paranoiaisfact.com,
answers readers’ questions

Dear Igor,

I just shot my broker. He had assured me that quant funds would earn great returns no matter which way the market went. This morning I nailed my banker as he was getting into his car. He had urged me to take a sub prime mortgage, saying the rising value of my home would be my collateral for high yield investments. My boss called me a sissy and told me my 401k was safe because the ratings agencies had Triple A’d every derivative and anyway AIG was insuring them. I blasted his fat ass in the executive washroom after lunch. Now I’m standing over Bernie’s (that’s my broker) body with a Glock in my hand, getting up the nerve to use it on myself. It seems certain that I will die a failure. Is that paranoia or fact?

Greenwich, Connecticut.

Dear Troubled,

That is paranoia. Reading between the lines I would guess that you are penniless and your family has abandoned you. But don’t despair. You can still go out with a bang, proving to the world, your embittered wife and scornful children, that you are a savvy investor.

Now, listen carefully: Take your finger off the trigger and remove the Glock from your mouth. Get in your car and drive to the nearest Wal-Mart. Get out, leaving the Glock in the glove compartment, and walk in. Feast your eyes on the aisles and aisles and of gaudy packaging. Wal-Mart is unequaled in its compliance and logistics systems. No one can restock faster than Wal-Mart. Doesn’t that give you a comforting feeling?

Now for a big surprise. Go to the firearms and ammunition department. What do you see? Empty shelves, disheveled display cases. It is as if the place had been looted by a desperate mob.

Wal-Mart is selling guns and ammo faster than it can restock them. This is the Black Swan that Nassim Taleb writes about–the unexpected deviation from the curve. The economy may be whimpering, but the gun market is banging.

Cheer up, Troubled. I think we’ve found a wrinkle the smart money overlooked.

Now, boot up your laptop and check some stock prices.

Cabelas, an outdoor outfitter, which sells rifles and ammo, has gone up 35% on stronger than projected earnings.

Firearms manufacturer, Smith and Wesson is up 50%.

Ruger, its closest competitor, has increased 40%.

Olin, another gun maker, has raised earnings guidances for its Winchester ammunition division.

Gunshow dealers report that customers are buying two and three guns, stocking up on ammunition, 50 boxes at a time.

Gun stores all over the country report increased sales to a demographic that never bought a gun–young professionals.

Rich Wyatt, owner of Gunsmoke, a firearms training facility outside of Denver, is quoted as saying: “We are getting Prius-driving Obama types buying guns for the first time.”

Wal-Mart, canny merchandiser that it is, has been taken by surprise. After the election it reduced its firearm inventory in anticipation of President Obama issuing an executive order limiting gun and ammo sales. There were rumors that he would pressure the states into repealing carry permits for concealed weapons and would restore the assault weapons ban that had expired in 2004. The order was never issued, the pressure hasn’t come. But the rumors provoked an unexpected response: gun sales exploded. Applications for concealed carry permits shot into the hundreds of thousands.

“If I had known it would be this good in the gun business I might have voted for Obama,” says Wyatt.

There is an old Russian proverb: “You won’t see the seed until the tree has grown.” The underlying causes of this phenomenon were there all along.

1. The fear that a liberal president would put a stop to gun sales.

2. The fear, in a crashing economy, that violent robberies would increase and people wouldn’t even be safe in their homes.

3.. The sudden rash of mass shootings, making people feel they needed protection in public places.

4. The sudden shortage of firearms as dealers smuggle them across the border into Mexico to be sold to the cartels at three times the retail price.

Now, perhaps, you are getting frustrated, smacking your forehead and saying “I should have seen this coming.” Remember, analysis is retrospective, not predictive. There is still time to jump on this bandwagon. Invest in the Paranoid Fund.

We’re betting that a bloody class war will erupt in the next eighteen months. People will barricade themselves in foreclosed houses. Bankrupts will invade the homes of their more solvent neighbors. Twittering hordes will pour out of the urban ghettos to loot and pillage in the suburbs. The cartels will lay siege to border towns in Texas and California. Bankers will use bailout money to hire private police, fortify their automobiles, have their children home-schooled to prevent kidnapping.

If you doubt our prognostications look at yourself. Only last year you were a normal family man with a job, a home and a foreseeable future. Today you are a destitute, deserted triple murderer contemplating suicide.

You are our demographic.

We are looking at companies that will prosper in the Apocalypse. Guns and ammo, alarm systems, body armor and personal protection, alcohol, tobacco, pharmaceuticals, caffeinated drinks. We guarantee that our fund will grow in an up or down market. You will be able to leverage your position into other investments. Your investment will be insured by AIG, which is back and stronger than ever.

Instead of a suicide note you can leave your family a piece of the Ammo Fund. There will be tears at your funeral, fresh flowers on your grave.

There is no time for a prospectus. Write us a check right now. If you’re sending cash, crumple the bills into tiny balls the size of discarded pieces of chewing gum and wrap them in a piece of paper to fool the desperadoes at the Post Office.

Okay, now drop it in the mail.

Have you done it? Good.

Now you can pick up that Glock, brother, and rest in peace.



Igor Yopsvoyomatsky
Editor of paranoiaisfact.com
Answers readers questions.

Dear Igor,

My Western Civ. prof, Leon Notsky says Obama is not the saviour we have been hoping for, but just a counter swing in the dialectical pendulum from right to left. He says nothing will change in Washington but the faces. Is this paranoia or fact?


Berkley, CA

Dear Hopeful,

This is fact. Obama can revive America, but cannot save it.

But first a little background. In the Book of Judges the Hebrews, chafing against rigid divine rule, appeal to the aging prophet Samuel: “Make us a king to judge us like all the other nations.”

God punishes the Hebrews for rejecting him by granting their request. He plucks Saul, a clumsy, unlettered peasant from the ranks and elevates him to kingship. And thus the “charismatic Ruler,” the tragic figure that has haunted history, is born.

At first, Saul is a hero, uniting the tribes and leading them to victory. But he proves unable to control his pillaging troops. And later cannot master his homicidal jealousy of the young David. The people lose faith. Even his own son turns against him. In desperation he turns to witchcraft. A sorceress summons the ghost of Samuel, who predicts Saul’s downfall. The next day he is killed in battle.

This is the paradigm of the rise and fall of the Ruler. It continues through the Bible and into recorded history in the stories of the Roman Emperors, the kings of Europe, the Czars, and Napoleons; the totalitarian cult figures of the 20th Century; the demagogues of bourgeois Democracy. The people, unwilling to assume responsibility for themselves, rush to surrender their autonomy to the charismatic one. At first he (or occasionally she) is a hero, bringing triumph, wealth and national pride. But inevitably the Ruler becomes mired in the swamp of daily rule; the rise of an oppressive bureaucracy, the petty squabbles and intrigues of the courtier class. As the Ruler’s power grows so does the resentment against it. Sensing that it has lost the faith of the ruled, the Ruler strengthens its power over them. It oppresses dissidents, rewards favorites, encourages corruption and deceit, plays off competing cliques. In the end, nothing avails and the Ruler is discredited or overthrown.

Obama has studied history. He knows how charismatic Rulers crash and burn. He was a cautious child, treading carefully through an alien society. His rule will be circumspect. He has sought to dampen messianic expectations, backtracked on some of his promises, warned that tough times lie ahead. His administration will be lullingly familiar. We will have Clinton, Gates, Summers, Holder, etc.—familiar faces from previous controversies of arrogance, lost opportunities and abused power.

But as cautious as he is, Obama will be beset by the parasites on the body politic.

The bankers and CEOs who believe that they are the victims of the crisis they caused and will oppose any attempt to curb their wealth or influence.

The oil companies who profit from waste, pollution and over consumption.

The racists who will seek to undermine with rumor and innuendo.

The hypocritical radicals who will condemn him for not leading a revolution that they secretly do not desire.

The sub- cultures—abortion crusaders, animal rights zealots, gay marriage advocates, gun owners, BCS critics, etc., who will judge him through the monochrome prism of their single issue.

The Chinese, who have declared economic and cyber war on the US.

The Russians whose suicidal bravado will increase as their power declines.

The Europeans whose anti-American schadenfreude is so intense they act against their own interests to confirm it.

The runaway media that is increasingly addicted to scandal and exaggeration.

A popular culture that encourages self-pity, greed, over-indulgence and outright stupidity.

On Election Day America gave itself a reprieve. If the world does not change the fault will not be with Obama but with ourselves.

But at least we will live to be discontented another day.


Igor Yopsvoyomatsky
Editor of paranoiaisfact.com
Answers readers’ questions.

Dear Igor,

My grandpa is in the garage cleaning out his combination orgone box/fallout shelter. He says that George W. Bush is planning to use his last gasp of presidential breath to get even with all the liberals, workers, minorities, secularists, environmentalists, journalists, economists, scientists, entertainers, politicians, psychologists, foreigners, veterans, gays, retirees, Muslims–in other words, just about everybody in the world–who opposed, criticized, ridiculed or rejected him. Grandpa says he’s locking himself in his shelter and not coming out until Obama is safely in office. I say he is way paranoid. Bush is an addled, but well-meaning incompetent, who will go quietly to his brush pile in Crawford.
Who is right?
Verity, Pa.

Dear Realist,

Grandfather knows best, while you, my way gullible friend, prove the axiom that a realist is someone who thinks everyone is as crudely obvious as he is.

Put yourself in Bush’s place. (If you can accomplish this relatively simple task of empathic imagination.) For the last eight years everything you’ve done has been horribly wrong. You have been exposed and embarrassed time and time again. Your malaprops and misspeaking, your non-grasp of major issues, your pariah status among world leaders, your ritual shunning by John McCain have all been revealed in the harsh glare of the global spotlight. Scholars soberly estimate that you will be considered the worst president in history.

Would you not harbor thoughts of bloody revenge?

But this is nothing compared to the battering you’ve taken from within your own camp. Since the early 20th. Century when the Walker-Bush dynasty joined with the Rockefellers and the Dulles brothers in league with Prussian industrialists, Saudi rulers, and British bankers to control the flow of oil and finance, no leader, including Herbert Hoover, has done as much harm to the cause as you have.

Who will cut you into sweetheart deals? Ignore your mulligans? Eat your three alarm chile?

And it all started so well. Given what you constantly called “political capital” by the 2004 victory you began advancing your domestic agenda under cover of back-door dealing, Rove-like obfuscation and officialese.

Your unfunded No Child Left Behind was an attempt to push voucher schools at the expense of the public educational system which over the years, has produced the major opponents of your class conspiracy.

Your legislation, exempting 6.5 million workers from collecting overtime, was an attack on the trade unions, who are the only defenders of the wealth-producing classes. Its intended effect was to impoverish workers and make them easier to exploit

You passed a law making it prohibitive for an individual to declare bankruptcy. You said too many people were making fraudulent misuse of the existing statutes. But statistics showed that 50% of bankruptcies were caused by inability to pay medical expenses and the 40% by long term unemployment in outsourced industries. Only 3.6% were alleged to be fraudulent.

You bailed out your blood brothers in finance-perhaps hoping for a cushy post-Presidential job- but have refused to allow one penny of the $700 billion to guarantee delinquent mortgages on the grounds that people (not bankers, who are presumably aliens) should have to pay for their mistakes. You’ve given AIG $85 billion fix and just shot them up again for $40 billion more. But not a penny for the auto industry. You say Detroit shouldn’t be rewarded for years of mismanagement, which you define as paying workers too much in salaries, pensions and health care. If Detroit goes bankrupt the union contracts will be inoperative and one of the most cherished dreams of your class—the destruction of the UAW—will be fulfilled.

Now it has all turned to ashes. The popular revulsion against you has led to the election of a man who will overturn every one of your overturnings. Not since FDR has a leader been given such a mandate to attack wealth and privilege. The CEO as hero will cease to be a cultural icon. No more “workaholic tycoons” on the cover of Time Magazine.

Your own class has turned against you. You went, scrapbook in hand, to one university after another, looking for a home for your Presidential Library, which after Cheney has censored it, will consist of a few Christmas cards and Laura’s recipe for Hopping John. You were turned down everywhere until daddy’s arm-twisting in Dallas got you a grudging admission to SMU. But even in the center of Bush power, a committee of professors, rose up to condemn the library.

How does it feel to be on your own?… A complete unknown? You can answer Dylan’s question: Not great!

Now, it’s your turn. “Little Georgie tries so hard,” your dad, the baseball hero said, watching you muff one grounder after another.

Well now Little Georgie, burning with humiliation, is going to smash his tormentors as hard as he can. Look for vindictive lame duck rule changes. For presidential pardons to be granted to the most odious corporate felons. Do not rule out an “inadvertent nuclear accident,” or “sudden, inexplicable eruption” in the watersheds of NY, LA and Chicago of chemicals which cause hair loss and impotence.

We should have a nationwide alert: All infants and elderly people: everyone with a health issue; teachers, union members, aw hell, everybody…

Stay indoors and boil your drinking water until January 21.