Category Archives: Finance

How Much Is Real?

I was watching a report this morning on the collapse of FTX, the cyrpto exchange. Some pundits are stating that this bankruptcy, “is bigger than Enron“. Truth in lending, I have no holdings in crypto as I don’t understand it and what little I do, makes no sense to me. That said, there was a 20-something Gen-Z kid whining that he lost $2 million because of the collapse of FTX. My question when I hear people whining about their investment losses is, “how much of that is a real loss?

The whiners, usually exaggerate how much loss they’ve suffered in order to sound sympathetic. During the Enron collapse, there was a young employee (I recall that she was a secretary) of the company who had her retirement savings 100% invested in Enron stock. She said she lost “a million dollars of her retirement when Enron collapsed. I always have questioned such numbers. How could she have legally invested “a million dollars” of capital into a retirement fund. If she was working for 5 years at Enron, she would have had to have a salary of around $450,000 per year to have “a million” to invest. $200,000 goes to taxes, $50,000 goes to living expenses, and then she’d have $200,000 to invest over 5 years. If she could earn $450,000 per year as a secretary, why the belly aching when she has another 40 plus years of her working life left. I suspect her “real” losses may have been around $20,000 at most.

The same goes for the Gen-Z kid moaning about his $2 million dollar loss in FTX. FTX peaked at $84.18, right now it’s trading at $1.88. If you use the peak numbers, the kid owned around 45,000 shares. Say he bought in around January of 2021 when FTX was around $5 per share he would have needed to invest around $225,000 which is by no means a small amount of money. In “real” dollars the kid would have suffered a loss of around $140,000 ($5 down to $1.88) which is a far “cry” less than $2 million. Even if the Gen-Z kid actually lost $2 million of cash because he bought at the peak, just earn another couple of million in the next 40 years of a working career and stop whining.  Investments have risks. Deal with it.

And don’t forget, these highly paid 20-somethings can write-off their “real” losses against earning of their 6-figure incomes.  And who pays for those write offs?  Well that would be you and me the taxpayers who didn’t invest in risky ventures.

Biden Officially Funds Putin’s War

At this point in time, Joey, you know the only guy to go “toe to toe with Putin“, is still dragging his feet about the US divesting from Russian oil. We import around 670,000 barrels of oil PER DAY from Vladimir, because of Joey’s green energy policies.  The Biden administration has said this is only a small percentage of the 20 Million barrels of oil per day the US consumes.  Chump change.  Let’s look at how much chump change we give to Putin in JUST ONE YEAR.

The purchase of 670,000 barrels per day at the current price of $120 per barrel means we will give Putin almost $29,346,000,000.00 yes almost $30 BILLION DOLLARS per year to fund his war machine.

What could the Ukrainians buy if they had $30 BILLION?

2 Gerald Ford class nuclear powered AIRCRAFT CARRIERS or,
14 Aleigh Burke class DESTROYERS or,
293 Apache HELICOPTERS or,
917 Reaper DRONES or,
2,934 Abrahams TANKS or,
195,640 Hellfire MISSILES.

The money could be used to purchase more of the weapons that the Ukrainians are currently using:

167,497 Javelin ANTI-TANK MISSILES or,

Or for bigger missile attacks you could buy 20 complete PATRIOT MISSILE SYSTEMS which would give the Ukrainians the ability to shoot down 1,680 Russian missiles.

But Joey would rather give it to Putin.

What Is The Money For?

I downloaded the text of the House $3.5 TRILLION “infrastructure” bill. There are at least 114 occurrences of $1,000,000,000.00 or MORE in the bill. The authors willy nilly toss about spending BILLION$ of DOLLAR$ with abandon. Okay, I have written many proposals for government contract work in the past and if I had submitted a proposal worded such as this, I would have lost my job.  This is a complete travesty.

The biggest issue is that there is almost no clear explanation of what the money will be used for. Most of the sections state some nebulous ill-defined task and then state many BILLION$ of DOLLAR$ will be needed to fund the task. There is NO justification for the numbers and NO historical backup to justify the expenditures.

Here’s a sample of a section:

In addition to amounts otherwise available, there is
appropriated to the General Services Administration for
fiscal year 2022, out of any money in the Treasury not
otherwise appropriated, $2,000,000,000, to remain available until September 30, 2031, to be deposited in the Federal Citizen Services Fund.

That’s it. It just says that TWO BILLION DOLLAR$ must be allocated the the GSA for the FEDERAL CITIZEN SERVICES FUND (FCSF).  The FCSF spent $74 MILLION in 2020,  plans to spend $68 MILLION in 2021 and is requesting funding in 2022 to the tune of $59,200,000.00.

What does the FCSF do? From the 2022 appropriations, “The Federal Citizen Services Fund (FCSF) enables public access and engagement with the Government through an array of public and agency facing products and programs.”

Basically it’s for web based access to government information.

Now for some unknown reason, we need to allocate 34 TIMES MORE of the ANNUAL BUDGET for this one task for no apparent reason. The work statement above just says, “give TWO BILLION DOLLARS to the fund in 2022“.

What the fuck?

Most of the bill is written in a similar fashion.

I think that the HOUSE and SENATE should REQUIRE a justification with historical data for any item that costs the taxpayers over $100 MILLION. For any bill, any section that does not have proper justification for the expenses should be immediately lined out. Then they can vote on what remains in the bill.

C’mon man, do your F’ing jobs.