Random Thoughts

It’s already March, and it’s been some time since anyone has bothered to post on here. So this is the revival!

Speaking of “march”, there is a hilarious assortment of Hitler rant parodies on the web that illustrate the creativity of geeks interested in several different subject matters. A few still exist, but a number of these parodies have been removed due to copyright laws. Below, we have Hitler, the poor investor who was enticed into the house-flipping trend that led to the housing bubble, and who eventually lost it all. Very creative, enjoy.

Speaking of investors who got burned…

Imagine you have a favorite musician, and that you can invest in that artist’s musical success. As a fan, this sounds pretty awesome.

David Bowie is a rock and pop star most notably from the 70s, but who garnered a large following for several decades of his working career. Bowie Bonds were developed in 1987 as a type of securitization, where the underlying asset was present and future revenues generated from Bowie’s first 25 albums. The upside is awesome—you get to invest in your favorite artist, and when his music is selling, your profits go up. But there is a big downside here too; unlike other types of securitization, there is no hard underlying asset for you to seize, and there is also a lack of insurance on the Bowie Bonds. The reason MBS’s were so attractive is that they were insured and backed by real assets (houses), and even those investors got burned. I know I’m probably simplifying a lot here, but in general the thought is appalling. Anyway, Bowie received $55 million from the bonds upfront, giving up royalties for 10 years. He used that $55M to buy back his own songs from a former manager. Meanwhile, his initially A3 rated bonds dropped to Baa3 (right above junk) due to a rapid decline in sales for not only his music, but the music industry in general. What amazing timing Bowie had; I wonder if his fans that invested in this are still fans.

Speaking of fans, I’m a huge fan of the NBA. I think that the hype of the league is coming back, as I’m noticing a lot more fans this year, at least where I live in Philly. I think a lot of it has to do with the rise in the East. Although half of the league is still dead (see Cleveland Cavaliers), there are at least 6 legitimate teams in the East, and it only seems to be improving since a few years ago. Stars like Amare, Melo, and D Will are moving to Eastern squads, and the shift away from the always dominant (of-late) Western conference is great for the league, and especially its East coast fan base. Btw, the Bulls are on fire right now.

Speaking of fire, what’s up with the Miami Heat? They’re like a 7-11, they can’t close! Honestly a lot of things have to change in South Beach, but for starters, if it comes down to the last second, please stop giving that last shot to Bron Bron. I’d rather have the rock in the safer hands of D Wade or Chalmers, especially in a half-court one-on-one scenario. Don’t worry though Miami Heat, you’ll get there!

Speaking of getting there Lupe Fiasco dropped “Lasers” today! Finally, jeez Atlantic. Anyway, the point of the album is to be inspirational, so unlike let’s say “The Cool”, which tells a story “Lasers” is just a collection of similarly toned songs that don’t really follow a plot, according to Lupe. It sucks that he had to go through this whole process with Atlantic Records, and he’s even said recently that at some points in the music development process, he was mildly suicidal, and willing to walk away from everything. As a fan, I must say that I’m glad he got through it to release “Lasers”, and hopefully he can move on from Atlantic very soon. A lot of the beats on the new album are more “pop” appealing, but in general his wit and dissent is still there on most verses. I am extremely pleased with the album, especially knowing what he was going for as well as what he was going through during the development process.

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