This is what happens to girly ‘fund managers’

“…Stuart Sugarman, described by The New York Post as a 48-year-old hedge-fund manager, admitted to the paper that he was the noisiest member of his cycling class, prone to cheering himself on during classes with phrases like “You go, girl.” But two weeks ago, he said, a broker attending the same class at the Equinox Gym in Manhattan’s Upper East Side took matters into his own hands — and shoved him and his bike into a wall.

Then it got weirder.

What began as a request from Christopher Carter, 44, to quiet down escalated into a shouting match between the two, The Post said. Finally, Mr. Sugarman’s lawyer told the Post, Mr. Carter charged Mr. Sugarman “like Leonard Marshall of the New York Giants hitting a practice sled,” shoving him into a wall and leaving a hole in the sheetrock.” [Dealbook]

Zimbabwe, currently battling a 4,500% inflation rate…

Where money for projects has not been found, we will print it.
Robert Mugabe, President of Zimbabwe  [NYPost]

The country of Zimbabwe has come out with a $200,000 Dollar Bill denominated in the highly inflated Zimbabwe dollars. The banknote is worth $13 in U.S. dollars, but can be bought for a dollar on the black market. [Stockerblog]

Imprudent analysis: India predicts 0 unemployment by 2010

Apparently, no one let the Indians in on the notion of frictional unemployment. Though, the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council has been gracious enough to provide numbers no one could ever use in a model. According to the Times of India, “the [EAC] expects that there will be no unemployment by 2010, if not earlier.” EAC”s statement:

“The unadjusted employment elasticity for the latest period (1999-2000 to 2004-05) is 0.48. Even after adjusting sectoral elasticities to lower figures, it is seen that with a GDP growth rate of 8%, by 2010 the workforce will become equal to the labour force.”

Meanwhile, consumer confidence in India is considerably low (63.6, down from 76.4 –out of 100– a year earlier), which in light of the abundant employment opportunities, higher wages causing Indian firms to outsource outsourcing, and unusually high attrition rates in the service sector (40-ish%), makes little sense, assuming the sector-specific adjustments are taken care of as noted. Considering that the lion’s share of the labor force is still primarily agrarian and most of the country’s economic growth is occurring in non-agricultural sectors, I find it hard to believe that the country won’t fall into a situation of non insignificant structural unemployment –even amid food prices propped up by inflation. [Times of India]

India’s employment by sector (EAC 2007/08 Outlook):
Agriculture……58.4%…30m jobs

SF mayorial race: best thing I read all day…by far

“…San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom is running for re-election virtually unopposed, more popular than ever, after admitting to having an affair with a top aide’s wife and entering an alcohol-treatment program.

Newsom, whose approval ratings are running close to 80 percent, said he expects a credible candidate to emerge eventually. So far, challengers include a street-performing clown, a homeless man, an advocate for nudism, and a candidate who pledges to wear a camera so voters can monitor his performance in office.” [Bloomberg]

Weird thing/true story: someone that knew a friend of mine tried to set her up w/ Newsom about a year after his divorce in 2005 –she, thinking him slimy, turned down the opportunity. Needless to say, we gave her a serious amount of shite at the time –after all he’s tall, good looking, single and the mayor of SF!, which, incidentally, meant much more at the time.

A market for everything: Will Amy Winehouse show up to her next concert?


Sports betting company William Hill is allowing customers to place bets on Amy Winehouse not turning up to her next concert on Tuesday @ Eden’s project (the world’s largest indoor rainforest in Cornwall):

The odds offer comes after Winehouse cancelled her scheduled appearances at last weekend’s T In The Park and Oxegen festivals, and was photographed drinking in her local pub despite citing ‘exhaustion’ as the reason for her cancellation.

Amy has cancelled too many gigs for us not to give out odds,” a spokesperson for William Hill said. [NME]

Teenager out to mark territory in hedge fund space; AUM: low thousands, but growing

From the WSJ weekend edition (In case you miss it, Brandon Conley is 14): 

pt-af735_cover__20070622165516.jpgBrandon Conley opens his weekly Wednesday 7:30 a.m. conference call with a briefing of news items affecting the portfolio of his fund, Mariner Investment Advisers.

Listening in on the call are his investment analysts, 17-year-old David White-Goode and 13-year-old Jeremy Hitotsubashi. Brandon himself is 14. David, who covers the defense and aeronautics industry, gives an update on Northrop Grumman, emphasizing its strong position as a shipbuilder. His recommendation: A buy.

Along with semiweekly conference calls, Brandon holds weekly meetings, often at Starbucks after chess class on Fridays, to discuss investing strategy with his three employees. None of them have been paid yet, but Brandon plans on paying each of them a percentage of profits, plus bonuses based on their research. He also plans on adding staff. “
I will probably take a couple more employees to specifically handle trading and an IT manager,” says Brandon. “Right now, I do all the trading.”

Mining for gold, in the e-trashcan

With the rising costs of precious metals, people-places-&-things, are taking to their neighborhood e-waste sites in search of gold, copper and other commodities. Satish Sinha told the Times of India, “There’s plenty to dig from. The junk that we are throwing away contains more aluminum, gold and copper than we find in the ores. These metals are used in the circuit boards of computers and electronic gadgets.”

The paper reports that e-waste often contains more rare metal content than the respective mineral or rocks from which they can be mined for a profit.  For instance, “a cell phone contains 5-10 times higher gold content than gold ore.”  

Sinha projects, “The projected growth for the e-waste generation for India is about 34% year on year.”  

India has a few such reclycling firms: Eparisara and Trishyiraya Recycling among them, though a cursory googling on our part produced mostly city-run programs in the U.S. For those of you wanting to capture some of that growth rate for your own portfolio (and we mean that in the most abstract sense possible), we suggest you STOP blindly handing over your old electronics to the [insert city name here] e-waste recycling program, and instead strip that stuff yourself.  Why let those slimy city officials get your precious metal scraps, send them to GoldKit instead.   

Losing my Star Wars virginity, 2.0: the U.S. version

As a testament to our youth, and the fact that we weren’t geeks in high school, we here at theempiricalskeptic weren’t at all shocked to read the following BBC news headline: Losing My Star Wars VirginityHowever, we were shocked to find the virgin of subject to be a male with glasses, 30-ish, and reminiscent of the guys from linear algebra who’d offer to share their proofs in exchange for invites to the sorority house.  We still keep in touch with some of said guys (hey, you never know when you’ll need to pass off the product of quality programming skills as your own), who suggested we de-flower ourselves immediately, even providing such convincing arguments as,you just have to watch it.”  Guys we work with however had this to say, “Yah, I hear ‘ya.  That Byrne shit flies right over my head also.”

Though we generally prefer to march to our own drum beat (and sometimes that of the 52*4 bike parades we lived around during college), the CFA exam and buyout rumors that are preventing us from substantially skipping town this Memorial Day weekend mean we’ve got approximately 2 hours of down time (I mean how long can you play golf and answer questions about ethics), which we’ve decided to waste spend with the Sith Lord (we hope that’s a proper reference), as we wish to avoid becoming this at all costs.  Our reactions to come…

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