Author Archives: DrSchadenfreude
The revolution will not be televised
The revolution will not be brought to you by Xerox
The revolution is 3D printing
It is a revolution so tangible you can purchase one that fits on your desktop. The idea is very simple, you create a 3D image of the “thing” you wish to make and print it out. The “thing” above was designed with a piece of google freeware called Sketchup. You simply send this image to a 3D printer, and it will be built layer by layer. Demo here.
The traditional approach would be whittle down something from a solid block. A computer controlled lathe to do this will run you about $30-50k. It also is an inefficient process, as you have to take away to make something. 3D printing is the opposite, It’s an additive process that gives the engineers a real edge. This means you can make hollow, lighter and cheaper objects. The wings of the new airbus A380 are made by this additive process.
Currently, it is at the stage where computers were at in the late 1970′s. Approximately 4000 desktop printers have been sold by MakerBot industries of Brooklyn. Astonishingly, they are selling DIY robot kits for $1300 and fully assembled ones for $2500. I doubt MakerBot will ever IPO as their business model is just to “make cool stuff.” It would be more likely that they would be acquired. However, the frontrunners in this field could well be be companies like $DDD, $SSYS and $GOOG.
Gazing into the crystal ball of this fledgling industry, I see 3 important areas.
1. User friendly software
2. A price point for a 3D printer of under $500
3. Printing resolution within the 0.01mm range
This type of resolution would be smaller than a single human cell. The 3D phallus pictured above may one day come to life, and the material it’s made from might not be plastic.
In my last post, I discussed the role to be played by healthcare reform in stimulating the economy. The Health and Human Services Department expects that the health share of GDP will continue its historical upward trend, reaching 19.5% of GDP by 2017. Ultimately, this almighty kerfuffle boils down to C.R.E.A.M. I would like to offer a couple of quick suggestions on how to reign in costs.
Product Placement and Time Management
Some very busy Doctors, take time out of their schedule to talk about “product” with drug reps every working day. The genetic lottery winner pictured above, is actually employed to pimp drugs in medical offices. Cheerleaders are fine at sporting events, but have no place in medicine. We are paying the salaries of these sample closet Hooters girls. Medicines are like no other product. The aim must not be to maximise sales but to ensure that the product is used appropriately.
Learn to Use a Computer
It will also help if you get rid of the fucking paper. Over half of all physicians are still not using electronic medical records. Who would entrust their wellbeing to a person who writes really important shit down on pieces of paper.
“Nurse…bring hither more ink for the quill and another bag of leeches.“
Often, an entire room of a medical practice is dedicated to paper charts. People are still faxing shit in the age of pdf’s and email. Patients are dying and we are footing the bill for these inefficiencies.
For those unfamiliar with C.R.E.A.M. let this video enlighten you…
There are literally millions of American workers who “till the brown carpet” of the nations cubical farms…just so they can receive healthcare insurance. They are tapping into the kind of “collective bargaining” that goes hand in hand with being part of an organized group.
If you have ever considered becoming self employed, a major obstacle is accessing adequate health insurance. Without health insurance, you run the risk of being defiled by a gorilla in a clown suit.
There is a clear need to emancipate the frustrated entrepreneurs that are scattered throughout the land. How do I know this? Well…I am one of them. Until recently, I was stuck working for an employer because of a preexisting condition. When you tell an insurance company about a brush with cancer, they want spend some time apart, and then they start seeing someone else.
The good news is that help is on the way. It comes in the form of an online insurance exchange. In anticipation, I’m as wet as John Boehner’s handkerchief. It will allow me and countless others to start working for themselves. As entrepreneurs deploy capital to make their ideas come to life, the economy will be stimulated and jobs created.
However, this reform fan boy is starting to get a little edgy. The reason being, that I hear a lot of fat white guys on the TV talk about repealing it. Obama care repeal has become a corner stone of the new republican dogma. These are the same people who are shrieking about Obama causing insurance premiums to skyrocket. The last time I checked he was CEO of the United States and not of United Health. Insurance companies are engaging in wanton price manipulation. This is a prime example of why these fuckers need to be regulated. If you want to create jobs, give me access to affordable healthcare and I’II gladly create some.
Le Fly has suggested that you should keep less than 50% of your net worth in stocks. This advice has stopped me from inserting my knob all the way into the Wall Street Glory Hole, a hole that often turns out not to be glorious. Instead, it’s just another dick chopper in camouflage.
Prior to 2008, banks were willing to lend to anyone. If you owned a mud hut on the banks of the Zambezi and could scrawl an X for a signature, you were deemed credit worthy. When the credit bubble popped, the economy was no longer awash with easy money. In real terms, this meant people were unable to tap their home equity to pay off their credit cards.
From this credit black hole, a “new” concept called Peer-2-Peer lending emerged. Among the first crop of P2P lending companies, which has managed to stay the course is Lending Club. So much so that stock in the “second market” for lending club has become a rising star. They take care of the screening and data mining. To date, they have denied $4.5B in loans and funded $400M, a statistic that has made it easier for me to give my cash to strangers on the internet.
Potential investors are provided with the following pertinent data: FICO score, delinquency history, DTI ratio, revolving credit balance and employment verification, etc… the kind of data that would have stopped the housing bubble dead in its tracks. You can choose to invest as little as $25 per note. Alternatively, for the gamblers out there, you can just give $35k to a Wal-Mart employee in Idaho and hope for the best.
The loans are rated from 6% (A) all the way to 24% (G). The higher the expected rate of return, the higher risk of default. It’s reminiscent of how ratings agencies are supposed to work. The average default runs about 3%, and the average rate of return is around 9%. Lending club takes around 0.65-1% for the privilege of doing business. It is their responsibility to chase up late or delinquent payments. There is even a trading platform where you can sell your notes.
The art in all of this is being able to effectively screen notes. I have developed a simple screening strategy. When common sense criteria are fulfilled, I launch $100 bills in their general direction. If thier loan is not completely funded, they will be asked to provide more supporting information or be voted off the island.
Cutting out the middle man from the equation benefits small time investors in a big way. 13.03% YTD is not to be sniffed at. It also helps people already in debt to refinance for considerably better rates. It’s my own way of whispering a mousey “fuck you very much” to the banks and the credit card companies.
You clicked on the headline because…
A. You don’t believe it and will assert your “constitutional right” to call me a liar in the comments section.
B. 13.03% is what you made trading a 9X levered ETF yesterday while taking a shit.
C. You are interested and would like to be enlightened.
D. None of the above. You’re just here to see if there will be another image defaced with a spurting cock.
According to “investor correspondence” and HSBC’s private bank data, I’m pissing upon hedge-fund performance YTD. Currently I’m 13.03%, which is none too shabby. Bear in mind that this is a market exhibiting signs of Bipolar Disorder.
I am able to achieve this kind of return without the palpitation-inducing volatility. Last year, I was 13.74% and in 2009 I was 13.27%.
How am I able to attain such levels of consistency consistently?
For that, I have to thank the cluster fuck that was 2008. I watched and listened as hoards of passive investors lost 40% of their net worth. The market pissed the bed and Costco was not willing to accept a return on that mattress. This kind of loss was mind boggling and playing endless roulette was not how I wished to plan for retirement.
I came across ancient text from 1982, the Investors Bible by Alan Greenspan. In one of the pages there was a photgraph of an etch-a-sketch. It read as follows…
You shall buy shares of a mutual fund you know nothing about.
You shall not ask to see the fund managers face (as he has no face).
You shall contribute via a payroll deduction monthly.
You shall check performance only in the event of a crash.
You shall spend up to 1 hour on hold to have your username and pasword reset.
You shall not actively manage these investments.
You shall see Bull market performance that is consistently flaccid.
You shall see Bear market performance like that of a 3X levered ETF.
Oh…and you shall pay a 1.75% management fee regardless of performance.
Having my wages garnished and seeing diminishing returns was not something I could accept. Taking matters into my own hands, the logical first step was to start thinking and acting like a bank. So I did just that and opened a branch of The Bank of Schadenfreude. It’s a Loan-Shark-Lite operation. For the pleasure of doing business, I charge them interest and in turn they mostly pay me back. My rates are very competitive and are superior to that of actual banks. By comparison, credit card companies simply look like the payday lenders they aspire to be.
To be continued…
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The graph below is a reminder of what the OWS is actually about. Before you take a closer look, I would kindly ask you to remove any red or blue tinted spectacles you may have in your possession. The data found here has little to do with party politics and everything to do with the creamy ejaculate that is erupting from the cock of the 1%.
What is most alarming is the influence that they exert upon the Land of the Free. At the deft flick of a corporate wrist (remember corporations have wrists), any politician in the US can be showered Bukkake style with lashings of cum. Lobbying is an effective tactic that generates spectacular results. Having giant stacks of cash does not make you important, it makes you very dangerous. In America and elsewhere, that means that you get to make the rules up as you go.
The motivations of the monied elite are plain to see. Self-interest and self-preservation are the soup of the day. What genuinely puzzles me is what do the bottom 95% hope to get out of all of this? Do they think if they wish hard enough a rich person will benevolently unload in their face?
Here is a reality check for the dreamers amongst us. If the median household income had kept pace with the economy since 1970, it would now be nearly $92,000, not $50,000. This clearly indicates that things are getting worse for the average Joe. Couple that with the fact that over 60% of households with kids are dual income, then there exists a for profit healthcare system that is geared towards the healthy and wealthy. These are not traits typically associated with the poor.
Is it possible that the new economic reality is slowly sinking in? Because the reality is that they are not worth shit. The chances are that they will never amount to shit and it will get worse for subsequent generations. Remember that these politicians don’t give a flying fuck about you or your family. They hate you and are laughing at your plight.
If you buy things, you can’t afford and have chosen a life funded largely on credit, you’re going to end up broke ass poor. If you do a quasi-academic degree and someone loans you cut price credit to do so, don’t whine about it. It just draws attention to your folly. It was not Wall St playing a trick on you; that was you playing a trick on yourself.
If sparking a national conversation was the goal of OWS, then they have achieved just that. A lot of time has been given to discussing this fractious movement. The internet has been awash with jingoistic terminology such as dirty hippies, pinkos, socialists, commies, marxists etc…if other peoples blinkered dogma is your thing, then I invite you to have at it. However, I think you maybe missing the point.
If you have enjoyed reading this you may consider clicking on my name DrSchadenfreude to follow me on twitter.
And remember please rate even if it’s to hate
For Day Traders, today is like Christmas morning. When the music stops and the collective heart rate returns to baseline, some will be left holding a bag. It will likely be a fake Louis Vuitton bag for the price of a real one. Inside, there will be nothing but a bunch of worthless clipper coupons. $GRPN has only ever served to litter my inbox with unfathomable offers such as – insert a service you don’t need here – marked down from $139 to the bargain price of $39.95. After approximately a week of receiving these offers… I unsubscribed.
Social media is the flavor of the month. My Grandmother knows all about the Spacebook. The IPO’s of $FBOOK and $TWTR will be headline news. This thought was implanted into my head today by my twitter feed, after I read the following tweet via “The_Real_Fly”….
“If you think $GSVC is interesting now because of $GRPN. Wait until $FBOOK and Twitter IPO.”
This sums twitter up perfectly. Four stocks are mentioned and a very important idea has been shared….in less than 90 characters. It is elegant in its simplicity. I can scan down a single page and see the thoughts of the numerous people that I follow. I don’t need to read superfluous text to get to the heart of an issue. Often, it is pure distilled information at its finest. I can have tweets that tickle my funny bone or give me just a teaser of what may lie behind the tiny url that accompanies the tweet.
The ability to tweak the signal-to-noise ratio is essential. Anybody who tweets that they are “eating cereal” should be informed that the free AOL trial has now ended. They will then receive instructions on how to return the e-machine PC to OfficeMax. Fortunately, you can unfollow people quickly and with the minimum of fuss. I rejoice in the freedom of not knowing many of the people on my twitter feed. I follow people because of the simple exchange of ideas and not the pictures of babies wearing oversized glasses.
$FBOOK on the other hand is the daddy of all social networking sites. It gets a lot of eyeballs and many people are completely addicted…to endlessly updating others with the banality that is their lives. $FBOOK does nothing for me. Sure, it has countless Pavlovian users. If you scratch beneath the surface, $FBOOK is merely a breeding ground of envy and human tragedy. Crucially, most people are not $FBOOKing with their credit card on hand either.
To me, the most valuable social networking site has already IPO’ed. $LNKD is where the long term growth is. I am militant about my $LNKD account. To prospective employers, it is a direct reflection of myself and my peer group. I know sales people who would gladly pay money to access my digital Roladex of connections. As ir happens I’m pretty light on sales people in my network. That’s the beauty of it. I am connected only to people that fit certain desirability criteria. Hiring managers are looking at your connections. I know this because I pay $LNKD to tell me this. After meeting with clients or being on the hunt for a new gig, I can gauge how serious people or organizations are by the page visit stats. The more you pay, the more features and stats are unveiled. I can confidently say I will never delete my $LNKD account. My credit card has been on file since 2008 and I have stopped and started my subscription several times. $LNKD spiked to over $120 on IPO launch day and I will be gobbling it up if it falls below $50.
If you have enjoyed reading this you may consider clicking on my name DrSchadenfreude to follow me on twitter.
And remember please rate even if it’s to hate.
I’ve been here for less than a week and it appears that I have served as inspiration to one of the featured bloggers on this site. I am genuinely flattered that my irreverent musings on immigration and the tech-world have been reworked so quickly! It could be argued that any topic is fair-game, but the lack of acknowledgment is tantamount to someone helping themselves to a five-fingered discount. Fortunately, Monsieur Fly has afforded me a platform to, as it were, ”blog it out.”
This is not the first time I have encountered this kind of behavior. It happens to us PhD’s all the time, especially the “fur-uh-ner” ones who have jobs directly linked to their ability to remain in these United States. We get to enjoy taxation without representation. Some may mistakenly believe that our main purpose is that of “enhancing your quality of life.” Heaven forbid you would be caught smoking a joint, an offense of such Dickensian proportions that it is classified as a crime of moral turpitude. It is a relic of 19th century US law that naturally only applies to the Un-Americans in our midst.
At times, it can be very frustrating to live in the US, especially when the majority of the people that you interact with would never meet the criteria for an H1B visa… never mind an O visa. I’ve had the misfortune to have encountered some of the most wretched, miserable, servile, pathetic trash that was ever shat into civilization. It is especially galling to watch these cretins wrap themselves up in the red white and blue as they happily “support the troops” and eat another hot dog. You know… the same kind of tools that think vacationing at a Sandals resort makes them the well-traveled worldly types.
When you publish a scientific paper, it is very important to adequately cite and reference prior work. If you do not do this adequately, your paper will be rejected and you will be required to make revisions. Sometimes the referee will ask you to provide more supporting data. Plagiarizing, on the other hand, is not tolerated and will result in a flat out rejection. In the case of the small close-knit niches that scientists inhabit, this results in a major blot on their copy book, which also means that both their past and future submissions will be subjected to increased scrutiny.
A good friend of mine once asked me the following question: “If you were to be hypothetically sodomized, what would your preference be….. Big Balls or a Big Cock?”
After much hand-wringing and deliberation, I plumped for the large member – the rationale being that the slapping noise of a large scrotum may leave scars deeper than a big cock ever could.
With that charming visual in mind, I shall effortlessly segue into my latest bit of bloggery. The American worker has been taking all manner of cocks, dildos and fists up their collective rectum since 2008. This recession has been a gift to employers. They were obviously desperate to clear house with impunity, and they did so in no short order with 7.9 million Americans being laid to waste.
What they were left with was a nation of employees ready to surrender to a good old-fashioned bumming. The serfs immediately took on a new mindset of being the willing victim by not only being grateful for the jobs they had, but also openly recanting tales around the water cooler of how they’ve taken yet another one for the team.
In an age of entitlement, a little humility is quite refreshing. However, employers have seized upon the employees’ newly found willingness to please. Employers can now do more with less, forgo the pay-raise and you can forget about that end-of-year bonus. While you’re at it, you can expect more hours for the same pay. In the short-term, this stuff is great for the balance sheet. The productivity numbers don’t lie. Ultimately, it demotivates people and creates a toxic work environment, which I believe may have a detrimental effect on stock prices.
The modern workplace is awash with supine creatures, unwilling to stand up for themselves. If you have no respect for yourself, then these middle management predators are going to be balls deep for the foreseeable future. At the very least, stop lubing yourself up for a smooth entry. But, that’s not how the willing victims perceive themselves. They are thinking more along the lines of, “I’m his bottom bitch. He treats me real nice. Hell… he even throws me a Christmas party… well, most years. Anyway, I know sometimes he can be a little rough around the edges, but deep down inside I know he loves me.” The stark reality is that you are involved in an abusive relationship. Until further notice, he is going to pimp you out all day long… and then fuck you in the ass.
I have found that many of the LOL WTF OMG generation suffer from delusions of grandeur, specifically in regards to their importance in the workplace. They and countless others need to accept the fact that they oftentimes are just spectacularly ordinary, sprinkled with occasional flashes of “Meh.” Once they accept that, they then may be able to go about carving out a valuable niche for themselves in the workplace.
Smart companies, like $QCOM $JNJ and $GOOG, rank very highly in employee satisfaction. By doing so, they are able to attract the best and the brightest. Friends that are working for these types of employers are very vocal about how great they are to work for. They actually give a shit about the company and its future. This means they are also not sitting on the toilet checking their Facebook status while waiting for 5pm roll around. The stakes are significantly raised when you consider that they may not resist the temptation to elope with a competitor, taking unique skills and intellectual property with them to the new marriage. Couple that with the fact that Non-Compete clauses in contracts are not legal in places like California and NDA’s don’t matter for shit in the cut throat world of tech.
So, the question I would ask is, “How does the treatment of employees affect the long-term stock price of a company?“ Based on employee survey results, I am dividing the companies into rival factions. For starters, I give you the “Choc-a-Block with a Big Black Cock” camp of $CMCSA $WLP $BAC $T & $UAL. And the “It’s Only Just The Tip” crew are $QCOM $COST $TRV $AXP & $FDX. I will check back on these tickers periodically. Please feel free to add your own suggestions to create a larger list.
If you were left scratching your head as to what a bottom bitch was, this video sheds some light on the matter.
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One of the questions on the latest version of the US citizenship test is as follows: “What is America’s national meat?” We all know the correct answer is: bacon. It is one of the myriad of factors helping the US to dominate the Fat Fuck Olympiad every 4 years. On the bright side, obesity is very good for business. According to the CDC, 1 in 3 Americans born after the year 2000 will develop diabetes in their lifetime. My eyes light up as I compute that tragic statistic into $’s and ¢’s.
First, a little Diabetes 101. There are 2 flavors to choose from: Type I & Type II. Type I is akin to “good” AIDS; and Type II, the much maligned “bad “AIDS. Bad AIDS diabetes accounts for 90% of all diabetes in the US. Medtronic $MDT have a large slice of this market. They have a superb pump that really helps people manage their blood sugar levels.
The original insulin pump company, Minimed, was spearheaded by a guy named Alfred Mann. He sold this technology to Medtronic and the rest is histrory. He subsequently sold pacemaker technology to St Jude $STJ and Cochlear implants to Boston Scientific $BSX. I doft my cap to this guy. He gives credibility to the existence of American exceptionalism.
The cash rich 85-year-old Alfred then plowed $900 million into his new company, called Mannkind $MNKD. This is a stock that has been getting a lot of twiternet buzz. They developed huffable insulin. For reals. Targeted to a patient population too lazy to go to the gym and lay off the fries. Sounds like a great idea? I was tempted to buy the stock as I knew all about his track record in business. I did a little digging and I came to the conclusion that it’s fucking nuts. A billion $’s of nutz. Pfizer had a drug called Exubra. It was released in 2006 and pulled in 2007. It was nothing major… only the occasional case of lung cancer to worry about.
I can imagine the scenario playing out in the boardroom at the Mankind corporation. Alfred – having walked on water his whole life – is surrounded by sycophants with MBA’s and nobody with balls enough to tell the old guy he’s nuts. He proceeds to spunk $1 billion of his own cash and the FDA says they need to do another 18-months of work. The stock went from $10 to $2 this year. To make this story even sillier, some asshole engineer changed the design of the proprietary inhaler during the trial phase. An engineer probably made a revision to a CAD file, thinking it wouldn’t make a difference. Well, it made a difference to the shareholders and the FDA. And, they have yet to find the white masses on the chest X-rays. It appears they are saving the best for last.
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