fa - cade: [fuh-sahd]
1. a superficial appearance or illusion of something
That pretty much sums things up today now doesn't it.
UK Daily Mail report last week that performer Lady Gaga has about 30 million followers with only 29% of those tweeting regularly. You do the math, real math now, not Wall St. twilight zone math that got us into this mess, but honest to goodness math and it reveals a fakery rate of about 70%. This report on Lady Gaga twitter fakes follows a report from late last week that the President has almost 19 million followers with claims that more than half of 'em don't exist. Half! Should we even hazard a guess as to the number of 'fake' followers the walking, talking, android Mitt Romney has as followers. Should we really be surprised, the come-ons I receive via the net offer 2k twitter followers for the bargain basement price of $15.
Facebook, the much heralded social media outfit that makes nothing, produces nothing which makes it the prototype for a -- sheering of the public, excuse me, I meant to say a vaunted much publicized Wall St. IPO. Actually I am being a bit harsh and overly critical when I proclaim that Facebook makes and produces nothing because it actually permits one to waste vast quantities of time doing nothing, most often while on the company dime. Did I mention Facebook also likes buying less than 2yr old companies with no revenues, no profits for about a billion dollars. Yes I like alchemy over math as well. I actually heard a story that Facebook is going aggressively after spam and fake accounts. Of course Facebook and its IPO handlers on Wall St. knew none of this pre-IPO and have only discovered this now, post IPO. Can anyone in the room spell due diligence? Anyone? Bueller? Anyone? Bueller?
But it doesn't end there. Take the executive Yahoo hired to run their outfit? Seems Scott Thompson fudged his resume a little bit by claiming he had a computer science degree that he actually didn't have one. Oops. Not like he said he varsity lettered when he really was only intramural.
Or the jobs number from last week. When more people drop from the labor force Wall St. and Washington math dictate the unemployment rate goes down. At least we all know how we can officially get unemployment down to 0.0%.
I could go on and on with yet dozens of episodes from the dotcom facade and the Wall St. thugs like Henry Blodget, Jack Grubman, Mary Meeker and their ilk but you have heard them and if not you can Google them. It is an epidemic of fakery and fraud has and continues to spread like locusts across the country. Remember how the banks were having a 'liquidity' problem back in 2009? That purported liquidity problem was so great they had to send in their professional water boys and stooges to get FASB 157 passed.
FASB 157 was the suspension of mark to market accounting on holdings to mark-to-make-believe. Yup, free market capitalism. But you're an idiot blogger when you call it what it is crony or criminal capitalism but you're a contributing regular to financial shill TV when you tow the party propaganda. I still remember former Fed imbecile Bob McTeer's comments on the benefits of allowing his country club buddies to market securities to any level they deemed. Club memberships do have their privileges right? Sure Bob, why would the public want to trust an open public market price discovery mechanism to value toxic waste, absolute garbage securities all you buddies and cronies are neck deep via 50:1 leverage when one can simply rely on the honesty, integrity of NINJA/Liar loan offering, robo signing, front running, LIBOR fixing, money laundering management of those same financial institutions? But why take my word for it when you can read what noted sober money manager (emphasis on sober) Paul Singer of Elliot Management had to say on this subject in his most recent communique.
"Decades ago, the balance sheets of the Financial Institutions contained most of the information you needed to know to understand their risks. Today the picture is profoundly different, predominantly due to the growth of leverage through derivatives....As a result, there is no major Financial Institution today whose financial statements provide a meaningful clue about the risks of the firm’s entire panoply of assets and liabilities including derivatives, nor how the firm’s performance, or even survival, will be affected by market movements in the future."
Whatever you do today do not look at the chart of this relic of an economic indicator because in doing so you may see through the facade.