Maria Bartiromo: We’ve talked a little bit in the past about you following CNBC, following your investments. Do you have money in this market? Charles Barkley: I do have money in this market. The key when you have money, and I’m not bragging, I am just blessed to have money, you only probably want to risk 20-25% of it. 70% you want to just put in safe stuff. You know 70% of professional athletes go broke. MB: I know, that is amazing. I feel like the more money you have, the more at risk you are to lose it. CB: No, the more freeloaders you have, actually. You just have to learn to tell your family and friends ‘no.’ Once you start giving people money, they never stop. You become an enabler. Once you start giving people money, they never stop. It is not like you say, ‘Here, let me give you money,’ but they keep coming back. You have to learn the magic word, ‘No.’ ‘I am not giving you any money.’ [CNBC]
Alright, this is surely jumping the gun and I’m probably going to take it back by sooner rather than later (my money’s on this afternoon) but right now, what I’m saying is: the new Wall Street Journal rocks, specifically Page One. Yesterday it was an article on an 150 women taking part in an Assassin-inspired game of competitive knitting (“I got the sock. I’m dead.”), today it’s a piece the trials and tribulations of putting on a good Nativity scene this holiday season, with a particular emphasis on the issue of animals who are stealing the show from their human co-stars with hijinks so hilarious I’m not entirely convinced they were unplanned.
In Mount Laurel, New Jersey, M and J were headed off to Bethlehem to do their thing when the donkey Mary was riding freaked out and took off. Joe jumped on the ass and tried to stop him but fell off, got caught in the reins, and was dragged for several hundred feet. At First United Methodist Church in Tuckerton, NJ, a camel ate the set. In Orange County, California, at the Crystal Cathedral, a donkey stepped on Joseph’s foot and broke his toe. At Mount Olives Lutheran church in Mission Viejo, CA, rehearsals got held up for over an hour because two goats were screwing like animals (“They were just acting very inappropriately,” Diane Girard, a co-coordinator of the program said. “We had to break it up.”).
What does any of this have to do with business? Don’t know, don’t care. At all. Maybe I’m just a Jew getting into the Christmas spirit, maybe this article just has me fondly thinking about the time Joseph wrestled Larry to the ground and dislodged a pubic hair from his throat that had been stuck in there for days. I don’t know what it is. I just know I like it, and want it to continue. (Thinking ahead for the coming year: how to deal with the ignorant fucks (that phrase should be in the lede) who tell you you’ve “got some schmutz” on your forehead on Ash Wednesday? The deadly sport of Canasta? These are just for instances, nobody’s saying they’re going to be used, I’m just trying to get a dialogue going, and you know the ‘Journal’ likes to come around these parts for story ideas, anyway.)
Awry in a Manger: It Takes a Miracle To Stage This Play [WSJ]
Who: Mario Gabelli, some other industry people
What: Barron’s Roundtable Discussion
Where: I don’t know, a Sheraton?
When: 23 January 1995
Barron’s guy: “Name the most important events of 1994.”
Industry people: “Peso devaluation blah blah blah rate hikes blah blah blah.”
Gabelli: “The major events of last year, as far as I’m concerned, were Feb. 4, March 14, Nov. 8, Aug. 12, and Oct. 14. On Feb. 4, the Fed hiked interest rates. On March 14 came General Electric’s hostile takeover bid for Kemper. That was a big gong sounding for a whole new wave of takeovers — which I will get into. Nov. 8 was, obviously, when the Republicans came into power. Aug. 12 was the baseball strike. And Oct. 14 was when Pulp Fiction opened.”
The only excuse we have to offer re: just now mentioning what happened on Fox Business Friday morning is that we don’t watch Fox Business. Sure, we’ve checked out a few choice clips (50 Cent, Sammy Hagar, Lamb Chop and Jerry Springer all come to mind) but only because they were forwarded to us in convenient link form. The bottom line is that there are three TVs in the office and each one is spoken for (TV1: CNBC; TV2: Nintendo (and the answer to all your, “Why haven’t you guys posted anything?” comments); TV3: A Best of Carney clipshow that was spliced together in-house and plays on loop). We don’t TiVo FB because it’s the sort of thing that has to be experienced in real-time.
Which brings us to this: unless something really drastic happens, like Maria Bartiromo announces that Cutter Associates is buying half of Bear Stearns, or Kudlow and Company is replaced by Paulie Shore and My Biatches, or Charlie Gasparino finally cops to being a drug mule, or Joe Kernen discusses Aquaman, the fictional movie from Entourage as though it were real, CNBC is getting bumped. No longer can we afford to miss Fox Business Morning for Breakfast reporting that Apple is taking an 8 percent stake in chipmaker AMD, contributor Charles Payne analyzing the genius (/imaginary) deal, and Glick correcting the misinformation by noting that “It’s not Apple, it’s Apple Dubai? Apple Dubai? Oh, Abu Dubai.” Yes, yes, Abu Dubai, AKA Abu Dhabi. The best part is Peter Barnes’s magical recovery which, paraphrasing, went sort of like this: “Ohhh, okay, okay, Abu Dubai, which was discovered and named by the Germans in 1904, and of course in German means a whale’s vagina.” Your move, CNBC. Transcript (via SAI) and video (via Valleywag) after the jump.
Recently we received an email from a reader asking for good short recommendations. We’re not in the business of stock analysis. Sure, we called Vonage correctly but that was about as hard as scoring with a sailor during fleet week. But we’re always looking to help readers, and so we thought we might as well marshall the wisdom of this particular crowd. Here’s what our readers asks for.
I’m looking for good short ideas if you have any material, non-public information about turnover in C-level positions, deteriorating balance sheets, dilutive follow-ons, etc, etc.
Feel like publicly engaging in insider trading? Drop a comment below and lets make public some non-public information!
Ernst & Young with another entry into the Teambuilding Unintentional Humor Hall of Fame (thanks to a reader tip). If you missed yesterday’s spiritually transcendent entry, or if you just need a pick-me-up, click here. The new entry is sans-video, but makes up for it in lyrical genius. The primary verse is “E-Y, E-Y, Ernst and Young! From top to finish, we’re gonna be number #1,” only with about 10 other interstitial vocal tracks coming in and screaming out a few syllables in a pitch I can only describe as Mariah Carey punched right in the baby maker. Much like Jimmy Page’s guitar playing in “Ten Years Gone,” a veritable wall of sound is created.
The constant repetition of “E-Y, E-Y” also makes the song sound like a rejected track from Terry Gilliam’s Time Bandits.
PS – Time Bandits, if anyone recalls, has perhaps the greatest ending of any movie ever – where the main character’s parents literally blow up, in a rather casual manner as far as exploding parents go, and then Sean Connery as a modern fireman (and pre-modern King Agamemnon) drives up and winks (can anyone find a clip of this?). That “your parents just exploded” wink. Credits. George Harrison chanting. I swear a couple of my staffers at JPM were directed by Gilliam. You have a stomach ulcer? Wink. Staffed on new project. Credits.
We’re a little late to this (via Valleywag via M&A++), but here is an Ernst & Young offering to the Teambuilding Unintentional Humor Hall of Fame. This one may be better than HSBC’s “Let’s Live It.” The video, slick “how do you pack all those classic 80’s hits on one CD!?” production quality and all, is a four and a half minute send-up of the Gospel favorite “Oh Happy Day.” The lead, less Mahalia Jackson and more a person picked to play Amy Grant in the fifth run of an off-Broadway musical about her life, takes us to a very special place with lyrics like, “When Ernst & Young… (wait for it) When Ernst & Young …(second verse same as the first)… When Ernst & Young… (ok, seriously?).“ At least “when Jesus washed” contains a verb, unless Ernst-ing is something cool I haven’t heard of yet.
Corporate Culture – [M&A++]