The Fish
for 7 July 1998. Updated every WEEKDAY.
 
 
Suck Staff
 

Joey Anuff
Joey Anuff
Editor in Chief

 

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Art Director

 

[the fixin' pixie... ]
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and Rhythm Guitar

 

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Heather Havrilesky
Senior Editor

 

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Ian Connelly
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Carl Steadman
Carl Steadman
Co-Founder

 

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Executive Editor

 

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Sean Welch
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Owen Thomas
Owen Thomas
Copy Editor

 


T. Jay Fowler

Production Manager

& Ass Kicker

 

[yes, it's a plunger. i'll l
eave the rest up to your imagination ... ]
Erin Coull
Production Manager

 

Matt Beer
Matt Beer
Development Manager

Convergence Theory

Wow, great article on the
economy.

I never did understand how it
worked or where all that
money in the stock market
came from. Now thanks to
you....

Ah shit, I still don't. If I
gave a fuck I would read it
again and maybe even think
about it.

Thanks again for another
great article,

Marty Herrick

P. S. Hey, how come like a lot
of articles by Beers it isn't
even the same writer each
time is it? How the heck do
you pick the names? Big hat
o' names?

WHOA, there, sparky. There is
only one Ambrose Beers, and
you're talkin' to him. Well,
you know, you're
communicating with him. Just
because I write in an
erratic, inconsistent style,
with varying points of view,
doesn't mean I'm not still
one solid piece of flesh and
blood.

If you prick me, do I not
bleed?

Ambrose Beers

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 

Great exposition, as usual.
Couple of things, though:
Don't come crying to us, your
readers, when you cause a
worldwide market panic. And,
does today's writing indicate
you think that the Dow might
not hit 15,000 this year? If
so ... should I get out now?
You might have included that
you are the (only, I'm
guessing) nation with the
pyramid on its money. Your
problem is you're right.
However, most people (like
myself), will go on putting
money into the market,
because by now everyone knows
that that is the only/best
place to put it when they
have retirements, kids
college, blah blah blah to
pay for ... and we all know
we can't depend on
governments anywhere to take
care of us. The other option
would be to take my money and
buy real estate away from
civilization to hide out in
at the eventual total
collapse of everything -
which now that I've written
this letter, seems like a
pretty good idea.

Ted Sturk
<ted@light.on.ca>

We actually had some
discussions about the impact
the piece would have - we at
Suck have been keenly aware
of our impact on world
markets ever since the day we
dropped the soy futures
market with that "soy sure is
dumb" piece - but we were
drinking a lot of peach
liqueur that day, and the
lines just got hazy.

Can we make it up to you by
stabilizing the baht?

Ambrose Beers

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 

It may be interesting to note
that on the day of
"Convergence Theory," from the
time the stock markets opened
in the morning (9 a.m., I
don't know) and 11 a.m.
(Eastern time), the S & P 500
stock index rose 11.45 points
or about 1 percent (Dow rose
by 80+ points, also about 1
percent). Not much it would
seem, until you take the
magical world of compounding
into account.

This increase of 1 percent in
a single day means that the
expectations of the stock
market for a large sampling
of companies in the economy
improved by a 3,961 percent
annual rate ... in a couple
of hours translates to an
improvement of
1,492,390,000,000,000,000
percent at an annual rate.
Have the expectations for the
US economy changed that
dramatically?

How dumb are the people that
invest that they could
suddenly say, "Jeez, I really
missed that thing the other
day that changes things by a
kazillion percent."

To put in the way that I
think about it, a credit card
with an 18 percent annual
percentage rate (APR) (which
we know is high, but we do it
anyway) has a daily interest
rate of .046 percent ...
pretty small compared to that
1 percent. If you paid 1
percent per day on your
credit card, you would have
to pay that big 3,961 percent
on an annual basis (that's
more than furniture rental rates).

(I can count, isn't that
impressive?)

So every time the Dow roars
ahead or behind 100 points in
a day (1 percent) or the S & P
increases dramatically, the
pyramid scheme rises to a new
level.

Wall Street is the least
idiotic (at least they do
original research, even if
they lie about it). Mutual
fund blow-hards have the
greatest misperception of
their own societal worth (big
egos, little brains that wait
for quarterly earnings
reports and Wall Street
research and know little
else).

But the dumbest ... are they
the people investing in the
pyramid, or those who sit out? As
you say, who is being
defrauded?

M Urban
<urbsm@hotmail.com>

Beautiful - see what happens
when someone who understands
these pesky "numbers" (that
is, someone who isn't a
writer) gets a hold of this
kind of subject? Very nicely
done.

As far as "who's the
dumbest," it honestly just
beats me. On one hand, I
believe what mom and dad
taught me - not the part
about sex, drugs, and so on,
and which please don't tell them -
but about easy money being
highly dubious and always
containing some kind of trap
or punch line. On the other
hand, I genuinely believe
that the US has transcended
reality, that we're so
disconnected from notions of
real-world value that we may
be able to play this game
forever. (When you tell the
guy in the nuthouse that he's
not really Jesus, does he
apologize bashfully and take
the robe off?)

Maybe ask me again in 10
years.

Ambrose Beers

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 

Convergence Theory

Liked your piece immensely.
Shared fictional notions -
when did the notion of
investing your money change
from buying a piece of a
profitable company to one of
collecting stocks like
bubble-gum trading cards? And
like other worthless
collectible crap that
maintains the illusion of
value only so long as it
continues to change hands,
such as plates from the
Franklin Mint or Beanie
Babies, when are enough
people going to be left
holding the embarrassing
media of their avarice for
the whole thing to collapse,
Asia style? Probably never,
as few people have the
imagination to do anything
other than shovel what little
cash they have to spare into
the hands of some money
manager to by more mutual
funds. Anybody still holding
Bre-x?

Drinking heavily, A. A.
Ambrosia Ales
<ambrosia_ales@indegraph.com>

It appears that you
understand, to which I can
only say: Continue to drink
heavily.

Ambrose Beers

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 

My Life as a Has-Been

Surely making fun of
washed-up childhood stars is
about as
shooting-fish-in-a-barrel as
you can get, but I can't get
enough of it! Bravo! And
excellent links, as well
(I've downloaded the Leif
Garret sound clips from the
Feelin' Groovy site, and I'm
quite happy, indeed).

Jennifer Jarett
<jjarett@bn.com>

Well, this topic is sort of
dear to our hearts, since
Carl and Joey are sort of
like washed-up childhood
stars themselves.

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 

Dear Destiny,

Take a look at Judy Garland's
productivity. She was run
into the ground by her
producers who had her on a
hellish cycle of downers and
uppers, just so she could
belt it out for them. She was
wrung out by her workload.
She didn't die for her art.

Sincerely,

Jack Garman
<jackgrmn@cruzio.com>

So, she died as a result of
her art. How's that?

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 

Subject: Evil to him who evil
pens

A good story requires a
moral; alas, you fail to
supply one. Let me therefore
only suggest that we try to
differentiate between
"actors" and "celebrities."

Actors are real people with
thankless jobs. A good one
can't be only thin skinned;
he has to be "no skinned" (to
steal a phrase); that's what
acting means. Unfortunately,
even the very best working
actor (an oxymoron at
multiple levels) is rejected
many times a day, typically
for things he can do nothing
about. Is there any wonder
that so many block the pain
any way they can? (True, one
can say similar things about
almost any artist, but at
least writers and painters
typically are rejected less
personally, more remotely,
and not nearly as often.
Models also are constantly
rejected personally and for
irrelevant reasons, but I'll
let someone else work up pity
for them.)

What an actor wants to do is
act; he or she is fairly
judged only by how well that
is done; and the rest should
truly be none of our
business. Give them a break.

Celebrities, now ... those
odd people famous for being
famous ... now that's a
different story. He who lives
by the media dies by the
media.

Alan Kornheiser
<ASKORNHEISER@prodigy.net>
The Doctor Is an Unemployed
Off-Broadway Actor (as, when
you think about it, who is
not?)

You put forth a good defense
of actors. But we have to
disagree with your statement
that "The rest should be none
of our business."

Most actors want at least
some of the rest to be our
business, otherwise how would
InStyle magazine exist?

Actually, we also disagree
with your statement that
"What an actor wants to do is
act."

As far as we can tell, what
many actors want to do is go
to hot parties and date
Winona Ryder.

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 

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