The first explanation for last week’s 15-minute collapse of the entire global economy was that some Citigroup trader pressed “b” instead of “m.” That was too comical to be true. Then people assumed it was some big Wall Street hedge fund screwing around with high-frequency trading. That was too predictably evil to be true. Now people are looking at some idiot firm in Kansas losing control of its robots: “A big mystery seller of futures contracts during the market meltdown last week was not a hedge fund or a high-frequency trader as many have suspected, but money manager Waddell & Reed Financial Inc, according to a document obtained by Reuters.”

Waddell on May 6 sold a large order of e-mini contracts during a 20-minute span in which U.S. equities markets plunged, briefly wiping out nearly $1 trillion in market capital, the internal document from Chicago Mercantile Exchange parent CME Group Inc said.

The e-minis are one of the most liquid futures contracts in the world, providing holders exposure to the benchmark Standard & Poor’s 500 Index. The contracts can act as a directional indicator for the underlying stock index.

Regulators and exchange officials quickly focused on Waddell’s sale of 75,000 e-mini contracts, which the document said “superficially appeared to be anomalous activity.

If any of you can thoroughly explain this using actual human words in the comments, then… we will just ban you because you’re probably a douche. “The thing no one understands about e-minis–” BLAH BLAH SHUT UP.

Remember when people used to just like… invest money in companies with good shit? You know, “Oh what’s this new gizmo you’ve got, a microwave? It heats WHAT up? EVERYTHING? Not metal, okay… well hot damn this is great, here’s $20k, I’ll pick up my $10 million in a few months, cool?” Although they probably didn’t say “cool” back then.


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  1. All you really need to know: The E-Mini contract trades 23.5 hours a day, five days a week, on the March quarterly expiration cycle.

  2. E-Mini S&P, often abbreviated to “E-mini” and designated by the commodity ticker symbol ES, is a stock market index futures contract traded on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange’s Globex electronic trading platform. The notional value of one contract is US$50 times the value of the S&P 500 stock index….The E-Mini contract trades 23.5 hours a day, five days a week, on the March quarterly expiration cycle.

    If you’re wondering what this goddam thing does the other 0.5 hours a day, it conducts offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.

  3. “If any of you can thoroughly explain this using actual human words in the comments, then…”

    it was that little dog toto. you know how he is, pulling curtains aside and such. put him in the microwave.

  4. I’m a douche (I get paid real monies by crazy old economists to explain this)!

    Okay, simple story, people act like the market is full of logical, intelligent people when it is not. This means that when someone does something like ditch a bunch of “thin” stocks everyone screams “Motherfucker! The Jig is Up! Take your money and Run!” They take their money by selling their shares, which means whoever sells first gets the most money, so everybody races to be first and thus you get drops. Normally someone says “Hey, wait, this is madness.” but because everyone knows the economy is in shambles people are ready to bolt at the first sign of trouble (because all of our stuff is made up and eventually someone will realize brokers make money through stealing it).

    Thin just means that there isn’t always a lot of activity, so something like a large trade will be noticed so the panicking can commence.

    It’s actually also how guys like Soros make their money, because brokers are cowardly fucks and if you loudly mutter “I don’t know if X is any good anymore.” they will run around and scream (and sell shares) and then you can bankrupt a lot of companies and take their stuff (or make currencies worth a whole bunch less).

  5. (try number two)

    I’m a douche (I get paid real monies by crazy old economists to explain this)!

    Okay, simple story, people act like the market is full of logical, intelligent people when it is not. This means that when someone does something like ditch a bunch of “thin” stocks everyone screams “Motherfucker! The Jig is Up! Take your money and Run!” They take their money by selling their shares, which means whoever sells first gets the most money, so everybody races to be first and thus you get drops.

    Normally someone says “Hey, wait, this is madness.” but because everyone knows the economy is in shambles people are ready to bolt at the first sign of trouble (because all of our stuff is made up and eventually someone will realize brokers make money through stealing it).

    Thin just means that there isn’t always a lot of activity, so something like a large trade will be noticed so the panicking can commence.

    It’s actually also how guys like Soros make their money, because brokers are cowardly fucks and if you loudly mutter “I don’t know if X is any good anymore.” they will run around and scream (and sell shares) and then you can bankrupt a lot of companies and take their stuff (or make currencies worth a whole bunch less).

  6. [re=577899]slappypaddy[/re]: These evil money robots were obviously doing the bidding of that heartless gay bastard, the Tin Man.

  7. some Citigroup trader pressed “b” instead of “m.” I bet there was some BM in trader’s pants when that happened last week!

    Seriously, why are they allowed to sell stuff that doesn’t exist? It’s all a bunch of worthless paper.

  8. One cannot rationally explain something which is purposely made nonsensical. Its like buying shares in a company which is speculating on how deep Alice’s rabbit hole was. Did anyone stop to ask before buying shares why a little girl is hanging around rabbit holes? Did she not know that rabbits can have rabies? Or that Cheshire cats’ piss is hard to get rid of?

  9. Okay, I’ve never heard of an e-mini before about ten minutes ago, but this doesn’t make sense:

    During the 20-minute period, 842,514 contracts in e-minis were traded. The CME document did not provide a break-out of Waddell’s trading during that crucial time, but said from 2 p.m. EDT (1800 GMT) to 3 p.m. it traded 75,000 contracts.
    The notional value of the contracts sold by Waddell was $4.2 billion, according to document. How much Waddell paid for the contracts was not stated, but typically the cost would be far less than their notional value.

    Maybe someone who knows something about this can explain why 75K contracts being sold can spur a panic sell of more than ten times that amount immediately (arbitrage?) and why such a panic in futures could cause an immediate panic in stocks (okay, that part is more explicable, as the market can get spooked by nothing, in the same way that a herd of cows can). But this shit still smells like they found a correlation rather than a cause.

  10. It’s very simple; like a lot of the things involved in the stock market, e-mini contracts work by using a long string of random, meaningless words and technical jargon to disguise the fact that they’re really just another form of gambling.

  11. [re=577901]Heq[/re]: Thank you, that was actually lucid. I guess I knew more than I thought about the markets, which is it’s all a bunch of bullshit.

    That’s why CNBC has 5 analysts on at a time; there’s only so many ways one person can creatively say “it’s all bullshit” to the question, “Why is the market going up” or “Why is the market going down.”

  12. Where can I get me one of these money robots? It took me about 2 years to recoup my losses, and I’m not exactly thrilled at the prospect of reentering the stock market without a money robot in my corner.

  13. [re=577955]Katydid[/re]: This is so easy:

    Market going up = bargain hunting
    Market going down = profit-taking

    Learn these terms and you may one day find yourself in a CNBC octo-box.

  14. [re=577963]Jim89048[/re]: Yeah, all I have is a Speak and Spell which keeps telling me in its nasty robot voice, “Say It! Greed is Good”.

  15. [re=577912]anonymousryan[/re]: Actually, E-mini was the first single off Beck’s 2005 album, Guero.

    [re=577898]WadISay[/re]: Actually, E-mini also takes about 5 minutes a day to molest E-altar boys.

  16. [re=577936]SayItWithWookies[/re]: Maybe someone who knows something about this can explain why 75K contracts being sold can spur a panic sell of more than ten times that amount immediately….

    There is a good post on this by Heq. But to answer your question directly, some people pay
    attention to S&P futures because they think futures are a good indicator of which way the market
    is going. This is a mistake, because futures-investors are usually poor people who don’t know shit about the market. Nevertheless, there are a lot of morons out there who pay attention to S&P futures. When a big outfit like Waddell’s dumps a bunch of futures, the morons get scared and sell their actual stocks, thereby causing a crash.

    May this be no offense to morons. You should all get 50% extra time on the exam because of your
    learning disability, but you should stay out of the stock market.

  17. [re=577901]Heq[/re]: I’m a broker and make probably ten times what you make. You’ve explained e-minis all wrong. Basically, if you can understand the concept of notional anomalies in capital markets, then you can understand the fluidity of e-minis and how a trade like Waddel’s could (I say Could) effect the markets in that way. Think of e-minis like millions of small hedged bets against the future considered price of stocks. These bets are like estimates of what a median fluctuation could be in a time frame as small as a half hour (that’s why they are traded 23.5 hours a day). Now imagine you buy a fish tank. One day you say to your friend Chip, let’s buy an eel; if the eel grows during the next growing quarter I will pay you dividends, in the form of guppies. They will stay in my fish tanks, but you may also manipulate them. If the eel does NOT grow, I will pay you…in eel food, i.e. guppies. Are you beginning to get the picture? Soros farted indeed.

  18. [re=577982]NYNYNY[/re]: Thanks for the explanation. It’s too bad you’ll be first against the wall when the revolution comes.

  19. I don’t know anything about money or economies or anything but I do know Waddell & Reed employees and, yes, they’re fuckfaces

  20. and by fuckfaces I mean they a bunch of kids with organizational leadership degrees from Fort Hays and Wichita State who somehow have made a business out of asking their classmates ‘what are you financial goals?”

  21. [re=577982]NYNYNY[/re]: Obvs this shit can only be traded 23.5 hrs/day because the other half hour has to be spent doing massive amounts of coke.

  22. [re=577914]Extemporanus[/re]: The gods have indeed seen fit to punish us kansans but I can’t shake the feeling that we deserve it.

  23. [re=577982]NYNYNY[/re]: I don’t understand your “fish tank” analogy. Could you rephrase it, perhaps as a “luxury car” analogy, or “japanese sex doll” analogy?

  24. [re=577982]NYNYNY[/re]: I’m in R&D at one of Seoul’s most cutting edge tech labs and I probably make a gajillion times as much as you. You’re the one who explained e-minis all wrong.

    They are very short, very tight digital skirts.

  25. [re=577901]Heq[/re]: I use to think I had a big… head because I’m a software engineer and understand all kinds of complicated computer stuff. But you sir have put me in my place. That financial stuff made my head explode.

  26. [re=578005]user-of-owls[/re]: I like your explanation better. Now, if said e-minis contain the goods of seoul co-eds, I would like to sign up for 1000. Futures, of course.

  27. e-minis? What the hell kind of Chinese Apple knockoff is an e-mini?

    But basically, the AJGLU finally gained sentience and is out to doom us all, financially.

  28. [re=578013]Crank Tango[/re]: Now, if said e-minis contain the goods of seoul co-eds, I would like to sign up for 1000. Futures, of course.

    Future co-eds? Dude, you need to be looking at Bangkok, not Seoul.

  29. NYNYNY, I, uh, don’t think you really, um, grasped the point.

    I don’t mean to be rude, but the scenario you outlined could only affect those who are connected within the trading group, which does not actually tally up to the total losses, so it would require a tautological sell order.

    The question is not why e-minis do what they do, that’s, well, pretty much irrelavent. The question is why the market reacts to what they do. This requires irrational markets, and irrational markets that are ready to bolt.

    Do I have to source this stuff? I know you’re all impressed with the fact that you’re a broker, but truth to be told that means 2/5th of fuck-all to the rest of us when it comes to demonstrating your knowledge and why would I care how much you make? I’m gonna assume now that you’re, like, 25 and think you make a lot of money and that you’re the first person ever to understand two-sided deviation trades. That being said, that’s all bullshit, because eminis aren’t neccessary shorts or longs so much as a cheap synthetic. Worse, they are day-trader synthetics, so really the only people who like them are brokers, because it allows them to churn and duck regulators.

    In fact, the basic premise of an emini was proven false, as they are by definition thin given the chaos that can result from single player moves. No-one gives a damn though, as during a skittish period pretty much everything is thin (except T-bills! Maybe!)

    Anyway, congrats on ducking regulatory bodies through the use of synthetics NYNYNY! Yay! See you in the bread-lines!

  30. Real DC, yeah, actually, that’s part of the problem.

    See, traders get computers built to do things automatically, but comp guys don’t get trading, and traders don’t get programming.

    Then you end up with a savings and loan crisis when the machine starts yelling and no-one knows why. See, nothing bad is supposed to happen ever that affects anything else, because systemic risk can’t be written up in a meaningful way numerically. This happens every ten years or so and my people point fingers at your people and everybody else gets torches.

    Then we plunder! Or go to prison!

    Actually the government can be counted on to clean it up, because there is jizz -everywhere- from all the cocaine and hookers.

  31. [re=578024]Heq[/re]: Yeah, when I fly I worry about glass cockpits and fly-by-wire. When I drive I worry about my electronic accelerator and anti-lock brakes. Forget about electronic voting. And now I have to worry about some crappy software making the financial system explode. Software is like sausage – you’re much happier if you don’t see it being made,

    And that nothing bad is suppose to happen ever that affects anything else – there seems to be a lot of that going around these days.

  32. [re=577978]Aurelio[/re]: Yeah the problem with all the explanations here is that one part (the markets are irrational and easily spooked) conflicts with the other part (Waddell did it.) From the article it seems we know that their trade was less than 10% of the action at the time and that it took place during the 20 minutes, along with a lot of other stuff, in a market whose downturn preceded the stock market’s by minutes — if I saw that by itself, I’d say it was unconvincing. But in the context of a market that nobody seems to understand anyway, it’s like trying to pinpoint the first cow to stampede.

  33. [re=578020]Heq[/re]: Okay, so I get how these e-minis can bring the whole edifice crashing down. What I don’t get is why this worthless market bounced back. I mean, did someone more believeable than Jim Cramer do the “this is madness” bit? Is the market really just holding its breath and waiting for the crash that sticks?

  34. is there anything about the financial system that ISN’T 134% horseshit constructs used by the global oligarchy to create “wealth” through speculation, smoke and mirrors while using the lives of the vast majority of human beings as afterthought?

  35. So I understand that the stock market is bullshit.

    Now, the real question is, before purchasing stock, or derivatives, or Paul Volker’s smegma, how will I know that I’ll be able to find someone stupid enough to purchase said asset from me at a later time for double what I paid?

    My ponzi scheme needs more ponzi! Or maybe more scheme!

  36. I just stopped watching From Dusk Till Dawn ’cause it was just like this thread, and now everything is. I’m alone except for the cats, and one of them may be sick. I’m not hungry, so I think I’ll have a banana and go to bed and try not to think about all those zombie movies. Interesting times…

  37. [re=577982]NYNYNY[/re]: Just had an oyster shooter with a quail egg, lemon, masago and a bit of fresh wasabi. Num. (Sorry, nothing to add to the conversation.. maybe later).

  38. — Remember when people used to just like… invest money in companies with good shit? —
    When pterodactyls roamed the skies, large and medium corporations were expected to disburse profits to their shareholders (their owners) through payment of dividends. In the rise in the multiplicity of computer hardware/software tech, sci-tech, engineering-tech and bio-tech companies, with sexy products in development, but with little expectation of immediate profits, investor hopes devolved from wanting a pay-out of profits to looking for meteoric rise in pps, In turn, that dynamic led to certain marginal companies to reward managers, not upon increase in profits, but on increase in share price. It also permitted certain profitable companies to hoard wads of cash, betting that investors would be happy with a slowly upward creeping pps.

  39. [re=578005]user-of-owls[/re]: You beat me to it, but might I add, they’re leather with a design meant to drive boys crazy when they walk down the street.

  40. This is “innovation.” We must pay bonuses so that we can retain “innovation.”


    Seriously? Whenever those horrible creeps speak, hit the pause button after every word and think. What is to “innovate” with investment? Isn’t investment… investing in something? Well, not anymore. What about “innovation” in banking? Isn’t banking a case of taking money and giving it back after “investing in” something concrete? No.

    “Innovation” has meant inventing ways of not investing, because investing means caring and relying upon the economy, but rather of “manufacturing wealth.” Bankers “innovate” ways of “generating” profits (not earning them) with fees and investing in the people manufacturing wealth.

    To Hell with it. Oh, but there is no way to curse them to Hell, as there are no pensions: everyone has a 401(k), and therefore everyone loves the stock market.

  41. [re=577914]Extemporanus[/re]: Having spent my formative years in the Sunflower State, I have had a framed copy of that hanging in my office for ages. Makes more and more sense to me every year..

  42. Revmod, no, but many traders believe in what are called resistance levels. Basically, that stocks should trade between, say, 50-60$, unless it hits 45$, at which point it’s new bracket is between $30-$40.

    Okie, that doesn’t make any sense, but basically at every bracket people look to make grabs on the low end, so no-one ever wants stock X at $40 dollars, even though they’d really want it at $50, because it’s likely to go from 50-60, but not 40-50.

    So when you see a stomach churning drop, the technicians (guys who trend-trade) wait until it fits into their charts and then jump back in, while Fundamentalists (guys who care if the company is any good) tend to buy and hold. That is providing the world doesn’t end, but there is one more important secret.

    No-one ever wants to miss a run-up. Getting busted on a drop, meh, happens to everyone so who cares (other then the people who’s money you lost). Failing to catch a run-up is a good way to get sacked, so everyone tries to be invested all the time, so you have the conflict of traders knowing that it’s a shell game and can goto hell in a hurry but needing to invest and trade to keep their jobs and “churn” their clients.

    Churning is buying and selling just so you can charge people for the priveldge of having you buy an sell. It generates sweet-sweet fees, so you can make money without having a sweet clue how stocks work.

  43. [re=578065]Geogre[/re]: “Innovation” is essentially the same as roulette wheels with magnets and loaded dice, iron chunks and ether in boxing gloves, steroids, and that sort of thing. Wall Street is one hell of a large casino with a lot of sucker money coming in from what was pensions. It’s nice to know that people still want to privatize Social Security and port it into this sucker demonitization processing plant. Sadly, this will probably happen once the Grifter/Moron/Racist collective grabs the reins again. Invest in canned food, shotgun shells, and water purification equipment. I see demand in those sectors in the near term.

  44. [re=578057]S.Luggo[/re]: I’m a little uncomfortable with your evocation of pps slowly creeping upwards. And here’s the bit I still don’t get: If personal computer stations “modernized” the trading markets past all recognition, why to jackasses on the floor of the NYSE still run around in stupid looking jackets making preposterous hand motions (though rarely in the vicinity of their slowly creeping upwards pps…at least not out there on the trading floor…mostly).

  45. The thing no one understands about e-minis is that they are small. Take, for instance, jelly beans. Although they are derived from sugar cane, which is a large plant, sticky sweet when enjoyed raw in the field, the individual jelly beans can be easily consumed by animals as diminutive as the common household mouse.

    But now consider these individual jelly beans, collected in relatively small bag. No big deal, right? Well think again. These bags can be aggregated together in something called ‘boxes’, which can be further aggregated on something called a ‘pallet’, and wrapped in plastic, forming a ‘unit’.

    Now these ‘jelly-bean-units’ can be elevated by a thing called a ‘fork-lift’ onto shelves, gaining potential energy with every single inch of elevation. And then you could have, say, a fucking retarded fork lift operator who might drop the entire fucking pallet of jelly beans on your head, killing you.

    Therefore, we conclude that this whole embarrassing episode is the fault of some guy in Kansas, and not Wall Street.

  46. [re=578069]Rotundo[/re]: The roulette wheel

    See, the roulette wheel, and a lot of what the economics-background people are arguing about, is all trading. So far as I can figure out, and the language is designed (passive voice intentional) so that a person has to figure hard, all the discussion is about what trade value and trade actions should be. See, that’s the rigged wheel. That’s the betting on betters.

    What the original asked was about investing. Investing makes money when companies prosper and when nations prosper. In fact, it’s kind of “The wealth of nations,” sort of. But trading “creates wealth.” The trick has been for “investers” to invest in “traders” and for banks to become “trading houses.”

    There is all sorts of “innovation” when it comes to trading — ask any guy heading in to play Blackjack in Vegas or Keno. He’ll have “innovated” a system for “optimal return.” Eliminating the short sell would “cripple the free market,” I’m told, but I’m not exactly sure how. Asking for worker buyout options to be offered to any company that is publically traded before it is sold is “socialist,” I’m told, but I still don’t quite see that one, either. To me, they’re innovations.

    Sorry: not funny.

  47. [re=578078]user-of-owls[/re]: I believe that we are coming-up on the one-year anniversary of a certain CWolf’s swan-song weekend extravaganza and the ensuing St. ban-day massacre…

  48. [re=578024]Heq[/re]: I suppose that might result from programmers having to deal with actual logic. Not just the binary kind, but the Bayesian kind. The difference between that and market logic is slight, but significant.

  49. All I can say is, aren’t we all so freaking happy Bush and his republican cohorts wisely invested the social security fund in the stock market?

    Yeah, both parties suck at protecting us from wall street, but one of the parties is doping the taxpayers up every night and whoring them out.

  50. [re=578083]Geogre[/re]: Personally, I’d worry about a market that didn’t have greedy people obsessively looking for shady crap they can bet against. No one else is keeping an eye on things.

  51. I swear every day to (deity) that a transaction tax makes more and more sense. If your trade contributes less information about the value of an asset than this minuscule addition to the cost of transaction would provide, then perhaps the market is better off not having your input. Kind of like a signal to noise ratio bottom. A squelch, if you would.

  52. [re=578086]OzoneTom[/re]: [re=578090]Blender[/re]: Ah, good times, good times. Do you know you can’t even type “that one’s” name here? Try it. Now that’s a ban that even Uncle Joe would be proud of!

  53. [re=577900]Heq[/re]: (because all of our stuff is made up and eventually someone will realize brokers make money through stealing it)

    Fun fact: I had an econ prof who’s being saying this for decades, and gives his trademark “get out of the stock market while you still can because it’s all fantasy-money” speech every Parents’ Weekend, forever.

    Of course, he was also convinced that this whole “personal computer” thing wouldn’t really catch on, because he thought distributed computing, and, well, things like the Internet were the real future of computing, so what the fuck does he know.

  54. Probably the same assholes who hijacked V-ger. After years of watching Maria Bartiromo and Kramer piped into outer space, they got it all figured out.

  55. [re=578020]Heq[/re]: some brokers do not like the fact that a chimp throwing darts at a board full of stocks will do better over time than any broker.
    dont mention this to NYNY, he may have a breakdown.

  56. [re=578108]sati demise[/re]: Or better yet, a chimp throwing poo at a broker. Chimp has fun, broker gets fecalized. Win-win!

  57. [re=578092]bago[/re]: yea, the transaction tax would provide a buffer and some money to pay off our deficit. The Wall Streeters howl about the deficit, cry and scream about the deficit, and they should help pay it down since they got a cool trillion to pay off their gambling debts. That certainly is a big part of the deficit now, right?

    England has this tax, why not US?

  58. [re=577982]NYNYNY[/re]: I’m laying in my hammock and probably don’t make 1% of what you make. I don’t know shit about e-minis but at least I’m not you.

  59. [re=578114]sati demise[/re]: Because then no one would base their trades here. Boo freaky hoo (seriously, just like they’d lose the “talent” if they can’t pay them gazillions, any taxing at all would make us lose the “leadership” that has so benefitted us all).

  60. [re=578020]Heq[/re]: when do you suppose the word “tautological” was used on our Wonkette? Anyway, Heq, you are my new hero.

  61. Since I can’t put a face to the evil that befell my little 401(k), I’ll just blame it on NYNYNY and Heq and be done with it.
    Fool me once, shame on–shame on me. Fool me twice, won’t get fooled again!

  62. Are The Greatest And All Highest Esteemed Editors going to post something new for the weekend? I’m kind of in the mood to start another rio . . . :::whoops::: . . . animated discussion.

    Speaking of which: Did you folks hear about these Heathen Chinese School Cleaver Attacks?:

    Let me be the first in here to oppose attempt to ban cleavers.

    Even “assault cleavers.”

    Neilist Wong
    Honorary Commissar
    National Chinese Cleaver Association (“NCCA”)

  63. Not necessarily on topic, but why are the MSM and the internets conspiring to ignore the significance of tomorrow’s date, May 16, 2010, when JFK will have been dead for exactly as long as he was alive (46 years, 5 months, 24 days)? Even CNN’s story about the new video of JFK doesn’t mention this. This can’t have any less cosmic significance than the end of the Mayan calendar, can it?

  64. [re=578057]S.Luggo[/re]: Hell, I remember my grandfather “investing” in raising potatoes and lettuce and onions behind his house. He raised own chickens and pigs, too. Of course, he wasn’t afraid of hard manual labor, because he was one of those immigrants everyone hates so much.

    Invest in gardens and how to store produce, folks. That knowledge will always be useful.

  65. This thread reminds me of a New Yorker cartoon from the late 90s. “Honey I can’t come to bed… someone is wrong on the Internet.”

    NYNYNY: You’ve posted some pretty good stuff here over time but just exposed yourself as a class A douchebag. You probably make 10x more than me too but you’re probably half my age and one tenth as happy in life. Grow up or wise up and come back then.

    Neilist: Thanks for the subject shift. According to NPR, China is stationing soldiers with sub-machine guns at every school. What is a sub-machine gun anyway. Is it based on caliber or rounds per second? I know my basic gun classifications (0311 w/2nd Bat. 7th Jarheads back in the day) but never got quite how you define sub-machine gun. An M60 is a machine gun but I never heard a SAW referred to as a machine- or sub-machine gun. What gives?

  66. [re=578122]Neilist[/re]: In China, the leaders would probably SAY they are going to ban cleavers, but then do nothing. Anyway, you need cleavers for Chinese food and nothing is more important than Chinese food.

  67. [re=578112]user-of-owls[/re]: Hasn’t this been proven over and over again? Take a couple of average housewives and they’ll do just as well as your average broker. It is a tale … full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

  68. [re=578125]Chernobyl Soup[/re]: The usual definition of a “submachine gun” is a fully automatic/selective fire weapon chambered for a pistol cartridge, e.g., 9 mm Parabellum; .45 ACP; 7.65 mm x 17 mm (.32 cal. ACP); 7.62 mm x 25 mm Tokarev.

    In contrast, nowadays a “light” (or squad) machine gun — such as your/mine M60 (or the MG42 on which it was based); the Browning .30 cal. air or water cooled; the Vickers — is chambered for a rifle cartridge, e.g., (and in order re the previous) the 7.62 mm NATO; 7.92 x 57 mm Mauser; .30 cal Springfield; .303 cal. Enfield).

    Nowadays, a “heavy” machine gun typically is chambered for something larger than a rifle round, e.g., the M2 Browning .50 cal. or 12.7 mm. But that’s nowadays: During WWI and the interwar period, water-cooled machine guns chambered for rifle cartridges (the Browning and Vickers with water jackets) often were referred to as “heavy” machines, because the rate of fire was much higher (as per the Machine Gun Monument in London).

    Finally, an “assault rifle” is chambered for something in between a pistol cartridge (which is only effective at shorter ranges), and a rifle cartridge (which has so much recoil that the weapon becomes uncontrollable at full auto, e.g., the M14). Hence the 5.56 mm round for the M16, and the 7.62 mm x 39 mm for the AK.

    The “Chinese police” often carry the Type 79 submachine gun, which is chamber for the 7.62 mm pistol round.

    It could be effective, in the right hands. But against a Enraged Cleaver Wielding Chinese Commie Intent On Child Chopping, I’d prefer something with a bit more power.

    In contrast, for a Charging Catholic Priest Intent On An Altarboy’s Bum, something like a .460 Ruger Magnum would be more “spiritual” than the Traditional Bullet Hose.

    [And I am sure that the above will be of General Interest, and Reassure All Readers of This Fine Publication . . . .]

  69. [re=578133]Neilist[/re]: beats the shit out of stock market witchcraft. Love them or hate them, there is no denying that guns are good at what they do. And when you need one, you NEED one.

  70. [re=578129]Chernobyl Soup[/re]: Just to be clear, I was referring to the Evil That Wears Pinstripes, not those blessed to be born on the winning side in the late unpleasantness, as am I.

    Funny thing, though. You cross the Rio Grande and even the most bug-eyed inbred from Alabama or Mississippi magically transforms into a Yankee.

  71. [re=578086]OzoneTom[/re]: Would you get banhammered for explaining what you’re talking about? I get the gist; I want details plz. I think I know the name you will not write, but I must have missed that weekend.

    Please share. Or tell me what to search for. Or is there nothing and no one left to search for?

    ::looks around nervously for the banhammer of shame::

  72. [re=578116]Berkeley Bear[/re]: oh like one tenth of one cent on a trade is going to stop anyone from pushing that ‘confirm’ button.

  73. [re=578139]sati demise[/re]:No, it wont stop anybody who’s trading a few hundred/thousand shares.
    What large traders do, however, is buy huge blocks of shares over a very short period of time in hopes of seeing the value climb a couple of pips based on their own activity.
    Example: A truism of the market is if you buy 1% of the available stock of almost any corporation, you’ll see the value of the stock climb well in excess of one percent. The market has heavy incentives towards activity, all the professionals make money based on trades. They look for stock with positive momentum, all you’re doing is creating what they want.
    If you hide the fact that a single entity is doing this, even as you start to sell, the stock price is often still rising as people who aren’t in on the scam take the bait. If your timing is good, you’ll dump your last block of stocks as the price peaks.
    Of course, once it peaks, it will drop as precipitously as it climbed and if the resulting undervaluing of the stock doesn’t bankrupt the company, you can probably pick up the same stock at the bottom of the price drop for a fraction of the price it started at when you began this scam. Over time, people will realize that the stock is undervalued and it should climb back into the range you originally bought it for when you started this scam, at which point you sell it again.
    They call this “innovation”.
    The trick is to do this through several different accounts so it doesn’t look like one rich guy is gaming the market on a particular stock.
    The entire thing takes a couple of hours, any longer and the rubes start to drop wise. As a percentage, after fees, you didn’t make much but if you used 100 million dollars in this way you’ll probably net $600,000 or so when the day is done.
    A per trade tax would make that scam harder to run, you only targeted .6% profit, that doesn’t leave much vig for uncle.

  74. [re=578133]Neilist[/re]: just curious: if you’re not married, do you have a hard time finding a date? I would think your arsenal would give anyone pause who was seeking romance… just saying’….?

    [re=578138]Katydid[/re]: umm, remember what they say @ “careful of waking a sleeping dog”? I’d let this volcano stay asleep, IMHO .. ;-)

  75. Fap-rich environment, for want of weekend posting by Jim or Ken. Do teh stupids shut down for teh sabbaths? I think just the opposite.

  76. [re=578144]dijetlo[/re]: apologies to the snowbilly, but that was probably the most depressing post/comment in the history of our glorious wonkette. i hate everyone who has money.

  77. [re=578049]SayItWithWookies[/re]: seriously. i’m in a bad mood and i blame the vodka and unregulated capitalism. fuck them all. quants, rich old white men, the fed, citi, boa, fly by night subprime vampires, hedge fund default swap ogres and anyone else who built personal fortunes on the corpse of the middle class. I HOPE THE ALL DIE SLOWLY AND PAINFULLY.

  78. There is an interesting story in the NY Times about how developers in Las Vegas are BUILDING new homes again, baby. There are already huge swathes of empty foreclosed homes with cockroaches living in them, but never mind. These new homes are bigger and better. They even have ELEVATORS in the event you don’t wish to expend corn syrup calories climbing stairs, and seriously, everyone promises not to scam anyone or default, come on.

  79. [re=578137]user-of-owls[/re]: Yanqui is just a little different than Yankee. Yet in both cases it’s at least 50-50 a curse word will immediately proceed it.

  80. [re=578144]dijetlo[/re]: Next you’ll tell us all that market making is just a contrived way to eliminate fiduciary duty on rigged investment scams and get in on the kill along with the initial proposer of the fund. Rather than a noble innovation designed to create liquidity in otherwise static assets and thereby increase the flow of capital to business (or some such tripe).

    Sati demise – I wasn’t for a second claiming any trading house would go through with it (just like no really talented person on the Street – as opposed to an obnoxious money snuffling pig – would bail if their compensation was suddenly only in the high hundreds of thousands rather than the artificially inflated millions), just letting you know what they’d argue. Just like they claimed Sarbannes Oxley was going to drive everyone into the arms of the Footsie and Hang Shen. And before that why if the CFTC didn’t loosen its energy trading and derivative rules we’d be a third world country overnight.

    I’m a lawyer (recovering or relapsing, depending on my next job), and even I don’t extend the professional courtesy of believing the bullshit about the consequences of regulation to anyone in finance anymore. That said, if you like playing intellectual games for absurd amounts of money and not much in the way of tangible risk, finance seems to be the way to go

  81. [re=578086]OzoneTom[/re]: [re=578121]imissopus[/re]: [re=578138]Katydid[/re]: [re=578152]gurukalehuru[/re]: She-who-must-not-be-named provided much entertainment here, with the sexy-talk and terrible puns. Neilist (between his vicious but witty discourses on the virtues of long hard things that emit puffs of white when used) conducted a nightly vendetta against her. Could “Neilist” really be just Ken’s alter ego? Maybe Ken delegated the banning to Jim for some Wonkette internal administrative reason.

    [re=578154]BlueStateLiberal[/re]: God that story was disgusting. They don’t want “used” houses, they want new ones! We’re back, baby! Gimme that subprime to sign, and rent a U-haul!

  82. [re=578144]dijetlo[/re]: In the boilerrooms of the 1980’s that used to be called pump and dump. There were fewer computers so you had days rather than hours in which to make it work. And now it’s innovation. Progress is a wonderful thing.

  83. [re=578157]V572625694[/re]: I have sometimes suspected the Neilist might not actually be Neilist, just one of the eds stirring the pot and getting people all pissed off. It would explain why he is not banned more often.

    Also, I have heard it said that the Iliad and Odyssey were not actually written by Homer, but by another author of the same name.

  84. [re=578157]V572625694[/re]: Forgive the lack of humility, but I was also a major protagonist (antagonist?) in that epic drama. The ghost-with-no-name had become so fantastically loathsome that I, among a number of others, decided to go all Lincoln Brigade against her awful self. Jim even called for a public vote to stuff the ghastly toad’s head in the guillotine. It was a thing of beauty. Here’s one of my bits embedded in that thread of infamy.

    For Katydid and others who want to relive history:

  85. [re=578133]Neilist[/re]: [re=578136]Crank Tango[/re]: I’ve only fired guns at my company’s Christmas parties. Um, I should have added not at anyone; we always went to a shooting range during the party.

    I went to a Colt firearms exhibit in Hartford a few years ago. The stuff was very cool, although I understand very little about guns. My boyfriend knew more than me, and his explanations of how they work and the innovations throughout the years helped me appreciate the, I don’t know the word, craftmanship? Both experiences made me realize how even non-violent people can appreciate guns and that it’s not necessarily an insane hobby, which is what I used to think.

  86. [re=578146]Words[/re]: Actually, I DO have a “hard time finding a date,” because:

    (1) I work too much;

    (2) Most of the time, the “Flame Isn’t Worth The Candle,” If-You-Know-What-I-Mean-And-You- Probably-Don’t; and

    (3) “Attitudes, Stratitudes/Quid Pro Quo/So Little Time! So Much To Know!” (to quote Jeremy Hillary Boob, from “Yellow Submarine”); and (last but not least)

    (4) Nowadays, I use my “personality” for birth control.

    That said, the “Gun Thingie” never seems to be a problem. Indeed, many women found/find it attractive that I could/can (1) Beat the Shit Out Of; (2) Sue; and/or (3) Shoot Their Boss.

    (Nb. Girls: A Dating Tip: Most “normal men” find it incredibly attractive when you appear to consider seriously any offer along the lines of the above. Even if you’re faking said consideration.

    But enough about me: How’s your erectile disfunction problem coming along? (If you’ll excuse the pun inherent in the verb choice.)

    [re=578157]V572625694[/re]: [re=578160]gurukalehuru[/re]: “Could “Neilist” really be just Ken’s alter ego?”

    You know, loathe though I am to ban anyone, for anything: A patently defamatory accusation such as that IS grounds for banning, or should be. (Ken: Forgive them: They know not what they do.”]

    Although, I, too, frequently suspect that “Neilist is not Neilist.” But that’s a function of the Multiple Personality Disorder, and the meds are supposed to take care of that.

    I think.

    (And with whom was I have an vendetta this time? The list is so long . . . .)

    [re=578163]Katydid[/re]: Your pro-gun comments reveal that you are insane. (I just thought I would save everyone else the trouble.) Also, Colt makes the M16 — which is a Piece of S*&^T, like most American products nowadays.

    Now, if you find a classic Model 1911A1, of WWII vintage, in NRA Excellent condition, at a good price: Call me!

  87. [re=578162]user-of-owls[/re]: I remember. Loathsomeness, like beauty or humor, is in the eye of the beholder. Your point of view prevailed; no hard feelings here.

    [re=578164]Neilist[/re]: Your mercy is beneficent, whoever you are. It’s kind of amusing to imagine bloggers trolling in their own comments, though.

  88. [re=577982]NYNYNY[/re]: You certainly have the obnoxious asshole and deplorable explanatory traits of the broker down to a fine art, so you may well be a confidence artist of that sort. It is good that a man find his true calling.

  89. [re=578164]Neilist[/re]: I said insane hobby, not that the person was insane. ::sniff:: And I, for one, am a Wonketteer who has never told you to shut up so SHUT UP. ::sniff sniff::

  90. [re=578164]Neilist[/re]: Ahh, targeting the women who suffered abuse as a child. Always a good demographic strategy for dating.

  91. [re=578165]V572625694[/re]: Re-reading that saga brought forth even older memories, like the takedown of another asshat, Tony the Tiger. And the sectarian bloodshed surrounding the ugly departure of one lobbyist with no name (remember Homofascist?). Back in the panda porn days, we were so young and innocent. Our elbows are much sharper now.

    [re=578140]Mr Blifil[/re]: Sometimes it helps to relive the event rather than sublimating it. Go on, look back on the horror that befell us candidly, but know that right prevailed.

  92. [re=578170]user-of-owls[/re]: Speaking of missing comrades, what happened to cause the schism between Wonkette and some of the commenters? Is there an internetty-type shadow-world I am (blissfully) unaware of?

    Oh, and Heq: do you teach? (If not, you should.) I heart you.

  93. Trying to get rich by betting other people’s money on investors’ pucker factor. Sleep with one eye open, unconscionable fucks.

  94. [re=578173]DemmeFatale[/re]: If you’re really lacking something to do today, you can get a small taste of the late ugliness (which involved Megan Carpentier, aka Anonymous Lobbyist, getting relieved of her command here and the factional ugliness that ensued by going here for the disgruntled view. It’s in reverse chronological order, so try starting at the bottom. It all blew over pretty quickly, but was memorable for some of the venom.

  95. [re=578176]user-of-owls[/re]: The elbows are sharper, true, and the comments are funnier. Sometimes I’m amazed as one after another comment on the same post makes me laugh. Sure our new Wonkette overlords are tough on us, but they’re tough on us because they love us. Tony the Tiger was no loss and the late lamented lobbyist wasn’t so charming once she came in from the cold.

    And all that panda worship was just creepy.

  96. Fatale, not as such. I run lectures and experiments and the occassional class, but mostly I’m a government policy wonk. Most economists just don’t know how to speak “normal people” speak because there are very few with working class connections, many are second or third generation economists/finance guys (almost all guys too).

    It probably also a Canadian thing, as the head of the Atlantic Economics Association was the lead singer in a punk band, and the head of the major government policy training centre in English Canada has been known to tell people to “sit the fuck down, and shut the fuck up.”

    Not that Canada is perfect, but I think part of why Obama runs into problems is that if you look at the guys around him and say “If Obama wanted a straight answer on X, who could he ask?” the list starts and ends with Volker.

  97. [re=578170]user-of-owls[/re]: Wow, going through those old posts, it looks like I missed out on some drama, back in the day. And yet, many of these usernames sound oddly familiar: this most have all happened during that brief time after I started reading, but before I made an account. Or all the drama just coincided with my annual (monthly) week-long bender? That seems more likely.

  98. [re=578167]Katydid[/re]: Neilist is an equal-opportunity abuser.

    [re=578189]mumblyjoe[/re]: I quit commenting and sometimes reading during all the fuss. 90% of the time I’m impressed w/ comments. I’m also amazed at what the Wonkette Overlords can come up with on really slow news days.[

    re=578164]Neilist[/re]: Sorry, I can’t suffer from erectile dysfunction, as I am of the female sexual orientation. I apologize if my comment hit a nerve. I actually thought you were probably happily married to another gun aficionado.

  99. [re=578167]Katydid[/re]: NO CRYING! There’s NO CRYING in baseball! (Or small arms. Same thing, really. I mean, if you throw high and inside, the way you’re supposed to.)

    [re=578191]Words[/re]: “female sexual orientation”? You mean, you had to get training to decide? Oh, dear.

    And No Marriage, alas! It would not have worked: There’s only room for one in this Austin college tower/Dallas school book depository alcove/Atlanta motel. Which makes my Multiple Personality Disorder even more troublesome.

  100. [re=578167]Katydid[/re]: I have to say, I’ve never been to an office party that involved a shooting range, and I’ve worked (and so has my spouse) in some damn odd places. Was the gun play in addition to drinking or in lieu of same?

  101. [re=578193]Berkeley Bear[/re]: Some people drank a little first, but most of us saved the drinking for after the shooting. No one, as far as I knew, drank while shooting, which would be very illegal, at least in CT. They were weird Christmas parties, that’s for sure. I forced myself to shoot because I was the only woman in the office, at a software company, and I couldn’t bear the thought of “the woman” being the only one who didn’t shoot. And, hey, if they were gonna be armed, then so was I.

  102. [re=578192]Neilist[/re]: no training; but having to go to parochial schools made you oh,so not sexy (starting in the 1st grade, we girls weren’t allowed to wear sleeveless white blouses — white blouses being part of our uniforms–because when we were older, our bra straps might show and lead those innocent boys into temptation!! (yeah, I know— 6 years old? but I went to school w/Italians & Greeks and those girls, well, matured faster than us Irish Catholics, like in the 4th grade? much to the dismay of us who didn’t; go back an watch Annette Funicello on Mickey Mouse Show.)

    damn, honey, how old ARE you? unless you’re a born-and-raised Austin, TX, native, not too many people remember that blonde unbalanced sniper in the tower. Yikes, I, myself, was an elementary student. Sorry, kiddo; marriage has been known to take the edge off (I’m speaking as one who grew up in a neighborhood full of rednecks who expected their dates to be able to change tires, help them change their oil (in the cars–no dirty jokes!!), and ride shotgun when they drag-raced —-) Grateful to be here, I am, I am– (picture MacKenzie Phillips in “American Graffetti”) .

    [re=578196]Katydid[/re]: The things us women do just to keep a job and insurance!!!

  103. [re=578193]Berkeley Bear[/re]: obviously neither of you good people have EVER been to an office party in the South….. I’m not talking @ VA–

  104. Oh yeah? Well I work at and I make whumpty-bajillion more than all of you combined. Never underestimate the value of the Long Stroke. And it’s about time somebody got some dirty sex talk in this threat, also.

  105. [re=578199]Words[/re]: Re Charles Whitman: You need to watch “Full Metal Jacket” again. To wit:

    [Referring to Lee Harvey Oswald and mass murderer Charles Whitman]
    Gunnery Sergeant Hartman: Do any of you people know where these individuals learned how to shoot?… Private Joker.
    Private Joker: Sir. In the Marines, Sir.
    Gunnery Sergeant Hartman: In the Marines. Outstanding. Those individuals showed what one motivated Marine and his rifle can do. And before you ladies leave my Island, you will all be able to do the same thing.

  106. [re=578144]dijetlo[/re]: This sounds eerily like–no, EXACTLY like–a conversation I had with my 13-year-old son today where he explained how he manipulates commodity markets in an online game he plays.

  107. [re=578187]trondant[/re]: or offal or whatever. it used to be that actual productivity generated economic growth. now we’re trapped in a system where a miniscule segement of the population becomes insanely rich only by making the financial system so fucking ridiculously complicated that no one can do a post mortem on it as the “winners” cash out.

  108. [re=578204]Neilist[/re]: Blah bhalh. blhah And the sexiest guy in FMJ goes to.. ‘Animal Mother’ Adam Baldwin! (Because he was Ricky Linderman) Also. Ricky Linderman protects everyone.

    drunk. sorry.

  109. [re=578133]Neilist[/re]: No offense, but I’ve never seen a Chinesepolice man carrying a gun openly. They use weighted rubber billy clubs, and martial arts. There is a special armed police, and I know the narco cops carry guns, but they are not the typical cops. Usually the only time I see a firearm is when an armored car is delivering cash to a bank. The guards carry sawed-off shotguns, with folding butts. Usually they have helmets and bullet proof vests.

    Daily life in China is much less violent than daily life in the US. Ordinary people go to lengths to avoid conflict.

  110. Fuck it..I’m still happy-wappy cause I didn’t lose a cent cause I’m fucking poor. So boo-hoo ya’ fuckers with dough that lost a little.
    Ouch..he’s poor & he’s bitter. Will he ever get a young trophy wife to cheat on?

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