Sunday, February 22, 2009

Ridiculuous Snippets of the Week

Ok, it's time for another installment of "Is it Real? Or Is it From The Onion?"

1) Senator Skeptical About Loaning $30Billion to GM:
"Borrowing $30 billion from taxpayers to finance its restructuring could weigh General Motors down too much for the company to be viable, an outspoken senator who voted against aid for automakers said Wednesday...Senator Bob Corker, a Tennessee Republican, said that he did not know whether he would support the larger loan requests that G.M. and Chrysler made Tuesday, but that he had reservations about G.M. owing taxpayers $30 billion, nearly 24 times the amount that the company is worth based on its outstanding stock. Mr. Corker said he was also concerned that G.M., which was negotiating with bondholders to cut much of its debt to them, would continue to ask for more money.

2) Employee Who Likens Self to TV's "House" Fired:
ALPINE, NJ—Walter Salinger, 38, a U.S postal employee who often compared himself to the cantankerous yet brilliant titular character from the Fox medical drama House, was recently fired for insubordinate behavior, coworkers reported Tuesday. "He was either outright rude to customers or avoided them completely," said letter carrier Lyle Davis, whom Salinger often referred to as one of his "team," even though both men hold the same title.

3) Obama Warns Mayors Not to Waste Stimulus Money:
"Invoking his own name-and-shame policy, President Barack Obamawarned the nation's mayors on Friday that he will "call them out" if they waste the money from his massive economic stimulus plan."

So, did you figure it out yet? Sadly, only story 2 is from The Onion. When I read story 1, "Senator Skeptical About Loaning $30Billion to GM" on the NY Times site I thought their site must have been hacked. I read the article, looking for the joke, or the sarcasm, but there was nary a trace of acknowledgement! I mean, come on - Bob Corker is the only senator skeptical about this? That's impossible. I refuse to believe that. To me, this headline was the clear winner in the "Stating the Obvious" category of reporting.

Story 3, "Obama Warns Mayors Not To Waste Stimulus Money," also should have been a joke, but wasn't. If the chief tool the President is employing to make sure that our nation's governors don't waste the hundreds and hundreds of billions of dollars he just appropriated is "name and shame," well then, in the words of my most loyal reader, Bones, "We're doomed. FMyLife."

Supporters of Senator Daniel Inouye's (Hawaii) stimulus item of $198 million for Filipino veterans of WWII have already acknowledged that "they did not expect the payments to do much to stimulate the economy, but that it was a way to bypass opponents who had blocked payments in the past". So is President Obama going to SHAME them? Ridiculing them while Rahm Emanuel, Nancy Pelosi and Barney Frank dance behind him chanting "Oh SNAP! you got SERVED!" ???

I guess we'll have to wait and see.

EDIT: I almost forgot this most absurd story of the week:
"Nigerian Accused in Scheme to Swindle Citibank."

To carry out the elaborate scheme, prosecutors in New York said on Friday, the man, identified as Paul Gabriel Amos, 37, a Nigerian citizen who lived in Singapore, worked with others to create official-looking documents that instructed Citibank to wire the money in two dozen transactions to accounts that Mr. Amos and the others controlled around the world.

I mean - wow. Yes, it's real, and no - I have no idea what can even be said about that. This story is like the ULTIMATE satire, and has to prove that Citibank has not yet hit bottom - they clearly still don't understand risk!


1 comment:

Anal_ said...

Dude, I obviously can't speak about Citibank per se, but anti money laundering appears to be pretty lax, despite all the bullshit they make you sit through about it. You have no idea the number of NRA (non resident alien, aka "offshore") corporations with mailing addresses in South Florida I've seen.

Yes, "Medilin Import/Export" seems like a reasonable business that would necessitate $100m outgoing wires to banks in Panama, riiiiight....