Monday @Mentions March 17, 2014

Thread of the Week:

Thread of the Week this week goes to @"BOTT1702" with his thread What I Look For When Hiring Junior Traders. This informative post gave great insight into the skills you should sharpen if you want to land a trading gig, and for the effort it earned 9 Silver Bananas, 7 Facebook Likes, and 5 Tweets. Like a boss.

Comment of the Week:

@TNA brought down the house this week with his pull-no-punches thoughts on real estate and other wealth traps in his comment on the thread The Fallacy of Homeownership as a Vehicle for Wealth Creation by @"jankynoname". I couldn't agree more with his sentiments, and his comment earned him 10 Silver Bananas. Check it out.

Caption Contest Winner:

This week's Caption Contest Winner was @"B4SH" with his caption Investment Bacon Division. The caption earned him 5 Silver Bananas and a WSO T-shirt.

Did Fuld Commit Perjury?

mod (Andy) note: "Blast from the past - Best of Eddie" - This one is originally from April 2010 . If there's an old post from Eddie you'd like to see up again shoot me a message.

Bonus Bananas March 14, 2014

1) The Future of Venture Capital, Tech Valuations and the Fate of Tech Incumbents - Conversation with Bill Janeway (Forbes) - Very interesting conversation on the shrinking state of venture capital with one of the guys who pioneered it. If you're at all interested in VC, this one's for you.

2) Mark Cuban's 12 Rules for Startups (Entrepreneur) - These are really, really good rules. I don't think I've ever started a company without an exit strategy in mind. Maybe that's why I've never sold an app for $1 billion.

3) THE INTERNET IS FUCKED (but we can fix it) (The Verge) - Absolute MUST READ of the week. Then head over to the Electronic Frontier Foundation and become a donor. Then watch the Video of the Week and get on the right side of this fight.

4) Nearly one in three American households have no choice when it comes to their internet (Quartz) - In case you thought #3 was hyperbole, here's the data to back it up.

Shocker: People Who Were Deadbeats in 2008 Are Still Deadbeats

In the years immediately following the financial crisis, no small amount of space on WSO was dedicated to the debate over what should be done about those Regular Joes who were caught in the crossfire of the mortgage mess and were losing their homes right and left. The subject of strategic foreclosure came up repeatedly, and in my opinion was one of the more interesting debates in the history of the site. For better or worse, a lot of folks in the general public got a government bailout, which seemed fair at the time at least on a prima facie basis because of all the handouts the banks were getting.

So now that we've put a few years distance between then and now, how did all that charity work out?

About like most of us expected, frankly. In a study released earlier this week, it was revealed that 30% of those homeowners who received a bailout have already defaulted again. What's worse is that the remaining 70% are about to go through a mortgage reset, which will no doubt shake a few more out of the deadbeat tree.

"The program was a temporary Band-Aid," said Greg McBride, a senior financial analyst at Bankrate.com. "Five years later, that Band-Aid is going to be ripped off."

An Interesting Spin on Ratings Agencies

I don't think too many people would argue that the current system of ratings agencies is anything other than deeply flawed. The out-and-out fuckery (for want of a better word) that took place leading up to the financial crisis would have been enough to drive any other industry to extinction, yet the ratings system persists largely untouched today. The following video describes a new model for sovereign ratings, a model that is transparent, doesn't involve conflicts of interest, and most of all is free for anyone to use. In an industry begging for disruption, do you guys think a model like this could work? Think about it: if you removed all the conflicts of interest (most notably clients paying for their own ratings) and published for free the ratings of all countries, wouldn't the sovereign debt market run more efficiently?

Not So Fast: @GSElevator Loses Book Deal

The vampire squid giveth, and the vampire squid taketh away. Not that they really had anything to do with the following. On the heels of a very public outing, the voice behind snarky Twitter (and WSO) account @"GSElevator" John Lefevre has reportedly lost his recent book deal with Simon & Schuster. Perennial butt of his jokes Goldman Sachs wasted no time in gloating on Twitter:

The reason the book deal was pulled? Ostensibly it was the fact that Lefevre never actually worked at Goldman, but I think most of us would agree that's probably bullshit. I mean, at least Lefevre is a fellow finance guy who knows about which he speaks, whether or not he ever personally recommended the purchase of CDOs before going short himself. Far more likely is that fact that his outing cost him some of his mystique, and for Simon & Schuster the very possibility of decreased book sales was enough to yank the deal.

Monday @Mentions March 10, 2014

Thread of the Week:

It was no contest this week as @"big unit" knocked it out of the park with Young Money? Perception vs Reality on Wall Street. He goes into his experience starting at a bulge bracket during the meltdown and points out a few of the misconceptions that exist today about the new generation on Wall Street. The post earned him 31 Silver Bananas, 6 Facebook Likes, and 3 Tweets. Excellent work, man!

Comment of the Week:

Comment of the Week this week goes to @"D M" for his insights into the exit opps in corporate finance. His comment earned him 5 Silver Bananas.

Caption Contest Winner:

Congratulations to @"danin650" for being this week's Caption Contest winner. You can see his prize winning caption here. Enjoy your WSO T-shirt!

How I Spent My Summer Vacation

mod (Andy) note: "Blast from the past - Best of Eddie" If there's an old post from Eddie you'd like to see up again shoot me a message.

"Bless me, Father, for I have sinned. It's been twenty-one months since my last decent steak."

Tyler Durden's Guide to Personal Finance

mod (Andy) note: "Blast from the past - Best of Eddie" - This one is originally from April 2010 . If there's an old post from Eddie you'd like to see up again shoot me a message.

Note: This post is in reference to the movie Fight Club, not the crew from ZeroHedge.

Bonus Bananas March 7, 2014

1) Traders' stress could cause the next financial crisis (CNBC) - New study shows that the stress level of traders could lead to the next major financial crisis, so please guys - keep self-medicating. Substance abuse is only a problem if you're poor.

2) The Face Behind Bitcoin (Newsweek) - Thought I'd run this link again since it's the story that basically broke the Internet yesterday. As well-reasoned as it sounds (I find it plausible, anyway) there is now considerable doubt that this is actually the guy. Whatever you think about Bitcoin, you have to admit - it ain't boring.

3) The Dark Power of Fraternities (The Atlantic) - There's no shortage of frat rats on Wall Street. Here's how they got to be the worst people on Earth. Oh, and all the drunken frat boys falling off of roofs? Darwin in action.

4) Twitter is installing log cabins from the 1800s in its San Francisco office (The Verge) - Because fuck Facebook, that's why.

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