1) Searching for the Wives of Wall Street (NY Times) - Not another reality show. Really? I guess Mob Wives was a hit, because there's now an open casting call for Wall $treet Wives. Ugh. Can't we at least get a show about Wall Street mistresses?
2) Levin Says Better Offshore Tax Compliance Would Reduce Deficit (Bloomberg) - Carl Levin and I don't agree on much, but on this we share common ground. Corporate taxation is already a huge joke, and the offshore loopholes make it so much worse. Think how many GE accountants would be forced to do something productive with their lives.
3) Frustrated man takes homeless from downtown to million dollar neighborhood (WTSP) - I thought of ANT the minute I read this headline, and it made me laugh out loud. Sick of the homeless problem in downtown Sarasota, this local businessman is taking them to the mayor's million-dollar neighborhood once a week. He's got a legitimate ax to grind, though: he offered to build a $500,000 homeless shelter and sell it to the city for a dollar, and the city turned him down.
4) How to Get Spotify Free Without an Invite (LifeHacker) - Spotify is finally available in the U.S., but you really have to know somebody to get a free invite to this great music service. LifeHacker presents a nifty workaround to get an invite, though, and you'll be rocking out to Spotify before you know it. Never heard of Spotify? Here's everything you need to know.
5) Senators Call Dollar Coin Pileup 'Troubling' (Planet Money) - For some reason, Americans refuse to use $1 coins despite the U.S. Mint's best efforts. Here in Europe, we've got EU1 coins, EU2 coins, and even EU5 coins (though they're not widely circulated). It really makes you aware of the change in your pocket. Anyway, over $1 billion worth of $1 coins are piling up at the Fed and causing all kinds of problems. Here's how you can benefit:
6) Fly for Free Thanks to the U.S. Mint (Yahoo! Finance) - You know all those $1 coins the U.S. Mint is trying to unload? Well, they'll ship 'em to you for FREE if you buy them. What some savvy tricksters have been doing is buying the coins with reward miles credit cards, receiving the coins free of shipping costs, and then depositing the coins right back into their bank account and paying off their credit card bill - effectively travelling for free on the U.S. Mint's dime. Nice.
7) Ponzi Schemer Pleads Guilty To Post-Guilty Plea Fraud (FIN Alternatives) - What a dipshit. Mark Trimble, principal of Phidippides (really?) Capital Management, was just busted running a Ponzi scheme. Not exactly news these days? Consider this: he was busted for the same thing in 2009, got 10 years for it, and was dumb enough to run the same scam and get busted again while he was waiting to begin his sentence.
8) EA buying PopCap today for up to $1.3 billion (Seattle Times) - There's big money in time wasters. Electronic Arts bought game maker PopCap for up to $1.3 billion this week. PopCap, famous for games like Bejeweled and others, was established in 2000. Pretty nice payout for 10 years work.
9) Buzzkill: Fan may owe taxes on rewards for Jeter's 3,000th (Yahoo! Sports) - Proving once again that no good deed goes unpunished, the die hard Yankee fan who spurned offers up to $250,000 for Derek Jeter's home run 3,000th hit ball might be on the dangle for taxes on all the goodies the Yankee's organization bestowed on him after he returned the ball to Jeter. The IRS says he might owe as much as $13,000. Dicks.
10) Dealtalk: Google bid "pi" for Nortel patents and lost (Reuters) - Was Google just being its normal quirky Silicon Valley self, or was there some bidding strategy to offering Pi and the distance from the Earth to the Sun? If there was, it didn't work out for them, but it's pretty funny nonetheless.
The video of the week this week is a new documentary that you might hastily dismiss as just a bunch of dirty hippies making love to mother nature in the '70s. But if you look behind the scenes, you'll find that funding for these experiments came from none other than Drexel Burnham Lambert through a series of secret grants totalling billions of dollars. What the documentary fails to show is Nim's utter dexterity with Excel, and a number of his pitchbooks are in the Hall of Fame. It is widely believed that Nim was the brains behind the RJR Nabisco deal. Take a memo, monkeys:
Have a great weekend, guys, and let me know what you think about this week's bananas!