Friday, July 29, 2011

Underthinking Stuff's "What Money can't buy you" list

So today, released this list regarding what money cannot buy. The headline indicated this would be a list of things you cannot purchase in reality what we instead got was an inane list that consisted of 2 things no one could buy, 3 things Graeme Hart (NZ richest man) couldn't buy, and then 5 things that Graeme Hart could argue are purchasable.

If Graeme Hart can't afford it. No one can!
 Let's start with the 2 things that Stuff got right.

1/ The Mona Lisa

You are correct Stuff, since the Mona Lisa is a national treasure of France, it cannot be sold.

You can't afford me buddy.
 Similarly the Americans can't sell the Grand Canyon.

"Yeah it's nice honey, I just don't think it will fit in the lounge"
2/. A Property in Antarctica

 There is an International treaty stopping anyone owning property in Antarctica, I am not sure why there needs to be a treaty for this, the place is a frozen wastland I am not sure people are queuing up to buy it.

"It sure would be nice to have a summer home here"
The next 3 thing, money can buy its just Graeme Hart can't afford them with his current wealth.

1/ Google

Granted it would take a lot of money, but you could conceivably buy Google, it is a publically listed company. Of course to get controlling stake you would have to convince Larry Page and Sergey Brin to sell but it money could buy this.

"Do you come with the company?"
"Oh you hehe"
 2/. The Soccer World Cup

Despite Sepp Blatter's argument to the contrary, I am pretty sure a lot of money could buy you the Soccer world cup. Just ask Bin Hammam.

"Did you sell the World Cup to Qatar?"
"Ahhh, no comment"

3/. The World

The island place in Dubai, well this is just absurd to put on the list, it literally is for sale, for $14 billion dollars, so a lot, but I can go to this website  and buy them. Some have owners so might cost a bit more to get them off, but this is definitely something money could buy.

Yip pretty sure Real Estate is for sale.

Then the 5 things that Graeme Hart could afford.

1/ Richie McCaw

Granted he could buy him as a human being, slavery got outlawed years ago.

"I say, Damn you Abraham Lincoln"
But in terms of a Rugby player Richie McCaw is probably paid only a couple of million dollars maximum by the NZRFU. So if Graeme Hart bought a Rugby Team he probably could afford Richie McCaw.

"Sorry NZ, Glider parts are really expensive"
2/. Class

This one is debatable, since being rich doesn't make you classy.
Stay Classy Lindsey
But for a lot of money, one could purchase, elocution and etiquette lessons, learn how to play polo, and taste wine properly, and be a regular classy person. I am pretty sure that's the plot of Pgymalion.

Pictured. Learning Class.
3/. Dance Moves.

You can't purchase dance moves? Really stuff? Really?

What the hell is this guy doing then?
4/. Health

This is very vague. What do you mean health, like being alive? Everlasting life?
There is a direct correlation between average income and life expectancy. So I am pretty sure you can buy better health.

I am pretty sure Ernesto Berteralli bought the America's Cup, selling Health.
5/. Love

This one is probably the most contentious, sure you can't buy true love between consenting adults. But use your billions to buy a dog, and dog food, you will get love.

"Woof, I love you, I love you, Woof"

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Underthinking Americas debt

Just to clarify, I am not dead. Well not completely, I just have had two concussions in the last month, which means that I am lucky to remember what I am doing, let alone try and over think what others are doing.

They make me wear a helmet, doing everything now.
So I apologise for this inconvenience and I hope you will all forgive me, and continue to follow underthinking I promise to be more diligent.
So one of the major events happening in the world is the fact that the Americans are very close to defaulting on trillions of dollars worth of loans. Who is giving these loans to start with?

I imagine Barak Obama heading down to Loan shark using Montana as collateral.
 I guess normally countries would borrow money from the world bank, but they are tied up at the moment.

Literally. With Handcuffs.
So where are these loans coming from, well apparently if you are a country, you just borrow money from other countries.

"Hey China, let me hold a dollar"
If we go to this website, we can actually see who the Americans owe the money to. The usual suspects are there, China, Russia, Japan, Switzerland all countries you associate with being relatively rich and able to lend money.
The odd one out in that list to me, is Mexico, America owes Mexico 20 Billion dollars. How does that even work? No wonder all the Mexicans are trying to get into America they are just trying to get their money back.

"Okay Pedro, when we get to America, we go to Washington and ask for our $20 Billion back"
World money always confuses me it seems every country owes every other country some amount of money. Having debt isn't a bad thing, its how people buy houses etc, the problem is when you can't pay the interest payments on your debt.
In the case of some one buying a house, the Bank just repossesses the house and sells it to try and recoup their debt.

I don't see this happening.

But America needs to raise some capital to service their loans, how could they do this?

1/. Presumably USA has debtors, shouldn't they just call in that debt for a start?

"About that money we lent you George (Greece) we are going to need it back"
2/. Sell some of their military assets?

I mean they have a lot of weapons, maybe they should sell some off to raise capital.

"...and SOLD! The Blackhawk helicopter goes to the man with funny glasses and weird haircut."
3/. Sell some of their land assets?

Maybe it is time to sell Alaska back to Russia
I mean they got it for a bargain back in the 1800's, and everyone know property prices have boomed since then, they are sure to back a profit. I guess they are glad Phil Goff isn't charge or World Bank imagine the capital gain tax on Alaska. But who would buy Alaska?

"Yip, over here"
4/. Sell other assets?

"Thanks for doing this, you will love Yugoslavia"
America has enough fame-whores, they could sell the fat one off.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Underthinking Runaway bride

I should start by saying I am not going to give a blow-by-blow Underthinking account of the delightful 1999 Rom-Com featuring Julia Roberts and Richard Gere.

Just delightful
 So if that is what you are expecting , I am sorry to disappoint you, the main reason is the amount of underthinking in that movie would require me to start a new blog (patent pending).
No I am more intrigued by the reports coming out of Monaco that Prince Albert's new bride had tried to runaway three times before the ceremony.

I think the main reason the train is that big, is so she is easier to catch.
Princess Charlene is from South Africa and there are a lot of claims that this is an arranged marriage and she didn't want to have any part of it.
Apparently she first attempted to run away when purchasing her wedding dress in France.

"Is everything okay in there Charlene, I though I heard a plane taking off"
She was caught though, and they took her passport off her, so her next attempt was more ambitious, apparently she tried to escape during the Monaco Grand Prix they don't say how, but I like to think she tried to steal one of the cars.

"Have you seen my fiancée, I thought I saw her down in the pit lane?"
But alas she was caught again, most likely while she was trying to reverse the car out of the pit lane.

"She said the wall jumped out at her"
I kid, I kid, I know girls can drive, don't send me angry emails please.
Anyway, I think maybe Prince Albert should have taken the hint the woman keeps trying to escape every chance she gets, I am pretty dense when it comes to trying to figure out what woman are thinking about me. But I would like to think if a woman tried to leave the country instead of being with me I would pick up on that. Actually I might need 2 times, but I would definitely know before the third time.

At this point I would think I am still in with a shot.
But why does she not want to be with Prince Albert, is it because he is bald? because he is 53? because he has multiple illegitimate children? Because he looks like this?

"My illegitimate children told me Bling was cool"
I actually think its more to do with the fact that she sat down and realised she would be known as Ms Prince Albert. I am not sure if everyone is aware but a Prince Albert is a particular type of piercing, and it isn't on your face.

Here's a clue to show you a Prince Albert, a man would have to take off his pants
Yeah just imagine the connotations of being known as Mrs Prince Albert.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Underthinking Professional Sport

So the inevitable has happened, the NBA is going into lockout. The NFL has been in lockout for the last couple of months. And about 5 years ago, an entire season of the NHL was lost due to a lockout. Now this doesn't mean that the sports teams lost the keys to all the stadiums and couldn't play.

"S**t, I thought you had the keys, who is going to tell the fans?"
Essentially what it boils down to is that the players and owners of the teams cannot agree on contracts, most commonly how the revenue is split between them, but sometimes to do with strange clauses.

So the management lock the players and staff out of the facilities until some sort of agreement can be made. Most often it is the players claiming that their cut of the pie isn't big enough.

"With my current salary I can only afford 2 of these cars"
These players are making mega-bucks anyway, but they feel they deserve more, since the product as a whole makes a lot more money than its total salary bill. And at the end of the day you can't have sports without players.

Well... maybe you can.
This is a valid argument to an extent, except the players don't own the teams or the league. They are merely employees, which means they don't take on the liabilities that the owners take on.
So if its a good season, with plenty of crowds the players get paid, and the owners make money, if it is a crappy season with no crowds, the players still get paid the owners take a bath.

Looks like I need a bath.
As a side what a ridiculous saying, so if you lose a lot of money it is the same as taking a bath? How is that relevant, unless you lost so much money that you know live like a hobo so you need a bath. But then you aren't so much taking a bath as needing a bath.

They definitely need baths, doesn't mean they get them
So anyway, my point is the players really have no liabilities in this, whereas the owners do, hence why they take a bigger cut. It is why the CEO of a company makes more money than the guy that builds the product. If the product tanks the guy (hopefully) get paid out his wages, the CEO takes the loss.
So if players want to earn any more then they do they need to increase their risk in the company. I.e have ownership in shares perhaps, that way if the season performs well they make more money, if it doesn't they make less or lose money.

"Nets stock just dropped 3 points yo."
There is no way players would accept those terms, because it is too big a risk. But that is why they are stuck with a low percentage of the revenue, because the owners are taking the risk. Just my thoughts anyways.

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