Wednesday, February 26, 2014

On the Rocks of Mt. Gox

A guy takes it into his head
To eschew dollar bills and the Fed,
And throws in his lot
With a currency wrought 
By anonymous hackers instead. 

Though treasured by crooks and by cranks,
It constantly surges & tanks,
While hackers purloin
The internet coin
That's issued without central banks.

While enjoying the untraceability
And capital gain volatility
Our guy never saw
A programming flaw
Referred to as "malleability."

It's a ruse by the hackers that blocks
The appearance of trades on Mt. Gox,
So it's not noticed when
They "spend" it again,
Invisibly fleecing the flocks. 

So our bitcoin investor's been lacquered
By a shadowy internet blackguard. 
With no restitution,
The only solution's
A sad, little protesting placard. 

The world of virtual currency was dealt a blow this week, when it came out that the Tokyo-based bitcoin exchange known as Mt. Gox had a technical flaw that had enabled hackers to steal bitcoins for months without anyone realizing it. Missing were 750,000 virtual coins worth about $400 million at the time of the revelation. 

My. Gox then shut down in both the physical and online worlds, with no apparent recourse for those who held bitcoins through the exchange. If that was you, you're out of luck. 

However, as Heidi Moore opines in the Guardian, this scandal may be a blessing in disguise, by shaking the amateurish players out of the nascent virtual currency business. The link to her column is below. 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014


Dear Janet, this valentine's for you,
We economists simply adore you;
If to growth you respond 
By tap'ring our bond,
Please measure your steps, we implore you. 

There are blogs which the Hawks are condemnin' in,
As sour as a mouth with a lemon in,
'Cause they've had enough of
The Sign of the Dove
From the Head of the Fed, who is feminine. 

But we hope that the Fed's intervenin'
May get more employers to lean in,
So the new Madam Chair,
(The  dovish one there)
May proceed with the stimulus weanin'. 

Until the economy's hot,
You're bound to hear Yellen a lot,
As it falls to the Fed
To goose it instead,
As the GOP Congress is not. 

We hope in your heart there is room
To let the economy bloom,
And kindly deplete 
The Fed's balance sheet
To let normal markets resume. 

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Nothing to Tweet About

The outlook for Twitter is blah;
Is it having its final hurrah?
They're losing morale
With a growth rationale
That is premised on je ne sais quoi.

The secret to growing more revenue
Is something the company never knew,
But it's more of a feat
Getting newbies to tweet
Than skeptical analysts ever knew. 
Twitter (NASDAQ: $TWTR) held its first earnings call as a public company, and investor reaction showed just how high the expectations are for this company. Although quarterly revenues of $243 million exceeded the $218 million consensus forecast, participants in the call were spooked at how few new users had signed up to send their first tweets. The 241 million users in December were only 4% more than those in the previous quarter. Apparently, the new-user experience is not as friendly as it ought to be. 

This perhaps explains the lackluster growth in the number of followers for @DrGooseEcon?

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Bowled in the Cold

By now everyone and his mother heard 
All the hype, and will not want another word
Of the Super Bowl game
And the way that it came
To be played in a swamp in East Rutherford. 

If a Wall Streeter gets in his Maybach,
To drive to the game it's a way back
Through traffic so bad,
You'd think that it had
To do with political payback. 

We wanted a "cold-weather Bowl"
- If we're honest - to further the goal
That the Jets or the Giants
Could have more reliance
To play in a championship role. 

But the outcome of all of our schemes
Was not the result of our dreams;
Though the Bowl's in our venue,
It's not as fun when you
Are watching two out-of-town teams. 
Regardless, good luck to the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks today, and may the better team win!

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