You say it's raining, but you're pissin' down my back
Moontower Munchies #37
A random thought to share but first I have 2 things I could use your help with:
Has any of you worked for Khan Academy or feel comfortable introducing me to someone who does? I saw this job posting and my gears are turning a bit.
Can you share your favorite free or paid writers/letters/services that provide trade ideas to explore? Stocks, commodities, macro, options. I’m compiling a list. If you wouldn’t want the source shared widely just tell me, I’ll keep it private.
Thanks for any consideration on these.
I mentioned how I’ve been listening to this new podcast Owned with Rex Chapman that dives into the stories behind sports franchise owners. One of the most fascinating aspects of the sports business is how it blurs the line between public and private enterprise. Billionaires convincing cities to pitch in for stadium buildouts? The Ron Burgundy-ism always applies — “I’m not even mad, I’m impressed.”
You can google “are sports leagues monopolies” to find reams of discourse on cartel-like sports practices or the noncompetitive nature of drafts (did you know that Magic Johnson needed to appeal to the “hardship” precedent set by Laker teammate Spencer Haywood in 1971 to be able to declare for the draft early?).
When Steve Cohen comes along splashing the pot to the chagrin of baseball owners who just want to coast to profitability on revenue-sharing you get the warm schadenfreude of other billionaires crying “it’s not fair”. Suddenly the free market isn’t their friend. If you had a VCR 30 years ago you know Tom Hanks taught us — “There’s no crying in baseball!”
Meanwhile, soccer players are traded like stocks between clubs in “socialist” Europe. I’m no sports expert but it’s hard not to sneer whenever American capitalists incant the words “free market”. It’s like watching those cub scout skits the kids put on — “Oh look how cute that little story is they came up with”. Except for the minor difference that we expect the scouts to grow up and get better.
So yea, the illusion of free markets when it suits the suits is grating. But then when you see the logical conclusion of the free market play out you will be similarly deflated. This excerpt from the Owned episode on Marge Schott is, for obvious reasons, preoccupied with sports villains. Host Rex Chapman asks golf writer Rick Reilly:
Who's the biggest villain in golf today?
Rick goes off:
Liv. Liv is the biggest villain. Can you imagine if you had suddenly taken the NFL like, "Hey, we're taking the AFC and we're taking them to Oman and Qatar and Jordan and Saudi Arabia. And we're gonna pay them five times what they're worth, but you'll never see them play the other teams anymore. And also, we're not really going to cut anybody ever." You would be like "No don't screw up my sport" and that's exactly what they've done to my favorite sport.
And by the way, Phil Mickelson and these guys are saying, "Oh, no, it's I know how much good the sport of golf can do." Really?? Saudi Arabia has nine grass courses. That's all they have. They don't give a rat's ass about golf. I mean, really, this is what the good dictators and bloody monarchs can do. Is that why even Kim Jong Un shot 34 that one day in North Korea -- so all these people stopped starving? No, they didn't stop starving. Golf doesn't do shit.
You just want a better jet. That's all you guys want. And I hope the bloody checks that you get from the Saudi family who helped fund 9/11, who decapitate protesters, who jail gay people, I hope those checks don't bleed on your brand new white jet seats. I hate Liv more than I can tell you.
While nobody would hold the Saudis up as an example of free market virtue it does highlight the collision of a globalized world where different value systems collide in commerce — no matter where it comes from that dollar is still green. And memory-less.
I saw this on the ‘gram:
The comments mostly fall in 2 categories. The first are various versions of the quarantino sentiment and the second category is some riff on “bruh, we just want affordable healthcare or rent”.
Now just replace “bomb “with a bunch of rich dudes wielding 9-irons, the commenters with Saudi citizens and the “Dept of Defense” with a literal King who exercises control of the oil under his people’s land.
I remember being in 8th grade listening to Skid Row’s Slave To The Grind album when I heard the line “Stop readin' me the riot act. While my brains are still intact. You say it's raining, but you're pissin' down my back.”
I haven’t lowered an eyebrow since.
(Moontower is nothing if not known for classy NJ music references)
Stay groovy ☮️
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