Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Ask the Broke Broker II: Lost in Garden City
Question: Mr. Broke Broker, when my boss was discussing with me an important project our firm is working on, he told me he would "keep me appraised of the situation." What does this mean?
Mr. BB: An appraisal is an opinion of value. Therefore, it appears your boss believes you are worth nothing. There is an outside chance your boss confused the term appraise with apprise. To be apprised of a situation means he will let you know when he no longer thinks you are worthless. But don't hold your breath.
Question: My Blackberry keeps giving me a message which says "E-R-R." Is this short for "Error?"
Mr. BB: No, I'm sorry but unfortunately this means you are fat. This is the exact same message displayed on my bathroom scale most mornings, and it is common knowledge that Blackberries and bathroom scales utilize the same computer chip.
Question: A friend told me that I should invest in foreign securities. What's your take on that?
Mr. BB: I receive no compensation or "take" as you say, for any domestic or foreign investments recommended in this column.
Question: Well, what are your foreign recommendations?
Mr. BB: They say Paris is beautiful in the spring. Besides that, the only thing that comes to mind is this rich cocoa merchant who keeps emailing me from somewhere called the Coast de Ivorie.
Question: Which is correct—capital gain or capitol gain?
Mr. BB: It depends on whether or not you are talking about the city or the building.
Question: What are the differences among the following terms: The National Debt, The Foreign Trade Deficit, and The Federal Budget Deficit?
Mr. BB: Virtually nothing. They are all either assets or exports of China.
Question: Mr. Broke Broker, what is a basis point?
Mr. BB: In the olden days (2007), a basis point was 1/100th of a percent, or 1/1000th of the "spread" the bank would make on your loan. But now that loans are a thing of the past, you need not bother your pretty little head trying to remember such archaic terminology.
Question: The other day, I read an advertisement that said "principles only need respond." What does this mean?
Mr. BB: It means that whoever wrote the advertisement didn't have a "pal" in the school administration. It also means that you and I should not respond to the ad.
Question: I attended a wedding the other day where the pastor talked about "authority vested in me." I thought only retirement plans "vested."
Mr. BB: You silly moron. Although I would never watch Project Runway with my wife at 9:00 p.m. Central Daylight Time Thursdays on Lifetime, I believe the good reverend was simply drawing attention to the fashionable dress of the men in the wedding party. More specifically, he was noting the lack of cumberbunds on the groom, best man, and groomsmen. Everyone knows when a man is missing a cumberbund (I like this word), he has no choice but to be properly vested.
Question: Mr. Broke Broker, my personal trainer said he was developing for me a killer abdominal regime. What should I expect at my next workout?
Mr. BB: Most likely he will be playing an exercise video involving the Ming Dynasty. Perhaps that regime will spawn a regiment of soldiers which have an impeccable daily excercise regimen. Having said that, there's no hope for your abs.
I've been appraised that I am approaching the 700 word mark, which means I am fat. Please keep those cards and letters coming to Mr. Broke Broker where our motto is: Collateral… What Is That?