Store owners shoot congenial, hairy beer customer

Owners of the Marketplace Foods in Hayward, Wis., decided to call in the law when a 125-pound male entered the store and, without bothering anyone, walked to the beer cooler and sat down. The customer then waited patiently for an hour. To this reporter’s eyes it seems clear he was waiting for a staff member to locate his preferred brand, but the brains at the store didn’t feel that way. Acting on the gross and unfair prejudice that because said customer was a black bear and therefore must be a threat (Why must we fear what we don’t understand?) managers called  officials from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources who tranquilized and removed the customer.

This kind of treatment should be reserved solely for executives from Bear-Stearns. (sorry. I had to do it.)

In case you think I am misreading this incident, remember that EYEWITNESSES “say the bear seemed content to sit in the cooler — and they note that he didn’t drink any of the beer.” (emphasis added)

Given the number of breweries which have used bears to sell their beer without recompense (gallery below), I hope they will hire a sympathetic law firm to come to the defense of this cruel victim of bad customer service.

lawyerbearheader

As the astute songwriter Steven Fromholz noted in his song Bears (ably performed here by one Mr. Lyle Lovett):

Some folks say there ain’t no bears in Arkansas
Some folks never seen a bear at all
Some folks say that bears go around eating babies raw
Some folks got a bear across the hall

Some folks say that bears go around smelling bad
Others say that a bear is honey sweet
Some folks say this bear’s the best I ever had
Some folks got a bear beneath their feet

Some folks drive the bears out of the wilderness
Some to see a bear would pay a fee
Me I just bear up to my bewildered best
And some folks even see the bear in me

So meet a bear and take him out to lunch with you
And even though your friends may stop and stare
Just remember that’s a bear there in the bunch with you
And they just don’t come no better than a bear

 

ursus  russian bear beer 

  big black beer bear-beer280

product_bearbeer  Chocolate_Bear_Beer

ruf0506 lawyer_beer

hamms AW-Root-Bear

karhu thirsty-bear-logo

Drops His Guts Cover

Bear Stearns staff auctions off Bear Stearns-branded junk

BS Hard HatBear Stearns workers have put a range of mementos up for sale online at eBay in recent days following the rapid demise of one of America’s largest investment banks which fell victim to a credit crunch sweeping the financial markets.

“Be the first to get your paws on classic Bear Stearns memorabilia,” touts the description for one of several stuffed toy bears on sale at a bargain 5.50 dollars.

“Do not delay — bail a Bear out today!” the ad urges, adding that the first bear purchased comes with a free New York skyscraper worth around one billion dollars, depending on availability.

I for one would gladly pay $15 for one actual share of BS. I would like to frame it. BTW, the BS hard hat — to protect yourself from falling share prices, I guess — was up to $105 four hours before the auction ended. Maybe that’s how they should sell the entire company.

No matter how many times it bounces, the cat isn’t getting any less dead

Dead CatStocks and commodities plummeted on Wednesday as the euphoria that carried equity markets to massive gains a day earlier gave way to nervousness that the broader U.S. economy hasn’t yet escaped the dangers of the credit crisis.

Has anyone else noted that we are no longer trying to avert a recession? Now the news stories all say that various actions are being taken in order to avert either a “deep” or “prolonged” recession. Expect to soon read about the steps being taken to end the recession without any formal announcement of its actually having begun. Of course, as M Horn likes to point out, the word recession has been redefined to a point of uselessness. Where it once meant “a decline in GDP for two or more consecutive quarters,” it now is a synonym for “the current mess.”

Whatever you choose to call it, the current mess is large and has quite a bit of room and reason to get worse. Mere economic facts are not enough to prevent the markets from spiking as it did yesterday. During these bounces facts are replaced by faith. Thus the believers know a cut in an interest rate, a not-so-terrible earnings report or the news that oil DECREASED to $104 is the leading indicator that all prayers will soon be answered. At times like these the thinking gets so magical that the Fed, or whomever, gets endowed with the power to make anything impossible come to pass. Thus for a few hours Mr. Bernanke was deemed capable of getting the Cubs to the World Series.

I have always been amused by the idea that the stock markets in some way reflect reality. The markets, like the monetary system itself, are a form of collective wishful thinking. Investors as a group convince themselves that a thing has a value and thus it does. Sometimes these values are connected to the actual needs and demands of the society: oil allows things to function, as does the Windows OS. However a high price is no guarantee of a thing’s pragmatic worth. Frequently a high price indicates only the desire to people to posses them. This explains why people have at different times in history paid exorbitantly for pieces of gold, tulip bulbs, the US dollar, and shares of Bear Stearns. These items’ only actual worth is if A) you want a metal that is both malleable and highly conductive; B) you are a horticulturalist; C) you have a fetish for wallet-sized rectangles of green paper; and D) … well, let me get back to you on that one.

It would be cynical to insist that a connection between a thing’s price and its usefulness is the exception and not the rule. But many people do act this way. Thus the “bigger fool” theory of investing, where the idea is to hope that you will be able to sell your investment to someone who is an even bigger fool than you yourself are. This point-of-view equates the markets with nothing more than a legalized Ponzi scheme. It is a POV that will sadly be gaining many adherents in the near term. There are some contrarians — I believe Mr. Buffet has made some slight amount by not following this course. I have no idea which is right. If I did I would have the funds to not be concerned about a current lack of employment.

Dead cat bounce: A temporary recovery from a prolonged decline or bear market, after which the market continues to fall. As in: “Even a dead cat will bounce if dropped from high enough.”