Tag Archives: financial advice

I need some advanced economics advice about birds, bushes and squirrels. Can you help?

Stupid Advice people, I understand that a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. But what should I do if I have two birds in my hand and there’s a squirrel in the bush? Please answer quickly as this is happening to me right now. I typed this on my phone with one hand and I’m very scared of squirrels.

Geoff:

This is a simple question of economics. The value of any given bird is based upon the limited number of available birds as a whole.The more birds there are, the less each bird is actually worth. If you have 2 birds in your hand, and there are none in the bush, then the birds’ value is going to rise infinitely. In a large scale economy, we would need to count the bushes and birds in the bushes but for our purposes here that’s irrelevant.

Now let’s talk about the squirrel. The squirrel is clearly a foreign currency. The bird price is based on the avian market and the squirrel price is based on the mammal market. This is where things get tricky, because one squirrel is actually worth about 15 birds when the market is down, like it is today.

So, to do the math, two birds in your hand with none in the bush means that the birds are infinitely valuable but since there is only one squirrel in the bush and that squirrel is not in anyone’s hand, the squirrel is worth infinity times 15, which is way higher than regular old infinity times 1.

That’s not the real question here. You’ve posed a question about economics, but there’s a deeper, more personal question that you haven’t come out and asked us. On the surface you have given us a question about avian currency and economics structures but what I think you really want to know is:

Why are you afraid of Squirrels?

Squirrels are the kindest and fluffiest animals on the planet coming in only second to bunnies. They are known for their mass storage strategies of legumes in trees and bushes. The tail of the squirrel is known as a sign of virility in more than 50 cultures. Basically, squirrels represent everything that is good about the world.

For you to be terrified of a squirrel tells me that you yourself might be, or are related to, a great evil. Based on this knowledge, and the fact that I happen to be a certified online black belt in battle church, I think that we should never meet, as I will be forced to exorcise you on the spot. That means I will douse you with holy water and beat your wet head in with a Bible until you accept squirrels into your heart.

My best advice to you is to avoid me, because no matter how much the birds in your hands are worth, I can and will perform a kung fu themed exorcism on you.

No need to thank me!

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Hi Crack pot team, any thoughts on how Yahoo is to stay in business on account of the fact that I have never heard anyone say “just Yahoo it”?

– Jason

Geoff:

This doesn’t really fit our model for personal advice questions so I have to interpret this as you sit on the board of directors of Yahoo and you need our expert advice on how to become a larger competitor to Google (and possibly find a new CEO). Don’t worry, I understand that you can’t confirm that, but I’m totally clear about what’s going on here.

In order to protect you, and me, I’ll have to answer you in metaphor.

Imagine yourself in a freezing tundra. You’re walking around, looking for food in holes. Rats and squirrels and stuff.  That’s all there is in a tundra, holes, and rocks and other ground-type things and the animals that live amongst them. I’m saying there are no trees. That’s the point here. NO TREES.

There are lots of holes, but you can only get into big holes because of your large paws. Oh, I forgot to mention, you’re a bear. You’re a cold, hungry bear in the tundra. With me so far?

Then, you see a unicorn. A majestic, stunning unicorn that’s currently shitting a large rainbow made out of golden silk. Except, you’re a bear, so all you see is a shiny, colorful  dinner. So you crouch down, and make your way over to the unicorn to eat it.

The unicorn sees you, and instead of running, it says “here, have a cream puff.” Because all unicorns have cream puffs in their pouches. I also forgot to mention that, in this metaphor, unicorns are marsupials. Marsupials who speak English. Like you. A bear.

You take the cream puff, and not knowing what a cream puff is (you’re a bear, after all), you cram it in a hole to see if it scares out a rat.

It doesn’t.

The unicorn floats away and you’re stuck with your cream puff jammed into a hole in the ground next to a steaming pile of fresh unicorn rainbow shit, still hungry and now some what pissed off.

What’s the moral of the story?

Hire me as your CEO and you’ll find out.


Did I get scammed?

I went to the bank Saturday and a guy asked me to deposit a $2500 dollar for him check for him. I gave him $1400 from my account and he left the $2500 check for me. I’m scared this could be fraud and i will get in trouble for it what should i do?

– fiscally concerned
Chris:

Well, personally, I think you have nothing to worry about. This sounds like a classic case of reward for a damned good deed.

This actually reminds me of a problem that YOU could help ME with. You see, I help manage the importing of goods into our country with funds that are currently trapped in another country, somewhere else. I’d tell you where, but I can’t find my atlas.

Here’s where you come in. I’d like to enlist your help by allowing me to transfer these totally existent trapped funds from my account (in the very real country whose name I can’t remember) into your account. I would move it to my own personal account but there are legal reasons preventing me from doing so. Something about me being a civil servant or something with the country where the money is trapped (again…that real country).

Now, if you let me transfer this money into your account we of course would be willing to share a small percentage of the funds with you. I think a 20% commission should be fair, right? And since the amount I need to transfer is about eleventy million, that leaves you with a fair amount of change left over to spend on shoes or exotic animals.

So…all I need from you is, is your name, account numbers, home address, email, phone number, shoe size, schedule, irrational fears, any known weaknesses, credit card numbers, and power of attorney.

I look forward to doing business with you!