The Lane Train

News and Pop Culture for the Blog Generation

Archive for the ‘The Economy’ Category

Just In Case You Were Wondering…

Posted by thelanetrain on October 3, 2008

Because the house passed the $700 billion bailout plan, it will cost the American taxpayer about $2,300 extra in taxes.  That’s roughly 1 Macbook Pro per person to help keep Wall Street running.

Isn’t this awesome?


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Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, Lehman, AIG To Be Investigated by FBI

Posted by thelanetrain on September 23, 2008

Reuters reported today that the FBI will be investigating Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, Lehman Brothers, and AIG, including senior staff, to see if insiders within the companies provided misinformation to investors about the mortgage and credit crisis situations.  The FBI will also be on the lookout for any instances of corporate fraud within these companies.

Thank. The. Fucking. Gods.  There is justice in this cruel sick country of ours.

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O Hai, Did Ur Money Die Today?

Posted by thelanetrain on September 15, 2008


So unless you’ve been living under a rock, a member of some Mideast Oligarchy, or part of the production staff of SNL, then you probably already know that today might has well been called “Clusterfuck Monday”.  It started off this weekend as Lehman Brothers, one of the world’s leading investment banks and repository of six-figure earning white collar douchebags, failed to find a sucker peer institution to save it from total collapse and instead filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.  As if that wasn’t bad enough, Bank of America bought Merrill Lynch for a mere $50 billion, and essentially turned precious, precious Lynch stock into worthless sheets of paper.  Even worse, this all comes off the news that Washington Mutual’s stock fell below $2 per share at the end of last week and is seeking a $4.5 billion loan for its reserves, and AIG is scrambling to restructure itself after its stock value was more than halved on Friday. So there’s no way this can get any worse.

Yes it can.

So how much damage was inflicted on the markets today?  The closing bell hasn’t rung yet, but so far, things are shitty.  The Dow dropped over 400 points and already both candidates are pointing fingers.  It’s an all out panic as investors are in a tizzy and volumes of precious stock and mutual funds are slowly turning into worthless piles of financial jargon.

On the flipside, at least the Coen Brothers are happy…

Posted in National, New York, Politics, The Economy | Tagged: , , , | 3 Comments »

Hurricane Gustav Creates Rain, Media Storm

Posted by thelanetrain on September 1, 2008

Well it finally happened today.  That clusterfuck of a hurricane dubiously known as Gustav hit the Lousiana coastline this morning, and luckily, just west of New Orleans.  Taking a page from Katrina, the residents in the area seemed to be prepared.  The City of New Orleans was evacuated, levees were scrutinized and ready, and for the most part, while the damage is still underway, nothing too tragic has happened (yet).  Hell, even President Bush and FEMA are like, totally preparing with how to deal with this natural disaster and the potential aftermath!  Yee-haw!

But the greatest tragedy this hurricane is bringing is the massive media storm that comes along with it.  All the major networks PLUS all the cable news networks (MSNBC, CNBC, Fox News, CNN, Fox Business (WHATTTTTTTT??????)) are having nonstop weather coverage and tracking the storm millisecond by millisecond.  On my way out I caught a roundtable discussion on CNBC about how the storm will affect the price of crude oil (it’s dropping, beeteedubs), and whether or not economists are going to have a hard time predicting oil prices after the storm.  FUCK THAT SHIT.  We should be more concerned about people’s homes being wiped off the map!  Who gives a rats ass about an economists’s ability to predict oil when Mr. and Mrs. American Voter are gonna be decimated?

And speaking of gigantic storms that happen on September 1st…

Posted in National, Politics, Television, The Economy, The Media | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Celebrities are Poor Just Like You!

Posted by thelanetrain on August 30, 2008

Oh man, have you heard about how fucking high gas prices are these days?  Sure, they affect all you poor people out there who can’t drive a car anymore or have traded down their Hummer H2 to a Prius, but like, the mega rich celebrities don’t have to worry because they can totally afford everything right?  Wrong!

In a story reported on Yahoo today, famous person Sean “Diddy” Combs (what does he do nowadays?  Is he a rapper? producer? fashion designer? appearance maker?) complained that since gas prices are too high, he’ll have to, *sigh*, stop using private jet transport and fly on commercial airlines just like the rest of us.  Said Combs:

“I’m actually flying commercial…That’s how high gas prices are. I’m at the gate right now. This is really happening, proof gas prices are too high. Tell whoever the next president is we need to bring gas prices down.”

This is both hilarious and sad, sorta reminds me of the episode of South Park when the boys steal music online, and then the fed show them that thanks to their theft, the artists won’t be able to continue their extravagant lifestyles.  Someone should also tell Diddy that he can, like, choose the next president because he can vote, remember?

And boy, is he going to have a fit when he finds out you can’t get Dom Perignon on American Airlines!

Posted in Celebrities, Music, Odd News, Pop Culture, The Economy | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Starbucks Saved?

Posted by thelanetrain on August 13, 2008

I’ve been following Starbucks’ tumultuous summer through store closings and crazy new drinks, but now the Seattle-based megachain has been trying an idea that many consider novel for the company long associated with fancy drinks and insultingly high prices: offering discounts.  With high profit items like iced lattes, macchiatos, and frappucinos being sold for only $2 plus tax, who wouldn’t want to take advantage of these steal prices for yummy drinks?

After The Jump: The “Treat Receipt”, how it works, and what it means for Starbucks

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Food, The Economy | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Bizarre: The Fast Food/Lip Balm Tie-In

Posted by thelanetrain on July 22, 2008

This is not a joke and I’m damned sure no additional photoshop was done here.  I was on my way out of the drug store when I saw this hanging on the shelf.  Apparently, people with chapped lips can now have their mouth tasting like a Dairy Queen sundae all the time.  How outrageous is that?  The DQ website had no information about the availability or existence of said lip balm, but a BNet article from four years ago explains the product’s preponderance.  Apparently, Lotta Luv, a novelty lip gloss/balm manufacturer, made exclusive licensing deals with a bunch of major confectioners and beverage producers years ago (like Hershey’s, Snapple, and A&W to name a few), and now has a huge line of novelty flavored lip balms that taste just like your favorite candies and snacks.   So thanks to them, your lips can smell and taste like a hot fuge sundae, a Tootsie Roll, or even Cinnabon.

Hmmm, sounds shady.  Well, I guess if it’s not in one’s best interest to eat these foods anymore, the least you can do is overcharge people to enjoy the fleeting flavor.  Now if they could only make lip balm that tasted like this

(Image via Flickr)

Posted in Food, Odd News, The Economy | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Vivanno Economics

Posted by thelanetrain on July 21, 2008

Last week, I blogged about the Vivanno (above) and got a whole slew of responses from the readers.  More or less, many consumers like that Starbucks is trying to reach new markets, but would they really respond to another overpriced drink?  In Manhattan, a Vivanno runs for just under $4, and you get fruit, milk, juice, and protein.  While cheaper than the many different (i.e. more than 2) smoothies you can get at now-officially-a-competitor Jamba Juice, the question still remains: Is the new product worth it’s store value?  The Lane Train will attempt to break down the ingredient costs and determine whether or not it is worth it to buy a Vivanno or make your own at home.

After The Jump: Let the games begin (and bring your brains)!

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Posted in Food, The Economy | Tagged: , , | 4 Comments »

BREAKING NEWS: Starbucks Names Doomed Stores

Posted by thelanetrain on July 19, 2008

Starbucks has released a full list of the 600 stores it plans to close later this year.  A quick glance of the list shows that it is going to really suck for Starbucks Aficionados in San Diego, Baton Rouge, Dallas, and Las Vegas.  Thankfully (or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it), they’re only closing five stores in Manhattan, including the one on the 5th floor of Macy’s.  Also, there appears to be a difference between “North Las Vegas” and “N Las Vegas”, but what do I know.

List here

Posted in Food, The Economy | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

A Cruel Sign of the Apocalypse

Posted by thelanetrain on July 18, 2008

If you’re planning a road trip in the near future, two words of advice:  Don’t drive around in a gas guzzling SUV, and stay the hell away from Lime Village, Alaska.  This tiny rural village located due west of Anchorage has the pleasure of paying for the nation’s most expensive gas: $8.55 per gallon.  And it’s not an anomaly.  According to Reuters, Alaskans pay an average of $4.65 per gallon at the pump, 55 cents higher than the national average.  All this despite being one the nation’s biggest oil producers, ironically.  The state has begun considering ways to help ease the financial burden of rural Alaskans who pay outrageous prices for gas, one being trying to implement dog sledding, another being trying to cut into the state’s $10 billion dollar surplus.

This almost makes California gas look like a bargain.

(Image via Business Week)

Posted in The Economy | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »