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Story Problems: Managing the Street


"Give me numbers that please the Street or you're going fishing with Fredo Corleone, bub"


The following is work of fiction. Any similarities to individuals living or dead or practices in financial markets past or present is coincindental.

And the first Minyan to solve the riddle and send the correct answer HERE wins a T-Shirt. So there is that.

The Kingdom of Earningsland

King Jeffmacke summoned his loyal lickspittle and protege', Collins the Foolish and Young Official ("CFO") to his royal chambers. Today was important. Final preparations needed to be made.

As the CFO to the Kingdom, Collins' job was to set expectations for today's release. If the Analysts of the Kingdom were pleased, Collins would keep his job. If not, Young Collins was facing the King's favorite method of discipline, a practice often referred to as the Old Yeller.

Rushing sweatily into the parlor, Collins slid on his knees to the side of the King, slavishly kissing the Royal Hand until the King disgustedly snatched it back; a string of saliva briefly connected them before snapping to the floor. Dude Collins scurried awkwardly to his feet, and gathered his materials, careful at all times to avoid direct eye-contact

The Annual Release

Tightly closing his eyes at the site before him and squeezing the bridge of his nose with a sigh, Jeffmacke turned his eyes and pondered his situation in the manner such Kings are wont to do in B-School case studies. Today was the anniversary of the Kings' reign as well as his birthday. As was custom in the emotional, dim-witted and forgetful land that he ruled (the kingdom motto was: "Have you seen my wallet?") the King was scheduled to address the Land for the only time all year.

Perhaps as a result of the rampant memory and concentration deficiencies in the land, and certainly as a reflection of the citizenries' dim-wittedness, the national economy was based entirely on the age of the King. The Gross Natonal Mojo of the Kingdom, and thus the salary and wealth of King Jeffmacke and the Land, would rocket higher if the Street was surprised by the King's great age. On the other hand, there was great risk of national depression, should the Street be displeased. "Experience is wisdom is wealth" it was said, usually shortly before "have you seen my wallet?"

Hummers were being parked. Trading acumen was being grotesquely exaggerated. It was almost time.

If the expectations in the Street below had been managed in a way which allowed the King's age to "Surprise to the Upside" national euphoria would result, followed shortly by floods of money for Jeffmacke. In 1998 the King had drawn on his two weeks of high school Spanish and nicknamed the data Earnings Por Surfin' or EPS. It was a sly reference to the King's late-90's habit of donning "nothin' but a crown and a huge grin" and literally body surfing on incoming floods of lucre.

The EPS label had stuck, despite being an obnoxious and silly bubble notion, in hindsight.

The Giddy Days

The King hadn't been doing much surfing in the current century. Certainly none like he had done on the Mavericks of income not so long ago. Jeffmacke smiled fondly at the period, starting in 1995, during which it was accepted practice to "ignore his majesty's chronological age and focus on the pro-forma age of the King's Soul".

The King was regarded as wizened indeed in those days. While his chronological age continued to advance at the set pace of the earth lapping the sun (a dangerously free-thinking theory for which many heretics had been burned in the Kingdom, where Jeffmacke was the official center of the galaxy) the King's pro-forma Soul Age grew exponentially. By the spring of 2000 Jeffmacke's soul was conservatively stated to be 312. By 2005 the King was expected to report an age of 136,000.

Now that 2005 was here, new rules mandated that the King report only his real age. The catalyst had been a pitchfork weilding mob of starving citizens who had demanded "real age reporting" coupled with Dude Collins' predecessor convincing the King to agree to the demands. The King had created his Old Yeller system the next day.

Shortly after that the once verbose King had created a regulation allowing him to ignore the analysts entirely, save for this one day per year (Regulated Freedom of Dumb, FD). The King's entire speech would be one number; he had legally freed himself from saying anything more.

"It's odd" King Jeffmacke concluded allegorically to himself "If Young Collins has done his work well my 2005 age will be forgotten by noon, the focus of the land shifting to projecting my 2006 age release." The King sighed and rued the silliness of his Kingdom.

As Collins presented his expectation-setting labors the King sat mutely on his throne, cleaning his rifle. Collins gulped... he knew the stakes were high.

Save Dude Collins' Life AND Win a Tee Shirt!

"The range was first set in January at 'Around 25'" Collins began. He didn't need to add that expectations needed to be posted in huge neon lights affixed on the castle. Both men understood the Earningslandsian's limited thirst of homework.

"In late February we announced that your excellency was feeling 'more rickety than had been previously expected'. As a result, we changed the sign to read 'The King is comfortable that his age will be announced to be in the range of 30 to 33'. Town criers were used to spread the good news.

Dude Collins concluded, "To the analysts who have been the most generous in their givings to the King's charities, I have ham-fistedly 'hinted' that your age might be as high as '34... maybe even 35 if that tendonitis flares up'. The whisper number has thus been set."

MV Trivia: Save Collins Edition!

How old is the King Jeffmacke today (what will he announce as EPS)?

Will Collins be able to meet his friend Buzz Wolf at the local pub for Roofie Colladas tonight or will he be "put to sleep" by a disappointed King (will the age announced please the Street)?

First Minyan to send the TWO correct answers HERE wins a Critter Wear!

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