Vivendi Enlist (Boo Hiss) Banks To Help Shift Activision

By John Walker on July 18th, 2012 at 9:03 am.

So big, and yet so unwanted.

The Wall Street Journal (sub required) is reporting that Vivendi is starting to turn more gears to see Activision-Blizzard get sold. As we mentioned in June, the French telecom giant hasn’t had a great couple of years, while ActiBliz has been storming it. Selling off the publisher/developer could see a huge injection of cash go into the share-troubled megacorp. Holding 61% of the company, Vivendi has apparently been struggling to find a buyer, with rumours of Microsoft and Disney turning up their noses. Poor Activision – no one wants them. Now Vivendi have enlisted the help of some investment banks, says the WSJ, to help shift the business. And what lovely banks, too.

It’s hard to think of two more popular banking names right now than Goldman Sachs and Barclays. GS perhaps best known for helping Greece disguise its debt issues, shorting bonds, and infinity other controversies, and Barclays of course just now a touch more famous for fixing libor rates than their chained down pens. But besides it happening to be two particularly naughty banks involved, their presence is to help shake off Activision, which currently no one seems to want. Despite, er, “market capitalization of about $13.4 billion”. That sounds good, right?

It’s not an entirely popular decision within Vivendi either. At the end of last month, chief executive Jean-Bernard Lévy jumped ship over the matter, presumably with some pondering why they’d want to be rid of one of their properties that actually makes money.

As LA Observed points out, Activision have their own issues. Despite the extraordinary success of their Call Of Duty license, the perception in the business world is one of an organisation stuck in the past, unable to catch up with internet-based gaming. Personally I think this is a bit of a delusion – console gaming isn’t exactly struggling right now, despite this odd meme that floats around suggesting the internet is stealing all their monies – and Acti have massive success with the online content of their key franchises, let alone the almost entirely online-based output from Blizzard. However, the shouty business types fear that despite their lack of debt and massive amounts of cash, they will struggle to grow. Gosh, they’re always so pessimistic!

So, do you want it?

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91 Comments »

  1. lordcooper says:

    I’ll bid a tenner.

  2. MadMatty says:

    I couldnt care less.

    Its obviously an issue where Blizzard/Activision has been making a lot of money, their stock has gone up and is not exactly cheap.
    So will they be able to top it, ie. make even more money? is it possible to get bigger?
    who knows

    • ReV_VAdAUL says:

      Isn’t this pretty much the problem global capitalism is facing across the board at the minute? The potential to keep making increased profits just isn’t there anymore.

      Not profits in and of themselves but profits that get bigger and bigger every year because they have to get bigger.

      • jrodman says:

        The perverse thing is it isn’t really oriented towards profits, its oriented towards GROWTH. A company showing growth without showing a steep incline in profits is prized more than a company showing an increase in profits but not a rapid increase in growth.

        It’s the very definition of unsustainable, and it’s not necessarily even smart investment a lot of the time. On the plus side this is obviously going to stop because you can’t keep an exponential curve going for that much longer. On the minus side, the correction may not be much fun.

        • BooleanBob says:

          And they said I was crazy for filling my attic with tins of beans.

          (They were right: when the apocalypse comes, I’ll be the first to get torn apart by the mob who come for my beans.)

          • ReV_VAdAUL says:

            In all seriousness getting to know your neighbours and wider community is a much better way to prepare to survive any large scale social crisis. That way you have more people to defend your beans if you share them and you in turn will get to share things they’ve hoarded.

            But you really need those links before the crisis hits otherwise you get a lot of trust issues.

          • BooleanBob says:

            Sage words.

            But on the other hand, you know… other people.

          • LionsPhil says:

            Well, plan B would be to also stockpile GUNS with which to defend your beans.

          • Dances to Podcasts says:

            Pft. You’re all gonna have to pay me big time for my canned tomatoes to go with your beans.

          • Bhazor says:

            If you had any sense you’d stockpile farms.
            Corn just comes out of the fucking ground. It’s brilliant!!!

    • Captain Joyless says:

      Nope, the stock hasn’t gone up. It’s stagnated in the 10-12 dollars per share range since the merger in 2008. Pretty sad for a company that has released major new projects since then.

    • Nesetalis says:

      That really is why its smart to sell acti-blizzard now.
      they are on top, they have made tons of money….
      will they continue to make money? who knows, but the investment paid off, time to cash in.

      Honestly don’t give a shit if blizzard succeeds or fail, used to care, used to love them… but they’ve become shit in my eyes since starcraft 2.
      As for activision, I havn’t liked them since the early 90s.

  3. Akatsuki says:

    Let’s do a Kickstarter for it.

    • Sheng-ji says:

      If only! Imagine a publisher like Activision owned by passionate gamers, imagine Blizzard back to the glory days!

      Sure, sure, it would be bankrupt in a couple of years, but still, what a couple of years!

      • bard says:

        Sure, sure, it would be bankrupt in a couple of years days, but still, what a couple of years days!

        ftfy

      • Kynrael says:

        Being owned by doesn’t mean being run by (not in the age of megacorps at least) ! That would actually be awesome.

        • caddyB says:

          Yeah let’s give the reins to rpgcodex fellows, that’ll fix the lack of good rpgs!

        • bard says:

          Yes but I’d feel obligated to kick Bobby Kotick in the nuts. Repeatedly. Can’t imagine that’d help the leadership.

          Hell, that could be THE incentive / reward for a 10000€ kickstarter pledge.

          • D3xter says:

            I was thinking about a website where people could crowdfund/source stock buying by pitching in and getting some for a joint ownership, I’d imagine even if one would manage to get 10-20% that would likely freak them out and would lead to some leeway in the manner how decisions take place.

          • jrodman says:

            The trick with pooled ownership like this (mass stock purchase) is organizing decisions and communication among that crowd.

            I mean there are ways it’s done successfully now, and those things are typically called investment funds. There are even socially responsible ones of those. So you could make a Gamer Investment Fund with some sort of charter of goals and quarterly communications on what is going and so on.

            Just buying the stock and hoping everyone will more or less agree or find ways to discuss what they want out of companies is fraught with peril, though.

    • Srethron says:

      Step 1) Buy Activision Blizzard with a Kickstarter.
      Step 2) Sell Bobby Kotick and Activision to EA.
      Step 3) Give Blizzard to Valve for free.
      Done.

  4. Didero says:

    “We’re having money trouble. Better sell a hugely profitable part of our business!”

    Am I missing something here?

    • Doozerpindan says:

      There’s probably some “behind the scenes politics” going on in regards to that, I’d imagine.

    • Kdansky says:

      It’s called “the CEO is cashing out after an incredibly profitable year” and leaving the company with a huge, fat bonus. It’s modern robbery, except legal.

    • jalf says:

      Yes. The difference between “money now” and “money later”.

      We need a huge sum of money *now* to pay the bills. Activision earns us a quite a bit of money now, and will keep earning us quite a bit of money for the foreseeable future if we keep it

      But “quite a bit” isn’t what we need here and now. We need “a huge sum”.

      In the long term, holding on to Activision would be better. In the short term, they need money, and selling something valuable is the only practical way to fix that.

      Plus, of course, the hope that, given that Activision is doing well, they’ll probably sell for a higher price.
      If they just sold their crappy underperforming businesses, they’d get less money for them.

      • stupid_mcgee says:

        Yes, they’d get less money, but they’d be more financially solvent in the future. It’s a fool’s game to play the short-term, and it has been the undoing of many companies.

        To use an analogy (I know, analogies usually fail, but I’ll try to make it work anyways), it would be like getting rid of your new wide-screen plasma TV in a yard sale instead of the old CRT VCR/TV combo unit you have in the guest room. Sure, you’d get more for the plasma TV, but what you’re left with is still a pile of lesser-valued junk.

        • jrodman says:

          But modern business thinking is to play what is essentially a riskier moderate term outlook.

          The idea is you don’t want capital just lying around to pay bills you might encounter later. That money isn’t earning you much. You want to have a “good” amount out invested in STUFF that’s earning money for you.; And not 8% like a savings account or whatever but much higher returns on things like growing the core business, entering new markets, creating new product lines, creating new markets, etc. And since that’s where the large returns are (potentially, frequently) that’s where you should sink your capital.

          But then how do you balance that, what sort of ‘safety margin’ do you leave yourself, and how do you reasonably account for suprplusses and shortfalls? Well you basically take on and buy back debt. Your company takes on debt for liquidity to increase risk/reward, and pays it off on surplus times to reduce risk/reward. But what if you end up with too much debt and going further in that direction is going to be a big problem? You sell stuff to reduce the debt.

          And that’s what we’re seeing here.

          The only real disagreement here is HOW MUCH to “leverage” your business. Should you play it more conservatively, keeping a larger capital buffer, like they did more typically 50 years ago? Well you might do better in a downturn, but in a growth market you may get edged right out by your more aggressive competitors.

          It’s not an easy game to play.

          • stupid_mcgee says:

            Well, in America, ideally you want as little capital as possible to be left over. This is because of our tax system. If you divert as much of your earnings as possible back into the company and employee training, etc. then you get more tax breaks. One could put money into savings, but you typically don’t get the same types of tax breaks. Although savings aren’t taxed in the US. If you earn dividends from savings, those are taxed, but the savings themselves are not taxed. It’s my understanding, that in England, savings are taxed as well as income, although I’m sure there’s still some kind of loopholes.

            It’s true that this isn’t and easy game to play, and it really does matter how much debt they have and how well they can restructure. From what I’ve seen in the US, there’s a lot of companies that only have a quarter to quarter outlook. This isn’t terrible, per se, but it can be very risky if you don’t think about the long term.

            A good friend of mine’s father owned a very large food distributor. They acquired and expanded a lot under him. When he passed it off to his good friend, the friend bought several subsidiaries and expanded beyond just food distribution into pre-packaged salads and the like. The shareholders went nuts, in a good way, because their profits soared in the short-term. However, two years later, they were dealing with rising operational costs, volatile markets, and increased competition in their core business. Shareholders were not happy because profits had stagnated and their core business, food distribution, had dropped considerably. My friend’s father had to step back in to return things to normal. They sold their pre-packaged food units to Chiquita and returned focus on food distribution. They took a bit of a dip, but they were back on track and then expanded into several key states. After that, he was then able to “retire” again and sit on the board.

            Then again, it seems like Vivendi is merely looking to cover some short-term losses. I would imagine they have enough market capitalization that ActiBlizz is just a splash in the pan. I’d be willing to bet they’re just thinking to drop a moderately profitable business, in a field that most business men know little to nothing about, in the hopes of covering some losses that will be able to drive their revenue to purchase more solid bets. Or maybe they really are crazy. I honestly don’t know enough of Vivendi’s portfolio to make a solid call.

        • BooleanBob says:

          It’s more like a tradesman selling his tools to pay for the month’s rent. Sure, he has no choice but to pay rent, but flogging a primary means of making that money is far from a sound idea.

          But sometimes there’s no other way to make the numbers add up, even if you’re only prolonging your doom for a little longer. And as noted elsewhere in the thread, the analogy breaks down in as much as the board can award themselves fat bonuses if the deal goes through, an incentive that casually saunters up to sound business strategy and pushes it out of a window.

          • Tacroy says:

            It’s not though – it’s not like video games are a core area for Vivendi. This is more like a greengrocer selling off the Ferrari he bought during his midlife crisis ‘cuz he wanted to look cool and pick up chicks.

        • jalf says:

          It’s a fool’s game to focus only on the short term, sure.

          But it’s not half as stupid as *ignoring* the short term. Saying “we’re going to go bankrupt next year, but if we assume that doesn’t happen somehow, then we’re going to be super profitable in the long term”.

          You need to survive in the short term before the long term has any relevance whatsoever. ;)

          (disclaimer: I have no clue what state Vivendi is in, or how much money they need, or how urgently)

          • Phantoon says:

            The state of France.

          • stupid_mcgee says:

            True, you can’t simply shrug off debt and be like, “meh.” However, there are other options. You can sell loss leaders and secure loans, you can seek equity funds for subsidiaries, and you could even pull a Steve Jobs and refuse CEO/COO/etc payments in lieu of better stock options or deferred bonuses. There’s ways. They’re not as easy as selling off something, but then again, maybe Vivendi knows something about ActiBlizz that we don’t.

            Somewhat telling is that MS has no interest. I can sort of understand Disney, as they try to maintain that squeaky-clean image and I don’t know if they’d want to be associated with CoD and Diablo, even if they do sell well.

    • Neurotic says:

      Yeah, I don’t understand that either. It’s a simple logic which leads to a result that’s all wrong. But I suspect that, because of that simplicity, it’s fundamentally flawed. Never mind, someone will come along and explain it I’m sure. :D

      • stupid_mcgee says:

        I don’t know much about Vivendi’s financial woes, but it could makes sense. Bankruptcy, at least in the USA, means that the shareholders will lose all of their money and all controlling shares. I know that Vivendi is French, but I don’t know how bankruptcy works over there. Basically, it could be that Vivendi hopes to retain shareholder’s and investor’s finances by doing anything they can to stay afloat. Quite reasonable, but it doesn’t make sense if they cannibalize their own profit earners in the process.

        There very well could be other options, such as seeking investors, perhaps a holdings company, to help them stay afloat, but that can be problematic on several fronts and they’d have to find a really big equity fund to do so. Likewise, they could seek cash infusions from their current investors and shareholders, but that’s asking a lot and not likely to happen. They could also seek a bank to help them secure a loan, but that also carries risks. However, it could be that they are seeking help from various banks and would be willing to sell ActiBlizz in an attempt to secure greater capital.

        This is all based on my knowledge of American business, so I can’t say how well these methods would work, or even if they would, in France. Still, I would assume that much of the business practices aren’t all that different.

    • The Sombrero Kid says:

      The plan all along was to pump Activision for all they can get and sell it on before other people realised it was on the decline, they waited to long though

      • The Godzilla Hunter says:

        I think that’s sorta why they are selling it. They figure they can sell it for 13 billion now, but if they were to wait a few years, making, say, 1 billion in the interim, the company might only be worth 10 billion. Essentially, they probably figure that selling Activision now will net them the most cash.

        Of course, I could be completely wrong.

    • Metonymy says:

      I hope you’re smart enough to understand that the public dialogue is always extremely complex, and has no connection to what’s really happening.

      Kotick’s job was to squeeze the ripe fruit, and then get rid of it, while the perception exists that it’s still worth something.

      “Buy low, sell high” seems simplistic, but it really is (and always is) that simple.

    • Kaira- says:

      Well, if I remember correctly, Activision-Blizzard is less than 10% (or at least less than 15%) of Vivendi’s total worth, so it’s not that hard to believe why to sell it.

  5. jalf says:

    Well, I guess it kind of makes sense, in a billionaire financial analyst kind of way.

    If you buy a company, or invest in a company, it’s not just because you expect them to be profitable. You expect them to grow. That’s when your investment really pays off. You don’t really get much out of them merely being (very) profitable).

    Now, WoW subs are declining, and how much longer is Call of Duty going to be able to be milked? How many big *and growing* franchises do they have? They’ve had plenty, which were run into the ground. What do they have today, which is going to be *huge* 3 years from now?

    • Doozerpindan says:

      Good point, though WoW is only dying because because they insist on doing everything they can to milk customers for more money, rather than actually improving the quality of the game.

      • ReV_VAdAUL says:

        But with the constant and ever increasing demands of growing year on year profits they pretty much have to do this, they have to find new ways to make money so as to keep the rate of profit going up. First subs were enough, then new expansions plus subs and now “micro”-transactions plus expansions plus subs are required.

        Plus of course developing new content and ideas costs more money so the profits have to increase even more to bear the load which makes developing new content increasingly prohibitively expensive.

  6. Dinger says:

    Let’s face it, ActiBlizz is standing on a burning platform of WoW and CoD. Their attempts to bring in new IP haven’t been stellar. It’s time to kill of WoW and CoD, discontinue all other games, and turn everything over to distributing Microsoft Office to the Console Market.

    • The Random One says:

      “After the success of Internet Explorer for Xbox 360…”

  7. The Sombrero Kid says:

    It doesn’t matter how much their market capitalisation is, potential buyers want to see numbers going up not down.

    This is the outcome of slash and burn economics & if Vivendi didn’t see it coming they really aren’t too clever.

  8. Nethlem says:

    Man it’s gonna be fun to see where they will end up and how much their shares will drop. By now getting rid of acti/blizz seems to be an far more complicated deal then they first assumed.

    As always all the big players with insider knowledge about potential buyers gonna make a bunch of money out of this, while regular joe small investors will probably end up getting boned when acti/blizz bloated share prices drop into the bottomless as it get’s sold for a couple of peanuts..

  9. ZIGS says:

    Disney huh? Can’t wait for Call of Goofy

  10. NothingFunny says:

    I hope its not M$ …

    • Namey says:

      There’s something unintentionally amusing about using the age old “Replace S with $ because they like money!” joke when talking about Activision, of all companies.

      Woe is us if they sell it to some greedy, money making corporation the chews up small, innovative and creative companies such as Activision!

    • Premium User Badge Gap Gen says:

      £inux, D€bian, etc.

  11. Cryo says:

    Maybe that’s why activision is giving such a blowjob to Goldman et all in the next codblops.

  12. Shivoa says:

    If I had $8.2 bn, I can think of a lot of other things I’d rather buy than Vivendi’s 61% stake in ATVI. That said, they do appear to know how to turn a profit so maybe it’s an investment (in praying WoW and CoD continue to provide large profits) so maybe that’s why I’ll never have $8.2 bn to invest in the first place.

    http://finance.yahoo.com/q/is?s=ATVI&annual

  13. Hmm-Hmm. says:

    If they planned on doing this earlier.. they should’ve done so two years ago.

  14. lordcooper says:

    Valve should buy it. The interminable sequels would be guaranteed to stop.

  15. Alliance says:

    I tried entering the Wall Street Journal, but despite your claims of requirement, they where adamant that they could not allow me to enter with my submarine.

  16. SominiTheCommenter says:

    EA could buy them…

    If this sells for less than Zynga, it’s funny to see how they are going to spin it that Farmville is more worth than COD and WOW (and Prototype and Guitar Hero and Tony Hawk).
    Really, Actiblizzard has just two money-making machines?

  17. Kollega says:

    Corporations have more power than the government… i never asked for this.

    Dispensing with Deus Ex references, it’s good that Disney have turned down the offer. Disneytivision would be too much to bear for the games as an art form.

    The only upside i can see in this is that Activision is going down, probably sooner than later. Which means no more Call of Duty and perhaps no more World of Warcraft. And that means great innovation… and technological advancement. Activision cannot stop us. They cannot stop the future.

    • Arglebargle says:

      Except, if Disney were to buy this, they might fire Kotick, and put Warren Spector in charge. Now that would be interesting….

  18. MondSemmel says:

    Thanks for the Wikipedia link to the Goldman Sachs controversies. I don’t have the time to look at them in detail, but I was amazed at the sheer number of them listed there…

  19. Jayson82 says:

    Its very simple, they know something w2e don’t, the true figures for activision and they do not look good. Its at its height right now and will not go any higher so there bailing put letting someone else but activision and letting them suffer the drop.

    IF they don’t get a buyer soon this will be evident soon enough when they next release there yearly profit for the company and people can see how much of a drop it is.

  20. Saiko Kila says:

    Observing some activity of one of French telecom giants, they generally operate in two ways, which may be described as stages: first they buy the prosperous business abroad, with big potential and great history, but with some problems. If applicable they use all government help possible, like tax cuts. Then they squeeze these businesses, and drain cash to cover home losses, one of the ways is to change the name of the business and make it pay for rights to use that new name, or make a merger so one brand may be sold. Sometimes they sell brand only, alternatively after dividing up the original business (so they can create more brands artificially, like it was with Sierra). This is done even if the business gives money. The second stage is to inflate the value of the business, and sell it. They have been doing it for a while. (a process which includes either selling many IPs, or allowing these games to be produced and distributed outside of the main company and its subsidiaries, like with Ghostbusters or Brütal Legend).

    One problem I see with Activision and Blizzard that they may be too big to inflate they value even more, so there would be no player able to acquire them. Maybe they will be forced (i.e. “advised” by banks) to divide these two, after all they weren’t too closely knit.

  21. D3xter says:

    The title is obviously wrong:
    Vivendi Enlist Banks To Help Shift (Boo Hiss) Activision

    I think you’re also painting Activision in a rather too bright light, their Stock was stagnating for at least 3-4 years after the high in 2008 (something money people don’t like about as much as losses – no growth), their revenue/profits/income even went down compared to last year.

    “Activision Blizzard has released its financial results for the first quarter of its fiscal 2012, posting total net revenue (pre-tax income) of $1.17 billion for the period ending on March 31, 2012. This is a 23 percent drop over the same period in 2011, where Activision Blizzard posted a net revenue of $1.44 billion. Net income (post-tax/expenses profit) was also down year over year, with the pub/dev reporting a remainder of $384 million for Q1 2012, as compared with $503 million in Q1 2011.”

    They have been losing 2 million World of Warcraft subscribers last year, something they could only hold back with the “Diablo III bundle deal”: http://www.pcworld.com/article/243465/world_of_warcraft_loses_2_million_subscribers_in_a_year.html

    They just closed Radical Entertainment over Prototype 2 and flushed another franchise down the toilet and set its 5th studio on Call of Duty: http://www.joystiq.com/2012/06/15/activision-now-has-five-studios-working-on-call-of-duty-includi/

    There’s also a new console generation coming up that is likely going to reshuffle the deck, so if that particular brand implodes on itself spectacularly (like Guitar Hero and Tony Hawk did before) they really don’t have much else at the moment.

    • Milky1985 says:

      Don’t forget as well that with modern warfare 3 they had the first blip in teh cod train, it sold slightly less than black ops at a year in or something, basically it didn’t show the growth the previous ones had (it also was reduced this steam sale to the same level as blackops, which is a telling sign imo)

      This has to have the money men a little worried, if there falgship series is showing blips it may be a good time to bail out,before the next one comes out.

    • Phantoon says:

      Uh, wot? No, it’s Vivendi (Boo Hiss Kill The Bastards) Enlist Banks (Boo Hiss Kill The Bastards) To Help Shift Activision (Put Them Out Of Their Goddamn Misery)

      Vivendi killed Sierra. That’s worse a games-crime than ANY studio EA killed. Also they tried to argue that because they distributed Half-Life, it was now THEIR IP.

  22. Shooop says:

    We do indeed live in the age of dumb.

    Large steady profit is much more valuable than one-time record-smashing profit. Yet everyone wants the latter and ignores the consequences that inevitably follow.

  23. Jesus H. Christ says:

    There are some smart well connected people who think the next console generation is going to mean less profits for AAA publishers. Are they right? I dunno. What I do know is I’m not putting any of my money in companies like EA, ActiBlizz, Funcom, Nintendo, Sony, 2K, etc.

    I’m guessing that Sony is going to enter bankruptcy at some point, potentially mortally wounding the PS ecosystem; Nintendo will continue to become the videogame equivalent of a toy company (cheap crap for kids only); MS will continue its push towards Xbox as multimedia box first; Apple will continue not to give a fuck about games because graphic dismemberment isn’t really all that cool to most people; Steam will continue to grow, but the quality of games on the platform will decline.

    In general, I see traditional console gaming becoming more like the comicbook industry. A niche market made increasingly made up of adolescent boys and adult males stuck in their adolescence. Which means the market will contract. While individual games may still be wildly profitable, the industry as a whole will not be. So if I was the decision maker in Vivendi, I’d be shopping ActiBlizz around.

    • Brun says:

      The next console generation isn’t necessarily going to mean reduced profits – new consoles are just an enormous risk for all of the “Big Players.” A new console generation is so risky because for the first time in nearly a decade people will be looking at games with their eyes open – that is, they’ll be paying (more) attention to what the games are and will be less inclined to buy into marketing and hype. They’ll be looking for something that really blows them away, because that’s what they expect when they drop $500 on a new set of hardware. The environment will be highly disruptive – any minor player could come in and introduce something new and innovative and seriously shift the balance, knocking EA, Activision, etc. from the top of the mountain.

      Then there’s the business model that the big publishers have established over the past 5 years. That model is based on iteration and sequels – not something you want to lead into on a new console (new hardware rarely uses sequels as launch titles, they usually come in 8-10 months into the cycle). Combine that with the fact that most of the big IPs are into at least their third or fourth sequel (i.e. starting to become stale) and that further compounds the risk.

      The start of a new console generation is a seriously risky time for any video game publisher. The protracted length of the current generation only makes things worse – the longer the previous generation, the more disruptive the next will be. So I really think Vivendi is looking to offload risk and make some cash in the process. It’s not a terribly unusual move given that video games aren’t Vivendi’s primary source of revenue.

  24. Dances to Podcasts says:

    There’s actually a big referendum coming up on whether people approve of the kind of short term fast buck thinking mentioned here. It’s called the US elections.

    • D3xter says:

      There’s not much choice between “Yes.” and “Yes!”

      • Dances to Podcasts says:

        I just knew there’d be a ‘both sides are the same’ argument coming up. Fortunately, if you really think that, say, things would’ve been the same if Gore had won instead of Bush, you probably won’t vote anyway. :)

        • RegisteredUser says:

          They’re not the same by far, and that is exactly the issue. With the country petering around with 40-60 swapping back and forth between only 2 parties (democracy, oorah) this basically spells blockaded, torpedod, filibustered bullshit for years as opposed to cleaning up, actual changes.

          But who are we kidding; the lobby groups via financing firmly control candidates and parties. I used to think those tinfoil hat rants were all bollocks, then I started watching TDS on a steady basis and looked into actual developments and laws passed(Glass-Steagall repeal, lobby politics in a fuckton of areas, direct access to politicians for hedge-fund folks, real scientific papers on how oddly market outperforming “investment choices” of any politician’s portfolio are, etc).

          All I can say is oh my fucking god.
          So no, there isn’t a difference for a very large part, because the US works in a way that has fairly fucked up consequences for whether or not they are capable of making proper laws vs porkyporkporkpork and simply dying in a sideways always-blockade.
          And this is even with the president having a more powerful position than in many other places.

          I actually feel pretty bad for them, because the people there deserve better than the shit they get.
          Then again it isn’t a fuckton better here in EUR-land, either.

  25. sinister agent says:

    “Well, it’s making money, but the coked-up psychopaths in the arena say to get rid of it. They’re also screaming about wanting more hookers. Can we combine the two somehow?”

    I’ll buy it. It’d look like on the coffee table. I’ve got twenty quid and about a kilo of shrapnel in my jacket, and they can have that right away, without all the faffing about with lawyers and interminable meetings.

  26. BlitzThose says:

    Id rather smother my baws in sheeps blood and t-bag a shark…