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Guest Post: We Are All Muppets Now

Tyler Durden's picture


Submitted by Charles Hugh Smith from Of Two Minds

We Are All Muppets Now

Every participant in the manipulated, rigged stock market is now a muppet.

Just as President Richard Nixon signalled

his embrace of endless fiscal stimulus and bottomless deficits by declaring "We are all Keynesians now," it is now apparent that we are all muppets now, willing participants in a fraudulent, manipulated market in the hopes that we will skim the same outsized gains reaped by the manipulators.

Actually, Nixon said, "I am now a Keynesian in economics," but the catchier phrase has entered popular history.

Using the word muppets to describe credulous investors who could be ripped off at will originated with investment banking giant Goldman Sachs, where employee Greg Smith famously wrote:

"It makes me ill how callously people [at Goldman Sachs] talk about ripping their clients off.


"Over the last 12 months, I have seen five different managing directors refer to their own clients as 'muppets', sometimes over internal email."

The muppets now include every pension fund, mutual fund, hedge fund and investor with capital in the stock market. We're all muppets now because we all know the markets are rigged, skimmed by high-frequency trading machines and propped up by officially sanctioned intervention on a grand scale.

Why do we willingly put money into such a rigged bucket shop? For the same reason GS clients gave their money to Goldman Sachs: they wanted a big fat outsized return. We don't really care now if the market is fraudulent, rigged, or manipulated; all we want is for our shares to keep going up, by whatever means are necessary. If that means fraud and manipulation, so be it.

That moral vacuum and desire for outsized returns regardless of the methods used to reap the gains makes us muppets. We really don't care about official manipulation and intervention, as long as it works to boost our pension fund, mutual fund, ETF, hedge fund, etc.

Muppets only complain when the prop jobs and skimming fail to deliver fat gains to their accounts.

But being a muppet is being a mark: it's the muppets who are being milked and skimmed. Being a participant in a hopelessly compromised, rigged market makes us marks because we're ultimately providing liquidity and capital for the players to skim.

When the officially sanctioned intervention finally fails and the market leaks 40% of its current value, the muppets will finally understand the "outsized returns" were just a con used to entice them into playing digital 3-card monte. The game is rigged, but the greed of the player overrides his skepticism and caution.

The same can be said for pension funds and all the other institutional players. Desperate for yield, they've foolishly ponied up hundreds of billions of dollars to play 3-card monte with crooked dealers and a crooked house.

Anyone counting on their pension should check to see how much of the fund is A) earning essentially nothing in bonds and B) on the rigged 3-card monte table known as the stock market.

Good luck beating the crooked dealer and the crooked house. Since we are all muppets now, luck is all we have left.

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Wed, 08/15/2012 - 12:58 | 2707103 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

"We Are All Muppets Now

Every participant in the manipulated, rigged stock market is now a muppet."


Is that your hand up my ass or are you just manipulating me?

Tight fit

Wed, 08/15/2012 - 12:59 | 2707153 malikai
malikai's picture

Now I understand that photo and it's inspiration.

It doesn't make the pain of seeing the original photo go away, but it helps me understand why he did it.

Wed, 08/15/2012 - 13:07 | 2707175 AlaricBalth
AlaricBalth's picture

With apologies to Charles Baudelaire
Le Poison

"Hopium magnifies that which is limitless,
Lengthens the unlimited,
Makes time deeper, hollows out voluptuousness,
And with dark, gloomy pleasures
Fills the soul beyond its capacity.

All that is not equal to the poison which flows
From your eyes, from your green eyes,
Lakes where my soul trembles and sees its evil side...
My dreams come in multitude
To slake their thirst in those bitter gulfs.

All that is not equal to the awful wonder
Of your biting saliva,
Charged with madness, that plunges my remorseless soul
Into oblivion
And rolls it in a swoon to the shores of death.

Wed, 08/15/2012 - 15:14 | 2707288 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

Oh Snap! Kermit got ass raped by his brok-er, Yo!

He ain't no man. Shorty be a Muppet, bitchez.

Wed, 08/15/2012 - 12:59 | 2707154 johnQpublic
johnQpublic's picture



at least i consider myself to be either statler or waldorf

Wed, 08/15/2012 - 13:03 | 2707165 CH1
CH1's picture

So long as we keep obeying the overlords, we'll remain muppets forever... whether we complain or not.

Wed, 08/15/2012 - 14:22 | 2707490 extendedorder
extendedorder's picture


Thu, 08/16/2012 - 12:16 | 2710878 Zero Govt
Zero Govt's picture

inspired photo CG   :)

Goldmans should use it on their next client emailer recommendations

it looks an awful lot like Europes current position with Bond holders too

Wed, 08/15/2012 - 12:50 | 2707109 fuu
fuu's picture

"But being a muppet is being a mark: it's the muppets who are being milked and skimmed."


Wed, 08/15/2012 - 12:51 | 2707113 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

 "Why do we always come here
I guess we'll never know
It's like a kind of torture
To have to watch the show"


Lyrics from Muppet Show song

Wed, 08/15/2012 - 12:58 | 2707151 pepperspray
pepperspray's picture

Can the Biden/Ryan debate use this as the opener?

Wed, 08/15/2012 - 13:04 | 2707169 Christoph830
Christoph830's picture

The media playing up the "Biden is getting senile" card is exactly what the Dems want.  Remember, they hold the Hilary trump card and can deploy that as a last resort.  

Wed, 08/15/2012 - 13:08 | 2707181 pepperspray
pepperspray's picture

Its almost as if Palin's a prophet.

Wed, 08/15/2012 - 13:18 | 2707203 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

Only a [net&]YAHOO would pine for a Hilary Trump card at this point... Oh wait!

Wed, 08/15/2012 - 13:10 | 2707190 TPTB_r_TBTF
TPTB_r_TBTF's picture

The Obama-Faction-Dems donT want Hillary on the ticket cause they are afraid that the Hillary-Faction-Dems would assassinate him.

Wed, 08/15/2012 - 13:29 | 2707268 Savyindallas
Savyindallas's picture

Kennedy should have trusted his instincts on LBJ  - he really had no choice-J Edgar Hoover and LBJ blackmailed JFK with his pre-presidenct sexual escapades into putting LBJ on the ticket.  Real history is so much more interesting than the crap we read in the history books.


Wed, 08/15/2012 - 13:41 | 2707302 boogerbently
boogerbently's picture

Talk about the ULTIMATE "flip-flop".

GOP has HOURS of footage of BO and Hilary reaming each other.

Wed, 08/15/2012 - 17:58 | 2708426 Whiner
Whiner's picture

Hillary ain't climbing aboard a sinking ship. She is The Woman . She wouldn't be anybody's VP. She will save us from Chapter 11 after Mittens/Ryan.

Wed, 08/15/2012 - 12:51 | 2707114 fbrothers
fbrothers's picture

Finally, someone has spoken out. The King is naked. All they have is a bunch of numbers on a computer. It is all BS. Let it be repeated until they fall.



Wed, 08/15/2012 - 12:52 | 2707121 mrktwtch2
mrktwtch2's picture

was pretty good at 3 card monti..once cleaned out the guy of 200 bucks..he was shocked that i could keep getting the queen..(the simple key is to never take your eye off that card)..no matter what he does to try to distract you..and when i was in germany in 1990 took 300 marks from a guy using the three cups and a ball..but calling this market 3 card monty isnt a fair comparison because you can beat 3 card monti..and the realization 3 yrs ago that the fed uses qe to pump this market has saved me from gettin totally cleaned out..lol

Wed, 08/15/2012 - 12:52 | 2707124 govttrader
govttrader's picture

Time for a does of pain medicine...read it and weap


Wed, 08/15/2012 - 12:55 | 2707137 vast-dom
vast-dom's picture

yeah further proof you do not comprehend the bond bubble. a few more "what the hell" moments and you may be wiped out.

Wed, 08/15/2012 - 13:20 | 2707230 fuu
fuu's picture

Hopefully at that point s/he/it will cease with the link pimpage.

Wed, 08/15/2012 - 12:54 | 2707130 LouisDega
LouisDega's picture

Does The Jim Henson® company know about this?

Wed, 08/15/2012 - 12:55 | 2707139 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

In US citizen economics, somebody has to provide...

You do not find generous sponsors providing you with an entire continent to fund your freedom, truth and justice project like the Indians every day...

It remains that somebody has to provide... When you run an extortion of the weak, farming of the poor business, not everyone can be an extorter and a farmer.

Wed, 08/15/2012 - 12:58 | 2707147 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

Hey Tyler, the Jim Henson estate is on line 3. And they sound pissed.

Wed, 08/15/2012 - 15:01 | 2707664 LouisDega
LouisDega's picture

I know nothing. Grover made me do it.

Wed, 08/15/2012 - 12:59 | 2707155 Hype Alert
Hype Alert's picture

There are no signs of life left.  Somebody call it.

Wed, 08/15/2012 - 13:11 | 2707174 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

DOA at 8:46 AM on 9/11/01, the day the (false flag) end game began.

Still running folks, still running. It's a process, not an event.


Wed, 08/15/2012 - 13:13 | 2707201 Hype Alert
Hype Alert's picture

The machines are still circulating blood and pumping oxygen into the lifeless corpse, strings can be pulled to emulate movement, but the crowd that is watching knows.

Wed, 08/15/2012 - 13:21 | 2707234 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Yes. Or will know shortly.

Wed, 08/15/2012 - 13:29 | 2707264 fuu
fuu's picture


Wed, 08/15/2012 - 13:40 | 2707293 malikai
malikai's picture

Ever seen ReAnimator?

That's the market today.

Wed, 08/15/2012 - 13:03 | 2707166 gunsmoke011
gunsmoke011's picture

For the crooked dealer and the crooked house to make money - they have to have players. My read is that those players are becoming more and more scarce. It will not be long before the dealer has to start playing against the house because there is no one left to play - that is when things will get very interesting.

Wed, 08/15/2012 - 13:05 | 2707172 not fat not stupid
not fat not stupid's picture

"Why do we willingly put money into such a rigged bucket shop?"


"WE", if you mean the public, DON'T, or havent you read the 3-year outflow numbers?

Wed, 08/15/2012 - 13:10 | 2707188 Hype Alert
Hype Alert's picture

In a normal market, one that isn't artifically manipulated, the prices would have dropped to entice new buyers.  Much like what they have done in the housing market, they have rigged the game to keep prices high as people leave the market and neither market will clear and reset.   Central planning at it's best.

Wed, 08/15/2012 - 13:20 | 2707216 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Just the other day a (soon to be ex) client was informing me that she had taken all her money out of the stock market. I gently asked her where her company pension, GE annuities and bank CDs were invested. She opened her mouth to speak, then stopped and immediately left.

Denial isn't just a river in Egypt.

Wed, 08/15/2012 - 14:11 | 2707449 pazmaker
pazmaker's picture

There you go again!  Trying to wake up another one...trying to save another lost soul!!!

What do you think she will do next?

Wed, 08/15/2012 - 16:28 | 2708104 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Sleep with her pension, bank and annuity statements so that they can't be stolen.

Not sarcasm in the least.

Wed, 08/15/2012 - 13:08 | 2707182 casey13
casey13's picture

They control the cash too and can debase it at will so yes we are all muppets.

Wed, 08/15/2012 - 13:15 | 2707204 wcvarones
wcvarones's picture

Then again, I'd rather own real assets than Bernanke Bucks.



Wed, 08/15/2012 - 14:17 | 2707465 pazmaker
pazmaker's picture

Things, I've done with bernanke bucks(while they are still useful)



1. buy silver

2. install solar and mechanical handpump on my well to pump water without need of electricity

3. Built a cobb stove to bake and cook with wood

4. raise chickens and rabbits for meat(hens also laying eggs)

5. garden, can and stock up on food

6. Purchase more ammo

That stock market may work for you Varones but you may want to consider some the above listed items


Wed, 08/15/2012 - 15:23 | 2707798 Offthebeach
Offthebeach's picture

You.....you ....1% of the future! You'll pay like the Kulaks when your pump and chickens are redistributed. You didn't build that, raise them nor grown them.

Wed, 08/15/2012 - 17:10 | 2708264 wcvarones
wcvarones's picture

I've got 1, 5, and 6 started.  Gotta work on the others.

Wed, 08/15/2012 - 13:21 | 2707240 Dareconomics
Dareconomics's picture


If you are reading this, then you probably just read a post on ZeroHedge. If you have been following the markets since the financial crisis, you should be well-aware of the all of the issues plaguing the market right now. Large-scale money printing is keeping prices high, and this is enabling the TBTF and HFT to keep making fat profits at the expense of the rest of us.

Most people do not understand these issues, and they blindly follow the advice of others and invest in the market. Maybe they should know better, because everyone who tells you to buy stocks has an ulterior motive...




Wed, 08/15/2012 - 13:51 | 2707325 ptoemmes
ptoemmes's picture

I can't help but think that the REAL muppets are smarter than these faux-muppet-analogs being described here.  In fact I think it may be an insult to the REAL muppets.

I'd like to see the REAL muppets kick some Wall Street ass.




Wed, 08/15/2012 - 14:34 | 2707538 Meesohaawnee
Meesohaawnee's picture

someone send this memo to bubble vision. wait forget that.. that would blow their cover. (cant thank you enough tyler)

Wed, 08/15/2012 - 15:15 | 2707745 Venerability
Venerability's picture

The little red one in your picture is adorable.

And I'm sure he'd do a much better job than most CNBC anchors.

Wed, 08/15/2012 - 15:34 | 2707858 msjimmied
msjimmied's picture

The Muppets are on the GOP hit list. Romney has a laser like focus on dealing with the .00004% of the budget that NPR takes. Priorities...Don't lose faith folks, people are catching on.

There are 2 Americas. I have a Walmart and a Ralph's supermarket near my home. Ever so often I go to Walmart when I need some hardware items etc other than groceries, saves making more than one trip. When I go to Ralph's, I see tanned and fit people choosing their food wisely. I love the sprinkling of older matriarchs with the Texas big hair, jangly bracelets, impeccably groomed. Clean, well lit store with crusty french bread. An obviously well to do couple were picking out canned chicken, salmon etc. (NO Spam, stuff will kill ya) I overheard their conversation about rotating their supplies. We had an interesting talk. About 50% of the people they know store way more food than they used to. They may not be camo wearing survivalists, but they know something wicked this way comes. They haven't put anything into the market in the last two years, they've roughly appraised grandma's silver over the kitchen table. There are a lot of clued in people out there.

When you go to Walmart, you would think Brawndo has been on the shelves for years! You know the feeling, you make a wrong turn when you're lost, and end up in the seedy part of town? That. People there make me feel pretty. People in motorized carts with nothing but gooey prepared foods, Totino's pizza and Banquet dinners. JIT inventory. It's Beck and FOX nation. So which is the true face of America? Are we really all obese TV zombies, or is this nation representative of the country that won the most Olympic medals? The ones who put the successful mission together to land a highly complex mission on Mars? 

Come on folks, don't keep disparaging our people. I think this emphasis on people being dumb and Neanderthal, takes the fight out of us. Why would you want to save people not worth saving? The low volume in the market tells you about how "dumb" people are. Like I said, have faith and patience, it's a very very slow car crash, cos we're in it. You know time always slows down just before the big KABOOM.

Wed, 08/15/2012 - 15:55 | 2707981 Diogenes
Diogenes's picture

Reading articles like this on ZH has kept me out of the market since 2009 - while it has gone up 40%. Beginning to rethink that position.

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