Presenting The Greatest ROI Opportunity Ever

Tyler Durden's picture

The dream of virtually anyone who has ever traded even one share of stock has always been to generate above market returns, also known as alpha, preferably in a long-term horizon. Why? Because those who manage to return 30%, 20% even 10% above the S&P over the long run, become, all else equal (expert networks and collocated flow-frontrunning HFT boxes aside), legendary investors in the eyes of the general public, which brings the ancillary benefits of fame and fortune (usually in the form of 2 and 20). This is the ultimate goal of everyone who works on Wall Street. Yet, ironically, what most don't realize, is that these returns, or Returns On Investment (ROI), are absolutely meaningless when put side by side next to something few think about when considering investment returns.

Namely lobbying.

Because it is the ROIs for various forms of lobbying the put the compounded long-term returns of the market to absolute shame. As the following infographic demonstrates, ROIs on various lobbying efforts range from a whopping 5,900% (oil subsidies) to a gargantuan 77,500% (pharmaceuticals).

How are these mingboggling returns possible? Simple - because they appeal to the weakest link: the most corrupt, bribable, and infinitely greedy unit of modern society known as 'the politician'.

Yet who benefits from these tremendous arbitrage opportunities? Not you and I, that is for certain.

No - it is the faceless corporations - the IBM Stellar Sphere, the Microsoft Galaxy, Planet Starbucks - which are truly in the control nexus of modern society, and which, precisely courtesy of these lobbying "efforts", in which modest investments generate fantastic returns allowing the status quo to further entrench itself, take advantage of this biggest weakness of modern "developed" society to make the rich much richer (a/k/a that increasingly thinner sliver of society known as investors), who are the sole beneficiaries of this "Amazing ROI" - the stock market is merely one grand (and lately broken, and very much manipulated) distraction, to give everyone the impression the playing field is level.

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MuppetMaster's picture

When I hear about lobbying and campaign ads winning political positions, I don't curse democracy.  I don't blame the idiot masses, or the flouride, or the illuminati. I get myself a snuggie, a liter of absynth and peote, some CHALLAH and olive oil, and pop this on the tube:


& to anyone who doesn't like this...

Crab Cake's picture

Not a bad plan really, but still you are a criminal because interested parties do not believe in freedom even unto your own body and mind. Your body is not your own. Your mind is not your own. Your land is not your own. Your fruits of labor and endeavor are not your own. We are slaves....

dognamedabu's picture

The video is 1:30 long.. Cows lose attention after 10 minutes.


Thanks for the second link. I am downloading the seasons as I type. I usually dislike anime. 


+1 for propgating Stef

Winisk's picture

I enjoyed that.  Thanks for sharing. 

TheFuture_MrGittes's picture

+1 for squeezing Boondocks and Stefan Molyneaux into one post.

disabledvet's picture

Who says you can't time the market! Now "just deposit another cool million in the President's checking account at Chasing Morgan" and see what comes out at the other end!

JustObserving's picture

Used to think gasoline at $400 a gallon in Afghanistan was a good ROI. The Pharma mafia has that beat easily.  No wonder USA spends more on phramaceuticals than the rest of the world combined. And the prescription drug unfunded liability of Medicare today is $20.7 trillion ($182,000 per taxpayer) and growing at $1.47 trillion a year, about the same as the national debt.

Could the system get any more corrupt?  No wonder the neo-cons are so anxious to spread American democracy and freedom across the world.

mayhem_korner's picture



What percent of pharmaceutical company's offerings to the market are necessities?  In other words, how much of their business is a function of true life-sustaining need v. the I-need-to-pop-a-pill-for-this-or-that culture? 

Tax subsidies don't drive demand.

MikeMcGspot's picture

Who is footing the bill for big Pharma? USA, our input per capita dwarfs the rest of the countries on the planet. We are footing the bill, big Pharma is happy, the rest of the world likes this (free stuff is great)! Time to cut off world corporate Pharma welfare. Extend the timelines, drop the cost, reduce the scope. Only options we have. But we don’t have to take it, bear the brunt of it. I we stand up and negotiate with the corporations we can and will get a better contract than we have now.

Bow down before the one you serve.

My argument, come up with a better one as you see fit.

Xkwisetly Paneful's picture

No problem.

The funny thing is if things were either as corrupt or as easily corruptible as is portrayed legions of companies would be entering these businesses but they are not, in some instances like drugs it is because they have made it prohibitively expensive-

$1billion to get a drug to market largely created by the pharma companies to inhibit competition.

You know the rich and powerful creating government under the guise they are protecting the people when the reality is to reduce competition.

Your solution not only doesn't address the problem it will make it worse.

Leaving even fewer companies to corrupt same governance.



Xkwisetly Paneful's picture

It is a little odd that the carmakers are not on there, higher education, the fannie/freddie ongoing abortions et al.

They should def end all the oil and farm subsidies too.

Afterall everyone can afford to pay more for food, gas and drugs for that matter.

and the vernacular is more important than the bottomline.

aka subsidies to the some of the most highly taxed and regulated industries in the world,

why not call them rebates? 

Have anything to do with portraying corporate America that employs a sizable portion of the population, besides the obvious double taxation also pays a littany plus one of excise, federal, state, local, payroll, property, licensing, permits and too many count taxes and is responsible for employing armies of regulators and smaller armies to deal with the regulators as somehow welfare recipients and not significant contributors to the bottomline?

IBelieveInMagic's picture

Bollocks! We pay in funny money that we get showered with for pretending to work or for running the financial shenenigans -- the rest of the world has to "earn" it.

Caviar Emptor's picture

I shower every morning with money then do laps in my money pool. Then I fill up a duffel bag and off I go to my pretend job. 

Dapper Dan's picture

Have you ever heard of “Pay to Delay”? 

If you have than you will understand how utterly  sick it is that the courts now are owned by big Pharmacy.

FTC Loses Appeal in Androgel ‘Pay-for-Delay’ Patent Case

A U.S. appeals court handed the Federal Trade Commission a defeat in its campaign to block so-called pay-for-delay arrangements between brand-name and generic drug makers, ruling a settlement involving a patent on Androgel didn’t violate antitrust laws.

The appeals judges in Atlanta upheld a lower court ruling in favor of Brussels-based Solvay SA (SOLB), which sold Androgel, a treatment for low testosterone in men, and three other companies including Watson Pharmaceuticals Inc. A settlement among the four delaying generic versions until 2015 prompted the FTC’s lawsuit.

The decision is a setback for FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz, who estimates such deals cost consumers about $3.5 billion a year in higher prescription drug prices. The agency has failed to successfully challenge such agreements in court or to persuade Congress to outlaw them.

“We continue to believe this conduct violates the antitrust laws,” Leibowitz said in a statement, calling the situation a “lose-lose” for consumers. He said the FTC “will consider all our options going forward.”

David Balto, a Washington-based attorney who represents consumer groups on the issue, said Congress may have to find a solution.  (don't count on it!)

Its_the_economy_stupid's picture

it amazes me how ernerstly the Medics encourage drug scrips for the most trivial issues. Knowledge of the body's Detox pathways is sobering. 


Just say no. And understand that your Doc is a victim of the system, as are you.

lizzy36's picture

Funny in other countries "lobbying" is considered bribery.

See how effective re-branding is. 

American Exceptionalism FTW.

Xkwisetly Paneful's picture

HAHAHAHHAHAH -very funny!

Yea like war, inflation, torture and so many more.

America invented political corruption!!!!!!

The rich and powerful the world over really didn't create titanic sized global governance for the purpose of enriching themselves the last few centuries-only America did.

Great material. 





disabledvet's picture

i think she said "we invented re-branding." i wonder where we would get the idea for "wordsmithing" from? hmmmmmm.....

Xkwisetly Paneful's picture

From the legends of the internet who see a "we" in that post.


lizzy36's picture

You should really read for comprehension before you comment.

I didn't say America invented anything.

The exceptional part is that America TOOK bribery and re-branded it "lobbying". And that is what makes America exceptional. 

Well that and the fact that Yanks judge other countries for allowing "bribery" in their governments, but yanks pretend that lobbying isn't legalized bribery.

See how important semantics are in this case. Also form over substance, something else yanks are exceptional at. 

Now, i said a lot in this comment, before you go "quick draw" on the response, read it twice.....for substance NOT form.

Xkwisetly Paneful's picture

See no "we" anywhere.

save the pedantic lunacy.

no one's first day here.   



Drachma's picture

Bribery becomes Lobbying, Stealing becomes Rehypothecation, Extortion becomes Tax, Fraud becomes Modern Banking, Ass-Fucked becomes Insured, and so on. It's all in the latest edition of Newspeak.


uno's picture

biggest joke is the TBTF's, they make money up out of thin air and buy the Beltway whores.  I know ZeroHedge had this chart, just look at the magitude of the made up money and just a very small part buys all Fed officials and agencies

dwayne elizando's picture

On that note its time for me to take my xanax!

world_debt_slave's picture

there's an old hand behind this, the ruler of this world

mayhem_korner's picture




The man of lawlessness.

scatterbrains's picture

so if every person that turned out to vote in the 2008 election dropped 10 bucks in a hat we'd almost double what all 3 of these lobbies in the graphic paid..  but it would buy 10x as much by packing a massive punch.

Jay's picture

It's precisely this corporatist ROI that has convinced me to give generously to Ron Paul's campaign. I'm hoping to get my guy in there to work for me this time.

Yen Cross's picture

That (2) in (20) remark was classic Tyler! What is that old rate of doubling figure?   ( rule 72), and that is optimistic!

  We have a world full of wandering Chiefs, and subsidized Indians!


slewie the pi-rat's picture

2 in 10; net 30

or, they cut ya off!

you might be able to run a hedgieFunHouse, Y/C

i would make waaay too much money!  L0L!!!

km4's picture

Between lobbyists, mostly scumbag politicians in both parties, and Wall St America is FUBAR

The Tragedy of Facebook: How Wall Street Robbed Main Street America (FB)



Yen Cross's picture

 Here is a novel thought, for the likes of / Foodmaker &Yum Foods.   Team up with the [NYSE/Nasdaq] and form a fast Food/Equity Trade platform.

    You can call it Star-ZIRP!   If you don't produce "ALGO profits, 10% in 2 hours", you become " Soylent Green".

Shibumi2's picture

2% rule.


Whatever the amount, 2% goes back to campaign contributions.


Cheaper than a shithead rep

Bluntly Put's picture

This makes it sound like one can buy politicians votes cheap, but remember they get to front run stock of companies that will stand to benefit from their legislation.

MikeMcGspot's picture

Figures can lie and liars can figure. The determining factors of any ROI calculation is all about you. Not a bitch slave perspective of “Oh what did they sell me”? but rather for a better ROI of “What did I buy into”? I judge people based on how they answer the question. I don’t have the answers, I don’t even know what the questions are. I do know my judgment leaves me with more people who ask the second question “What did I buy into”?

Consequently I have to put up with less bull shit, as my friends do, we call it out quickly, the mask is not needed. There is a load of ROI in truth and a lot of ROI in truth.

The rest is fairy glamour, which in time I will share my way to dispel passed down to me from my ancestors who got caught up in a load of crap ending in me which I am thankful is a rather decent being.

ROI. Remember.

Cabreado's picture

Another nice graphic that should be preserved in a time capsule, so that some future life form will have no doubt what destroyed us.

They will say with confidence: "they destroyed themselves."

Here's to the terminally Self-Absorbed... you are surely winning your personal battle, and your path of destruction is quite impressive.

Offthebeach's picture

So our politicians sell out for chump, which leads me to believe we are just in the infant stage of corruption, or the good old days of honest gooberment.
DC hacks not knowing their prices? Figures. Political price discovery.
Maybe we need a counterpart to the Havard JFK trade school of gooberment. The Boss Tweed School.

LongSoupLine's picture




so I guess Wal-Marts' "lobbying" in Mexico was just small peanuts in comparison...yet look at the media hype it generated.  Ahhhh, yes the MSM at it's manipulated best.

Kamehameha's picture



CaligBama or RomeNero.  Take your pick.

Colonel's picture

"Give them games and bread and they will never revolt." Saying during the Roman empire

q99x2's picture

And, they say people want a United States of Europe. You gotta be kidding me.

You win ever more revolutionary points. Thank you ZH.

And I do mean Revolution.

reader2010's picture

"There is nothing new under the sun."

disabledvet's picture

you'd be surprised actually...

rehypothecator's picture

Just in case anyone here thinks campaign finance reform or restrictions on lobbying would solve the problem, I submit that the actual problem is government meddling in affairs it has no business in.  Lobbyists wouldn't pay a dime to any government agent who couldn't do anything to influence taxes, regulations, or laws in favor of the lobbyist's interests, or against its competitors.  That should be every last soul in the entire government, but it isn't.  Instead, government has decided to micromanage nearly every aspect of economic and even personal life - wherein lies the incentives granted at the behest of lobbyists.  E.g. regulatory capture, targeted tax breaks, etc.

Kobe Beef's picture

Burn K Street to the ground.

Yen Cross's picture

I like this thread.  Differing ideas, yet a "cease fire" for the W/E. Nice job "Fellas'.

MarcusLCrassus's picture

I've been saying this for years.  For mere peanuts, a few hundred thousand buck of chump change, you can get literally billions of dollars in pork delivered to your door. 

According to a recent article, the going rate for Congress these days is about $200k-$250k.

America: a land where bribing politicians has actually been legalized. 



cherry picker's picture

Government controls gambling, drugs, alcohol, pork barreling, the protection rackert and in time will control prostitution.  Except for the fact government people wear ties and have university degrees, what makes them different from the Costa Nostra?

rehypothecator's picture

The two main differences between government and the mafia are: First, the mafia only wants 10%, and second, if you buy protection from the mafia, you actually get protected.