'Advice' from a hedge fund manager

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TEXT OF SKIT

Kai Ryssdal: We were just talking about financial regulation and the conference committee meetings that are going to start on Tuesday between House and Senate negotiators. Big banks, credit rating agencies, insurance companies -- they're all trying to figure out what the new rules are going to be. High-flying hedge funds are what you might call an interested party as well. They had a great 2009. Got back a lot of their losses from 2008, in fact. So, if hedge funds still make money, maybe hedge fund managers might be good people to ask about financial advice. That's the thought that occurred to the comedy sketch group Hot Mess, from the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater.


HOST: It's time here at Marketplace for our segment "Ask a Hedge Fund Manager." We're taking your calls and Dan Eder, you're here to help. You're a fund manager at a powerful New York City hedge fund, right?

DAN: That's right. And I'm ready to handle your questions! Allison is our first caller. Allison?

ALLISON: Hi Dan, I have a fixed rate, 30-year mortgage. I usually budget enough to pay interest, but I'm thinking of paying off the principle quicker. Any thoughts on how I would do that?

DAN: Why don't you just buy the house?

ALLISON: Excuse me?

DAN: Why didn't you just put cash down on the house and buy it when you saw it?

ALLISON: Um... I can't.

DAN: Oh, I gotcha. Too busy playing squash to show your face at the realtor. I hear ya. Just get an assistant to deliver the cash.

ALLISON: Um, OK.

DAN: OK, Jill, you're on.

JILL: Hi, I have about $10,000 in credit card debt and I want to know if I should open a new line of credit with a lower APR?

DAN: What's that?

JILL: What, APR?

DAN: No, the thing before that.

JILL: Uh, credit card debt?

DAN: Yeah. What is that?

JILL: Uh, I'm sorry. Do you not know what credit card debt is?

DAN: Just pay it off.

JILL: I can't. I don't have $10,000.

DAN: Seriously?

JILL: Yes.

DAN: You got problems.

JILL: I know, that's why I called!

DAN: Good luck with all that. Next caller?

JOSH: Hi, this isn't really financial, but I like this girl and I'm wondering how to impress her?

DAN: Yeah. How big is your boat?

JOSH: I don't have a boat.

DAN: You don't have a boat?! Get a boat!

JOSH: I can't really afford a boat.

DAN: Boat.

JOSH: I just got laid off, so...

DAN: Get a boat, lady.

JOSH: I'm a man. You're really out of touch.

DAN: You're killing me here. A boat is only like $2-3 million. It's couch change.

JOSH: I'm not gonna argue with you. I just don't have that kind of money.

DAN: Well get it!

JOSH: I don't know how to!

DAN: I'm hanging up... He doesn't have a boat? What does he jump his motorcycle onto?

HOST: I have no idea. Thanks Dan. Always great to get financial advice from the perspective of a hedge fund manager.

DAN: Yeah, sure. Does this roof have a helipad?

HOST: No.


Ryssdal: Hot Mess is Alison Becker, Jill Donnelly, Dan Eder, Josh Rachford, and Lesley Tsina. If you haven't seen the Upright Citizens Brigade take-off on the BP oil spill, by the way, their conference table coffee spill that's gone viral online, you really ought to. There's a link here.

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