Space-time continuum abused for financial gain
March 28, 2003 9:08 AM   Subscribe

Space-time continuum abused for financial gain Federal investigators have arrested a Wall Street whizz who made $350 million from an initial investment of just $800 in two weeks. The man has confessed to insider dealing, explaining that he travelled back from the year 2256 in his 'time craft' specifically to make a killing on recorded past stock plunges. The kicker? There's no record of the man's existence prior to December 2002.
posted by skylar (41 comments total)
very interesting. especially the final line of the article: "Weekly World News will continue to follow this story as it unfolds. Keep watching for further developments. "

caveat emptor.
posted by elsar at 9:13 AM on March 28, 2003

oh, i beleive the shit out of this. weekly world news, as reported by a yahoo entertainment gossip page.
posted by quonsar at 9:14 AM on March 28, 2003

Yahoo is running weekly world news stories now? Jesus.. wtf is going on here? That's just sad...
posted by twiggy at 9:14 AM on March 28, 2003

I suspect Bat Boy involvement.
posted by Kafkaesque at 9:14 AM on March 28, 2003

I read Weekly World News for all my financial reports.
posted by me3dia at 9:15 AM on March 28, 2003

Wha? Is this a joke?

Since when are we reporting tabloid stories?
posted by eas98 at 9:15 AM on March 28, 2003

Which division of the Armed Forces is Bat Boy embedded with?
posted by Frank Grimes at 9:16 AM on March 28, 2003

I was wondering how the Sci-Fi channel was going to fill the void left when they yanked Farscape.
posted by mnology at 9:17 AM on March 28, 2003

Now that we got that April Fools thing over with, back to the War.
posted by Domain Master 666 at 9:18 AM on March 28, 2003

What was he planning on doing, anyway - hauling a buttload load of cash Back to the Future? Hoping his accounts would still be active in credits when he got there?

posted by gottabefunky at 9:20 AM on March 28, 2003

That was a classic read. I like that.

Only problem is, I'd love to believe that time travel is possible if only cos I love the paradoxes... ;)
posted by twine42 at 9:23 AM on March 28, 2003

skylar, shame on you. Just as you should NSFW any link to porn, you should DBRT (Don't Bother Reading This) any link to the Weekly World News. Come on, now.
posted by jonson at 9:24 AM on March 28, 2003

What was he planning on doing, anyway - hauling a buttload load of cash Back to the Future?

And even if he did get the cash back to 2256, he'd only have 8 months to spend it at the most.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 9:24 AM on March 28, 2003

Surely $350 million in 2256 will only be worth about $10.
posted by Summer at 9:25 AM on March 28, 2003

Which division of the Armed Forces is Bat Boy embedded with?
air force.
posted by quonsar at 9:25 AM on March 28, 2003

gottabefunky - but his accounts would already have the money in them when he left, of he wouldn't have been able to afoard the machine in the first place.

Just think of the compound interest...!
posted by twine42 at 9:28 AM on March 28, 2003

If he was really from the future, he would have known that he was going to get caught.
posted by blamb at 9:30 AM on March 28, 2003

quonsar, WTF? That's quite a missle Bat Boy's sporting.
posted by Frank Grimes at 9:31 AM on March 28, 2003

Notice that the story is from March 19, and we haven't heard anything since? Also the story was very hard to find and not publicized in any major media? Obviously, the authorities have to bury it ... otherwise future boy would (will?) have found out he was going to get caught. Now everyone hush up, or this guy will disappear!

This proves two things: MeFi archives are not read much in 2256 and something happens in the near future to make insider trading very difficult into the future.

Note to self: using 'at' command, send myself and my descendents a note every ten years to befriend an Andrew Carlssin when he is in grade school in 2220.
posted by mediaddict at 9:35 AM on March 28, 2003

Yeah - I'm from the UK so I'd never heard of the Weekly World News before (although obviously I have now.) Where I come from we only have Plato on the end of our supermarket checkouts.

I must admit my suspicions were raised when I did a Google search on the character's name and it brought up nothing - but I just figured that being a master criminal time-traveller and all, he would have erased all evidence to cover his tracks.

That said I don't mind standing by this story because it's brilliantly written... and probably about as trustworthy as most of the financial reports that have been issued over the past three years.
posted by skylar at 9:35 AM on March 28, 2003

Another one we would have had great fun with on my radio show, back in the day...
posted by nickmark at 9:46 AM on March 28, 2003

Nice to see that even Sci-Fi's got a reality television show for the spring lineup . . .
posted by Ryvar at 10:00 AM on March 28, 2003

Now that the future has time machines, I expect we will hear more stories like these.
And maybe Marth Stewart is really an android from the future where the world is enslaved to manafacture cheap hand-made gifts we are accostomed to appreciate in the present.
posted by xtian at 10:03 AM on March 28, 2003

Xtian I can see it now . . .

"The State Department announced today a new bitemporal bilateral trade agreement with the year 2525 . . ."

"Protestors today and an eon from now staged demonstrations against the Multiverse Trade Organization in particular and temporalization in general . . . police reported 112 arrests and 14 billion 'assimilations.'"
posted by Ryvar at 10:40 AM on March 28, 2003

Sklyar: Actually I thought this was brilliant, simply because--due to the link being to Yahoo--I started reading thinking it was an actual news story. Definitely gave me a chuckle.

I'd say appropriate for a Friday, for sure. :)
posted by Swifty at 11:04 AM on March 28, 2003

Is it even theoretically possible to grow $800 to $350 million in two weeks?
posted by IshmaelGraves at 11:05 AM on March 28, 2003

Why didn't he just bet on sports like Biff did?
posted by wrench at 11:17 AM on March 28, 2003

He could have just gone back to August 2001 and laid a $800 bet that Patriots would win the upcoming Super Bowl...
posted by MediaMan at 11:25 AM on March 28, 2003

Is it even theoretically possible to grow $800 to $350 million in two weeks?

Lets see, feel free to correct my math. 126 investments at 10.9 percent profit on each one:

$800*1.109^126 ≈ $366'829'963

So I guess that's plausible if you're day trading... but I don't really know the mechanics of stocks.
posted by bobo123 at 11:39 AM on March 28, 2003

i love how many facts you guys have to dig up to prove this is bogus..... NO SHIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
posted by Satapher at 11:39 AM on March 28, 2003

This is great. Thank you.
posted by Mars Saxman at 11:42 AM on March 28, 2003

As an agent from the future sent back to find this criminal, I would like to publicly thank the Weekly World News for its top notch investigative work. Makes my job that much easier. Andrew caressing, prepare to spend eternity in that thing that General Zod somehow escaped from in Superman II.
posted by gwint at 11:50 AM on March 28, 2003

Maybe if we Americans all contact our congressfolk, they'll introduce a resolution denouncing such abuse of the space-time continuum. Only then will we be able sleep more soundly at night.
posted by pitchblende at 11:54 AM on March 28, 2003

I think his bank accounts should be confiscated so that he cannot come back in the first place. In fact, that may have already happened. I swear there was more press coverage of this when i first started reading this thread but now they all seem to have disappeared! Strange!

wow! yahoo also says that Bigfoot Captures Sexy Camper For His Love Slave
posted by vacapinta at 11:58 AM on March 28, 2003

The man also ran into his parents while he was here. Unfortunately, his mother fell in love with him rather than the guy who is supposed to be his father. Now he's in prison and he needs to get out to make sure his parents hook up at the high school dance!
posted by strangeleftydoublethink at 12:52 PM on March 28, 2003

So that's the kind of content found in those supermarket rags... Actually it was a pleasant break from war coverage. Thanks S.
posted by LouReedsSon at 1:03 PM on March 28, 2003

Listen, Gwint is not an agent from the future! He's lying! He's from Zargon VI, and he's wanted in three galactic alliances! you've got to believe me! Just let me speak to Carlssin, he can explain everything!
posted by zaelic at 2:36 PM on March 28, 2003

Bill: How'd it go?
Ted: Bad. Our historical figures are all locked up and my dad won't let them out.
Bill: Can we get your dad's keys?
Ted: Could steal them but he lost them two days ago.
Bill: If only we could go back in time to when he had them and steal them then.
Ted: Well, why can't we?
Bill: Cause we don't got time.
Ted: We could do it after the report.
Bill: Ted, good thinking dude. After the report we'll time travel back to two days ago, steal your dad's keys, and leave them here.
Ted: Where?
Bill: I don't know. How about behind that sign? That way when we get here now, they'll be waiting for us. (bends down and picks up the keys) See?
Ted: Whoa! Yeah! So after the report we can't forget to do this, or else it won't happen. But it did happen! Hey, it was me who stole my dad's keys!
Bill: Exactly, Ted. Come on.

(Wyld Stallyns rule!)
posted by thatweirdguy2 at 3:36 PM on March 28, 2003

This story was posted in the year 2256. Please do a search before posting links.
posted by horsewithnoname at 4:08 PM on March 28, 2003

I liked this story better when it was called The Weapon Shops of Isher.
posted by krakedhalo at 4:33 PM on March 28, 2003

Everything you ever wanted to know about compound interest and time travel.

Relevant paragraph from The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (I've added online texts where available):
One subtheme of note is developed in stories celebrating the wonders of compound interest. Simple mathematics shows that money invested for 1000 years grows quite magnificently even at relatively low interest rates—an observation first made in Eugene Sue's The Wandering Jew (1845). Sleepers awake from periods of suspended animation to find themselves rich in Edmond About's The Man With the Broken Ear (1861), H.G. Wells's When the Sleeper Wakes (1899) and Charles Eric Maine's The Man Who Owned the World (1961). Harry Stephen Keeler took the notion to extremes in "John Jones' Dollar" (1915; 1927), in which a dollar invested in trust for John Jones's distant descendants ultimately grows to represent all the wealth in the Universe. More recently, however, we have become all too aware of what inflation can do to long-term investments, and the hero of Frederik Pohl's The Age of the Pussycat awakes from suspended animation to find his "fortune" valueless in terms of real purchasing power. It all goes to prove the old adage that money doesn't grow on trees—except, of course, in Clifford D. Simak's "The Money Tree" (1958).
Incidentally, this Harry Stephen Keeler is the very same one who's famous as "the Ed Wood of mystery novelists, a writer reputed to be so bad he's good"; I urge you to read the linked page, where you will find descriptions of plots like these:
A man is found strangled to death in the middle of a lawn, yet there are no footprints other than his own. Police suspect the "Flying Strangler-Baby," a killer midget who disguises himself as a baby and stalks victims by helicopter. (X. Jones of Scotland Yard, 1936)
Someone killed an antique dealer just so he could steal the face -- only the face -- from a surrealist painting of "The Man from Saturn." (The Face of the Man from Saturn, 1933)
A woman's body disappears while taking a steam bath. Only her head and toes, sticking out of the steam cabinet, remain. (The Case of the Transparent Nude, 1958)
Because of a clause in a will, a character has to wear a pair of hideous blue glasses constantly for a whole year. This is so that he will eventually see a secret message that is visible only with the glasses. (The Spectacles of Mr. Cagliostro, 1929)
And many more! Of the "John Jones" story: "This is possibly Keeler's best-known story and would rate extensive anthologization if the writing wasn't so bad, even by stiff Keeler standards of badness."
posted by languagehat at 5:27 PM on March 28, 2003 [1 favorite]

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