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Dec. 3 2009 - 7:31 pm | 3,517 views | 4 recommendations | 66 comments

The Ultimate Vanity Plate

The License Plate That Says It All: 2BG2FAIL | Andrew Ross Sorkin.

I’m going to give this one at least an 8 on the funniness scale, leaning toward a 9. The plate belongs to Morgan Stanley Vice-Chairman Rob Kindler. The blunt double-entendre obviously referencing his banker-member, for which the Porsche-in-middle-age is already an overcompensating signal to the rest of the world, adds significantly to the humor for me. Thoughts?


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  1. collapse expand

    The Cayenne is a thirsty ridiculously overpowered SUV, so I don’t think it counts as a mid-life-crisis car – better a Boxter or a Carrera. The plate, however, shows what a grand game all of this is to the bankers. Cayenne Turbo is, BTW, just under the top-of-the-line model – probably stickered out about 120 large.

    • collapse expand

      Its a $100,000, 500hp, 0-60 in 4.9s SUV with an adjustable suspension that changes ride height and suspension stiffness depending on what setting you pick. This thing has more power than a Boxster and Carrera, and probably handles better than most cars out there. A mid-life crisis for all season commuting.

      In response to another comment. See in context »
  2. collapse expand

    10/10 on one condition: the turbo is seen over-heating, with at least 1 flat tire.

  3. collapse expand

    He’s probably been whining to his friends that he doesn’t feel safe and needs a gun. Hey dipshit, why not paint a big red target on your windshield while you’re at it.

  4. collapse expand

    Well, one thing’s for certain. Connecticut doesn’t allow ‘Bite Me, Taxpayers!’ to be used on its plates.

    (I know, I know – it’s more than 8 letters. But this is a rhetorical point I’m trying to make.)

  5. collapse expand

    I guess we have to keep hoping for the trickle-down from the giant fraternal circle jerk.

  6. collapse expand

    Here’s a guy that just flat out loves politics. In 2004 he gave $2,000 to George W… and $2,000 to John Kerry.

    In 2008 he donated max amounts to Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney, John McCain, Barack Obama, and Hillary Clinton.


    Sounds like a guy who can’t make up his mind?
    …or knows how to hedge his bets?

  7. collapse expand

    Okay so now you’ve opened the door to both the words “stimulus” and “package” to enter the conversation, and for this you should be deeply ashamed.

  8. collapse expand

    my thoughts are that the goldman d-bags aren’t the only ones that should be getting carry permits.

  9. collapse expand

    The corollary: His soul: 2Small2Detect

  10. collapse expand

    I’m not going to lie. I like this. Good for him.

  11. collapse expand

    There’s the inevitable sentiment of phallos here ? (obviously something failed in the past..)

    isn’t the full magnitude of the cynicism going to show its ironic potential when the cardhouse (the US) in the end really fails?

  12. collapse expand

    You know what’s even funnier? The head of Barclay’s investment banking arm demanding his son’s private school fire his 11th grade teacher because she made a nasty comment about Lehman Bros. and Barclay’s making money on the bankruptcy, here:


    Oh, and she’s a feminist and possibly gay, so of course she must be destroyed. Talk about the audacity of moneybags.

  13. collapse expand

    My humor is wanning after reading alexanderbendo comments on Goldman Sachs Arms Itself. We need to get orgainized to start fighting this stuff. The arrogant bastard needs four flat tires with the car surrounded by some viglanties

  14. collapse expand

    Driving on I-64 Saturday, I saw a Hummer (the big’un) with vanity plates. “Guzzler.”

    “Well,” I thought to myself, “At least he admits openly that he’s an arrogant, self-serving prick.”

    I suppose that counts for something.

    On second though, a nice crowbar through the windshield counts for more.

  15. collapse expand

    Isn’t it sad that this is actually a widely recognized financial term in in Economics in the first place? I’ve decided to refresh us all here with a good old fashion “definition of the day”…

    Too Big To Fail (TBTF) –

    Government practices that protect large banking organizations from the normal discipline of the marketplace because of concerns that such institutions are so important to markets and their positions so intertwined with those of other banks that their failure would be unacceptably disruptive, financially and economically.

    I gotta say that he must actually really have a big one to have ego enough to sport that on the taxpayer’s dime. For that matter, he must have one hell of a doctor. I wander how many times he’s been rear-ended? If I was behind him at a red light, I’d be tempted.

    My favorite quote about the whole “too big to fail” process is brought to you by Mervyn King, Governor of the Bank of England. “Banks that are too big to fail should be broken up.” Of course, Bernanke responded by throwing a temper tantrum. There’s more drama in these execs board rooms, than two Theta sorostitues vying for the same guy, and winner gets the prized MRS degree.

    I know it’s just a license plate, and I’m going a bit overboard, but to have bragging rights like that, makes me imagine that this is his “personal motto”, and he walks around Morgan Stanley giving out high fives while saying, “Yeah, baby! T! B! T! F!, everybody, T. B. T. F…”

    Wander if he ran over to see his cronies and was like, “Man, you gotta check out my new plates, 2BG2FAIL, get it? Heh. We really got those guys didn’t we? We really got them…”

  16. collapse expand


    It took me a few minutes to determine if you were just messing with us or if you were seriously telling the truth that this plate belongs to who you say it belongs to. I am going to go out on a limb here and take you at your word on this (and risk looking like a fool later on when you tell us you were just kidding). The arrogance on the part of the owner of this plate strikes me as “absolutely hilarious.” I am thinking that “absolutely hilarious” translates into a 9/10. It is only less than a 10 because something even more “absolutely hilarious” might come along later and I don’t want to be accused of “grade inflation.” That might really shatter my self-esteem.

  17. collapse expand

    How about “SMLDICK”…..or “AWIPE”…or “FCKSHKRS”…..or “TRDALRT”….or “DCKHEAD”….or “MONSTER”.

    I think all of these apply. Please no comments about the “sexist” ones :)

  18. collapse expand

    I have to imagine that the irony of a vanity plate like this could not possibly be ignored by a NY City parking attendant writing parking tickets, or a policeman pulling this guy over for a traffic stop. My only consolation is that I think we can reasonably assume that this guy isn’t talking his way out of any tickets with a plate like that.

    Why oh why do they feel the need to keep rubbing our noses in it?

  19. collapse expand

    You know this whole us and them thing is weird to me. I know we are from different worlds (Wallstreet money sponges, me – lowly engineer), but our view of reality is so much different. In my world every customer is important. I just got off the phone with some guy from Merril Lynch in dealing with an issue in my brokerage account. I really had no intention in getting in a debate with the gentleman, but turned out he was a former trader. I mentioned the fact that I used to have great service at BofA until they laid-off all of the personal I used to deal with (people I grew to know). BofA had great service prior to Merril Lynch, bad service afterward, don’t know who I am dealing with anymore. (I might of mentioned the fact that I hoped that the savings didn’t go to bonuses for traders.) Anyway, as I said, I didn’t want to get in a debate, but there we were. He – contract/pay plan obligations, paying off TARP, “MAKING (stealing) big sums of money for ML”, good service to little guys like me doesn’t make good business sense… me – credit default swaps, manipulating markets, GS, bonuses, pitchforks, value added work, etc.
    Well, I suppose I should be careful, with my electronic money floating around in their hands.
    Then again, the correct behavior from someone in his position was to simply listen. The customer is always right. Well at least in my world.

  20. collapse expand

    Yeah, it’s very funny in a stick-a-pitchfork-up-his-ass kind of way.

  21. collapse expand

    Clearly, the man is heir to the Massengill fortune.

  22. collapse expand

    Funny in about the same measure as Ben Bernanke is funny for proposing to ail the country’s woes by going after Social Security and Medicare.

    Reed asked him if he could think of other ways, but Bernanke returned to entitlement money as the way to balance the budget.

    “Willie Sutton robbed banks because that’s where the money is, as he put it,” Bernanke said. “The money in this case is in entitlements.”

    Bernanke reminded Congress that it has the power to repeal Social Security and Medicare.

    “It’s only mandatory until Congress says it’s not mandatory. And we have no option but to address those costs at some point or else we will have an unsustainable situation,” said Bernanke.

    In a just country, the Ben Bernankes would be swinging from the nearest lamppost. There’s always money, it’s just a question of where the people in charge decide to spend it. If trillions of dollars are needed to funnel to greedy fuckers who burned the real economy to the ground, there’s money for that, but God help you if you’re not rich and need to retire or need medical care you entitlement-addicted loser.

  23. collapse expand

    I’m having a hard time believing that this is an actual license plate, both because the plate in the picture looks kind of photo-shopped, and because I can’t believe that anyone could be such a dick (or so clueless about public interpretation of such a thing). On the other hand, there’s no Snopes entry on the thing (yet, at least) so perhaps Mr. Kindler really is that big a tool.

  24. collapse expand

    Normally I’m not an advocate of vandalism, but I hope he parks this car in the wrong place sometime, and someone takes a sledge to it.

  25. collapse expand





  26. collapse expand

    Or, looking in from the outside: 2BG2XIST

  27. collapse expand

    Talk about “if you’ve got it, flaunt it,” conspicuous consumption, wretched excess, raw, naked capitalist entitlement and contempt for the environment all rolled into one picture, that’s it.

    And, maybe that’s the problem–because that, in a nutshell, is The American Dream.

    Or, at the very least, it’s the dream that’s being sold to the masses at every opportunity.

  28. collapse expand

    Yeah, it’s both funny AND annoying at the same time. And of course the metaphors can extend quite a bit beyond the normal inversely proportional relationship between middle-aged members and vehicle sticker price. One could almost call the Fed the financial equivalent of a prostate specialist.

  29. collapse expand

    Not only do they not feel remorse for what they’ve done, they think destroying the economy and looting the US treasury is FUNNY!

    May he be car jacked by an large angry unemployed armed ex-homeowner. May he laughingly resist.

  30. collapse expand


    “it’s a Cayenne…. like the peppaah.”
    -Carmela Soprano

  31. collapse expand

    I think it should say “Too Arrogant to Fail.” Not only did they take us all for a ride, they shoving it in our faces. Thanks Matt. You’re incredible.

  32. collapse expand

    President Andrew Jackson also understood the danger. He refused to renew the charter (a grant of monopoly) of the Second Bank of the United States. In 1836 Jackson said to the bankers trying to persuade him to renew their charter (so they could continue their harmful monopoly):

    “You are a den of vipers. I intend to rout you out and by the Eternal God I will rout you out. If the people only understood the rank injustice of our money and banking system, there would be a revolution before morning.”

  33. collapse expand

    might go nicely with a bumper sticker:

    “FED is my co-pilot”

    alternative vanity plate:

  34. collapse expand

    Men blush less for their crimes than for their weaknesses and vanity.
    Jean de la Bruyere


  35. collapse expand

    Why don’t I like having my nose rubbed in it?

    Matt- excellent job on the latest RS article showing how Rubin et al maintain the power no matter if elephants or donkeys rule the White House. I was VERY glad to see RS let you take the prez to task on this issue.
    Donkeys and elephants get us fighting over stuff like gay marriage and abortion or healthcare and in the meantime we are getting sodomized by mega-banks so they can award themselves bonus money for failing.

  36. collapse expand

    I have to admit , it is pretty Ballsy (or falling down stupid) , especially in new York with all the lower level financial people laid off and the holidays coming.

    If I was , Oh, about 35 years younger , That would have been considered a hot vandalism target. Of course when you make enough money to buy one of those a day, who gives a fuck? Some of them make enough to buy a dozen a day.

    Just for some additonal Rage, I took the estimated bail out costs thus far, around 2.8 Trillion, and divided by $50,000 and then devided by 8. $50,000 being a living wage except in New Your and similar places. 8 Years being a business cycle.

    I came up with 5.3 Million jobs. Know there is an estaimated 11 trillion dollars worth of infrastructure needs in the country, it’s no mystery where they would have been employed. Then take the multiplier effect of that many people working and you have maybe 15 Million jobs. That covers the entire recession and just about all the new entrants into the job market. Of course if we go by Shadow Stats, it covers everyone except the new Entrants. 15 Million jobs a year would have added 8.1 Trillion to GDP. So if it’s at 13-14 T now, that would have pushed it up to 21T.

    Then you take average tax collections which now have fallen by 62% to 1.3 Trillion or 10% of GDP. If it goes up to the historical norm of 18%. That comes to about 3.8 Trillion or more , call it 4 trillion. No deficit spending because no bank bail out costs. Annual Budget about 3 Trillion. In 8 Years the national debt would have been the lowest it’s been in a 100 or more years inflation adjusted.

    Add 1 Trillion a year for health Care and Tax receipts increasing from a a healthier population working and healthier corporate bottom lines and it would have probably covered a full single payer plan, and a Free 50 Caliber Hand gun for each Tea Bagger and a Pony for every one on the left.

    Just some small talk

    That’s what we could have had. That’s why it boggles the mind that anyone defends anything beyond the 200 billion or so to stop the run on the banks. Obama and crew fucked up so bad, it’s hard to even comprehend and I ‘m center left and voted for the fucker.

    You have to wonder – does it hurt when they think?

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