Another year-end is upon us. What would December be without lists to quantify what happened, forecast what will be and analyze just what went wrong? Many will survey the biggest surprises, the most money won or lost, who made the best call and which CEOs are left standing. Serious stuff happens, fortunes are made, dynasties collapse, whole economies fight for their very existence.
Instead, I'd rather focus on the ridiculous — the absurd, the stupid or the impossible-to-believe that gets offered to the financial markets and their participants and chroniclers. We're in a serious business, where information needs to be digested not just for the numbers or strategies but to be simultaneously analyzed for its unintended message.
What's the message that we're not being shown? It's as if CEOs, PR departments or analysts are daring us to believe what can't possibly be. I've compiled a list of five. Each of these is a little more absurd than the last, yet each stands alone. In chronological order, here are my favorites from 2014.