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Old 03-23-2009, 08:44 PM  
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Breaking Bad

Anyone watching this magnificent show?
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Old 09-12-2013, 02:05 PM   #3376
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Old 09-12-2013, 11:29 PM   #3377
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Old 09-13-2013, 07:03 PM   #3378
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Old 09-13-2013, 07:06 PM   #3379
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Old 09-13-2013, 07:07 PM   #3380
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Old 09-13-2013, 07:27 PM   #3381
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The guy doing hank had his manerisms down perfectly.
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Old 09-13-2013, 07:27 PM   #3382
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I hope a tell all behind the scenes book comes out at some point. This geoup's chemistry is fantastic, and there have to be some great stories there.
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Old 09-13-2013, 07:43 PM   #3383
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I hope a tell all behind the scenes book comes out at some point. This geoup's chemistry is fantastic, and there have to be some great stories there.
They do seem like they have a hell of a lot of fun working together.
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Old 09-13-2013, 08:27 PM   #3384
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Old 09-13-2013, 11:15 PM   #3385
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Old 09-14-2013, 08:22 AM   #3386
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The guy doing hank had his manerisms down perfectly.
This
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Old 09-14-2013, 08:25 AM   #3387
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The only shows that I've ever been guilty of binge watching... EVER... was Arrested Development and Breaking Bad.
well.. you have some good taste there.
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The fact that I can support two teams while you can't manage to support one is ****ing hilarious.
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Old 09-14-2013, 08:28 AM   #3388
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so, who survives that desert shoot-out? hard to believe Hank and Gomez have any prayer... Walt likely insists on Jesse living.. again.
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The fact that I can support two teams while you can't manage to support one is ****ing hilarious.
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Old 09-14-2013, 08:34 AM   #3389
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so, who survives that desert shoot-out? hard to believe Hank and Gomez have any prayer... Walt likely insists on Jesse living.. again.
Well, we know that Walt makes it out... I'm pretty sure that either Hank or Gomez go down... probably both of them. I think Jesse goes down or gets injured, as well.

Walt should have converted some of his fat stacks of cash, yo, into gold bars. :-)
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Old 09-14-2013, 08:36 AM   #3390
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“Breaking Bad” is careening toward the climax to end all climaxes. Vincent Gilligan, the creator of AMC’s stunning hit drama series, says this weekend’s episode will be even better than the last one. Yes, this is some of the best television ever made.

But as I have watched the downward spiral of protagonist Walter White, the high-school chemistry teacher turned drug lord played by Bryan Cranston, I’ve had one big thought at the back of my mind.

Doesn’t anybody here know how to launder money properly?

Walt hires attorney Saul “Better Call Saul” (Bob Odenkirk) because, in the words of his former partner Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul), “You don’t need a criminal lawyer... you need a ‘criminal’ lawyer.”

Hey, Walt! You need a “criminal” financial advisor too! Just the right person, with just the right touch, could have saved you a lot of problems.

Over the course of six seasons, we’ve watched White ratchet slowly downward, from an average man desperately trying to protect his family to a ruthless sociopath who will stop at almost nothing. Each turn of the screw has been driven by necessity, of a sort, as White has resorted to ever-more-desperate measures to undo the damage caused by the previous desperate measures. (Spoiler alert: If you haven’t seen the episode that debuted Sept. 8, don’t read on till you have—I’ll reveal what happens.)

But most of White’s problems haven’t been caused by the difficulty of cooking crystal meth to 99% purity, or even by whacking his enemies.

They’ve been caused by his inability to launder the money he’s made.

It was the need to do that which led Walt and his wife Skyler to buy the carwash.

It was the purchase of the carwash that forced them to reveal their wealth to others, creating the opportunity for them, later, to become suspicious.

It was the need to keep away the IRS that caused Skyler to blow all that money covering her former boss and lover’s fraud... which in turn led Walt back into the meth business.

And it was Walter’s decision to bury his cash in the desert that allowed Hank, his brother-in-law and an agent with the Drug Enforcement Administration, and Jesse, his former partner, to spring a trap on him in last week’s episode.

It was trying to protect that money that left Walt, at the end of last week’s episode, cowering in the bottom of his brother-in-law’s SUV while bullets rained around him.

Walt: None of this had to happen.

Forget Saul. Better call Brett! My fees are reasonable and my advice is impeccable.

In a nutshell, Walt: Haven’t you ever heard of gold bullion?

I watched in disbelief as Walt dug his giant hole in the desert and buried seven 55-gallon drums full of cash.

We weren’t told how much money it was, but blogger James Hong estimates it comes to around $40 million.

Cash? Seriously?

Greenbacks are physically impermanent. They are vulnerable to things like fire—as Walt realized last episode. They are also vulnerable to inflation, a phenomenon the government is determined to create.

At 2% inflation, the current rate, $40 million loses $800,000 in purchasing power just in its first year. Over 20 years it will lose a third of its value. And that’s assuming inflation stays at a modest 2%.

Walt, you are the best argument for gold—plus silver, and platinum—I have seen in a long, long time.

Bullion is one financial asset that requires no identification. It has no nationality and no records. It would seem tailor made for money laundering.

Oh—and it doesn’t burn.

Yes, gold bullion has come tumbling down in price in the last two years—from more than $1,900 an ounce at the peak to around $1,360 currently. But that’s after soaring from a low of around $250 over the previous 11 years. Presumably it will continue to be volatile. But the risks and costs of gold, for Walter White, pale compared with the alternatives.

To launder his money, Walt could have walked into gold dealerships in Albuquerque, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Dallas and Los Angeles and purchased bars of bullion—gold, silver and platinum. For cash.

Sure, he’d have to do it in stages, over time, to avoid arousing attention. But isn’t this easier than buying a carwash?

(He also could have bought rare stamps, rare baseball cards, other collectibles, and cut diamonds. But bullion’s the easiest.)

Also see: How ‘Breaking Bad’ is bad for meth dealers

Then when he wanted money to spend, he could have cashed out some of his gold, and declared a capital gain on his tax return. He’d have just looked like a brilliant investor.

The only people who would have seen his gains would have been the IRS. And as long as he was paying taxes on his gains, would they have really cared about anything else?

Gold isn’t just helpful for laundering money. It’s also great for storage—the cause of Walt’s latest problems.

That $40 million would have bought about 21,000 pounds of gold at current prices. He could have buried it very easily in a dozen different places, and never worried about Jesse setting it on fire.

Okay, so I’m just having fun. No, I’m not going into the money-laundering business. But there is a (slightly) serious side to this.

While bullion has fallen out of favor of late, those who say gold and silver and platinum are completely useless financial investments are missing one key point. These are, today, among the few assets which give you complete privacy and anonymity.

In an era of growing federal regulation and intrusion, it’s not just drug dealers who might like a little more privacy. It might just be anybody who believes in personal freedom.

Bullion may underperform equities over time, but if I were Walter White I would hold a lot of my money as bullion, not cash.

Even if Jesse Pinkman doesn’t burn your cash, over time inflation will.

Brett Arends is a MarketWatch columnist. Follow him on Twitter @BrettArends.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/fin...ite-2013-09-12
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