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"Time-Traveler" Busted For Insider Trading 724

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the making-the-rounds dept.
Chester sent in a story that has been making the rounds for a bit, but if you haven't bumped into it, "Yahoo! TV came up with this weird story about a guy who caught police's attention by gaining $350 million from mere $800 in two weeks. The twisted part is that he justifies his knowledge about stocks by saying he is a time-traveler from year 2256!"
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"Time-Traveler" Busted For Insider Trading

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  • by dtolton (162216) on Thursday April 17, 2003 @02:50PM (#5753281) Homepage
    This is an interesting story, and there are several things we
    should note about it. First of all, it's posted in the
    "Entertainment News & Gossip" section of Yahoo! TV. That should
    be a fairly big give away. Second this guy allegedly got
    arrested January 28th, yet no major news outlet has picked the
    story up.

    With those pieces of information let's look at the story. The
    story claims this guy made $350 million dollars in two weeks
    with only an $800 dollar investment by making 126 high-risk
    trades. It also alleges that he came out a winner every time.
    The article then leads you to believe the SEC thinks it's
    insider trading and that his story about being from the future
    is obviously false. Yet any person with reasonable intelligence
    will realize that even with insider information, there is no way
    someone could make 126 "high-risk" trades and come out on top
    every time. To have a record that perfect someone would need
    foreknowledge.

    The article appears to be trying to persuade us that the man had
    insider knowledge, yet when you evaluate the story at face
    value you walk away thinking "no way, insider information isn't
    *that* good. He *must* be from the future".

    The major problems with this story though lie in the basic
    facts:

    1. There is no Andrew Carlssin being investigated by the SEC
    2. The SEC does not have police powers and cannot arrest people
    3. The alleged high risk trades didn't take place
    4. There is in fact no record of *any* of the events mentioned

    I could go on and on, however there is absolutely no solid
    factual information to back this story up. I saw this article a
    few days before April 1st, so I thought it was some type of
    elaborate April fools day joke, but I wanted to put it to rest
    once and for all, so I called the SEC Public Relations office.

    They said the article is completely made up and has no basis in
    fact. It's not even based on an actual investigation.

    Of course we knew all this because this story is posted in the
    "Gossip" section though.
  • by lebeau1138 (72026) on Thursday April 17, 2003 @02:50PM (#5753282)
    Uh...you did notice that the story is from the Weekly World News, right?
    • by klokwise (610755) on Thursday April 17, 2003 @02:57PM (#5753391)
      verified by two sources... it must be true.
    • by sehryan (412731)
      Uh...did you notice that the story has a large foot icon next to it, denoting humor?
    • by Chris Burke (6130) on Thursday April 17, 2003 @03:04PM (#5753490) Homepage
      For those unaware, Weekly Wonld News is a trash tabloid that publishes hilariously ridiculous stories as fact. They're like other the Enquirer in terms of journalistic integrity, but don't focus on celebrities. Instead, it's Bat Boy or time-travelling securities fraudsters. It's actually highly entertaining. A coworker put up an article warning you of the danger that a computer hacker might make your PC explode, wounding or killing you and your family! Or an all-time favorite of mine, "Derma-Firma" -- the miracle drug that gives you bulletproof children! The end of violence! Complete with picture of a man shooting a non-plussed cow with a shotgun, and a scientific explanation: "Derma-firma contains hard elements like Iron that bind to the DNA of a developing fetus".

      Just an aside, am I the only one who thinks the name Andrew Carlssin [imdb.com] looked suspiciously familiar?
      • by ebonkyre (520924) on Thursday April 17, 2003 @03:59PM (#5753990)
        WWN was created by the Enquirer when they switched to full color; the B&W presses were paid for, so why stop using them?

        My favorite WWN story is probably still the one about the genetically-engineered banyan trees that could move on their own, that had escaped from a lab in Bolivia and were slowly (1/8 mph) walking north towards the US. While adults could easily outrun these trees, the "reporter" was concerned that they might still pose a hazard to the elderly and small children.

    • by gad_zuki! (70830) on Thursday April 17, 2003 @03:11PM (#5753580)
      Al Qaeda holds Camel Wash to raise funds for terrorism!!! [weeklyworldnews.com]

      The Earth really is flat! [weeklyworldnews.com]

      How to Osama-proof your computer. [weeklyworldnews.com]

      Actually that last article has lots of good advice for keeping a home PC secure, Osama or no Osama. I guess sometimes paranoia pays off.
    • It's true.
      Several months ago they ran a story about a woman who was killed when she believed that the rapture was occuring after a man dressed in a toga (headed to a costume party), driving a truck filled with inflatable dolls filled with helium (as a gag) crashed and the contents spilled and floated upward.

      The names were changed, but the events in the story were identical to that of a story posted by alt.atheism regular Elroy Willis as part of his satirical "EAP" (Evil Atheist Press) articles. Of course,
    • You know Mom, it is interesting that you call "The Weekly World News" the paper, the paper contains facts.

      This paper contains facts too, see pregnant man gives birth.

      (from So I Married an Axe Murderer)
  • first post (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 17, 2003 @02:50PM (#5753287)
    i went back in time to post before this was posted
  • Damn! (Score:5, Funny)

    by fooken_eh (666812) on Thursday April 17, 2003 @02:51PM (#5753289)
    He shouldn't have left the keys in the DeLorean!
  • by heldlikesound (132717) on Thursday April 17, 2003 @02:51PM (#5753292) Homepage
    ...that he was going to get caught.
    • That didn't work for Miss Cleo, either.
    • by yintercept (517362) on Thursday April 17, 2003 @03:03PM (#5753462) Homepage Journal
      The problem is that Andrew Carlssin created an alternative universe for himself so he still has an unknown future.

      Little did Andrew know that, in this unknown future, there lurked a clever internet hacker with a time machine of his own. The hacker saw the news story in the World News went back in time, hacked Carlssin's eTrade account, stole all the ill gotten gains, then shuffled off Carlssen an alternative universe where Saddam Hussein won the war.

      Hence we live in a world where the Weekly News story simply appears as a sci fi hoax, and there is a linux guru hanging out in Java happily sipping pina coladas.
  • HOAX REVEALED! (Score:4, Informative)

    by grimani (215677) on Thursday April 17, 2003 @02:51PM (#5753298)
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,630-627115 ,00.html

    "The SEC has never heard of Carlssin, and several "facts" are plainly untrue. "
  • ...I thought it was a funny story ... damn there is a lot of lag on slashdot lately...
  • The Weekly World News will continue to follow this story as it unfolds. Keep watching for further developments.
  • ...and it was rejected. Good thing too. It's a bogus story.
  • ...because I could swear today is April 17th, not April 1st.
  • Page 5 is the only place to get the really important Weekly World News [weeklyworldnews.com]
  • While very high in entertainment value, if you start posting stories from Weekly World News we're in for a ride. These are the people that are also reporting that Saddam made a gay porn film in 1968 in which his "acting" almost moved the reviewer to tears.

    My favorite was the sex, liquor and drugs diet I saw about this time last year in WWN.

  • I want to mail this guy and find out which horse comes in first this Tuesday in the 8th at Churchill Downs.
    • by On Lawn (1073)

      Hey good idea for a slashdot poll,

      What would you like to find out from the future?
      When I will die?
      Should I invest in RedHat and OSDN?
      Will JLo's marraige last?
      Do you know Cowboy Neal?
      Will they ever make Survivor Redmond?
  • Check your sources people.. This one comes from the Weekly World News. Surely the same credible news source that gave us Batboy and the visage of Satan over the New Mexico desert.

    In other /. news today:
    Bill Gates takes over kernel 2.5 maintenance: said to have 'Great Plans' for Linux
    The Detroit Big 3 pull their SUV line and produce feul-efficient cars
    and George Bush admits he cannot read on a fourth-grade level

    Perhaps we can get slashboxes for the Weekly World News, and the Enquirer!
    Maybe Taco can call
  • by elefantstn (195873) on Thursday April 17, 2003 @02:53PM (#5753331)
    I can't think of anything that typifies Slashdot better than posting a four-week old article from the Weekly World News.
  • wwn (Score:4, Informative)

    by H0NGK0NGPH00EY (210370) on Thursday April 17, 2003 @02:53PM (#5753333) Homepage
    Please read here: http://www.snopes.com/humor/iftrue/insider.htm [snopes.com]
  • For high quality journalism.

    We will find out later that he's really also an Elvis Clone abducted by space aliens who also break up marrages.
  • So what? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by warpath (19103)
    Even if he wasn't lying, even if this wasn't the Weekly World News...

    He should still be busted. Stock gains through timetravel would be unethical for the same reason insider trading is illegal.
  • by taustin (171655) on Thursday April 17, 2003 @02:54PM (#5753352) Homepage Journal
    A) This is old news.

    B) It's a Weekly World News story.

    C) You missed April Fool's by over two weeks.

    D) You're stupid.
  • Please Remove This (Score:2, Informative)

    by DarkZero (516460)
    This is a hoax. It is "making-the-rounds" as fact, but it is, as anyone that reads the article and isn't stupid immediately realizes, fake. It's from the Weekly World News. It even says it's from the Weekly World News right there at the bottom!

    What's next, a front page /. story about Bat Boy fighting in Iraq?
  • by Carnage4Life (106069) on Thursday April 17, 2003 @02:55PM (#5753355) Homepage Journal
    For those who think it's a legitimate story because it's posted on Yahoo!, remember it's a Weekly World News story. Y'know like the crazy magazines in the MiB movie. Here's a selection from this week's headlines [yahoo.com]:
    1. WHY HASN'T MY NEIGHBOR AGED? [yahoo.com]
    2. First Interview With A Talking Fish! [yahoo.com]
    3. Saddam Starred in Gay Porn Films! [yahoo.com]
  • It's cute, and would have been a great story, oh, say, 16 days ago. What the hell is it doing on the front page today? Did Taco strike an advertising deal with the Weekly World News?
  • At least they posted this as a Humor post.

    Must be a very slow news day indeed.
  • by fjordboy (169716) on Thursday April 17, 2003 @02:56PM (#5753370) Homepage
    Alright, this is obviously a hoax, because he would have *known* that he was going to get caught! Not only that, if we've learned anything about time travel from hitchiker's guide to the galaxy, we've learned that you don't need to make high-risk trades...just put a couple of pennies in your favorite bank back in 1860 and then live off the interest in 2356 or whatever year. Sheesh...this guy had no class whatsoever. He has *no* clue where his towel is.
  • Snopes - false (Score:3, Informative)

    by Finni (23475) on Thursday April 17, 2003 @02:56PM (#5753373)
    I can't believe I'm actually posting a link to Snopes.com to Slashdot. I usually just have to do it to the people at work who think that they can buy oil/gasoline from companies that don't trade with Middle Eastern companies, or something.

    sigh

    At any rate, here you go. [66.165.133.65] No truth - just cuz it's on Yahoo, don't ignore that fact that it was written by the GODDAM WORLD WEEKLY NEWS. Christ on a crutch...

  • I knew! (Score:5, Funny)

    by WPIDalamar (122110) on Thursday April 17, 2003 @02:57PM (#5753382) Homepage
    I knew this was fictional before all of you, because, I am in fact, from next Wednesday! I traveled back in time several days just to get the first post here telling you all it's false.

    But alas, my internet connection was too slow and I couldn't get FP!
  • by GregGardner (66423) on Thursday April 17, 2003 @02:57PM (#5753387) Homepage
    If you read carefully you see that the source is the "Weekly World News." You know that trashy tabloid newspaper at the grocery store right next to the National Enquirer? If you saw this story on the front cover of the tabloid while picking up some Doritos, you would chuckle and move on. But in the world of the Internet, it's posted on Yahoo and looks just like every other Yahoo news article, except for the fact that it's on tv.yahoo.com instead of news.yahoo.com. Even Slashdot picks it up (in jest, right guys?) and it looks even more legit.

    So it just goes to show you that on the Internet, you need to check the source of news a little more carefully since tabloid news can have the same exact "look" as the real news.
  • by ih8apple (607271) on Thursday April 17, 2003 @03:00PM (#5753428)
    This has to be a hoax for no other reason than it would be pretty much impossible to turn $800 into $350 million in a short period of time, no matter what you knew. Even Hillary Clinton only turned $1000 into $100,000 [cnn.com] and that took a year.

    Maybe's he actually a time-zone traveller who travelled 2256 miles (and 4 time zones) from the west coast. The whole thing sures smells of the wacky tobacy....
  • by descubes (35093) on Thursday April 17, 2003 @03:02PM (#5753449) Homepage
    From http://www.theanomaly.net/blog


    Updated: See what happens when you donâ(TM)t pay attention to the big picture? Eric Bogs was kind enough to tell me Iâ(TM)m an idiot and a gullible fool for not realizing this was Yahooâ(TM)s Weekly World News [yahoo.com], which is akin to The Onion. Hey, itâ(TM)s still a fun article.


    The rest of the Yahoo web site is also funny, though. I did not know about it.

    Time travel into the future of programming: http://mozart-dev.sf.net [sf.net]

  • by Bush_man10 (461952) on Thursday April 17, 2003 @03:02PM (#5753456) Homepage
    Relative to him the knowledge of the stock's going through the roof is common knowledge so is it still insider trading? Did he break any laws in obtaining the knowledge? NO! I say let the man have is 350 million dollars :) Food for thought....

    Thanks to who ever submitted this story cause it made me laugh right before I left work. It's a funny piece.
  • Time travel (Score:3, Interesting)

    by pmz (462998) on Thursday April 17, 2003 @03:04PM (#5753494) Homepage
    Regardless of the fictional aspect of this story, it made me think of an interesting question:

    If a person devises a time machine, how can they both (1) travel back in time and (2) account for the displacement of the Solar System and its planets in that time?

    For example, if he traveled back 200 years but remained in the same position, he would have appeared not in Wall Street but in space to quickly die in a vaccuum. The comfort of Earth would literally be billions of miles away.
    • Re:Time travel (Score:4, Insightful)

      by BoneFlower (107640) <[george.worroll] [at] [gmail.com]> on Thursday April 17, 2003 @03:27PM (#5753725) Journal
      A couple possibilities-

      One, remember, all position and velocity is relative to your point of reference. If the time machine is designed such that it considers Earth a still point of reference, with the right equations to account for movement of everything else around it(hey, in 200 years you could come up with that math), then he wouldn't have to do anything. Just punch in the time and he would show up at the same spot he left earth from.

      Also, assuming he had access to a time machine, he surely had access to the computing power needed to easily calculate the position of Earth based on the center of the universe frame of reference.

      Also, more esoteric methods could have been used. Perhaps psychic energies are better understood in his time, and he homed in on the psycic signature of the Earth to ensure arrival at the proper location. Maybe the Earths gravity well ensured he arrived at the proper planet by providing an anchor.

      And of course the simple thing- He may have targeted 1995 or so, and simply kicked in his crafts engines to travel to the Earth. It would be trivial to figure out the general direction the Earths system would be in relative to where it was when you left. Then just compare some star charts with what you see ahead of you, narrow down which star is Sol, and rocket off. .5C or so should be enough to get you to Earth in a couple of years after only a 200 year drift. I mean, I don't think the earth moves nearly that fast relative to the universal center, probably only a few tens of thousands of MPH. You'd still be deposted in the mily way, probably closer to Earth than Proxima Centauri...
  • Take a look at:

    The Osama Bin Laden Suicide Bomber Dating Service [io.com]

    Terry Brooks to rewrite The Lord of the Rings [locusmag.com]

    Baen Books Announces Product Placement Deal with Microsoft [locusmag.com]

    Each and every one of these stories is as true as the parent, and most are funnier...
  • by ath0mic (519762) on Thursday April 17, 2003 @03:10PM (#5753561)

    ... really this guy should have gone back to 1986 and invest in a little upstart called ... uhh what was it?.. Macrosoft?... no that's not it.
  • D'oh! (Score:5, Funny)

    by karlandtanya (601084) on Thursday April 17, 2003 @03:10PM (#5753563)


    Gullibility of /. editors revealed on fark!



    Fark [fark.com]

  • by MisterMook (634297) on Thursday April 17, 2003 @03:10PM (#5753567) Homepage
    Puh-leease....

    As a current tourist in your quaint era, I can assure you that time-able persons such as myself amuse ourselves by participating in Slashdot forums, downloading p0rn, and watching that gem of two-dimensional entertainment - Saved By The Bell. We do NOT participate in "insider trading" since your credit cards are paltry to imitate using some peanut brittle, gum, and the inner workings of a common saucer part.
  • by Vorgo (448106) on Thursday April 17, 2003 @03:11PM (#5753583) Homepage
    I didn't realize that stuff from the World Weekly News [yahoo.com] was /. worthy...
  • It's Funny, Laugh! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by E1ven (50485) <e1ven.e1ven@com> on Thursday April 17, 2003 @03:16PM (#5753628) Homepage
    You do know this was posted under the HUMOR section, right?

    Of /course/ it's fake. We all know that. But it's still damn funny!

    Some people take life too seriously.

    Colin
  • by select * from (593191) on Thursday April 17, 2003 @03:17PM (#5753634)
    Although this comes from the WWN, it was also noted that in the year 2256 the Chicago Cubs still haven't won a World Series and Dick Clark is still alive.

    Those two items give the story some credence.
  • by acomj (20611) on Thursday April 17, 2003 @03:23PM (#5753691) Homepage
    The skit was on snl after the 80s stock market crash. Future man with his perfect stock picking record refuses to tell if or when a recovery happens despite the pleas of analysts.

    When one of the analyst does himself in, they ask future man if they knew that would happen.
    "yes"
    " then why didn't you stop him"
    "I never liked him"
  • by Dossy (130026) on Thursday April 17, 2003 @03:32PM (#5753776) Homepage Journal
    Dear Friends,

    My name is Andrew Carlssin. In September 2256 my car was reposessed and the bill collectors were hounding me like you wouldn't believe. I was
    laid off and my unemployment checks had run out. The only escape I had from the pressure of failure was my time machine and some stock ymbols. I longed to turn my advocation into my vocation. This December 2002 I went on a four month time-jump. I bought and sold a couple of stocks for BIG MONEY in April 2003.

    I'm currently under investigation by the SEC for insider trading, but all I need to do is get back to my time machine and return to 2256. I will never have to work again.

    Today I am rich! I have earned over $350,000,000.00 (Three Hundred and Fifty Million Dollars)) to date and will become a billionaire within 4 or 5 months. Anyone can do the same. This money making program works perfectly every time, 100% of the time. I have NEVER failed to earn $50,000.00 or more whenever I wanted. Best of all you never have to leave home except to go to your mailbox or post office.

    In October 2255, I received a letter in the mail telling me how I could earn $50,000 dollars or more whenever I wanted. I was naturally very skeptical and threw the letter on the console of my time machine. It's funny though, when you are desperate, backed into a corner, your mind does crazy things. I spent a frustating day looking through the want ads for a job with a future. The pickings were sparse at best. That night I tried to unwind by getting into my time machine and going back to hang out with Jesus. I proofread a rough draft of what would become the Bible and than glanced at the letter on the console. All at once it came to me, I now had the key to my dreams. I realized that with the power of the time machine I could expand and enhance this money making formula into the most unbelievable cash flow generator that has ever been created. Most of the hard work is speedily done via self-serve online brokerage houses throughout the world. If you believe that someday you deserve that lucky break that you have waited for all your life, simply follow the easy instructions below. Your dreams will come true.

    Sincerely yours,

    Andrew Carlssin

    INSTRUCTIONS

    1) Buy a time machine.

    2) Capture all of the open and close prices with the largest up or down changes for the past couple of months. Double-check all the numbers; you wouldn't want to lose all your money on a typo.

    3) Go back in time to the start of the prices that you've recorded.

    4) Start trading like nobody's business. Try to make some intentional mistakes to try and cover up your tracks -- don't be like me and lead the SEC auditors straight to your portfolio!

  • If its not fake... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by stretch0611 (603238) on Thursday April 17, 2003 @03:41PM (#5753845) Journal
    Ok, yes its a fake. But lets imagine for a second that it is true.

    If it is true we should take the deal he offered, Give us Osama, Cure AIDS, and let him walk.

    Now if it is really true the guy would be an idiotic PHB. After all, He could claim the $25 million reward [fbi.gov] from the FBI, use the money to develop a cure for AIDS and make billions selling the drugs he developed. No one would ever know he is from the future or arrest him for insider trading.

  • by b1t r0t (216468) on Thursday April 17, 2003 @04:03PM (#5754015)
    If I were coming back from the future in a time machine to score a little cash off of the stock market, 2003 is not the time I'd come back. I'd come back in 1998 or so, start buying like crazy on the leading edge of the bubble, then dump everything in March 2000. And follow it up by a bunch of short trades. Or, without enough appropriately dated seed money, just skip the bubble's rise and go straight for the short trades.
  • by AnalogDiehard (199128) on Thursday April 17, 2003 @05:15PM (#5754584)
    If he's from the 23rd century and he's this stupid then he must be a dropout from Star Fleet Academy.
  • by schmaltz (70977) on Thursday April 17, 2003 @05:16PM (#5754594)
    "D'you think maybe we should start checking Urban Legends [66.165.133.65] before approving stories?"
  • He called (Score:3, Funny)

    by iphayd (170761) on Thursday April 17, 2003 @06:10PM (#5755048) Homepage Journal
    This explains it.

    Four weeks ago, he called. He could not believe he got ahold of me. He just about passed out when I said hello. I asked him why he was treating me like a god. He replied that my contributions to the world had many great effects on civilization. He only wondered what I could have done if I wasn't so poor while I was young. Unfortunately, the SEC locked his accounts before he could give me the money.

"Be *excellent* to each other." -- Bill, or Ted, in Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure

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