For Sale to Feds: My toxic assets

March 26, 2009: 10:13 AM ET

1. 59 yo-yos, purchased over a lifetime on the principle that they would accrue in value and eventually be collector's items, as indeed they are, in the sense that they seem to be of interest only to the person who collected them. Current value: $157 dollars. 

2. Large portfolio of comic books circa 1966 - 2006, assembled after I found out that my mother had thrown away all my Silver Age Marvel comics. Collection includes many vintage R. Crumbs, entire run of Spawn, Preacher, and many other underground titles. Current value estimated, by me, to be far from the $5 million projected, by me, while the process of investment was underway. 

3. 50 shares of Google (GOOG) purchased for a stagnant IRA of mine at approximately $700 per share not all that long ago, when we all had nowhere to go but up. Yesterday's share price: $324. 

4. Assorted shares of other "blue-chip" firms purchased 1995-2000, when I decided to "go conservative" in the market. Current decline in value: 90%. 

5. A number of stock options now valued by ridiculous accounting rules to be worth something. Actual value in foreseeable future given the state of the economy and tremulous state of Wall Street: $0.00. 

6. Several contracts that provide "guaranteed" income from firms that now no longer exist. Black-Scholls value of these worthless contracts: $14,530,423.34. 

7. One co-op in New York City. Present estimate of market value: Will accept any reasonable offer. 

8. One twelve-year-old cocker spaniel, selectively incontinent, likes chocolate. Current value: Priceless.

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