Came for the finance, stayed for the comedy

One of my favorite things about Animal Spirits is interacting with the audience.

Our inbox fills up every day with people sharing stories, asking questions, and just saying thank you.

I wanted to share an email that came in last night. It’s one of the best we’ve ever received. The subject line was, “Came for the finance, stayed for the comedy.” Hope you enjoy this as much as we did.

Hi Michael and Ben,

I just finished listening to episode 227. You guys were out of control this episode. I was laughing left and right. Just look at some of these quotes from that show. (I had to listen to it twice to get these quotes. Might have wasted an hour of my life – oh well. Hope you enjoy seeing some of what you guys say when you are flowing on the show!)

Ben: “This is one where I’m not going to throw my hat in either side of the ring right now.”
Michael: “Shocking. Shocking, you’re not gonna take a side.”
Ben: “Hey! I’ve been taking sides in the housing market over the last few weeks.. fool me once. Wait a minute…”

Michael (interrupts out of nowhere): “You see that I have a sweatshirt on? It’s cold in my house.”
Ben: “Suck it up, winter’s coming.”
Michael: “It’s a segue, Ben.”

Michael: “I prefer 69.”

Ben: “I could go really low on my own.”

Michael: (classic Michael line) “This is the coup de grâce…”

Ben: (classic Ben line) “I still don’t drink coffee, obviously. Not to brag.”

Michael: “I don’t have a good vocabulary. You just asked me to retrieve a word. Couldn’t do it.” (coming from Mr. coup de grâce)

Ben: “You read all the stories about trains and boats and planes and why this stuff is behind…”
Michael (interrupts): “and automobiles”
Ben (absently): “Yeah, everything.”

Michael (condescendingly): “Ooooohhh, so you’re blaming the consumers!?”

Ben (joking but probably not joking at all): “I talked to my fellow FED peers, and they’ve assured me a depression is no longer on the table.”

Ben (smugly): “Here’s where I get the W on this one…victory lap.”
Michael: “I appreciate you moving the goalposts. The mental gymnastics are impressive.”

Michael: “I’m a man of the people!!”
Ben: “No! You’re calling me middle of the road guy!!”
Michael: “What?! I’m taking a side!”
Ben: “No, you’re taking the other side every time on this stuff!”
Michael: “Just cuz you live in the midwest doesn’t mean you’re a man of the people!” (classic Animal Spirits saying Michigan is the midwest despite Michigan not being the midwest)
Ben: “This show is about money!!!”
(Michael and Ben break to tease a guy on Twitter and then resume the argument feverishly)

Ben: “Half the country doesn’t even own stocks so why are we talking about this stuff?”
Michael (more French phrases): “Touché”
Ben (abashedly): “Sorry that was a little harsh.”

(Listener email segment)
Michael: “Ben, you in particular, miss this point”.
Ben: “You picked out the emails that say Team Batnick in them but keep going.”
Michael: “I didn’t see any that said Team Ben.”

Ben: “We’re both right and we’re both wrong.”
Michael: “But I’m 90% right and you’re 60% right. You keep using national data, that’s my whole point!”
Ben (exasperated): “Yeah cuz we live in a nation!”
Michael: “No we don’t.”

Michael: “Do all Canadians own Bitcoin?!”

Ben: “If you live in the center of the universe in New York City and there’s all these great things to do and it’s all vibrant-”
Michael: “Bagels.”Michael: “I just made the soccer coach gif. You know that one?”
Ben: “No, what’s that?”
Michael (despite the fact he is on a mainly audio podcast): “Mmmmmmrrrreeeerrmmmm”

(Discussion about Zillow)
Michael (with a call back to a previous “Michael’s Cover Letters” episode): “FUUULLLL disclosure. I pride myself on transparency, Ben. My average cost is….”
“Opendoor getting the W. The stock was up bigly today.”Ben: “Local real estate markets require context-”
Michael (interrupts sounding like Robert De Niro): “Don’t tell me they require context, I’m telling YOU that!”

Ben (and of course Ben would say this): “I got a take. HBO Max is FAANG stocks. Netflix is index funds.”

Michael: “Apple just keeps finding ways to print money. I mean is that wild?”
Ben: “Yeah, that’s…
Michael: “For comparison, what do you think Netflix’s revenue is?”
Ben: “Are we gonna do one of those things where Apple’s cash pile is bigger than-”
Michael: “Dude, this is a big story.”
Ben: “I’m telling you it is!”
Michael: “No you’re poo pooing it!”
Ben: “I’m agreeing with you! You need to back off dude!”

(Listener’s Audi email)
Michael: “I made a game of it. A squid game, so to speak” (Michael adds editorially)
Ben: “I have a confession to make. I wrote this email.”

The Animal Spirits team then ends the show confirming that the entire listener segment is a farce (which implies a large amount of humbleness on Ben’s part considering that even though Ben writes all the listener emails, he never once advocates for Team Ben).

What a show.


Thank you Kevin, absolutely incredible email. We’re working with a company to provide a better listener experience so that you can pull stuff directly from a transcript and not have to waste time rewinding and typing. Hit the link below if you missed the show and want to listen.