Thursday, 20 December 2007

Happy Christmas and New Year

This will be my last post until January 2, so I would just like to wish my readers a Happy Christmas and New Year. I must admit that Christmas doesn't mean as much to me as Halloween, but it's still worth celebrating, I suppose.

I'm going into the desert for two weeks now. I need to get away from it all, and I want to meditate on how I am going to develop mystical capitalism next year. As the money king, people expect me to take the lead. I don't mind the responsibility.

I haven't been to the desert for over a year. Someone told me the other day that Jack Pickles is also heading for the desert this Christmas. I hope not. I'm in no mood for a fight with him, but if he pushes me, well ...

Monday, 17 December 2007

Stephen Westwood goes to London & Capital

Stephen Westwood has joined London & Capital. He is the new director of investment funds and he will lead a 'new division' of staff.

This is absolutely fantastic news. I'm really excited about it. What does the phrase 'new division' suggest to you? It can only mean one thing - London & Capital is bringing in a team of financial shamans and money mystics. A whole team! Not one or two token mystical types, but a whole team! I'm over the moon.

Thursday, 13 December 2007

Goldman Sachs: big bonuses for the bankers, but what about the shamans and mystics?

Goldman Sachs will splash out £9 billion in bonuses for its workers this Christmas. Simon Dingemans will get £10 million. Michael Sherwood and Karen Cook will also get showered in cash. But what about the financial shamans and money mystics?

I spoke to Susan Flint from Bad Moon Investments this morning, and she said, 'Michael, we both know that Goldman is very secretive about the shamans and mystics it employs. Well, the bank is not saying a word about the bonuses these mystical workers will receive. This suggests to me that they are getting more money than the conventional bankers at Goldman.'

That makes sense. If Michael Sherwood finds out that some crazy - in his mind - upstart, crystal-ball-gazing, tarot-card-reading nutjob is getting more money than he is, he is going to be extremely pissed.

Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Lloyds TSB's Helen Weir and the credit contagion

Jesus Christ! No, it's not a horror story. Just another doom merchant with more tales of woe. These people are out of control. Helen Weir, finance chief at Lloyds TSB, has been saying how the turmoil affecting the world's financial systems is spreading. She actually uses the word 'contagion.' It's a fucking disease now. I suppose she saw the headlines that Simon Johnson and Teun Draaisma and George Soros and Uncle Tom Cobley were getting, and she thought she would like some of the action.

I've had enough. If the worst comes to the worst, I will conjure up the four horsemen of the apocalypse and give these characters something serious to worry about. I hope I haven't shocked you. I mean, I don't operate on the dark side - I leave all that to Jack Pickles. I'm just really angry at the moment. These people are making the situation worse. Big Herb has practically guaranteed me that the credit crisis will pass. Is anyone listening?

I'm going to finish off with a quote from King Lear: The worst is not, so long as we can say 'This is the worst.'

Monday, 10 December 2007

The Miton Arcturus fund

There is a fund that has been named after a star - Arcturus. The Miton Arcturus fund is managed by Steven Brann. He is obviously a deeply spiritual man, full of wisdom and mystical insights. And he says he wants to protect people's money.

I don't know about you, but this brings tears to my eyes. I love to see bankers and financial types embracing the new creed of mystical capitalism. And for someone like Mr Brann to embrace it with such enthusiasm and passion, well, I can hardly control my emotions.

Susan Flint from Bad Moon Investments feels the same, 'Ah, it's lovely, isn't it? A fund named after a star. I've never met Steven, but I imagine he's an absolutely beautiful soul. Not a cold-hearted bastard like someone I could mention.'

I think Susan is referring to her ex-boyfriend Andrew. I won't go into it.

Barclays Wealth: rich people still want luxury goods

And bears still shit in the woods. Apparently, Barclays Wealth has just wasted its time on a new survey that says rich people still want to buy luxury goods or blow their money on services like personal shoppers. Tell us something we don't know. It is obvious that the economic slowdown won't affect the super rich. Thank you, Gerard Aquilina - how would Barclays cope without you?

Let's get serious here. We all want to know how the economic slowdown is going to affect financial shamans and money mystics. Well, I can tell you. It is boom time for the mystical brothers and sisters. Firstly, their prediction skills are needed more than ever now. Investment banks would be stuffed without them. Secondly, they don't need or want luxury goods or indeed any goods at all. My regular readers will know that I once lived in a cave for eight years, and all I had was a blanket and a few mystical books. Just because we're into money it doesn't mean we actually need it. Financial shamans and money mystics are superior beings, and that is why we can survive in any economic climate.

Thursday, 6 December 2007

Bank of England: interest rate cut to 5.5 per cent

Calling all financial shamans and money mystics - rejoice! The Bank of England has cut the base rate of interest to 5.5 per cent. Yippee! Will the lenders follow? They better.

Keith Busby was right! I love Keith Busby! Keith, you're the man! Regular readers will know that Keith predicted in this blog that the interest rate would come down by the end of the week. What a genius the man is!

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

The devils of Scrutton Street

O weary traveller, mystic stranger, do not dare go to Scrutton Street. There are devils there that will steal your soul and sell it to the highest bidder. The devils! See their eyes glow red! These demonic beasts bathe in the blood of the innocent. Oh, the horror! The fear!

Let me fill your heart with the terror! Let me show you the depths! O poor soul, steer clear of Scrutton Street. The devils will see you coming, they will be your evil friends, they will kiss you, they will whisper sweet murder in your ear. Don't let them touch you! Don't let them breathe on you!

In the brightest day or the darkest night, you will find the pain they create. In every minute, in every hour, your tears will fall and be the fuel for their sick hearts. O you damn fool, you are so innocent, you know nothing. Don't go to Scrutton Street! For the love of sweet, gentle Jesus and all the beautiful angels, do not dare go to Scrutton Street.

I survived the horror. I was young and foolish, and I had the fearless soul of the natural-born adventurer. I went down into the darkness. But I lived in fear! I saw the deranged smiles of the forgotten ones - dead, half-alive, almost living, workers tied to their torture! What a nightmare! But it was real! It was oh so real. I cried when I saw these broken slaves. And I fought the devils. I would not let them break me with their vulgar promises of advancement. I stayed true to myself, and I escaped with my life. Was my soul damaged? Oh, I don't know. I pray not. I fall to my knees and offer myself to Jesus. Save me, Jesus! O beautiful Saviour, I am your lost child.

O you devils, O you depraved monsters, I will speak to you now. Day by day, I am growing stronger. The power of the light will destroy you! Will I come and see you? Oh no, not in Scrutton Street. But I will enter your dreams and turn them into the nightmares you inflict on others. You will fail! You will burn! I can see a vision of your miserable future. It's so horrible I can't even look at it for more than a second. You will know the terror.

I need to sleep. I am tired, so tired. I will dream a thousand dreams of pleasure way beyond Scrutton Street. Envy me.

Geoff Foster: public don't care about sub-prime

In the Daily Mail today, city and finance reporter Geoff Foster claims most shoppers in London don't care about the sub-prime disaster in America, and may not even be aware of it. Banks have lost billions, and yet all Joe Public cares about is shopping, shopping, shopping.

It's enough to make you sick, isn't it? But it gets worse. I recently carried out my own survey on the streets of London and was shocked to find out how ignorant your average person was of financial shamanism. I approached one man quietly eating his lunch on a bench in Finsbury Square. I asked him if he knew that the Finsbury Square Zombie Club met every lunchtime in the square. I explained to him that these zombies work in banking and finance. I really went into detail, telling him all about the history of this famous club. He just looked at me in disgust and walked away. What is wrong with some people?

What is wrong with some women? I bumped into two ladies who were smoking cigarettes outside an office in Scrutton Street. I asked them if they realized that Big Herb was a ghost shortly before he became a money god, and that for a while he haunted that very street. I told them he was distraught because he had lost his space hopper. The two ladies just said that were going to call the police. How absolutely ridiculous! The police aren't going to waste their time looking for an ex-ghost's space hopper, are they?

Michael Grade has got to get a grip

Trying saying that after a few pints. ITV boss Michael Grade has lost it. Since he took over at ITV in January, the broadcaster's share price has fallen by around 20 per cent. What can be done about this?

Well, how about making some decent programmes? Maybe a business programme. The BBC has The Apprentice and Dragon's Den. ITV's response was the awful Tycoon. ITV should make a programme about a financial shaman wandering from town to town and helping people with their financial problems. A bit like Kung Fu. I could be the star, and at the end of every show you would see me leaving town in a sad manner - like The Incredible Hulk.

Mr Grade, I don't have an agent, but you can send me an email, and we'll get together sometime and discuss how we are to going to move forward with this idea.

Monday, 3 December 2007

The MPC: lower interest rates

On Wednesday the members of the monetary policy committee at the Bank of England will get together and discuss the issue of a cut in interest rates. Everyone feels sure that lower interest rates are coming, but when are they coming?

This is a job for award-winning financial psychic Keith Busby. I wish to Christ that it wasn't a job for him, but I'm afraid it is. Keith says, 'Oh, you want my expertise now, do you? I suppose I'm not a total wanker after all. Well, anyway, I have been speaking to a wide range of dead bankers over the weekend, and the word on the astral plane is that there will be a cut in interest rates by the end of the week - probably Friday.'

Susan Flint from Bad Moon Investments disagrees, 'I can't see a change in interest rates for two or three weeks yet. I don't know what the hell Keith is on about. I mean, let's face facts. The man had a nervous breakdown only a little while ago, and he is notoriously unreliable. He talks shit most of the time - excuse my French. Michael, you're supposed to be the world's foremost financial shaman and the present money king. You should know what is going to happen.'

Well, my reply to Susan is - I can't do everything. Does anyone actually realize how busy I am? It's only a matter of time before I crack up myself. Keith is all right. I rely on him to trawl the astral plane for me because I can't be there every minute of every day. I'm only human.

John Thain wants to change Merrill management culture

John Thain, the new chief executive of Merrill Lynch, wants to make changes to the senior management culture at the bank so it is more like Goldman Sachs. All I can say is - good luck.

Does Mr Thain really understand how Goldman works? I have friends at Goldman on the very secretive shamans committee and they tell me that John has no knowledge whatsoever of financial shamanism. This basically means that Merrill Lynch will not be able to compete with Goldman Sachs on any level. The Merrill culture has to be completely revamped. Shamans and mystics must be brought into the bank and placed in senior positions. And I mean senior - heads of department level.

Arthur Simmons from the Chaos College of Finance says, 'None of our graduates have gone to Merrill Lynch, and that's a big problem for the bank. I've been told that Merrill doesn't even have any Big Herb prayer rooms. How can you expect to do business like that?'

Good question. How can any investment bank hope to survive in the present climate without Big Herb prayer rooms? Sometimes I despair, I really do.

Morgan Stanley: frontier markets

More foolhardy behaviour. Apparently, Morgan Stanley Investment Management is moving into frontier markets with its Frontier Emerging Markets Fund. This fund covers 33 countries, including the Caribbean.

I say foolhardy because zombies working in finance in the Caribbean are out of control at the moment. Dougie Smith, secretary of the Finsbury Square Zombie Club, recently returned from Haiti, and he had this to say, 'Don't get me wrong, I do care about the zombies in Haiti - they face terrible discrimination - but I'm afraid they are their own worst enemies sometimes. I would not advise Morgan Stanley to get involved, not right now. I could tell you stories that would make your hair stand on end. Zombies working in banking and finance over there are completely corrupt. Maybe they are seeking revenge for years of ill treatment. Would you blame them? Who are we to judge? Shamans and mystics who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones at zombies who live in graveyards in Haiti. I think that's a fair point.'

I'm not sure it is a fair point. And I didn't call them corrupt, Dougie did. I'm not throwing stones at any fucked-up zombies in a country I've never even been to. I'm not into all this voodoo nonsense. They can keep it. I just don't care about frontier markets. End of.

Friday, 30 November 2007

Stanley Fink sells Man Group shares for £27.2 million

Stanley Fink, deputy chairman of hedge fund manager Man Group, has sold five million of his shares in the group for £27.2 million. He still retains 14.5 million shares. The word on the street is that Mr Fink wants to diversify his investment portfolio. Well, that's understandable. We've all wanted to do that at some point, haven't we?

But I'm wondering what Stan will invest his money in now. So is Maurice Marble III. Sadly, I was speaking with Maurice this morning, and here's the latest shit he has come out with - 'I will be contacting Mr Fink as soon as possible because I have got some great investment opportunities for him. The best one - and this will knock your socks off - is a new machine I've invented that you plug into your brain. It's nothing like my old machine that projected your dreams on to a wall. This is new. Don't forget I'm Acton's leading brain specialist. This amazing machine actually reads your mind and makes plans for your future. How many times in a day do you feel confused? How often do you feel you don't know your own mind? Those days are over, my friend. My machine will comprehensively -'

I put the phone down. Life is too short.

Thursday, 29 November 2007

Simon Johnson and the perfect storm

I'm afraid yet another doom merchant has crawled out of the woodwork. This time it is Simon Johnson from the International Monetary Fund. He is the chief economist at the IMF and he reckons there will be a perfect storm of a recession next year - due to the credit crunch and high oil prices.

Enough already! Alan Greenspan, George Soros, Teun Draaisma - how many more professional pessimists are going to jump on the bandwagon? And why did Mr Johnson use the phrase 'perfect storm'? He obviously wanted a catchy phrase that would make it into the papers.

Well, I'm so angry about this that I'm not even going to consult Magnus's Book of Money Curses. This is from my own pen -

O you doom merchants, you money men of little faith, of little hope, the day of the great reckoning will soon be at hand, and to whom will you run crying then, with your miserable forecasts of disaster? Behold the money king! I will live in your darkest nightmares in the darkest nights. O you fools, you unbelievers, Big Herb will turn against you, and then where will you be? In the pit! In the pit of despair you will fester and wail and gnash your teeth. I call on Big Herb the money god, I call on all the lords of the holy cash - throw these men into the pit!

Wednesday, 28 November 2007

SRM Global buys 6.97 million Northern Rock shares

Hedge fund SRM Global has bought 6.97 million shares in disaster bank Northern Rock. This is a serious attempt to stop Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Money taking over. Why would SRM Global want to do this?

I have been speaking to Arthur Simmons from the Chaos College of Finance and he told me, 'Branson is an unconventional businessman. I presume certain conservative figures in the banking world don't want him getting his hands on Northern Rock. Actually, I've heard Branson is planning to hire hundreds of shamans and mystics to work at the bank - but don't quote me on that.'

That's what it is then. The suits don't want to see financial shamans and money mystics practically taking over a top bank. Sure, mystics and shamans are employed by banks in small numbers, but they are carefully controlled and not fully trusted yet.

Tatum Jones from Dodger Coombes says, 'What is everyone so worried about? Dodger Coombes employs more shamans and mystics than any major bank and we are making billions of pounds. I would definitely trust a financial shaman to invest my life's savings for me.'

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Paulson & Co makes £2 billion out of sub-prime crisis

The American hedge fund Paulson & Co - run by John Paulson - has made £2 billion by betting short on mortgages dropping in value. Everyone is saying Mr Paulson is brilliant, Mr Paulson is secretive, Mr Paulson is a genius. But no one is saying they know how he did it, or how he knew last year that the sub-prime crisis was coming.

But I know. I know how he did it. I know what Mr Paulson knows.

Friday, 23 November 2007

Knight Vinke won't leave HSBC alone

I hate to see a big bank like HSBC being picked on by a small activist investor like Eric Knight. It's not fair, is it? Eric's investment fund Knight Vinke controls less than 1 per cent of HSBC's shares. Eric has made new allegations. He says HSBC has been misleading its shareholders. Apparently, the directors of the bank are getting a pay and perks plan that is based on very low performance targets.

Well, what can HSBC do about this? It has to be something legal. I have just spent the whole morning perusing Magnus's Book of Money Curses, and I have found one curse that the bosses of HSBC might find useful. I have had to adapt it a little bit, but it goes like this -

O Knight Vinke, O Eric, lord of the delirious activists, give up your evil ways, and leave HSBC in peace. They are only harmless bankers. Why do you persecute them? Stop now or face the consequences. I will unleash all the dark angels of hell if you do not desist. Demon fire will fill your heart, and you will know the pain of the desolate one. End this war. End it now.

If this doesn't work, I don't know what will. If you want to help HSBC in its struggle, I urge you, dear reader, to recite this curse over and over. Also, tell your friends. The more people we can get involved in stopping Knight Vinke, the better.

Aviva and the hoaxer

Some deranged lunatic has faked an internal memo between two bosses of Britain's largest insurer Aviva. The memo, from finance director Philip Scott to chief executive Andrew Moss, claims that Aviva is insolvent - which is absolute nonsense. The company fears this could be the work of a dodgy trader or hedge fund.

Oh sweet Jesus, this better not be the work of Jack Pickles. I pray Jack Pickles has nothing to do with this.

Thursday, 22 November 2007

GlaxoSmithKline spends £800 million on fish oil

GlaxoSmithKline is going to buy Reliant Pharmaceuticals for £800 million. It is an American company whose main product is Lovaza - an amazing fish oil pill that controls fatty acids.

I have been speaking to Maurice Marble III about this deal, and he is not happy. He said to me, 'I'm at my wits' end. I really am. What about all my pills? I've invented pills that can expand your consciousness, pills that aid astral travel, pills that - all kinds of pills! I've got pills coming out of my ears, and no one wants to buy them. What about me? What do I get?'

Well, if he doesn't shut up, I'm sure he will get put away somewhere. I seem to be surrounded by lunatics - Maurice, Keith, poor Ben. What is it about me that attracts these people?

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Michael Spencer is rolling in money

The chief executive of Icap, Michael Spencer, unveiled massive profits yesterday. Icap has seen a 36 per cent rise in profits - £141.1 million from sales of £626.2 million. This is what you get when you act as a middle man between banks, apparently.

I take my hat off to Michael Spencer - the richest man in the City. But will he ever become the richest man in heaven? I presume, dear reader, you're familiar with all that camel and eye of the needle nonsense. You may even believe it. Well, I'm afraid it is nonsense. God loves rich people. Just ask Big Herb. Actually, you won't be able to ask him - unless you're a financial shaman of my standing. But I have asked him, and he told me that money goes a long way in heaven. He says that unless you can afford to tip the angels you will have a rough time of it. It all sounds a bit Gerard Bent, doesn't it?

Erinaceous sacks two executives

Property services group Erinaceous has sacked two of its executives, Neil Bellis and Lucy Cummings, after pressure from hedge fund Fursa which has a 19 per cent stake in the group. Erinaceous has issued profit warnings and breached its banking covenants in recent times. The two executives have been paid 'golden goodbyes' of over £400,000 each.

What is this 'golden goodbyes' bullshit? When I left Shaman Money Management all I got was a one-way ticket to Palookaville. Business people have got it too easy these days.

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Wall Street bonuses: let the good times roll!

Northern Rock may be a mess, an absolute fucking disaster - see what happens when you don't employ enough shamans or mystics - but workers on Wall Street will be laughing soon because bonuses are expected to reach an all-time high this year. Forget about sub-prime mortgages. It's flotations, mergers, and acquisitions that are bringing the money in.

It won't be so good over here in Britain though. Goldman Sachs will be all right, as ever. What is Goldman's secret? I wouldn't like to say - maybe another time. Bob Diamond from Barclays probably won't be getting a big bonus this year. He received £15.2 million last year. I haven't had any contact with Bob for quite a while. Bob, if you're reading this - don't be a stranger.

Monday, 19 November 2007

CIMA financial management awards 2007

Are you going to the Marriott Grosvenor Square on 29th November for the CIMA financial management awards? No, me neither. It's not my cup of tea, but financial management is very important.

Just ask award-winning financial psychic Keith Busby. We all know that Keith is a very emotional and disturbed individual. You would expect his finances to be in a right mess, but I was speaking with him recently and he told me, 'My finances are not in a mess, not at all. I've won awards, you know. Admittedly, not CIMA awards, but so what? Anyway, I don't trust banks, so I keep all my money at home. I arrange my money by feeling the vibrations. If a £10 note - for example - is giving me bad mystic vibes, I will put that note in a flowerpot in my garden shed. If a note - say a £20 note - is giving me good vibrations, I will place that note under my mattress. This is important. When I go to sleep at night, the good vibrations from all the wonderful cash beneath me enter my body and my soul. When I wake up in the morning I feel full of positive energy. I can then help people with their financial problems. And not just dead people. I help the living as well now. As for all the notes in my garden shed, I don't give a fuck what happens to them because I will not be surrounded by bad vibes. I will not have negative mystical influences in my life. I don't care if it costs me money. My health is more important.'

Will Tullett Prebon and GFI merge?

Interdealer broker Tullett Prebon and its rival GFI have held talks about merging the two companies. In recent years these companies have had a number of legal battles over allegations of staff poaching.

If Tullett and GFI can get it on and work together, that would be great news. I don't like to see people fighting. Let's all work together and hold hands and drink Coca-Cola.

The poaching of staff though reminds me of my time at Shaman Money Management. I actually tried to poach Michael Oliver from Mystical Cash Gurus. He still works for them and he doesn't get paid much, but job satisfaction is what floats his boat. He says, 'I knew SMM would go out of business. The company was run by a bunch of clowns, as Michael Fowke will tell you. I have been at Mystical Cash Gurus for over ten years now and I just love it here. The culture is brilliant. You don't have to wear a suit. I come into work wearing a shaman's ceremonial gown and no one bats an eyelid. Trying doing that at Goldman Sachs and see how far you get. They would kick your arse out the door before you could say - where's my bonus?'

Thursday, 15 November 2007

Guy Hands and the whimpering dogs

Sounds like a great rock band, doesn't it? Rumour has it that Jimmy Page is going to produce their first album. But no, seriously, Guy Hands is the boss of Terra Firma, and the dogs in question are bankers who Mr Hands feels are beneath contempt because they refused to bankroll mega buy-outs for years.

This is what I like to see - someone with a bit of spirit, a wild, bohemian financier living on the edge, swigging from his bottle of Jack Daniel's, and telling it like it is. The rock and roll spirit in the world of banking and finance! Jim Morrison! Janis Joplin! Arthur Rimbaud! I could go on.

In fact, I will. O you bankers, you must become mad mystic warriors! Forget your straight ways. You must derange yourselves and travel the wild road to wisdom! You must - you get the idea.

Will Reuters enter the credit rating agency business?

Tom Glocer, who will soon become the chief executive of the merged Thomson Reuters, has been talking about the possibility of Reuters going into credit rating.

Well, that's fine. Nothing wrong with that at all. But I hope Reuters is not planning to go into the mystical financial news reporting business because I have that area all sewn up, and I wouldn't like to see this great company come a cropper.

Wednesday, 14 November 2007

Bank of America housing losses

Bank of America will probably write down $3 billion of debt in the fourth quarter. The US housing slump is to blame for this, but the bank's finance chief, Joe Price, says the losses are manageable.

The housing market in the UK also looks a bit shaky at the moment. I believe more people should live in caves. I'm serious. I lived in a cave for eight years and it didn't do me any harm. It is certainly a cheap way to live - no rent, no bills. What's the problem?

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Blackstone boss talks of scary US loan crisis

Tony James, president of Blackstone, is scared. Real scared. He says the US mortgage crisis is deeper and scarier than anyone thought it would be.

Scary? I'll tell you want scary is, pal. I recently had a nightmare where I was being chased across a desolate landscape by massive, hairy demons with red eyes and fire coming out of their mouths. They couldn't catch me, but I was in constant fear. When I woke up, I immediately thought of the turmoil in the markets around the world and said to myself - don't make me laugh.

The point I'm making is - there are some seriously scary things in this world, the next world, and the dream world. So let's not lose our heads over money, eh?

Teun Draaisma: credit crunch could lead to recession

More doom and gloom. Teun Draaisma from Morgan Stanley says we should all forget about equities and choose cash because of - oh, I don't know. I don't want to hear it any more. There could be a recession. There probably will be if people keep talking about it.

Monday, 12 November 2007

Pearl winning the Resolution zombie war

It looks like Pearl is going to win the zombie war. Standard Life has walked away from Resolution - blaming the fall in its share price for the decision not to increase its offer for the zombie firm. What does this mean for the zombies?

Dougie Smith says, 'I'm worried, very worried. I know at least two zombies at Resolution who have had a nervous breakdown because of all this. Zombies need stability - everyone knows that. I want to see Pearl come in now and reassure the members of the Finsbury Square Zombie Club that there will be no exterminations. Hugh Osmond should tell us how much he loves and respects zombies. I'm sure he does, otherwise why would he go through all the trouble of trying to get Resolution?'

Well, it's obvious that Dougie's main concern is the welfare of the zombies, but business is business. If Mr Osmond decides to exterminate some of these creatures, should we be concerned? I don't know. I'm really not sure about this. Some people have said I dislike zombies because of what happened with Maurice Marble III. That's not true. Don't listen to the rumours. Maurice is not a zombie, and we are on good terms now. That incident with the meat cleaver got blown out of all proportion.

Robert Rubin: new Citigroup CEO will be free to decide on strategy

The new chairman of Citigroup, Robert Rubin, has been talking about the bank's next CEO and saying that he (I presume it will be a man) will have the freedom to decide what changes to make. This could include splitting the group up.

Susan Flint from Bad Moon Investments says, 'I would like to see a woman take over, preferably a money mystic. Women are more in touch with nature, and the new CEO of Citigroup may have to enlist the help of nature spirits to ensure that the bank keeps its position as the world's biggest bank.'

I can see where Susan is coming from on this one, but I believe a powerful, male financial shaman will have to take over. At this stage there is no other option, not with the markets the way they are. I was told the other day - by someone at Reuters - that they might approach me. Well, I would not be able to take the job due to my other commitments. Besides, I want to remain independent. I think people will have more respect for my money king title that way.

Publicis: there’s a web bubble!

Maurice Levy, chairman and chief executive of Publicis, has been speaking of a web bubble. Apparently, the boss of this marketing group is concerned that too many companies on the internet are chasing too little advertising revenue.

Keith Busby, the award-winning financial psychic, was straight on the phone to me when he heard the news, 'You see what I'm saying? There are bubbles, bubbles everywhere. Beautiful mystic bubbles in banking, in the housing market, and now even the internet. Bubbles will take over the world. We must all cherish these bubbles.'

I don't know how much longer I will be able to maintain my friendship with Keith. Ever since he developed the new fortune-telling technique of visiting people at home while they are having a bath, he has been obsessed with bubbles. He sees all bubbles as being the same. He is insane. Am I being too harsh saying this? Is it possible he is a great visionary? No. He's a nutter. Pure and simple.

Principal Global Investors looking at alternative investments

Barry Griswell, boss of the Principal Group, says that the asset management arm of the group is hoping to expand into alternative investments. Principal GI may start off with funds of hedge funds.

This is great news, but funds of hedge funds? I think they should be a bit more adventurous than that. Principal should invest in crystal balls. Since William Foster sold his company Crystal Ball Technologies, the market in crystal balls has collapsed. However, I believe this is only a blip. Other occult products are selling well. A company with imagination could revitalize this area.

Thursday, 8 November 2007

Cenkos bid for Close Brothers

Cenkos wants to buy the investment bank Close Brothers for £1.1 billion. This bid has been described as 'cheeky' by the Daily Mail because Cenkos is a tenth of the size of Close Brothers.

Cheeky? I'll tell you what cheeky is. Cheeky is Keith Busby thinking I will sell my copy of Magnus's Book of Money Curses to him for £1500. Is this man out of his mind? I'm sorry, but is this man out of his mind? He reckons he didn't realize until yesterday (see my post on George Soros) that I had a copy - even though I have quoted from the book on a couple of occasions in this blog. £1500! The book must be priceless. There are only three copies in existence. Keith is taking the piss.

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

George Soros: US economic correction

Why are so many financial gurus from the straight world coming out of the woodwork and predicting economic disaster? It's getting boring. George Soros reckons America's economy will have to face a correction soon - mainly because America has borrowed too much money. Alan Greenspan is also sticking his oar in.

I'm going to make a correction soon and put a curse on all these doomsayers. I possess one of the three copies in existence of Magnus's Book of Money Curses. I WILL USE THIS BOOK IF I HAVE TO.

Why can't Soros and Greenspan and Uncle Tom Cobley be more optimistic, like me. I suppose they don't have my insight. They certainly don't have strong links with the spirit world. They can't predict the future. This is where financial shamans come into their own. It's my business to KNOW, not guess, what the future holds. I now have regular contact with Big Herb and a little contact with Ganesh. Neither of these gods predicts financial disaster in the near or long-term future. Let's show them a bit of respect. Let's take their word for it.

Oil at $97 a barrel

US oil prices are getting close to $100 a barrel. This is due to the weak American dollar, the credit crunch, and fears of insufficient oil supplies for the winter season.

My main concern is the rising cost of mystical oils. As regular readers will know, I get through a hell of a lot of fortune oil. Quite a few depressed bankers and traders have been coming to me, desperate for me to smear the oil all over their face with the intention of opening up the third eye. A small pot of fortune oil used to set me back £30. Now it is more like £45 or even £50. I'll probably buy in bulk from now on. I would love to get barrels of the stuff, but I don't think my supplier would be able to manage it. Anyway, this is my problem, not yours. Don't worry about it.

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

Credit card fees are going up

A lot of people believe the devil invented credit cards. A lot of people believe anything. I'm not sure what I believe. I think there is a fair chance the devil is behind the recent increases in cash withdrawal fees for credit cards, but I have no solid proof. Most analysts believe it is down to the credit crunch. They are being too negative as far as I am concerned. They enjoy predicting financial meltdown. Not everything can be blamed on the credit crunch. Some things have to be blamed on the devil.

Susan Flint from Bad Moon Investments says, 'I was recently accused of being a money witch in league with the devil. I wish people would stop blaming him for everything. Of course, I have no connection to him. Credit cards are not connected to him. I'm not convinced that the devil is even remotely interested in banking and finance.'

Jennifer Beckett from Soul Watchers says, 'I don't know what Susan has been smoking. The devil is clearly involved in banking and finance. I have masses of files on him, witness statements, the lot. This should not be swept under the carpet.'

Dear reader, I guess you will have to make your own mind up.

PetroChina: the trillion dollar company

The Chinese oil and gas monster company (as in big, not real monsters - maybe I should have said 'giant') PetroChina has become the first company in history to be worth one trillion dollars. That's more than four Googles, I think.

But there could be a big bubble here. Warren Buffet recently sold his 11 per cent stake in the company. Why would he do that? Keith Busby says, 'It's a big mystic bubble, beautiful colours, floating in the sky. If you look hard enough you will be able to see the face of God in the bubble.'

I'm getting a bit sick of this. Keith is always getting his bubbles mixed up. IT'S NOT A MYSTIC BUBBLE! I wish it were. There is nothing I would want more, but sometimes you have to face reality. I'm sorry, Keith, you're not well. Get some help.

Monday, 5 November 2007

Chuck Prince quits Citigroup

After quitting last night, Chuck Prince is no longer the chairman and chief executive of Citigroup, but will he now retrain as a financial shaman?

When Stan O'Neal left Merrill Lynch last week I spoke to Arthur Simmons from the Chaos College of Finance. He wanted to see Mr O'Neal retrain as a shaman and make a commitment to mystical capitalism. So far, Mr O'Neal has not said a word about it. We don't know what his plans are. Maybe he's stuck in the old ways - not realizing that mysticism is the oldest way of all. I hope I'm not confusing anyone. I get confused myself sometimes. The mix of mainstream, conventional banking and the new creed of mystical capitalism is a bit messy. It will stay this way until shamans gain the upper hand in the banking world.

As for Chuck Prince, I would love to see him dancing beneath the moon and chanting and praying to Big Herb the money god, but I won't hold my breath. I would love to see it though. Mr Prince, if you're reading this post, I urge you to give it a try. You might like it. You'll definitely enjoy the power and the thrill of being able to talk to any dead person you choose. Think of all the bankers who have passed over to the other side. These guys will be your new friends, offering you the best advice that not even money can buy. If you ask me to, I will guide you. I will be a bridge over troubled water for you. Take my hand. At least think about it. If you need me, I'll be waiting for you on the astral plane. Please come and see me.

Cowen Asset Management launches next week

I am looking forward to Cowen Asset Management launching itself on the UK market next week. I always get a buzz from such things.

I remember when Shaman Money Management first came on the scene. We had such high hopes, we were so enthusiastic, so full of life. We were young then. But the bastards at the top of the company ruined everything. The way I see it, you're either a financial shaman or you're not a financial shaman. MAKE YOUR MIND UP! WHAT ARE YOU? Some people just don't get it. I'm still feeling bitter about it. I had some good colleagues at SMM, decent people who made an effort to contact the spirit world. These people know who they are. BUT THE SCUMBAGS! They know who they are as well. Morons who wouldn't know one end of a crystal ball from the other, who wouldn't know what an Ouija board looked like if it smacked them in the face. SCUM!

Stonehage: rich suffer higher inflation

Giuseppe Ciucci, chief executive of Stonehage (a wealth management adviser), says that rich people in London are suffering from a higher rate of inflation than the average joe in the street.

Well, I'm all broken up about these rich people. They should take a look at my life. Forget about fine wines and big cigars, do these wealthy layabouts have any idea how much a decent pack of tarot cards costs these days?

Saturday, 3 November 2007

The ninth curse of Magnus

Thy investemonts shalle faile, and ye shalle be pottluss.

Friday, 2 November 2007

Pearl vs Standard Life

Pearl and Standard Life are still fighting each other and throwing insults around, but what about the poor zombies at Resolution? They are caught in the middle.

Dougie Smith from the Finsbury Square Zombie Club was on the phone to me this morning, and he said, 'It's very distressing to see this happening. Don't they care about the welfare of the poor zombies at all? I've had zombies coming to me in floods of tears. They feel very unloved at the moment, and they are scared. They want to know what will happen to them when Resolution actually is taken over by either Pearl or Standard Life. Zombies can be very sensitive at the best of times, but we've only just got through Halloween and - it's a mess really.'

I feel for the zombies, I really do. It's not fair. The zombies working in insurance and banking are very simple souls. They only care about their accounts, and profit and loss, and credit and debt. I hope Hugh Osmond and Sandy Crombie can sleep at night.

Neil Chugani joins BBC

An investment banker from Goldman Sachs, Neil Chugani, has just joined BBC Worldwide as head of finance. Why on earth would a decent, God-fearing capitalist want to work for those lefties at the BBC?

Some people change as they get older, I suppose. I remember Jack Pickles - before he went over to the dark side. I have a confession to make: we were once close friends. He could have been a first-class financial shaman, maybe as good as me. Unfortunately, he was seduced by Satan. I remember when he came back from the desert. When he spoke to me there was a sinister edge to him, and he couldn't look me in the eye. Something happened out there. I survived the desert, but you can be tempted. Of course, Jack is a very rich man now and he probably thinks this is all sour grapes. Well, it ain't. I wouldn't swap places with him for all the tea in China.

Thursday, 1 November 2007

Charles Sherwood: pay packets should stay secret

I'm never going to drink again. Anyway, Permira partner Charles Sherwood reckons private equity chiefs should be able to keep their massive pay packets a secret.

Fair enough. But what else will remain a secret? I need an aspirin. Is Mr Sherwood ever going to mention all the financial shamans and money mystics who are working in private equity? I feel sick. I don't ever want to drink whisky again.

Mr Sherwood says buyout firms need to be less secretive on some matters though, to gain the public's trust. Brilliant. Let's hear about the shamans. I want some coffee.

Michael Dobson sells shares for £7.3 million

I'm feeling a bit rough today - after last night, but I'll try my best to write about the Schroders boss - if it makes you happy.

Apparently, Mr Dobson has sold off 550,000 of his shares. Schroders has just made its biggest quarterly profits ever. That David Pitt is a bastard. I only wanted a shandy, but he was giving me whiskies - one after another. I don't even drink whisky. I feel awful.

Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Happy Halloween

I hope you all have a wonderful time tonight. I actually have to give a lecture in a Big Herb temple. David Pitt only asked me yesterday if I would say a few words about mystical capitalism. So I'll be making a few notes this afternoon and mentally preparing myself. David will obviously be conducting the main ceremony afterwards. I can't wait.

HSBC sells Marbles and Beneficial

HSBC has sold two of its credit card businesses - Marbles and Beneficial. SAV Credit has bought them for £385 million.

HSBC will now concentrate on its remaining credit card brands, but I'm wondering if credit cards will soon be obsolete. There must be a way you can transfer money from one account to another using mystical powers. Let me explain. If you wanted to buy a new sofa for a certain amount of money, couldn't you use your mind to instruct your bank to take the required money from your account and send it to the sofa shop's account? Just think how easy that would be.

Michael Oliver from Mystical Cash Gurus says, 'I can't see it happening yet. Not even the most powerful shamans or mystics can manage such a feat without errors - so what chance would your average joe in the street have? Maybe a thousand years from now when the human race has evolved a bit more, but it's just a pipe dream at the moment.'

Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Gold close to $800 an ounce

The price of gold has soared to nearly $800 an ounce. It has reached its highest level since 1980. The reason for this is that investors have been scared shitless by the falling dollar and inflation, and they want a safe haven for their money.

This is a great time to turn base metals into gold - if you can manage it. I once tried to create gold (in my misspent youth), but it ended in disaster. I nearly burnt the house down. Alchemists are a special breed. Not necessarily more special than financial shamans, but they have unique skills which can take twenty years or more to acquire. If you're an alchemist you haven't got much time for anything else in your life, and you have to be very good to make any money out of it.

I only know one truly successful alchemist - I can't name him - and he recently told me, 'Even if you do manage to turn base metals into gold, the problem is shifting the gold afterwards. You have to explain where you got the gold from, and it can be quite awkward. Fortunately, I have an arrangement with a bank in Switzerland and they take all my gold - no questions asked.'

Hugh Osmond says Standard Life is ugly

Hugh Osmond, the boss of Pearl, has accused Standard Life of being an ugly version of Friends Provident. Sandy Crombie, the boss of Standard Life, is refusing to retaliate. Both companies are going after the Resolution zombies.

Well, there is nothing more ugly than a zombie. Mr Osmond and Mr Crombie should form an alliance and fight the zombies together. That's my advice. But I have upset Dougie Smith now. He says, 'Zombies are beautiful. I won't have anyone saying a bad word about them. And I'm surprised at you, Michael. I thought you were in favour of zombies working in banking and finance. I'm shocked.'

Some people can't take a joke. Of course I don't really want Pearl and Standard Life attacking zombies. Zombies are ugly though. Sorry.

Monday, 29 October 2007

MPC Investors doing well

A London-based hedge fund company, MPC Investors, is doing great business at the moment - at a time when hedge funds are suffering. What's the secret of its success?

Well, I wouldn't like to say. All I can say is, with Halloween coming up a lot of hedge fund managers are dabbling in the dark arts. I myself will be quite busy this Halloween, although I will not be getting up to anything untoward. This is a time of year well known for witches and ghosts and demons, etc., but a lot of white magic practitioners will also be very active. I will attend a meeting at a Big Herb temple - in a secret location. I won't be going to the temple in Leadenhall Street because it's too high profile, and I've found that you get a lot of City traders in there who are just going through the motions. They are not fully committed to Big Herb and the concept of mystical capitalism.

At this meeting on Wednesday night we will have to make an offering to Big Herb. Don't panic! It won't be a human sacrifice or anything horrible like that. He likes toasted crumpets. As bizarre as it sounds, that is what Big Herb wants us to serve up on the altar. Each to their own, I suppose. It should be a great night. I just hope I don't have a hangover the next day.

Will Stan O’Neal retrain as a financial shaman?

Stan O'Neal will probably leave Merrill Lynch today, due to recent losses at the bank brought on by the turmoil in the credit market.

I have been speaking to Arthur Simmons about Mr O'Neal and he told me, 'I would like to see Stan retrain as a financial shaman. It would send out a powerful message to Wall Street that financial shamanism has come of age. We need a big player from the mainstream banking world to show the Americans that there is no need for them to be afraid of mystical capitalism.'

While I agree with Arthur that we certainly need a big player to come on board, I don't think it will happen in America yet. If it happens anywhere, it will probably happen in London's Canary Wharf first. As we all know, Canary Wharf is the most mystical financial centre in the world, and that won't change anytime soon.

Algebris wants to force change at Generali

UK hedge fund Algebris has a small shareholding in Italy's largest insurer, Generali, and is trying to gain support among investor groups to force changes upon the company.

This reminds me of the time when I was working at Shaman Money Management and I was trying to force the company in a new direction. The bosses wanted to invest in the latest technology - powerful computers and the like. I wanted to invest in old technology. As far as I was concerned, we didn't have enough crystal balls, scrying fluid or even tarot cards. It was a joke. Financial shamans and money mystics were having to share basic equipment. On one occasion I ran out of fortune oil. The company refused to buy any more until the end of the month and we lost a massive amount of business as a result. I just hope Algebris knows what it is doing.

Jim Hunter studies fund managers

A business psychologist by the name of Jim Hunter has been studying fund managers and he has come to the conclusion that they do not work well in large teams.

A bit like financial shamans really. Your average fund manager would do well to take a leaf out of my book and retreat to a cave for a period of time. I'm not suggesting fund managers should go into the desert for years on end - the way I did in my youth, but they should try it for a couple of weeks. The isolation would do them good, and they could meditate on their funds.

Friday, 26 October 2007

EasyJet buys GB Airways for £103.5 million

EasyJet has just bought GB Airways. It will now be able to compete with British Airways at Gatwick airport. However, EasyJet did not want GB Airways's slots at Heathrow.

Keith Busby says, 'I can't understand why people even use airplanes. If I want to go to New York, I can be there in under a minute - using astral projection. I can travel anywhere in the world and it doesn't cost me a penny.'

I also use astral projection to get around the world, but there are problems with this mode of travel. The main problem is that you can't take your body with you. Have you ever tried to book into a hotel without a body? It's bloody difficult. Have you ever eaten food in a restaurant without your body being present? You leave an awful mess behind. I think airplanes are going to be with us for a long time to come.

Wednesday, 24 October 2007

No need for Tony Hayward to get depressed

I hope BP chief executive Tony Hayward isn't going to get depressed about BP's terrible third quarter results. These things happen in business, but I'm sure BP will bounce back.

I suggest that Mr Hayward goes in for a bit of meditation. It will chill him out a lot and he'll probably forget all about his troubles.

Here's what he should do. Lie down in a darkened room. Only ponces sit with their legs crossed. Think about a happy event in his childhood. Relax and take deep breaths. Imagine a money spider is crawling over his head. Imagine a blue orb is floating above his head. Concentrate hard. HIS PANTS ARE ON FIRE!!! - at this stage, Mr Hayward should jump up in a mad panic. This is called shock meditation. It is a special technique I have developed over the years that prepares you for anything. After realizing his pants aren't really on fire, the BP boss should be able to go about his normal business with a new enthusiasm and an amazing amount of energy.

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Michael Coogan criticizes the Chancellor

The director general of the Council of Mortgage Lenders, Michael Coogan, has laid into Alistair Darling. He says the Chancellor risks causing a panic among customers by saying that mortgage companies are being irresponsible when it comes to lending.

Everyone seems to have it in for the Chancellor at the moment, maybe it's his eyebrows. I spoke to Keith Busby last night - yes, we're speaking again - and he said, 'Alistair Darling has white hair and black eyebrows. A very interesting combination. It suggests to me that the Chancellor has a very mystical side to his nature. I would not be surprised at all if he converses with spirits in his spare time, but I can't imagine what advice they must be giving him.'

I can't imagine either. His plan to scrap taper relief on capital gains tax is crazy. He may or may not converse with spirits, but he certainly hasn't had any training in financial shamanism.

Thursday, 18 October 2007

A vision of Canary Wharf

O beautiful, glorious Canary Wharf, where the investment bankers roam free, I had a vision of you. You were a living thing alive in my dreams while I was still awake! In a mad rush through the astral plane of my mind I saw bankers, traders and analysts all dancing and singing - they were so happy to be alive. Your skyscrapers are magnificent - piles of banknotes reach for the sky! Where is the pain of life when you're surrounded by money? There is no pain. There is no grief. A wild celebration of the world's most mystical financial centre should swim through the minds of all the people who love money, who love stock, who love derivatives, who worship the gods of the holy cash.

The Square Mile is square! O Canary Wharf, come alive in the dreams of the men and women who work in your towers. Barclays, HSBC, Citigroup - let's celebrate the presence of these banks and all the others.

I had a vision. Financial shamans and money mystics and zombies and gods became one with the bankers and traders and analysts. One mass of people! Financial masters living in harmony. A money heaven on earth! It was so beautiful. Canada Square and Cabot Square were shimmering in a haze of mystical colour bleeding from the smiles of money ghosts on a day trip from the City of London. Don't fear the ghosts. Yes, they steal, but show no fear. And the money vampires? Forget them. For this was a good vision. There was no evil and no fear and everyone had money. People were stumbling around with money stuffed in their pockets - they were drunk on the success of the markets. Do not fear the credit crunch. It is a nightmare we shall all wake from. But my vision will live on. It will not fade. Take it into your heart and live it forever.

Where are your bonuses, your fortunes, your millions and billions, O you bankers and financiers? The greatest fortune is in your soul. There is money in your heart and you must cherish it. And cherish the towers of Canary Wharf. These are your temples where you worship the money gods. Big Herb and Ganesh are on your side.

My disciples, you've heard the words before, now hear them again - money is fire in the head! If you work in Canary Wharf, O my dreamy workers, toilers in cash, you must learn about the fire. Money is a burning! In my vision I saw the flames of the holy cash in everyone's eyes. No banker was without this fire. It will come to pass. It shall become the truth. The wise ones will live this truth. O you brave workers in Canary Wharf, you must take the lead now. Surely the Square Mile and even Wall Street will follow. You are the blessed ones. Take responsibility for all the money in the world and live a life in the fire of this money. You will grow. Your minds will expand. New horizons will open up for you, and you will glide towards your destiny.

O Canary Wharf, you are truly a living thing to me now. You breathe money and suck in all the souls of the money people who work in your towers. The glory is yours. Spread this glory. Let everyone share it. This is my vision. I am the money king and I can do anything. This is what I know. My vision will live. Money will burn me. Money will burn everyone.

Wednesday, 17 October 2007

Kitty Ussher: it's all good

City Minister Kitty Ussher has rejected the crazy notion that the troubles with Northern Rock have damaged the City's reputation as the world's leading financial centre.

She's right. I have been speaking with top financial shamans and money mystics in the City, and they have all told me that the omens are good. Michael Oliver from Mystical Cash Gurus said, 'I have been studying the clouds above Threadneedle Street. Fortunately, there is no blood in the clouds. As we all know, bloody clouds are bad news. But there's no blood.'

I have also been speaking to award-winning financial psychic Keith Busby. I phoned him yesterday and he told me, 'I'm eating my lunch at the moment. Can you call back later?' I didn't actually phone him back because I felt he was deliberately being awkward. There was no reason why he couldn't interrupt his lunch for a minute or so and say a few words. Don't get me wrong, I like the man, but he really pisses me off sometimes. Yes, he has emotional problems and all that business with the breakdown, but still - do you know what I mean? There are ways to behave, and ways not to behave.

Monday, 15 October 2007

Resolution: takeover battle

There could be a takeover battle for zombie fund manager Resolution this week. Standard Life and Swiss Re are plotting a joint bid to rival Pearl's bid of £4.5 billion. Clive Cowdery, Resolution's chief executive, is considering all the options.

Dougie Smith, secretary of the Finsbury Square Zombie Club, says, 'It doesn't really matter who gains control of Resolution. I'm just surprised that there is a need for zombie fund companies these days. Here at the Finsbury Square Zombie Club we do a lot of fund-raising for zombies down on their luck. There is also the new club in Canary Wharf. What's the problem?'

There isn't really a problem as far as I can see, but I don't think the zombie funds should be closed down. There will always be a lot of zombies who need money, and the zombie clubs can't help every time. Matthew Soames is a zombie who works for HSBC, and he told me recently that he approached the Canary Wharf Zombie Club for a small loan and the club wouldn't give him one. Now, this is nothing to do with Dougie Smith, but it shows that zombies need a wide range of companies and organizations to support them in times of trouble. Resolution and other zombie fund managers are here to stay.

Friday, 12 October 2007

Felix Dennis

My mystical powers are increasing by the day. Where will it all end? I'm going to be like Richard Burton in The Medusa Touch at this rate.

Do you know of Felix Dennis the publishing tycoon? He used to be a hippie living in a bedsit. Now he's worth hundreds of millions of pounds. Well, I was walking down Regent Street around midday yesterday when a man passed me who looked a bit like Mr Dennis, but without the beard. I then started to think about Felix Dennis and his brilliant book How To Get Rich, and I wondered what I would say to him if I did actually bump into him in the street. ONE MINUTE LATER. Only one minute later, who walks right past me? Mr Felix Dennis himself! Large as life. And the funny thing is I didn't even say anything to him. I was too shocked. Yes, sometimes I even shock myself with my amazing powers.

What are the odds of something like that happening? Tell me, what are the odds? Incredible.

Wednesday, 10 October 2007

Peter Taylor: happy to pay more tax

Private equity tycoon Peter Taylor is happy to pay more tax. Mr Taylor is the boss of Duke Street Capital, and he is not at all bothered by the changes to capital gains tax that the Chancellor Alistair Darling announced yesterday.

But I know a man who isn't happy. I won't name him - not yet, but he is also a private equity tycoon. I spoke to him last night and he told me, 'I am very upset about this. I need all the money I can get my hands on - but not for selfish reasons. I am in the process of setting up a religious cult. Do you know how much money that takes? I will need at least two mansions in the countryside in which to house my devotees. I will also need a headquarters in the City. I am aiming to be bigger than Big Herb.'

Well, this man is deluded. Surely his devotees - if they are devoted enough - will stump up the money for the mansions. And how can he claim not to be selfish when he admits he is setting himself up as a god? And bigger than Big Herb? It won't happen. Big Herb is not going to be eclipsed by a johnny-come-lately money god who isn't even dead yet. You can't be a true money god and live in the material world at the same time, unless of course you're a charlatan. The only reason I haven't named this man is because his uncle is a good friend of mine. But I'm tempted to name him, really tempted. There is still time for him to abandon this idea of a cult.

Monday, 8 October 2007

Graduate financial shamans getting jobs

Some good news. The first crop of graduates from the Chaos College of Finance are now finding jobs in investment banks in the Square Mile and Canary Wharf.

Arthur Simmons, founder of the college, says, 'I must admit I'm feeling a bit nervous. I hope my old students don't let me down. This is the first time financial shamans have been trained in a college. We're entering a new phase of mystical capitalism.'

I'm sure everything will work out fine. I had my reservations at first, but when I met a few of these students at the Exchange Square show in May I was very impressed by their ability and professional attitude. I wish them all the best.

Friday, 5 October 2007

Absolute Capital Management: portfolio managers leaving

Two portfolio managers, Frank Siebrecht and Stefan Heieck, are leaving Absolute Capital Management for personal reasons. This follows the departure of Florian Homm last month.

This reminds me of the time I left Shaman Money Management for personal reasons. SMM has gone out of business now - mainly because I left the company. The bosses there didn't have a clue. The main problem was that they insisted all their shamans were office based. I tried to explain to them that shamans need to spend a great deal of their time in the desert. Sure, there aren't any deserts in Britain, but there are plenty of caves in places like the Lake District. But they wouldn't even consider that option. They wanted their shamans to keep regular office hours - nine to five! What a joke! And that's why I left.

Wednesday, 3 October 2007

Andy Hornby: time to be cautious

No, no, no, it is not time to be cautious. I say throw all caution to the wind. Andy Hornby, chief executive of HBOS, is worried about the mortgage market.

Don't be worried! Don't be cautious! Fortune favours the brave. O brave financiers of the world, come together! Unite! We will face the horror.

When the abyss opens up before you, what do you do? You jump in! Enjoy the danger and live life to the full. Nietzsche once said that you should build your home on the side of a volcano. I think he said it anyway. Sounds like a pretty stupid thing to do. Didn't he go insane? Never mind.

Monday, 1 October 2007

Light Blue Optics secures £12.7 million funding

Light Blue Optics is a company that makes miniature laser projectors that one day may be embedded in mobile phones. The company has just secured £12.7 million venture capital funding and Maurice Marble III is not at all happy about it.

I spoke to Maurice earlier today and he said, 'Why won't people invest in any of my inventions? I'm smart. I want some respect. I've invented a projector that you plug into your brain. It projects your dreams on to a wall while you're sleeping. It could make millions and yet no one is interested. It's so frustrating.'

Poor Maurice. I guess he's one of those misunderstood geniuses, like Van Gogh. Or maybe not.

Wednesday, 26 September 2007

London Stock Exchange looking for new name

The London Stock Exchange will change its name after its merger with Borsa Italiana next month.

Susan Flint from Bad Moon Investments says, 'I think the new name should be something mystical to reflect the fact that the City of London is now leading the world in mystical capitalism.'

Well, I can tell you all that the LSE has approached me - in the hope that I may have a good idea for the new name. I told them I'll let them know. I'm a busy man at the moment and I can't really go around dreaming up new names for stock exchanges. Sorry, that's just the way it is.

Monday, 24 September 2007

Morningstar analysts find new way to measure a fund's performance

Analysts at Morningstar have found a new way to measure the performance of a fund. With the money-weighting method the average return to the asset flows in the fund are calculated.

This is wonderful, but I can think of a far better way of doing it, using crystals. All you've got to do is hold a crystal in your hand and then meditate on the fund in question. I've found that if the fund is doing well, the crystal will turn blue and even make a very low humming sound. If the fund has performed badly, the crystal will turn red and quite often start vibrating. These results can be achieved in less than a minute.

I tried to speak with Morningstar's managing director, Don Philips, last night, hoping that he would take an interest in my methods, but he did not return my calls. So be it. You can't help some people.

Paul Craven joins Goldman Sachs

Paul Craven has left Pimco and joined Goldman Sachs Asset Management. He is now head of UK and Irish institutional business at Goldman.

The interesting thing about Mr Craven is that he was admitted into the Magicians' Circle in May this year. Unfortunately, this is not quite the same thing as being a financial shaman or money mystic. I hope the bosses at Goldman Sachs realize this. Otherwise, it could all end in tears when they find out that Mr Craven can't predict the future.

Friday, 21 September 2007

Goldman Sachs: third quarter earnings £1.4 billion

While Wall Street banks such as Bear Sterns have seen a drop in quarterly earnings, Goldman's earnings this quarter have risen 79 per cent to £1.4 billion. This is the bank's third-best profit in its 138-year history.

This makes me wonder. Apparently, Goldman Sachs gambled on prices of securities tied to home loans declining. Are they employing money mystics? I'm pretty sure that no financial shamans work for the bank yet, but I'm not sure about the mystics. Actually, I've never really explained what the difference is. Financial shamans are superior to money mystics. They have more advanced skills and stronger links with the spirit world. They are the bridge between this world and the next. Money mystics merely make financial/stock predictions and do not have the authority to deal with high-ranking spirits. For example, a money mystic would never be able to make contact with Big Herb or Ganesh.

Anyway, back to Goldman Sachs. It is possible that they have hired a money mystic or two - it would explain their recent earnings. I will have to make some enquiries.

Rijkman Groenink: RBS bid better than Barclays offer

ABN Amro boss Rijkman Groenink says that the Royal Bank of Scotland has made a better offer for ABN Amro than Barclays. RBS is leading a consortium bid of £48 billion.

This reminds me of the time I was trying to sell my favourite pack of tarot cards. They once belonged to Napoleon's fortune teller, Lucienne. I didn't want to sell them, but I needed the cash. A couple of soothsayers in London made pretty good offers, but I eventually sold them to a French collector of rare mystical artefacts for a lower price. I knew he would look after the cards. The moral of this story is anyone's guess.

Tuesday, 18 September 2007

Callum McCarthy: queuing savers are strange

'People are strange when you're a stranger,' Jim Morrison once sang, and the FSA chairman Callum McCarthy seems to agree with him. He has said that the Northern Rock savers who are queuing outside the bank's branches are acting strangely.

He doesn’t know the half of it. Jerome Johnson is a saver with Northern Rock and he says, 'I've taken your advice, Michael, and I have been standing outside my local branch of Northern Rock and waving a placard. It says – the end is nigh. I've been screaming at people, telling them to withdraw their money and run for the hills before the devil arrives and takes everything.'

For the record, I gave Mr Johnson no such advice. I hardly know him. I met him once at a gathering for mystical workers in the City, and now he won't leave me alone. He considers me his guru. Callum McCarthy should thank his lucky stars that he doesn't have to deal with some of the people that I have to.

Joel Plasco says credit crunch needs calm words

Joel Plasco, chief executive of Collins Stewart, has called for more mature reporting of the credit crunch. Jerome Johnson (aping me) begs to differ –

Help! We're all going to die! The demons of the dark are devouring our money. The horror! O Jesus, save us. Save our souls. O Buddha, where are you now? O Krishna, what are you playing at?

I see fire in the crystal of the skull of the dog in the cavern of the night! Blood sticks to my face! Where is salvation? Where is shelter? Where are the heavenly angels when you need them?

Is this the end, as foretold in the Book of Revelation? I certainly hope not. I've got a lot on at the moment.

Monday, 17 September 2007

Alan Greenspan: froth and bubbles

Alan Greenspan has been speaking of froth and bubbles in the US housing market, but it's all very confusing. He has spoken of froth before, but never a bubble. Now he's saying there could be a bubble. However, this bubble is made from the froth of smaller bubbles. The froth has turned into a big bubble, or maybe it hasn't. There is definitely some kind of bubbling froth in the housing market anyway. The present chairman of the Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke, is trying to avoid using the word 'bubble.' Ex-chairman Mr Greenspan doesn't mind using the word.

I have been discussing this with Keith Busby, the award-winning financial psychic, and he tells me, 'It's not confusing at all. I use bubbles on a regular basis when I'm telling people's fortunes. I normally like to visit them at home while they're having a bath. I study the bubbles in the bathtub and base my predictions on the size of the bubbles, also their colour and shape. This is not as absurd as it sounds. Most people don't realize that bubbles are in tune with the cosmic forces controlling the universe. I remember reading once about the Hindu god Vishnu. Apparently, he created new galaxies by exhaling them as bubbles. I think that's right. I will have to check. The point I'm making is, Alan Greenspan is not wrong to speak of bubbles.'

Well, no one is saying that Mr Greenspan is wrong to speak of bubbles, I just don't think he has the same bubbles in mind. Unless he has been spending too much time in his bath lately.

Northern Rock sale?

Will the troubled mortgage lender Northern Rock be sold soon?

O lords of the big money, show us the future, let us see into the heart of finance, and we will forever be in your debt (although not in debt.) I will cast the rune stones, yes I will, I will read the tarot cards (who wouldn't?) I will climb the mountain (best thing to do in the circumstances.)

O holy gods of the burning cash, speak to us of Northern Rock. Show us a sign. Will it be sold? Will it be broken up? Will it be wound up? Are our savings secure? O you remote gods, your silence is agony. Help us. Save us. Give us a sign.

Do not condemn Northern Rock to the abyss.

Martin Rapaport: a futures market for diamonds

Martin Rapaport, founder of the world's largest diamond-trading platform, is hoping there will be a regulated futures market for diamonds by 2009.

Okay. What about the other crystals? It's mystical crystals we are all interested in. With so many financial shamans and money mystics working in investment banks at the moment, it is absolutely crucial that a futures market for these crystals is formed.

Crystals have long been associated with New Age nutjobs, but that's the old image. And you can forget about crystal mind blasting - that is only a passing fad. Crystals are needed in investment banking just as much as scrying fluid. I know one money mystic who won't leave for work in the morning without a whole bag of crystals. He places the crystals on top of his computer - yes, money mystics are not Luddites - and the energy that streams from these crystals helps him concentrate on his financial meditations.

Maybe I should contact Mr Rapaport and discuss my ideas with him. I'll let you know if anything happens.

Mark Otty: shelter from the credit storm

Mark Otty is the UK chairman of Ernst & Young and he reckons accountancy firms will be able to make big money in the emerging markets, thus avoiding the problems brought about by the current credit squeeze in the City.

This sounds great, but has Mr Otty thought about the shamans and mystics working in the emerging markets of China and India? As I mentioned last week when writing about Tom Healy's new job in Abu Dhabi, mystical workers in these cultures probably do not operate in the same way ours do here in the West. I don't even know if they use tarot cards in India. No doubt Mr Otty and his colleagues at Ernst & Young are familiar with Big Herb and his way of doing business, but India is Ganesh's territory. How are they going to deal with a god who looks like an elephant? These things need to be considered very carefully.

Fortune Oil goes after China's coal bed methane

Fortune Oil is working in a joint venture with China United Shanxi CBM Company to capture methane gas from China's coal mines.

Please don't confuse Fortune Oil with the stuff I paste on people's faces to open up their third eye. Fortune oil is one of my magical lotions. I used it recently on an hysterical trader from Barclays Capital. He's doing fine now and making loads of money.

Friday, 14 September 2007

The markets will not melt

O bankers, fear not, there will be no meltdown in the markets. There will be no hell of debt, no death of shares. But you must let money burn inside you. Let money burn you. And if you enjoy the burning, you will be set free.

Northern Rock. The Bank of England is coming to save you. Rejoice!

O bankers, the markets will not melt. Do not fear the volatility of the markets. Show love. As a ship's captain loves the cruel sea.

O you men and women of doom who mock the hard-working bankers, traders and analysts of this world, prepare for a great time of despair. You shall be punished. You shall fall into the pit. All of you shall fall. For it is written in the book of the morose monk.

I call upon Big Herb, Ganesh and all the gods of the holy cash - free my people! Help me lead them from the desert to the green plains of plenty. They have worked hard and surely they must be rewarded now, or is there no justice?

Yes. Yes. Yes. There is justice. I see it in the smile of the banker who, only yesterday, had no faith. I see it in the gold clouds hovering over Threadneedle Street. Rejoice!

O bankers, before you die, you will see the face of God. Yes, the one god to whom all the others answer. Until then, sing. Sing of money. Chant. The chant of the burning cash!

Thursday, 13 September 2007

Endesa: Extraordinary General Meeting

Endesa will be having an EGM in a couple of weeks time. Acciona and Enel Energy Europe have made an offer for Endesa of 40, 16 euros per share, and now the shareholders have to vote on modifications to Endesa’s bylaws.

I absolutely hate meetings like this, or, indeed, meetings of any kind. I remember the last time I attended the annual meeting of the Financial Shamans and Money Mystics Association of Great Britain. What an absolute fucking nightmare that was. You would expect shamans and mystics to be quite refined, gentle, sensitive folk, wouldn’t you? Not a bit of it. When they’ve got a few drinks inside them, these lovely, oh so spiritual types can turn into animals. And I’m not speaking as an outsider. I’m one of them, but I won’t hesitate to criticize bad behaviour wherever I find it.

I remember one money mystic – let’s call him Chris – who got so drunk he could hardly stand. Even though he had only been fully qualified for six months or so, he had the gall to approach me and start berating me for the advice I had given to some fund manager in the City. I wanted to hit him, but I managed to keep control and just let him make a fool of himself. Never again.

Gavyn Davies goes it alone

Gavyn Davies has split his hedge fund business, Fulcrum Asset Management, from that of partner Christian Siva-Jothy. Mr Siva-Jothy runs the SemperMacro hedge fund, which performed poorly last year.

Well, I feel this is the right thing for Mr Davies to do. I am against partnerships in business, from bitter experience. A few years ago, Arthur Simmons from the Chaos College of Finance wanted me to go into business with him, setting up a correspondence course for budding shamans. Don’t get me wrong, Arthur and I are great friends now and I have the utmost respect for him, but we just couldn’t work together. To be honest, a lot of it was my fault. I was actually living in a cave at the time and was very difficult to contact. Arthur could never understand my approach to financial shamanism. He thought I was too isolated, while he liked to engage with the wider community. Each to their own, I suppose.

NYSE Euronext to close trading rooms

The world’s largest stock exchange group, NYSE Euronext, are planning to close half the trading rooms at the New York Stock Exchange. It will also lower fees. Apparently, it is doing this to fend off competition from smaller rivals. Sure. I know the real truth.

The real truth is, mystical capitalism is starting to take off in America, and financial shamans and money mystics are replacing conventional traders. It had to happen sooner or later. There was no way that Wall Street could allow the Square Mile and Canary Wharf to gain a massive advantage by employing mystical workers.

Tatum Jones from merchant bank Dodger Coombes says, ‘American banks will love the mystics when they realize how amazing they are, but we are not worried here in Canary Wharf. The American banks still have a long way to go before they catch up with us.’

Mervyn King tells banks to clear up their own mess

The Bank of England governor has told British banks that they only have themselves to blame for their present troubles.

Well, I’m just glad neither he nor anyone else has tried to blame the financial shamans and money mystics for the market meltdown. There are some people – I won’t mention names – who would love to see the new mystical workers fail. We won’t fail because we’re backed up by Big Herb, Ganesh, and various other gods, but we have got to be on our guard. There is no turning back.

Tom Healy gets new job in Abu Dhabi

Tom Healy, who has run the Irish stock exchange for the last twenty years, has a new job as the director-general of the exchange in Abu Dhabi.

Will this work out? It is always difficult moving to a different culture. I have to admit I don’t know what the mystical/financial situation is in Abu Dhabi. Mr Healy may have problems if the shamans and mystics over there don’t operate in the same way ours do here in the West. I wish him the best of luck anyway.

Wednesday, 12 September 2007

Sinister lords call it a day

Some good news. The Lords of Fenchurch Street have disbanded. I actually know who they are now, and I was going to publish their names in my blog, but we did a deal. They agreed to halt all their activities and break up the organization, and I agreed not to expose them.

A lot of you are probably wondering why I agreed to this. Well, you’ve got to compromise in life sometimes. And these men have wives and children. I don’t want to destroy them. As long as they are not active any more, that is good enough for me.

Monday, 10 September 2007

Knight Vinke putting pressure on HSBC

Eric Knight, founder of Knight Vinke and no relation of Roger Knight, is trying to force HSBC to review its global banking operations. He believes that the bank’s operations have left its share price undervalued by nearly half.

This is not the way to do things, as far as I am concerned. The spirit world should be consulted, and for that job they will need to recruit a shaman. I’m too busy at the moment, but I could put Mr Knight in touch with someone. A shaman would be able to take a balanced and holistic view of the situation, and his spirit guides on the other side would be able to conduct a review that would be far more comprehensive than any review a living human being would be capable of.

But who listens to me? The arrogance of bankers knows no bounds. Sure, a lot of financial workers are turning to the new creed of mystical capitalism, but there are still too many people who are stuck in the old ways. When will they learn?

IMF chief agrees with Big Herb

The managing director of the International Monetary Fund, Rodrigo de Rato, has said that the global economy will be stable in the medium term, even though there may be short-term pain due to the repricing of risk in the financial markets.

As Big Herb told me recently, there is no need to panic about the markets. Everything is going to be all right. People seem to forget that Big Herb is a money god. It’s only natural that he should have a greater insight into the problems of the markets, and have a better chance of finding solutions. I still maintain that if you pray to him on a regular basis, not only will you be able to make more money in your working life but you will also become spiritually enlightened. Isn’t that what we all want? Great wealth and spirituality. Or have I got that terribly wrong? I don’t think so.

Kwon Young-soo rescues LG Philips LCD

Kwon Young-soo, chief executive of LG Philips LCD, has managed to turn the company around in only eight months. How did he do it? I suppose he was working very hard, but I suspect that there was more to it than that.

I suspect he chanted money prayers every morning. I do this, and it hasn’t done me any harm. You should try to write your own prayers, because the powers that be on the other side prefer the personal touch. They like to see that you have made an effort. Try it, and send me an email if you get a result.

Friday, 7 September 2007

Ken Costa leaves UBS

Investment banker Ken Costa has quit UBS and joined Lazard International. He worked at UBS for thirty years.

Susan Flint from Bad Moon Investments says, 'It's a smart move. I've heard that UBS aren't too keen on financial shamans and money mystics, but Lazard can't get enough. Ken knows that mystical banking is the way forward. As chairman he'll be able to make some big changes. It's going to be very interesting.'

Wednesday, 5 September 2007

Manchester University: venture capital fund

Manchester University is setting up a £50 million venture capital fund. This is brilliant news for Maurice Marble III - Acton's leading brain specialist.

I spoke to Maurice this morning and he told me, 'I'm hoping they will want to invest some money in one of my schemes. I'm building a new machine to rival the Brain Burster, I'm working on some satellite stuff that connects to the astral plane, and loads of other things. They better give me some of the money. I want some respect.'

Manchester University will be in partnership with MTI Partners. Ernie Richardson, chief executive of MTI, says, 'We know all about Mr Marble and his ludicrous experiments, and we want nothing to do with him.'

Saturday, 1 September 2007

Barclays bails out Cairn Capital

Barclays Capital has been forced to rescue one of its clients, Cairn Capital, with a loan of £793 million. Barclays seems to be in a bit of trouble at the moment.

I know someone at BarCap and he told me yesterday, 'The sky over Canary Wharf is bright red. There's blood in the clouds! I can see blood! O Jesus, save me, save my soul. The blood is dripping on me. It's sticking to my skin! It burns! I can't stand it. I must find shelter. I'm not a sinner. I've always been a good boy. Why is this happening to me? Please help me. Help me.'

Shocking. I managed to calm him down by rubbing one of my magical lotions in the area where his third eye should be - he doesn't have one for some reason, and that may be his problem. He's reasonably okay now, but I've told him not to read the financial news for a few days. It's a tough life, the banker's life. Ain't that the truth.

Friday, 31 August 2007

Canary Wharf Zombie Club

We've all heard of the world-famous Finsbury Square Zombie Club, but now bankers in Canary Wharf are starting up their own club. Tatum Jones explains, 'We will meet every lunchtime. We won't be a threat to the Finsbury Square lot. People working in Canary Wharf can't really spare the time to travel all the way over to Finsbury Square, so it makes sense to establish something here. It's going to be great.'

Dougie Smith, club secretary of the Finsbury Square Zombie Club, welcomes this new development in zombie affairs, 'This is absolutely brilliant news. Our club was founded in 1872 and it's a part of banking history, but there is certainly a need for a club in Canary Wharf as well. Hopefully, the two clubs will be able to work together in promoting zombie culture.'

One question: will there ever be a zombie club on Wall Street? The Americans should get their act together.