Monday, 22 December 2008

Merry Christmas!

I'll be back on the fifth of January, with blood and fire and ectoplasm for everyone! But until then I want to wish you all a Merry Christmas.

O my children, my brothers, my sisters, will you be burning this Christmas? Or has the credit crunch got you down? Have no fear. Soon there will be a new year. A world of opportunities is waiting for us. If we can't make it in the City, we will make it in the desert.

Keep the faith, my children. I love you all.

Bob Doll: where is the money going to come from?

Bob Doll - vice-chairman and chief investment officer (equities) at BlackRock - wants to know where the money is going to come from. Obviously, he's concerned about the credit crunch, and the outlook for next year. But if I were Bob, I wouldn't worry.

Money will come to you only if you do not search for it. You must be still. You must be silent. Money is waiting. Breathing.

O Master, does the money love me?

Be silent, my child. Breathe.

Money is breathing. We must breathe with it. For the money to burn, we must prepare ourselves for a burning. Only the fool chases money. Look at his silly face! We will stand here in the desert, and we will prepare for a burning.

A great burning is coming. I feel it. Can you feel it?

Oh yes, Master, I can feel it. It's a monster!

Yes, my child, it is a monster. When the burning comes it will devour us. We will be taken into the flames, into the heart of a burning storm. Money will burn. We will burn. In silence. With love.

Stewart Cowley: lured away

Stewart Cowley has been lured away by Old Mutual Asset Managers UK. Most disturbing!

In fact, I was so disturbed by this that I phoned Keith Busby. This is what Keith told me about the incident: 'Lured away! Well, it's not as bad as it sounds. Stew was some sort of investment leader in fixed income at Newton Investment Management, but Old Mutual wanted him. Wanted him bad. So I was called in. They told me I could write my own ticket, as long as I helped them lure Stew away. So, yeah, I went to work. Basically, I put a spell on the guy. He was completely in my power for a short while, before I had to hand him over to the Old Mutual freaks. I'm just hoping he can't remember a thing about it. Otherwise, I'm going to get my collar felt.'

Mr Cowley has taken up his new position as head of fixed interest and macro.

Thursday, 18 December 2008

The Madoff curfew

Apparently, Bernard Madoff has been placed under some kind of crazy curfew by the US authorities. It means he can't leave his Manhattan apartment at night, or some crazy shit like that. I say crazy because if he is working for Jack Pickles (and we all know for goddamn sure that he is) then Jack will just come for him at night in his astral form and whisk him away. Both of them will be floating around on the astral plane (probably the lower levels) and the Feds won't be able to do a thing about it.

I have been speaking to Arthur Simmons about this. He told me, 'I don't think the Feds quite understand what they're dealing with here. Jack and Bernie will be running wild - flying high in the unfriendly sky, to paraphrase Marvin Gaye; and the Feds will just be camped outside Bernie's apartment believing everything is kosher. But nothing will be kosher, man. Jack and Bernie will be mixing with all kinds of demons on the lower levels - as you rightly said. They will be cutting deals, moving money around, no doubt burning money in satanic rituals. Not the way we burn money, no. Not the everlasting burning that never ceases. They will burn the money to ashes. The money will be as black as their hearts. It makes you want to weep. Well, it makes me want to weep. I'm an emotional man, man. You dig?'

I dig, Arthur. I really dig.

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Stephen Raven: lost in a world of dreams

I went floating through the astral plane on the trip of a lifetime. And there I saw a man. He was not there. But then he was. And his name was Stephen Raven.

O Master, you must protect me. Mr Pickles is after me. I know nothing. I am lost in a world of dreams. I didn't even realize there was a third floor. What can I do?

You can act like a man! Admit what you did.

But I did nothing. I swear to you, Mr Fowke. I did nothing.

You let Jack into your life.

No, that was Bernie. Not me.

And what of Fairfield Greenwich? Or Tremont Capital? Or HSBC?

O Master, my mind is confused. But I am a separate entity. I am! I am! I am! You must believe me.

O my child, I do believe you. Forgive me for teasing you. I know you were not involved in the Ponzi scheme. But that's why you're in danger! Jack Pickles will want to drag you over to the dark side now.

And that's what I've been saying! Aren't you listening?

My child, I am listening, but you must calm down.

O Master, I am lost in a world of dreams. Am I real? Is the credit crunch real? Are you real? Are you Jack Pickles? Is he real? Why are you laughing? Where am I? Where am I? TELL ME WHERE I AM!!!

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Shine on you crazy diamond!

So, Lautreamont appeared before me, spake unto me:

O Michael, you must take Bobby Diamond into the desert, and smash his consciousness, and burn him with money, and then bury him in the sand of your dreams, and then dig him up and let him shine in the desert sky like a crazy one!

But he's not ready!

O Michael, he is ready. Make him become a desert man. A holy crazy shining banking mutha!

And then what?

We will send him back to Barclays. He will burn them all! John Varley and Marcus Agius in flames!

But what does Big Herb say?

Big Herb has given his blessing. So has Ganesh. This is the way to beat the credit crunch. And there will be others. We will smash their minds and rebuild them. Holy cash will burn within them. It is the only way.

O Lautreamont, if you say so. So mote it be.

Friday, 12 December 2008

Bernard Madoff: the Jack Pickles connection

Okay. I have never quoted Jack on this blog before. A few reasons. Firstly, I hate the son of a bitch - even though we were once best friends. Secondly, I don't want Jack poisoning my readers' minds with his demonic nonsense. Thirdly, I have not spoken to him for a number of years anyway. If I want to find out what he is doing, I normally speak to his brother Nicky - who is a good kid.

BUT TODAY IS DIFFERENT. Yes. Bernard Madoff, the founder of Bernard Madoff Investment Securities and a former chairman of the Nasdaq stock market, was charged yesterday with a $50 billion securities fraud. He is out on $10 million bail at the moment. And it was Jack who put the money up.

So I phoned Jack at dawn this morning. He's in England, not the Cayman Islands. This is what happened (I'm in italics):

Hello. (Hello, Jack. It's Michael.) Michael Fowke? (Yeah.) This is a surprise. (You know why I'm phoning, don't you?) Let me guess - Bernard Madoff? (That's right. Is he working for you?) Hey, it's common knowledge I put up his bail money. But no, he's not working for me. (I don't believe you, Jack.) Prove he's working for me. (I can't prove it, Jack. But you've gone too far this time. The Feds will get you this time.) I'm protected, man. (Yeah, by Satan.) Everybody's got to be protected by someone, Mike. You've got Big Herb. I've got Satan. So sue me. (If the Feds don't get you, I will, Jack.) Sleep with one eye open, Mike.

I put the phone down. I was shaking all over afterwards. Not fear. Anger. I hate that man.

Thursday, 11 December 2008

ECI Partners raises £430 million for a new buy-out fund!

This is what I'm talking about! This is what I like to see! Credit crunch? What credit crunch? There ain't no friggin' credit crunch, man. You dreamed it. It was a nightmare. The private equity firm ECI Partners has managed to squeeze £430 million out of investors. How did ECI do it?

I have been speaking to Steve Tudge. This crazy cat is a member of ECI's investment committee, and this is what he told me: 'Mike, you know what we did? We took all our investors out into the desert, man, and gave them all a dose of medicine. You should have seen them. They stripped all their clothes off, and starting dancing, and hugging each other. We had a campfire raging the whole night. Flames to the sky! You dig? They were dancing around that. I swear - at one point - I saw the ghost of Jim Morrison, man! People don't believe me, but I saw him, man. With Arthur Rimbaud! Yeah. What a party! What a night! And in the morning, we got all the money we wanted. A decent pot of money. Our investors were only too happy to cough up.'

Wow!

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

New Morgan Stanley managing directors!

Right, here's a list of all the new managing directors at Morgan Stanley. I recognize a few of the names. Neil Fenton is a total mystical nutter - in the best sense, of course. Steven Knox studied with Arthur Simmons. He's a top man. A few shamans on the list. Well, anyway, congratulations to:

David Adams, Jason Ambrose, Keith Robert Andrew, Leigh Bainbridge, Julien Begasse de Dhaem, Joseph Benedetti, Garry Robert Bischoff, Chris Brigati, Ben Britz, Stephane Brown, Dominique Cahu, Eric Carlson, Audrey Choi, Valerie Chou, Yan Ching Chu, Jonathan Robert Clein, Nicholas Coghill, Robert K. Collins, Ryan T. Comerford, Dennis M. Cornell, James Cowan, Mike Davies, Walter Davis, Alex Debelak, Lucas K. Detor, Edward Donohue, Divya Doshi, Meyrick Douglas, Maria Douvas-Orme, Niall Thomas Dowling, Jason T. Duran, Miguel Espinosa, Neil D. Fenton, Michael Patrick Fitzgerald, Ami K. Forte, Guillaume Gabaix, Jordan Gershuny, Mark Gibbs, John S. Glass, Ignacio Gomendio, Jose Gonzalez-Heres, Patricia L. Gould, Leon Guo, Dietrich Heidtmann, Michael Helsby, Anthony Heredia, Simon Holden, Matthew Holland, Markus Hottenrott, Ben Huneke, Ben Hutchen, Ekko Jennings, Timothy James Jennison, Richard Ji, Christopher Kaladeen, David Kalajian, Federico Kaune, John Kelly-Jones, Navin Killa, Amy Kim, Soo-Hoon Kim, Thomas Kinnally, Man Kinoshita, Steven Knox, Kan Kotecha, Yoshinobu Kou, Peter Krowinkel, Adam Kudelka, Halvard Kvaale, Paul S. Kwan, Mark Graham Lake, Stephen W. Lehner, Thomas S. Lewis, Edward Liu, Kevin Lynyak, Ian Macleod, Raghavachari K. Madhavan, James Mangan, Xavier Mayer, Aseem Mehta, Paulo Mendes, Todd Noel Miller, Nina Nagpal, Robert Naso, James D. O'Brien, Hidetoshi Ohashi, Eric Ohayon, Fabian Onetti, Andrew Onslow, Kevin J. O'Reilly, Irene Miranda Otero-Novas, Christopher Pariot, Miro Pasic, Stefan Alexander Pendert, Merav Pepere, Daniel Edward Petherick, Toby Phelps, Joseph Pollaro, Ronald R. Pyke, Prashant P. Reddy, Tomer Regev, Matthew Neil Douglas Renirie, Andrew Richards, Arthur Ringness, Joseph Rooney, Randi Rosen, Geoff Ruddell, Monica Sah, Michele Samuels, Sneha Sanghvi, Serkan Savasoglu, Alfred D. Schulz, Dimitris J. Scotiniadis, Stuart Seeley, Kim Shaw, Jeffrey Siminoff, Thomas Ian Simpson, Michel Sindelar, Simon Stormer, Ian Sugarman, Iain Szucs, Khye-Hee Tan, Christopher Thiele, Xavier Trabia, Ravi Vazirani, Sabina Von Arx, Jamie Walton, Robert Webb, Alan B. Whitman, Candy Wong, David Wraight, Dennis Yamada, Martin Yule.

Neptune Investment Management might buy New Star

Yeah, it might, but it might not. I don't know what's going on. I've got more important things on my mind, to tell you the truth. I could only just about drag myself out of bed this morning to write this friggin' post. Yeah, I had a rough night on the astral plane last night, trying to get some sense out of that Jesus H. Christ character. Now, don't get me wrong, I respect the guy. There have been times in the past when I have needed his help. Like when the devils of Scrutton Street tried to fuck me over. But he is a hard man to deal with. Anyway, last night, I caught up with him in the astral desert. Been trying to find him for weeks now. I want to see him pulling his weight a bit more when it comes to the credit crunch. You know, help out a few bankers. But he wasn't very enthusiastic. Banking ain't my game, baby. That's what the holy one said. And I was like: Listen, man, a banker down on his luck is going to need you just as much as some fucking leper or blind man. Why don't you wake up and smell the coffee? Get with the program! And he just looked down his nose at me. I mean, he's one of these holier-than-thou types. I know he thinks I took a wrong turn in life, getting into financial shamanism and all, but I'm proud of my life and what I've achieved. I said to him: You helped me with those Scrutton Street slags. Why can't you help a few bankers or hedge fund managers? And this is what he actually said back to me: Mikey, man, hedge fund managers? Are you out of your freakin' mind? They've made their beds. Now they've got to lie in them. And those Scrutton Street slags? I would have taken down any mob of devils, man. That's what I do. But I am not bailing out a load of your Mayfair mates. Screw 'em.

Well, will Neptune buy New Star?

I’m going back to bed.

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

David Yarrow: a blessed man

O my children, my brothers, my sisters, I was on the astral plane a thousand years ago (or was it only last night?) with my dear friend David Yarrow, the founder of Clareville Capital.

O Master, the stars are so bright, the desert so cold, but where is the moon? O my child, the moon is inside. Everything is inside. There is no without tonight. Everything is within. Even the blood on the moon? Yes, my child, even the blood on the moon. It's in your mind, and your mind is vibrating with the cosmos. Your chakras are whirling. Can you feel them whirl, my child? O Master, I can feel them whirl! Does this mean I am blessed? Not quite, but you are on your way. O my child, you must think of your investors. They will never forgive you if you do not allow them to withdraw some of their money. Think, my child. The money they remove will come back to you. The great burning money souls, the eternal lords of cash, the masters of monstrous wisdom, the seers, the prophets - they are watching you! This is a test. Pass the test, and you shall be blessed. O Master, I am so happy now. Thank you for teaching me, for showing me the way. My child, the way is long, and strange, and beyond the understanding of the everyday man. The everyday man? Yes, my child, the everyday man will not believe in you. He does not believe in the way. He is a sinner. He is everywhere in the cold world. The world that has no burning. Cold earth wanderers! I spit on them! O Master, I spit on them too! I despise the cold earth wanderers. O my child, you learn fast. Your astral heart is burning. How much money do you have inside? Inside? Or without? Inside, my child. Forget about the lifeless money without. Speak of the burning money within. O Master, I have many millions within, and without. You know this. Yes, my child, I know. I would not associate with you otherwise. I will bless you now. You will? Yes. Do you believe in Big Herb? Yes, Master. Do you believe in Ganesh the elephant god? Yes, Master. Do you love them, my child? Oh yes, Master! Then I bless you. Now return to your body. Tomorrow, speak to your investors. Tell them you love them. I will. Oh thank you, Master.

Monday, 8 December 2008

Bernard Sabrier: dogs have lost their minds

What's all this? Well, the chairman of Unigestion, Bernard Sabrier, has been telling anyone who will listen that it's a dog-eat-dog world, and that some of these dogs have lost their minds. But I think he means jackals. That would make much more sense because there are a lot of jackals in the desert. Actually, Franz Kafka once wrote a short story called Jackals and Arabs, and I can quote: "They have the most lunatic hopes, these beasts; they're just fools, utter fools. That's why we like them; they are our dogs; finer dogs than any of yours." That's one of the Arabs speaking. So you see.

You do see, don't you? What old Bernard has been talking about in a rather confused way is the fact that there are dangerous creatures in the desert. Jackals, vultures, snakes, all sorts. He's saying if you're not careful, these beasts will attack you and eat you. Because they have lost their minds. I think. I don't know.

Thursday, 4 December 2008

Death Star Asset Management

All is vanity and vexation of spirit. There is a time to be born, and a time to die. Voices can be heard. Screams. O Master, I am scared. Shut your fucking mouth! Consider the hot burning dungeon thou art preparing for thyself to all eternity. Okay, sorry.

A dying star, a star reborn, blood on the moon! Blood on the tracks! I have looked into the hearts of all of you. I have seen your souls, aflame! Did you like the money? Oh yes, very much. I won't tell you again. Shut your filthy mouth! I will not be interrupted!

My child, my voice in my head, you must learn to be quiet. I have wisdom for you. What profit hath he, that worketh in that wherein he laboureth? Good question. Be quiet. Better is an handful with quietness, than both the hands full with travail and vexation of spirit. Who says? I fucking say! Shut up!

O Master, I cannot be quiet. My voice floats on the desert wind like the howl of a lonesome jackal. A star is dying. I am crying. All the children are crying. Do not be so hard on them, O Master. They want to be happy. I want to be happy.

My child, please listen: mortal man must always look to his ending, and none can be called happy until that day when he carries his happiness down to the grave in peace.

Three hermits: who was the richest?

One of them lived in a cave in the desert. He had a bag of gold coins.

One of them lived in a hut in the forest. He had a wooden box, stuffed with banknotes.

One of them lived in a bedsit in Camden. He had a credit card.

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Clive Cowdery attracts £500 million!

Yes, Clive Cowdery has somehow managed to attract £500 million. I couldn't believe it when Keith Busby told me. This is what Keith said: '£500 million! That's the power of attraction for you. Of course, it helps that Clive has now cut himself off from his old boss Jack Pickles. And you can see the change in him. You can see it in his eyes. They are full of light and love. And when Clive looks at you, well, it's the look of love. There's no other way to put it. I'm no bender, but it is the look of love. And that's why the guy is attracting so much money now. That and the meditating. He's really cleaned his act up.'

Well, I was overjoyed to hear that Clive has stopped working for Jack, so I made a phone call to him. I wanted to hear all about this power of attraction, and his lovely eyes. This is what the man said: 'Oh man, has my life changed! That Jack is an evil bastard. Why didn't anyone warn me about him? (We all warned you, Clive.) But, yeah, this power of attraction shit is working wonders for me. All I've got to do is sit in my meditation room and think about money, and then the stuff comes rolling in. It's unbelievable! £500 million! Can you believe that? (I believe you, Clive.) I must be friggin' blessed or something. I wouldn't be at all surprised if Big Herb and Ganesh the elephant god were staring down at me from the astral plane, and just, you know, doing their thing for me. (Yeah, I know, Clive. Big Herb and Ganesh are good at doing their thing. It's what makes them so loved by all the mystical children.) And my eyes! Has anyone told you about my eyes? (Yeah, Keith has, but he's not a bender, you understand.) As soon as I quit my job with Jack, the light came into my eyes. The very next day! I looked into a mirror, and I couldn't friggin' believe it, man. This beautiful, soft, holy light - just streaming from my eyes! I almost fell in love with myself, like that Narcissus freak. It's a shame you can't see my eyes, Mikey. (I think I'll pass.) It's why the money comes to me. My eyes, the meditating, the love all around me, Big Herb and Ganesh. I can feel the cosmos vibrating. Can you believe that? (I believe you, Clive. I'm not exactly a novice at this shit.) See ya!'

Then he was gone. He put the phone down. Obviously, he became overexcited. Maybe someone came into his office, and he wanted to show them his lovely, mystical eyes. I don't know. But I wish him all the best, I really do.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds!

Oh yes, I am a thug 4 life! I saw the devil in my empty glass of Hennessy!

Bustin' double Glocks!

What is happening to me? It's as if Jack Pickles is speaking through me!

Do any of you think this is the right time to create a low-carbon economy?

There is a special place in hell for pious, self-righteous arseholes.

I KNOW YOU. I AM A MYSTIC. I CAN SEE INTO YOUR SOUL.

Monday, 1 December 2008

Hector Sants: making judgements about other's judgements

Hector says: 'Who am I to judge? Who judges the judges? And who judges the judges who judge the judges? But that's what we want to do at the Financial Services Authority. If we see a trader with a pack of tarot cards, and he draws The Fool, what are we to think of that? How do we judge the man? I suppose it all depends on what judgements the trader makes after choosing that card, or any other card. That tower hit by lightning. The Lovers. He could choose any card, and then make a judgement, and then the FSA would have to judge him. And then where would we be? And where would he be? These are the kind of things I think about. Some people have said I think too much. No! I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be. So, who shall judge me? Who is man enough, or woman enough, to judge one such as I? Remember, my friends, it's a cold world, and no one forgives the sinner who has sinned against his brother by taking his brother's bread and his wine and turning them into dust with a word that should not have been said.'

Thank you for that, Hector. I don't know what the fuck you were going on about, but thank you all the same.

Dixit Joshi: pouncing on analysts and traders

There is a report in a newspaper today, saying that Dixit Joshi (head of Europe and Asia equities at Barclays Capital) has been pouncing on analysts and traders - all former employees of Lehman Brothers. Now, as you can imagine, my first reaction was one of absolute disgust. Taking sexual advantage of people down on their luck is just not on. But then - as we are old friends - I decided to allow Dixit to explain himself in this blog. This is what the man said:

'Michael, there has been a complete misunderstanding. This is not a bizarre kink or perverted penchant we're talking about here. I have been recruiting these ex-Lehman employees through astral projection. Let me explain. As there were sixty of these characters, it was not practical arranging interviews at BarCap with all of them. So I came up with the idea of visiting them while they were asleep. In one night I was able to travel around in my astral body and hire all the people I wanted. What's the problem? There wasn't any impropriety.'

Fair enough. But did Dixit hover above their beds, or did he enter their bodies? This is what he said:

'Michael, what a question to ask me! I hovered above their beds. Of course I did. What sort of man do you take me for? The sort of vulgarian who goes around impersonating a night hag? Please!'

Dear reader, I believe him. I have known Dixit Joshi for five years, and in all that time he has not lied to me once or displayed any behaviour of a degenerate nature. The newspapers need to be more careful in their reporting. Let's consider the matter closed.

Friday, 28 November 2008

New Star Asset Management: a crisis of confidence

O John Duffield, confidence is … the wind in the desert. A hunk, a hunk of burning money. The fire in the eyes of a shaman. The sand in your shoes. The rays of the sun inside. The dead vulture. Rune stones vibrating for you. Your chakras whirling in your own personal astral sky. A turquoise gown. Keith Busby's laugh. Bob's bonus. Music. Dancing. Campfire. Ghosts around the fire. The dead ones.

O John Duffield, let the dead ones dance for you! The old financiers who live forever! Ghosts that come to you in your darkest night, and drag you into the desert. But they do it with love! O John, let them take you!

Thursday, 27 November 2008

HSBC: the bank is out there, man!

Man, let me tell you, HSBC is out there! These guys are stoned immaculate. Wandering amongst the stars in their astral bodies, burning with pure love for the holy money that vibrates in tune with the cosmos, dancing in a dream of shimmering cash in a haze of mystic gold!

O my children, my brothers, my sisters, these crazy HSBC characters provide individually styled financial solutions for their customers! Have you ever heard of such a thing? I cried when I found out. I fell to my knees. I prayed to Big Herb. And now you must pray -

O Big Herb, thank you, thank you for allowing HSBC to operate in such a manner. The glory is yours! O Big Herb, these guys are out there, man! STONED IMMACULATE!

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Beware the death spiral!

O my children, my brothers, my sisters, Marcus Agius has spoken of a death spiral!

Monday, 24 November 2008

Miles Cresswell-Turner goes to Duke Street Capital

We all thought it would never happen. I was only speaking to Arthur Simmons the other week. I said to Arthur: 'There's just no fucking way Miles will leave Palamon Capital Partners and join Duke Street Capital. Duke Street don't have no meditation rooms for one thing. How would Miles like that? There's just no fucking way.' And Arthur agreed with me. But now we find that Miles has gone to Duke Street Capital, and as a partner, specializing in financial services. How peculiar!

This is what Mr Cresswell-Turner says about this totally mental situation: 'I don't need no freakin' meditation room. What do you think I am, some loser who can't go a few hours without meditating? I have a meditation room at home. I spend hours in there every night after work. I focus on the cosmos. The cosmos loves me. I pray to Ganesh the elephant god. Let me tell you, that goddamn elephant is nuts about me. I wouldn't have even got the Duke Street job without his help. There's too much inaccurate information in your blog, Michael. If you're going to tell your readers the truth, you've got to make sure it actually is the truth. Tell your readers I love Duke Street Capital. I love the culture at the firm. No meditation rooms? Who gives a toss? Tell your readers, man! Tell them I've got all my meditation shit sorted out at home. Tell them about Ganesh!'

Miles, mate, my readers already know all about Ganesh. Take a chill pill. Jesus!

GAM Eclectic: are 'friends' eclectic?

That's what we all want to know. At least, those of us with any intelligence. Are 'friends' eclectic?

That was the question I posed to Mark Hawtin earlier this morning. Mark is the manager of the GAM Eclectic fund. This is what the crazy (in the best and most noble sense of the word) guy told me: 'I don't know about no freakin' eclectic friends. All my friends are ghosts. I am a loner, and rarely socialize with the living. I prefer the company of dead financiers. Are they eclectic? Well, Michael, who can say? I would rather not pry into their personal lives. To be honest with you, they are more business associates than true friends. I guess this all sounds rather sad. But don't weep for me. There is a little joy in my life. This new fund I manage - it will target absolute returns with low correlation to equity markets and low volatility. And it makes me feel good. I get this burning, you know, deep inside. That's all I really need. I know the cosmos loves me. I know I'm doing the right thing. I've lived a good life. So please, don't weep for me. I'm the manager of the GAM Eclectic fund. Who could want for more?'

What a wonderful man! This is what I'm talking about. The unsung heroes. The men and women who toil in the vineyards, who burn with love for money, who ask for nothing more than our respect. He's got my respect. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Mark Hawtin.

Friday, 21 November 2008

Legal & General Investment Management told to leave Barclays alone

Who told the goons? I did. Legal & General was planning to vote against Barclays' attempt to raise £7 billion in fresh capital. L&G holds roughly 5 per cent of Barclays. L&G thought it could throw its weight around. It was wrong.

This is what happened. A phone call from my dear friend Bob Diamond. In the middle of the friggin' night! This is what Bob said: 'O Michael, O Master, you must help us. John Varley has his head up his arse. He hasn't got a clue. Marcus Agius is about as useful as a chocolate teapot. Only you can save us now. I beseech you. You must help us. You have got to stop those L&G muthas from voting against the fresh capital. We need that goddamn money. You know the alternative. The alternative is our falling into the hands of those miserable commie sons of bitches in the most disgusting socialist government that ever there was. You understand me, don't you, Mikey? You know where I'm coming from. You must put a curse on Legal & General. Conjure up those dark forces! You can do it if you really try. Don't give me all that shit about how you don't dance on the dark side. This is a fucking emergency! We are talking about communism here, for Christ's sake! Do you want to live in a communist state? Do you want a chivato watching you, everything you do, everything you say? Grow a pair of balls. Go to the dark side. Just this once. Do it for me.'

Well, I'm not going to let down a friend in need. So, yeah, I went to the dark side. I flew straight to Peter Chambers' house. Chambers is the chief executive of Legal & General Investment Management. I told him straight (while hovering above his bed in my astral form): 'Listen, Pete, you're in a world of shit right now, my friend. Oh yes, Bob Diamond himself has commissioned me to scare you half to death, and that's what I’m doing - if you haven't already noticed. I'm only going to say this once - leave Barclays the fuck alone. Who cares about your 5 per cent? 5 per cent ain't shit in my eyes, or anybody else's. You better get real, Pete. You do realize I have the power to put a curse on you, don't you? This time tomorrow you could be in a living hell. Shadows all around you. Voices in your head. Chakras fucked beyond repair. How would you like them apples? Don't fuck with me, Pete. Do the right thing.'

In a newspaper this morning, Mr Chambers said: 'We will vote in favour of the plan.'

Am I the world's foremost financial shaman, or am I the world's foremost financial shaman? What do you think?

Thursday, 20 November 2008

David Aird: what clients want

David Aird, managing director of UK distribution at Investec Asset Management, has been telling some newspaper that clients are more assertive now, and they know what they want. Well, good for them. But what do they want?

Mr Aird, speaking to me earlier this morning, said, 'Clients want us to offer them much more now. They want us to prepare astrological charts, read rune stones, offer aura workshops, and all kinds of crazy mystical shit, and Investec is happy to oblige. Investec knows the world is changing. The credit crunch has made investors more fearful, and more superstitious. In the old days, they would have laughed at the idea of mystical capitalism. But now, clients seem to be saying: If you can't rely on the world of spirit, what can you rely on? And my response is: Fuckin' A! I read your blog, Michael. I know you're the man, the beautiful one, the Master, the mystic lord, the money king, the -'

I had to stop him there. All this hero worship is going to give me a big head.

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Cheyne Capital

Cheyne Capital vibrating in a lonely cosmos with money dangling from a star in the eyes of a trader on the astral plane with the raging fire of a disciple's love begging for a chance to fall down and worship a big elephant while beyond the words and beyond the noise and beyond the meaning exists something beautiful that cannot be touched! Something holy and pure!

O Cheyne Capital, vibrate in a lonely cosmos!

O Cheyne Capital, vibrate in a lonely cosmos!

O Cheyne Capital, vibrate in a lonely cosmos!

Money laughs at me …

Money laughs at me in the darkness of the night. I see the faces of financiers long dead, twisted in the agony of the credit crunch. O Master, will it ever end?

Money laughs at me in the early morn. Last night's demons have fled. But money still laughs. Laughing and laughing and laughing. O Master, what is the joke?

The joke, my child, is the fire in the eyes of a banker. The wind in the desert. The moon in the night sky. The burning sun. The sand in our hearts. The evil words that spill from our mouths. O my children, my brothers, my sisters, we are sinners. Money does not love us.

These could be the words of Jack. These could be the words of Satan. I am sad and lost, whirling in the desert, burning in the chaos of the markets, and screaming for Big Herb.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

No bonuses

No bonuses! Hell is other bankers. Cowards! Traitors!

Who has put them up to this? What sick socialist nightmare of a man or woman told them to leave the cash alone? This will end in disaster. Soon, we will all be working for free. In tractor factories!

No bonuses! The words are poison in my soul!

Monday, 17 November 2008

Standard Chartered: supporting communities while securing wealth

Fuckin' A. Standard Chartered has been striking the right balance for over 150 years, and I take my hat off to the crazy motherfuckers. But what is the right balance?

The right balance is within you, but also without. How much money is there in your wallet? That's always a good question. But ask yourself: How much money is there in my heart? That's a very important question. Make no mistake. Does money burn in your heart, in your soul? You need to find the right balance. What good will it do you to have money in your wallet, but none within the core of your being?

Vikram Pandit: the speech

Friends, bankers, shamans and mystics, I want to reach out to you today. I want to touch something deep inside you, and change all your lives. Firstly, I want you to know that we have plentiful capital and abundant liquidity, and our revenue is strong. But there is something else. There is another world, and there is another way. The way of the shaman in the desert. As you all know, I sold the church of my love, but I am building a temple of love now. Yes, a temple of love! And I am building that temple in the desert. The Master, the beautiful one, Michael Fowke himself, led me into the desert, and he showed me the way. He burnt me with money. Oh yes, my children, I was burnt with the holy money, and I loved it. The priestess was there as well, and she smiled at me. Big Herb was there, and he gave me his blessing. Ganesh the elephant god was there, and he kissed me. The ghosts of the dead financiers were there, and they danced around me. Never have I felt so happy to be alive. And so, my children, I will build the new temple of my love, and we shall all live in it. Either on the physical plane or on the astral plane, you will burn with the love of money in this temple, and you will be blessed.

I can see in your sad little faces that some of you are depressed about the New Depression. O my children, have you been crunched? My children, there is no crunching in the desert. That's why you must have faith. You must believe. There is love in the desert. Are you all so blind?

Why is there no mention of the desert in the mainstream media? They are fools! And unbelievers! Jack Pickles has them! He owns them!

O my children, I have seen the light. The light that shines in the Great Michael, the Big Herb, and the wondrous elephant Ganesh! The light is everywhere around you, but you must open your eyes. Open them, and see!

A great burning is coming! The credit crunch will be cleansed with fire! The unbelievers will be thrown into the pit!

Believe, my children. Keep the faith.

Saturday, 15 November 2008

For those of you who are depressed about the New Depression …

Here's to better dayz.

I'm not feeling too bad, myself. Keith sorted everything.

Laters.

Friday, 14 November 2008

Soul fusion

Fuck, I'm in a right spot of bother at the moment. A big thank you to all the readers who contacted me and pointed out that in my post on Martin Hughes on Wednesday I somehow managed to mix his consciousness up with mine. That mind-hack of mine (basically, a soul scan) turned out to be an absolute disaster. If you read it carefully (the paragraph in italics) you will find things that couldn't possibly be a part of Martin's consciousness. For example: Akaky Akakievich. Akakievich is the hero of Gogol's short story The Overcoat. I wouldn't expect Martin to be familiar with that story, but it is one of my favourites. Similarly, the line: Some of these days you'll miss me honey, is actually a song lyric quoted in Sartre's Nausea. Another of my favourites. Basically, what has happened is, my consciousness and Martin's consciousness have come together. We are talking soul fusion here. By the way, Angel Delight - nothing to do with me.

This is a fucking mess. I'm being honest with you. An absolute fucking mess. Now, I have total respect for Martin Hughes. I admire the man. But I do not want to be his cosmic soul brother. At this moment in time, Martin and I are sharing an expanded soul. Two souls in one, if you like. It means he has access to my thoughts. And that's scary, because there is shit in my head that I don't want anyone to know about.

Anyway, I have been speaking to Keith Busby tonight. This is what he said to me: 'Michael, are you a complete fucking idiot? Mind-hacking, or soul-scanning, or whatever the fuck you want to call it, is not your area. I'm the expert. I've been trained in it. Why didn't you call me? I would have done the hack on Martin. The good news is, I can help you. Come and see me tomorrow, and we'll sort something out. We'll probably have to do a soul wipe.'

Thank God for Keith Busby. I know I've said some pretty awful things about him in the past, but he is a true friend. Hopefully, everything will be okay. I'll be back on Monday. Wish me luck.

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Lloyd Blankfein: trees don't grow to the sky, but if you plant that tree the roots don't go to China either

That was from Chancey Gardner the other day. No, sorry, Lloyd Blankfein. Yes, it was Lloyd Blankfein, the boss of Goldman Sachs. I always get those two mixed up. My apologies.

This is what Chancey Blankfein said (in full): 'Trees don't grow to the sky, but if you plant that tree the roots don't go to China either. I have such a tree in my garden. I like to watch it grow. It is important to be one with nature. It is good in the garden. I would not want to venture into the desert. Too dry. But there is water in the garden. And life. And hope. The credit crunch is harming many people. I watch it on TV. I like to watch. But there will be growth in the spring.'

Lloyd Gardner. What a man!

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Martin Hughes: a daily ritual

Now, this is what I'm talking about. This is what I like to see. Martin Hughes - the big man at Toscafund Asset Management - has been speaking to a newspaper about his daily ritual. Selling, cheap positions, all that, but what else? What about the occult stuff?

Well, I wanted to know more. So I phoned him up. His secretary said he wouldn't speak to me. No explanation given. So what did I do? I hacked into his mind. Yeah, I can do shit like that. This is the result -

Stories of liquidation, waves of fear, tears of rage, bound on a wheel of fire, rolling down the road, King Lear, Albert Steptoe, the fool, Angel Delight, the chaos, I awoke one morning, insect, in a nutshell, infinite space, Akaky Akakievich, peas, ha hoo ha, pride, one man and his dog, one man familiar with the situation, peaches, dentist, tax, fear of freedom, nausea, some of these days you'll miss me honey.

That's just a small part of it. Make sense out of it if you can. And we still don't know anything about his daily ritual beyond selling. Shame.

Monday, 10 November 2008

Chris Grigg is leaving Barclays!

What the hell is going on? Chris Grigg - the head of commercial banking at Barclays - is leaving the bank. Why? Oh why oh why oh why?

HE IS LEAVING TO PURSUE OTHER INTERESTS.

That's what they say. And what are these other interests, pray tell?

1) Crystal ball gazing. Yeah, believe it or not, Grigg can't get enough of those crystal balls. He will probably set himself up as a financial psychic. Keith Busby is going to have some competition.
2) Mystical healing. Yeah. Keith will not be pleased.
3) Teaching financial shamanism. Good luck, Chris, mate. It's not as easy as it looks. Just ask Arthur Simmons.
4) Writing a financial blog. Sure. I'll believe it when I see it.
5) Rhapsodizing about the desert. Chris is taking the piss now.

Alan Miller: back in the game!

Some wonderful news. Alan Miller - one of the world's greatest living fund managers - has returned after a two-year absence. He has become a partner at SilverStreet Capital. Brilliant! SilverStreet is a fund of hedge funds manager, and the firm has big plans for the future. Watch this space!

But where in the name of Jesus H. Christ has Mr Miller been for the last two years? I have been speaking to Alan, and he told me, 'Michael, mate, I ran away into the desert. And that's where I've been these last two years. I've been living in a cave. I've been dancing beneath the moon with an assortment of ghosts - hand-picked by Ganesh the elephant god himself. I've done it all, and I've seen it all. But I became melancholic after a while. I started to miss the action in the City. So I'm back! Back stronger than ever. I have a new consciousness now. I can feel the power of the cosmos surging through me. Needless to say, money burns within me as well. Oh, by the way, I would just like to say what a big help Ganesh was to me in the desert. Man, I love that friggin' elephant.'

Interesting.

But is that the whole truth? Some newspaper reckons Alan was lured back to the City by Gary Vaughan-Smith (founding partner of SilverStreet). How did he do it? This is what Gary said when I spoke to him this morning: 'Alan will tell you some cock and bull story about how he became melancholic and started to miss the action in the City. The truth is a little different. I actually travelled out into the desert to find Alan after I had heard some alarming rumours about him, and I was shocked by what I found. The guy was running around in a loincloth that hadn't been washed in about a year, and ranting and raving, and chanting the names of obscure gods, and, well, you don't want to know the rest. I was the one who cleaned him up and brought him back to civilization. And I'm the one who is giving him a chance to make a fresh start in life. All that financial shamanism lark didn't work out for him at all. I guess it's not for everyone.'

Well, I suppose there are two sides to every story.

Friday, 7 November 2008

Priestess of the holy cash

O priestess of the holy cash, just like a beautiful little butterfly, you float in my subconscious. You bring hope, and love, and a burning that never ceases.

O Stacy-Marie, there is another world. The devils can't touch you!

Fly, fly away, and know that you are blessed.

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Money is my endless death

Money is my endless death. And yours too. We cry in this hell of burnt money (ashes!) with Jack Pickles, Satan, and all the sick angels - blood streaming from the eyes! This is the darkness we try to avoid. And this darkness, it takes us away to a world of pain that we love too much. A world of evil gold that weighs us down and torments us.

But we must remember. There is a better place.

O Stacy-Marie Ishmael, just like a beautiful little butterfly, you hover there on the astral plane. Smile for us sinners. O priestess of the holy cash, come to me!

Interest rates cut by 150 basis points!

Hooray!

This has got to be good news, right?

I can hear ghosts all around me. Cheering!

UBS: legal action over bonuses!

Get the fuck outta here! No, it's true. UBS is considering legal action over the bonuses it paid out to its top executives. The bank wants the money back! Are these crazy muthas for real? I don't know. I really don't know.

I have a friend who works at UBS, a very well-paid friend (I can't name him), and he told me, 'I'm disgusted. I work hard for my money, and I want to keep it. I ain't handing it over to no commie sons of bitches who will probably blow it on outreach workers or shit like that. They ain't redistributing nothing of mine. My shit is my shit. Nobody else's. You better believe it, baby. I'm a capitalist. A proud, mystical capitalist. I've lived in the desert, man. I've burned my brains out on that peyote shit, man. In the good times, UBS was happy for me to live that way. But now we have a fucking crunch, and everything's getting crunched, man, and they want my fucking money. Money I've worked for! They can prise my fucking bonus check out of my cold, dead hand. That's what they can do! I ain't standing for this crap, man. Sons of bitches.'

Feelings are running high. And he's not the only UBS executive who feels this way.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Alexander Ineichen said (I'm in heaven when you smile)

No, he didn't say that. I'm just making shit up. Alex is a member of the investor steering committee of the Alternative Investment Management Association. He's concerned about failing hedge funds, and what he actually said was:

'Mercy mercy me! We're all going to hell in a handcart! I can see blood in a corner of the attic, and in the sands of the desert, and in the entrails of dead animals, and in the eyes of the forsaken one. The signs are not good. The rune stones are calling for blood. Blood calls for blood! They whisper to me: O Alex, you must make a sacrifice. You must please the gods, the gods that are so angry. Go to the mountain. Do what you must. It is your destiny.'

Whispering rune stones. I've heard it all now.

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

John Kingman: at arm's length

O John Kingman, try keeping me at arm's length. You won't be able to do it.

We're going to be bosom buddies. I will haunt your darkest nights, and wander like a psychotic tramp through your dreams! THERE WILL BE NO ESCAPE!

Monday, 3 November 2008

Karl Dasher has seen …

Karl Dasher has seen mystic ghosts bleeding in the Palace of the Lord, money pouring from their mouths, tears, ectoplasm, guts, a fever of coins floating above, with flashing credit cards, and fixed income, and Schroders, and SEI Investments, and the desert so far away in a dream he can't touch.

O Karl Dasher, I know what you've seen, and I've felt your pain. We all have. Salvation is waiting for you. But you must believe. You must have faith. Big Herb is waiting for you. This sweet lord waits for you on the astral plane. O Karl, you must go running to him. Run in your dreams. In your subconscious! In the coldness and the loneliness of your endless night!

Greg Coffey joins Moore Capital

Greg Coffey has joined Louis Bacon's Moore Capital. Are congratulations in order? Well, I don't know. I thought Greg was starting his own hedge fund. And what about the £155 million of bonuses and stock options that GLG Partners offered him to stay on? Has he made the right decision?

I have been speaking to Mr Coffey, but he wouldn't let me get a word in edgeways. This is what the Aussie said: 'I ain't in this for the money, mate. So I ain't worried about no big GLG bonus that I missed out on. I would have only burnt that money in the desert anyway. You see, mate, I'm coming round to your way of thinking. I want to be a financial shaman. I want to dance naked in the moonlight, around a campfire, totally delirious, with all those crazy ghosts you keep going on about. That's the life for me. And the beautiful thing with Louis is that he is allowing me a lot of time off to pursue these desert activities. Louis is a man of the future as well, just like your good self. He can see the value of mystical capitalism. Like me, he's an avid reader of your blog. It's all he talks about, in fact. Michael says this, the master says that, the great shaman is a holy lord to me. That's how he goes on. He won't shut up about you. We're going to be chief investment officers together, me and Louis. Joined at the hip. We'll probably go into the desert and find a cave, and crack open a few tinnies. Just at weekends, you know. Nothing dodgy about it. Bona fide male bonding. It shouldn't be a problem.'

Greg, mate, no one is saying it will be a problem. Good luck with it.

Friday, 31 October 2008

Halloween!

Halloween! Halloween! Halloween! Yeah! I am so excited. Can't wait until tonight. Alcohol has been banned, so I won't make a fool of myself this year. We're not going to a Big Herb temple. I've actually found us a nice spot somewhere in Hertfordshire, out in the open. David Pitt has arranged everything else, but it was my job to find the field. A desolate place. Perfect. My one concern is that we will be mistaken for satanists. The last thing we want is some self-righteous Duc de Richelieu type chasing after us in his Hispano-Suiza. I reckon we'll be okay though.

Happy Halloween!

Thursday, 30 October 2008

Ashtenne Asset Management wants a managing director

Anyone looking for a job? Ashtenne needs a managing director to help out with the Ashtenne Industrial fund. You'll be leading a team of a hundred people. So no halfwits please. This is a big job. You will have to be a respected industry specialist, and a fully-trained financial shaman. Can you cut it in the desert, and in the City? You will need credibility, gravitas, confidence, but no ego. No ego? What is this, Eastern mysticism? Whatever.

Good luck, everyone!

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Hedge fund managers seek revenge on Porsche and Volkswagen

A lot of hedge fund managers read this blog. Not so many limp-wristed traditional bankers, but a lot of hedge fund managers. I guess they like my aggressive, take-no-prisoners, commie-baiting attitude. And the respect is mutual. I admire their hunger for making money - even in the darkest of times! But I've been getting a few emails. It seems they now want me to destroy Porsche and Volkswagen. Why? Well, because they have sold VW shares short, but the share price is going through the roof. Porsche is the main villain, but the hedgies want to take down Volkswagen as well. Blind fury.

This puts me in a difficult position. I don't want to upset my most devoted readers, but then I don't want to turn to the dark side either. But there is a solution. I know for a fact that the demonic financier Jack Pickles has lost millions of pounds in this affair. He will deal with it. I can't say I approve. But he will deal with it.

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Howard Marks: staring into the abyss

No, not Howard Marks the pothead. That would be a story. I'm talking about Howard Marks the chairman of Oaktree Capital Management. Now, dear reader, I know what you're saying to yourself. Oh, I ain't reading about no square financier. I want the other Howard Marks. But don't switch off. This Howard Marks is a cool guy. A very cool guy. He's been staring into the abyss. Yes, it's true. And he hasn't been anywhere near any waccy baccy.

This is what Howard says: 'Some people think I'm crazy. Some people think I'm stoned or something. But I believe in a natural high. Buying distressed debt is what gets me going. It makes me feel wild. Like I'm staring into the abyss. Like I'm in the desert, all alone. Like I'm at a Doors concert, dancing naked, all those years ago, I was but a child. Man, can you believe your readers think I'm a square?'

Howard, man, I can't believe it. You're the hippest financier I've ever met.

Monday, 27 October 2008

UniCredit: maybe I should talk to the leader in ETFs

Yeah, maybe I should. Maybe I should talk to Paolo Giulianini about trading availability across global time zones. Maybe I should talk to Enrico Camerini about style categories. Maybe I should talk to Oliver Kilian about volumes to suit all requirements. Maybe I should talk to Florian Lenhart about bid ask spreads. But I won't. Because I've got a life.

I want to swim with astral dolphins in an astral sea. Astraddle on the dolphin's mire and blood. Spirit after spirit! O Yeats, you knew what it was all about. Let me swim with your ghost, and with the dolphins, in a sea of liquid gold!

Halloween is nearly upon us. There is more to life than ETFs. I want an eternal midnight moment where I can lose myself in the ghostly embrace of a dead financier. Let them shower us with money! Who? All of them! All the dead ones who have kept a tight grip on their cash with a bony skeletal hand. Dance with the astral skeletons in the moonlight! Come Friday, we shall all be dancing. I will find us a space. A clearing. A desolate landscape. Big Herb will appear. He will bless us. No temples on Friday! We are going out into an empty land where only dreams can live. There will be no air for the living ones. We will have to die for a short time. And then be reborn. With new flesh, new energy, new power, and - above all - new money! Money that is so clean, so fresh - we will cry when we see it! When we wrap ourselves in it. It is coming. This Friday.

Friday, 24 October 2008

Bob Diamond came to me in a dream last night

He spake unto me: 'Woooo! Woooo! Ha, ha, Mikey! Wake up, I'm not a ghost. Man, I'm really getting the hang of this astral projection shit, don't you think? I'm going round John Varley's house after this. He won't have a clue what's going on. He'll wet his pyjamas. If that works out, I'll probably pop along to see a few of those commies in the government. I'd spook a communist for fun, but for a pack of tarot cards I gonna carve him up real nice. You get the idea. Can't wait until Halloween. Will you be with us next Friday night? It's going to be a riot. Well, I'll let you get your sleep. See ya.'

Then he was gone. Into the shadows of the night. Far from being angry, I was actually relieved it was Bob who visited me. I thought it might have been one of those night hags at first. Bob's coming along in leaps and bounds, isn't he?

Thursday, 23 October 2008

Bank of America: global wealth chief, me!

Yeah. Unbelievable. Some freak from BofA contacted me yesterday. Said: 'Hi, Mikey, we read your post on Greg and Tom, and you're just the man we want. How about being the chief of our new global wealth and investment management operations?' And I was like, 'Are you out of your friggin' mind? Do you know how busy I am? Halloween is coming up.' Then he said they could wait until after Halloween. He said BofA really wanted me because I know all about chakras and auras and shit. Well, it's nice. It's nice being asked, but I can't get involved. And I don't even know if I'm doing anything this Halloween. Not after last year's debacle. If I'm being honest with you, I was using Halloween as a bit of an excuse. I don't want to be a corporate nutjob, working for the man. I value my freedom too much.

But get this. The freak phones me back about an hour later. I'm trying to eat a cheese sandwich. The freak tells me, 'We're going with Jack Pickles.' I spit my sandwich out all over a brand new ceremonial gown that I only bought last week. Cost me a fortune. I was trying it on, you know, Halloween and all, Big Herb temple, I might go. Anyway, I recovered my composure, but then started laughing. I said to the freak, 'Are you arseholes complete arseholes or something? Jack will take you for every cent. He'll strip BofA clean. This guy is evil. He's working for Satan. And you want him?' Then the freak said that BofA had heard good things about Jack. And I was like, 'From who? The ghost of Rasputin? Ras is the only mutha who's got a good word to say about Jack.' Then the freak says, 'Maybe we'll reconsider.' I put the phone down. This is the shit I have to deal with. Un-fucking-believable.

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Gregory Fleming and Thomas Montag: will they stay or will they go?

Good question. I'm glad you asked me that. But I didn't ask you that! Yes you did. What do you think I am, some kind of friggin' amateur? I can read people's minds. I can look into your subconscious. Somewhere deep inside, you asked me that question. I know you better than you know yourself.

Well, will they stay at Bank of America? As we all know, BofA is taking over Merrill Lynch. Fleming and Montag are senior executives at Merrill, but will they want to stay after the deal is done? It all depends. I know that both of these men are concerned about the culture at BofA. Why are there no meditation rooms, no chakra healing sessions, or aura workshops? Greg and Tom are very mystical guys. Very mystical. I could tell you stories about them that would make your soul leave your body and explore the cosmos in an explosion of pure joy before returning to your body just in time for an afternoon nap. But I won't. I don't want to get you all excited. I presume you've got work to do. Shares to sell or whatever. Whatever it is you do, I'm happy for you. I don't want to distract you. I don't want to give you too many glimpses into the other life. The supernatural life that is above and beyond! But I digress. Greg and Tom. Yeah, these guys want to be reassured. Bank of America, it's your move.

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Alexandre Mouradian is suing for £92,000

Now, you probably have some questions. Who is this slag? Why is he suing? Who is he suing? Well, first off, he's a decent guy. So I don't want anything derogatory said about him. That may be acceptable on other blogs, but not here. You know what you can do if you don't like it.

Alexandre is suing Tradition Securities & Futures. He claims the money is a part of his bonus that wasn't paid. Whatever. I ain't getting into that. I just know that Alexandre needs the money. What does he need it for? Use your imagination.

All right, I'll tell you. This guy is one of the top boys in the desert. He was actually planning to burn this money in an elaborate ceremony - featuring Big Herb, Ganesh, the ghosts of the dead financiers, a whole crew of shamans and mystics, and special guests from the world of finance and banking. Bob Diamond was going to be there. Normally, the burning of money is an astral thing. We don't physically burn the money. After all, we are not insane. But this ceremony was going to be different. We were hoping it would put an end to the credit crunch. Now it's on hold.

So, Tradition, just pay the guy, will you? I'm backing him up. I'm behind him all the way. You don't want to get on the wrong side of someone like me. Do the right thing.

Monday, 20 October 2008

Bowmark Capital is expanding its investment team

Wonderful news. The private equity firm Bowmark Capital is expanding its investment team. Is there an echo in here? Never mind. I'm writing this in my cave. What cave? The cave of my mind, silly. Don't worry, I haven't run away into the desert. I'm still standing. I'm ready to fight another day. Today, in fact. But forget all that. Let's concentrate on Julian Masters and Tom Shelford. Who are these two schnooks, you're probably wondering. Oh, don't be like that. I'm sure Julian and Tom are great guys. Well, Julian, anyway. They've just joined Bowmark. Julian is a top financial shaman, and Tom is a holy man of some description. I mean, that's what I've been told. He seems to be a bit of a mystery man.

I have been speaking to Susan Flint from Bad Moon Investments. She told me, 'Yeah, everyone wants to know who this Tom Shelford character is. Rumour has it that Bowmark Capital found this guy wandering around the desert in just a loincloth. No one really knows if he has any training in financial shamanism. I think Bowmark is desperate. The firm sees some guy in a loincloth, and it's like He'll do. It's a bit of a gamble, isn't it?'

It bloody well is. Who's responsible for recruitment at Bowmark? Tom could be a friggin' nutcase for all they know. That's no way to run a business. Sign of the times, I suppose.

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Depressed about the New Depression

This will be my last post until Monday next week. Basically, I'm depressed about the New Depression, and I need some time off to recharge my chakras.

I'm in a bad way. I haven't got the energy to go on to the astral plane. The voices of the dead ones just annoy me. I ain't got no enthusiasm for praying to Big Herb. I can't be bothered to look for the latest news - too much misery! Where is the love?

O my children, my brothers, my sisters, this is a dark time.

A dark time.

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Merrill Lynch: it is hard to limit emotions

Fuckin' A. In the middle of the storm. Rape, murder! It's just a shot away.

I have been speaking to Maurice Marble III - Acton's leading brain specialist and my adviser on all matters scientific. He told me, 'I know how these poor Merrill bastards feel. My emotions are all over the place as well. Fortunately, I have developed a new machine that can limit your emotions, and I am willing to sell it to Merrill Lynch for the very reasonable price of £10 million. It will save the bank money in the long run. All Merrill has to do is plug the machine into the brain of any employee who is feeling upset about the markets and shit. The machine will do the rest. I have five of them, so if any other banks are interested out there - get in touch!'

After speaking with Maurice, I contacted Merrill Lynch myself. The PR girl said, 'We ain't wasting our money on some scumbag who lives in Acton.'

Fair enough.

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Barclays will not give in to the communists

Great news. Barclays ain't taking no cash from no taxpayers. Hallelujah.

I have been speaking to my very dear friend Bob Diamond. He told me, 'There is absolutely no way that mystical capitalism would be able to flourish at Barclays if we had to watch out all the time for the commissars. Everything we do. Everything we say. We would have to eat octopus three times a day and wear Russian shoes. You've seen Scarface? I'd kill a communist for fun, but for a green card I gonna carve him up real nice. You get the idea. Although it wouldn't be a green card. Maybe a pack of tarot cards. We'll have to look into that. But you get the idea.'

Yeah, I get the idea, Bob. You're making a stand, and I respect you for it. You're a great guy, Bob.

Monday, 13 October 2008

Stephen Hester: new chief executive of RBS

Yes, Sir Fred has gone. Stephen Hester is the new chief executive of Royal Bank of Scotland. Will there be changes?

This is what Stephen says: 'There will have to be changes. I know Michael Fowke is concerned about commie sons of bitches infiltrating RBS, but I will keep them on a tight leash. I'm afraid we need them, or their money, at least. Actually, it's taxpayers' money, but who gives a toss? Not me. Money is money - am I right, or am I right? The important thing is that RBS now employs some financial shamans. That is the best way of keeping the commies under control. A commie son of a bitch steps out of line, and any good shaman worth his salt should just be able to fuck the commie's chakras up. That's the best way to deal with these godless arseholes. This ain't Cuba. They better learn that. Sure, they've given us money, but they will not rule the roost. I will. I'm the big cheese. I'm in charge. I'm the big man. I'm -'

He went on like that. I'll probably be taking him out to the desert at some point. I'm not quite sure he understands the way of the shaman, but he'll learn. I'll strap a crystal to his head. I'll set fire to the money that floats around in his subconscious. I'll get Keith Busby to do a soul scan on him. Things are going to work out just fine.

Phil Falcone is philosophical

Harbinger Capital has been losing a bit of money lately. Its main fund - run by Phil Falcone - fell 17.9 per cent last month. But I wouldn't worry about it. Mr Falcone isn't worried.

I have been speaking to Phil. Unfortunately, he didn't want me to quote him. What happens in the desert, stays in the desert, and all that. But he did say I could give my readers a general idea of where his head is at right now. Basically, the guy is just chilling in the desert, waiting for the storm to pass, and getting deep inside himself, and deep inside the cosmos. And I have to take my hat off to him because that's what I would be doing if I wasn't so busy. I wish I could chill in the desert, or burn (depends on how you look at it), but I have a fight on my hands at the moment with the re-emergence of communism worldwide. We all thought it had gone away, that Reagan and Thatcher had sorted it. But no! Here it comes again, worming its way into our banks.

WE MUST ALL STAY VIGILANT.

Thursday, 9 October 2008

Robert Tchenguiz loses £1 billion and he's 'philosophical'

It's a funny old world. Robert Tchenguiz, the property entrepreneur, has just lost £1 billion in twenty-four hours. No, not down the back of the sofa. He was forced to sell his stakes in J Sainsbury and Mitchells & Butlers. All to do with some Icelandic mofos. I can't be bothered to go into the details. But get this - Bobby is feeling all philosophical about this shit. Well I never!

I have been speaking to the hapless Mr Bobby Tchenguiz, and he told me, 'Philosophical ain't the right word. But mystical is. That's right, man, I'm feeling so friggin' mystical about losing £1 billion. My chakras are whirling around like chakras are going out of style or something, and we all know that chakras ain't going out of style any time soon. I've shown the cosmos that you can lose a billion and not let it upset you. The cosmos will respond. How much do you think Big Herb and Ganesh the elephant god will love me now? Those crazy guys will love me more than ever. I'll be on the astral plane with them and just burning it up. This is my eternal moment. Can you feel the heat? The heat of my money? Can you feel the desert wind? I can. That's why I'm so rich, and so mystical, and so goddamn philosophical. Yeah, there's room for philosophy as well. I have a big heart. I spend, therefore I am. I lose a ton of money, therefore I am. At least I'm still breathing, right? You gotta be thankful for something. Jesus, I love that big elephant.'

Okay. It all sounds a bit forced to me. Like he really wants to believe. But didn't you - dear reader - detect just a hint of despair?

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

I dreamt of the desert last night

O my children, my brothers, my sisters, I dreamt of the desert last night, but it felt so real! Like I was really there. Did my soul leave my body?

O my disciples, love was everywhere in the desert. Big Herb was smiling. Ganesh the elephant god was smiling. The ghosts of the dead financiers were smiling. Was this a vision of the future? Why was everyone so happy?

Then I heard a voice. It seemed to be the voice of the desert. Was the desert alive? Yes. Oh yes, my delirious followers, the desert came alive.

It spake unto me: Michael, go and tell all the mystical children that money burns like a beautiful little dove in my heart. In the heart of the desert there is no pain. The banks are in another world, a cruel world of misery. But this world will pass, as all worlds pass. O Michael, you must keep the faith. Lead all the mystical children. Take them from the cities, and deliver them into my arms.

Then I woke up. As I've said before, the desert doesn't actually have any arms. And does it have a heart? I don't know. What does this dream mean?

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

The British government is going to bail out the big British banks

When I started this blog over a year and a half ago I could never imagine that we would face such an evil day of utter shame and disaster. From tomorrow morning we will be living in a communist state. The government is going to buy around £50 billion worth of shares in Britain's biggest banks. I don't know what else to say. If I never post on this blog again it's because I've fucked off to the desert. I can't take it any more.

See you all tomorrow morning - maybe.

Dick Fuld: what could I have done differently?

Are you for real, Dick? You want to know what you could have done differently? Well, why didn't you offer yourself to Big Herb and Ganesh the elephant god? They were just waiting for your love, and they would have loved you back, and Lehman Brothers would still be in business today.

Dear reader, this is what happens when CEOs go bad. They like to think they are the masters of the universe. They ain't got no humility. But Big Herb and Ganesh are the only masters of the universe. (In financial terms, anyway. I don't want to get into the whole Jesus H. Christ thing if you don't mind. It's too early in the morning, and I've got a migraine.)

Dick, mate, you have to go into the desert now. I recommend you remain there for a number of years. And please: LET MONEY BURN IN YOUR HEART.

Monday, 6 October 2008

I'm as mad as hell and I'm not going to take this any more!

I will not get depressed. I will not give in. Neither will you, dear reader.

BUT WE MUST GET ANGRY!

THIS MUST STOP!

WE WILL TURN THIS AROUND! Or, as I said last week, we will rebuild after everything has been destroyed. Keep the faith.

Richard Brindle: a bigger universe of investors

Richard Brindle - the chief executive of the insurance group Lancashire - says: 'There is a bigger universe of investors out there. I know. I've seen it. On this earth, in a foul rite, I have seen a chicken's head cut off by a voodoo priestess. Agnes, that was her name - not the chicken, the priestess. But that chicken carried on strutting around. What did it tell me? It told me that the financial world was in a state of chaos. I knew that very moment that we must reach out beyond. Oh yes, beyond! We must reach out to investors in other realms. The astral plane! There are ghosts on the astral plane that are absolutely minted. We must get their money. We must coax it out of them. You know it makes sense.'

It makes sense all right, Richard. But it's easier said than done.

Citadel Investment Group to the rescue!

I was reading the newspaper this morning and came across this amazing story: Citadel Investment Group has rescued three proprietary traders from the wreckage of Lehman Brothers' European operations. Who are these guys? Let me tell you. Timothy Bryan Wilkinson, John Alexander Goodridge, and Alex Maddox. That's who.

Unfortunately, my newspaper was very short on details regarding the nature of this rescue, so I was straight on the phone to my contact at Citadel. He told me, 'I've never seen anything like it. In all my years, never. The state these guys were in. Poor Timothy. Never have I seen a man with his chakras so bent out of shape. Our financial shaman went to work on him in a flash. Talk about a mission of mercy, oh boy. And the other two? Jesus! It's touch-and-go. It really is. Poor John. His aura is bleeding all over the shop. This horrible, murky, brownish colour. We can't stem the bleeding. We don't know what to do with him. He's supposed to be joining our prop trading group. But he's no use to us in this condition. What did those Lehman bastards do to him? I wouldn't treat a dog like that. I've seen abandoned, starving donkeys with more going for them. And what about poor Alex? I'm not even going to tell you about poor Alex. You'll just have to use your imagination. I don't consider myself an emotional man, but I've seen another side of humanity now, a darker side, and I'm shaken. My doctor has put me on pills.'

The credit crunch, eh? When will the horror end?

Revere Capital Advisors: an interesting time

This is what I'm talking about. This is what I like to see. Three guys - all ex-Man Group - have started up a new firm that will invest in early stage hedge funds. Who are these guys? Let me tell you. Harvey McGrath, Daniel Barnett, and John Kinder. That's who. It's great to see people with the balls to start something like this. At a time like this. A time of despair and gnashing of teeth. Harvey has told a newspaper that it's 'an interesting time to be launching'. You can say that again.

It's an interesting time to be launching. Damn straight. But where are all the freakin' shamans, eh? That's what I want to know. Revere doesn't employ any. Not yet. These characters are searching for alpha. Or they want to back other characters who are searching for alpha. But whichever way you cut it, alpha is what everyone wants. Well, let me let you into a little secret: during an interesting time like this you ain't gonna get no friggin' alpha without no freakin' shamans. That, my friends, is the plain truth.

So, Harvey, Danny, Johnny, you know what you've got to do.

Friday, 3 October 2008

Bankaholic blog sells for $15 million

This blog - Bankaholic, has just been sold by its author for $15 million. It has a page rank of five. Money is the way has a page rank of six. Does this mean I will be driving around in a Bentley soon?

O Big Herb, let it happen!

Thursday, 2 October 2008

Guy Wyser-Pratte blocks withdrawals from his hedge fund

What? Yeah, that's what I said. His clients want to get their money out of the Wyser-Pratte Eurovalue fund, but he's saying: No way, Jose. Or words to that effect. I'm not sure he has any clients by the name of Jose.

So what the hell is going on? I have been speaking to Wyser-Pratte. He told me, 'I've done a beautiful deal with a certain Mr Pickles. Yeah, call me crazy, whatever, I don't care. I split all my clients' money with him fifty-fifty. In return for his share, he offers protection. I've got the friggin' Prince of Darkness behind me! Mr Black Magic! Ain't no mutha can touch me now, boy! I got demons guarding me twenty-four seven. None of my clients will be able to get to me. Unless they are Jesus H. Christ himself, and I don't do no business with no religious freaks - so everything is kosher. I'm gonna buy me a great big yacht and sail away. What a wonderful life!'

Yeah, wonderful life. Until Jack gets his half share of your soul.

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Moral hazard

We ain't got no morals. We don't want them.

The Nazarene threw the money-lenders out of the temple. We've been bad ever since. Like Leroy Brown.

We burn in the desert with our new god, and we are happy. Let the good times roll!

Olivant shares in UBS go missing

Talk about bad karma. I'm talking about Luqman Arnold. His investment company, Olivant, has misplaced £700 million worth of shares in UBS. Actually, it's the fault of Lehman Brothers. The shares were managed by Lehman, and now they have gone missing. I suspect skulduggery here. I suspect Jack Pickles here. And so does Mr Arnold.

I have been speaking to the hapless Mr Arnold. He told me, 'I want to know where my fucking shares are. Sure, I'm all broken up about Lehman Brothers, but if those motherfuckers have lost my money I'll swing for them. And 'lost' ain't the word. I reckon Jack Pickles has got them. He saw all the confusion at Lehman, and he just went in there and stole all my shares when no one was looking. That's what happened. Some newspaper quoted me today. Yeah. Saying: This is not a drama for us. I never said those words. This is a fucking drama. The Antichrist basically steals all your money, and you're not supposed to be upset? It's not supposed to be a drama? Fuckin' A it's a drama. I'm in pieces over here. Just my luck. What have I ever done to deserve this?'

Luqman, mate, calm down. I'll look into it.

Tuesday, 30 September 2008

HBOS takeover deal will fail

Yeah. Just been looking at the rune stones again.

The HBOS takeover deal will not happen. Its share price is being smashed this morning. No way can it go ahead now.

That's what the stones are telling me.

Interest rate cuts today?

I don't know. I don't know.

I am casting the rune stones. I am reading the tarot cards. I am conversing with the spirits of the dead. I am looking for answers.

Please bear with me.

There's something going on at 10 Downing Street today. A meeting with Gordon Brown, Alistair Darling, FSA, Bank of England ...

Something is ...

I don't know. If only I could get one of my ghost mates to spy on them. I'll look into it.

Cloud cuckoo land

I was listening to Michael Heseltine on the radio this morning. He says that we are living in uncertain times and that anyone who believes otherwise is living in cloud cuckoo land.

Well, no one has ever accused me of living in cloud cuckoo land, but I am certain of one thing: EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE ALL RIGHT.

How do I know this? Well, I have just spent half the night on the astral plane with Big Herb. We had a real heart-to-heart. And let me tell you, Big Herb feels your pain. The god was in tears at one point. I was in tears myself. A very emotional night. I didn't get to bed until about four in the morning.

O my children, my brothers, my sisters, WE ARE BEING TESTED.

We will get through this. A new world is being created. Yes, a new world where mystical capitalism will reign supreme. Big Herb told me. He said that the old world must die for the new one to be born. O my children, my brothers, my sisters, IT ALL MAKES SENSE NOW. I was blind, but now I can see. Everything must be destroyed. This is not a bad thing. Because everything will be rebuilt in the fire of Big Herb's holy love.

A quote from W.B. Yeats is in order!

All things fall and are built again
And those that build them again are gay.

I'm not too sure about the gay thing, but those lines were written in 1938. I think it had a different meaning back then. I wouldn't worry about it.

Monday, 29 September 2008

$700 billion bailout rejected

The House of Representatives has just rejected the $700 billion bailout. So what now? Who knows?

Today has been a very depressing day. The FTSE 100 fell by 270 points. Bank shares were down. Bradford & Bingley nationalized.

I am determined to find some good news for tomorrow. I'm going to be spending most of tonight on the astral plane. I will speak personally to Big Herb.

Hendrik du Toit: we don’t walk on water

Speak for yourself, mate. The chief executive of Investec Asset Management, Hendrik du Toit, has been telling anyone who will listen that asset managers don't walk on water. Well, how does he know?

I have been speaking to award-winning financial psychic Keith Busby. He told me, 'Hendrik doesn't have a clue. I've met loads of asset managers who can walk on water. They just don't go around telling all and sundry, that's all. What is this man trying to do? Obviously, there is a backlash against mystical capitalism going on at the moment, and people like Hendrik are coming out of the woodwork, desperate to let it be known that they are normal people. But it won't wash. Maybe Hendrik doesn't walk on water, but we should be asking him what he does do. Does he pray to Big Herb or Ganesh? Does he converse with the spirits of the dead? Has he ever danced naked in the desert with the fire of money in his eyes? I want answers to these questions. Come on, Hendrik, be honest. You owe it to your clients.'

Yes, Hendrik, you owe it to your clients. Let's hear what you've got to say.

Christophe Bernard: 10,000 hedge funds

I have been speaking to Christophe Bernard from UBP. Yes, I have. He told me, 'There are 10,000 hedge funds sitting on the wall, 10,000 hedge funds sitting on the wall, and if one hedge fund should accidentally fall, there'll be 9,999 hedge funds sitting on the wall.'

I don't know why I bother sometimes. I really don't. I wish I could get more sense out of these people. What was all that about?

But that's the credit crunch for you. A lot of people have become totally unhinged.

Dear reader, I have no idea what state of mind you're in. For all I know, you could be just like poor Christophe. Occasionally, readers email me or ask to be my friend on Facebook - and they all seem to be decent, upstanding members of society. But I'm worried about the silent ones. The ones who lurk on my blog. Christ knows what is going on in their minds. The credit crunch has damaged so many people. So many lost souls have been drawn to my blog. I guess I'll just have to live with it.

Colin Keogh leaving Close Brothers

Yeah. Sad times. The chief executive of Close Brothers, Colin Keogh, will probably leave within six months. He has been under pressure from shareholders to find a new strategy for the company.

A new strategy? Are these shareholder freaks out of their friggin' minds? What was wrong with the old strategy? Colin was the one who brought in all the financial shamans and money mystics. He was actually trying to change the bank, and prepare for a glorious future. The credit crunch is not his fault. And he is not to blame for all the takeover talks that came to nothing. The takeover talks failed because the gods were not consulted. And that was because certain squares at Close Brothers didn't even believe in the existence of the gods. How can anyone do business in such an environment?

Colin, mate, you're well out of it. Thank your lucky stars.