Friday, 29 August 2008

John Thain on Merrill's losses

Shocking news out of Merrill Lynch. Its losses in the last eighteen months are equal to a quarter of its profits over the last thirty-six years. Pretty bad.

You've got to hand it to John Thain though. The man is staying positive. He told me, 'Right, let's get this straight: of course I'm not happy about the losses. But I genuinely believe the money will come back to us. When I first found out about mystical capitalism, I have to say I was a bit sceptical. But I've looked into it, my friendship with you, Michael, has grown, and now I feel the mystical way is the way to go. Obviously, money is the way, the warrior's way, the shaman's way. It will probably be some time before I go completely nuts for it - like Bob Diamond has, but I'm making slow progress. I just want to dip my toes into the water, as it were. But back to the money, yeah, we'll see this money again. It's the law of karma, ain't it? I am a good man. I'm surrounded by good people. Everything is going to work out fine.'

John, mate, you've got to believe. Got to have faith. It's the only way. You'll be all right. Big Herb loves you.

Thursday, 28 August 2008

Gilat Satellite is thinking about suing its investors

What? There's no need for that. What's the problem? Er, something to do with a takeover of the company involving private equity. I can't be bothered to go into all the details. I'm just concerned about this suing business. How about scaring the investors? That would work. And no, I don't mean putting a curse on them. Gerard Griffin at Tisbury Capital wanted me to put a curse on his investors back in March. I told him no way. We're good friends now, but he was upset at the time.

This is what I suggest: Ghosts. Yes, ghosts. Gilat's board of directors should venture on to the astral plane and try and hire a few ghosts to go spooking on its behalf. The ghosts of the dead financiers won't be interested - they can be very sniffy about such cliched behaviour - but there are plenty of ghosts who are not affiliated with any astral groups who would jump at the chance to get involved in something like this and earn a bit of extra cash. A few hauntings would scare the crap out of Gilat's investors, and the unpleasantness of a curse would be avoided. The ideal solution!

Securities & Investment Institute diploma and SII masters examination results!

This is what I'm talking about. This is the real test of professionalism for investment specialists. Congratulations to everyone for passing their exams. There were many different areas: bond and fixed interest markets, global operations management, investment analysis, financial markets, and lots more! Unfortunately, the Securities & Investment Institute has decided to keep quiet about all the financial shamans and money mystics who passed their exams, but I can understand that. It's early days yet. A lot of organizations do not feel comfortable promoting mystical capitalism in case it leads to ridicule. This will change in time.

Well, anyway, congratulations to: Rajiv Arora, Andrew Cleland-Bogle, Adam Coles, Rosalind Dalton, Alexander Dang, Matthew Dawson, Duarte De Freitas, Timothy Digby, Mark Eley, Amanda Franco, Kathryn Green, Eli John Gregan-Jones, John Jenkins, Barnaby Mannerings, Innes McFee, Ketan Mistry, Krishnan Nair, Matthew Reding, Mark Rowe-Ham, John Saxton, Roopa Sharma, Clark Simpson, Sonja Spinner, Merlin Taylor (love the name, I know where you’re coming from, a man after my own heart), Timothy Thomas, Gillian White, Tom Appleton, Gurpreet Bassi, Elizabeth Bedford, Vladimir Bodrozic, Andrew Chiles, Norman Coke, Robert Crawshaw, Matthew Hoggarth, Gordon Kemp, Nyeong Lee, Dipen Mistry, Anshuman Mukherjee, Andrew Patterson, Nisha Ramhotar, Kulbhushan Rawal, Edwina Twum, Andrew Woolston, Daniel Adams, Sheridan Admans, Virginia Anderson, Charles Bailey, Paul Chapman, Jonathan Clatworthy Lance Coleman, Gavin Curran, Nathan Delaney, Adrian Dolman, Michael Dunsire, Katherine Ebsworth, Tom Evans, Caroline Gibson, Thomas Haydon, William Hobbs, Neville Horn, Stacey Johnson, Harry Lukas, Gregory Malone, Steven Manning, Dennis McGrath, Daniel Mchugh, Ben Moore-Brabazon, Nodilio Jasper Noriel, Robert Pickford, Nick Russell, Emma Shelton, Kevin Smith, Richard Sneideris, Euan Stevenson, Alexander Szmigin, Benjamin Taylor, Rebecca Tunstall, Andrea Usai, Robert-Charles Van Exter, Laura Vinsome, Karel Volckaert, Tracey Walker, Jon Walker, Sean Andrews, Andrew Boutchinski, Maura Brady, Rachel Burns, Arron Day, Emma Hobbs, Jigna Malde, Neil McTernan, Jason Teahon, Audrey Adams, James Andrews, Amandeep Bahia, Louise Beckensall, Roger Bennett, Katherine Burgdorf, Charles Campbell, Helen Child, Alexa Clark, Demelza Claypole, Niamh Corbett, John Dance, Roly Denman, Felicien Dillard, Simon Dixon, Alistair Douglas, Crossley James Eccles, Nicole Floss, Jack Gabb, Neil Gad, Jonathan Godfrey, Nicola Harvey, Simon Heathcoat-Amory, Christina Johnson, Sabine Kelly, Neil Kerr, Stephen Lamacraft, William Le Blanc-Smith, Peter Lefevre, Andrew Mann, Subhashis Mishra, Xavier Monin, Michael Montgomery, Suzanne Neish, Alexander Newman, Laurence Patmore, Linsey Ann Philips, Henry Richards, Tim Roach, Timothy Shaw, Felicity Thomas, Nicholas Tilson, Witek Wacinski, Mark Butterworth, Rebecca Davies, Matthew Hodge, John Irwin, Aidan Moore, Lauren Moss, Oliver Philips, Brian Price, Adil Rana, David Sansom, William Sarsfield, Craig Tomkinson, Kevin Walkinshaw, Fiona Cameron-Moore, Samuel Ely, Tom Hills, Ignatius Wilson, Christian Ashley, Emma Bevan, Robert Bill, Edward Buxton, Nigel Cashin, Edward Christian, Alexandra Crogan, Joanne Davies, Gareth Evans, Kathryn Galasinski, David Goebel, Peter Gyles, Charlie Hamilton, Stewart Heggie, Angela Holt, Daniel Ingram, Simon Inness, Eline Lofgren Skeide, Edward Margot, Sam Matthews, Derek Mckinnell, Craig Melling, James Mickleburgh, Alycia Mooney, Andrew Murphy, Laura Murphy, Amy Murphy, Elizabeth Parker, Karishma Patel, Gavin Paterson, Tristan Robinson, Bradley Russell, Peter Seamer, Oliver Selwyn, Matthew Tansley, Patrick Valentine, James Wall, Paul Ward, Mark Waring, Neil Whelan, Helen Wilkins, Marina Williams, Nicholas Williams, John Willis, Gilbert Adibo, Mohammed Imran Afzal, Ammar Akhtar, Solomon Olusegun Alao, Thomas Alexander, Caroline Allen, Paul Allison, Francesco Angelini, James Bernardi, Wayne Berry, Lucie Blogg, Lisa Bowley, Kyra Brown, Katarina Cook, Samantha Cook, Neil Cooper, Mark Corey, Lesley Cormack, Nicola Cowen, Michael Cox, Alexander Culley, Soma Datta, Lyn Davies, Thomas Davies, Vijay Deolia, James Dingwall, Ciara Diver, Chinyelu Esomeju, Lucinda Faulkner, George Fortune, Gillian Gallacher, Stacey Gater, Andrew Goodall, Alexander Gulliford, Ali Hassan, Duncan Hayton, Mandeep Heer, Richard Hoad, Samuel Hodder, Gordie Houstan, Michael Hughes, Obinna Ikedife, Lindsey Jones, Gill Jones, Vinod Joseph, James Kelly, Efrem Kifle, Sophie Kilvert, Emma King, Janine Kinselley, James Kostoris, Melissa Kponou, Angela Lendon, Ruth Lewis, Jing Liang, June Chih-Wen Liao, Jon Linnard, Katharine Tinsley Lockhart, Paul Lynch, Callum Maclay, Thomas Malloch, Nicolas Malone, Siu Man, Katie Matthews, Doug McCance, Matthew McInerney, Benjamin Mitchell, Claudette Mohajer, Channelle Morris, Neil Murdoch, Lesley Murtagh, Sam Myers, Marius Mynhardt, Linh-Thuy Nguyen, Barry Nichols, Clare Nisbet, Florian Ulrich Nitschke, Joanna Nosal-Charowska, Mildred Otohwo, David Palmer, James Pearson, Svetla Peeva, Timothy Pereira, Oliver Pile, Ravi Pithiya, Maja Popovic, Mohammed Rahman, Henry Reade, Sean Reid, Matthew Ryan, Graham Samper-Mort, Matthew Setchell, Niraj Shah, Amandeep Shoker, Dominic Skivington, Satu Niina Susanna Smith, Tom Smyth, Yvonne Soo, Louise Spring, Coral Stace, Alastair Stewart, Savitha Subramanian, Jaimita Tailor, Timothy Thomas, Katherine Tilley, David Tod, Antonia Van Der Bijl, Christo Van Der Westhuizen, Thady Voorspuy, Joanna Walford, Sarah Jane Walshe, Lei Wang, Fidelis Wangata, Claire Warner, Emily Waterworth, Timothy Way, Alexander Wheal, Ben Williams, Deborah Wilson, Jonathon Windle, Sarah Wingrove, Jacqueline Wong, Joel Woods, Namoos Zaheer, Tom Allen, David Batchelor, Timothy Bate, Antony Beddall, Gillian Benson, Aubrey Brocklebank, Jason Butler, Matthew Butterfield, Elizabeth Casey, Andrew Chapman, Elizabeth-Jane Cole, Emma Cowley, Andrew Cox, Benjamin Dent, Samantha Dique, Saul Djanogly, Simon Doherty, Clare Donovan, Louise Easthope, Victoria Eastwood, Grant Fairbairn, Katherine Farrell, Rupert Forrest, Richard Gould, Charles Gray, Sarah Harris, Edward Hayles, Laura Inness, Adam Jarvis, Andrew Lacey, Claire Lamb, Isaac Levy, Darren Morgan, Oliver Murray, Peter Nichols, Mark Nicklin, Michael Nicolai, Oluyemi Ogunsanya, Robert Ridland, Steven Rooke, Andrew Ryde, Lucy Scullion, Lynsey Selkirk, Robert Snuggs, Michael Stanley, Michael Stimpson, James Ward, Daniel Weale, Thomas Wells, Iain Welsh, Jonathan Wiseman, Alastair Barbour, Corinne Bathgate, Karen Brown, Angela Cruise, John Davies, Vanessa Eve, Richard Foley, Richard France, Andre Girault, David Litter, Thomas March, Anna McKechnie, Jonathan Money, Amos Nelson, Ken Oiwa, Adam Proctor, James Rigg, Zeki Shenol, William Thomas, Peter Treverton-Jones, Oliver West, Jonathan Wilson.

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Brad Ball: the optimist

This is what I'm talking about. This is what I like to see. Shares in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac went right up yesterday: Freddie +22.19 per cent, Fannie +13.10 per cent. Why? Why did this happen? Well, because an analyst at Citigroup, Brad Ball, recommended the stock of these two mortgage companies. That's the power of optimism. Brad ain't some miserable git who just moans about the world all day long. He's a man of action, a man of the future, and a fanatical follower of Big Herb.

This is from a speech that Brad gave at a Big Herb temple a little while back:

'Brother, sisters, I have seen the light. And Big Herb is that light. Big Herb lightens our lives with his love and lots of hard cash. I've followed him into the desert on the astral plane of my subconscious, and I've been amazed. I've seen money burning. I've seen ghosts - financiers long dead - and they have spoken to me, and given me financial advice, and helped me in my career at Citigroup, and they have also sucked my brain out of its shell and splashed it all over the cosmos and then put it back - and I'm very grateful. I know the value of money. I know the importance of optimism. I know that the credit crunch is the work of communist agitators in league with the devil. Many of these commies work for respected financial newspapers and websites. WE MUST WEED THEM OUT! WE MUST NAME NAMES! WE MUST CLEANSE THEM WITH FIRE! WE MUST DESTROY THEM! Only then will the poison of the credit crunch disappear. Remember, Big Herb loves you. He died for your money.'

Brad, mate, you take my breath away. Absolutely brilliant!

Monday, 25 August 2008

Liam Halligan: this is real money

Liam says: 'This is real money. It ain't astral money. It ain't money that has been burnt in the desert or blessed by Big Herb or breathed on by ghosts. No, it's real. Real money! And that's all I want to say.'

Well, thank you, Liam, for leaving that message on my voicemail, but you are talking shit. Sorry.

Friday, 22 August 2008

Jack Pickles in my soul at midnight with blood and fire!

This is what it has come to! To have fallen so low that a rat like Jack can invade my soul at midnight with blood and fire and poison! Go away! O Satan, your clown will not drag me into the pit! I don't care how much money you have.

Bats, worms, spiders, blood, FTSE 100, maggots, blood, Dow Jones, blood! In a twisted nightmare world far from God and his holy angels I dive in this chaotic mood, this evil atmosphere without the sweet smile of any banker or trader who holds Big Herb in his heart like a little dove. Ganesh is crying. Real tears, man! The destruction of a vision? The end of a golden dream? Or is this just a dark night of the soul? In the morning, will I hear the birds singing in the trees? Will I see the sun again? Or will I be gone, dragged off to an infernal land where money is not respected? O Jesus, save me! Big Jesus H. Christ! I need your love. I am lost in the night! I am covered in blood! My money is all burnt to ashes. Ashes in my mouth!

The desert is calling me! The ghosts! I can hear them in the desert. But I can't make it. Jack is in my soul, and my head. Jack wants me dead. I am not you. I am not you. Do you hear me, Jack? I am not you. Get out of my head! Leave me alone!

A time will come.

Believe me now, mofos.

A time will come.

I am getting stronger. The dark side is getting stronger. LET IT TAKE ME! What do I care? I am beyond good and evil.

What am I saying? This can't be me. THIS IS NOT ME! I is an other. O Rimbaud, you were right. I is an other.

How I envy the simple bankers, the traders, the analysts, the financial journalists! I wish I could be like them. I wish I could lose my PAIN! I wish I could lose my WISDOM! I wish I could lose my SOUL!

Peace. Give me peace. Peace. And money. A few quid to buy myself a lobotomy. I don't want much out of life.

Thursday, 21 August 2008

db x-trackers

A depressing day. Clouds. Grey sky.

db x-trackers FTSE All-Share ETF. Reference currency. TID. Pain. Misery.

Where are my crimson spaces? Mallarme and his naked golds?

ISIN code. Must I go on?

A voice says I must go on. There are always voices. Please make the voices go away. Just for one day. I want to be alone. Like Greta Garbo.

The voice says: Tell them about the dividend.

No!

Tell them about the share class.

No!

Go away!

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Barclays looking for a wealth management company

My dear friend Bob Diamond said yesterday that Barclays would like to buy a wealth management company in the US, but would not be interested in an investment bank. Fair enough. Seems an okay plan to me.

I phoned Bob this morning, and he told me, 'We want to focus on high-net-worth individuals, and we want to brainwash them. Yeah, you heard me right. By the way, John Varley doesn't know about this and he doesn't need to know. So keep it under your hat, or your white sheet, or whatever. Actually, no, you can quote me in your blog. He's too square to read it. He'll probably be reading The Big Picture or that Mish guy. He makes me laugh. But yeah, we're going to brainwash a load of wealthy clients, tune them into the cosmos, turn them on, you get me? Take them out to the desert. Let them burn. Let their money swirl around in the desert wind. Show them what they've been missing. I'll personally be strapping crystals to their heads. Yeah, I want to be more hands-on.'

Good luck, Bob. You're the man!

Tim Wheeler calls up the horsemen

Fuck me. This is from a newspaper this morning: 'The head of a property company invoked the four horsemen of the apocalypse yesterday'. The man in question is Tim Wheeler. He is the chief executive of Brixton.

I have been speaking to Arthur Simmons about this, and he told me, 'Is this fucking arsehole smoking crack or something? Please tell me. Is this mutha smoking crack? YOU DO NOT CALL UP THE FOUR HORSEMEN OF THE APOCALYPSE! I do not care who you are or what the situation is. This is unbelievable! Does he know the trouble he has caused? I'm spitting blood over this. I was due to go on holiday, but I can't go now, can I?'

Well, I am just as angry as Arthur. Tim, mate, I hope you're reading this. Arthur and I have got to clean up after you now. Yes, Arthur has to cancel his holiday, and I have to drop everything and go chasing after these fucking horsemen! All because of you! WHAT WERE YOU THINKING OF?

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Kenneth Rogoff: the end is nigh!

Dear oh dear. Well, I'll let him have his say.

Kenny says: 'We're going to see a giant bank, one of the big investment banks or big banks, go down, down, down into the pit! Sucking its employees ever deeper into the darkness of an ancient chaos. The gods will cry. Angels will bleed. I've seen it! Rune stones told me! We have to see more consolidation in the financial sector before this is over.'

Whatever.

The FTSE I want the world index

FTSE. It's how the world says index. It's how the world sees a ghost dancing beneath the moon in the desert in the eyes of a shaman as he burns ever so brightly on the astral plane. I've been there. I've sliced and diced markets. I've been verified by a panel of the ghosts of the dead financiers. I know what it's like. I've seen a red moon burning like the sun. I've seen this moon expanded to bursting point. But I did not weep. I held my ground. This is what it is like. Complex. Interconnected. Blood. Flesh. And angels! Witches!

Do you want the clearest view of how you are doing? Is that what you really want? O my children, my brothers, my sisters, then you must travel beyond the FTSE. No matter what they say - you must travel beyond!

I have been beyond. Oh yes, I have been beyond. I have visited strange lands. I have had my soul sliced and diced. Benchmarks? Transparent methodologies? Away with it all! Forget it all! You must fall. O my children, you must fall with me. I shall take you to a place where there are no words. There is nothing to understand! Only an endless death that transfers us in dreams to another reality! Could you take the strain?

I will come for you soon. At night, while you sleep. Be ready!

Monday, 18 August 2008

Turquoise

I'm feeling all turquoise today. Turquoise is actually a very spiritual colour. As Eli Lederman could tell you.

In fact, he will. Eli says: 'I always dress in turquoise. I'm wearing a turquoise dressing gown at the moment. And when I go jogging, I wear a turquoise tracksuit - just like David Icke. David and I are old friends, and he is the one who turned me on to the colour turquoise. The Egyptian pharaohs were into turquoise, so was Merlin, so was Aleister Crowley. All the top mystical boys wear turquoise clothes. Why should I be any different? I'm not going to rock the boat. And it goes beyond clothes. My house is painted turquoise. Prince had his purple mansion. I've got a turquoise one. Everything is going exactly according to plan.'

Friday, 15 August 2008

Martin Liechti: home is where the heart chakra is

Free! Free at last! Martin Liechti has gone home. Who? Marty! You know Marty. He's that UBS private banking executive who got all mixed up with Brad and the tax evasion stuff. Anyway, the US authorities reckon he's kosher now, so he has been allowed to go home. Back to sunny Switzerland. I love a happy ending.

Marty told me, 'The Feds believed me. They knew I wouldn't get mixed up with guys like Pickles and Birkenfeld. I'm a righteous soul. I don't have an evil bone in my body. And the Feds knew that. That's why I'm free now. Free to meditate, to get in touch with myself, and the cosmos. I've got to get rid of the bad vibes that have been surrounding me. Can you recommend any decent healing crystals?'

I put him in touch with Keith Busby. That's what business is - being a good middleman.

Thursday, 14 August 2008

Apollo Global Management: questions, questions, questions

The private equity group Apollo Global Management will face questions today from investors. They want to know what the frig is going on with Apollo's poorly performing Amsterdam-listed fund. Well, don't we all?

I have some questions of my own:

1) Why didn't Apollo trust in Big Herb?
2) Why weren't the ghosts of the dead financiers involved from the very beginning?
3) Why hasn't Apollo burnt any money in the desert?
4) Why has Apollo hired Gary Stein as head of investor relations when he don't know shit about the new creed of mystical capitalism?
5) Apollo Creed. Wasn't he a character in a couple of the Rocky films?

Simon Hayes said …

Simon Hayes from Barclays Capital said yesterday: 'The surprise today was not so much that the next move in rates is likely to be down, but that Big Herb seems happy to nurture this expectation.'

Excuse me, Simon, mate, but what do you know about Big Herb and what he is happy to nurture? Have you ever been on the astral plane? I've never seen you there. Do you actually know anything about mystical capitalism at all? Would the name 'Simon Hayes' even be a name that Big Herb would recognize? What are your qualifications? What do you know about the desert, astral or physical?

Dear reader, this is happening a lot now. You get these clueless economists and analysts dropping Big Herb's name all over the place. Yet most of them don't know anything about him. One or two visits to a Big Herb temple and they think they're God's gift to the revolution.

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Cheviot Asset Management

You must forgive me, dear reader, if none of this makes any sense but I have just returned from the pub with Keith Busby, and I am totally pissed. As in drunk. Anyway, I can't get the words Cheviot Asset Management out of my head. What is this company? Who are these people? I must investigate, when I'm sober, of course. Remind me to never drink again at lunchtime. My chakras are fucked out of shape, to put it mildly.

Why is the room spinning around?

Peter Kurer: the letter!

Dear Bradley Birkenfeld,

Where should I start? It has been brought to my attention - by a spy in our midst, or your midst, or whatever - that you have been dabbling in the dark arts. To be more precise, you have been in cahoots with the demonic financier Jack Pickles.

Are you a fool? Everyone working in banking and finance knows how dangerous Mr Pickles is. What were you thinking of? Was it the money? Or was it something else? Did Mr Pickles promise to show you all the delights of hell? Ah, but what about the torments? You didn't think, did you? Haven't you read Faust?

All I can do now is wish you the best of luck. You're going to need it.

Kind regards,

Peter Kurer

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Adam Levinson: the largest bonus of all time

A Wall Street trader, Adam Levinson, has received the largest bonus that has ever been given. $300 million! That’s £156 million! Paid to him by his employer Fortress Investment Group LLC. Wow!

I was straight on the phone to Adam as soon as I heard the news, and he told me, 'I told you I was the greatest of all times! I'm still the greatest of all times! You ain't even seen me dance yet! I’m up at five o'clock every morning, meditating, praying to Big Herb, a bit of Mysore yoga, a quick chat with one of my top ghosts. Then I'm at work all day long. I am the greatest!'

Wow!

TIAA-CREF is coming to London!

The US pension fund TIAA-CREF is setting up its first overseas office, and it will be in London! Apparently, the money manager wants to invest more in European property. Nothing wrong with that.

But I advise caution. Where exactly in London will this new office be located? As we all know, there is a terrible problem in London with the money ghosts. I have been speaking to award-winning financial psychic Keith Busby, and he told me, 'TIAA-CREF has to be careful. Imagine the fund moves into a lovely old building in the City, and then discovers that the joint is literally bursting at the seams with these evil little money ghosts. It will only take one week before the ghosts will have robbed them blind. I've seen it happen. What TIAA-CREF needs to do is get in touch with me. It'll cost a few grand, but I'm the best in the business. I'll find an office which is completely ghost-free.'

Interesting. I then spoke to Tom Garbutt, TIAA-CREF's global head of real estate, and he told me, 'We ain't afraid of no ghost'.

I think he's been watching too many movies.

Monday, 11 August 2008

Credit Suisse: double trouble in India!

Some interesting news. Credit Suisse plans to double the number of staff it has in India. It has recently hired Samita Shah from Lehman Brothers, Sughosh Moharikar from Kotak Mahindra, Asim Ahuja from Deutsche Bank, and Sanjay Singh from CLSA. The bank currently employs 140 people in India. So, a lot of new jobs then in the next twelve months! But why do I say double trouble in India? Well, unfortunately, Credit Suisse has not consulted Ganesh the elephant god about this expansion. Big mistake!

I have been speaking to Ganesh, and to say he is pissed would be quite an understatement. He told me, 'I had this trouble with those UBS motherfuckers. Remember that? Barclays was fine. That bank had respect. But now Credit Suisse! What is it with these Swiss arseholes? I WANT SOME RESPECT! You do not come to my territory and start setting up banks and making money without my being able to dip my trunk in a bit. Do you know what I mean? Tom Kalaris! You know Tom at Barclays? A beautiful man. A man you can do business with. Not like these Swiss jokers. Where do they find these people? Is this how they do business in Switzerland? It boggles the mind!'

Oh dear. If I were one of the bosses at Credit Suisse, I would be trying to find out who was responsible for bypassing Ganesh, and then I would sack the bastard. In India, it's Ganesh’s way or the highway.

Insight Investment: an uncertain world or a world of opportunity?

Actually, it's neither. We believe in ghosts. We believe in the astral plane. So we say to our clients, forget about this world! A vale of tears! That's what it is. Look to the other world. There are opportunities on the other side. Do you know how many dead financiers there are? Do you know how much money they have?

More insight. Not more of the same. More ghosts. More fire burning in the hearts of the righteous. That's what we believe in. Attractive investment opportunities on the other side! Come and join us. You won't regret it.

Matterley

Break out the champagne! There is a new asset management company! Just what the world was waiting for. It is called Matterley, and has been set up by Ian Dighe, John Head, Henry Dixon, Lennie Godber, and Jonathan Cudlipp. Matterley will specialize in equities and private equity.

Forget about the champagne. A mystical blessing is in order!

O Big Herb, bless this new firm. In these troubled times, any new asset management company is a miracle! Show Ian, John, Henry, Lennie and Jonathan how much you love them. Guide them, protect them from Jack Pickles, introduce them to a few of the major ghosts, you know, just to get them started. O Big Herb, shower them with money!

Richard Lambert: dark knight

Richard Lambert, CBI director-general, says: 'There is a dark mood sweeping the land. O you fools, beware! The crunch will get you! Surging inflation, continuing stress in financial markets, and the owl that hoots, that screeches in the middle of the night! These are the things that weigh heavy on my mind. I have seen into the darkness. I have looked into the dark heart of man. O you employers, ye shall employ no more! In an ideal world, the government would now be in a position to cut taxes or increase spending to help offset the economic slowdown. This is not a sensible option today. Today we must cry. Today we may die. We will most definitely be wailing and gnashing our teeth. Adverse shocks! I've seen adverse shocks in my visions! I am a prophet of doom! There shall be no profit!'

Well, let me say straight off, I don't buy any of this. All this darkness and woe doesn't appeal to me at all. I am a very optimistic person, and I know everything will come good in the end. Mr Lambert is one of those professional doom merchants. I've let him have his say on my blog because I believe in hearing everyone's point of view. I certainly don't agree with him though.

By the way, talking of doom, a reader emailed me the other day and asked me why I have that skeleton on my blog with the words Abandon hope all ye …, etc. He said it doesn't fit in with my optimistic outlook. It's a joke, for Christ's sake! Can't I let my hair down every now and then?

Friday, 8 August 2008

John Varley speaks out

John Varley says: 'The world in which we will be operating will be one of economic slowdown, but there will be no ghosts, zombies, gods, soothsayers, or anything of that sort. And that is where Bob Diamond and I part company. I know he wants my job. I know he wants to introduce mystical capitalism to Barclays, but I ain't having it. You think I'm going to start meditating, and praying to this Big Herb? Think again, my friend. I'm a realist. A real realist. Not a fantasist like Gerald Corrigan over at Goldman. God knows what he was going on about yesterday. I believe -'

Let me stop you there, John. I don't want you polluting my readers' minds with your nonsense. You are what William Blake used to call a cold earth wanderer. Where is your soul? And leave Bob alone. Bob is an awakened one. He knows the truth, and he will take your job, and he will change things at Barclays.

Christ! The people I have to deal with!

Thursday, 7 August 2008

Gerald Corrigan: no one has any illusions

Gerald Corrigan says: 'No one has any illusions. No one at Goldman Sachs or any other bank has any illusions. We are not living in a fantasy world. We know that Big Herb is real. We know that he loves us. We know that he died for our money. And we appreciate it. We really do. You have to deal in hard facts. You have to look at the situation with a cold eye. Or even two cold eyes. I know about reality. The real reality. I've lived in the desert. Believe me, I know what it feels like to be smashed out of your head on peyote and to be burning in the fire of money as it vibrates with the cosmos. I don't have any illusions. I know that if we're going to beat this credit crisis, all of us will have to burn in the desert. Yes, all of us. All of us must believe. I believe. Sometimes my belief drives me to tears. I can't think of Big Herb without crying. That man died for us. And now he is a god. And Ganesh? Sure, Ganesh is a great money god as well. A great big elephant of a god. I love that guy. And I have no illusions. I know that the ghosts of the dead financiers want us to succeed. They don't want to see bankers, traders, and investors suffering. Why would they want that? The spirit world is behind us. That's the truth. The astral plane is rocking with love for us. Go into your subconscious and see for yourself, if you don't believe me. If you have any illusions, lose them fast. Become aware. Awake. Alive with the cosmos. And know that Big Herb loves you.'

Thank you, Gerald. That needed to be said.

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

Terry Smith may disappear into the desert

The chief executive of Tullett Prebon, Terry Smith, has been telling his friends and associates that he may run away to the desert if Tullett Prebon and GFI can reach an agreement on combining their businesses.

Very interesting. I have been speaking to Terry, and he told me, 'If this merger goes ahead, I won't be needed any more. I think it's time for me to cut loose of the corporate world, and the desert certainly seems an attractive proposition right now. Ian Hannam phoned me yesterday, and he says he wants to come with me if I go. I'm looking forward to the nights most. Imagine standing in the desert, a campfire going, staring at the moon, swimming amongst the stars in an astral frenzy of pure love. That's the life!'

Well, I hope he does it. And I hope other chief executives take note.

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Ian Hannam

Ian, mate, I am addressing you directly because I feel your pain and I want to help. Forget about Naguib Kheraj. He ain't worth it. You need to channel your energy into something positive.

My advice? Leave JPMorgan Cazenove. Those muthas don't appreciate you. What you need to do is get yourself into the desert. You'll be a new man in the desert. You will forget in the desert. You will see visions. Money will burn within you. Try it. What have you got to lose?

Thomas Mougard is under investigation!

Who? No, I've never heard of him either. Mr Mougard is/was an assistant to the legendary rogue Jerome Kerviel. He has now been placed under formal investigation for crimes against data entry.

I have been speaking to Maurice Marble III - my adviser on all matters scientific - and he told me, 'Yeah, this Tom character has been accused of complicity to enter data fraudulently into a computer system. Not exactly Charles Manson, is he? But never mind, I suppose some people consider it a serious crime. I personally think he was a fool to enter this data using the traditional method, you know, his fingers. Too easily traceable. He should have used his mind! Yeah, bear with me. He could have transferred all the data from his mind to the computer using a new technique I have developed called Mind-Computer Telepathy. Not a great name, granted. I'll probably have to come up with something more catchy than that. But it works! Oh boy, does it work. Last night I transferred the complete works of William Shakespeare from my mind to my laptop. A lot of people don't believe me when I tell them I know Shakespeare off by heart. But I do. I love old Shakey. But I digress. I did this transfer, and it worked like a charm. Unfortunately, I have an awful headache now. I've been taking so many painkillers I'm worried I might overdose. There's blood coming out of my nose, and my feet itch, and I hear this buzzing …'

I couldn't listen to any more. He doesn't change, does he?

VTB Capital is hiring!

Attention all you jobless bums out there! VTB Capital is looking for staff. It wants top-level professionals with relevant investment banking experience.

It wants: financial controllers, traders, sales-traders, money mystics, sales, commodities professionals (sales, trading, research), financial shamans, corporate finance professionals in M&A, ECM as well as coverage bankers.

Vestra Wealth told to leave UBS alone

Some good news for UBS. The High Court yesterday prohibited Vestra Wealth from stealing any more of UBS's UK staff. For the time being, at least. There will be a full court hearing into the legality of all these defections. Vestra Wealth seems to have a real hard-on for UBS. Nearly a hundred UBS employees have moved to Vestra this year. Why? Why are they moving?

I have been speaking to David Scott, the big man at Vestra, and he told me, 'It's our meditation rooms. That's the main attraction. Our staff know that when the going gets tough, they can just walk away from their desks for half an hour or so and chill out in one of these rooms - especially designed by Maurice Marble III, by the way. We have whale sounds, soothing New Age fucked-up music - or whatever you call it. We have chakra healing sessions. We do things with auras. I don't know what exactly. I ain't into all this voodoo shit. I just listen to my people. They wanted it, so they got it. As long as the money keeps rolling in, I really don't give a shit. Within reason, of course. I don't want a load of spaced-out hippies on my hands all smoking weed. But there shouldn't be a problem. My guys love the money. And they love the burning, apparently. Whatever that is.'

James Owen resigns!

Who is James Owen? James Owen was the chief financial officer at TNK-BP, but he resigned yesterday. It's all this TNK-BP joint venture stuff in Russia. I won't go into it. I am just wondering where Robert Dudley is. Who is Robert Dudley? He is the chief executive who did a runner from Russia last week. Some newspaper reckons he is in a secret location. Where is this secret location?

I have been speaking to Nicky Pickles, and he told me, 'Mr Dudley is staying at my brother's house in the Cayman Islands. Can we call him Bobby? Let's call him Bobby. Anyway, Bobby imagines he will be safe with my brother. The logic being that not even the Russian mafia is crazy enough to screw with Jack Pickles. It's a point of view, I suppose. But we all know what my brother is like. I can see Bobby selling his soul to the devil. That is where all this is leading.'

Yes, a classic example of out of the frying pan into the fire.

Monday, 4 August 2008

Libertas Capital

I don't know why, but I have this urge to launch into a mystical celebration of Libertas Capital. All day long, the words 'Libertas Capital' have been vibrating in my head and playing havoc with my chakras. The time has come!

O Jakob Kinde, O Henry Okereke, O Frank Dullaghan, O Roger Barlow, O Michael Naylor, O Iek van Cruyningen, O Aamir Quraishi, O Hakan Wallin, O Tim Murray, O everyone at Libertas Capital, the ghosts of the dead financiers are watching over you! How happy do you feel now?

You are protected! No one can fuck with you! Count your blessings!

And this doesn't come cheap. I arranged all this for you. But we can discuss my fee another time. Just be happy!

Summer love

Summer love. They call it summer love.

I don't believe make-believe, but I was a lonely shaman, and Big Herb was a lonely god.