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.