Monday, 28 February 2011

I'll fight George Kanaan ...

... if he wants a fight. I'm not scared of him. Mark Fitzgerald might be scared of him, but I'm not. Yeah, George is head of UBS'[ssssss] institutional sales desk in Sydney, Australia. And Mark is some sort of executive director, if you can believe that. Anyway, they got into a fight last week over whose turn it was to strap the bank's healing crystal to their head. Which is a big mistake. Not strapping the crystal to the head. No, that's perfectly fine. ONLY HAVING ONE CRYSTAL. That's the mistake! Who has ever heard of bankers having to share a healing crystal? Every banker, or at least every senior banker, should have his (or her) [or its] own crystal. One crystal per soul! That's what I've always said. No wonder fights are breaking out. When you're stressed, when the trading ain't nowhere near over, you need to reach out for something. Let's face it, if it ain't gonna be a crystal, it's gonna be the face of a colleague - and SMACK! They're on the floor! Bloody mouth of broken teeth!

I thought UBS had this all sorted out. I told the bank a couple of years ago what it had to do. (I even made sure - personally, with my personal touch - that a dozen or so of its bankers were strapped. Not in the 2Pac sense, you understand.) Why doesn't anyone listen to me? Well, actually, brilliantly, wonderfully, and with quite a bit of humility, you'd be surprised (but not that Viniar, even though he's a thug 4 life) Goldman listens, and BarCap listens; and look how well they're doing. Bobby's got everyone strapped. That's BarCap. Not the whole bank yet. And Lloyd, he doesn't quite understand, but he does it because he knows it's good for business. And it is good for business, having everyone chilled, not crashing around with fists flying. I shouldn't even have to explain this stuff any more. It's all common sense, ain't it?

George Kanaan doesn't look all that tough to me. I don't see a problem, if he wants to throw his weight around and act like the Abominable Hulk. I'll take him. Having said that, I am essentially a man of peace. I will give him a chance. I'll give peace a chance. The ball's in his court. And Mark Fitzgerald? Well, he's got to start standing up for himself. I learnt a long time ago in the Legion that people will walk all over you if you let them. They'll nick your pork scratchings. Or they'll hide your tankard where you can't find it. Or they'll use your darts without permission. They won't care. It's a dog-eat-dog world.

What will Carlo Grosso and Federico Ceretti do now?

I presume you've heard the news. If you haven't, I'll just have to tell you in my own inimitable style. Carlo Grosso and Federico Ceretti are closing down their fund firm, FIM Limited. All the executives have deserted the ship. (That's old news.) The funds have been liquidated. (Oh, you know?) 'Where's the sense in going on?' That's what they must have asked no one in particular, a dark night last week. [Was it last week?] I felt it in the air, that night. It's always dark at night, isn't it? Unless there's a great big moon out. I like a big moon. I don't care for the small ones or the half ones. And I like them red, fat, grinning, near the sea. There's no sea in London. [I remember Talland Bay!] So they (Carlo, Federico) wouldn't have been surprised by the darkness. But they would have been in the mood for it. 'What are we going to do?' You can imagine the despair, the loneliness. Even two like-minded souls together can be lonely. But that was then. NOW: is the whole world against them? Irving Picard is. I can't stand him! Is he really going to sue everyone? Is he really that crazy? I blame Bernard Madoff, myself. And Jack Pickles. Yes, I blame both of them. THEN: 'How did we get mixed up with Bernie and Jack?' Did they ask that? Who knows? But read this: Picard won't mess with Pickles. He's just going after the small fry. He's a terrible bully. Or a rather good one. I can't decide.

But here's the important bit. Here is what I call the news. They can come with me, Carlo and Federico. Yes, yes, yes. I'll give them shelter. I'll protect them. Yes, yes, yes. My little cave in the desert will be their new home. They'll be safe there. Please understand: Carlo and Federico will be friends of mine, if they want to be. And I won't charge them a penny. You know why? Because Jack will be watching, and I will want him to see me, yes, me, me, me, with my supernatural sanity like fireworks out of my eyes. He has his house in the Cayman Islands (very nice), and he [has has, his his] has his penthouse apartment in Manhattan (yeah, lovely); and he can keep them. I have my cave and a blanket and the truth! It's the simple life for a complicated man. The more I cut out, the more the light shines. I swear sometimes I can see God's face. That's how fucking chosen I am! I get so close, inches away. I can smell His breath. The best part? He put an angel on earth, just for me. Oh, she's out of reach right now, yes, as is nearly everything else, like heaven, but I'll get her/there one sunny day, maybe even a mass of sunny days, when all the nights have died and taken the filth and the scum to hell to bother me no more. That's when I will share my ultimate vision with the true believers. I'm going to fuck the world. I'll be the new Jesus Duchamp. It sounds nuts, I know. You wouldn't believe me if I showed you the future in a dream. But, oh, lick my skin. It tastes like hot peppers. So, come with me, you, you, you, and Carlo, and Federico, too, and anyone else who wants the ride of a lifetime and a deathtime too. Because I'm going all the way. I'm going to burn my brain and the brains of any mad bastards with me. But no ashes! That's the law. I don't make the rules. I just make history. That's the discipline. I am trapped and I am free. Can you understand? I'm down in the gutter with the broken souls, while human trash (are they human?) walks on by, not knowing. And if they knew?! Oh, tell me children, what the fuck would they understand? It's a curse! It's a blessing! I have to admit, I don't know what it is, this ludicrous situation. I know I ain't got bad karma no more. I burnt off all of that shit, twenty years of misery. It's gone! This is the new way. Are you coming? Or are you staying behind, smug-faced, dying slowly, not even aware? This is for you! I'm already saved. This is for you! Come with me. Oh, come with me, come, come, come!

Florian Homm charged by the SEC with portfolio pumping

Never mind. It happens to the best of them. This was last week. I've just found out about it. Two of Florian's friends, Todd Ficeto and Colin Heatherington, have also been charged. I'm sure it's all a big misunderstanding.

"Ficeto and Homm repeatedly abused their positions as securities industry professionals to commit a wide-ranging, cross-border fraudulent scheme," said Rosalind R. Tyson, Director of the SEC's Los Angeles Regional Office. "By manipulating U.S. stocks through a U.S. broker-dealer, they defrauded investors in offshore hedge funds and reaped millions of dollars from their illicit activities." Even more SEC wackiness.

I really should stop visiting the SEC and FSA websites. All they do is charge people all the time. Is there anything more depressing? To make matters worse, they quite often seek injunctive relief and disgorgement as well. It makes your blood run cold, doesn't it?

It's funny how these characters turn up in my life, disappear, and then come back again. Let's consider Florian Homm, seriously. 'Two portfolio managers, Frank Siebrecht and Stefan Heieck, are leaving Absolute Capital Management for personal reasons. This follows the departure of Florian Homm last month.' Those words appeared here in October 2007. [How time flies!] And now Florian is back in my consciousness, taking on a larger role. Strutting about the stage, he is. A very rich player. It must mean something. I hope it means something. I close my eyes for a second or two [hours?] to see him more clearly. Why in the name of Beelzebub is he wearing a cape and a top hat?! Why is he sporting a Salvador Dali moustache? I can't understand some of these people, if they are people, that is - I try to give them the benefit of the doubt. For Florian Homm to lark around like this, when he's in so much trouble, well ... it makes you wonder. He needs to shave off that moustache, get rid of that ridiculous hat, and buy himself a sober suit. A grey suit would suit him. A crisp white shirt. Not that black polo neck. Is he wearing red lipstick? Do my mystic eyes deceive me? What the hell is going on? I wish you could see this. On second thoughts, you're better off out of it. The life of a visionary ain't all it's cracked up to be. Well, it is. But you have to take the rough with the smooth. And this isn't smooth. This is rough. Those teeth! Sharpened with a file, by the look of things. Dear oh dear. Maybe the SEC knows what it's doing after all. I mean, they're the professionals. Who am I to question them? Oh, the arrogance! I'm a bloody disgrace!

Friday, 25 February 2011

Is it hedge funds?

Or is it something personal? I haven't got the energy to fight it any more. This tidal wave of emotion in my soul. Or wherever it is you have emotions. Speaking for myself, as only I can, I have emotions all over. I got emotion in my blood. I got emotion in my bones.

A black night. A grey morning. Now what do I do? They don't know what you're reading. They don't know what I'm up to. They are fools. I keep seeing a plastic image. What have they done to her? That's not what she is. Those bastards, men, think they can package her.

She is as free as I am trapped. It's going to be fragments. Find sense where you can. Make of it what you will. We won't get no dead souls touching this. I am too alive. Too deep. Too emotional. Let the slaves have their superficial fun and important news. They don't know how it's going to end.

I am as patient as a Japanese character on a riverbank, waiting for the bodies. I got all the time in the universe. And all the space is in my head. So, is it hedge funds? No, it ain't hedge funds. Not today. It's never been hedge funds. It's life and it's death.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Dean Cheeseman will be managing over $2 billion of discretionary client assets

Are we supposed to care? Well, at least he's going for it, and that's good. I learnt a long time ago that there ain't no such things as halfway crooks. That's the sort of determination I've got to get. Apparently, Mars is in my sign for the next thirty or forty days. If I'm going to do it, I've got to do it now. But you don't want to hear all this personal shit. You want to know about that crazy cat Dean Cheeseman.

Deano has just joined Mercer as equity portfolio manager in its investment management business. He used to work at F&C (poor bastard) as head of fund of funds of fund. Multi-manager? I don't know. What do I know? Let's keep it simple. He made money. What more could anyone ask of a man? Or a woman. Or something in-between. I'm not casting aspersions.

Well, Deano wasn't able to speak to me. So we'll have to make do with some geezer who goes by the name of Tom Murphy. Check this: 'Mikey, I'm really excited. (Yeah? Who are you?) I'm Tom Murphy. I'm head of investment management for Europe, Middle East and Africa. (You reckon?) That's what I've been told. Is this an existential thing? Are you breaking my balls a little here? (Yeah, Tommy. I had you going, didn't I?) Christ, Mikey. You're worse than that Jean-Paul Sartre, you are. You'd give Albert Camus a run for his money. (I try my best. So, you're really excited about Deano joining Mercer then?) Over the moon, Mike. (Are you?) No, he is. Deano. (What do you mean? He's happy, or -) No, he's over the moon. (What, er, astral moon?) Yeah, I presume. I mean, I don't know how it works. It's not really my scene. But, anyway, he hasn't actually started with us yet. We're waiting for him to get back. I suppose it's all good preparation, isn't it? I mean ... (Well, it can be, Tommy. But I would have thought that Deano would have wanted to get stuck in straight away. There'll be plenty of time later on for astral travel and stuff.) It's probably nerves, Mike. (How much money will he be managing?) Over two billion dollars. (Yeah. That is a lot.) I just hope he comes back with a clear head. (Are you worried?) I've heard the stories. I've been reading your blog for months. I know all about the peyote and the drums and the dancing. (He'll be okay with it, Tommy.) That sort of thing can change a man. We can't use him if he's ... psychotic. (He's not going to be psychotic!) I hope not, Mike.'

It really makes me laugh. Some of these people haven't got a clue when it comes to mystical capitalism. There are so many misconceptions. Maybe I should write a guide: Mystical Capitalism for Beginners.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Credit Suisse has named Ray Farris as chief strategist for fixed income in Asia Pacific

And I'm going to be very calm, and very boring. This is the way some of them like it. Ray Farris is remaining as global head of foreign exchange strategy. I don't see how he can do that. But it is none of my business.

I will not interfere. I have my own life, which I will not speak about any more. I have emotions, which I will not share. I have flesh, which 'they' cannot caress. I'm saving it for someone special.

O Master, do not speak of your flesh. It is not a boring subject, and you will not be able to keep calm for long. Let 'control' be your watchword.

Oh. Oh. Oh. Ah. I will let 'control' be my watchword. It's important to me. Five o'clock. Getting dark. That's personal too. Even a darkening sky is personal. Where's my astrologer? He would help me.

Maybe you should make a fresh start next week.

How many more fresh starts? Do you know what he told me, my astrologer? Well, it was ... personal, obviously. Where is Ray Farris in all of this? How did I lose my grip on Ray? I am truly a hopeless case.

Hedge funds are asking me to sweep their offices

I didn't understand, at first. Am I supposed to be the fucking janitor or something? No, it's bugs they want me to go after. I didn't understand, at second. Am I supposed to be the fucking pest control man or something? Then they had to sit me down and explain it to me. They're worried that the SEC (this is in America) is listening to their conversations and phone calls, like they are all members of the Gambino crew or [I won't use 'something' again. Oh, as people can see, I'm still using 'I' and I'm still using 'me' (I'd be mad not to) but there is a very pleasing lack of emotion and personal detail. This is progress.] Basically, they think my mystical powers will do the trick. Anyway, here's the sort of thing these hedgies are worried about -

Transcript of a conversation between two hedge fund goombahs

Paulie: Petey, did you get that thing?

Petey: What thing, Paulie?

Paulie: The fuckin' thing I fuckin' tole you to get, the mystical grimoire with fuckin' spells and shit from that freakin' nut.

Petey: You mean Mikey's book? I ain't seen Mikey.

Paulie: You ain't seen Mikey?

Petey: No.

Paulie: Then what the fuck you been doin'?

Petey: I been on the plane. You know where I been.

Paulie: And you're tellin' me you didn't see Mikey on the plane?

Petey: Didn't see him.

Paulie: Don't fuck with me, Petey.

Petey: Paulie -

Paulie: He's fuckin' there floatin' aroun' practically 24/7. How yous supposed not to see him? You fuckin' blind? Where's your fuckin' astral eyes?

Petey: Paulie, I looked all over. If he's there, I'll get the book, no? If he ain't, what can I do? I can't be chasin' after these freakin' fuckin' shamans all through the night. I got to sleep. I got a business to run. You think my fund just brings in money like magic? What the fuck's the matter with you?

Paulie: You stupid bastard.

Petey: What?

Paulie: You stupid fuckin' bastard. If you had the grimoire, the money would come in like magic. That's the whole freakin' idea. And we'd be untouchable. Money from the astral plane. Money from dead financiers. Fuck the SEC! You understand?

Petey: Well, I don't know.

Paulie: You don't know. No, you don't know shit. Leave the thinkin' to me. You get that Mikey cocksucker. You bring him here now. With da fuckin' book. Or I'll whack both of yous.

Petey: Okay, Paulie. Jesus Christ, Paulie. Relax a bit. You're gonna give yourself a heart attack.

Paulie: Just get me that fuckin' grimoire.

RBI Capital Partners: a new hedge fund

RBI Capital Partners is a new hedge fund that has been set up by Craig Skaling and his compadres, confederates even, Paul Stenovec and Barry Tague. If no one believes me, they can go and have a look at the SEC filing. Skaling is the chief financial officer and the compliance officer. He's going to be busy. But that's okay. He's a hard worker. Stenovec and Tague are executive officers, if anyone can believe that. It's just another way of saying financial shamans, I am absolutely convinced. Skaling used to work at the Four Seasons Hotel in San Francisco as a maitre d' in the restaurant. Like me in the days of my youth, in which I would rejoice, he was fascinated by finance. But it wasn't until recently - when he accidently knocked a bowl of soup into Barry Tague's lap - that he had the chance to do anything about it. Oh, Craig, Barry, and Paul. Now they're in business together. Craig, Barry, and Paul. Like musketeers or something. It brings tears to the eyes.

Skaling is listed as an executive officer as well. Are all three of them shamans then? I can't keep up. There are so many characters wandering in the desert these days. But I am not complaining. There is room for more. The more the merrier! The desert in my soul is infinite. Those spaces stretch on, and on, and on. There is no end to the emptiness. So, come on, children. And bring your friends. What does life taste like in a bloody mouth? What does death taste like? We can pick and choose. We can burn. We can twist. Bleed for me!

[This bit is private. I have scared off all the superficial readers, the ones who were not prepared to make a commitment, the ones who were too timid to put their souls on the line. If you’re reading this, my friend(s), it's just me and you now. A private affair between us. It's how we like it. It's cosy. It's warm. It's soft. No one else is reading this. It's just me and my poison and your soft dreamy head. What are you prepared to do for me? We are alone. No one will know. Pretty soon I will stop addressing you. It will soon be time for me to come over all impersonal, and cold, and distant. I will cut myself off, even from you. Yes, even from you. This is your last opportunity to be intimate with me. Unless I change my mind. I'm always changing my mind, ain't I? I'm always losing it, my control. My consciousness is a sewer. So what are you going to do for me? I want you to please me, before it's too late. You'll miss me when I'm gone. Oh, I'll still be here, writing, but something will be missing. The personal touch. That's my plan. But I won't cut myself off from my angel. I'll be open for her. And I'll continue to read her work. Everyone else? Every other 'expert' can get to fuck. I'm sick of their words, their opinions, their ideas. They know nothing. There is the angel. There is me. That is all. That's all. THAT IS ALL. So - give me something. I want to remember you, one day. One day, I'll look back. 'I remember him/her.' I'm doing this for the sake of my mental health. You better believe it. I love you. I'll never stop loving you.]

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Christos Bagios arrested and charged with conspiracy and fraud

The first thing you will want to know is: who in the name of Christ is Christos Bagios? After I've told you, you will probably wonder why you need to care about him. You have problems of your own. Sure, you haven't been arrested. You haven't been charged with conspiracy and fraud in connection with a federal investigation into offshore accounts and tax evasion, but no one knows the troubles you've seen. Poor you.

If you can stop thinking about yourself for one minute, you might learn something about real pain. Christos Bagios is a Credit Suisse banker. All he has ever wanted is to advise his wealthy clients. That's the only pleasure he gets out of life. He is what you might call a selfless individual. I only hope he is also a resplendent soul. I haven't actually looked that far, at him, yet, with mystic eyes that see beyond this vale of tears, so I am completely in the dark. My guess is, he is a resplendent soul. But that's just me. I'm an optimist, and I always think the best of people.

Monday, 21 February 2011

Does banking have to be so goddamn complicated?

That's what William Wright wants to know. He's all confused in his little head.

Well, I have been speaking to the poor sap [informal, chiefly N. Amer.]. This is what we spake unto each other [at the Financial News office]: 'Mikey, I'm all confused, man! My little head's gonna explode if you don't explain shit to me. (Calm down, Willy, my friend. You'll make yourself ill.) What am I going to do, Mike? I don't wanna lose my job. I got to know. I got to understand. (You're worried that banking is too complicated, ain't ya?) Yeah. (You're worried your colleagues will laugh at you if you can't get to grips with it.) Yeah, man. (Willy, it's your lucky day, boy. I know everything there is to know.) Have you been sent by God? (Better than that. Big Herb has asked me to have a word with you, and a vision.) Fuck! (Fuck indeed, Willy. Fuck indeed. This is going to be an education.) Lay it on me, baby! (Okay. See if you can dig this. The first thing you need to know is, everything is simple. You just need to turn your mind off, man. You think too much, Willy. You're concerned about different business models, different levels of disclosure on divisions, different accounting terms.) Yeah. (You even wet your pants over comparing a bank with itself from one year to the next.) I can't help it, Mike! (Listen. Turn your mind off. Come with me on a trip, Willy. I'm taking you to see the ghosts.) I can't - how? (Close your eyes. Breathe deeply. Undo a button or two. Not your fucking trousers! Your shirt!) Sorry, Mike. (For Christ's sake!) Sorry. I'm nervous. (For fuck's sake. I - forget it. Now, you're in the desert of our love.) Our love? (It's just an expression. Can you feel the sand beneath your feet?) I can! This is incredible! (Look into the distance. What do you see?) Ghostly figures, Mike. (Ghosts of the dead financiers, Willy. That's what you see. And they're coming our way.) Oh God. (Don't be scared. I'm here with you.) Hold my hand. (No. Stay cool, man. Keep your eyes shut. They're here. Can you see them?) Yes. They're touching me. (Good.) I don't feel so scared now. (Okay. But be on your guard, Willy. They can get vicious.) They're all over me! (Okay, okay. That's good. You're doing great. Right, the ghosts are leaving. Open your eyes.) I want to stay. (Open your eyes, Willy.) Oh, Michael, that was just absolutely amazing! (Are you still confused?) No, not at all. (What do you think now of business models, disclosure, accounting -) It's all a load of crap, man. My eyes have been opened, even though they were closed. (Well done, Willy. You should be very proud of yourself.) Thank you for this, Mikey. It's something I'll always remember.'

I'm sure he will always remember it. Understanding is a simple thing. Dear reader, have you ever taken a page out of the Wall Street Journal or any financial newspaper, set fire to it, and put it in your mouth? That is true understanding. You do not have to read it. But you must burn or be touched. William Wright has been touched. He will never be the same again.

Where is Brian Kim?

And what in the name of the Nazarene does he think he's getting up to? There is a rumour going around that Brian Kim, founder of Liquid Capital Management, CNBC pundit, Ponzi man extraordinaire, and fugitive from justice, is somewhere in Italy, living the high life on ill-gotten gains (allegedly), while his victims and the Feds, the SEC, the DA's office, the Marines, the CIA, the Navy SEALs, and Delta Force, all wail and gnash their teeth, 'cos there ain't nothing else to do in the circumstances. No one can touch him!

This is from Liquid Capital's website: 'Liquid Capital is a New York-based asset manager specializing in U.S. equity markets. Our firm has a dedicated and experienced management team, schooled in the black arts, that focuses solely on the Managed Futures sector, and combines this devilish expertise with the highest level of risk management infrastructure. Proprietary evaluation and risk management tools provide the foundation for industry-leading product design and portfolio management. Integrity and dedication to performance are our core principals [eh?] and we strive to be a trusted partner with the ability to protect and manage your assets in changing economic and market cycles. Also, we have no truck with those mystical fairies in the desert. We're with Jack on the lower levels.'

Oh, right. Nice. Fairies? I'd like to see him say that to my face.

O Master, someone should make an example of him.

I'm not going over to Italy, looking for him. If that's what you're suggesting. He might not even be there. He could be at Jack's house in the Cayman Islands for all we know. I've got better things to do with my time.

Like what?

Like anything. I don't know. It's not my job to track down suspected crooks. [I'm being very careful with my language. Kim hasn't had a trial yet. He could be an innocent man. Someone may have been telling lies about him. His landlady's cook always brings him breakfast at eight o'clock. Not that I should be writing this. I was supposed to be making a fresh start, leaving out all the literary references. I don't need to refer to anything else. It was a mistake mentioning Bill Withers this morning, too. What is wrong with me? I can never do what I say I'm going to do. I hate myself sometimes.] I've got this blog to write. I'm hoping to put ten hours in today. There's my shamanic duties on the astral plane. Then later on, tonight, either do some reading or play my guitar. I'll probably play my guitar. Still haven't finished that blasted song. It's going to be called 'Gilly Marie' now. A sort of combination of Gillian and Stacy-Marie. My tribute to the two fittest birds in finance. Although I only love one of them.

O Master, you're going to get yourself in trouble one of these days.

O my child, I lead a charmed life. 'Some of these days, you'll miss me, honey.'

Jean-Paul Sartre?

Yeah. Afraid so. Nausea. I once wrote a song called Sunset Nausea. [Italics for titles, not the mystic child/voice thing.] Over twenty years ago. I've still got the recording on cassette. Unfortunately, I don't have a tape recorder. It's a sign, I suppose, that I'm old. I can't even listen to the songs of my youth any more. But I'm not going to get all maudlin. And I'm not going to slash my wrists. I considered it at the weekend, you know; had a Mr Polly moment.

H.G. Wells?

Yeah. H.G. Wells. Mr Polly cut his own throat and burnt his shop down. But he survived! Then he realized: if you're prepared to commit suicide, you're free to do anything.

Then he went roaming the countryside, didn't he? Got into an awkward situation with an eel, as I recall.

Indeed. [How I hate that word! Someone fucking shoot me if I ever use it again.] The point I'm making is this: I'm not going to die yet. I'm going to live! And live without fear. And I'm going to do what I want to do. And I'm going to work hard, on everything. I'm going to reduce my sleep, like I said I would. I'm going to stop wasting time. And I'm not going to judge a man like Brian Kim. And I'm not going to judge the people who want him so badly. It's a big comedy! And it means nothing - if you look at it from far away, out in the cosmos, with the aliens. They have their own troubles, anyway.

H.G. Wells?

What's this Renshaw Bay all about?

Is it a new holiday resort that Bill Withers has established? Don't be so bloody ridiculous! He's busy with his music, as I should be with mine, instead of this blogging lark, but that's another matter. [Oh dear. He ain't recording no more! That's a shame. I bet he still writes songs though.] No, Renshaw Bay is some sort of boutique investment hedge fund and asset management firm. And it's BILL WINTERS! He's the mastermind behind it. He's the brains of the operation. Lord Jacob Rothschild is a bit of a thicko from what I've heard. And Bill Withers has nothing to do with it.

I'm glad we've cleared that up. We don't want confusion this early on a Monday morning. If Jacob is reading this, we don't want him thinking he's gone into business with a retired R&B singer. It will just upset him. Oh, it's a lovely day. Nice blue sky. [It was blue.] A few fluffy clouds. I might book me one of those apartments. I fancy getting away for a week or two.

I wish I could concentrate. It's my consciousness, you see. It's all over the shop. I've never had any control, and I'm sure I never will. But enough of my problems. Let's make the effort to focus on Renshaw Bay. Bill Winters has been speaking to no one in particular. He said: 'Our objective is to build a global alternative asset management and advisory business for our founding shareholders as well as other sophisticated investors who value our strong focus on risk management and alignment between investors and investment managers.' Well, that's wonderful, ain't it? And I like the bit about the sophisticated investors. I imagine they will be real cultured as well. Bill isn't the sort who deals with riff-raff.

By the way, do you know that Winters is an ex-JPMorgan man? Of course you know! Everyone has heard about the fight he had with Jamie Dimon. Not everyone has the inside story though. Apparently, Jamie didn't want Bill using his meditation CDs. These were CDs that I had especially recorded for Jamie's personal use. But Bill would keep sneaking into Jamie's office while he was out and putting the CDs on. That wasn't so bad. However, Bill insisted on burning his fucking joss sticks as well, which made the office smell like a Turkish brothel. It pissed Jamie right off, and that's why they came to blows and why Bill had to leave the bank. I actually like both of them. I eventually recorded some CDs for Bill, at his request, and he paid me handsomely.

Friday, 18 February 2011

I want to live in a Big Society

I hate the old society. It's too small for my liking. I want to live in a Big Society, with buffoons sticking their noses into my business, with fascists forcing me to volunteer for stuff, and with corrupt politicians reaping all the benefits.

I want to be a part of something. I'm scared and lonely. I want to join the People's Army. I want to be one of Cameron's slaves. I have no personality. I am not an individual. I'm sure I'll feel better once a bunch of strangers have started loving me.

I hate freedom. I love the state. Big Society is the Big State on the cheap. Don't be fooled. Who wanted this? We all wanted this, and it's what we deserve. We asked for it. We wanted Dave. We wanted his vision. Are we communists? Who knows?

I love the boss. He gave me my life. He allows me to breathe. I am so grateful. I have free will. I follow the boss. It's something I want to do. The boss has passion. It's a wonderful thing to have passion when you have no soul.

Watch him move his hands around. We're all incredibly impressed. There's no way this man could be a charlatan. There's nothing in it for him. He is our servant. He works for us. That's why we're all so happy.

I want to be a cog in the wheel. I want to be loved. Everyone remembers the cannon fodder. Put me in the machine. I want to be humiliated. I am a masochist. I want to get involved. I am not a selfish man. The Big Society will save us all.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Christian Siva-Jothy is shutting down his SemperMacro hedge fund because life's too short

Christian Siva-Jothy? That's a name from the past, isn't it? I haven't written about him for three and a half years, but here he is again, pestering my consciousness for entry into the world of shamans and mystics. Where's he been all this time?

Who cares? Where is he going? That is the question we should be asking. He has hardly made a penny from this SemperMacro nonsense. So if he locked himself away in the attic we wouldn't judge him too harshly, would we?

O Master, what is all this 'we'? I'm sure your readers do not appreciate being dragged into the gutter of your soul like this.

O my child, these readers are not just passing cretins, you know, looking for cheap thrills. Most of them are seekers after truth, and mystic kooks, yes, mystical children like your good self, ones that possess bodies, too. They are more than voices.

Oh. Well, that told me, didn't it? Carry on.

Listen, everyone. If Christian Siva-Jothy locked himself away in the attic (or the cellar) for two, three years, you know what? I wouldn't judge him at all. Only God can judge him. And I'm not God, not by any stretch of the imagination. I know I seem godlike. And I know you all really love me, the way you would love God, if only you had the chance. But I'm just a shaman. And Christian is just a man. He's fragile. He's soft.

Maybe we should do something.

Yeah, let's do something. Let's put on some Glen Campbell. 'I am a lineman for the county and I drive the ...' Obviously, this will not help Christian. We need to put our thinking caps on. We wants to fuck. Don't ask me.

Let's stop it here. That's enough now. Put a Jammie Dodger in your mouth.

I can't! I'm full of Jammie Dodgers!

One more Jammie Dodger for the road, you bastard! Come on!

Oh my God! Why hast thou forsaken me? I feel sick.

Alex Moisseev is the principal and the chief investment officer and the Lord knows what else

And we could leave it there, if we wanted to. We wouldn't have to mention Dighton Capital Management if we wanted Mr Moisseev to appear more mysterious than he already is. [Why am I using 'we'?] But he couldn't appear more mysterious, could he? [Why am I using 'he'?] So, yes, he is the principal and the chief investment officer of Dighton Capital Management. And I wouldn't have to write anything else if I didn't have this urge to continue, an insane desire to peel off the layers of this great big financial onion. [Why am I using 'I'?] I can't leave anything alone. Well, that's not entirely true. I can leave life alone when I'm dreaming. It's just like death. I can leave women alone when I'm meditating. It's just like death. But I cannot, and I will not, leave a man like Alex Moisseev crying in the wilderness. Not when he needs comfort, and love, and a few words to cheer him up.

You see, Mr Moisseev is suffering from the illusion delusions that his firm's managed futures funds can perform in any market conditions. No, no, no! Imagine a market condition without a market! A fund cannot perform in a vacuum. Fortunately, Nature abhors a vacuum. At least, that is what we have been led to believe. (Who spreads these rumours?) If we didn't have a market, or any conditions whatsoever, I am quite sure something would take its place. However, this doesn't help Mr Moisseev and his amazing performing funds. All very long-winded, I know, but basically it's why he needs comfort, and love, and a few words to cheer him up. Unfortunately, we haven't been able - you're involved in this - to supply him with any words that would have the effect of cheering him up. The words we're using now will just confuse him. So we need a positive attitude and some fucking clarity, all right?!

Why do I bother?! You're about as much use as a chocolate fireguard! Am I on my own? Do you expect me to deal with the situation by myself like some sort of immortal genius? Fine. I'm man enough. Some clear and cheerful words for Mr Moisseev coming up!

Alex, my friend, you are like a sunflower. You are my dolphin. [I can't do it.] Right, let's consider all the facts. Firstly, I am not cheerful within myself. Or without myself. That's a serious problem. Charity begins at home, remember? [I've got to make me happy, me, I, me, just me.] Secondly, I am so confused. I don't know who I am. I don't know what I'm doing. I don't know where I am. How can I charge Mr Moisseev £10,000 for this post if I'm no better than a diseased dog in an abandoned junkyard? And I'm going to blame a few people here. I'm going to blame Bob Diamond for not paying me that half a million. I'm going to blame Gillian Tett for being such an untouchable angel. And I'm going to blame ***** ******* for being such a lovesick deranged obsessed harpy who won't stop sending me sexually explicit emails. [That's a revision, that is. A big improvement. I think I deserve a Jammie Dodger.] Is it any wonder I'm a freakin' basket case, almost?

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Bob Diamond says he will double profits at Barclays over the next three years

Not by himself, of course. He's going to get a bit of help from his friends, mainly me, maybe. And his staff, the thousands of souls who work at Barclays. We shouldn't forget them. But how will he manage it? It sounds impossible, doesn't it?

Well, I have been speaking to my dear friend Bobby Diamond. This is how he explained himself to an incredulous shaman (that was me, still is, but not incredulous): 'Mikey, you're gonna help me, ain't ya? (Double the profits? No, Bobby, it's a crazy idea. I want no part of it.) But you're going to write in your blog that you will be helping me! (Bobby, can you see into the future?) Mikey, I can! (Wow! Okay, try and convince me.) What, that I can see into the future? (The double profits, man.) I just need you to go on to the astral plane, get all your mates together, and then meditate, every last crazy son of a bitch up there or in there, meditate, yeah, on Barclays. (And what will you be doing?) I'll be back on earth, counting the money. (You ain't gonna make shaman like that, Bobby.) I'm chief executive now, Mike. I got to be careful. (What do you mean?) You don't see Lloyd floating around on the plane, do ya? (No, but Lloyd is ... peculiar. I'm being polite.) Do you think this will work then? (I don't know. It might. Can't you get rid of a few loss-making units?) That's what I told the squares. But it's too boring. (What's in it for me?) The satisfaction knowing you helped a friend. (I want money.) How much? (You can start off by paying me the half a million you owe me.) What is it with you, Mike? You're obsessed with money! (It's because I'm poor.) You've only got yourself to blame. No one forced you to spend your youth wandering life's lonely highway. You could have got a job in a bank. You could have been another Bob Diamond. Imagine that! (Don't get carried away, Bobby. I'll get my reward. You wait and see. How much money did Jesus have?) He didn't have a pot to piss in, Mike. (Yeah. Think about that.) Oh, I'll think about it. (How much money did Tom Conti have in Reuben, Reuben?) I'll think about that too.'

I'm still incredulous. In the sense that I can't believe Bobby expects me to help him double Barclays' profits out of the goodness of my heart. I don't even have a good heart. And it's Bobby I care about (with a bad heart), not the bank. Never mind. I'll see how I feel.

To all the girls I've loved before

I know you're feeling bad. I know you're bitter. I know you're twisted. I know you like making your sarcastic remarks. But there's nothing to be done now. I've found someone else.

Ian Axe becomes the chief executive of LCH.Clearnet just as I was wondering ...

Whatever happened to Ian Axe? I told everyone three years ago when Axe became a managing director at Barclays Capital that he had potential. I knew he was a good lad who would one day go out into the desert and find himself (a bit) and then come back to get an even better job.

And he has found a bit of himself. (He is almost a financial shaman.) Not a piece of flesh, hanging off, which then fell off, and was rotting in the sand. That would be too gruesome. If it had happened. It didn't happen, I am glad to say. No, it was a bit of his consciousness. He found it in our love. We were holding it for him. We were only too happy to hang on to it for a while. Now it has been returned to its rightful owner. And he has a new job! Axe, man, will start in April, and he's going to be very sharp and very tough.

You need to be very sharp and very tough in this world. And you need to be very intelligent as well. You can't be like those idiots, all superficial, impressed by the fake words of someone who considers himself a man of literature just because he once read a few books by Proust, or Tolstoy, or Dickens, or some other bland c**t. Literature is Rimbaud. It is Lautreamont. It is Celine. And you have to live it. You have to be prepared to die. Try living in shit. Try dressing in rags. Fuck your Oxford or Cambridge or wherever the fuck it was they turned you into a schnook. Write something, for the love of our holy Jesus H. Christ! Beloved muthas! Satan's children! I see the flames! You get the idea. These days of tears and nights of blood. No prisoners!

However, this has nothing to do with Axe. It has nothing to do with him! O Lord, give me the strength and the wisdom to ignore scum. Let me concentrate on Axe, for he is a man we can all love and cherish.

O Master, we love him!

We love Ian Axe! We'll think about him. He will take away our pain. This is just me. I know that if I can focus on Axe, my pain will disappear. It's when I think of myself, that's when the trouble starts. It's when I think of my Gillian, that's when my heart aches. And I know she went to Cambridge. I wasn't having a pop at her.

O Master, we love him!

Yes, we love Axe, man! Let's focus on Ian Axe! I hope he changes things at LCH.Clearnet. I hope he invites me in to give a little motivational speech to the troops. I'll get them going. I'll get them worked up into a mad passion. Then we'll see something worth reporting in this awfully boring financial world. Not that I am a reporter, you understand. Perish the thought! I am a transformer! I take a man like Axe, and I make him look like a supernatural being! Well, almost. I almost manage it. I am not a god. Not yet. Give me a chance! It's only been four years. We have another thirty or so to go yet. Won't it be fun?!

O Master, we love him!

Yes, my child, we love Ian Axe. We love him. We love him. We love him! I can't stress this enough. Out in the moonlight, one night, he'll be there. And everyone will love him hard. The desert sun, one day, burning his body like, God knows what. Don't bet against it. And we will lap it up! The fact is, we believe in the guy! It's as simple as that. There's no confusion. It's not as if Axe is one of these characters who will let us down. No one is suggesting that he's a puppet who will throw it all back in our faces.

Monday, 14 February 2011

Love is a dying star heavier than the sun

I have only seen her in dreams and visions, an angel like no other, my angel, the most beautiful woman in the world. It is not a world where I can be myself. I am rarely present. I spend the majority of my time in astral sands and seas. And my companions are ghosts. I am not complaining. You make your bed. I will die in mine. But it would be nice to slip away for an hour or two, a day, a year, oh forever, to see this miracle in the flesh. For my mystical sightings of her are not satisfying. She is often more ghostly than my friends. Or, in illuminations, too good to be true. I would give anything to hold her hand, to caress her face. Is her hair as golden as it seems in the astral light of my mind? Are those eyes really as blue as a perfect summer sky? So, I stand on the cold ground. Could I bring her to me now? Surely no angel woman could step out of a vision into dull reality and still please the seer who had wanted her? And I want her, as much as I want life, all life. A universe is growing in my head. I ache for planets the size of Jupiter, and infinite spaces. I want a great cosmic scene before the light goes out. And I want love. Even though love is a dying star heavier than the sun.

I go too far. One day I will not come back. My angel with me. It would not be a tragedy. She may beg to differ. No one knows her feelings. I know she is not oblivious. This angel senses the power of my fantasies on waves across the ocean. Water we can drown in. The wet stuff that separates us. It is rather distressing. Far worse would be an eternal night, with my yearning for an image of her in darkness. And hearing that voice, out of nowhere and everywhere, like a haunting, or a breakdown! I may not be able to conjure her up, may not actually be able to touch her, but she lives for me in a secret place where I can enjoy her company whenever I desire it; though it is the thin experience of souls without bodies, and a game of illusions. Better that than nothing. I will take what I can get. I will take death with all its sweetness in my bloody mouth to have her. I will take the horrors of existence and any suffering. As long as I can make my own choices, with strength. I know my destiny. I will not be forced into a weak position, obscurity, and the shadows of life. I will not go down, all wretched, crying. Angel would frown. She moves in light. An unnatural environment. But it suits her so well. It is hard to believe that she exists at all in the physical realm.

I am tired of wanting, tired of needing. Beauty is destructive. I could sleep and never wake again. That would be a relief, a form of salvation. I wonder if she cares. A seer can see things that should not be there. I am empty. If she were empty, we could come to an understanding. One deep breath. So, my feet are on the ground. I rise, a little, waiting for a fit of passion to lift me higher. Coming on. Yes, coming on. I feel her. She is the fire in my heart. She is the electrical storm in my brain. This human angel, inhuman: an angelic creature showing no mercy. Angel. The word, as I use it, is more than a term of endearment. It has become a cold, hard fact. And now, my word, it is darker, and now, my heart, it is frozen. The impossibility of love in a dirty world! I look to the pale sky. I try to comprehend those infinite spaces. They are everywhere. Is there any escaping them? Oh, going. I have two ways. The void or the angel. I must surrender to her, and give her, my angel, everything she wants. Her coolness is intimidating. She wants love for her own reasons. I am a human sacrifice. Is this what they call vulnerability? I would not recommend it to anyone. I am a stupid man. I submit, knowing the folly of it all, knowing that love is a dying star heavier than the sun.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Ode to a Nightingale

I've been reading Keats' Ode to a Nightingale quite a bit lately.

I remember when I was studying for my English Literature A-level. I had a lesson with my teacher, one to one, as nobody else had turned up. She tried to get me interested in this poem. But a friend was waiting for me outside, and I was eager to get away, so she let me go early. I must have come across as a vulgar cretin. Never mind.

I remember her stressing the sensuality of lines such as:

'Singest of summer in full-throated ease'

'And purple-stained mouth'

Well, nearly a quarter of a century has passed since then. That lesson means more to me than some idiot friend who could be dead now for all I know or care.

Who is Samir Barai?

Samir Barai? Let me tell you, whoever he is, he's in a lot of trouble right now. He's been charged by the SEC with insider trading. He's been arrested by the Feds! The CIA and the Marine Corps are after him. And worse than all that, far worse, Mr Jack Pickles, the world's most demonic financier, wants a word with him. Oh dear. Poor old Samir doesn't have what you would call a bright future, does he? He has a dark future, in hell.

Or am I being too harsh? Let Samir speak for himself!

I am Samir Barai, the founder and portfolio manager of Barai Capital Management. It's not as bad as it sounds, all the stuff you've heard about me. I can deal with the SEC, the Feds, the Navy SEALs, and Delta Force. As for Mr Jack Pickles, I think you should know that Jack is a personal friend of mine. I've spent time at his house in the Cayman Islands. He is a lovely man. He doesn't have an evil bone in his body. If he wants a word with me, so be it! I have nothing to fear. I think you'll find, dear reader, that Mr Michael Fowke is the demonic one. That man lives in darkness! He -

No. That's enough. I'm not going to give him a platform to besmirch my good name. This was an opportunity for him to come clean, maybe even make his peace with God, or at least Big Herb, but you can't help some people, can you? Shame.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Bob Diamond will be getting his bonus soon

Bob Diamond will be getting his bonus any day now. £9 million or £10 million or God knows how much. But what will I be getting? Bob owes me at least half a million for all the consultancy work I've done for him. He's living the high life. I'm sitting in the shit. Something's not right about this situation.

Well, I have been speaking to Mr Diamond. This is what was said: 'Mikey, why were you speaking to Lloyd yesterday? You don't work for him no more. (At least he used to pay me. Where's my fucking money, Bobby?) You'll get your money, don't worry. You know your problem, Mike? You worry too much. Everything is, or will be, roses. When I get paid, you'll get paid. (You're going to pay me out of your own pocket?) Yes. I am. Why don't you let me take you out to dinner? (I don't won’t to go to dinner. I just want my money. If I wanted dinner, I would have gone with that Nicholas Berggruen arsehole.) You'll get your money, all right?! We all know why you feel bad about Nick. (Don't mention that prick!) You're the one who brought him up. (Let's talk about something else. That fucking -) Mikey, come on, man. Let it go. (What's he got that I ain't got?) This bitterness isn't helping. I'm telling you, Mike. I've seen it destroy so many men. If that's her idea of a good time, what can you do? It's a shame, but what can you do? (I'm just going to throw myself into my work.) That's better. Think positive. You're writing a post about your angel for Valentine's Day, aren't you? (Yeah.) Got a title for it? (Love is a dying star heavier than the sun.) Oh, that's beautiful, Mike! You know, you're a goddamn poet. Anyone ever tell you that? (Yeah. It don't make me happy.) That's worth more than money. That's special. I wish I were a poet. I'm just a grey banker that everyone hates. (They don't hate you, Bobby.) Mikey, they hate me. I know it. (It's jealousy.) What have I got to do to make people love me? (I don't know. It's a crazy world we're living in.) Damn straight. (That's why I dig the desert so much.) It's why I dig it, Mike. A man can be what he wants to be in the desert. And those ghosts, they look at me. Oh, they may see the banker and his money, but - (Bobby, they see a soul crying out for love in the wilderness.) You're right! (They see some kid from the streets who made good but who still has the hunger inside.) I'm welling up. You really know me. (Bobby, you're going to be all right. So am I. Why should we care that the fools of this cold world have no love for us?) We will burn forever!'

We will burn forever. Amen. That's probably the smartest thing I've ever heard Bob Diamond say. He's a decent man. I wish people would appreciate him more.

Monday, 7 February 2011

What will Goldman Sachs do with its excess capital?

Goldman Sachs has $170 billion lying around that it doesn't need. The bank can't give the money away! Can you believe it? Can I believe it? I could, if I were half insane, drugged by love, lost in the flesh of my visions.

Anyway, I have been speaking to my old boss Lloyd Blankfein. This is what he had to say for himself and the bank he's in charge of: 'Mikey, Viniar wanted to speak to you. Why won't you speak with him? (He's a thug, Lloyd.) Oh, he's not that bad. (He's an animal. Now, what are you going to do with all this excessive money you have?) Well, Viniar wanted to spend it on loans, real estate, stuff like that. (That's a bit boring, isn't it?) Yeah, so I came up with a better idea. (Lay it on me, baby.) See if you can dig this, Mikey. We're going to build a shamanic meditation centre and mystical retreat out in the Mojave desert. (I'm not sure you should specify which desert, Lloyd.) Okay. The desert. Just out in the desert. The desert of our - (That's enough!) You get the picture. (Yes, I get the picture, but I don't see it making much of a dent in the $170 billion.) It's gonna be a big place, Mike. Individual rooms for all our employees. Servants. Fine wines. Caviar. Gold taps in the bathrooms. You wait - (Lloyd, I think you've got the wrong idea.) What do you mean? (You haven't spent any time in the desert, have you?) I leave that to our shamans. (Right. And haven't they told you that they either sleep in caves or sleep out in the open, beneath the moon?) Beneath the ...? (Beneath the moon, Lloyd. With an old blanket.) With an old f**king blanket?! (It's what they're trained for. It's what they expect. I can't see all your employees taking to the lifestyle.) It's only going to be for the occasional weekend. (With servants! And gold taps!) We have certain standards. (Speak to your shamans, Lloyd. It's not the way things are done.) An old f**king blanket?! (It's not all about the money.) You're a financial shaman! (It's a spiritual discipline. We reach for the money. We burn the money, and burn with it. The ultimate prize is the life beyond money.) Are you out of your f**king mind? The life beyond money?! Is this a f**king joke? (Lloyd, what do you think mystical capitalism is all about?) This is a real shock. (Why did Goldman get in so deep, deeper than any other bank?) I thought it was a new scam. (Speak to your shamans, Lloyd.) Oh, I will, Mikey. You better believe it!'

Jesus H. Christ. Lloyd doesn't know what's going on in his own friggin' bank! I just hope he doesn't pull the plug. I doubt he will. Goldman is in too deep now, and it has made a lot of money as a direct result of my (and my associates) involvement and influence. The bank just hasn't gone beyond money yet. Well, there's no shame in that, is there? Who has?

Friday, 4 February 2011

There was a JPMorgan Chase risk officer who knew all about Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scheme

But no one knows his name or even if the wretched thing existed at all. Note my use of the word 'thing'. You see, I have a theory that this JPMorgan risk officer was a thing - a depraved thought-form, a mad image, or a demonic puppet - brought into existence by Bernard Madoff's boss, Mr Jack Pickles.

I know what you're thinking. 'Michael Fowke has gone too far this time. The man is a fool.' Oh yeah? Explain to me then why the risk officer kept quiet about the Ponzi scheme. It's obvious that this thing was working for Jack. And, sure, it existed in some sense. But I doubt -

O Master, the risk officer could have been a bona fide person under Jack's control. With actual arms and legs, and a penis, even a mind. You know how he operates.

Yeah, er, my child, demonic puppets have actual arms and legs, don't they? And you can fake the mind. How intelligent do you have to be to work at JPMorgan?

There's something you're not telling us.

All right. Listen. I have heard that Jack Pickles has become disillusioned with people. He considers them awkward, difficult to manipulate. Bernie let him down badly. The only reason Bernie is still alive is that he's too high-profile. Jack knows that if he whacks him, even the scaredy-cats in the mainstream media will start to ask questions. So, this 'thing', this risk officer, was a prototype, really. It did its job beautifully. The rumour is that Jack is going into mass production.

Will they be thought-forms or -

O my child, they've got to be puppets. If they're going to have a physical presence in the world, then they've got to be puppets. It's a very disturbing development.

You're telling me! What can we do about it?

I'll be discussing it with the lads this weekend in the desert of our love.

The lads?

Big Herb, Ganesh the elephant god, the ghosts of the dead financiers, assorted financial shamans and money mystics. There'll be a few girls coming along as well. Susan Flint is a fully qualified shaman now.

Jesus! It's going to be a major conference, then. Can I come?

If you behave yourself. But Jesus won't be there.

Who gives a shit?

Precisely. That's what I said.

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Ovington Capital Management

A new hedge fund, Ovington Capital Management, has just been launched by a black magician, apparently. Quite an achievement. Not even Aleister Crowley had his own hedge fund. This magical one, soul of chaos, goes by the name of Curtis Adams. They say he used to be a proprietary trader at Mizuho and a bit of a big head to boot. He once performed at the Plaza Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. I should imagine he’s familiar with the desert then. Sounds like a man after my own heart, doesn't he?

Not really. I must be getting myself mixed up with Jack Pickles. Not that he has a heart. Oh, he has a heart, a black one. My heart is pure, and open, and red. I know you believe me. There is no need for me to show it to you. I can be trusted to tell the truth. I'm no lunatic writer out to destroy your mind. I'm like a little kitten. Stroke me. Look into my eyes. I'll be your tyger.

Ovington is starting off with $55 million under management. That's not much, is it? Couldn't the diabolical Mr Adams conjure up more than that? [Diabolical, adjective. Characteristic of the Devil, or so evil as to recall the Devil.] And he speaks! Out of nowhere! Will wonders never cease? 'Mr Fowke, thank you so very much for writing about Ovington. We need all the publicity we can get. As for the Devil, I do recall meeting him one lovely summer's afternoon in my youth. I am afraid I wasn't as young as our ******, but who has ever been that youthful, and innocent? Such soft skin. And beautiful hair! But strange staring eyes. Has he seen more than he lets on?' The Devil, please. 'Ah, the Devil. He spoke to me. Told me I would become the wickedest man in the world. And run a hedge fund. It has come to pass.'

Indeed. [As certain people like to say. Indeed, adverb. I won't go into it.] It has come to pass. Maybe $55 million isn't so disappointing. He'll get more. I'm not saying I approve of the delightful Mr Adams, but it would be churlish to continue writing about him as if were as bad as a socialist or someone of that ilk. I'll stop here.

Lloyds Banking Group casts hundreds of brokers into the pit

Lloyds has taken hundreds of corrupt mortgage brokers, fraudsters, roughed them up, stolen their futures, and thrown them into the pit. There they will suffer.

But I will not rejoice at the brokers' misfortune, even though they brought it on themselves. It could happen to any one of us. We wouldn't have to be brokers. The whole world is corrupt. We could be monks on a holiday.

We could be liars, thieves. We know what we are. We can wash feet. It will not make us holy. The prostitute and the crook are more honest. They do not hide their shame. Our sins eat away at us, at night. We sleep in filth.

Try to beat me, superficial scum. You have no soul. I am Jesus when I want to be. I am Satan when I have to be. You can't reach that high. You can't dive that low. Laugh at this. The joke's on you. I am possessed. The voices are real.

Lloyds Banking Group, whom can it judge? What a comedy! Just because you have the power to throw the weak into a pit, it doesn't mean you're clean, beyond reproach. High and low, oh, thoughts, words. There is reality to it.

Laugh at this. You're damning yourself, killing yourself. Loving it, for now, in shit. But I can't get you out. And God isn't interested. Any dolphin has a better chance. I'd put money on any owl. What are you gonna think, later? What are you gonna write?

So let's not feel sorry for the corrupt mortgage brokers. Let's feel sorry for the entire human race. I think we should go the whole hog. One great, big, sick pig waiting to get slaughtered. They can have dinner in hell. Look at Charlie Manson, with an apple in his hand!

I'll have the apple. I'm a vegetarian. I'm a man of peace.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Principal Investment Management has acquired Border Asset Management!

Bought? Acquired? It's all the same to me. Yes, the masters of evil have struck again. Or rather their holding company has, Principal Holdings. Or rather their parent company has, Sanlam. With Lukas van der Walt lurking in the shadows. Whatever. I don't know how it works. I'm not an expert on these matters. All I can tell you, my friend, is that the two/three/four firms are going to merge now. Yes, Border Asset Management is joining forces with those demonic freaks, Principal Investment Management, Principal Holdings, or Sanlam. [I wish I could understand. I'm just a simple shaman.] Why oh why oh why? Haven't the Border lot heard about the destruction of the Jupiter Income fund? Maybe they don't care. Maybe it turns them on. Who knows? Evil can be an aphrodisiac. Just ask all those poor women that Jack Pickles has seduced. Has anyone seen Gary Cohn's baby yet? Oh, she'll turn up.

Lukas van der Walt is the man behind it all. He's the UK chief executive of Sanlam. He's the one we should blame. He got his teeth into the Border boys (and a couple of girls). They couldn't resist him! He's such a charming man. And a very cultured man too. He could talk to you all day about 10cc. So, you wouldn't think to look at him that he was wanted on the highest levels of the astral plane for crimes against mystical capitalism. However, I suggest that you do not look at him. I mean, do not look into his eyes. He will hypnotize you. You don't want that! You don't want to wake up naked and bruised, on a dirty mattress in a basement, with a terrible headache, wondering what happened. How on earth would you explain the bite marks to your partner? (I'm presuming you're not one of these awful loners we've heard so much about. If you are, you're no better than Lukas. You deserve each other. I'll shed no tears when the worst happens, as it will.) I just hope that none of the Border crowd start complaining when they realize they're on a one-way trip to hell. If there's one thing that Lukas hates, it's people who complain. But he loves people who achieve. Let us hope, for their sakes, that they achieve. They'll be down on the lower levels. It's going to be hot. And money will become ashes. That's guaranteed. It's not really my idea of achievement, but whatever floats their boats. I won't interfere. This cold earth is my main territory. Let the dead financiers deal with them.

Guy Hands is a broken puppet or a scarecrow that has seen too much

Yes, Citigroup has got its greasy mitts on EMI at last. If a bank can have greasy mitts, that is. It's just an expression.

Well, I have been speaking to my dear friend Guy Hands. He phoned me late last night in tears. I tried my best to ease his pain. 'Mikey, this is the end. I can't go on! (Guy, wait until the morning. You'll see the sun in the sky, hopefully. And you'll hear the birds singing in the trees. Life does go on, even for your sort. You'll feel better tomorrow.) Oh, that this too too solid flesh, would melt, thaw, and resolve itself into a dew: or that the Everlasting had not fix'd His canon 'gainst self-slaughter. (I've told you before that I don't want to hear this talk from you.) Talk of suicide? (Shakespeare. I'm trying to cut down on the literary quotes in my blog. I'm trying to cut down on the voices as well. I shouldn't really be talking to you at all.) But we're old friends. You wouldn't abandon an old friend, would you? (Of course I wouldn't.) Old friends, winter companions, the old men, lost in their overcoats, waiting for the sun ... rise. The sounds of the City sifting through - (What the fuck is that?!) Simon and Garfunkel. (Guy, mate, are you thick or something? I don't want references to popular culture either.) Jesus! Well, what do you want, Mike? (I want to hear - in your own fucking words, if that's not too much to ask - what you're going to do now.) I ... am ... lost ... for ... words. (Come on, Guy, be a man. Show the whole world you're more than just a puppet on a string, or -) Sandie Shaw! (Yeah, or a scarecrow in a field, like poor old Felix.) In a field, behaving as the wind behaves. (You're making me angry.) All right. All right. How about this? I intend to ... to ... to ... (You can do it.) I intend to become a man, alive in the world, fully functioning, walking and talking, with words of my own, and ... (Guy, this is so good. I never knew you had it in you. More!) I intend to ... (Yes?) I want to ... (What? What do you want to do, Guy?) I want to live! (Hallelujah!) You don't really care for music, do ya? (Don't ruin it.) I want to ... I want to ... this is ridiculous! (Guy!) These aren't my words. You're manipulating me yet again. (Nonsense!) Michael, why do you do this? What motivates you? It can't make you happy. I think -'

And he went on and on and on, blaming all his troubles on me. Blah, blah, blah. As if I was the one who paid £4 billion for a record company. In these times! Someone should have told him about the internet.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Emerging markets are an abomination, says Reuters

Oh, they don't like their emerging markets over at Reuters, do they?

They were once red-hot emerging markets! But what comes around goes around! We don't care! They deserve everything that's happening to them! We warned you! Repent!

Well, I have been speaking to Jeremy Gaunt. He would have you believe that he is Reuters' European investment correspondent. He would have me believe it too, if only he could get away with it. That's the sort of man he is.

But I will not be repeating the words he spake unto me. Are you surprised? This is self-control, this is. I'm keeping the voices down, deep inside. I'll share them with you when I feel it's appropriate.

Oh, he's back again! Jeremy Gaunt, you will not speak! Be quiet. The arrogance of these voices. It's a serious problem. I should punish the morons. Don't they know who they're messing with? Maybe they can't help it. They just babble on and on and on.

What a way to make a living! I'm not talking about myself. I'm not the one whispering in people's ears, am I?

I don't even think they get paid for it, most of them. Gaunt might get paid, but we have no proof that this "Jeremy Gaunt" is a genuine person. We hear his voice - well, I do - but what does that prove? Nothing, as far as I'm concerned. He's taking the piss. Someone should tell Reuters.

Felix Salmon, blank, empty, lost

Felix Salmon started off blank, empty, lost. And that is the way we will remember him, one day, because he never changed. He is not likely to. There was a slight chance, that he is alive, somewhere, wandering alone, out there. If we want to discover the sort of body he would like to possess, it will be easy.

Felix Salmon refuses to make it hard for us. I remember him. We all want to. It is rumoured he had an identity, a long time ago. If we had known who he was, we will recognize him. Not that he would care. There was no desire. There is a layer of something similar to skin. We should not touch it. He makes little secret of it.

And time passes.

Felix Salmon has let himself be outed! We see him for what he is. A figure in a landscape, with some crows. A carrot for a nose. Buttons for eyes. We applaud him. He is so brave. This is the way he wants to live. At night, he moves. There is still life there. It is hard to believe. But I think we can believe.

Anthony Nutt and his Jupiter Income fund thrown into darkness

We will not despair. Everything has turned black for fund manager Anthony Nutt. His Jupiter Income fund has been put on a black list by the creatures at Principal Investment Management. And they have painted his aura black. Now, the cold wind of winter attacks him. We see him, on the hard ground, shivering. But we will not despair.

Who gave the order? Was it Peter Finnigan? A terrible one! Was it Paul Stevens? His smiling face covers his sins. Or was it Sarah O'Gorman? Even a trainee investment manager can be capable of great evil. I am sure we will never know. We must be on our guard. The Gartmore UK Equity Income fund is another doomed fund. Oh, they are the destroyers of funds! They are the hounds of hell that all fund managers fear.

Anthony Nutt, do not despair. You are a seeker, a mystical man, with a good heart. This is a test. You will get through this, with our love and support. Children, we must look after our own. Do ghostly financiers burn in desert sands with such righteousness just so we can selfishly turn away from those in need? Do money gods fly high in astral skies just so we can eat and drink and be merry, while our brothers, and sisters, go without comfort? No, that is not the way! It is not our way.

Who can judge a fund? 'This fund must go on the black list.' A human voice. 'That fund must go on the white list.' An ignorant voice. Hear this and understand: only God can judge! Unless God has spoken of the funds, we will not pay attention to any murmurings from the mouths of fools. Only God's voice, clear and loud, could sway us. However, He is above finance. It was His decision. We will never hear His voice. It is Satan that they serve, those miserable creatures at Principal Investment Management. Satan speaks to them, and they follow his commands. When he -

O Master, is this an improvement?

Silence, child!

Yes, yes, yes, I am one of your children. A mere voice in your head, certainly, but still a child. You cannot banish me from your blog. It would be an injustice. O Master, be merciful.

All right, my child, you can stay, for the time being. But you must promise to behave. I want you to help me, not hinder me. Help me achieve greater clarity and sanity, not more confusion and madness. I intend to stay out of the pit.

O Master, I will try my best.

Yes, you will try your best, and my true enemies will do their worst. I must destroy them. I will destroy them!

O Master, these enemies of which you speak, they are the enemies of all right-thinking, money-loving souls. They are the dirt under our fingernails. Oh, in my dreams, I have fingernails. They are the stains on our skins. Oh, if only I had skin. They are -

My child, enough! I understand. I understand our enemies. And I understand you. It is so very difficult, the life of a voice. I know you have suffered. Forgive me if I have been harsh with you.

O Master, I forgive you. Yes, I forgive you. We have new strength! We are both rowing in the same direction.

Yes. Yes. Yes. I feel like a god. A human god. Let the voices come. I will have control of them all. There is nothing to fear. I can look into the abyss, with this unity. I can take my angel. Who will stop me? This is the way. THE WAY. It is the way.