Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Brandon Lacoff, Tim Davidson, and Gregory Skidmore: natural born winners!

Well, this has cheered me up. I was feeling a bit depressed. I fell over in the street today and hurt my shoulder. I have no idea how it will affect my guitar playing. I'll have to wait and see. I really don't need this. And that's not all. I'm getting nutjobs, now, asking me all kinds of absurd questions. Like: where do I work? For Christ's sake, I'll spell it out for the intellectually challenged: I am the world's foremost financial shaman. I work in the world and in the cosmos. I used to work in the physical desert, in my cave. I spent a lot of time on the astral plane, the astral desert in my head, dealing with dead financiers and money gods, yeah? Oh, I was a consultant to Lloyd Blankfein for a while, but I couldn't cope with his vulgarity. He's still a personal friend of mine though. And - anyone - don't even think about fucking with me. That Viniar, a genuine animal, a stone killer, is also a personal friend of mine, and he'll do anything for me. Goldman Sachs? These guys are harder than the Gambinos, you dig? I'm still connected. (I would harm you myself. But I'm not Jack Pickles any more. I can't be that man any more. What would my angel say? She's sensitive, and civilized. She ain't got no time for the thug life. You know I fell so in love and love changed me. Give me a break.) / Then there was my time with Bobby D, that goddamn punk. (Lloyd was right about him.) Of course, it didn't last. The bastard still hasn't paid me. / Then ... then it all got a bit crazy, I'm afraid. I / I / [was it me?] assassinated Big Herb. Yes, I, I cut his throat in the astral night. I fucking had to, man! What else was I going to do? I'm not the submissive type. It was him or me. Only God can judge ... Oh, I'm not 2Pac. Now ... now, I'm in the cities, everywhere, all earthbound, but not cold. Burning it up, having fun as usual. Not working for any firm, not trading. I'm on the mystical side anyway. I don't know anything about trading or whatever. Ask me about chakras. I'll tell you about chakras. Don't ask me about trading.

So, what's the deal with Brandon Lacoff, Tim Davidson, and Gregory Skidmore? / Right, let's get down to business. These three guys are hedgies at Belpointe Capital in Connecticut in the US of A, and they have just won $254 million on the lottery. Amazing! Doesn't that make you feel good? It makes me feel good. This is the proof. There are people in the world who are natural born winners, and we can join them anytime we choose. Have you got the will? Don't come to me with your dreams, motherfucker. HAVE YOU GOT THE WILL?

Here's what I suggest you do. Forget your dreams. You need to succeed the Michael Fowke way. Lie down on the floor. (Man, I don't give a shit if you're in the office. Your colleagues are squares. You care what they think? Grow a pair!) Close your eyes. (Well, later, after reading this.) You know what I look like. Picture my face. See it blue. See it yellow. See it red. See me smiling - even when I'm blue or angry. Can you feel my love? (Can you feel my pain? I hope I haven't broken something. My shoulder is killing me. The other week I was joking about Rimbaud with his leg, now this!) Right, I've got to stop. (But I won't be stopped for long! The founder of Krishna Consciousness had two heart attacks on his first sea journey to America. He was sixty-nine years old. He had some rice. He had about nine dollars in his pocket. He didn't even know anyone in America! Twelve years later he had an empire. Nothing stopped him. Nothing's going to stop me. Hare Krishna!) Yes, Hare Krishna!

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Vinculum

Vinculum? What the hell is "Vinculum" when it's at home? Well, let me tell you. (You won't believe this.) Vinculum is a new asset management company that Nigel Legge has set up. I don't know whether to laugh or cry.

Apparently, Nige is going to be launching some IM Vinculum Global Equity fund. Yes, early next year. January, I think. God give me strength!

He's talking fifty globally-listed stocks. Yeah, right. Whatever. An annual operating charge of 0.25% of funds under management? I'll believe it when I see it.

And get this: Douglas Thursby-Pelham is involved! Oh, I feel so much better!

Unbelievable.

_________________________


Right, I've just received an email from Vinay Abrol. He wants me to stop writing about Nigel Legge. 'Why are you giving him the oxygen of publicity, Mikey? He's a cold earth wanderer.' All right, I'll give it a rest. / How Vinay knew I was writing about Nige though, well ... you work it out, dear reader.

What am I going to write about now?

My Christmas song? No, I don't know if I'll be doing a Christmas song for this blog. I probably won't have the time.

To be honest, I'm finding it hard to concentrate on blogging at the moment. But I think it's been a good year. Eighteen (out of twenty-five) of my "selected posts" were written this year. I'm definitely getting better. Not that any of the squares have noticed. Well, fuck them. They'll have to notice when I'm number one on the hit parade.

I need a lyric for my second classic. My Gilly Marie lyric really brought the last piece of music to life. However, my new piece is so melodic, it's already alive. The right lyric will ... it doesn't bear thinking about. It really doesn't. I'm getting excited. And a bit nervous. None of the thirty or so songs I wrote in my youth were anything like the new stuff. Maybe because I prided myself on being all "avant-garde" in those days. There's nothing wrong with that, of course. It just doesn't appeal to me now, that's all.

_________________________


I'll get back to proper financial news soon. [Got to calm down a bit.] "News"? That's the not the right word, is it? I'm above all that. News?! Ha! Do me a favour!

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Songwriting, demos, music publishers ... oh, I don't know

I've been doing some research online, and it looks a bit of a nightmare. Hardly any music publishers accept unsolicited demos any more. I did find one reasonably well-known publisher that accepts demos, and it's only a fifteen-minute walk away from my house. So maybe I'll try them first after Christmas.

I could put my songs on YouTube, I suppose. But that could be risky. Also, I don't want to be a recording artist. People might get the wrong idea.

I've nearly finished my second song (well, second song after a twenty-year break) and it's sounding like another potential classic. Much better than I had hoped, actually. I thought it might take me a year or two to reach this standard. But it's just been a matter of picking up the guitar and strumming away for a few hours. I'm starting to worry now about how pissed off I'll be if I can't get anyone to listen to my songs. However, it's early days yet. I've got to fight my natural negativity and pessimism and just keep going.


Update (Monday, 10.15am)

In for a penny, in for a pound? My voice seems to have changed/improved over the years. As I mentioned in a previous post, I really do sound like Mick Jagger. Maybe I should try for a recording contract as well. I could record a great modern album like Back to Black and sell ten million copies. Imagine what that would do for my blog stats!

Friday, 25 November 2011

It's past midnight ...

And I don't want to sleep. So I'm going to write this until about five in the morning. And I'm going to listen to Brian Eno's Apollo. And I'm going to write about music, for starters. Why not? There's no harm in it. (What a boring world it would be if we had to discuss finance the whole time. Even my angel likes to write about other stuff every now and then. I think she wrote, er, something about burning her bra recently - ? I, I don't know. Something like that. Each to their own, I suppose. These feminists, eh? I think they take it too far.) By the way, I'll be listening to David Sylvian's Gone to Earth later. Good honest night-time music. I can hear a space cow! Cows in space! (He's quite a character, that Eno.) I still need a bridge for my new piece of music. It's causing me a lot of grief. The melody in the chorus is brilliant though (even if I do say so myself). It's probably the best melody I've ever composed. Better than the melody to Sunset Nausea - if you can believe that. Of course, you haven't heard that particular song. I wrote it in 1989. Imagine Jean-Paul Sartre in a pop band. (Actually, don't.) [I won't be breaking this up into paragraphs. Can't be bothered.] Apollo brings back so many memories. I've been listening to it since I was seventeen. I'm not going to write about those memories. Far too personal. (I remember one cold night. Winter of 1987. I won't say [write] any more.) You've got to get this album! You may have heard quite a bit of it already. It's been used in hundreds of TV programmes. Not to mention Trainspotting. (When Ewan McGregor goes down the toilet. Through the shit to beautiful clean water.) As for Sylvian (coming later), as we know, Sylvian can be a pain in the arse with all his moaning, but ... I've written about this before, Eno and Sylvian, another all-nighter last year, never mind. In a blog this size, you're going to repeat your ... though smaller now, obviously, I've cut thirty thousand or so words. The British Library will still have them. I'm not bothered. The scholars will lap it up in the year 2525, if Man is still alive. / I wish I lived somewhere you could go out late at night, a-roving, without being molested or stabbed or whatever the kids are into these days. I used to lay in fields staring at the stars, like that scene in Fandango on the Giant movie set. Well, I'll tell you, I'm getting out of this fucking town once I've made my money. Off to Cornwall! (I might pop back occasionally to see how the rat-racers are doing.) It won't take long, the big money. I've got a good feeling about next year, oh yes, what with me knocking the (potential) hits out now like Burt Bacharach on speed. I know it's silly, the pop monkey business, but I like it, I ... / What else am I going to do? Earn a dull dull living, living like the dead, the dead? No thank you. I've got the T-shirt. (I feel so alive! That's my problem. Excess spirit! Up high, an aeronaut of ... come, make me smile.) / Starting to struggle. My eyes, so heavy. / I can't believe I've turned my laptop into a recording studio with free software. That would have been unimaginable twenty years ago. / It's going to be random thoughts until ... my eyes, close. / There's so much mess. I add to it, and I take it away. / Chaos, confusion. / I can barely type at this hour. I won't be editing this, just ch / ch / changes as I go. I mean, I've been going, and Sylvian has nearly finished, I need ... Chopin? No! Eno - again? No! Charlie Parker? Maybe. Davis? I've got ten or more Miles Davis albums, but none on my laptop. I could watch the last ten magical minutes of Fandango - or will I just get all melancholic, watching that? I'm willing to risk it. I am! Then I'll get back to the music. It's got to be Charlie Parker with Strings - ! Christ! I feel like I'm in New York in the Fifties, in some smoky dive. That's the power of music, that is! / I've made the right decision. / I used to have a saxophone, and I played it - badly. I wasn't committed though. The saxophone's too much like hard work. Ended up selling it to some brat, bastard. £220! It cost me £500! / Is it bedtime yet? / I had a £300 acoustic guitar as well. Years ago. Sold that for just over a hundred. Now I have a cheap Argos one. Strangely enough, I prefer it. Strange, eh? / Oh, I'm going to bed. Well, I'm already on the bed, but I've decided to get inside and turn out the light. I'm heading for dreamworld! (And a shaman's dreamworld is something to see, believe me.) Wish me luck. / Laters.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Carrhae Capital

Oh, Carrhae Capital. Ha! They say it's a new hedge fund that will be launched next month. They say Ali Akay is mixed up in it. I would like to believe them, but I don't trust anyone any more. Emerging markets? Maybe. $200 million raised? Oh, I don't know. It would be nice if I could believe the things they say.

It's all fiction. Characters running around getting involved in all kinds of absurd, imaginary shit. When will it end? Sadly, they/they have no understanding of reality. It's a shame. Nothing is real. Nothing exists. Not when I'm in this sort of mood. I'm in control, and if I want to put the kibosh on Akay's plans - or anyone's plans - I will. Who's going to stop me?

Why do I even write about them? Habit? / Do they deserve this sort of attention? I mean, the hedge fund managers, the bankers, and the other they who probably think it's not them I'm referring to. - / I'm so tired. I want to sleep. / But I know they'll wander into my dreams. / 'Leave me alone!' / Jesus! / What have I done to deserve this sort of attention from thought-forms and other trash? /

Those slashes come in when I'm breaking up. I could use ... like Celine. No, I'll stick to the /

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Sandradee Joseph fined and banned by the FSA!

Oh, not again! Not more fining and banning! What is it with these FSA freaks? Why are they always fining and banning people? They're obsessed! It's Sandradee Joseph's turn now. She was the compliance officer at Dynamic Decisions Capital Management, a hedge fund management company based in London (and Milan, we mustn't forget Milan).

'In the wake of the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the investment strategy adopted by DDCM for the fund it managed resulted in losses totalling approximately 85% of the fund's total assets under management. To conceal the losses, in late 2008, a senior employee at DDCM entered into a number of contracts, on behalf of investment funds managed by DDCM, for the purchase and resale of a bond (the Bond). Various investors raised concerns that the Bond was of doubtful provenance and legitimacy, and DDCM's Prime Broker resigned as a result of its concerns. Joseph failed to consider the reasons for the Prime Broker resigning and despite being aware of the investors' concerns about the Bond she failed to properly investigate those concerns or act upon the information.' More, than is healthy.

My God! Was she supposed to have eyes in the back of her head? How was she supposed to know what the goddamn prime broker was getting up to? And did she really have the time to investigate stuff or act upon information? Life's too short for that shit, surely? Investors? Don't get me started on investors. They're always concerned about something, aren't they? They're a bloody nuisance, if you ask me.

_________________________


Music update:

It's like shooting fish in a barrel, this songwriting lark. I came up with a new piece of music yesterday. It's not finished yet, but I'm feeling very positive about it. It's more melodic than Gilly Marie. I need a bridge and some lyrics now.

I have to say that my pride is starting to kick in a bit, and this is becoming about more than just making money. I've set myself a target. (Yes, I like targets.) I want to write fifty pop songs within the next ten years. And: no album tracks. Hits or nothing! Death or glory! Eh? No! Hits or nothing! For fuck's sake, it's not a matter of life and death. This blog is a matter of life and death.

Anyway, no more updates!

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Michael Heseltine says Britain will join the euro

Me? Do you know what I say? I say the moon will turn into a lump of cheese. Seriously, I can see it happening, because - just like Heseltine - I'm a bit of a seer.

Apparently, Heseltine is an adviser to David Cameron on economic growth. / An adviser? Brilliant! I'll have some of that. I'm going to advise Dave about the moon. In fact, I'm going to suggest that he fucks right off to the moon and takes Heseltine with him.

These are just the sort of people we need running the country. I feel so secure. Of course, they're better than the last lot of crooks and fantasists, but that's not saying much, is it?

Actually, I might head for the moon, myself. Stop the world, I want to get off!

_________________________


Right, this subject and these characters are beneath me. (Beneath everyone, let's be honest.) I, er ... sod it! I'm going to play my guitar. Laters.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Garfield M. Taylor charged by the SEC with conducting a multi-million dollar Ponzi scheme

These Ponzi schemes, eh? Will there ever be an end to them?

'The SEC alleges that Garfield M. Taylor lured primarily middle-class residents in his community with little to no investing experience to invest in promissory notes issued by his two companies that engaged in purportedly low-risk options trading. Taylor urged investors to refinance their homes and use any available means to invest, including their personal savings and retirement funds. He promised returns as high as 20 percent per year and falsely assured investors that their investments would be protected by a "reserve account" or that he would employ a "covered call" trading strategy that would not touch the principal amount of their investment.' More, than is healthy.

Returns as high as 20 per cent? Some of these people must have been living in a dream world. 20 per cent! In their dreams 20 per cent! But that’s the American dream - no, it's a worldwide dream, an international dream: easy money! / Dear reader(s), there isn't any easy money, not anywhere. I should know, I've looked for it. In the desert, rolling in those mystic sands. Up, up, high in the sky, floating. In the depths of hell, really suffering. And, oh, in my heart, aching. In my subconscious, too, wandering, even! (The first place anyone should look, frankly.) I still haven't got two pennies to rub together. But I live in hope, just like all those lovely middle-class souls who were allegedly ripped off by Mr Taylor.

_________________________


The dream. Do you know that Colonel Sanders didn't get started on his dream until his was sixty-five years old? It's true. He spent two years travelling around America trying to get restaurants interested in his chicken recipe, and he was turned down 1,009 times before someone accepted the deal he was offering. Now, that's hard!

[So, pretend you're dead to get ahead. Imagine you have nothing left to lose. You're a machine. Yes, you are a monster, a killer. Oh, what can stop you? Nothing can stop you! You are Scarface. / Those smug little commie pricks with very comfortable lives? No problem. They can't touch you. They don't know what a dream is! Everything has been handed to them on a plate by their rich parents. So fuck them - in their ears. You're the fortunate one. You are the one who has to struggle. You are the one who has to go from nothing to something. One day it will all make sense. You must not be afraid. You must not give in. Your unfair advantage is your spirit. Think of Joan of Arc! If a teenage peasant girl can lead her country's army to victory in battle, anyone with a dream, a vision, can do anything!]

Thursday, 17 November 2011

The 20 greatest pop songs of all time

According to me, that is. I've excluded songs that are too soulful, too long, too complicated, too intellectual, or just not "poppy" enough. So, nothing too "rocky" then. (I may have bent these rules a little bit.)


[20] - Fire Brigade (The Move)

The lyrics are absolutely ridiculous, but pop lyrics are allowed to be ridiculous. I've put this in twentieth place because of the brilliant melody. Try and find the song on YouTube. The best moment is around 1.25-1.40. (I get incredibly excited at this point. I won't say any more.)

[19] - Don't Worry Baby (The Beach Boys)

What's amazing about this song is the quality of the production. It's so smooth. (Compare it to the roughness of The Beatles' recordings around 1964.) Nice rhythm guitar. Sublime vocals.

[18] - Big Sur (The Thrills)

A massively neglected band (even by me, I only have their first album: the beautiful So Much For The City) The Thrills are/were an Irish band who were dropped by EMI after the poor performance of their Teenager album. They messed with their sound, which is a shame because Big Sur is pure Californian pop magic/genius/whatever.

[17] - Borderline (Madonna)

I've no time for Madonna. It's like Margaret Thatcher decided to become a pop star. But this is a brilliant song. It's quite melancholic, which can work well in pop songs. Other examples: Airport by The Motors, and Another Nail In My Heart by Squeeze.

[16] - Mrs Robinson (Simon and Garfunkel)

Folk music? I don't think so. This is a pop song. It has brilliant pop melody and rhythm. Goo goo g' joob.

[15] - Dancing Queen (Abba)

Influenced by Rock Your Baby, this is Abba's best song. Dodgy lyrics, but never mind. It's the melody and rhythm that matter. And the great piano part was an influence on Elvis Costello's Oliver's Army.

[14] - Maybe I Know (Lesley Gore)

I don't know anything about Lesley Gore. I just know I love this song. Jeff Barry was involved in the writing of it. More of him later. Some nice handclaps. Handclaps are always good.

[13] - Baby Love (The Supremes)

Not a personal favourite of mine, but it can't be kept off the list. A lot of Motown songs could be put on the list, of course. More handclaps.

[12] - Sunshine Superman (Donovan)

I could have chosen Mellow Yellow or Hurdy Gurdy Man (too "rocky"?) but I chose Sunshine Superman. Very cool. I bet Donovan wore shades when he was recording it. (By the way, I can't listen to Atlantis without seeing Robert De Niro stamping on someone's head.)

[11] - I Want To Hold Your Hand (The Beatles)

I didn't want to clog the list up with Beatles songs. This song is The Beatles at their most joyful. (And don't forget She Loves You.)

[10] - Friday On My Mind (The Easybeats)

An Australian pop band, which is unusual, I suppose. (Men at Work?) The best lyrics of any song on the list. A protest against the tedium of nine-to-five life.

[9] - All The Young Dudes (Mott The Hoople)

Bowie wasn't exactly a superstar when he decided to give this song away to Mott the Hoople. He's either a lovely guy or freakin' mad! My money's on freakin' mad.

[8] - Jukebox Jive (The Rubettes)

I'm not a fan of The Rubettes. But this is a wonderful song. Haunting melody and great feeling in the main riff.

[7] - Rock Your Baby (George McCrae)

A simple, groovy song - written by the guys behind KC And The Sunshine Band.

[6] - Suicide Is Painless (The Mash)

Is this a pop song? I think so - just about. Amazing melody. Quite emotional recording.

[5] - I'm Not Your Steppin' Stone (The Monkees)

Some might say this is a rock song. I say it's a pop song and a great one. So great that even The Sex Pistols wanted to record it.

[4] - I'm A Believer (The Monkees)

This was Neil Diamond trying his best to match The Beatles, and probably surpassing them in pure pop terms. As John Robb says in his book on The Stone Roses, the Monkees may have been a manufactured band but they had some of the best songs of the Sixties.

[3] - Be My Baby (The Ronettes)

Jeff Barry (again) had a hand in writing this, but it's really all about Phil Spector working at the height of his powers before he lost his mind and started pointing guns at people. Brian Wilson almost crashed his car when he heard it on the radio for the first time.

[2] - Louie, Louie (The Kingsmen)

The lyrics are so obscene, they had to be slurred. A total classic though. Hard to say why it's a classic. It has a coolness that exists beyond the words and music. Yes, that's why.

[1] - Sugar, Sugar (The Archies)

The ultimate pop song. (The Monkees turned it down, the fools!) It's pure, unadulterated pop. Simple music, simple lyrics, but there's something magical about it. Well done Jeff Barry (again) and Andy Kim!

_________________________


There's no room for The Human League's Don’t You Want Me. What about Soft Cell's Tainted Love? Or Donna Summer's I Feel Love? Damn!

Or OutKast's Hey Ya!?


Related posts

The 20 greatest Burt Bacharach/Hal David songs

The 20 greatest Lennon and McCartney "pure" pop songs

Greg Coffey's had enough of that MEM fund nonsense

He's leaving it all behind. And I don't blame him. Why did he ever get involved in it? It's Moore Capital's emerging markets fund, and it's rubbish. My mate Greg is going to concentrate on his GC Macro fund now. Oh dear. Out of the frying pan into the fire, eh? I don't like these macro funds. Never mind. It's his life. I'm not going to tell Greg how he should live his life. He's a top financial shaman, a veteran of the desert. He should have more sense than this. But what can you do? What can I do? I can't do anything. He's not a kid any more.

God knows I've made enough mistakes in my life. I guess I'm a bit more mature than Greg, more worldly-wise, but you only get that way by making mistakes, by being foolish. What did Blake say? 'Tyger feet. I really love your Tyger feet.' No! He said: 'If the fool would persist in his folly he would become wise.' He also said: 'Energy is an eternal delight, and he who desires, but acts not, breeds pestilence.' Which reminds me, I really must get on with writing those new songs. Oh, I know I wasn't going to mention music again, but I'm becoming obsessed. Fuck it, I am obsessed! In one song, Gilly Marie, I've discovered a transcendence I haven't been able to reach with over 1,400 blog posts. How? Why? Because the song is pure joy. It doesn't come from my personal problems, fears, nightmares, existential worries, and all the rest of it. It's because Gilly Marie is a pop song. The thirty or so songs I wrote in my youth were just like my blog posts - tortured. Also, to be honest, I must admit that the prospect of making some decent money for a change has cheered me up. Why should I suffer like Van Gogh? Do I really want the misery and death of Rimbaud: a tumour, then hobbling around on one leg, waiting for the end? 'So I'm back to the crutches. What difficulty, what a bother, what disappointment, when I think of all my travelling, and how active I was only five months ago! What happened to my trips across mountains, on horseback, walking, across deserts, rivers, and oceans? And now I'm a basket case! And I'm beginning to understand that crutches, wooden legs, and artificial legs are all a bunch of jokes, and all that stuff gets you is to drag yourself around like a cripple and never be able to do anything. And just when I had decided to come back to France this summer to get married! Farewell marriage, farewell family, farewell future! My life is over, all I am now is a motionless stump.' No thank you! I can do without that if you don't mind.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Lone Pine Capital has been having a rough time of it

'Of what, exactly?' Well, of "it". Can't you understand plain English? Let's move on. Please. Let's discuss Stephen Mandel. He's a strange one. (I think so, anyway.) "They" say that Mr Mandel is the founder, president, and managing director of Lone Pine Capital. Also, a portfolio manager at the hedge fund. All very impressive you might think - if you're the kind of person who's easily impressed. But I just have one question: why isn't Stephen Mandel the chief executive of Lone Pine Capital? What the hell is going on?! How can you be a founder, a president, a goddamn managing director (of all things), a fucking portfolio manager (if you can believe that), and not be the chief executive as well - to put the cherry on the cake, as it were? Or, or, or ... maybe, maybe, listen: he is the CEO, but he just hasn't told anyone, eh? Now, that would be clever. I can see how that would work. I mean, think about it. Lone Pine's funds have been having a rough time of "it" lately, the last quarter. The Lonely Dragon Pine fund lost 25.1 per cent! The Lone Cascade fund lost 14.3 per cent. And Lone Cypress is down 9.8 per cent, and Lone Kauri down 8 per cent. So, what do you do when angry investors come to your office with the obligatory pitchforks and torches? You say: 'Oh, sorry, the chief executive is out at the moment. Can you come back tomorrow?' And it's no use their asking who the chief might be. 'Oh, er, it's ... er, Mr Smith you want. No, uh, Mr Jones. Yes, Mr Jones. He'll be in tomorrow.' But of course tomorrow is another day. The outrage, the passion, dies. The investors wander back to their bedsits or trailers or whatever. Ha! You've got to take your hat off to Mr Mandel. He hasn't lasted this long in business by being a fool, has he?

Having written all that, I feel pretty confident that Lone Pine will recover. Every firm, every person, has a rough time of "it" every now and then. I'm speaking from experience. It can be a psychological thing. You can get trapped in a negative personality you've invented for yourself. (I've got the T-shirt.) But it's important you understand that you can reinvent yourself. You can go from being Prince Hamlet to Scarface - in an instant! It may be different with hedge funds, I don't know. However, I'm sure Mr Mandel will find a way without having to rely on the CEO trick - as ingenious as it is. (I'm still smiling to myself about it. What a character!) I am worried about the lonely dragon though. It's terrible being lonely. I'm writing from experience. Nobody loves you when you're down 25 per cent and almost out. But dragons are very resilient, aren't they? 'Are they? I didn't even know they existed.' Oh, they do in my reality, reader. The astral ... I won't go into it. I shouldn't, er ... / Remember this from 2010: 'The point I'm making is, these diamond dragons will find a way into the cold physical world; and they will be doing a damn sight more than advising. I mean, they're dragons! What do you think is going to happen? And they breathe fire. It's a fucking crazy idea!' - ? No? Well, it doesn't matter.

Finally, is there anything sadder than a lonely dragon? Probably not.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

John Pottage wants his £100,000 back

John Pottage used to be UBS's UK head of wealth management - once upon a time, as they say. / Anyway, everything was beautiful. He had an exciting and rewarding career. (Maybe he still has, I don't know.) The sun was shining on his life. Birds were singing in the trees outside his house. Probably outside his office window, too. And I'm sure he had a nice wife or a girlfriend. (Maybe he still has, unless he's into boys now, I don't know, and I won't judge.) But that was before the FSA rained on his parade. Yes, that was before the FSA thought it could steal his money! (Well, it was a fine. The FSA fined him. It's a technical point.) We're talking £100,000. That's a lot, ain't it? It certainly isn't chump change.

So, why did the FSA fine him? Well, you won't believe this. The FSA reckons that as a senior manager he should have been supervising the people beneath him. Er, er ... er ... / Oh my God! It's outrageous! Ah, absolutely, I mean ... / Apparently, listen, if you can hear me in your head, John's underlings - his slaves, basically - were getting up to all sorts without his knowledge. Oh - oh, was he supposed to have eyes in the back of his head then? Jesus! Has anyone at the FSA ever had a real job? You know, a job where you need to get results and make money. I give up with these people, I really do. Christ! I'm the world's foremost financial shaman. Do I know what every other financial shaman (and money mystic) in the world is doing right now? Well, yes, I do actually because of my powers, the great powers I possess. But you can't compare John Pottage to me. (You'd be mad to try. Honestly.) John is an ordinary man, and a mere banker. I'm practically a god these days, a serious force in the cosmos. John may have been a senior manager but how would he have known that his little monkeys were trading in an unauthorized manner?

Well, I'm sure it'll all come out in the wash, at the tribunal, I mean.

_________________________


Music update:

I was never much of a singer. However, my voice seems to have changed. Rather alarmingly, I sound like Mick Jagger on my recent rough demo. Never mind. I suppose it could be worse.

I played my guitar for a few hours yesterday. I didn't write any new songs. I learnt to play In the Summertime by Mungo Jerry though. It's not much of a consolation. I'm worried it may take quite a while to write two more songs of the quality of Gilly Marie. But it better not. I need them before Christmas, so I can start approaching music publishers after the holidays.

I'm hoping to surpass Gilly Marie - eventually. If you look carefully at my blog, you'll see that I've raised my game year on year. That's because I'm never satisfied. If I spend the next five years working on new songs I know my life will be transformed by the end of that period.

This will probably be the last update. I shouldn't really mix music with whatever this is ... . / Maybe you'll hear a song of mine on the radio soon. So, er ... watch this space. No, er, listen to that space, over there -

Monday, 14 November 2011

Democracy abandoned in Italy

Right, a bit of politics. Someone by the name of Mario Monti is taking over as prime minister of Italy, in a sort of technocratic coup d'etat. There are some idiots who think this is a good idea. But this sort of thing is never a good idea and there will be consequences, I'm sure.

Will it spread? Are we all to become slaves in a wonderful new Europe, a communist/fascist paradise? Well, it's not for me. Yes, you can count me out. I guess I've just got too much spirit, too much personality, too much colour. The people in favour of "this sort of thing" all seem incredibly dull and grey, don't they? Wouldn't chaos - and even war - be better? At least you would feel alive. Or am I coming over all macho and Hemingway now?

I'll get me coat ...

_________________________


I'm still here. / Let me write about something a bit more cheerful. No, not finance. (Fuck off!) I mean: music.

Gilly Marie. I've listened to my new song close to a hundred times and I haven't been able to find anything wrong with it. It is - or will be - a total pop classic. I'm convinced this is a turning point in my life.

Okay ... I'm going to spend the rest of the day playing my guitar. See if I can come up with something else. Banks and hedge funds will have to wait until tomorrow. Laters, child(ren).

Sunday, 13 November 2011

So, I'm famous in Sweden ...

First Sweden, then the cosmos!

"Dessa heroiska norska day traders kämpade mot maskinerna och slog dem i deras eget spel. De besegrade Timber Hills automatiska handelssystem. Priset de betalade var att åtalas och dömas för att ha manipulerat marknaden. Jag hoppas att Christian Stenberg får sova på natten. Han är den norske åklagaren som tog maskinernas sida mot den mänskligheten. Hans namn kommer att leva i skam!" skrev bland andra Michael Fowke på sin blogg Money is the way.

Well, I'm sure it makes sense to someone.

Hello, Sweden, welcome to my world ...

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Bunga, bunga

It's all going bunga, bunga in Italy, whatever that's supposed to mean (or maybe the situation has got better, or worse - how would I know?) I'm all bunga, bunga, myself, at the moment. Bunga, bunga, all over the shop, truth be told, but I'm not complaining.

Italian bond yields are rising, and falling. Up, and down. No one knows what will happen. Or why it will happen. The "experts" know nothing, and I know nothing. Well, no, no, no, I know: BUNGA, BUNGA. So give me some credit, I know something. When all else fails, we have bunga, bunga, don't we? Well, I do, RIGHT NOW. I can't speak for you, dear reader. I would like to speak for you. Actually, I would like to speak through you. Have you ever considered a career as a shaman's dummy? There's not much pay. The hours are terrible. But I can promise you "satisfaction". I can certainly promise you bunga, bunga - if you know what I mean. (I'm afraid I don't.)

_________________________


Why am I so bunga, bunga? Well, I've just finished writing my first song in twenty years and it's a classic - seriously. It's called Gilly Marie, and it's my tribute to the two fittest birds in finance. (Yes, I put their names together to make one name. I'm clever like that. Oh, and I only love one of them, as you know.) In fact, the song is so good that I'm considering slowing down on my blog (for a while) so I can put all my energy into writing more songs. I mean, why am I living in poverty, earning pennies from a blog, when I could be living the high life as a millionaire songwriter? And will someone please explain to me WHAT THE FUCK I've been doing for the last twenty years! Have I been in a coma?

Writing classic pop songs is only half the battle though. Apparently, not many music publishers accept unsolicited material these days. But where there's a will, there's a way, eh? 'If you will it, it is no dream.'

Holy Jesus! I'll tell you what I feel like right now. I feel like Scarface staring at that Pan Am blimp just after he's whacked Frank Lopez and Mel Bernstein. 'Maybe you can handle yourself one of them first-class tickets to the resurrection.' That's what I'll be telling anyone who crosses me from now on - including the demons in my soul. Talk about fired up! Christ! I'm fired up! Talk about bunga, bunga! Bloody hell! I've got bunga, bunga coming out of my ears.

_________________________


I feel good. Child, everything's going to be okay. Hopefully, the euro will burn, and the European Union will collapse - BUT everything will be okay. Trust me, everything will be bunga, bunga, in the positive sense of the phrase.

Bunga, bunga
Bunga, bunga
Bunga, bunga
Bunga, bunga

Is there a bunga, bunga song? There should be.

Bunga, bunga
Bunga, bunga
Bunga, bunga
Bunga, bunga
Can't get enough

Bunga, bunga
Bunga, bunga
Bunga, bunga
Bunga, bunga
Gonna bunga till I drop

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Galena Asset Management's expanding

Just like the universe. Or a big expanding sun within the universe. A big red one. (That makes more sense, to me.) / Cosmic. Absolutely. It'll be a giant. / Galena. - This commodity hedge fund is doubling its assets under management, and increasing the size of its current funds, and launching new funds; it's er ... / Nothing can stop Galena Asset Management. Nothing!

It's like expanding consciousness. / Seriously, it's easily done. You just have to open yourself up to the possibilities of life. Try it. / Hopefully, you'll ignore/avoid the black holes. / Galena is, , , : What Galena is doing - besides leveraging the unparalleled commodities knowledge within Trafigura to deliver absolute returns for hedge fund investors - we can do. / Actually, I, I, I ... do it all the time. I - I can't speak for you - (wouldn't want to, frankly); no one knows what you get up to - and no one's interested, believe me / I'm not lying. . . > (Did I mention that Galena is a subsidiary of the Trafigura Group, one of the world's largest independent commodities traders?) < [of course I did! / just then ] - Galena is expanding. / How BIG will it become? As BIG as it wants to. We've got to have a positive attitude. We must ignore/avoid the black holes. - Do you imagine Galena is heading for a black hole? - Yes? You're crazy! You're fucking crazy for imagining that! Haven't you learnt anything? - 'No, but, oh, it will expand, and explode.' - It won't fucking explode, you lunatic! / Jeremy Weir isn't an amateur. He wouldn't let Galena explode. The things you think of!

_________________________


The things I think of! / I wish I didn't have to think of them. But I have to think of them.

/

The things I think of Oh sometimes I have to think of the things I hate No I'm not joking The things I want to destroy The things I want to humiliate The things I want to drag to my personal hell Because I'm confused when I leave them alone So I have to bring them inside They are the animals I need in my mind But they make me ill They make me angry Those people are objects I suppose They are lonely with their pain However I try to make their pain a pleasure Actually I do more than try The truth is I succeed It's strange experiences they're after They want to be attacked They want to be broken into small pieces And that's good surely It must be good It's got to be good They come to the right person It's when I'm off the subject I do the most damage They know I want to fuck their world They know I despise them That's why they get so excited when they see me coming Their pains become pleasures Their crying turns to laughter They begin to see the comedy in everything

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Mark Bristow's in the gold space, (and it's nice)

Oh, it's very nice, indeed. Yes, it's very nice, to be: in a big safe haven cosmic gold head space when all the shit is going down in the markets. / There's no mystery. / Mark's no clown. / He won't back down. (No, he's no fool.) You see, uh, Mark knows the truth. And, er ... he knows what everyone's thinking. Ah ... supernatural[?] ! Yes! Oh, just like my, my, my, beautiful, gorgeous, sexy: ANGEL! But - no, no, no ... it's no, no, no, fool's gold, it's Randgold's gold, baby! / Ah, I, I, [Something, I, oh, Steve?] ... 'It's a barometer of just how bad the world economy is - and it's good for us.' (I might get some gold. And why not?) Let's see, er, Randgold Resources's [sss] share price up seven per cent yesterday. (God knows how much today, what with the mayhem and darkness - all over us, and in us.) Profits up, five times the last profits - I mean, the last quarter? / Very interesting! It's certainly worth considering. We'll join him, our wonderful Mark. / Gold will hit $10,000 an ounce. It's got to! I predicted it, three months ago. / But the unbelievers didn't listen to me. They should listen to me ... and start believing, the fools / are cold ... / dead flesh, dead bones, dead hearts, dead minds ... / just not appealing at all, so ... / Forget them! Move on! / Are you with me?

Right ... NOW, are you ready? (Not yet, eh?) / I, I - want (we want, be honest) gold space - at $2,000 an ounce! Yes? Then, ha! We'll go for it, all hungry for glory: $3,000, $4,000, up to $5,000, up, and up to $6,000, up, $7,000, higher, and higher, $8,000, higher, we'll touch the ... - $9,000, up, ah, and higher, $10,000! / Too far? We'll be right on top of our inner head spaces - truly fucked out of them?! No! Well ... / Will our minds cope? I, I ... don't know. How ... ? I'm not a doctor, child(ren). I'm an aeronaut of the spirit! / Surely, we'll be: cracked and laughing/crying, hysterically, in gold space at $10,000 an ounce; but isn't that what we want? YES! We want the gold at $10,000 so, so, so that our minds (all the words, the images, the thoughts, the emotions) will be set loose! Free at last! / Crazy like mad lovers for the first time! / Isn't that the dream? / The Dream, [?], my friend(s). (Are[n't] you understanding me?) Or, at least, one of them, for we have so many dreams, it's hard to keep count? / If [dreams] were ... never mind. If they were ... I'm not even prepared to - I, I ... need a hit of hot gold space ...

So ooo, are you with me? I mean, are you ready? / Is Mark around? I - I can't see him. I - / Oh, we ain't done nothing yet! So, get, get, get your cash out. / My coin jar - / How much? That's, er, it's, er - whatever the price, we'll pay. - Just over $1,750! (That'll do, for starters. We'll push -) It's a bargain! / We can invest in this space, and push it up - up! The world's failing, it's, uh, crashing, burning, just falling apart. And we're in a position to make things worse. - What can go wrong? / Am I a fool? Are you a fool, child(ren)? Er ... we're in bad company, I'll tell you that. Look! - Everyone's coming on now. Every bum alive wants a piece of the quaking cosmic gold head space! They're following us but, oh, we're not their freakin' steppin' stones, man! - they'll have to work for it. / Run! / Stop! / - They can't catch us, so, so, so ... let's hide in mystic night. / The morons! Just watch them. There they go, chasing phantoms, ha! / Good luck, losers! / We are in gold. $10,000 - and higher? Yes! Ah well, you, you ... never know. My theory? There's no stopping the fever once you're into it like this - ? And it's true what they say, it's so nice. / - Wow, our faces! - / Golden, golden, golden - that's us. / Unbelievable, and I, right here, we are, look! ... see the opening of the -, it can't -, I ... top of our - Jesus! / - Is that a million suns, that light?

_________________________


(Forget my theory.) / Let's leave the gold space alone, before we do ourselves some serious damage, eh? Or is it too late to avoid damage?

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

MF Global: "There was never any money that never was."

As official statements go, it's a corker! / Unbelievably, there are people who genuinely like to believe that $700 million of customer money is missing from MF Global, the futures broker that filed for bankruptcy recently. / Dear reader(s), maybe you've heard about it, (yes or - no?) It's a very popular story. (It is being covered by all the websites, apparently.) It's almost as popular as the Greek tragedy/eurozone nightmare. Me, myself, (it's me!) ... I've certainly heard about it. But I am not worried. Strangely, I have no concerns. / Why? / I'll tell you: I know money, I know money does not exist. - Shocking?! - Jon Corzine knows this as well. That's why we're such happy men. We have a lightness of spirit. Our minds float off - up, up and away, to the sky. Nothing can get them down, uh, our minds, er, our spirits, yes, our consciousness / ness / nesses. / And the customers? Dear oh dear [!] No, no, no. The customers are down in the dark, way down, down, down. And it can't be easy for them. No, it can't. / Yes, a question: is it better to believe in money that doesn't exist, or to not believe in money that doesn't exist? Er ... one for the philosophers, I suppose, to work out intellectually, in their big fucking heads. / I know how I feel about the matter. (I try not to think.) / But I think, this, and feel it, the ... the people of the world will soon wake from a dream. So, things will become clear for MF Global's customers - and for everyone. Let's wait a while. [Oh, for clarity, for truth.] / Please [!] / Obviously, if I were a customer of the broker, I wouldn't be so sanguine. / I have a few quid stashed away in a savings account. And if some absurd little clerk at my building society were to tell me that my money didn't exist, I'm not sure I would see the humour in it. But you've got to laugh. I mean, you've got to try to laugh. That is today's lesson, my child(ren). It is very difficult to laugh when the financial system is on the verge of collapse, but what else are you going to do - cry?

Dear reader, you're not going to cry? Oh, stop crying! / I know I call you 'child' but you're a grown man or a grown woman or maybe a bit of both. I ain't - really ain't, no [!] - judging you, I just want you to stop crying. Please, stop crying! / If only you could understand: we have nothing to lose! Are we the warriors of mystic night, out and about in the days of the slaves? Yes! So why are you crying?! This is an opportunity. / When it all falls apart - as it will - we'll be the ones in power because: we are the ones with the power already inside of us. / It's all psychological, yes? Spiritual? Yes! We have it, right now. The soul power. /

Raging fire,

/ We possess a great reality superior to all the world's pathetic realities. Banks will burn. Countries will burn. What do we care? / I don't know (I can find out, open your soul to me) how long, and hard, you've been committed. If you've been with me, so loyal, child [!], since the early days - oh blood and fire - the desert days, you'll not care for the passing of a vulgar age. / Money, it never was. We've been lied to - by snakes and rats! Everyone's dreaming of an impossible life. Now, we must destroy. Destruction will set us free. / Well, uh, boiling blood ... / This soul power, I have it, in spades. More than you; but what did you expect? I've suffered more than you. That's why I'm the leader. And no one wanted the responsibility, anyway. I had to take it. There was so much fear. However, I was not afraid. / So, dry your eyes, child. / AND / Keep on, on! / on! / following your Master. Paradise is waiting for us. Yes, I know the way.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Oh, er ... what's going on with Nicola Horlick's bees, and her honey?

I, I, well, I ... oh dear, uh, it's / ... fragmentation, chaos, and ... I blame the ... it's ... again(?!), I wish - I'm holding on for dear life, frankly - I knew, I ... my, I, she ... the thing is, I've always considered ... her, Nicola Horlick, the bee's knees ... (are they hairy?) ... no particular bee, no, I'm not ... any bee, really ... and: a bit of a honey ... all over me, ha, dripping, sticky in my mouth, yes, yes, ah ... and a close friend, but not of the angelic ... we've become - spiritually, mystically - quite close ... over the years ... in a platonic way, of course ... we've kept it professional ... it's all ... mutual respect, with us ... I admire, her, ff/financial ... whatever, and she admires mine ... so, you can imagine, I know you can ... you've got it in you ... how pleased I was ... when I discovered (help me out, reader(s), I'm struggling, drowning in these words!) ... that she was planning to launch ... er, an online fund supermarket or ... for British retail investors, as if ... they deserve it, no! ... helping them touch the fund managers, I ... who will touch them back ... by the name of beesandhoney.com ... please, some clarity, love of Christ! ... which I only discovered ... this morning - she didn't tell me herself, but I'm not upset - and ... I was very pleased ... for a while ... before I got upset ... yes ... my pleasure ... lasted all of five minutes ... until I discovered ... something else: the fund supermarket might not ... be going ahead, after all ... so, why not? I ... er, oh ... / those FSA ... bastards ... have a policy that could mess ... the whole thing up, it's like ... they've forgotten ... that I, me, this is ... I, me, I(!) protect my friends ... and destroy, destroy, burn, I ... burn, actually, the enemies ... of my friends, and ... even, uh, friends of friends, their enemies, even ... I enjoy it ... I, er ... it's a passion! ... I don't expect anything ... in return, for fighting ... an evil dead shark that refuses - simply refuses - to believe in death! ... like a, when will it ever learn? ... you can't, you cannot, keep ... keep biting ... bankers and fund managers, willy-nilly[?] ... without ... oh, a dead shark can't learn nothing, you kill it, and ... it insists on breathing! ... all, all the same ... incorrigible, it's just swimming ... through the waters of fucking money! ... Jesus, it ... it won't accept death, I'm ... it's, I, it's a nightmare, a fucking, yes, what ... ? / It might go ahead ... the bees, the honey, I,

_________________________


I, er ... all nervous and confused with these City women. I mean, the excitement gets too much. My brain goes haywire. My consciousness breaks down. I lose my grip. It has never been this bad though. (And Nicola is an old friend. Bizarre! Absolutely bizarre!) Let's chalk it up to experience, eh?