Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Should Barclays pay tax at all?

Or should it just burn the money? I haven't spoken to Bob Diamond in a while. (Isn't it funny how you lose touch with old friends?) Maybe Bob will read this. He used to be an avid reader. Then we fell out, over money - what else? So we didn't really lose touch. (I wouldn't mind touching him right now with an iron mallet.) It was a falling out. He still hasn't paid me. Half a million pounds, Bobby. Where is it?

There's some fuss in the news about Barclays avoiding tax. £500 million or something. It could be £300 million. Whatever. It's not a lot of money to someone like Bob, but HM Revenue and Customs could sure make some good use of it. However, I'm suggesting Barclays should burn the money to show its contempt for society. Better citizenship? No. Why bother? It's a waste of time and energy. Your average person in the street is determined to hate banks in the present climate no matter what. So burn the money, Bob! And none of that mystic burning that goes on forever. Burn it to ashes!

_________________________


I've calmed down a bit since the last post. I hope I didn't offend anyone. If I did offend you, lovely reader, maybe you should man up a bit. It's a hard knock life. If you can't handle a few rough words in a blog, you're ... sorry.

...

This is it. This. I'm glad you came here for the truth, dear reader(s), because it's unlikely you'll find it anywhere else. Certainly not on a financial website. Always talking crap, they never stop. Of course, they don't know. ETFs? LTRO? Fuck off, please. The lies we tell ourselves, the lies we like to believe, make civilized life impossible. Ain't no such thing. 'Here's a chart!' Stick it up your arse. Don't need it. I ain't gonna be smug about some fucking restaurant, a nice lunch, whatever. 'Care to look at the wine list, sir?' Who gives a toss, honestly? I'll burn it down to the ground with everyone inside. You better run. And I ain't gonna tell you about the new thing that's happening. 'Here's what's happening!' In my life. Your life. If you have a life. Nothing is happening. Live with it. Just live with it. Nothing has ever happened. You're deluding yourself. And I'm not gonna tell you about a bullshit interview with a fucking moron who admires my writing. As if I would believe that, no. This isn’t even a financial blog. Jesus. How many times do I have to explain shit to c**ts? Mood? Psychotic, actually. No, I don't know what I'm trying to achieve with this post. In fact, I ain't even going to continue with it. This ain't helping. It means nothing. But it means as much as anything else.

Who is Aje Saigal?

We have another one, I'm afraid. This one goes by the name of "Aje Saigal". Oh dear. And you guessed it, he's founded a new hedge fund. This one is called Nuvest Capital. And it's based in Singapore, which makes a nice change.

_________________________


I ain't got no enthusiasm for this "Aje Saigal". I wanted to write about the lies we all live with, so I will ...

In the next post ...

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Sometimes I despair ...

When I look at the country and see corrupt politicians ripping off small fortunes in expenses while condemning the poor to the misery of unpaid work in supermarkets and other businesses that are worth billions. / Even the dying have to be slaves. It's no fun being ill.

When I read the papers and see journalists either taking the side of the corrupt politicians or not even reporting the story - so I see nothing but stories about the ECB and other "important" stuff. / The poor don't matter. They never did.

When, as a capitalist sympathizer, I struggle to defend the bankers from the socialists, but somehow end up talking/writing like a socialist myself defending the poor from the corrupt politicians. / It's nonsense and lies I'm fighting. All I have is a laptop and the truth.

When I think of the unemployed, yes, the poor, and remember I've been there, and am still terribly poor, and could easily be there again, and wonder why I haven't committed suicide yet because sometimes life really isn't worth living. / I stick with it for kicks. Oh, I'm a masochist.

When I wake up in the morning, and when I go to sleep at night.

Who is Gerard Satur?

Just when I thought things couldn't get any worse I'm faced with the reality of a "man" like Gerard Satur. This time it's UBS that wants me to believe something outlandish. I'm being asked to believe that Mr Satur is the bank's chief investment officer for macro strategic trading in Australia. Normally, just that would be enough to send my blood pressure through the roof, but there's more. I'm also being asked to believe that Mr Satur is spinning away from UBS to form his own hedge fund, MST Capital. Yes, one more new hedge fund will be founded on this miserable, cold earth by a "man" who may actually be a monster dreamt up in another realm, for all I know. And people wonder why I like to drink a bottle of whisky a day.

Apparently, Jeremy Hooper and Matthew Mulcahy are mixed up in it, this MST nonsense. My only consolation is that they appear to be quite human. (Well, as human as you can hope any hedgie will be.) Maybe they'll be able to keep Mr Satur on a tight leash. I suppose it's possible they could have a civilizing influence on him. (But I won't hold my breath.) The rumour is, this Satur thing wants to raise half a billion Australian dollars. Half a billion?! God knows why Satur thinks he/it needs half a billion.

Satur. / Christ. What a nightmare! In the old days I would have blamed Jack Pickles for the existence of such a creature. Now whom can I blame? And let's not forget that I was Jack Pickles. (And I was not an other, unfortunately.) So, this is all the fault of "Michael Fowke". I'm responsible for the emergence of "men" like Gerard Satur and Ariel Bezalel. Indirectly, anyway. Oh God. And people wonder why I like to spend so much of my time sniffing glue.

Monday, 27 February 2012

Who is Ariel Bezalel?

Well, I'm sorry, but I'm starting to lose my sense of humour about this stuff. They want us to believe that this hellish creature - "Ariel Bezalel", ha! - is some sort of fund manager at Jupiter Asset Management. They claim he joined the firm in 1997, and that he manages the Jupiter Strategic Bond fund. (I blame Simon Somerville, myself. Oh, he has a cheerful face with a hint of melancholy, sure, but you need more than that these days. I hope I wasn't wrong about him.) Christ! Why do they think they can insult my intelligence like this? (And yours, dear reader.) It's beyond belief!

I've always been very supportive of Jupiter because it employs so many financial shamans. However, it is very easy to slip into arrogance. I'll say no more.

_________________________


I'll say no more. There is plenty I could say. There is plenty I could write.

Friday, 24 February 2012

We must destroy reality

We'll work for the destruction of reality. I think we're all tired of the things we have to live with: the objects, the sights, the sounds, the smells. We are the oppressed workers, and it's time for a revolution. We must destroy reality. I'm convinced we'll be successful. We have the commitment. Yes! We're committed because the destruction of reality is something worth working for.

Do you remember that I once said: slavery is not our destiny - ? Well, I still believe it. A lot of time has passed, but I haven't changed my attitude. (Have you changed yours?) I honestly believe we could become free gods in nothingness if we really wanted to. It is a matter of strength and desire. Negativity is the only thing holding us back. Oh, we know what we want. But are we strong enough? We must push ahead! We'll do away with objects. And there'll be no sights, no sounds, no smells. And the muck in our minds? It will go. Believe me, readers, children, we'll get rid of it.

We cannot be like all the others. They are utterly deluded. And they are sick. We must refuse to be a part of their world. These fools arrogantly presume we're happy to face the horrors of their world. (Horrors that they in their foolishness regard as delights.) But we are different. We'll never be satisfied with life as dirty pigs in the pigsty of reality. We are getting ourselves cleaned up. We are heading for freedom!

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Fahim Imam-Sadeque: 'Mikey, do you want to have an ice cream with me?'

Fuck off, Fahim, you twat! You're going to get us both in trouble.

I can't believe this guy! BlueBay Asset Management is already suing him for having coffee with a former colleague. (Intern: 'No, Fahim is suing BlueBay for withholding £1.7 million in fund units.' Piss off! I don't have an intern. And what are fund units when they're at home? Never mind.) Now he wants to drag me into it. And ice cream? What are we, seven years old?

Fahim sent me the "ice cream" email yesterday afternoon. We actually go back years, but I think I'm going to have to cut him loose now. He's become far too hot. Having coffee with an old colleague? Christ almighty! Who knows what else he's involved in?

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

I've put myself in a straitjacket

I've put myself in a straitjacket. And I'm wearing it in a padded cell. And I'm not happy at all. Because I have to share the cell with people who are insane. They even want to get inside my jacket. That's how sick they are.

I didn't invite them. I've put myself in a situation that I need to get out of. I had no idea so many jokers would be joining me. Who are these people? What makes them think they have anything in common with me?

They say they're friends. Oh, it's so ridiculous. How can they be friends? I shouldn't have put myself in the jacket. I shouldn't have put myself in the cell. I was asking for trouble, wasn't I? Maybe, one day, I'll look back on this and laugh.

But I'm almost crying now.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Capitalists Against Slavery

That's the name of the new organization I'm setting up. (Not really.)

Chris Grayling has just been on Channel Four news, trying to defend the government's disintegrating slave labour programme. He must be the new Comical Ali.

_________________________


This is for Grayling, Duncan Smith, Cameron, Clegg, and all the others: wanting people to be paid for the work they do doesn't make you a left-wing extremist, a socialist, a communist, or even a fascist. It makes you a capitalist. Do you understand that, dickheads? It makes you a capitalist.

Who are you?

Where are you?

Are you there?

Or are you somewhere else?

What are you thinking?

Are they your words, you're thinking with?

Or someone else's?

Are you breathing?

Or are you just pretending?

Are you alive?

These are all good questions. (When you're as bored as I am.) And I have others. But I'm not interested in the answers. I'm not even interested in the questions.

Why are you reading this?

What is wrong with you?

Philippa Gee says there are too many funds!

Well, it's what I've been saying, isn't it? This grumpy old woman knows what I'm talking about. And she agrees with me. She probably gets her ideas from my blog. I've been looking at her Philippa Gee Wealth Management website stuff. See if you can dig this: 'Money should be viewed as a gift. It should provide you with options and opportunities - reducing your worries, allowing you to plan for the future, offering you choices as to how you live your life. If you view money as a burden, then something has to be wrong with your head. You're mental. Maybe you should see a shrink.' I like this woman! Yes, she's grumpy, and old, but so what?

As for the funds, I really don't care how many there are. (What am I, the fund police?) But I need to write, so why not write: 'There are too many funds!' -?[!] I could go to my local bakery, and scream: 'There are too many cream buns in the shop window!' It would be just the same. Who cares, honestly?

We all need something to get excited about. To write about, to talk about, to complain about. But where is the silence? Where is the calm? Where is the emptiness?

One day, I'll write myself out. I'll talk myself out. I will think myself out. Then I'll be free. I'll be silent, and calm, and (truly) empty, and clean, and I'll be free. It's my dream.

Words are dirt. Thoughts are dirt. Noise. Sickening trash. It's all chaos. I understand this, and accept it. But look at all the smooth writers. They have no soul. They are fucking idiots. Literature is merely a nice middle-class career for them. Oxbridge, then maybe a job as an editorial assistant at The Times Literary Supplement. Why didn't they become lawyers or doctors? They could have done us all a favour.

Sorry, Philippa, if you're reading this. I just get carried away sometimes. And you're not that old. Cheer up, girl!

Monday, 20 February 2012

I want to ruffle Chris Ruffle's feathers, but ...

[This is rough. As rough as it gets.] ... I can't think of anything to say that would piss him off. Oh, what a shame! Never mind, eh? I'm just in a perverse mood this morning. Is he a bird? But that's nothing new. Can he fly? High in the astral sky, which I've banned, as you know. I'm just so in a perverse mood every morning, ain't I?

Chris Ruffle - for those of you who do not know and may not even care because you're arrogant and all wrapped up in your own nonsense - was in another life a veteran of Martin Currie Investment Management and, as a consequence, got the idea in his crazy little head that he should start a new hedge fund with his mate Ke Shifeng. And in this life, before the after. [As a consequence? Well, it sounded good at the time, thirty seconds ago.] My God! Is there anyone who isn't starting a new hedge fund? Now, that would be news!

Ruffle and Shifeng's firm is called Open Door Capital Group, for reasons best known to themselves. And their fund is called the China Absolute Return fund, for other reasons best known to themselves. And no one knows anything else worth knowing. Which is as it should be. If everyone knew everyone's business, 1.5 percent for management, 15 percent for performance, there would be chaos. It's just my personal opinion. (If there is a personal.) I have no proof that there would be chaos. I haven't researched it. I'm far too lazy for that!

_________________________


Damn! I seem to have ruffled my own feathers. How on earth did I ... ?!

When you lose control, words can go anywhere. And I never even had any control. Ever.

If I posted once a week, that would be a solution. I've achieved everything I wanted to achieve, here. All I can do now is add to the achievement. (I'll change my opinion about this when my mood changes.)

But music ... I'm not satisfied. I've written one and a half great songs. I need fifty.

After lunch, I'll be playing my guitar for the rest of the day.

Reading through this post, it isn't very polished, I know. But who gives a shit, man?! You don't know my despair. Don't judge me or I'll judge you, and you won't like it.


Update (4.30pm): I've been playing my guitar a bit. But I'm all rusty. It's my fractured shoulder that messed things up. Now I'm back to square one, it seems. Why is nothing ever easy for me? Other people seem to glide through life. With me, it's like wading through treacle, or shit.

Thursday, 16 February 2012

If Napoleon III sends his secret police after me, I don't know what I'll do ...

It'll be exciting, I know that. I need some excitement in my life. [Do I?] There's not much chance of it though, except in dreams. I mean, Louis-Napoleon and his thugs. (There might be some other excitement, if I'm lucky.) They're all dead. And Lautreamont's dead, and alive. And Rimbaud (dead, alive) lost a leg, of course. I wonder if he has it in the afterlife. I hope so. He was pissed off with all the hobbling around. You should read his letters. Very depressing!

If I'm lucky, there'll be some other kind of excitement. I need an adventure. [Do I?] I need to get away from my laptop, and my house, and just wander off somewhere. I could walk a million miles. But the further one travels, the less imagination one has - or, I don't know. I should stay at home. [Yes.] Close my eyes, and drift off. See how the other half live, the thought-forms. Oh, but I've seen it all before. The astral plane. Napoleon - the first one, the great one - gave me his telescope to watch angels and demons, fighting. Tens of thousands of them on a battlefield. (He's actually a pretty decent chap.) And I played a game of noughts and crosses with King Arthur. However, you get bored of it after a while. Not the game, the plane. Or maybe I'll fall asleep, and sleep forever. One long dream! What's the difference? Life is one long dream, isn't it? When are we going to wake up? Will we ever touch the ultimate reality? No more dreams! No more visions! Let's get our hands on some reality, yes? Or - 'No!'

No, no, no. Yes? I don't know why I'm getting you involved, dear reader. You're probably into banks and hedge funds and all the other jazz. I can't imagine you have much enthusiasm for touching the ultimate reality. I suppose it all depends on who you are. You're either one of "them" or one of us. I don't even know who's reading any more. You could be a grey banker or a multicoloured mystic child. How would I know? It doesn't really matter. This is personal anyway. You shouldn't be reading this. (And you might be a banker who's a mystic child. There are a few about. More than a few, in fact.) The problem with me is that I'm so open.

Excitement is overrated. At least, my sort is. Did I really enjoy those nights of chaos in my youth with a spinning head and shaking bones? Or was I scared out of my massive mind? Visions of hell! What do you think?! Thank God for my astrologer! That's all I'll say. (Well, not all.) He did the healing. Told me I was playing with fire. Where would I be without him - today? In the shit, no doubt. Exactly where I am now. Today! Where will I be: tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow? Who knows?! Character is destiny. But he described my angel to a tee! What am I supposed to think? And what am I supposed to do? He wasn't even fazed by the swastika on the palm of my hand. Well, he's a Hindu. Why would he have been put off by a swastika? It means good fortune. I was a Hindu for a time. I'd recommend it to anyone. A lovely selection of gods. Gods for all occasions!

I don't know if I'll ever get my mystical hands on any of that ultimate reality. It's very elusive stuff, you know. Maybe I should be content with the cold, dirty world. 'You're having a laugh, ain't ya?' No, dear reader, I can assure you I'm not. If I were a warrior in the world, no one and nothing would ever be able to stop me. Obviously, I'd need an iron will unencumbered by the words and images in my head. 'Oh, I don't like the sound of this!' Will you stop worrying?! Please! I haven't made a decision yet.

The question is: will I ever make a decision? Or will I just float on the waters of life, on, on, on, blown around by idiot winds?

Everyone's got it in for Fletcher Asset Management

Well, not everyone. Three pension funds in Louisiana. That's about it. Oh, and the SEC is investigating, but I'm not sure we should be worried about that. If the SEC is anything like The Dead Shark That Refuses To Believe In Death it's just being nosy.

The rest is ... not silence, exactly. Nothingness, I suppose.

_________________________


I've been in a funny mood all week, haven't I? I can't concentrate on hedge funds and banks and God knows what else. Remember all my talk of fresh starts? What a joke! I have no self-control. I'm like a big blog monster. Does that make any sense?

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

This is nothing

Get used to it. Live with nothing. I'll rub your nose in it. I was looking for another (oh, another!) new hedge fund to write about, then I heard a voice: 'Mikey, be brave. Write about nothing!' So this is it. This is nothing, and not for the first time. But you have to be brave each time. It doesn't get any easier.

I'll let you in to a little secret, and not for the first time: everything is nothing. Everything! Nothing! And you don't have to be all that brave either. I was just trying to make it seem daring. But there's nothing daring about it. So, everything is nothing. If only they knew, all the others who imagine they're writing about something. Ha! What a comedy! You have to feel sorry for them, don't you?

Not too sorry though because they're fucking idiots, let's be frank. I'm not going to sugar-coat anything for these winners. Notice I didn't call them losers. You have to believe to win, and they believe. They think it's all worthwhile. Dear oh dear. If only they knew: there's nothing to win. We're all playing a losing game. So, they are losers, after all. I hope you're taking notes, dear reader(s). There's going to be a test later. Much later - when you're dead.

Frere Hall Capital Management

Oh, how exciting! There's another new hedge fund. This one is called Frere Hall Capital Management (obviously) and has been founded by Taimur Hassan. It's an energy commodities fund thing, oil and that, I don't know. It hasn't actually launched yet. We'll have to wait until the summer for the real excitement to begin.

I'm wondering though, seriously wondering. Does Taimur Hassan know Gilbert Saiz? Gilbert (Gil, really) was an oil trader at Goldman Sachs, and so was Taimur. Are they friends? This is important because Gil and I are bosom buddies, but he has never mentioned Taimur to me. Is there something going on behind my back? You would think Gil would mention a new hedge fund being set up by a friend.

You can't trust anyone these days. Maybe I'd be better off in my cave, alone. My blanket and the baked beans. The end is coming. Gil and Taimur and their sort will be swept away. I'm not saying that's what I want to happen, but it's inevitable.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

A square can never be a circle

And it's so bad, so hopeless, I feel I'm going insane. There's nothing more I can do to convince them.

They'll never go round and round. / Or maybe ...

You can give a dog a bone, but if the dog is dead ...

I'm waiting for time to pass. Fifty years would suit me fine.

They love what they know.

I want to be with my living friends, who aren't even alive. But not dead dogs. No, they are not dead dogs.

One day, I'll look back and be like a stranger to my(old)self, unless ...

Unless I keep going, unless I refuse to become discouraged. My friends know ...

They have seen it. And half the time it doesn't exist. My "they". (R, L, P, D.) I don't mean the squares ("they"s) that will never go round and round, all dizzy and delirious because it's new.

Dead dogs lie still. You can give them bones. Yes, but bones mean nothing to them. They are beyond bones.

I'm waiting for time to pass. I'm waiting for this to become old. When it's old, maybe they'll ...

You can lead a horse to water, and you can drown it. You can scare it first, then you can drown it. You can confuse it - if you like. Then you can watch it drown.

They love what they know. They're afraid the unknown will hurt them. (Will they drown in something new?) It's a shame that what they presently know is worthless.

One hundred years? Oh, by then they'll know what I've given them. And they'll love it.

Of course, that's not what I want. It's no use loving a one-hundred-year-old dead thing. What's the point?

It may even take two hundred years. God forbid! I have no faith. Can I speak to the living, please?

As Moody's threatens to downgrade UK ...

Michael Fowke says: 'Fuck this shit, man!'

The end is near. There's not much hope. It's every man for himself now. Every woman, too. And if it's not bad enough that Moody's is threatening to take away the UK's triple A rating, Warren Buffett has picked this moment to tell everyone that gold has no value. What a - I mean, if he wasn't such a nice old man, I would have some strong words for him. Fortunately, I've put all my money into baked beans.

And then there's Greece as well ... What a depressing world, eh? I think we need another Burt Bacharach song, don't you?

Monday, 13 February 2012

Great popular songwriters in the club

No, not pregnant. / I'm too depressed to write about finance today, so it's going to have to be music, I'm afraid.

I've been listening to Burt Bacharach a lot lately. I reckon he's written the music for roughly thirty classic pop hits. Which means he's in The Twenty to Thirty Club. I have a theory that nearly all great popular songwriters have written between twenty and thirty classics. In my opinion, if you can't write at least twenty you're not a great songwriter. And I think it's almost impossible for any great songwriter to write more than thirty. Only John Lennon and Paul McCartney have gone beyond this figure. I would put them on fifty classic songs each (working together and alone).

Songwriters in The Twenty to Thirty Club? This is according to me, remember: Burt Bacharach (with Hal David), Paul Simon, Elton John, Noel Gallagher, Prince, Jeff Lynne, David Bowie, Jagger/Richards, Ray Davies, Brian Wilson, Stevie Wonder, Neil Diamond, Holland/Dozier/Holland, Goffin/King. / Oh, and there's U2, Bee Gees, ABBA. Probably a few others.

Neil Young, Elvis Costello, Van Morrison, and Leonard Cohen are obviously great songwriters, but I wouldn't really classify them as "popular". Bob Dylan is the greatest of them all. He has written around a hundred classic songs, but only a handful could be considered popular, like Knockin' on Heaven's Door and Lay Lady Lay. It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding) is an awesome song, but you can't really hum along to it, can you?

No one's heard of me (yet), but I would put myself in The One and a Half Club. So, I've got a long way to go ... However, I'm gunning for Lennon and McCartney.

It's Valentine’s Day tomorrow! Here's another Burt Bacharach one for my angel.


Related post: The 20 greatest pop songs of all time

Friday, 10 February 2012

Halfway to paradise

I could be halfway to paradise. I wouldn't even know it in this hell. To wait for love is just to waste your life away.

This blog is a hell that no one understands. I should write those songs. All love songs - because I'm quite a romantic guy, really.

I'm not waiting until Valentine's Day. I live by my own rules. So here's a melancholic Burt Bacharach classic for my angel.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Stephen Hester: 'I'm an animal for the burning, and money does not drive me on.'

I've been speaking to Stephen Hester, chief executive of Royal Bank of Scotland - as if you didn't know. What, do you live in a cave?

This is what was spoken between us: 'Mikey, you're an animal. (Well, thanks, Stephen. That's a great way to start off.) Oh, don't get upset. You know what I mean. You're like me. (You're an animal?) Yeah. A commercial animal. I'm an animal for the burning, and money does not drive me on. You can dig that, can't you? (I suppose. It's why you're at RBS, and not some hedge fund. But -) Exactly. And it's why you're writing that half-arsed blog of yours. We're different, Michael. (Different from each other, maybe.) No, the others. We're different from them. (Well, I am.) Me too! (That's not how I remember it.) What do you mean? (That time you came to the desert. You were just like them, the others.) As I recall, I was burning. I had the animal thing. (You were pretty good at faking it. Ganesh said to me: "He's only interested in the money. He's not like us. He's like the others.") Ganesh? (The elephant god.) Oh yes. Whatever happened to him? (Retired. Sort of.) He was an animal, that elephant! (Obviously. Stephen, mate, we don't even burn that much any more. We've left the desert behind. Things are different now.) Was that Big Herb's decision? (No.) How is Big Herb? (Dead.) Oh. Things have changed. How does a god die? (A razor in the astral night. It's easily done. You've just got to have the will, and the ambition. I did it.) Oh. Are you a god now, then, a money god? (I'm working on it.) Jesus. And I thought - (And you thought you were an animal like me. A wild one. A creature for the magic that exists beyond money. No, Stephen, you're not like me. You're like them. You're like all the others. So go and get a job in a fucking hedge fund. You're not proving anything at RBS.) You're a hard man, Mikey, I mean, Mr Fowke, sir.'

I've got to be a hard man. No one knows the troubles I've seen. Yet I go on, and on, and on. I believe in the green light, the orgiastic future that year by year recedes before us. A lot of good it does me. Why must I suffer so, when lesser men are living on easy street? It's a mystery. It really is!

John Paulson has a pop at The Hartford

Oh. "The Hartford". Yes. Whatever the fuck that is. Well, my intern tells me it's one of the biggest insurers in the US of A: The Hartford Financial Services Group - if you can imagine that. (Can you imagine? Ha! It's a funny old world.) And Liam McGee is the chief executive. Our John had a go at him yesterday. Really put the boot in. And I don't even have a fucking intern. Let's have it right. Do I look like a slave driver, the sort of monstrous employer who would get a soppy middle-class kid (straight out of the LSE like all the other c**ts, no doubt) working for nothing? I'm a humanitarian, and I'll break the legs of anyone who says any different.

There was a time ... when the world was young, and not quite so funny. Ah, the apple trees. / Believe me, I used to like John Paulson. Seriously. Used to like John Paulson a lot because he was a man who made a lot of money. Now, unfortunately, he's a man who loses a lot of money, and I'm not sure I like that. So, am I saying I hate John Paulson's guts? Oh, have I turned against him? No, no, no. I am willing to give John another chance. However, he's not going to solve his problems by attacking Liam McGee. Our Liam is like a helpless child, a baby. The Hartford may need to be split up, may not, I don't know. There are "significant challenges". Well, that's business. But our Liam is a baby. No, he's a dove. Well, he's soft, actually, like a teddy bear. You wouldn't kick a teddy bear in the face when it was down, would you? Of course you wouldn't! You wouldn't set fire to a dove's wings. You wouldn't mess with a baby's toys. 'Yes!' Oh, well. What is wrong with you?! Are you sick? More to the point: is John Paulson sick?!

_________________________


You probably think I'm sick, dear reader(s), for writing like this. Well, I'm sorry but it is my duty to drag you out of the jam of the awful reality you find yourself in. Not that you're aware of the jam. It would be more accurate to say that I found you ... in it. Just like Lautreamont! God has given me a great consciousness. What am I supposed to do? Waste it on the unexamined life?

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Atwater Capital is closing down

Atwater Capital is/was a hedge fund founded by Lee Pollock and Kris Green. I wonder if they're having a closing down sale. There might be some cheap money on offer. It's unlikely though. Lee and Kris will probably return any money to investors. That's what normally happens in these situations.

It's a sad time, but I think the guys will move on from this and become successful somewhere else. Hedge funds are born and then they die. To every thing there is a season.

_________________________


Music update
:

No, nothing happening. Just nothing happening. It's hard to work on two things at once. Duchamp gave up art to concentrate on chess. Maybe I should take a leaf out of his book. Of course, he worked on Given in secret for twenty years. Time well spent, I say, because Given is off the fucking hook as a piece of art. You won't hear any art critics expressing themselves in such a fashion, but it's true! I reckon Damien Hirst would agree with me.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

'UBS isn't paying any bonuses to anybody.'

That's straight from the horse's mouth, that is: my dear friend and fellow financial shaman and UBS investment banking boss, ladies and gentlemen, Mr Carsten Kengeter.

Yes, indeed. [Oh no, not "indeed"! I'm just hoping it's not the word du jour. That would fucking finish me!] Er, Carsten phoned me a couple of hours ago, angry, totally upset. Why? 'Oh, why?!' Well, dear reader(s), read what he said to me and then you'll find out why, won't you? 'Mikey, what more do they want? I've made the ultimate sacrifice. I've given up my bonus. Now I'm telling everyone at UBS: "Give it up! Do it for love." (Give up their bonuses for love, Carsten?! Are you sure? In an ideal world, yes, but -) Understand this: UBS isn't paying any bonuses to anybody. They can whistle for their money. (Can I quote you on that?) Of course you can. (Great! Thanks. Straight from the horse's mouth. An exclusive! This'll bring the traffic -) Mikey, I ain't a fucking horse! (Well, it's an expression, Carsten.) I know how you like to twist things. I don't want you making me look ridiculous. (It's not as if you're the horse, anyway, is it? Sergio Ermotti is.) Sergio isn't a horse. You see, this is what I'm talking about. If he reads your blog, I'll get the blame. He'll say I was egging you on. You were like this in the desert, Mikey. When are you going to grow up? (Let's focus on the bonuses. Your people aren't charity workers, man. They need money. How are they going to live?) They have money! These are some of the richest people in the world. So how much is enough? How many cars can you drive? How many houses do you need to live in? (Well, me, I haven't got a pot to piss in, so -) No, not you, them! (I don't know. You're confusing me, Carsten. This isn't a part of my teaching.) Bullshit! I remember you saying we'll have to transcend money one day. (Yeah, once we have enough.) We have enough, Mikey! (You do, maybe. I never went into banking.) No, you've always been aloof, detached, pure, so spiritual, the true mystic. I'm the grubby, filthy, dirty one. I turned my back on the desert, and for what? A career, money, fine wines. I'm ashamed to call myself a shaman. I don't know how you can bear talking to me, Michael. I must disgust you.'

Jesus Christ! Such self-loathing! I had no idea Carsten was suffering like this. And doing it for love? The love of what, exactly, UBS? Or - mankind?! Surely not! Oh, I hope Carsten hasn't become a socialist.

Sal Naro has this Coherence thing going on

A new asset management thing, this Coherence Capital Partners, and Sal Naro is the chief executive. He's such a great guy.

So, Sal Naro, he phoned me yesterday, and he said: 'Mr Fowke, sir, Coherence Capital Partners seeks to exploit opportunities in bonds, loans, CDS, index and structured products across the fixed income markets. Coherence Capital expects to generate returns utilizing capital structure arbitrage, spiders, event driven and relative value investments as well as theme-based momentum trading. Coherence Capital Partners is composed of market professionals with deep backgrounds in investment management who aim to deliver consistent, superior risk-adjusted returns based on a unique investment platform and extensive knowledge and experience in the fixed income markets.'

I put the phone down. Sally is a great guy, but I can't understand half of what he says.

Now, if I were Sally - just imagine, please, dear reader, at least try - it would have gone something like this: 'Mikey, oh boy, I've got this new asset management thing, man. I'm, like, the big chief, the big boss, and the big cheese, and I'm really excited because - er, we, that's, er, me, without a doubt, but also Vinny Mistretta, Bobby Del Grande, and Davy Clean, and I'll think of assorted other freaks later, I'll get back to you on this - we're going to be exploiting opportunities in bonds, and loans, and shit, yes, but also, get this, in our souls, yeah, in our minds, our consciousness nesses. That's the way to generate returns, as you know. The way you've been teaching all these years. I mean, what are we, a bunch of cold-eyed finance monsters with no feeling for the finer things in life? Is that any way to make money? It's by getting out there in the cosmos and inside in the inner spaces that you learn and grow and make the changes that need to be made in this industry. Because none of us are getting any older, you know. We're eternal spirits. Our bodies will die. Yes, I've come to terms with it. But the best part of us will live on. That's my belief. I know you believe it, too.'

Well, I would start off like that, then get into the nitty-gritty. If I were Sally, of course. Yes, Sal Naro. I'm not saying he's not a great guy. I would never say that. But ...

Monday, 6 February 2012

The FSA says most people are too scared to make risky investments

The dead shark, the FSA, says it, in some consumer awareness survey - which I have absolutely no desire to take a look at because I am aloof from such things. Is this the whole truth though? Who cares?! Not I! And not you? Will we listen to a dead shark that swims through the oceans of our minds as if it were still alive? Is that what we've been reduced to? Are we sad enough? Is this where the never-ending financial crisis has led us? Utter sadness? No! It is time we found our inner strength. (I know we have it. We must find it!) Are we slaves or free men? Are we mice or women? Are we dogs or hermaphrodites?

Nietzsche told us that we must take risks. He said that we must build our homes on the sides of volcanoes! Live dangerously! Obviously, I'm not advising that myself. Nietzsche was a lunatic. (Literally. All because of someone whipping a horse. He even fancied his sister, the sick fuck.) However, I think it's okay if we have a few risky investments in our portfolios. Oh, one or two, just to get the blood coursing through our veins. Let us live! But not dangerously.

By the way, I don't have any investments at all. I made a decision a few years ago that I didn't want to be like those dodgy journalists who have their fingers in all sorts of pies while writing about them. That's not ethical. I'm a very ethical man, you know. Well, when I'm not prowling the streets with my razor. But that's another story. And I'm not even a big fan of pies. It's Cornish pasties with me.


Note: you can get hermaphrodite dogs.

Friday, 3 February 2012

Has GLG's Philip Pearson ever been on Facebook?

Take a look at this absolute nonsense. Absolute nonsense, I say! Mr Philip Pearson manages the GLG Technology Equity fund. Well, this absurd man has got the idea in his head that Facebook is somehow undervalued. He probably imagines that it's worth a trillion dollars. Ha! Oh, let me say it again (with rather less respect): has Phil ever been on Facebook? I've got some loose change in my pocket. I'd be willing to buy Zuckberg's - or whatever his name is - little website for £2.37. That is all it's worth, I'm afraid.

Seriously, what's all the fuss about, really? I was on Facebook for a short while. It was a complete waste of my time and energy. I hardly knew any of my friends. The few friends I did know I didn't actually want to know because they were the worst kind of idiots: the sort of people who enjoy talking about 'last night in the pub' - or their vulgar holiday in Tenerife.

Maybe I have the wrong attitude. I suppose you need to be the friendly type to make the most of Facebook. I'm about as friendly as Vlad the Impaler with a headache.

£2.37? Well, I'll say one thing for Facebook: it's worth more than Friends Reunited.


Update: 'GLG's Philip Pearson, for one, is blown away by its attraction to advertisers.' Ha! It's beyond belief! These people ...

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Lucas van Praag is living in one room with pages of the Bible plastered everywhere

All over the walls, amazingly. And there are about fifty crucifixes placed at strategic points. He's not in any danger though. Well, I mean, he won't be, unless he talks. Is he stupid/mad/reckless enough to write a book about his time as Goldman's PR chief?

It'll come as no surprise to you that Lloyd has been on the phone to me. This is what was spoken between us: 'Mikey, great f**king news about Altana, eh?! (I knew you and Lee would work it out, Lloyd. Brilliant! But I suppose you're calling about Lucas, aren't you?) Oh, you know me so well. Yeah, we had to let him go. All that vampire squid stuff? F**king forget about it. We don't need publicity like that. (That wasn't his fault, surely?) We don't want anyone talking shit about us. Anyone, you hear? (What about me?) Well, it's a good job you're a friend of the bank. That's all I'll say. (Do you think Lucas will cause any trouble?) I don't know. We might have to gag him. (A gagging order, yeah?) No. (Oh, I get you, Lloyd. A job for Viniar.) Yeah. Or you could handle it. All subtle, obviously. Send a few demons over to his place. (Not with the Bible plastered everywhere, and the crucifixes.) What?! (I had a look earlier, with my astral eyes. Lucas is holed up in his bedroom like a born-again nutter.) I thought you didn't do the astral thing no more, Mikey? (I like to keep my hand in.) Very sensible.'

No, I won't be able to get in with demons. If Lucas van Praag does decide to write a book about Goldman Sachs, Viniar and his thugs will have to take care of the situation. Personally, I'd rather face the demons.

Goldman's Petershill fund takes a piece of Lee Robinson's Altana

Ah, I just love happy endings. I'm glad Lloyd and Lee were able to kiss and make up. Well, after the razors, of course. It could have been worse, far worse. We all know what an animal that Viniar is. I mean, Viniar didn't get the contract - which was cancelled anyway - but when Lee went to New York he had to let all the executives slash at him, and Viniar was out of control by all accounts. Lloyd had to slap him around the face, such was his bloodlust.

However, all's well that ends well, eh? Lee Robinson can get on now with running his hedge fund without fearing every knock at the door or shout in the street at three in the morning. You see, when Goldman invests in you, dear reader, you get peace of mind. You're under the bank's wing, as it were. There's no chance of your accidentally falling down an elevator shaft. No one will find you after you’ve hanged yourself with the belt from your trousers. Because Goldman Sachs looks after its people. It's why the bank is so successful. If you're on the inside, you're safe and free to make as much money as you want. But if you're on the outside, you never know what's going to happen. It's a dangerous world, a cold world, my friend. Someone can poke you with the tip of an umbrella; the next thing you know you're lying in the gutter and gasping for breath as the poison takes hold, and passers-by are just ignoring you like you're discarded garbage. Is that what you want?

Here is the Goldman Sachs website.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

If I were Dracula for a day ...

Oh, don't worry, I'm not actually going to write on this subject. I just wanted a crazy title. But what would I do? Well, during the day I'd get a bit of kip in my coffin. Then in the night I'd go out looking for women to bite. So, nothing out of the ordinary, really. Basically, I can't think of anything to write about.

I'm listening to Japan's Exorcising Ghosts. It's decent stuff, but my main complaint against David Sylvian has always been that he doesn't have a sense of humour. The album should have been called Exercising Ghosts. You know, ghosts doing sit-ups, star jumps, and the like. A missed opportunity, I think. Such a shame! Never mind. I will say that Sylvian is a neglected songwriter. Night Porter is off the fucking hook, to use a vulgar expression. Yes, so vulgar. But my words won't bother Sylvian. Remember, this is Dave Batt from Catford we're talking about. He's not as arty-farty as he makes out.

OutKast now. Even better! This is more like it. (Sorry, Dave, mate. I can only take so much musical misery when I'm down already.) There's a Dracula song, too!

As Fred Goodwin is stripped of his knighthood ...

Michael Fowke says: 'Let's strip ALL the bankers of everything they have. Let's take away their honours, their bonuses, their salaries, their houses, their cars, their nice suits, their watches, their wives, their husbands (eh?), their girlfriends, their boyfriends (whatever), and even their children. Then we can all live in North Korea and fucking starve to death.'

Michael ... Oh, me. I'm Michael Fowke, the world's foremost financial shaman. It is I? Well, obviously. / Let's get another thing straight. I'm certainly no fan of Fred Goodwin. He wrecked a perfectly good bank. However, he hasn't been charged with any criminal offence. The Dead Shark That Refuses To Believe In Death - the FSA, for those of you who aren't familiar with my absurd use of language - hasn't banned or fined him. Yes, Mr Goodwin is an arrogant fool. But, dear reader, can you name one knight who isn't?

Ex-knight, now. / So, what does the future hold for Fred? Who cares?! Maybe he'll fade into obscurity with his money. It'll still be wine, women, and song. That's how the other half live even when they're disgraced. But if Fred wants to redeem himself, I suggest he goes into exile like Lord Byron. He could die fighting for Greek independence. Against the Germans, though. Not the Turks.