Wednesday 26 September 2007

London Stock Exchange looking for new name

The London Stock Exchange will change its name after its merger with Borsa Italiana next month.

Susan Flint from Bad Moon Investments says, 'I think the new name should be something mystical to reflect the fact that the City of London is now leading the world in mystical capitalism.'

Well, I can tell you all that the LSE has approached me - in the hope that I may have a good idea for the new name. I told them I'll let them know. I'm a busy man at the moment and I can't really go around dreaming up new names for stock exchanges. Sorry, that's just the way it is.

Monday 24 September 2007

Morningstar analysts find new way to measure a fund's performance

Analysts at Morningstar have found a new way to measure the performance of a fund. With the money-weighting method the average return to the asset flows in the fund are calculated.

This is wonderful, but I can think of a far better way of doing it, using crystals. All you've got to do is hold a crystal in your hand and then meditate on the fund in question. I've found that if the fund is doing well, the crystal will turn blue and even make a very low humming sound. If the fund has performed badly, the crystal will turn red and quite often start vibrating. These results can be achieved in less than a minute.

I tried to speak with Morningstar's managing director, Don Philips, last night, hoping that he would take an interest in my methods, but he did not return my calls. So be it. You can't help some people.

Paul Craven joins Goldman Sachs

Paul Craven has left Pimco and joined Goldman Sachs Asset Management. He is now head of UK and Irish institutional business at Goldman.

The interesting thing about Mr Craven is that he was admitted into the Magicians' Circle in May this year. Unfortunately, this is not quite the same thing as being a financial shaman or money mystic. I hope the bosses at Goldman Sachs realize this. Otherwise, it could all end in tears when they find out that Mr Craven can't predict the future.

Friday 21 September 2007

Goldman Sachs: third quarter earnings £1.4 billion

While Wall Street banks such as Bear Sterns have seen a drop in quarterly earnings, Goldman's earnings this quarter have risen 79 per cent to £1.4 billion. This is the bank's third-best profit in its 138-year history.

This makes me wonder. Apparently, Goldman Sachs gambled on prices of securities tied to home loans declining. Are they employing money mystics? I'm pretty sure that no financial shamans work for the bank yet, but I'm not sure about the mystics. Actually, I've never really explained what the difference is. Financial shamans are superior to money mystics. They have more advanced skills and stronger links with the spirit world. They are the bridge between this world and the next. Money mystics merely make financial/stock predictions and do not have the authority to deal with high-ranking spirits. For example, a money mystic would never be able to make contact with Big Herb or Ganesh.

Anyway, back to Goldman Sachs. It is possible that they have hired a money mystic or two - it would explain their recent earnings. I will have to make some enquiries.

Rijkman Groenink: RBS bid better than Barclays offer

ABN Amro boss Rijkman Groenink says that the Royal Bank of Scotland has made a better offer for ABN Amro than Barclays. RBS is leading a consortium bid of £48 billion.

This reminds me of the time I was trying to sell my favourite pack of tarot cards. They once belonged to Napoleon's fortune teller, Lucienne. I didn't want to sell them, but I needed the cash. A couple of soothsayers in London made pretty good offers, but I eventually sold them to a French collector of rare mystical artefacts for a lower price. I knew he would look after the cards. The moral of this story is anyone's guess.

Tuesday 18 September 2007

Callum McCarthy: queuing savers are strange

'People are strange when you're a stranger,' Jim Morrison once sang, and the FSA chairman Callum McCarthy seems to agree with him. He has said that the Northern Rock savers who are queuing outside the bank's branches are acting strangely.

He doesn’t know the half of it. Jerome Johnson is a saver with Northern Rock and he says, 'I've taken your advice, Michael, and I have been standing outside my local branch of Northern Rock and waving a placard. It says – the end is nigh. I've been screaming at people, telling them to withdraw their money and run for the hills before the devil arrives and takes everything.'

For the record, I gave Mr Johnson no such advice. I hardly know him. I met him once at a gathering for mystical workers in the City, and now he won't leave me alone. He considers me his guru. Callum McCarthy should thank his lucky stars that he doesn't have to deal with some of the people that I have to.

Joel Plasco says credit crunch needs calm words

Joel Plasco, chief executive of Collins Stewart, has called for more mature reporting of the credit crunch. Jerome Johnson (aping me) begs to differ –

Help! We're all going to die! The demons of the dark are devouring our money. The horror! O Jesus, save us. Save our souls. O Buddha, where are you now? O Krishna, what are you playing at?

I see fire in the crystal of the skull of the dog in the cavern of the night! Blood sticks to my face! Where is salvation? Where is shelter? Where are the heavenly angels when you need them?

Is this the end, as foretold in the Book of Revelation? I certainly hope not. I've got a lot on at the moment.

Monday 17 September 2007

Alan Greenspan: froth and bubbles

Alan Greenspan has been speaking of froth and bubbles in the US housing market, but it's all very confusing. He has spoken of froth before, but never a bubble. Now he's saying there could be a bubble. However, this bubble is made from the froth of smaller bubbles. The froth has turned into a big bubble, or maybe it hasn't. There is definitely some kind of bubbling froth in the housing market anyway. The present chairman of the Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke, is trying to avoid using the word 'bubble.' Ex-chairman Mr Greenspan doesn't mind using the word.

I have been discussing this with Keith Busby, the award-winning financial psychic, and he tells me, 'It's not confusing at all. I use bubbles on a regular basis when I'm telling people's fortunes. I normally like to visit them at home while they're having a bath. I study the bubbles in the bathtub and base my predictions on the size of the bubbles, also their colour and shape. This is not as absurd as it sounds. Most people don't realize that bubbles are in tune with the cosmic forces controlling the universe. I remember reading once about the Hindu god Vishnu. Apparently, he created new galaxies by exhaling them as bubbles. I think that's right. I will have to check. The point I'm making is, Alan Greenspan is not wrong to speak of bubbles.'

Well, no one is saying that Mr Greenspan is wrong to speak of bubbles, I just don't think he has the same bubbles in mind. Unless he has been spending too much time in his bath lately.

Northern Rock sale?

Will the troubled mortgage lender Northern Rock be sold soon?

O lords of the big money, show us the future, let us see into the heart of finance, and we will forever be in your debt (although not in debt.) I will cast the rune stones, yes I will, I will read the tarot cards (who wouldn't?) I will climb the mountain (best thing to do in the circumstances.)

O holy gods of the burning cash, speak to us of Northern Rock. Show us a sign. Will it be sold? Will it be broken up? Will it be wound up? Are our savings secure? O you remote gods, your silence is agony. Help us. Save us. Give us a sign.

Do not condemn Northern Rock to the abyss.

Martin Rapaport: a futures market for diamonds

Martin Rapaport, founder of the world's largest diamond-trading platform, is hoping there will be a regulated futures market for diamonds by 2009.

Okay. What about the other crystals? It's mystical crystals we are all interested in. With so many financial shamans and money mystics working in investment banks at the moment, it is absolutely crucial that a futures market for these crystals is formed.

Crystals have long been associated with New Age nutjobs, but that's the old image. And you can forget about crystal mind blasting - that is only a passing fad. Crystals are needed in investment banking just as much as scrying fluid. I know one money mystic who won't leave for work in the morning without a whole bag of crystals. He places the crystals on top of his computer - yes, money mystics are not Luddites - and the energy that streams from these crystals helps him concentrate on his financial meditations.

Maybe I should contact Mr Rapaport and discuss my ideas with him. I'll let you know if anything happens.

Mark Otty: shelter from the credit storm

Mark Otty is the UK chairman of Ernst & Young and he reckons accountancy firms will be able to make big money in the emerging markets, thus avoiding the problems brought about by the current credit squeeze in the City.

This sounds great, but has Mr Otty thought about the shamans and mystics working in the emerging markets of China and India? As I mentioned last week when writing about Tom Healy's new job in Abu Dhabi, mystical workers in these cultures probably do not operate in the same way ours do here in the West. I don't even know if they use tarot cards in India. No doubt Mr Otty and his colleagues at Ernst & Young are familiar with Big Herb and his way of doing business, but India is Ganesh's territory. How are they going to deal with a god who looks like an elephant? These things need to be considered very carefully.

Fortune Oil goes after China's coal bed methane

Fortune Oil is working in a joint venture with China United Shanxi CBM Company to capture methane gas from China's coal mines.

Please don't confuse Fortune Oil with the stuff I paste on people's faces to open up their third eye. Fortune oil is one of my magical lotions. I used it recently on an hysterical trader from Barclays Capital. He's doing fine now and making loads of money.

Friday 14 September 2007

The markets will not melt

O bankers, fear not, there will be no meltdown in the markets. There will be no hell of debt, no death of shares. But you must let money burn inside you. Let money burn you. And if you enjoy the burning, you will be set free.

Northern Rock. The Bank of England is coming to save you. Rejoice!

O bankers, the markets will not melt. Do not fear the volatility of the markets. Show love. As a ship's captain loves the cruel sea.

O you men and women of doom who mock the hard-working bankers, traders and analysts of this world, prepare for a great time of despair. You shall be punished. You shall fall into the pit. All of you shall fall. For it is written in the book of the morose monk.

I call upon Big Herb, Ganesh and all the gods of the holy cash - free my people! Help me lead them from the desert to the green plains of plenty. They have worked hard and surely they must be rewarded now, or is there no justice?

Yes. Yes. Yes. There is justice. I see it in the smile of the banker who, only yesterday, had no faith. I see it in the gold clouds hovering over Threadneedle Street. Rejoice!

O bankers, before you die, you will see the face of God. Yes, the one god to whom all the others answer. Until then, sing. Sing of money. Chant. The chant of the burning cash!

Thursday 13 September 2007

Endesa: Extraordinary General Meeting

Endesa will be having an EGM in a couple of weeks time. Acciona and Enel Energy Europe have made an offer for Endesa of 40, 16 euros per share, and now the shareholders have to vote on modifications to Endesa’s bylaws.

I absolutely hate meetings like this, or, indeed, meetings of any kind. I remember the last time I attended the annual meeting of the Financial Shamans and Money Mystics Association of Great Britain. What an absolute fucking nightmare that was. You would expect shamans and mystics to be quite refined, gentle, sensitive folk, wouldn’t you? Not a bit of it. When they’ve got a few drinks inside them, these lovely, oh so spiritual types can turn into animals. And I’m not speaking as an outsider. I’m one of them, but I won’t hesitate to criticize bad behaviour wherever I find it.

I remember one money mystic – let’s call him Chris – who got so drunk he could hardly stand. Even though he had only been fully qualified for six months or so, he had the gall to approach me and start berating me for the advice I had given to some fund manager in the City. I wanted to hit him, but I managed to keep control and just let him make a fool of himself. Never again.

Gavyn Davies goes it alone

Gavyn Davies has split his hedge fund business, Fulcrum Asset Management, from that of partner Christian Siva-Jothy. Mr Siva-Jothy runs the SemperMacro hedge fund, which performed poorly last year.

Well, I feel this is the right thing for Mr Davies to do. I am against partnerships in business, from bitter experience. A few years ago, Arthur Simmons from the Chaos College of Finance wanted me to go into business with him, setting up a correspondence course for budding shamans. Don’t get me wrong, Arthur and I are great friends now and I have the utmost respect for him, but we just couldn’t work together. To be honest, a lot of it was my fault. I was actually living in a cave at the time and was very difficult to contact. Arthur could never understand my approach to financial shamanism. He thought I was too isolated, while he liked to engage with the wider community. Each to their own, I suppose.

NYSE Euronext to close trading rooms

The world’s largest stock exchange group, NYSE Euronext, are planning to close half the trading rooms at the New York Stock Exchange. It will also lower fees. Apparently, it is doing this to fend off competition from smaller rivals. Sure. I know the real truth.

The real truth is, mystical capitalism is starting to take off in America, and financial shamans and money mystics are replacing conventional traders. It had to happen sooner or later. There was no way that Wall Street could allow the Square Mile and Canary Wharf to gain a massive advantage by employing mystical workers.

Tatum Jones from merchant bank Dodger Coombes says, ‘American banks will love the mystics when they realize how amazing they are, but we are not worried here in Canary Wharf. The American banks still have a long way to go before they catch up with us.’

Mervyn King tells banks to clear up their own mess

The Bank of England governor has told British banks that they only have themselves to blame for their present troubles.

Well, I’m just glad neither he nor anyone else has tried to blame the financial shamans and money mystics for the market meltdown. There are some people – I won’t mention names – who would love to see the new mystical workers fail. We won’t fail because we’re backed up by Big Herb, Ganesh, and various other gods, but we have got to be on our guard. There is no turning back.

Tom Healy gets new job in Abu Dhabi

Tom Healy, who has run the Irish stock exchange for the last twenty years, has a new job as the director-general of the exchange in Abu Dhabi.

Will this work out? It is always difficult moving to a different culture. I have to admit I don’t know what the mystical/financial situation is in Abu Dhabi. Mr Healy may have problems if the shamans and mystics over there don’t operate in the same way ours do here in the West. I wish him the best of luck anyway.

Wednesday 12 September 2007

Sinister lords call it a day

Some good news. The Lords of Fenchurch Street have disbanded. I actually know who they are now, and I was going to publish their names in my blog, but we did a deal. They agreed to halt all their activities and break up the organization, and I agreed not to expose them.

A lot of you are probably wondering why I agreed to this. Well, you’ve got to compromise in life sometimes. And these men have wives and children. I don’t want to destroy them. As long as they are not active any more, that is good enough for me.

Monday 10 September 2007

Knight Vinke putting pressure on HSBC

Eric Knight, founder of Knight Vinke and no relation of Roger Knight, is trying to force HSBC to review its global banking operations. He believes that the bank’s operations have left its share price undervalued by nearly half.

This is not the way to do things, as far as I am concerned. The spirit world should be consulted, and for that job they will need to recruit a shaman. I’m too busy at the moment, but I could put Mr Knight in touch with someone. A shaman would be able to take a balanced and holistic view of the situation, and his spirit guides on the other side would be able to conduct a review that would be far more comprehensive than any review a living human being would be capable of.

But who listens to me? The arrogance of bankers knows no bounds. Sure, a lot of financial workers are turning to the new creed of mystical capitalism, but there are still too many people who are stuck in the old ways. When will they learn?

IMF chief agrees with Big Herb

The managing director of the International Monetary Fund, Rodrigo de Rato, has said that the global economy will be stable in the medium term, even though there may be short-term pain due to the repricing of risk in the financial markets.

As Big Herb told me recently, there is no need to panic about the markets. Everything is going to be all right. People seem to forget that Big Herb is a money god. It’s only natural that he should have a greater insight into the problems of the markets, and have a better chance of finding solutions. I still maintain that if you pray to him on a regular basis, not only will you be able to make more money in your working life but you will also become spiritually enlightened. Isn’t that what we all want? Great wealth and spirituality. Or have I got that terribly wrong? I don’t think so.

Kwon Young-soo rescues LG Philips LCD

Kwon Young-soo, chief executive of LG Philips LCD, has managed to turn the company around in only eight months. How did he do it? I suppose he was working very hard, but I suspect that there was more to it than that.

I suspect he chanted money prayers every morning. I do this, and it hasn’t done me any harm. You should try to write your own prayers, because the powers that be on the other side prefer the personal touch. They like to see that you have made an effort. Try it, and send me an email if you get a result.

Friday 7 September 2007

Ken Costa leaves UBS

Investment banker Ken Costa has quit UBS and joined Lazard International. He worked at UBS for thirty years.

Susan Flint from Bad Moon Investments says, 'It's a smart move. I've heard that UBS aren't too keen on financial shamans and money mystics, but Lazard can't get enough. Ken knows that mystical banking is the way forward. As chairman he'll be able to make some big changes. It's going to be very interesting.'

Wednesday 5 September 2007

Manchester University: venture capital fund

Manchester University is setting up a £50 million venture capital fund. This is brilliant news for Maurice Marble III - Acton's leading brain specialist.

I spoke to Maurice this morning and he told me, 'I'm hoping they will want to invest some money in one of my schemes. I'm building a new machine to rival the Brain Burster, I'm working on some satellite stuff that connects to the astral plane, and loads of other things. They better give me some of the money. I want some respect.'

Manchester University will be in partnership with MTI Partners. Ernie Richardson, chief executive of MTI, says, 'We know all about Mr Marble and his ludicrous experiments, and we want nothing to do with him.'

Saturday 1 September 2007

Barclays bails out Cairn Capital

Barclays Capital has been forced to rescue one of its clients, Cairn Capital, with a loan of £793 million. Barclays seems to be in a bit of trouble at the moment.

I know someone at BarCap and he told me yesterday, 'The sky over Canary Wharf is bright red. There's blood in the clouds! I can see blood! O Jesus, save me, save my soul. The blood is dripping on me. It's sticking to my skin! It burns! I can't stand it. I must find shelter. I'm not a sinner. I've always been a good boy. Why is this happening to me? Please help me. Help me.'

Shocking. I managed to calm him down by rubbing one of my magical lotions in the area where his third eye should be - he doesn't have one for some reason, and that may be his problem. He's reasonably okay now, but I've told him not to read the financial news for a few days. It's a tough life, the banker's life. Ain't that the truth.