Tuesday 29 April 2008

The truth about Jack Pickles

From reading my emails, I know a lot of you are concerned about Jack Pickles. Some of you have had the audacity to say that he’s not real. That he is just some character I've invented to scare the living shit out of bankers and traders. Well, why would I do that? You say that if he were real you would have heard about him in the mainstream media. How na├»ve are you people? Don't you realize this bastard controls the media? All he has to do is make one phone call to Rupert Murdoch. Even more insultingly, one or two of you have suggested that I might be Jack Pickles myself, and that this 'Michael Fowke' persona is just a cover for my demonic activities. Get a life.

Jack and I used to be best friends. We were like brothers. BUT THEN HE TURNED TO THE DARK SIDE OF MONEY! And I know what you're thinking now. You're thinking - I didn't even realize there was a dark side to money. Oh yes, my children, there is a dark side. I often write in this blog about the mystical burning of money. A true financial shaman is able to control this burning and make it work for him. What happened with Jack was that the burning got out of control and dominated his life. And his aura - which should have been a lovely yellow colour - turned absolutely fucking black! I can't stress this strongly enough. His aura was fucking black! The burning had destroyed all the goodness in him. And that is the dark side of money. And that is why you quite often find money mystics who don't want to go the whole hog and become financial shamans. It can be a dangerous business. So, the story of Jack Pickles should be a lesson to us all.

Friday 25 April 2008

Marcus Agius: no religion

The chairman of Barclays, Marcus Agius, made an absolutely shocking announcement yesterday. He told shareholders at Barclays' annual meeting, 'We don't have religion.' He then went on to say that Barclays has 'options' when it comes to its problems concerning capital.

I have been trying desperately to contact Bob Diamond this morning. I suspect he's not taking my calls because he doesn't want to get into a public slanging match with Mr Agius. As we all know, Bob has got religion. He's got it bad, thanks to me. Big Herb is his new god. And he's quite fond of Ganesh as well.

Keith Busby phoned me late last night. He is becoming increasingly right-wing - not a bad thing. He told me, 'Communists. That's what it is. Communists! These godless arseholes are taking over the banking system. Mr Agius should know better. I'm not suggesting he's a communist, but he is giving succour to those people in his organization that want to destroy our way of life. And who knows what will happen now? The last thing I want to see is Marcus swinging from a lamp post - all because certain revolutionaries got carried away and took him at his word.'

Marcus, mate, I hope you're reading this. If you've got no religion, you've got no life. Money is spiritual. Let money burn within you. Love the burning. Also, just have a word with Bob. He will set you straight, no worries.

Trafalgar Asset Managers: in business with Goldman

Goldman Sachs's Petershill fund has bought a 10.8 per cent stake in Trafalgar Asset Managers. Trafalgar was formed in 2001 by Lee Robinson and Theo Phanos. Apparently, they aren't returning calls at the moment or making any comments on the deal with Goldman. Why not?

I have been speaking to Susan Flint from Bad Moon Investments. She told me, 'I think Robinson and Phanos are in a state of shock. I have a friend at Trafalgar, and he has told me that neither of them realized that Goldman Sachs employed financial shamans and money mystics. As laughable as it sounds, Lee and Theo have never even heard of mystical capitalism. It is a complete culture shock for them, and they are having to adjust to a new reality. But give them time. I'm sure they'll cope.'

Thursday 24 April 2008

Rudolf Weber and his sausages

What the fuck is going on at UBS? Yesterday at a shareholders' meeting in Basle some old guy by the name of Rudolf Weber was throwing sausages around. And then to make matters wurst, Marcel Ospel produced a tube of mustard from his pocket. Is this the image that a serious bank should present to the world? I presume UBS is still a serious bank.

I have been speaking to my dear friend - and boss of Barclays Capital - Bob Diamond. He told me, 'I spoke to you recently about people with bad karma and shit chakras, but this is beyond belief. It's a crazy situation. Sausages and mustard, and Luqman Arnold - he hasn't gone away yet, has he? Subprime as well. Christ, what a mess! I must admit I'm still new to this mystical capitalism lark, but even I can see that UBS needs to bring in a team of shamans and mystics. Something's got to be done.'

By the way, Bob, I would just like to say how pleased I am to see the changes in you. It wasn't long ago that any talk of mystical capitalism would wind you right up, but now you've taken to it like a duck to water. Who would believe that there was once a time when you considered me an absolute lunatic? See you on the astral plane.

Wednesday 23 April 2008

Moody's: extremely pleased, I'd say

Moody's is pleased to announce the following appointments:

Senior vice president - Kristin S. Lindow, Philipp Lotter, Stuart Hughes.

Senior credit officer - Peter Burbank, Carole Gintz, Sebastien Hay, Francois Lauras, Elena Nadtotchi, Yaroslav Sovgyra.

Vice president - Alberto Barbachano, George Chrysaphinis, Andrew Harling, Odi Lahav, Laurent Lassalvy, Michael Mueller-Heumann, Nondas Nicolaides, Daniel Piels.

Why is Moody's so pleased? A couple of these characters - I won't name them - are first-class financial shamans. And one of them - I will name him - is a superb money mystic. His name is Peter Burbank, and I'm just surprised he's not a shaman. I guess it's not for everyone. Maybe he doesn't want the responsibility.

Well, anyway, congratulations to all of them.

Monday 21 April 2008

Invesco Perpetual: Neil Woodford the star manager

I was very happy to see a newspaper article today about Invesco Perpetual and its top fund manager Neil Woodford. Neil is an old student of mine, and I'm just so proud of him and his career - basically, a brilliant advertisement for my skills as a financial shaman, and mystical capitalism in general. He is head of investment at Invesco Perpetual, and manages £19 billion in sixteen portfolios. What a long way he has come.

I remember the desert. I remember all the questions Neil would ask me:

Master, why do I feel so lonely? My child, loneliness is the way of the shaman. You must be strong, and show no fear. In time, the loneliness will become your strength. You are set apart, no longer one of the herd. Have faith. Think about money.

Master, when I go to sleep, why is there a burning in my dreams? My child, this burning is just the start. It is the mystical burning of money, and soon it will spread from your dreams to your whole life. Every moment you are awake you will feel this burning, and you will learn to love it. There is nothing to fear. This is the way of the shaman. You have chosen the burning, and the burning has chosen you. Rejoice!

Master, who is Bob Yerbury? I hear his voice calling me. My child, Bob Yerbury lives in the future. You will find him when the time is right. Ask no more questions about the future. You must find the moment.

Master, what is the moment? My child, the moment is now. Yet many people lose it. Many people waste it. In this moment you are learning and growing, but the moment will pass. And there will be other moments. They will become one season. A season in the desert. But when will you experience the season in Henley-on-Thames?

O Master, when will I? O my child, in the future. No more questions about the future.

Master, why did you ask a question about the future, about Henley-on-Thames? My child, I am a financial shaman, and your Master. I can ask any question, and receive the answer.

Master, who answers your questions? O foolish one, young child, don't you know? The gods answer. The ghosts of the dead financiers answer. Have you learnt nothing?

Master, I am still learning. When will I be ready? Will you tell me when? My child, you will be ready when the burning is intense, when your eyes are full of money, and when your heart feels as glorious as the finest gold and yet as light as a feather. You will not need me to tell you. You will know. And you will leave the desert and go back into the world, and you will become incredibly wealthy and successful. For it is written.

Friday 18 April 2008

I've seen the fire in Big Herb's eyes

O baby, I've seen the fire in Big Herb's eyes. The flames of money are burning bright!

I had a vision of eyes last night, and blood, and snakes, and Big Herb was in the desert. And Jack Pickles was in the desert. And Satan was in the desert. And Ganesh was in the desert. And Jesus was nowhere to be found. And I was in the desert! And I fell to the ground, with snakes, and fire, and Big Herb's eyes! And there was blood!

Where is the money we have all dreamed of? O my children, dance! Where is the gold we were promised? O my children, sing! And chant! The chant of the burning cash! Will we all be burned? Oh yes, we will. Will we love the burning? What do you think?

O Jesus, I've not seen your eyes in a long time, but Big Herb is here with his eyes aflame. Is this the way? Is money the way? Is God smiling now? Are the flames rising now? Are we all burning now? We love the money! O children, we love the money. And we are burning. Where are we? Who are we?

That old fool Satan is laughing. Let him laugh. Jack Pickles is waiting for his chance, but we will stop him. There's nothing for Jack in the fire of Big Herb's eyes. There is only despair for him. He is heading for the pit!

O lords of the big money, angels of cash, and ghosts of the dead financiers, I call on you now, take my people into the desert. They will learn in the desert. They will grow in the desert. They will be consumed by fire in the desert, and they will love it.

Money is calling us! In the desert, money is calling us! O my children, my brothers, my sisters, this is the money we want. We want it! Let's go and get it! Through the dark sky, moonless, where are the stars? Through the tears we have cried, through the credit crunch, to the desert! Big Herb is there, dreaming and smiling. Let's run to him! Let's fly! Let's swim through the astral plane to him and burn with ecstasy in his eyes!

O baby, I've seen the fire in Big Herb's eyes. I've seen those eyes. I've seen that fire.

Thursday 17 April 2008

Oghma Partners: knowledge and eloquence

Two ex-Goldman analysts, Mark Lynch and Tim Potter, have gone into business for themselves by starting up a corporate finance firm - Oghma Partners. Joining them are John Spicer, Tracey Campbell, William Berrington, Chris Brooke, and Kevin O'Neill.

Oghma? I have been speaking with David Pitt - chief priest in the cult of Big Herb - and he told me, 'Oghma? Oh boy, don't get me started. This Oghma geezer is the Celtic god of knowledge and eloquence, and is a right twat. I've had dealings with him. When I was setting up the Big Herb cult I was approached by Oghma. He seemed okay at first, but he kept asking me all these questions about what Big Herb's intentions were, and how much knowledge Big Herb had of the City. I told him about Herb Finance and then he went mental. Accusing me of trying to infect the world of spirit with banking and finance. I said that was a bit rich coming from him because everyone knew he had been in talks with Lynch and Potter. Basically, he was jealous of Big Herb. In spiritual terms, Big Herb is the new kid on the block, and a lot of the old gods have had their noses put out of joint. Only Ganesh has shown any real support and enthusiasm for the emergence of Big Herb and the new creed of mystical capitalism. So be it. Big Herb knows who his friends are, and he is not at all worried about Oghma. Fuck him.'

Wednesday 16 April 2008

Greg Coffey: will he stay, or will he go?

There seems to be a great deal of confusion at GLG partners right now. Apparently, its top fund manager, Greg Coffey, quit on Monday. But on Tuesday he withdrew his resignation. It has been said that Mr Coffey wants to start his own hedge fund. So why did he withdraw his resignation then? Not even the newspapers know.

But I know, and you won't read about this anywhere else. I'm involved. The fact is, Greg is having second thoughts about his hedge fund because he couldn't get me on board. He wanted me to be his senior financial shaman, and he offered me a brilliant package. But alas, I turned him down. And I'll explain why. Besides considering myself CEO material, I don't want to work for someone else ever again. My time at Shaman Money Management scarred me for life. Those motherfuckers - sorry, but I'm still angry about it - tried to destroy me. They thought I was just some punk shaman they could dispose of, and never hear about again. Well, I got my revenge, didn't I? I’m acknowledged worldwide as being the greatest living financial shaman. I'm friends with people such as Vikram Pandit, John Thain (he phoned me last night, we're cool again), and Bob Diamond. Even Warren Buffett has invited me to one of his bridge nights. But what about the SMM bosses? Where are they now? After SMM went out of business, most of them couldn't even find another job. I heard that Anthony Eatwell ended up working as a shoeshine boy in Liverpool Street Station. I shit you not. That's what happens when you fuck with me.

Tuesday 15 April 2008

Threadneedle investment funds: a mystical celebration

O my children, my brothers, my sisters, the time has come for a mystical celebration of Threadneedle's investment funds.

But where to start? Global Select Fund? Oh yes, the Global Select Fund is a glorious fund. It certainly is, but I prefer the UK Institutional Fund. This fund lives in my dreams! When I go to sleep, it is there waiting for me. But it's shy, oh so shy. Like a frightened deer it runs off into the shadows of my mind. But there are dangers there! This little deer has no understanding of the darkness where even I fear to venture. Jack Pickles is there! Yes, sometimes he invades my mind while I'm sleeping, while my guard is down. O Jack, don't you dare harm the UK Institutional Fund. Don't you dare!

UK Monthly Income, UK Equity Income, Sterling Bond, Strategic Bond, American Fund! O ghosts of the dead financiers, breath in and take Threadneedle into your cold, spectral hearts! Like a money flame from the mouth of God's most beautiful angel, you will burn with these funds, and you will love the burning. We all love the burning! Big Herb loves the burning! Ganesh loves the burning! I love the burning! I writhe on the floor and scream in the blood of a sacrificed banker and I burn with money and I am blessed and I am saved and I am holy and I am full of love and the lords of the big money smile at me and I smile at them and I am in ecstasy!

Monday 14 April 2008

O capitalists, the world is yours!

O capitalists, the world is yours! Yes, it's true. Don't fear the credit crunch, or the Reaper. But have faith in Big Herb.

In the desert, O my children, my brothers, my sisters, I have seen it all. From the beginning of time to the end of days. I know how much money there is, and where it is. And I've seen the gold, all of it! Oh yes, I've seen it all. I've seen what bankers have only dreamed they saw!

My mad mystic wanderings have taken me into the unknown! O my devotees, how did I get back? Through sheer will, that's how. And I came back for you. I have brought the unknown into your lives. See it! Taste it! Feel it! Oh yes, my friends, it is growing. You are changing. You are starting to see visions! Look! Miracles of stock are flooding before your new eyes! Your opened souls! Touch them! Touch them! O my children, this is my gift to you all.

O brothers, O sisters, beware the petty ones! The ones who are full of anger, envy, fear, and spite. The lost ones! Godless fools! The low ones! O my children, you know to whom I refer. They hate your visions, but secretly covet your wealth. Yes, it's true. Desperately sad and true. These envious ones would take it all from you if they could, and spend it on outreach workers or subsidized theatre. Beware!

O my beautiful capitalists, the time is now! Rejoice! Paste fifty-pound notes or hundred-dollar bills on to your faces! Show your money to the world! Yes, show it! Show the money made in the fire of Big Herb's holy love! Let everyone see your wealth, and rejoice, and be happy, and praise Big Herb.

O my dear friends, when you next go to sleep, sleep the sleep of the righteous. Do it for me, and know that you are truly blessed.

Merrill and Citi writedowns this week

Merrill Lynch and Citigroup will be revealing massive writedowns this week. It could be $10 billion for Citi, and about $7 billion for Merrill. The most disturbing news is that jobs could go at both banks - as many as 25,000 at Citi.

Well, I'm friends with the chief executives at these banks: Vikram Pandit at Citigroup, and John Thain at Merrill Lynch. Having said that, John isn't talking to me at the moment. He reckons I exposed him to ridicule a little while back when I revealed that he was a Native American chief in a past life. I'm sorry, John, but that's what you told me, remember? If you don't want me telling my readers, keep such things to yourself. No one thinks badly of you anyway. A lot of people emailed me at the time and said they respected your honesty.

But let's get back to the potential job losses. I urge you both, Vik and John, to think outside the box on this one. Sacking people is not the answer. These are talented characters who will just end up working for your rivals when the credit crunch has passed - and it will pass. No, Vik. No, John. YOU NEED TO RETRAIN YOUR STAFF! Turn them into financial shamans and money mystics! And I'll even help you. Get on the fucking phone to me. Swallow your pride, for Christ's sake! And John, think about what you would have done in the old, old days when you were that Native American chief. What would you have done? You would have gone straight to the tribe's shaman, and he would have sorted things. That's all you've got to do now, John. I'm your shaman. Yes, me. I'm not just your friend. I'm the one with the power to get you out of the hole you're in. Call me.

And Vik, well, what can I say about you? Why, please tell me why - why do you want to sell the church of your love? Can't you see that's a backward step? You need more mysticism in your life right now, not less. Call me.

New Star: fresh blood

UK fund manager New Star has made an injection of fresh blood to its UK equity fund team. Also, it has hired Charles Deptford, Trevor Green, and David Cornell. All great guys I'm sure, but I'm not interested in them. It's these injections of fresh blood that have caught my attention. What the fuck is going on at New Star?

I have been speaking to Maurice Marble III - my adviser on all matters scientific - and he told me, 'Yeah, I'm the one they called in for this job. All last week I was going around injecting fresh blood into the New Star crew. This is special blood, that I devised myself. The members of the New Star UK equity fund team have more energy now, and more power, more skill, more insight, more wisdom. And it's only the start. The start of my master race! These financiers I dream of will take over the world! All the money will be theirs! With my blood! It's my blood that will course through their veins! And they will do such things - what they are yet I know not - but they shall be the terrors of the earth. You think I'll weep. No, I'll not weep.'

Friday 11 April 2008

Lloyd Blankfein: light at the end of the tunnel

O Lloyd, stay away from the light! You're still young, and you have so much to live for. For the love of God, stay away from the light!

O Big Herb, O Ganesh, please, I beseech you both, pull Lloyd away from the light. He has his whole life ahead of him. There is so much work left for him to do at Goldman Sachs. It's not his time! O you gods of the big money, hear my cry. Save Lloyd Blankfein!

O Lloyd, stay away from the light! Ignore those voices calling you over to the other side. Think about your fucking bonus!

Thursday 10 April 2008

Lost in space

Lost in space with only money to keep us warm. O children! O brothers! O sisters! Is this our cruel destiny, to be floating in space, this vast universe, with only money to keep us warm?

Let's make the most of it! Cairn Capital, Drake Management, Cowen Asset Management, Tisbury Capital, watch the blood flow and mix with the cash! O Satan, you fool, you won't get us. O Jack Pickles, you can go to hell!

Goldman Sachs - Guardians of the Mystic Candle! Global Credit Hedged Base! US Growth Equity Base! Euro Liquid Reserves! There's tears in my eyes!

Lost in space! O children of the holy cash, let me see you swim through the darkness. Show no fear!

Wednesday 9 April 2008

Nick Leeson: how to spot a rogue trader

Nick Leeson has been speaking at a conference organized by Futures and Options Week. Apparently, he was supposed to be telling everyone how you spot a rogue trader, but ended up saying he wasn't really sure. I wonder how much he got paid for that.

My friend Keith Busby considers himself something of an expert in this area, and he told me, 'It sounds like money for old rope. I could do a few talks like Leeson and make a mint. The difference is I really know my stuff. The best way to track down one of these scum-sucking rogues is to go into a bank and do a soul scan on the whole staff. Yes, it's expensive, but it works.'

Well, I'm not sure about this. Keith still doesn't know who the HBOS rogues were. He told me he was going to go after them like Steven Seagal, but nothing happened. In fact, I've been told by someone high up at HBOS that Keith made matters worse. Something to do with voodoo dolls. Andy Hornby hit the roof. That's all I know, and I didn't ask about the details. I'm actually thinking of giving Keith - and Maurice - a wide berth from now on. I'm going up in the world. Maybe it's about time I cut loose of these losers.

Tuesday 8 April 2008


There's no security without performance. Right on!

There's no performance without security. Ain't that the truth!

O righteous souls of the big money, beautiful Generali, rejoice! The depth of your financial strength is a wonder to behold. That such a company should exist in this dirty, disgusting world! Security and performance! What a glorious combination in these volatile times! Blessed are the money makers, for they shall be called the children of God. Performance and security! How sweet it is to hear those words. Security! O righteous souls of the big money, is there anything more secure than the gold that flowers in your hearts? Performance! Who can perform better than the men and women of Generali, burning with money, and running towards their destinies?

There's no security without performance. You can say that again.

There's no performance without security. I'm in tears.

Diners Club is sold for $165 million

My old mate Vikram Pandit has decided that Citigroup needs to be slimmed down a bit, and so he has just sold Diners Club to Discover for $165 million. Fair enough. But he also wants to sell the church of his love. Is Vikram freaking out in a moonage daydream or what?

I spoke to Vik last night, and he told me, 'As you well know, the church of my love ain't shit any more. I have to sell it. If it's not bringing the money in, why keep it? I'm not a sentimental man. Business is business, and the church of my love will soon be history. And no, for your information, I am not freaking out in a moonage daydream.'

Shocking. I'm sure a lot of you, my dear readers, will be outraged by this. I suggest that you contact Mr Pandit and have it out with him.

Monday 7 April 2008

Barclays Capital: three new forex-tracking indices!

Barclays Capital has launched a range of indices that track foreign exchange volatility. About fucking time. I've been telling Bob Diamond to pull his finger out for ages. I am particularly interested in the BetaVol index. Apparently, it is for investors who are afraid of falling markets. Well, we're all afraid of falling markets, aren't we? Or maybe not. I know I am anyway, and I think it takes a real man to admit it.

I have been thinking though: wouldn't an index for those investors who are afraid of money ghosts be a damn sight more useful? Yes, I'm afraid the money ghost problem has got worse, at least it has in the Square Mile. Every time I go into the Square Mile now, I have to keep my hand on my wallet. And yet I don't have to do this in Canary Wharf. Why not? Arthur Simmons reckons it's because there are far more shamans working in Canary Wharf, and the ghosts are scared of them. Maybe. Or it could be because the Square Mile is older. There are probably ghosts there that have been hanging around for a hundred years or more. Whatever the reason, all I know is that money ghosts are a bigger threat to us than the credit crunch. I'll have to speak to Bob again, see if he can do something. Watch this space.

Friday 4 April 2008

Luqman Arnold: bad karma?

There's a character by the name of Luqman Arnold. He used to be the chief executive of UBS (he was forced out in 2001), he recently led a failed bid for Northern Rock, and he is now launching some crazy-ass activist campaign against UBS. He wants to break it up! But I'm wondering about his karma. He's had a lot of bad luck, hasn't he?

I have been speaking to award-winning financial psychic Keith Busby, and he said, 'Bad luck? Bad karma? Jesus H. Christ! What did this poor guy do in a former life to deserve all this? Forced out of UBS? Failed bid for Northern Rock? Fuck me! And now he's causing trouble again, hanging around UBS like a bad smell. If only he would contact me and ask for my help, maybe I could do something to clear out all this bad karma. And let's be honest here, it's appalling karma. Horrible, horrible, horrible.'

I think pride might be the problem. An ex-chief executive of a major investment bank will not want to go crawling to my mate Keith. Award-winning financial psychic he may be, but a lot of people consider him no more important than the sort of prat you deal with at the end of a pier. That's not my opinion, you understand. But that's how some people look at it.

Goldman Sachs: Big Herb wants you!

I'm not quite sure how the Goldman Sachs managing directors on this list are going to feel about Big Herb in the world of spirit wanting them, but that's the way it is.

I have been speaking to David Pitt - chief priest in the cult of Big Herb - and he told me, 'Many are called, but few are chosen. Big Herb reckons these Goldman directors are perfect for some mystical operation he's got planned, and who's going to argue with him? I'm certainly not. I just follow orders, me.'

Well, anyway, Big Herb wants: Andrew J. Weisz, Thomas G. Young, Wei Zhu, Steven A. Mayer, Paul A. Bartlett, Christian A. Katz, Laurent Bouaziz, David A. George, Keith Ackerman, Lachlan Edwards, Kevin L. Adams, Christian S. Alexander, Paul E. Bachman, Roger S. Begelman, Christopher E. Blume, Simon A. Bregazzi, Jon Butler, Joseph A. Camarda, Martin E. Chavez, Henry L. Chen, Gary W. Chropuvka, Jesse H. Cole, Michael J. Daum, Alexander Davidovich, Nicola A. Davies, Stacey Ann DeMatteis, Harry Eliades, Frank Ertinger, Carlos Fernandez-Aller, Jonathan D. Fiorello, John J. Gauthier, Elizabeth Gilbert, Irwin Goldberg, Billy Goldstein, Maria V. Gordon, Roberta M. Goss, Philip W. Grovit, Jonathan J. Hall, Greger C. Hamilton, Magnus C. Hardeberg, Joanna Hislop, Joanne Howard, Paul Humphreys, Nicola S. Kane, Jorg H. Kukies, Scott D. Marchakitus, John E. McGarry, Celine-Marie G. Mechain, Justin E. Metz, Simon H. Moseley, Yoshie Naumann, Edward T. Naylor, Martin C. Pankau, Charles L. Park, Francesco Pascuzzi, Philippa A. Rogers, David J. Santina, Paul E. Schurman, Devesh P. Shah, Hazem A. Shawki, Daiki Takayama, Renaud Tartanson, Joseph K. Todd, David Townshend, Richard J. Tufft, John P. Underwood, Kurt J. Von Holzhausen, Daniel Wainstein, Timothy D. Walding, Kevin A. Walker, David T. Wilson, John M. Yae, Will E. Matthews, Brendan M. McGovern, Justin J. Pascoe, James W. Wight, Matthew C. Schwab, Stephen Graham, Michael S. Swell, Sarakorn Gerjarusak, Steve Sang Yong Park, Michael Furth, Alexis Maged, Filippo Cartiglia, Adriano C. Piccinin, John G. Bruno, Gabriel Perahia, James M. Karp, Gerald Messier, Jason Bajaj, Clarke D. Adams, Jeff R. Stolz, Selim Mehrez, Aaron M. Arth, Arun J. Assumall, Vivek J. Bantwal, Philip R. Berlinski, Timothy J. Bowler, Sharon A. Bradley, Kristin L. Breuss, Michael J. Buchanan, Donna Burns, David Chou, Thalia Chryssikou, Ira H. Cohen, Lauren Dang, Daniel Deng, Jonathan G. Donne, Jay A. Friedman, Maria Paola Garbarino, Jean-Christophe Germani, Brad D. Gillman, Federico J. Gilly, John L. Glover III, Melissa Goldman, Edward J. Goldthorpe, Bennett Grau, Bradley J. Gross, Patrick P. Hargreaves, Vicky M. Hayes, Melissa R. Brown, Suzanne O. Donohoe, Christopher H. Eoyang, Peter C. Herbert, Walter A. Jackson, James C. Katzman, Anthony W. Ling, Peter B. MacDonald, James A. McNamara, Michael S. Rotter, David T. Simons, Johannes R. Sulzberger, Ashok Varadhan, Scott R. Weinstein, Nicholas G. Giordano, Christopher P. Sullivan, William J. Young, Ben I. Adler, Philip S. Armstrong, Steven M. Barry, Jordan M. Bender, Paul D. Bernard, George M. Brady, James B. Clark, Stephen Davies, Luca D. Ferrari, Alexander W. Fletcher, James R. Garvey, Stefan Green, Mary L. Harmon, Valerie J. Harrison, Margaret J. Holen, Robert F. Incorvaia, Christopher J. Magarro, David J. Marshall, Ian R. McCormick, Stuart G. McPherson, James P. Morris, Jeffrey P. Nedelman, Normann G. Roesch, David C. Ryan, James E. Sawtell, Stephen M. Scherr, John E. Smollen, Robert P. Wall, Kevin L. Willens, Jon A. Woodruff, Douglas M. Angstrom, Edward R. Wilkinson, Akio Asuke, Matthew H. Cyzer, Larry M. Kellerman, Timothy J. Bridges, David D. Buckley, Colin Coleman, Michael J. Crinieri, Jeffrey R. Currie, Peter C. Enns, Douglas L. Feagin, Timothy T. Furey, Michael L. November, Alfredo J. Pastro, Robert D. Patch, Deepak K. Rao, Howard M. Rowe, Paul D. Scialla, Harvey S. Shapiro, Suhail A. Sikhtian, Yozo Tachibana, Thomas A. Wagner, Nicholas H. Weber, Mark R. Beveridge, Hector E. Negroni, Howard Fisher, Amar Kuchinad, Robert K. Jacobsen, Charles F. Adams, Guy M. du Parc Braham, Thomas J. Stein, Lori H. Arndt, Akihiko Asami, Tracey E. Benford, Gaurav Bhandari, Vivek Bohra, Samantha R. Brown, Mark J. Buono, Richard N. Cormack, James V. Covello, Olaf Diaz-Pintado, Keith Douglas, Sean J. Gallagher, Jason A. Gottlieb, Mark K. Hancock, James P. Houghton, Maria Karahalis, Scott E. Kilgallen, John J. Kim, John N. Kolz, Christopher P. Lalli, Bradford S. Levy, Joseph W. Macaione, David M. Marcinek, Michael T. Nartey, Junya Nishiwaki, Tosa Ogbomo, Jennifer A. Padovani, Martin A. Pennay, James F. Radecki, Richard N. Ramsden, Shlomi Raz, Carl J. Reed, Michael J. Rost, Guy E. Saidenberg, Julian F. Simon, Ram K. Sundaram, Michael J. Swenson, Henry Seiichi Takata, Jeffrey M. Tomasi, John H. Tribolati, Michael J. Millette, Simon P. Morris, Thomas C. Morrow, Erik F. Nielsen, James B. Otness, William M. Quinn, Richard J. Revell, David J. Rosenblum, Matthew L. Schroeder, David A. Shiffman, Chase O. Stevenson, Elisha Wiesel, Marina L. Roesler, William M. Roberts, William Lee Hemphill, Thomas V. Conigliaro, Mark E. Agne, Thomas K. Amster, James R. Cielinski, Elizabeth J. Ford, Rachel C. Golder, Kevin J. Guidotti, Kenneth L. Hirsch, Robert Howard, Kevin M. Jordan, Steven E. Kent, Ronald Lee, Thomas R. Lynch, Peter J. Lyon, Alexander M. Marshall, Arjun N. Murti, Robert W. Pack, Lisa A. Rotenberg, Pamela S. Ryan, Peter A. Seccia, Gavin Simms, Alec P. Stais, Morgan C. Sze, Philip J. Venables, Alejandro Vollbrechthausen, Dhruv Narain, Susan G. Bowers, Andrew I. Braun, Anne F. Brennan, Nancy D. Browne, Elizabeth M. Burban, Donald J. Casturo, Elena Ciallie, Elizabeth Cottam, Debora J. Daskivich, Michael C. Dawley, William J. Fallon, Sarah J. Gray, Jason R. Haas, Edward G. Hadden, Eric I. Hamou, Jan Hatzius, Dane E. Holmes, Kevin T. McGuire, Christina P. Minnis, Jon Winkelried, John S. Weinberg, Thomas K. Montag, Esta E. Stecher, Richard J. Gnodde, David B. Heller, Robert C. Jones, Bruce M. Larson, Sanjay H. Patel, Howard B. Schiller, James J. Birch, John W. Curtis, John E. Eisenberg, Oliver L. Frankel, William L. Jacob III, Andrew J. Kaiser, Wayne L. Moore, Donald J. Mulvihill, Robert J. Pace, Stephen R. Pierce, John J. Rafter, John F.W. Rogers, Michael J. Carr, Steven M. Feldman, Andrew M. Gordon, Timothy E. Hodgson, James A. Hudis, Colin E. King, Paulo C. Leme, Jeffrey M. Moslow, Andrea Ponti, Michael J. Poulter, Sarah E. Smith, John J. Vaske, David M. Weil, David M. Solomon, Gregory A. Agran, Raanan A. Agus, Mark M. Carhart, Thomas M. Dowling, Brian J. Duffy, Edward K. Eisler, James A. Fitzpatrick, Lorenzo Grabau, Peter W. Grieve, Joanne M. Hill, Michael R. Housden, Andrew J. Jonas, Kathleen M. Maloney, Kenneth W. Willman, Thomas J. Kenny, David B. Lischer, Stephen I. Lucas, Richard M. Manley, Lance M. Meyerowich, Emmanuel P. Niogret, Mark A. Patterson, Peter J. Perrone, Donald C. Reed, James H. Reynolds, Yann Samuelides, Laura D. Sanchez, Richard A. Schafrann, Michael T. Seigne, Jonathan M. Sheridan, Courtney B. Smith, Elizabeth S. Wahab, Douglas C. Weaver.

Thursday 3 April 2008

Alitalia needs an exorcist

Big trouble at Alitalia, the Italian airline. Not only is it on the verge of bankruptcy after Air France-KLM pulled out of takeover talks, but the airline is seemingly plagued by demons straight from the bowels of hell. Yes, it's true. This ain't me talking crap. Maurizio Prato, chairman of Alitalia (resigned), has actually gone on record to say: 'This airline is cursed. Only an exorcist can save it.'

Shocking, eh? But as this is a financial matter I would not recommend a traditional exorcist from the Roman Catholic Church. As I was saying to Vikram Pandit recently, Jesus doesn't give a flying fuck about anyone's money problems. What would Jesus care if Alitalia went out of business? No, this is a job for a financial shaman, and the shaman would have to approach either Big Herb or Ganesh. Then what would happen is, one of these money gods would materialize on earth for a short while - very expensive, by the way; any new chairman will have to dig deep into his pockets for this one - and then go around kicking the living shit out of the demons. Give them a pasting they won't forget in a hurry. Yes, I know it sounds brutal, but it's the only language they understand. None of this - O dark soul, leave this place in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. None of that. Big Herb will just square up to a demon and put one on him. And that's what you pay your money for. Worth every penny, I'd say.

Wednesday 2 April 2008

Lehman Brothers and the short-sellers

Lehman Brothers has been accusing hedge fund short-sellers of pushing down its share price in the days following the Bear Stearns disaster. Are these hedge fund nutjobs trying to wreck a perfectly good bank? Lehman certainly believes so, and it has contacted the Securities and Exchange Commission about it.

I don't know if SEC will be able to do anything. How will it be able to prove which hedge fund did what shit? No, Lehman needs to get a top financial shaman on the case. I'm snowed under with work at the moment, but I could put it in touch with a friend - maybe Michael Oliver at Mystical Cash Gurus.

Basically, a financial shaman would go straight on to the astral plane. You won't believe what you can find out on the plane. There are bankers, traders, fund managers, and analysts - the majority of them long dead - who will have inside knowledge of practically all the financial deals going down on earth. There are also thought-forms, but I won't discuss them now. The beauty of being a dead trader or banker or whatever is that when you do venture down to earth, you're fucking invisible. Of course, I've done a lot of astral travel in my time, but it's unbelievably exhausting. Honestly, after half an hour of astral travel, you want to sleep for at least twelve hours. But I've heard - and I can't confirm this - that for the dead, astral travel is a piece of piss. So what I'm suggesting - rather long-windedly, I admit - is that Lehman Brothers hires a financial shaman. This shaman will then go on to the astral plane and get a couple of his dead mates or acquaintances to pop down to earth for a bit. And then these guys, completely undetected, will be able to go around all the offices of the various hedge funds and find out who the monkeys were that tried to fuck Lehman up. Then what? Well, they could either contact SEC with the info and proof, or they could go the money curse route and just destroy the hedge funds in question.

So, short-sellers beware - there's no hiding place!

Tuesday 1 April 2008

Gordon Pell: brain synergies

Gordon Pell, chairman of regional markets for RBS in its takeover of ABN Amro, has been talking about brain synergies. He is about to oversee a new division covering wealth management and retail banking operations in the UK and overseas, and he's very keen on brain synergies. Unfortunately, I don't understand anything about this.

Even more unfortunately, my dear friend and Acton's leading brain specialist, Maurice Marble III, claims to be an expert in this field and insists on telling my readers all about it. He says, 'Oh yeah, brain synergies are simple. Nothing to worry about. But I wouldn't advise Mr Pell to muck about with people's brains unless he has an expert such as myself on board. I presume Gordon is concerned that ABN Amro's old staff haven't had their brains tuned into the RBS way of thinking. I could deal with that, for a small fee. Say £20,000. I would just drain the brains of a few RBS people and then mix them up and inject a sample of the brain juice into the brains of a few ABN people. Then hopefully it will all spread around like some sort of virus. And voila! Brain synergies! Yeah, £30,000 should cover it. I'm not greedy.'

For fuck's sake. At least no one can say I'm not loyal to my friends.