Thursday, 29 May 2008

Frederic Mishkin quits the Federal Reserve

The Fed governor Fred Mishkin has quit the US central bank. This leaves the chairman Ben Bernanke in the shit, as they were close allies. Ben needs all the friends he can get at this difficult time. Well, I'll be his friend. I've told him that.

As for Fred, everyone wants to know what he is going to do now. Some newspaper reckons he is returning to Columbia University, and spending more time with his wife. Nonsense. Even though I haven't been able to contact Fred, I have managed to speak to a friend of his at the Fed and he told me, 'Fred ain't going back to no friggin' university. Forget about that. And he ain't spending no time with his wife. Freddy boy is heading for the desert, and he is going to have himself a wild time. He's been reading your blog and it has really screwed his head up. He couldn't concentrate on his work. All he was saying was - Big Herb knows the truth, Ganesh knows the truth, Michael Fowke knows the truth, I need to know the truth, I need to burn in the desert with money swirling around me.'

Well, it happens. It happens to the best of them. That's the danger of my blog. There are some squares in this world who have been working in finance their whole lives, and nothing has touched them or made them think. Then one day they are browsing the internet when Money is the way hits them like a fucking train. Their whole world is smashed to pieces and then reassembled in the fire of my love and the mystical burning of money. Some of them can't cope. They pack in their jobs. They leave their wives. They sell their children. I just hope Mr Mishkin can find himself in the desert.

Wednesday, 28 May 2008

50 UBS bankers warned to stay away from the US

UBS has told members of its former private banking team to give America a wide berth. Apparently, the US authorities have a penchant for arresting UBS employees. Will the bankers listen though?

We all remember the disaster a few years ago on the Yorkshire moors, don't we? Those twenty or so UBS bankers on that team-building exercise were warned not to go on to the moors. They were told to stick to the road. They were even told: 'Beware the moon, lads'. But did they listen? Did they fuck! Most of them died. A few of them are still working in London.

I have been speaking to Susan Flint from Bad Moon Investments, and she told me, 'I know a couple of the survivors, and they are lovely guys. I won't hear a word said against them. Some of the rumours are disgusting. They wouldn't harm a fly.'

Tuesday, 27 May 2008

No news is good news

Has anything interesting happened over the last few days? Nothing has caught my imagination, and now I'm staring into the abyss. There is some old guy in the film Wall Street who talks about finding your character in the abyss. A man stares into the abyss, and he finds nothing staring back at him, and in that moment he finds his character, and that keeps him out of the abyss. Or something like that.

I'll let you know how I get on. Laters.

Thursday, 22 May 2008

The Economist: rubbish

The Economist has an advert in a newspaper today, saying: If you find rubbish in The Economist it's because there's an extremely interesting story about rubbish.

Whatever. If you find rubbish in my blog one morning, it's because I feel totally fucked after the night before. Take last night. I watched the Champions League final. Nothing wrong with that. I got to bed just before midnight and quickly fell asleep. So far so good. The trouble started at four - always the danger hour. I was attacked by a ghost in my bed. Normally I don't mind. I've had so many ghosts now that I've lost count and it's just routine. But this bastard wouldn't leave me alone. Apparently, he was a dead stockbroker - Edmund Rawlings can tell you about those guys. He kept going on and on, saying buy this stock, buy that stock. I was very polite at first but eventually had to say to the man: Listen, mate, you're dead! It's not your business any more to be pushing stock. Can't you chill out a bit and relax? Surely there are far more interesting things that you could be doing on the astral plane. Get a life!

Well, he left me alone after that. But I woke up feeling guilty this morning. Maybe I was too harsh with him. But that's all part of a financial shaman's life. And that's why I laugh when I hear kids straight out of college talking about the way of the shaman, the glamour and all that. It ain't all it's cracked up to be.

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Mark Yallop: pure uncorrelated alpha

A lot of people are wondering why Icap, the world's largest inter-dealer broker, is doing so well at the present time when so many financial businesses are in the shit - due to the credit crunch. But Icap's chief operating officer, Mark Yallop, has an explanation. He says it is all down to 'pure uncorrelated alpha'. Now, some of you no doubt believe that Mr Yallop is talking 'pure uncorrelated nonsense'. Well, you're wrong.

There is such a thing as the alpha spirit. The alpha spirit soars above the petty, everyday concerns of your average joe and lives and breathes in a world of its own making. Mark and his colleagues at Icap have this spirit. They have created their own reality. As the great German mystic Jacob Boehme once wrote: 'Thus the compunction willeth upwards, and whirls crossways, and yet cannot effect it, for the hardness, viz. the desire stays and detains it, and therefore it stands like a triangle, and transverted orb, which (seeing it cannot remove from the place) becomes wheeling, whence arises the mixture in the desire, viz. the essence, or multiplicity of the desire; for the turning makes a continual confusion and contrition, whence the anguish, viz. the pain, the third form (or string of sense) arises.'

I think that says it all really.

Monday, 19 May 2008

Bob Diamond loses money in shares nightmare!

It has been reported that the boss of Barclays Capital - my dear friend Bob Diamond - has seen the paper value of his recent share purchases fall. They were worth £943,600 when he bought them last August, but £357,350 has been knocked off! He must be upset about this, eh?

Not really. I have been speaking to Bob, and he told me, 'I ain't bothered. I take a philosophical approach now, since knowing you. Money comes, money goes. The important thing is, I can look at myself in the mirror each morning and say: there is a man who knows the value of an expanded consciousness in a chaotic universe. And that's worth something, my friend. Not many bankers in this crazy world can do that. I'm learning, Michael. I'm following the way of the shaman, I'm praying to Big Herb, and - in my more adventurous moments - I am even allowing the mystical burning of money to, you know, do its thing within me. But speak to Johnny Varley, or Johnny Thain, or Vik Pandit - are they doing any of this? Varley? Forget about it! Thain? I'm really not sure. All due respect to him for being a Native American chief in a past life, but what about this life? What has he done lately? And Pandit? Oh dear! He sold the church of his love! Why on earth did Vik do that? So, all things considered, I'm quite a mystical banker, and losing money doesn't bother me because I know it will come back to me. In this world or the next, I will see that money again. You better believe it, baby!'

I wish he wouldn't call me baby.

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

Barclays Capital brings in the rainmakers

About fucking time. Bob Diamond has pulled his finger out and hired some decent financial shamans. These guys are from ABN Amro - Jitesh Gadhia, Marc Holtzman, Simon Hargreaves, Jason Rynbeck, and Frank Hancock. Some newspaper is calling them 'rainmakers'. Whatever. To us they are just financial shamans.

Bob Diamond has already phoned me this morning. I've never known the man to be so happy. He said to me, 'Michael, can you believe this? I've got my own way, at last. Varley wasn't pleased about it, but so what? I run Barclays Capital. If I want shamans or rainmakers or whatever the fuck you want to call them, I will have them. ABN Amro must be gutted right now. Absolutely gutted. We couldn't buy the bank, so we just poach its best staff. Perfect! I must be some kind of fucking genius. I'm more or less the Mozart of investment banking! These new guys will really shake things up. Just like I said the other week, we're going to have crystals shining and tarot cards flying around and chakras vibrating and auras fucking changing colour - it's going to be unbelievable. It feels so good to be alive today. And what a beautiful morning! The sun is out, birds are singing in the trees …'

He went on like that for about ten minutes. I can't believe how much Bob has changed in recent months. If only every investment bank boss was the same. What a wonderful world it would be!

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Norm Pearlstine goes to Bloomberg

Some exciting news. Or maybe not. Norm Pearlstine has got a new job as chief content officer for Bloomberg. He used to be the editor-in-chief for Time magazine, but now he's at Bloomberg you would expect him to be very happy. You could say that the world was his oyster - if you wanted to, of course.

But there is a great sadness in Norm's life. A very great sadness. The problem is he wanted to be the content officer for my blog. Yeah, this blog here. I tried explaining to him that it was a one-man operation, but he just burst into tears. He had visions, you see. Visions of the great Michael Fowke taking him under his wing (that's my wing), and teaching him the way of the shaman. Well, in my time, I've taught a great many people. A lot of them are household names now - as long as you live in a crazy, fucked-up house where everyone, even the kid with the snotty nose, is obsessed with finance, and what are the odds of that? But I digress. Basically, I had to offer Norm some kind of consolation prize. I couldn't give him a job, but I could give him the weekend of his life in the desert. Yes, I gave poor Norm a crash course in financial shamanism. AND IT WAS A DISASTER! Let me tell you - that boy is no shaman. Some of us have got it, and some of us ain't. He ain't got it. Don't believe me? Okay. We actually had the following conversation in the desert. Read it and weep -

Master, why is there a burning in my heart? My child, that is the burning of money. The burning will become more intense, but you will learn to love it.

O Master, I fear it may be heartburn. O my child, for the love of Christ, don't make me laugh. You are in the desert. The desert where money burns. It is money that burns within you.

Master, I saw a ghost last night, and I was scared. What should I do if I ever see it again? My child, you can grow a pair of balls for starters. Ghosts are our fucking business, mate. If you're scared of ghosts, you ain't got no future in the shamanism game.

Master, I often hear you talking to yourself. Why do you do that? My child, you're taking the piss, right? I'm praying to Big Herb, or conducting a bit of business with the aforementioned ghosts! I do not talk to myself!

O Master, I'm sorry. There is so much for me to learn. When will I learn? You tell me, mate. I've had about enough of this. You come to me with a fucking sob story - how no one has given you a chance to make it as a financial shaman. My child, you wouldn't even cut it as a money mystic. Honestly, you're a washout. Go and get a fucking job with Bloomberg. That's your best bet. Bloomberg will take anyone. In all my fucking years I've never …

Then I really lost it. But you get the general idea. He'll be all right at Bloomberg though. I'm sure he will.

Michael Geoghegan: projection of the future

Michael Geoghegan, group chief executive of HSBC, has been talking about 'projection of the future'. I imagine a lot of you are bewildered by this. Projection of the future? What in the name of Christ is the man going on about? It's a common reaction. Not many people understand him.

But let me explain. No, let Mr Geoghegan himself explain. Why should I do all the work? I phoned Mike late last night and asked him for a statement - a clarification of this projection malarkey. This is what he said: 'Why are you phoning me at this hour? You motherfucking shamans are all the same. Do you know what time I've got to get up in the morning? I run a proper fucking business, not some half-arsed fucking blog, you scumbag motherfucker!'

Oh boy, has he picked a fight with the wrong person. Oh boy oh boy! Now, I can either sort this myself, or - if I'm feeling really evil - I can just pass his name on to Jack Pickles. How the fuck is he going to like that? When Jack turns up on his doorstep with all the demons of hell? Forget about it!

Anyway, that won't happen. Let's not get ahead of ourselves here. His secretary phoned me about an hour ago. She said he was mortified when he found out that he had been speaking to Michael Fowke last night. For some reason, he thought it was Keith Busby on the phone. Apparently, he had been on the Scotch, and got us mixed up. Well, I'm not sure about this. Firstly, Keith is a financial psychic, not a shaman. Secondly, Keith's voice is nothing like mine. I don't care how fucking drunk you are, you should be able to tell the difference. Thirdly, Keith doesn't have a blog. Anyway, Mike's secretary reckons he will phone me back sometime today to apologize. I hope so. I hope so. And it better be good.

And this projection stuff? I can't be bothered now.

Monday, 12 May 2008

Citi: dreams never sleep

O Citi, Citi, glorious Citigroup - dreams never sleep! Citi never sleeps! Maybe we dream of opening a business. Maybe we dream of enriching our lives. Maybe we dream of crawling through the desert while vultures circle above us!

Our dreams are always there! Where? In the desert, my friend. And Citi shamans and mystics are always wide awake! They are the awakened ones!

O Citi, Citi, glorious Citigroup - your children are burning in the desert! The fire of money has taken their dreams to the astral desert and they are burning now with love for you and for everyone with wild flames flickering as if hell itself were open in the minds of us all. But this is not hell. Oh no, it is a mystical burning like we've never seen! O my children, my brothers, my sisters, let us dance and sing, and pray to Big Herb. Let us bless Citi, and let Citi burn with money, and let the money burn us, and then we shall sleep while we are still awake! Just imagine it! We shall sleep while we are still awake! How? Why? Where? In the fire of Citi's money with dreams that never sleep! O Citi, you never sleep! YOU NEVER SLEEP!

Friday, 9 May 2008

Vikram Pandit sells the church of his love for $5 million

Citigroup's chief executive, Vikram Pandit, will identify in a meeting with Wall Street analysts today up to $400 billion in non-core assets which could be sold to reduce costs at the bank. But I can reveal - and with a heavy heart - that Vik has already sold the church of his love to an anonymous buyer for $5 million.

Vik wouldn't speak to me on the phone last night. I guess he feels ashamed. But I was able to speak to the anonymous buyer - I know who he is, by the way - and he told me, 'I'm so happy. So very, very happy. It's the church of my love now, and I will cherish it. The church will live in my heart. It will grow with me, and it will teach me. $5 million! What a bargain! I suppose Mr Pandit just wanted it off his hands. I won't ever sell it though.'

The church has gone to a good home. And if you're wondering - no, Noam Gottesman is not the buyer.

Thursday, 8 May 2008

Hank Paulson warns of unpleasant surprises

Hank Paulson, the US Treasury secretary, has been speaking to a newspaper about the credit crisis. On the whole, it is good news. Hank reckons the credit crisis is almost over, but he warns of 'unpleasant surprises'.

Now, anyone not as familiar with the cosmos as I am would think that these unpleasant surprises would be connected to the markets in some way. Oh dear oh dear. How wrong some people can be! No, I've been on the astral plane this afternoon, and I have found out from a very good source that these unpleasant surprises concern Hank personally, and involve the demonic financier Jack Pickles. And I should have known. Why did I waste my time schlepping around the plane? All I had to do was think of 'unpleasant surprises' and 'finance' or 'banking', and the words 'Jack Pickles' would have shot into my head like a couple of dumdum bullets. That bastard has his fingers in so many nasty financial pies that it just makes your chakras vibrate. His latest wheeze is an attempt (maybe next week) to kidnap Hank Paulson and then brainwash him into joining his new organization. And what's the name of this new organization? If you know, you're a better man than I am. I suspect it doesn't even have a name. Remember those comedians, the Lords of Fenchurch Street? Yeah, I closed them down, but they had a great name, didn't they? Jack is probably wracking his brains, trying to dream up something as good as that. However, he never did have much of an imagination. And that is why - with all his power - he still hasn’t been able to outwit me.

Anyway, Hank, mate, if you're reading this, you better get in touch with me. I'm probably the only person on earth who can protect you from Jack. Of course, you may want to go your own way and contact Big Herb in the world of spirit, but there is very little chance he will actually help you. I know you like to think you're Big Hank Paulson from the US Treasury, but that won't cut any ice with Big Herb. You're not a financial shaman, so he won't give two shits about you. That's one of the harsh realities of mystical capitalism. Your world is changing, boy. Get used to it. Send me an email (address below) with your telephone number, and I'll see what I can do.

Noam Gottesman: the distressed space

The boss of GLG, Noam Gottesman, has been understandably depressed since the departure of the amazing Greg Coffey. But he says we should now: 'Expect an impressive hire in the distressed space.'

I imagine a lot of you are wondering what this 'distressed space' is. You would be forgiven for thinking that Mr Gottesman had lost his mind. But let me explain. The distressed space is a hole in our soul. A hole in our consciousness. It is within us. It is also outside of us. It is the cosmos. It is the consciousness of the cosmos. The soul is within and without. Sometimes we feel sad. Sometimes we feel happy. But we always operate within the distressed space. We must grow and learn in this space, and we must go on a journey. The journey is the journey of destiny, of fire, and - ultimately - money. This is the distressed space. We live here.

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

Peter Kraus: I ain't missing you at all

That's a lie. A goddamn lie. Peter Kraus has been missing John Thain, and now he has joined him at Merrill Lynch. I'm welling up over here. I love a happy ending.

For those of you who don't have a fucking clue what I'm talking about - and may not even care - let me explain. Peter Kraus used to be a fund manager at Goldman Sachs, and John Thain used to be his boss. Then - sadly - John left. But there was no way, just no way, these two were going to stay apart for long. I'm not saying they were star-crossed lovers or anything of that sort. That would be so ridiculous. Why did I even mention it? But I am saying Peter and John have always been soulmates. I wouldn't be at all surprised if they knew each other in a past life. Remember that John Thain was a Native American chief at one point. God knows what Peter Kraus was.

Soulmates are important in business. Soulmates always get results. You put two people together who can read each other's minds, whose chakras are synchronized, whose auras are the same colour, and the next thing you know, the money is rolling in. And that is what is going to happen at Merrill now. Peter and John are together again, and woe betide any motherfucker who tries to split them up.

Jerker Johansson is positively surprised

So would I be, with a name like that - but that's beside the point. Jerker is the new head of investment banking at UBS. He reckons he has been positively surprised by the position of UBS's investment banking division in the US. Why? That's what we all want to know. Why?

I have been speaking to award-winning financial psychic Keith Busby, and he told me, 'I know why he's so positively surprised, and it ain't got nothing to do with no half-arsed banking division in the US. Jerker is one of my clients. I've had quite a few sessions with him. First off, I had to do a soul scan on him, and I was pretty shocked by what I saw. His aura - and I'm going to speak bluntly here - was an absolute fucking mess. And that couldn't all be down to UBS's recent troubles. I don't know what kind of life he has had, and I don't want to know, but anyway, I had to sort his aura out. Which I did, with a healing crystal. Of course, his chakras were all bent out of shape. But I sorted them as well by dancing around him and making a humming noise. I also gave him some counselling, which I can't go into. The result though is what you see right now - a happy, smiling man who is positively surprised. That's down to me, that is. So please, let's not hear any silly talk about banking in America.'

Tuesday, 6 May 2008

Dawnay, Day Investment Banking: the future!

Some exciting news! Dawnay, Day - a property and financial services group - is setting up an investment bank. Its corporate finance and corporate broking businesses are going to be merged into Dawnay, Day Investment Banking (DDIB). Drinks all round!

This is a very brave move by Peter Klimt and Guy Naggar. I just hope they can succeed in the present climate. And that's why I have prepared a blessing for them. These guys need all the help they can get.

O Big Herb, O Ganesh, I call on you, money gods supreme, to bless Dawnay, Day Investment Banking. You know it makes sense. Peter and Guy need you! Do not abandon them in the vast vastness of the cosmos. It's cold out there! Warm them up with the fire of money. Guy has already conceded that DDIB could lose money in its first year. No! No! No! You must stop this! It will not be their evil fate to lose money.

O Big Herb, O Ganesh, I spoke to Jesus last night, and saw him in a vision. That bloke is about as useful as a chocolate teapot. I told him about Peter and Guy. He just stared at me blankly and said that he couldn't help. O money gods, what a disgrace! You must do something.

O Big Herb, O Ganesh, bless Peter Klimt. That man has a beautiful soul.

O Big Herb, O Ganesh, bless Guy Naggar. I wouldn't say he had a beautiful soul, but he's not a bad lad. Please help him.

Miles Flint goes to Silver Lake

Miles Flint, the ex-Sony Ericsson president, has joined the private equity group Silver Lake. He is a senior adviser to the technology investor. The fact that a top manager such as Miles wants to join a buy-out firm is a good sign. It means the credit squeeze isn't harming everyone. But that name - Miles Flint. I swear I've heard it somewhere before.

I have been speaking to Susan Flint from Bad Moon Investments, and she told me, 'Oh, I'm so happy that Uncle Miles has got a new job. And he'll be working with some great people - Nikesh Arora, George Kadifa, Kurt Lauk, Michael Oliver. Michael Oliver from Mystical Cash Gurus could be a problem though. He is also acting as an adviser to Silver Lake, helping it pick the best financial shamans and money mystics. Unfortunately, my uncle just hasn't got any time for any sort of mystical tomfoolery - as he would say. Actually, when I was a child I was always pestering him, saying things like - Uncle Miles, look at my nice new crystal, or - Uncle Miles, let me do a tarot card reading for you. He would always reply - I ain't interested in no voodoo shit. It was so funny. It became his catchphrase.'

Friday, 2 May 2008

Paul Idzik is leaving Barclays

Paul Idzik, chief operating officer at Barclays, has decided to leave the bank. Apparently, he has enjoyed a very close relationship with the big boss John Varley, and has been helping Varley in his attempts to overhaul the bank's culture. The word on the street though is that Paul has been getting all emotional lately about the tension between John Varley and Bob Diamond. But let's not get confused over here. We ain't talking about no sexual tension, and Paul ain't jealous - that would be ridiculous. This is about the direction the bank is moving in. Bob Diamond wants to bring a crew of financial shamans and money mystics into the bank, and John Varley wants to take a far more conservative approach, i.e. hire a bunch of stiffs in suits and ties to no doubt replace the stiffs Barclays already employs. Poor Paul has been caught in the middle of this chaos.

I have been speaking to Susan Flint from Bad Moon Investments, and she said, 'He's well out of it. If I were Paul, I would go and live in a cave. He definitely needs to get away, and think about his life. He was obviously torn between John and Bob. Two powerful men fighting for the ownership of his soul. There's Bob, the maverick with a penchant for healing crystals and candles and tarot cards - the change in him has taken everyone by surprise. Then there's John, the leader, a leader of men and women, taking Barclays to greater heights - and yet no spiritual side, no understanding of how investment banks - Bob's domain - have to change in the era of mystical capitalism. No wonder Paul was confused. No wonder he was often found in a toilet cubicle just crying his little eyes out. But he's free now. As free as a bird. I want to see him soar like an eagle - preferably in the desert, you know, with his cave and all.'

I have been speaking to Bob Diamond as well. He said, 'One down, one to go. Barclays will be mine. I can feel it in my water. And then you will see some changes. Boy, will you see some changes. Compulsory meditation sessions for all staff. Crystals strapped to everyone's head. I will bring Keith Busby in to do the soul scans. I don't care how much it costs. I want Keith to check everyone out. And let me tell you, anyone with bad karma, shit chakras or a negative aura will be straight out the fucking door with all their desk junk in a black bin liner. I'm going to be ruthless. I will drag Barclays kicking and screaming and chanting and meditating into the twenty-first century. Watch this space.'

Thursday, 1 May 2008

Bank of England: the worst is OVER!

Recession? Forget about it! There ain't gonna be no fucking recession. How many times do I have to tell you arseholes? I'm not referring to all the readers who agree with me. You guys are the children of god. You're kosher in my book. I'm talking about the arseholes who have been wetting themselves over the credit crunch. All the nutjob doom-mongers and professional cry babies. You know who you are.

The Bank of England has come out now and said that the correction in the credit markets has gone too far. It believes the worst of the global crisis is over. Well, better late than never, but where have these muthas been for the last few months? Can't they read a simple blog? Don't they know about the internet? If they had been following me, the nuts at the Bank of England would have known ages ago that the global credit crisis wasn't shit. People have been panicking about nothing. THERE WILL NOT BE A RECESSION. How do I know this? For crying out loud, I'm the man! I'm the money king. I can do anything. I'm in touch with Big Herb and Ganesh. Those gods are backing me to the hilt. Jesus Christ himself could come off the cross and have a go at me, but I'm untouchable with this sort of support. NO ONE CAN TOUCH ME. AND I KNOW THE TRUTH ABOUT MONEY. I see money moving in my dreams. That's how tuned in I am. And you wanna tell me I don't know shit about no recession or credit crunch? Are you for real? Get the fuck outta here!