Friday, 28 November 2008

New Star Asset Management: a crisis of confidence

O John Duffield, confidence is … the wind in the desert. A hunk, a hunk of burning money. The fire in the eyes of a shaman. The sand in your shoes. The rays of the sun inside. The dead vulture. Rune stones vibrating for you. Your chakras whirling in your own personal astral sky. A turquoise gown. Keith Busby's laugh. Bob's bonus. Music. Dancing. Campfire. Ghosts around the fire. The dead ones.

O John Duffield, let the dead ones dance for you! The old financiers who live forever! Ghosts that come to you in your darkest night, and drag you into the desert. But they do it with love! O John, let them take you!

Thursday, 27 November 2008

HSBC: the bank is out there, man!

Man, let me tell you, HSBC is out there! These guys are stoned immaculate. Wandering amongst the stars in their astral bodies, burning with pure love for the holy money that vibrates in tune with the cosmos, dancing in a dream of shimmering cash in a haze of mystic gold!

O my children, my brothers, my sisters, these crazy HSBC characters provide individually styled financial solutions for their customers! Have you ever heard of such a thing? I cried when I found out. I fell to my knees. I prayed to Big Herb. And now you must pray -

O Big Herb, thank you, thank you for allowing HSBC to operate in such a manner. The glory is yours! O Big Herb, these guys are out there, man! STONED IMMACULATE!

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Beware the death spiral!

O my children, my brothers, my sisters, Marcus Agius has spoken of a death spiral!

Monday, 24 November 2008

Miles Cresswell-Turner goes to Duke Street Capital

We all thought it would never happen. I was only speaking to Arthur Simmons the other week. I said to Arthur: 'There's just no fucking way Miles will leave Palamon Capital Partners and join Duke Street Capital. Duke Street don't have no meditation rooms for one thing. How would Miles like that? There's just no fucking way.' And Arthur agreed with me. But now we find that Miles has gone to Duke Street Capital, and as a partner, specializing in financial services. How peculiar!

This is what Mr Cresswell-Turner says about this totally mental situation: 'I don't need no freakin' meditation room. What do you think I am, some loser who can't go a few hours without meditating? I have a meditation room at home. I spend hours in there every night after work. I focus on the cosmos. The cosmos loves me. I pray to Ganesh the elephant god. Let me tell you, that goddamn elephant is nuts about me. I wouldn't have even got the Duke Street job without his help. There's too much inaccurate information in your blog, Michael. If you're going to tell your readers the truth, you've got to make sure it actually is the truth. Tell your readers I love Duke Street Capital. I love the culture at the firm. No meditation rooms? Who gives a toss? Tell your readers, man! Tell them I've got all my meditation shit sorted out at home. Tell them about Ganesh!'

Miles, mate, my readers already know all about Ganesh. Take a chill pill. Jesus!

GAM Eclectic: are 'friends' eclectic?

That's what we all want to know. At least, those of us with any intelligence. Are 'friends' eclectic?

That was the question I posed to Mark Hawtin earlier this morning. Mark is the manager of the GAM Eclectic fund. This is what the crazy (in the best and most noble sense of the word) guy told me: 'I don't know about no freakin' eclectic friends. All my friends are ghosts. I am a loner, and rarely socialize with the living. I prefer the company of dead financiers. Are they eclectic? Well, Michael, who can say? I would rather not pry into their personal lives. To be honest with you, they are more business associates than true friends. I guess this all sounds rather sad. But don't weep for me. There is a little joy in my life. This new fund I manage - it will target absolute returns with low correlation to equity markets and low volatility. And it makes me feel good. I get this burning, you know, deep inside. That's all I really need. I know the cosmos loves me. I know I'm doing the right thing. I've lived a good life. So please, don't weep for me. I'm the manager of the GAM Eclectic fund. Who could want for more?'

What a wonderful man! This is what I'm talking about. The unsung heroes. The men and women who toil in the vineyards, who burn with love for money, who ask for nothing more than our respect. He's got my respect. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Mark Hawtin.

Friday, 21 November 2008

Legal & General Investment Management told to leave Barclays alone

Who told the goons? I did. Legal & General was planning to vote against Barclays' attempt to raise £7 billion in fresh capital. L&G holds roughly 5 per cent of Barclays. L&G thought it could throw its weight around. It was wrong.

This is what happened. A phone call from my dear friend Bob Diamond. In the middle of the friggin' night! This is what Bob said: 'O Michael, O Master, you must help us. John Varley has his head up his arse. He hasn't got a clue. Marcus Agius is about as useful as a chocolate teapot. Only you can save us now. I beseech you. You must help us. You have got to stop those L&G muthas from voting against the fresh capital. We need that goddamn money. You know the alternative. The alternative is our falling into the hands of those miserable commie sons of bitches in the most disgusting socialist government that ever there was. You understand me, don't you, Mikey? You know where I'm coming from. You must put a curse on Legal & General. Conjure up those dark forces! You can do it if you really try. Don't give me all that shit about how you don't dance on the dark side. This is a fucking emergency! We are talking about communism here, for Christ's sake! Do you want to live in a communist state? Do you want a chivato watching you, everything you do, everything you say? Grow a pair of balls. Go to the dark side. Just this once. Do it for me.'

Well, I'm not going to let down a friend in need. So, yeah, I went to the dark side. I flew straight to Peter Chambers' house. Chambers is the chief executive of Legal & General Investment Management. I told him straight (while hovering above his bed in my astral form): 'Listen, Pete, you're in a world of shit right now, my friend. Oh yes, Bob Diamond himself has commissioned me to scare you half to death, and that's what I’m doing - if you haven't already noticed. I'm only going to say this once - leave Barclays the fuck alone. Who cares about your 5 per cent? 5 per cent ain't shit in my eyes, or anybody else's. You better get real, Pete. You do realize I have the power to put a curse on you, don't you? This time tomorrow you could be in a living hell. Shadows all around you. Voices in your head. Chakras fucked beyond repair. How would you like them apples? Don't fuck with me, Pete. Do the right thing.'

In a newspaper this morning, Mr Chambers said: 'We will vote in favour of the plan.'

Am I the world's foremost financial shaman, or am I the world's foremost financial shaman? What do you think?

Thursday, 20 November 2008

David Aird: what clients want

David Aird, managing director of UK distribution at Investec Asset Management, has been telling some newspaper that clients are more assertive now, and they know what they want. Well, good for them. But what do they want?

Mr Aird, speaking to me earlier this morning, said, 'Clients want us to offer them much more now. They want us to prepare astrological charts, read rune stones, offer aura workshops, and all kinds of crazy mystical shit, and Investec is happy to oblige. Investec knows the world is changing. The credit crunch has made investors more fearful, and more superstitious. In the old days, they would have laughed at the idea of mystical capitalism. But now, clients seem to be saying: If you can't rely on the world of spirit, what can you rely on? And my response is: Fuckin' A! I read your blog, Michael. I know you're the man, the beautiful one, the Master, the mystic lord, the money king, the -'

I had to stop him there. All this hero worship is going to give me a big head.

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Cheyne Capital

Cheyne Capital vibrating in a lonely cosmos with money dangling from a star in the eyes of a trader on the astral plane with the raging fire of a disciple's love begging for a chance to fall down and worship a big elephant while beyond the words and beyond the noise and beyond the meaning exists something beautiful that cannot be touched! Something holy and pure!

O Cheyne Capital, vibrate in a lonely cosmos!

O Cheyne Capital, vibrate in a lonely cosmos!

O Cheyne Capital, vibrate in a lonely cosmos!

Money laughs at me …

Money laughs at me in the darkness of the night. I see the faces of financiers long dead, twisted in the agony of the credit crunch. O Master, will it ever end?

Money laughs at me in the early morn. Last night's demons have fled. But money still laughs. Laughing and laughing and laughing. O Master, what is the joke?

The joke, my child, is the fire in the eyes of a banker. The wind in the desert. The moon in the night sky. The burning sun. The sand in our hearts. The evil words that spill from our mouths. O my children, my brothers, my sisters, we are sinners. Money does not love us.

These could be the words of Jack. These could be the words of Satan. I am sad and lost, whirling in the desert, burning in the chaos of the markets, and screaming for Big Herb.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

No bonuses

No bonuses! Hell is other bankers. Cowards! Traitors!

Who has put them up to this? What sick socialist nightmare of a man or woman told them to leave the cash alone? This will end in disaster. Soon, we will all be working for free. In tractor factories!

No bonuses! The words are poison in my soul!

Monday, 17 November 2008

Standard Chartered: supporting communities while securing wealth

Fuckin' A. Standard Chartered has been striking the right balance for over 150 years, and I take my hat off to the crazy motherfuckers. But what is the right balance?

The right balance is within you, but also without. How much money is there in your wallet? That's always a good question. But ask yourself: How much money is there in my heart? That's a very important question. Make no mistake. Does money burn in your heart, in your soul? You need to find the right balance. What good will it do you to have money in your wallet, but none within the core of your being?

Vikram Pandit: the speech

Friends, bankers, shamans and mystics, I want to reach out to you today. I want to touch something deep inside you, and change all your lives. Firstly, I want you to know that we have plentiful capital and abundant liquidity, and our revenue is strong. But there is something else. There is another world, and there is another way. The way of the shaman in the desert. As you all know, I sold the church of my love, but I am building a temple of love now. Yes, a temple of love! And I am building that temple in the desert. The Master, the beautiful one, Michael Fowke himself, led me into the desert, and he showed me the way. He burnt me with money. Oh yes, my children, I was burnt with the holy money, and I loved it. The priestess was there as well, and she smiled at me. Big Herb was there, and he gave me his blessing. Ganesh the elephant god was there, and he kissed me. The ghosts of the dead financiers were there, and they danced around me. Never have I felt so happy to be alive. And so, my children, I will build the new temple of my love, and we shall all live in it. Either on the physical plane or on the astral plane, you will burn with the love of money in this temple, and you will be blessed.

I can see in your sad little faces that some of you are depressed about the New Depression. O my children, have you been crunched? My children, there is no crunching in the desert. That's why you must have faith. You must believe. There is love in the desert. Are you all so blind?

Why is there no mention of the desert in the mainstream media? They are fools! And unbelievers! Jack Pickles has them! He owns them!

O my children, I have seen the light. The light that shines in the Great Michael, the Big Herb, and the wondrous elephant Ganesh! The light is everywhere around you, but you must open your eyes. Open them, and see!

A great burning is coming! The credit crunch will be cleansed with fire! The unbelievers will be thrown into the pit!

Believe, my children. Keep the faith.

Saturday, 15 November 2008

For those of you who are depressed about the New Depression …

Here's to better dayz.

I'm not feeling too bad, myself. Keith sorted everything.


Friday, 14 November 2008

Soul fusion

Fuck, I'm in a right spot of bother at the moment. A big thank you to all the readers who contacted me and pointed out that in my post on Martin Hughes on Wednesday I somehow managed to mix his consciousness up with mine. That mind-hack of mine (basically, a soul scan) turned out to be an absolute disaster. If you read it carefully (the paragraph in italics) you will find things that couldn't possibly be a part of Martin's consciousness. For example: Akaky Akakievich. Akakievich is the hero of Gogol's short story The Overcoat. I wouldn't expect Martin to be familiar with that story, but it is one of my favourites. Similarly, the line: Some of these days you'll miss me honey, is actually a song lyric quoted in Sartre's Nausea. Another of my favourites. Basically, what has happened is, my consciousness and Martin's consciousness have come together. We are talking soul fusion here. By the way, Angel Delight - nothing to do with me.

This is a fucking mess. I'm being honest with you. An absolute fucking mess. Now, I have total respect for Martin Hughes. I admire the man. But I do not want to be his cosmic soul brother. At this moment in time, Martin and I are sharing an expanded soul. Two souls in one, if you like. It means he has access to my thoughts. And that's scary, because there is shit in my head that I don't want anyone to know about.

Anyway, I have been speaking to Keith Busby tonight. This is what he said to me: 'Michael, are you a complete fucking idiot? Mind-hacking, or soul-scanning, or whatever the fuck you want to call it, is not your area. I'm the expert. I've been trained in it. Why didn't you call me? I would have done the hack on Martin. The good news is, I can help you. Come and see me tomorrow, and we'll sort something out. We'll probably have to do a soul wipe.'

Thank God for Keith Busby. I know I've said some pretty awful things about him in the past, but he is a true friend. Hopefully, everything will be okay. I'll be back on Monday. Wish me luck.

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Lloyd Blankfein: trees don't grow to the sky, but if you plant that tree the roots don't go to China either

That was from Chancey Gardner the other day. No, sorry, Lloyd Blankfein. Yes, it was Lloyd Blankfein, the boss of Goldman Sachs. I always get those two mixed up. My apologies.

This is what Chancey Blankfein said (in full): 'Trees don't grow to the sky, but if you plant that tree the roots don't go to China either. I have such a tree in my garden. I like to watch it grow. It is important to be one with nature. It is good in the garden. I would not want to venture into the desert. Too dry. But there is water in the garden. And life. And hope. The credit crunch is harming many people. I watch it on TV. I like to watch. But there will be growth in the spring.'

Lloyd Gardner. What a man!

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Martin Hughes: a daily ritual

Now, this is what I'm talking about. This is what I like to see. Martin Hughes - the big man at Toscafund Asset Management - has been speaking to a newspaper about his daily ritual. Selling, cheap positions, all that, but what else? What about the occult stuff?

Well, I wanted to know more. So I phoned him up. His secretary said he wouldn't speak to me. No explanation given. So what did I do? I hacked into his mind. Yeah, I can do shit like that. This is the result -

Stories of liquidation, waves of fear, tears of rage, bound on a wheel of fire, rolling down the road, King Lear, Albert Steptoe, the fool, Angel Delight, the chaos, I awoke one morning, insect, in a nutshell, infinite space, Akaky Akakievich, peas, ha hoo ha, pride, one man and his dog, one man familiar with the situation, peaches, dentist, tax, fear of freedom, nausea, some of these days you'll miss me honey.

That's just a small part of it. Make sense out of it if you can. And we still don't know anything about his daily ritual beyond selling. Shame.

Monday, 10 November 2008

Chris Grigg is leaving Barclays!

What the hell is going on? Chris Grigg - the head of commercial banking at Barclays - is leaving the bank. Why? Oh why oh why oh why?


That's what they say. And what are these other interests, pray tell?

1) Crystal ball gazing. Yeah, believe it or not, Grigg can't get enough of those crystal balls. He will probably set himself up as a financial psychic. Keith Busby is going to have some competition.
2) Mystical healing. Yeah. Keith will not be pleased.
3) Teaching financial shamanism. Good luck, Chris, mate. It's not as easy as it looks. Just ask Arthur Simmons.
4) Writing a financial blog. Sure. I'll believe it when I see it.
5) Rhapsodizing about the desert. Chris is taking the piss now.

Alan Miller: back in the game!

Some wonderful news. Alan Miller - one of the world's greatest living fund managers - has returned after a two-year absence. He has become a partner at SilverStreet Capital. Brilliant! SilverStreet is a fund of hedge funds manager, and the firm has big plans for the future. Watch this space!

But where in the name of Jesus H. Christ has Mr Miller been for the last two years? I have been speaking to Alan, and he told me, 'Michael, mate, I ran away into the desert. And that's where I've been these last two years. I've been living in a cave. I've been dancing beneath the moon with an assortment of ghosts - hand-picked by Ganesh the elephant god himself. I've done it all, and I've seen it all. But I became melancholic after a while. I started to miss the action in the City. So I'm back! Back stronger than ever. I have a new consciousness now. I can feel the power of the cosmos surging through me. Needless to say, money burns within me as well. Oh, by the way, I would just like to say what a big help Ganesh was to me in the desert. Man, I love that friggin' elephant.'


But is that the whole truth? Some newspaper reckons Alan was lured back to the City by Gary Vaughan-Smith (founding partner of SilverStreet). How did he do it? This is what Gary said when I spoke to him this morning: 'Alan will tell you some cock and bull story about how he became melancholic and started to miss the action in the City. The truth is a little different. I actually travelled out into the desert to find Alan after I had heard some alarming rumours about him, and I was shocked by what I found. The guy was running around in a loincloth that hadn't been washed in about a year, and ranting and raving, and chanting the names of obscure gods, and, well, you don't want to know the rest. I was the one who cleaned him up and brought him back to civilization. And I'm the one who is giving him a chance to make a fresh start in life. All that financial shamanism lark didn't work out for him at all. I guess it's not for everyone.'

Well, I suppose there are two sides to every story.

Friday, 7 November 2008

Priestess of the holy cash

O priestess of the holy cash, just like a beautiful little butterfly, you float in my subconscious. You bring hope, and love, and a burning that never ceases.

O Stacy-Marie, there is another world. The devils can't touch you!

Fly, fly away, and know that you are blessed.

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Money is my endless death

Money is my endless death. And yours too. We cry in this hell of burnt money (ashes!) with Jack Pickles, Satan, and all the sick angels - blood streaming from the eyes! This is the darkness we try to avoid. And this darkness, it takes us away to a world of pain that we love too much. A world of evil gold that weighs us down and torments us.

But we must remember. There is a better place.

O Stacy-Marie Ishmael, just like a beautiful little butterfly, you hover there on the astral plane. Smile for us sinners. O priestess of the holy cash, come to me!

Interest rates cut by 150 basis points!


This has got to be good news, right?

I can hear ghosts all around me. Cheering!

UBS: legal action over bonuses!

Get the fuck outta here! No, it's true. UBS is considering legal action over the bonuses it paid out to its top executives. The bank wants the money back! Are these crazy muthas for real? I don't know. I really don't know.

I have a friend who works at UBS, a very well-paid friend (I can't name him), and he told me, 'I'm disgusted. I work hard for my money, and I want to keep it. I ain't handing it over to no commie sons of bitches who will probably blow it on outreach workers or shit like that. They ain't redistributing nothing of mine. My shit is my shit. Nobody else's. You better believe it, baby. I'm a capitalist. A proud, mystical capitalist. I've lived in the desert, man. I've burned my brains out on that peyote shit, man. In the good times, UBS was happy for me to live that way. But now we have a fucking crunch, and everything's getting crunched, man, and they want my fucking money. Money I've worked for! They can prise my fucking bonus check out of my cold, dead hand. That's what they can do! I ain't standing for this crap, man. Sons of bitches.'

Feelings are running high. And he's not the only UBS executive who feels this way.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Alexander Ineichen said (I'm in heaven when you smile)

No, he didn't say that. I'm just making shit up. Alex is a member of the investor steering committee of the Alternative Investment Management Association. He's concerned about failing hedge funds, and what he actually said was:

'Mercy mercy me! We're all going to hell in a handcart! I can see blood in a corner of the attic, and in the sands of the desert, and in the entrails of dead animals, and in the eyes of the forsaken one. The signs are not good. The rune stones are calling for blood. Blood calls for blood! They whisper to me: O Alex, you must make a sacrifice. You must please the gods, the gods that are so angry. Go to the mountain. Do what you must. It is your destiny.'

Whispering rune stones. I've heard it all now.

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

John Kingman: at arm's length

O John Kingman, try keeping me at arm's length. You won't be able to do it.

We're going to be bosom buddies. I will haunt your darkest nights, and wander like a psychotic tramp through your dreams! THERE WILL BE NO ESCAPE!

Monday, 3 November 2008

Karl Dasher has seen …

Karl Dasher has seen mystic ghosts bleeding in the Palace of the Lord, money pouring from their mouths, tears, ectoplasm, guts, a fever of coins floating above, with flashing credit cards, and fixed income, and Schroders, and SEI Investments, and the desert so far away in a dream he can't touch.

O Karl Dasher, I know what you've seen, and I've felt your pain. We all have. Salvation is waiting for you. But you must believe. You must have faith. Big Herb is waiting for you. This sweet lord waits for you on the astral plane. O Karl, you must go running to him. Run in your dreams. In your subconscious! In the coldness and the loneliness of your endless night!

Greg Coffey joins Moore Capital

Greg Coffey has joined Louis Bacon's Moore Capital. Are congratulations in order? Well, I don't know. I thought Greg was starting his own hedge fund. And what about the £155 million of bonuses and stock options that GLG Partners offered him to stay on? Has he made the right decision?

I have been speaking to Mr Coffey, but he wouldn't let me get a word in edgeways. This is what the Aussie said: 'I ain't in this for the money, mate. So I ain't worried about no big GLG bonus that I missed out on. I would have only burnt that money in the desert anyway. You see, mate, I'm coming round to your way of thinking. I want to be a financial shaman. I want to dance naked in the moonlight, around a campfire, totally delirious, with all those crazy ghosts you keep going on about. That's the life for me. And the beautiful thing with Louis is that he is allowing me a lot of time off to pursue these desert activities. Louis is a man of the future as well, just like your good self. He can see the value of mystical capitalism. Like me, he's an avid reader of your blog. It's all he talks about, in fact. Michael says this, the master says that, the great shaman is a holy lord to me. That's how he goes on. He won't shut up about you. We're going to be chief investment officers together, me and Louis. Joined at the hip. We'll probably go into the desert and find a cave, and crack open a few tinnies. Just at weekends, you know. Nothing dodgy about it. Bona fide male bonding. It shouldn't be a problem.'

Greg, mate, no one is saying it will be a problem. Good luck with it.