Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Collard Capital Management launches its first hedge fund!

Oh, this is something to celebrate, surely? With words of fire, words of passion. It's called the Collard Global Macro Fund, and it will be run by Simon Collard and James Beaton. From Hedge Funds Review: 'The fund will invest in fixed income, currencies, commodities and cash and is designed to be highly liquid with no gates or side pockets. Initial positions are small with stop-loss limits varying according to the trade.' And there's more in the same open vein.

Oh, fine words, fine words. But not words of fire, words of passion. Maybe Hedge Funds Review should offer me a job. This is what I would have written: '[Back by popular demand, for the fourth time.] [And I'm coming round again, third time lucky - oh, fourth time pushing my luck.] The burning twisting fund in our hearts sun yellow and red and specks of orange will invest fire insanely wildly [passionately, yes, I should have said] in fixed but ecstatic income, watch the lights, aloof but lovely currencies silky floating high high gone, mental commodities swirling low and deep and hard and cash you can sticky to your face jam it [investor faces, nothing like them] and is designed to be highly liquids running down your legs like thick thin lemon juice [is it?] with no gates or side pockets or mad holes [black, white] you can get dangerously lost in them, unless that's what you [they, us] want, you want it, want it badly, you desire it dirty with troubadour in that coat with furry collar, and then maybe you can come to some arrangement [evil] with Collard Capital which will come to some arrangement with you, because they love it, Simon and James love arrangements, derangements, confusions with images of Simon and James hanging in the air, no support, practically a miracle, no love or any emotion needed, a little wisp of smoke eyes. Their eyes. Initial positions are so small you'll hardly notice [investors again, no one knows who you are, sadly] them with stop-loss limits varying according to the trade, or the season, or the whim of any passing spirit with a tinkle [tingling] sound in the morning. Each position will have a time limit at inception if you believe that you'll believe in the ancient ones [believe, for me, for my health] and be closed when that limit is reached, or when the mood takes Simon and James out of their fantastic fantasy worlds and back to the matter in hand, the investor's hand, not God's. That would be too big a hand. It wouldn't fit in the world. Oh, by the way, don't be afraid, for no position will comprise more than 8 per cent of the portfolio initially. The fund will be marketed. European qualified investors, including family offices, wealth managers, mystic travellers, chaotic lovers, and funds of killer funds.'

I'm not going round a fourth time.

O Master, one more time!

The Anton Kreil Institute of Trading and Portfolio Management

Oh, it doesn't get any better than this! I don't know where to start. I mean, ripping this guy a new arsehole. The Anton Kreil Institute of Trading and Portfolio Management! Have you ever heard of anything so ridiculous? And he's on tour! Yes, Anton Kreil will be in Glasgow, London, Newcastle, Leeds, Nottingham, Manchester, Cardiff, and Bristol. It's going to be a sort of X Factor for wannabe traders, with Anton Kreil wearing his trousers right up to his armpits - just like Simon Cowell! I can't wait! Not that I'll be going.

On a more serious note though, I am quite sure that Mr Kreil won't be touching on financial shamanism and mystical capitalism. He's just not the sort. And that's why his students will not learn anything worthwhile at this 'institute'. Maybe this is a good time [I know damn well it is] to mention that Arthur Simmons and I will be conducting a shamanism workshop in the physical desert of our love this coming weekend. Attendees will have to find their own way there. And I'm not telling you where 'there' is. If you're made of the right stuff, you will find the venue. If you're one of the cold ones, you'll probably end up wandering around some airport in a pathetic daze, and we'll have no sympathy for you. We don't want your money anyway. Keep it. It's cold. Ah, the money. It will be £5,000 for the whole weekend. That includes accommodation (cave and a blanket), food (whatever shit we can find in the desert, we're not laying on anything special), and a hit or two of peyote. But what you'll really be paying for is our expertise in the financial shamanism game. Arthur and I are the world's leading exponents of the new creed of mystical capitalism. I'm not saying we invented it. Big Herb more or less invented the game as it exists today. But we popularized it. We brought it to the masses, to the City and Wall Street, and every other major financial centre of the world. If you want to make money the mystical way, we're the guys you have to come to. Unless you want to go cheap. Keith Busby will cut you a deal. But two words: false economy. Yeah?

So what can you expect? Well, you can expect to get high in the friendly astral sky, like an eagle. That goes without saying. You can also expect a burning, and a dance around the campfire in the evening. No surprises there. Pretty standard stuff. That'll take care of Saturday. We're saving the exciting stuff until Sunday. By that time, you'll be well-attuned to the desert and ready to meet the ghosts of the dead financiers. [Try and top that, Anton, you ponce.] Yes, the dead financiers! If you were ever to engage them on your own, it would probably result in your death. But under the guidance of the world's greatest living financial shamans (I'm slightly better than Arthur, of course) you will be able to converse with these terrifying characters in absolute safety. I can assure you that the knowledge they will impart will be worth more than the measly £5,000 you will have paid us. So put it in your diary: the desert, this weekend.

Arthur and I look forward to meeting you.

Credit Suisse: big bonuses this week for the managing directors!

Credit Suisse isn't particularly well known or celebrated for its financial shamans, so I rarely write about the bank. I think the bank has one or two. The odd mystic. The strange seer. But there is some exciting news you should all know about. This week Credit Suisse will hand out millions and millions of pounds to its UK managing directors - early bonuses! Well, they won't get all the cash now. Probably just a taste; a smidgen of cash, as it were. [I love that fucking word! Smidgen! But I digress.] Credit Suisse hopes it will be able to hang on to its star performers by doing this. The bank isn't worried about any bad publicity. Not at all. Let the evil socialists rot in hell! That seems to be the sentiment. Fair enough. I don't see a problem with that. But surely there is a better way to retain staff. Aren't these managing directors motivated by more than money?

‭I have been speaking to ‬Sebastian Grigg at Credit Suisse (corporate finance team), and this is what he spake unto me: 'Michael, we are not motivated by more than money. It is everything to us. It is the food we eat, the drink we drink, and the air we breathe. We live for money! I hope this doesn't upset you. (Sebastian, why would it upset me? I'm just concerned that you are unaware of the fact that the burning of money makes money more than money.) Eh? (Sebastian, the astral burning of money, have ye ever experienced it?) No, afraid not. (Well, that's where you've been going wrong. Pay attention now. If you were to venture into the desert of my love with a wad of cash, I would set the cash alight before your very astral eyes, and then you would be amazed by something that would be ... amazing.) Michael, why would I be amazed by something that would be ... amazing? Why, Michael? Tell me why. (Because you would witness the eternal burning of money. It would not be reduced to ashes. The money would burn for as long as you could stand the ecstasy. And even if you turned your astral eyes away from this great spectacle, the burning would continue - forever!) And what would that do for me? (It would change your life, Sebastian. Money would become more than the food you eat, the drink you drink, and the air you breathe. It would become a part of your soul. A spiritual union, man, way beyond the physical and the mundane. Can't you understand?) I think you're trying to say that money would become 'more' than it already is. Or we would realize that money is 'more' than it seems to be. But we would still be motivated by money, wouldn't we? (Well done, Sebastian! Yes, that's a much better way of putting it. You would become motivated by a great realization of what money actually is, or what it can be. You'd see money in its ultimate reality.) It would be a spiritual thing for us. (Yes, spiritual, mystical, whatever. If you experienced the burning, you would begin to truly appreciate money, see its true value and importance. And the burning would lead on to other things. Developments! Your money would start to lift you up. It would expand your consciousness. It would take you out of your body, right out into the cosmos.) Oh, that sounds great! It would definitely change everything for me. I'll have to give it a try. I might even stay with Credit Suisse if it all goes well. Thanks for this, Mike. (It's my pleasure. I'm here to help, to teach.) You're an amazing guy, Mike!'

Another satisfied customer!

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Who is Mads Hultgreen?

A lot of people are asking that question these days. Gabriel Azedo is out of favour. There are some poor deluded souls who like to believe Mads Hultgreen is working at BlueGold Capital Management. Ha! They couldn't be more wrong. There are others - the visionaries - who like to believe he is working at BNP Paribas Corporate and Investment Banking. Well, it's not impossible. But wherever he works, who is he? O my child, is there a question you would like to ask?

Dear reader, have you ever heard of Jose Cogolludo? Mads Hultgreen has. Jose is a global head of sales and marketing for commodity derivatives. At least, that is what he tells people. No one believes him. Not even Mads Hultgreen believes him, and yet there is a rumour Mads will have to report to him one day. Why is life so unfair? O my child, were you going to speak just then? Is there a question you would like to ask?

If you were the head of commodity derivatives European hedge fund sales at say, oh, BNP Paribas Corporate and Investment Banking, wouldn't you lose the will to live? I'm not being funny or nothing, but come on!

O Master, you couldn't do it, that job, without a strong sense of the desert in your everyday life. You would have to feel that the desert was with you, in the office. The sand would have to be in your mouth. You would have to imagine the rays of the sun all around.

Yes, my child. I only hope Mads Hultgreen has that strong sense of the desert in his everyday life. Not that I care, particularly. O my child, who is Mads Hultgreen? Don't tell me that he was at Goldman Sachs. Don't tell me that he was at SEB Merchant Bank. Or Goldman Sachs. A man cannot be dismissed like that. 'Oh, he was at Goldman.'

O Master, I wasn't going to tell you anything of the sort.

O my child, isn't there a question you would like to ask me?

Strange fat fingers on the London Stock Exchange

What was all the drama yesterday at the LSE? From the Telegraph: 'The circuit breakers, designed to prevent excessive volatility, kicked in at about 2pm, suspending trading in shares in BT Group, Hays, Next, Northumbrian Water and United Utilities after each stock moved more than 5pc from their opening price.' Strange fat fingers, ain't it?

Remember the Procter & Gamble fat finger back in May? I said at the time that only Big Herb could have a finger that fat. Now we're dealing with a number of strange fat fingers, and I think we have to rule Big Herb out because even his fingers are not that fat, and no one has ever described them as strange.

O Master, have you been on the wine? It's the trades that were 'strange', not the fat fingers. What's more, the Telegraph is not suggesting that there were a number of fingers. I think you'll find that the trades were executed by one horrible fat finger in the possession of the dastardly Jack Pickles.

Ah, you're wrong there, my child. I know Jack's hands almost as well as I know my own, and I can tell you that his fingers are pretty slim. Even his thumbs couldn't really be described as fat thumbs. And no one - not even the esteemed Telegraph - is suggesting that they were fat-thumb trades.

I'll say it again: the trades were executed by one horrible fat finger in the POSSESSION of the dastardly Jack Pickles.

You mean it wasn't his finger?!

He cut the finger off one of those hellish furry giants. That's the finger he used. Quite ingenious!

How do you know this?

Keith told me.

And how does Keith know?

I don't know.

Keith? I'm not sure. We both know he's a wanker.

Well, that's what he said. The Proctor & Gamble finger as well.

No, that was Big Herb.

Not according to Keith.

Oh, Keith is a wanker! I don't believe any of this.

You never know. Keep an open mind, boss.

Juan Jose Fernandez Garcia and Luis Martin Caro Sanchez have been frozen by the SEC!

Yes, a very disturbing development. Traders Juan Jose Fernandez Garcia [analyst] and Luis Martin Caro Sanchez made a killing recently after they 'purchased - on the basis of material, non-public information about the impending tender offer - hundreds of "out-of-the-money" call option contracts for stock in Potash in the days leading up to the public announcement of BHP's bid on August 17'. Allegedly, of course. Where's the proof?

If you can believe what the SEC says, it seems the assets of these two traders have been frozen. Well, I can believe it. But there is more. I have it on very good authority that those [outlandish] eh? cold earth wanderers at the SEC have literally frozen Juan Jose Fernandez Garcia and Luis Martin Caro Sanchez. Not physically. No, not physically. Their physical bodies haven't been touched. That would leave the SEC open to charges of abuse, even torture. No, the SEC has been very clever. It has frozen the men astrally. O Master, is there such a word? O my child, we can argue about that later. Shakespeare was always inventing words. Why should I be any different? Even Sarah Palin does it. But back to the two Spanish guys. Oh, did I tell you that Juan Jose Fernandez Garcia is a big cheese at Banco Santander? The banco has suspended him. I don't know what it has suspended him from. The ceiling? Who knows?! I'm concentrating on the SEC and its - O Master, there is such a word as 'astrally'. I've just checked - my child, please, I'm trying to concentrate. And have some consideration for my readers. Jesus! I AM CONCENTRATING ON WHAT THE SEC HAS DONE TO THESE SPANISH TRADERS. It has frozen them in the desert of our love. There is no fire. No passion. Not for them. Only ice. Ice is their reward for a lifetime's commitment to the trading life. Outrageous!

How on its cold earth did the SEC manage to do this? It doesn't have the power to go into the burning desert and freeze anyone it fancies. SOMEONE IS BEHIND THIS. Not Jack Pickles. He would never work with the SEC. But it must be someone rather impressive. A man - or woman, let's not be sexist - of great power. Unfortunately, the person who tipped me off about the true frozen nature of these two senors has no idea who it could be. Who could it be? Someone with a warped idea of what morality is, that's for sure. All earnings are good earnings. All money is good money. Isn't that what we have learnt from the example of Big Herb? He died for our money. Let us not dishonour him.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Mark Barnes of Royal Bank of Scotland forex trading flame is slipping away for a while

And I don't blame him. Mark Barnes has been working far too hard in that commie bank. Owned by the state? Ridiculous! But he is slipping off the cold world for a year. Slipping into a different state of mind, a sandy experience with trickles of blood. Obviously, I am speaking of the desert. Clearly, I am full of admiration for Mr Barnes. As global head of forex trading at RBS he has had a wild time with a head of fire, but it is not as satisfying [that life] as the other life he is slipping towards. We can watch him moving slowly through many realities. We can admire him as he goes. Look! A flame in his eye, from the brain. It could leave him and come to one of us, eye to eye, and we would laugh, knowing that Mr Barnes was laughing with us. Not at us. With us - or one of us. As for the desert, he must tackle it alone. Yes, alone. We will be sad to see him go. We may even pine for him. But we will not wander through his consciousness while he is away. No, we will not be there with him, wandering through his patch, as it were, or as it will be. This is a private thing for Mr Barnes. I think we know he will return stronger than ever, don't we? And the rumour is: he will be returning to a new role at RBS. A new role, eh? We can all guess what that will be. He will become the top shaman at RBS! Oh, the bank hasn't said so, but we're not stupid, are we? RBS certainly needs a top shaman, someone to lead the handful of rather inexperienced shamans and mystics at the bank.

Let's send him off, not just with a head of fire, but with a stomach, a heart, a soul of fire! O my children, Mark Barnes needs to know that we love him, that we sincerely love him. We need to build him up! Mr Barnes will need an ego the size of a bus or a battleship if he is to survive the lonely nights beneath the astral moon (Why a bus? Why a battleship?) in our strange land. It's not the same as being at work, or being at home. There's no devil at work, or at home. Well, the devil can be present in those places, but not with the same power that he possesses in the desolate place. Yes, it's desolate. We have to be honest. It is the desert, for crying out loud enough that God might hear. O my children, none of us want to see Satan rise up from the lower levels with the sole intention of dragging Mr Barnes down. There is slipping away, and then there is going down. There is the burning of money which never ceases, and then there is the burning of money that leads to ashes. I don't want to see Mr Barnes writhing on a dark surface with a mouthful of hot ashes. I don't want to see his face covered by a cloud of demonic smoke. I don't want my dreams disturbed by the screamings of this trader. I have been to hell. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone, not even to those wretched souls amongst us who consider themselves satanists. Days of chaos? The furry giants? Could Mr Barnes cope? It doesn't bear thinking about!

What follows is just for me. Please stop reading, dear reader, or else you will be invading my privacy. You wouldn't dream of disturbing Mr Barnes during his astral year, would you? You're more than willing to respect his privacy. Well, what about mine? Not everything I write is for you. This is for me: [I have failed. I have not gone beyond Mr Barnes, the subject of this post. What do I have to do? How much intensity do I need? How much vision?] Excuse me, are you still reading this? I should have known! Well, all right, it's no secret that I want to transcend my subject matter. It's no secret that I'm dissatisfied with 90 to 95 per cent of everything I have written. I am not ashamed. At least I'm making the effort. One day my selected posts will be covered in glory. One day! I am living for that day. I will never quit. Never! I know of no other writer in history who has tried to do what I am trying to do. Does that mean I am insane, or just more ambitious than anyone else? Time will tell.

Guido Giammattei used to be a portfolio manager at Rexiter Capital Management

Now he works at RBC Global Asset Management as a portfolio manager. He has been added to RBC’s emerging markets equity team.

I wonder how Guido Giammattei feels about this. How must it feel to be taken away from the firm of your dreams and added to a team somewhere else? Imagine, dear reader, if they came for you in the night. Imagine they hurt you. Imagine being locked in the boot of the car. Are RBC Global Asset Management interested in you, anyway? Who knows, or cares? They might be. Maybe RBC will put you to work in the kitchen, making sandwiches. We have no idea what Mr Giammattei's duties are. 'Portfolio manager' could mean anything. It probably doesn't mean the same thing it meant at Rexiter. But I wouldn't know, would I?

Well, moving on. It is raining, and my internet connection is fucked. It's my fault, I suppose, for relying on one of those mobile dongle things. Why do they have to be called dongles? They sound obscene. All because it's raining a little bit. And not just outside. It's raining in my heart as well. Will this post ever make it to my blog? Who knows, or cares?

This is going to be a disaster. I know it. I'm not even going to pretend that this post will add any value to my blog. I can't work under these conditions!

I want to post this now, but I can't. I'll have to wait until it stops raining, or until someone at Vodafone pulls their finger out.

I might put some Leonard Cohen on while I'm waiting. That should make me feel better, eh? Yeah, Songs of Love and Hate. 'It is your flesh that I wear.' Marvellous!

Oh, I had forgotten about Dress Rehearsal Rag. 'Why don't you try unwrapping a stainless steel razor blade? That's right, it's come to this. Yes, it's come to this. And wasn't it a long way down? Wasn't it a strange way down?' Wonderful! Thanks, Lenny, you c**t!

Oh, a signal! This looks promising.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Jack O'Connor and Paul Julius to Morgan Stanley's investment management unit!

Off they go, flying past, there they go, off to Morgan Stanley, they are coming, in flames, in time, the way Gregory Fleming planned it. You see, Mr Fleming is one of the few mystical guys at Morgan Stanley, and he wants mystical characters all around him. He wants that comfort, that security. He doesn't want to be alone. Can you blame him? No one wants to be alone. Not even Greta Garbo wanted the solitude. I never believed that nonsense. So he's bringing them in, the mystical ones, the conquerors of the desert. That's the way to do business if your head is full of flames. Yes, he will have Jack O'Connor and Paul Julius. I know them well. Brilliant men! Warriors of the astral plane! Veterans of the sandy days and nights. Oh the nights! When we crawled in the moonlight. It wasn't all dancing. Not in those days. Oh, Jack and Paul? I know them well.

Alas. I knew them well. Jack O'Connor was a fellow of infinite jest. And Paul Julius? His flashes of merriment were wont to set the table on a roar. But everything must come to an end. One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh.

O Master, this sounds like a tragedy! Where are we, in future times? Has our world come to an end? But the earth abideth forever, surely?! Oh, it is we who have disappeared! Help me! Help me! Can you hear me? O Master, am I alive? Help me! Help me! God have mercy!

Shut up, my child, and go away! You moron! This is a serious affair. I don't want your voice in this moment. Your chatterings, your screamings, are a great annoyance to me. Be gone! One day it will be permanent.

Dear reader, he is an idiot. Ignore him if he comes back. Dear reader, understand this: I am everywhere. Everywhere in time! I was at the birth of Christ. I was at the death of Caesar. I am here, right here, Tuesday 24th August 2010, in London. I will be present at other times, other events, so far off, you can’t see them, may not even want to. This is why I'm so melancholic. It's not a gift. It's a curse. I am detached. Cut off. I had such high hopes for this post. I was trying to be positive. Jack O'Connor will head Morgan Stanley Investment Management's institutional sales unit. That's something that should be celebrated, isn't it? But I feel so sad. Paul Julius will be the unit's chief financial officer! Why can't I be happy for him? This post began with such fire, such enthusiasm.

I know how it all ends. I am not the god I want to be, that's for sure. This weakness is terrible! I feel so human. O God, have mercy on me! I am a human being. And that voice, that mystic child? Yes, have mercy on him too. And my readers. We are all your creatures, your robots. Why we pretend otherwise, I'll never know.

FSA fines Zurich Insurance £2,275,000!

The FSA strikes again! It has fined the UK branch of Zurich Insurance £2,275,000 for failing to look after the personal details of 46,000 of its customers. Fair enough. I don't have a problem with that. Zurich had it coming.

Because Zurich settled at an early stage of the investigation it was given a 30 per cent discount. Wonderful! It deserves the discount for being so cooperative. Everything's roses.

Torbjorn Ranta is an investment manager

Some of you may find this slightly disturbing, but Torbjorn Ranta has left Banque Invik Corporate Finance to join Alpcot Capital Management as an investment manager. Yes, he is an investment manager. That is what he does for a living. Of course, some of you will be thrilled. You will not be disturbed in the slightest.

However, imagine I were to tell you that Mr Ranta was not an investment manager at all. Imagine if I were to tell you that no one - not even Mr Ranta himself - knew what he did for a living. How disturbing, no, terrifying, would that be?

Well, Mr Ranta is an investment manager. So we can all relax. For a while. It makes us feel good, doesn't it, knowing who everyone is and what they do for a living? I am Michael Fowke. I am the world's foremost financial shaman and a visionary blogger. That's my identity. I can only get to sleep at night because I have a firm grip on the reality of my situation. But when I go to sleep, when we go to sleep ...

... oh, that is a another matter. The dreams we have tear us away from our 'lives'. We see ourselves in extraordinary situations. We realize we are not who we say we are, and who other people say we are. We realize we have no names, no careers, no families, and no countries. We are drops of water in a river; and that river is running towards the sea of death, which is actually eternal life, so we shouldn't get upset, unless of course we are particularly attached to the lives we lead when we are awake. But, dear reader(s), maybe I am presuming too much. I have no idea who you are. Maybe you never dream. There are such people. They do exist. Are you one of them?

Would you be reading this blog if you were one of them? I suppose you could be passing through. Maybe you entered 'Torbjorn Ranta' into a search engine. You're an old friend or work colleague of his, and you're wondering what he's getting up to. Has he left Banque Invik Corporate Finance yet? Has he got a new job? Now you are here, and someone you have probably never heard of is telling you that you have no name, no career, no family, and no country. You believe you have all those things. Oh, anyone can believe anything! But 'Michael Fowke' is telling you the awful truth about yourself. It can't be easy.

No, it can't be easy. Why in the name of Christ did I type 'Torbjorn Ranta' into Google?! O stranger, don't be too hard on yourself. You weren't to know. You had no idea that beyond that search result there was a sociopath waiting for you, intent on tearing away all your illusions, leaving you naked in a reality you never knew existed. But I mean(t) no harm. You'll thank me one day.

Monday, 23 August 2010

Robin Geffen and his long slow bleed

Robin Geffen at Neptune Investment Management is an eccentric man. [Was an eccentric man.] We all know that. [We all knew that]. But we all love him. [Loved him.] And he knows that we love him. [Loved him.] So should we be worried about the that Mr Geffen is suffering a long slow bleed?

Well, Mr Geffen isn't worried. I mean, he doesn't seem to be. He has been speaking of fund managers not being able to get out during a long slow bleed. No liquid. Liquidity. It could happen. [It would happen.] But he hasn't mentioned his own situation in the astral desert, as blood leaves him and runs into the sand. Slowly. We hardly notice it. Maybe Mr Geffen hasn't noticed it. But there are a few spots, and we can follow him. He is leaving a trail. Where is he going? I suspect he is looking for a cave. [He would have been.] That's what I would do. Somewhere safe and warm. He'll be able to rest, and sort himself out. Oh, he must be aware of his long slow bleed. [He was.]

Of course, in the real world [this world, that world, gone now] the world which some of us woke up to in London this morning with summer rain, no one is bothered by any of this. Mr Geffen moves around, somewhere in Hammersmith, only a few miles from where I am [I was] physically, and the long slow bleed is a total irrelevance. It has no impact on his physical life. But Mr Geffen is an intelligent man. If he is aware of the long slow bleed, he'll realize that eventually he will lose all contact with the astral plane, his dream world, his subconscious. [He did.]

O Master, there must have been something you done could did.

O my child, just writing this post should done the trick. Mr Geffen will have read it and understood just how serious the situation has become. Then he'll take a lifetime off work, he'll find his astral cave, and ...

And? Then what?

It's all in the past, and in the future. It never happened. This was never written.


Fuck it! Is this going to be one of those days? I am not starting the Robin Geffen post again. And I'm not rewriting it. We'll just have to live with it.

So what is this? Where are we now?

You cannot imagine my despair. Use your imagination. You cannot imagine. That is no reflection on you. I'm sure you try your best. But no one could imagine. You are not a failure. You should not feel ashamed.

Friday, 20 August 2010

Goldman Sachs sues Natixis

In London's High Court. Something to do with three credit derivative transactions. Goldman bought protection from Natixis, the French investment bank. [Protection? Is this a racket of some kind? I don't know.] But Natixis wants to cancel the deal because it claims Goldman never followed instructions. Goldman is suing for breach of contract. I am fully behind Goldman. Why should it take instructions from a French bank no one has ever heard of? This is an outrage!

Normally, I would have a conversation with Lloyd Blankfein at this point. There would be plenty of bad language. Lloyd would be exhorting me to take these French muthas down. That's how it works - normally. But as you know, dear reader, I'm not receiving the Goldman dollar no more.

So we are left with emptiness. But that's okay. We can deal with emptiness. Besides, what will you find anywhere else? Only emptiness masquerading as news. They talk and they talk. They write and they write. None of it means anything. None of it is remembered longer than a day. And yet they think I'm the crazy one. What they fail to understand is that my honesty regarding my emptiness will guarantee my immortality. And it's the way I express my emptiness that is important. Emptiness coupled with grandeur is a winning combination. Just ask King Solomon.

And then there are the visions. Where would I be without my visions? My visions are a way for me to escape emptiness. Like Rimbaud before me, I am sickened by 'normal' reality. I want to escape. I need to escape. Rimbaud quit too soon. Packed it all in at nineteen/twenty. Imagine if Picasso had quit painting at that age! Picasso is a far better example of the shamanic artist. In fact, he is the greatest shamanic artist of all time. He recorded his visions with paint, and he worked until he dropped. On the day of his death - at the age of ninety-one - he didn't go to bed until three o'clock in the morning (may have been six). He had been painting all night! There was no way that last painting could have possibly added anything to his monumental reputation, so why didn't he just get a good night's sleep like any other pensioner? I'll tell you why: it was because he was a god. A human god - if that makes any sense. It probably doesn't, but then I never promised you 'sense', did I?

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Stanley Druckenmiller is closing his fund

Stanley Druckenmiller is the man who runs Duquesne Capital Management. It has been his life. He has been totally committed to it. He has given his soul to the fund! But the end is near. By February 2011 it will all be over. We will watch the final moves: money will be returned to investors, and Mr Druckenmiller will sail away on a little boat on the astral sea, and we will never hear from him again. Not the desert. Not the dry desert with the scorching sun! No, Mr Druckenmiller is an emotional man, and he needs soothing water. Cool, cool water will ease his pain. A little splash on his face as he sits in his boat, sailing off to find eternity. That's the life! Or is it death? The calmness, sure. But the emptiness? The nothingness? It's a matter of taste.

But there will be storms! To live is to be in pain! I should know. Listen to me, children. You cannot just sail away, expecting everything to be roses. There will be more than a little splash. I know that huge waves will come and sweep over his boat. There is every chance the boat will be smashed into pieces, and that Mr Druckenmiller will be tossed about on those destructive waves. But this doesn't mean that sharks will feast upon his flesh. His carcass will not bob up and down with a blood-red sun matching the colour of the water all around. No, he will survive. But he will be tested! A giant octopus could take him for a spin in the astral depths! Dolphins could chase him! He might land on the rocks of another reality! In fact, I'm sure he will. His head will hit hard. New emotions will bubble up within him. Some good, some bad. It will be a new life. But not even death would be a release for him. Mr Druckenmiller needs to understand that not even through death can we escape life. It goes on and on and on!

We have no idea who is alive and who is dead. That's the truth. Are any of us so arrogant that we can say we have all the answers? We don't even know the questions. God will not ask them. We are on our own. So take to your boats, my children, if you must. You can build a spaceship, if you want to. No one will stop you. But there will be no escape from reality of one sort or another. We are stuck in a cosmos that may be aware of us, may not. We don't know. God may love us, may not. How are we to know? It's not as if He's human, is it? Does the tiger love the ant? Does the ape love the mouse? And God is not a tiger or an ape! Just spirit. What are we? Spirits in cages of flesh and bone. Don't get any delusions of grandeur. Next time, children, you will be ants, or mice. Tigers. Apes. Oh, you are apes already! Look at yourselves in the mirror.

The York Lion Merger Arbitrage Liquidity Fund UI

This is a new fund, brought to you by York Asset Management and Universal Investment. It is a Ucits III compliant fund, and 'the fund will invest in listed shares on global stock markets. It will also target announced mergers and acquisitions as well as other corporate events through purchases of equities and bonds in established and emerging markets.'

[Nick Walker, crawling in blood, stone steps, outside a temple, not his blood, that's a relief, he seems happy, exhilarated even, something has happened, it has to be more than the launch of the fund, a voice now, saying his name, Nick Walker, Nick Walker, he turns over on to his back, the sun almost blinds him, Nick Walker, Nick Walker, it seems to be coming from the sky, from one of the clouds, there are a few fluffy clouds floating around, pure white, Nick Walker, Nick Walker, this is bizarre, it may be one of the dead financiers, but I cannot see, and Nick cannot see, ignore it, just ignore it, Nick takes my advice, he can hear me, I am there, here, this is amazing, but I am not in a cloud, he turns back on to his stomach and continues to make his way up the steps, oh, I'm following him, and the voice has gone, Nick is still there, making his way, he reaches the entrance, a wooden door, he is exhausted, he cannot stand, but he gets on to his knees, there is blood all over the steps, not his blood, thank God for that, I hope it's not my blood, he bangs on the door with his fist, he wants to enter, that's understandable after all the effort he has made, I am seeing this, but not with my eyes, but I am there, here, this has nothing to do with the York Lion Merger Arbitrage Liquidity Fund UI, which will please a lot of people because no one wants this, even if it turns out to be a positive thing, no one wants this sort of disturbance, the door opens, no one at the door, but the door is open, Nick is smiling, I have never seen him this happy, I can't imagine what awaits him in the temple, but Nick must know, he moves forward on his knees, through the door, a great achievement, but he slams the door shut, oh, he has gone, this is disappointing, a bit rude, it seems I am not invited, which means, dear reader, I will have to leave it here.]

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Art is either plagiarism or revolution

"Legal & General shares up 2.9 per cent to a 12-month high of ..." That was the original title of this post, continuing with the first paragraph -

[... of ... of ... does it matter? Zurich is considering a bid for Legal & General, but does it matter? The shares are so high, but I am feeling so low. So I have no desire to discuss insurance companies. Even if I were a happy soul, I wouldn't want to discuss insurance. I am so depressed today. Trying to squeeze poetry out of insurance? I'm on a hiding to nothing. I know that. To hell with Legal & General!]

Then I started to write this -

[Art is either plagiarism or revolution - Marcel Duchamp (or Paul Gauguin)

That's something I can write about. Why are so many artists (writers) living in the past? How many more novels, plays, and poems do we really need? Isn't it time for something new?

But this is not the place. Notes is the place. But I am here, in this post.

Sometimes words make me sick. Ideas make me sick. Do you ever get that sickness in your head, dear reader?

My last post was a disaster. But I will not delete it. Let it stay there as a warning to myself, and to others - who may follow me in years to come.]

I finished off with this -

[Sometimes I feel like Christopher Columbus. I don't know if I'm going to discover a new world or fall completely off the edge of the old one.]

Isabelle Tykoczinski to Kinetic Partners!

Just like Christian Szylar before her! Isabelle Tykoczinski has gone to work at Kinetic Partners, and now I’m feeling all deranged again. My mouth is dry. My hair is buzzing with electricity. My teeth -

O Master, why does Kinetic Partners have this effect on you?

O my child, I have no idea. Remember the last time? I nearly lost my mind.

But we ended up in some weird orgasmic state. It wasn't that bad, really.

This craziness we have, is given to us by the gods. They don't want 'normality'. This is what they want. Kinetic Partners is the trigger. Pull the trigger. And a bullet of reality smashes into my head!

O Master, a bullet smashes into my head!

You don't have a fucking head! This is my moment. Why must you spoil everything for me? If I can have this derangement for myself and change my consciousness, in this moment, or another moment coming like a speeding bullet, then I might, just might, be able to get a glimpse of the ultimate reality, which is what we want.

We? Are we in this together then? I thought you were going it alone. Unless -

Unless we are -

No! It's not possible!

But why Isabelle Tykoczinski? Why must it be her? Christian Szylar I could deal with, but -

She's a woman! We have to be careful.

[I am stopping this here. I refuse to continue with it. Something's not right. It's a trick. A little game. Ha! Let the money gods punish me! What do I care? I WILL NOT BE USED LIKE THIS! I am not a plaything!]

Pablo Calderini is at Graham Capital Management

But how did he get there? Wandering (or flying) through astral desert in the night? Not even Ken Tropin knows for sure.

Pablo Calderini left Deutsche Bank last month. He was the head of equity proprietary trading. He left one pale morning without saying a word. There was a touch of mist in the air, which could have been ghosts. There were no tears from the Deutsche crowd, although as the days passed many at the bank wondered about him. People had dreams. They had visions. One of his old team saw him flying over a mountain range. 'Like an eagle'. That was the phrase he uttered, this bewildered trader. But no one knew for sure what had happened to him. Then, out of the blue, quite recently, he appeared at Graham Capital Management as chief investment officer. No questions were asked by his new colleagues. They were too scared to ask about the journey, but they have told me that they could see the emptiness of the desert in his eyes. Oh, they had an inkling. But they did not ask. Pablo is a dangerous man.

O my children, would you dare ask him any questions at all about the missing weeks? Would you ask him how he had travelled from Deutsche Bank to Graham Capital Management? Would you be that brave or that foolish? Actually, one man did interrogate him. The fearless founder of Graham. Yes, Ken Tropin asked a question or two. Now he walks with a limp.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Did Jakob Stott dream of UBS Wealth Management?

He will report to Juerg Zeltner in October, and he will continue to report as the head of wealth management in Europe. This is Jakob Stott, obviously. But what did he dream of, as lost as he was at JP Morgan?

A dark angel with aching wings, could he be? Juerg Zeltner would not know. And we could not tell him. Jakob Stott is a mystery. His dreams are mysteries. Why was he chosen? That is a mystery. The grave he comes from, the light he flies towards, the force that drives him, the miracle of his life. Standing alone, his head wrapped in a sheet. This is the head we should worry about. It will not roll in desert sands. It has a body attached. It has arms, legs. Oh, the old streets of Germany, Great Britain, France, Monaco, Italy, Spain, Austria, Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands! We shall hear his feet at night with the owl.

The sheet is off! Blood runs from his mouth. I am seeing the teeth of that mouth. I am feeling the heat from that face. But cold eyes! There are no tears to come from ice cubes. Did we suffer in the desert for this? So men like Jakob Stott can work at JP Morgan while dreaming of UBS? Our lives are not trivial. We have experienced burnings. Oh, the joy of burning! But we have suffered terrible privations as well. Our love is not for spending. Does Jakob understand this? And if he understands, does he care?

We are not dead. We are very much alive. Hearts throb in our ears, ears hissing like the boiling oceans we have seen. If we were being honest with ourselves, we would deny the existence of Jakob Stott. The truth is, we enjoy our little fantasies. How sad are we, that we cannot live without our monsters, our rolling heads, our nightmarish visions? Teeth scattered on a European street with a blood-stained white sheet and a drumming coming for us and throbbing gums. Skeleton hands reaching for the door, up the stairs, it enters. A killer of all our dreams. Jakob Stott has no dreams. A thought-form does not dream.

And now my mind turns away from Jakob. I wonder where Gillian is. This is pleasant. This is satisfying. Visions of Gillian! There are no horrors in this reality! I wish I could sleep for a thousand years.

Sherborne Investors buys £15 million stake in F&C Asset Management

Yes, Sherborne Investors has bought 5.2 per cent of F&C Asset Management. God knows why. They're a bunch of bullies, aren't they? Locking people in broom cupboards! Disgraceful! But shares in F&C went up 23 per cent on the news. So they must be popular.

But that's not what interests me. What interests me is Edward Bramson, the founder of Sherborne Investors. Legend has it, Mr Bramson had a turnaround experience as early as 1977. Remarkable!

Well, I have been speaking to Eddie. This is what he told me: 'Michael, it's all true. I'm a veteran of the astral plane. How old were you in 1977? (I was only eight, Eddie.) Eight years old! And now you're almost running the joint. Did you know that I was friends with Big Herb back in the days when he was just another financial worker in the City? He wasn't even a shaman when I first met him. (That's amazing, Eddie! I bet you have some stories. Like the turnaround, yeah?) Oh, the turnaround. The greatest experience of my life. My first season in the desert, just Big Herb and me, beneath the stars and under the sun, and let's not forget the moon. It changed everything, my whole outlook. (Big Herb was there?!) Yes, it was his first season as well. We were pioneers, in a way. Oh, I know the dead financiers have been around for centuries, but nobody ever burned in the desert like we did, not in those days. I get quite emotional, looking back. Big Herb, gone now. Such a tragic accident. That blasted space hopper! I warned him, you know. But he became a money god on the plane. So all's well that ends well. Death is not the end. (Amen to that!) I suppose you're looking forward to the afterlife yourself, aren't you, Michael? (Er, I'm not in any rush, Eddie.) Of course not. You're still a young man. Still raging with mystic fire on this cold earth, eh? Full of passion! How I envy you! What do I have to look forward to? (Oh, come on, Eddie!) I sometimes imagine I'm in the desert again. A young man with everything to live for! (Eddie, mate, get a grip! You're not even sixty yet, are you?) Oh, the Reaper! Let me slip away! We had joy, we had fun, we had ... (Eddie, are you winding me up?) Yes, I'm bloody well winding you up! I've just bought over 5 per cent of F&C. You're so gullible! (You're just a brilliant actor, mate. The Terry Jacks routine was a bit much though.) See ya, Mike!'

That was Edward Bramson on the phone this morning. What a character!

Barclays fined $298 million over sanctions breach

Apparently, Barclays allowed financial transactions to take place between nations that were under sanction by the United States.

So what? We've all got to earn a living. And America doesn't own the world, does it? What business does it have telling a British bank which countries it can work with?

But the transactions touched the US banking system, O Master.

I don't care. When are the US authorities going to go after Jack Pickles? He doesn't just break sanctions. He murders, he kidnaps, he extorts. Countless lives have been ruined by this evil monster. Yet he has a penthouse apartment in New York. And I'm sure the FBI knows where he lives in the Cayman Islands.

O Master, they are waiting for you to do something.

Well, that's not my job.

But you keep saying you will deal with Jack. I suspect it's because he's an old friend, the best friend you ever had. It's like Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid all over again.


Morgan Stanley says India to become world's fastest growing economy

In a few years from now. Sometime between 2013 and 2015. And check this from The Economic Times: 'The two hands to produce count for more than that one mouth to feed, after all.'

What does that mean? I don't know. But what about Ganesh the elephant god? He has anything between two and sixteen hands, which can be rather confusing. Every time I see Ganesh he has a different number of hands. Yesterday, he had five. Today? Who knows? He could have eight. The Economic Times hasn't taken this into consideration. Still, it's a fine newspaper and website. We shouldn't complain too much.

Monday, 16 August 2010

Jim Esposito: new chief operating officer of global investment banking at Goldman Sachs

Yeah, Howard Schiller is retiring, and so Jim is taking his place. I just hope he can fill the big man's shoes.

I have been speaking to Jimmy. This is what he told me: 'Mikey, I'm feeling fucking nervous, man. (I don't blame you, Jimmy. Howard is going to be a tough act to follow.) I know, Mike. We've all heard the stories. The man's a legend. Such an adventurer! The way he dealt with the furry giants in his days of chaos. And you've been there, done it yourself. (I got the T-shirt, mate.) The one with the furry giants on it? (Yeah.) Well, of course. What am I saying?! (Relax, man. You'll be okay.) Thanks, Mike.'

Those furry giants aren't all that anyway.

Voras Capital Management: a new hedge fund!

Oh, this is exciting! A new hedge fund! According to Financial News/Deal Journal, it has lifted off with Zoe Cruz in charge: 'Cruz, who has been fund raising for nine months, has raised $200 million in total for Voras, according to people close to the firm, and has established two separate funds. One, a global macro strategy, is run by Cruz herself; the other, a credit opportunities fund, is managed by Ellen Brunsberg.'

Well, as this is a very difficult time to be launching a new hedge fund, I reckon a mystical blessing is in order.

Might do more harm than good.

Shut up! When did you get so negative?

Here goes - O Big Herb, O Ganesh the elephant god, O ghosts of the dead financiers, bless this new hedge fund, Voras Capital Management. Make sure Zoe Cruz and Ellen Brunsberg burn with money in the astral desert of our love. And I don't want any sexist nonsense! Come on, guys. There aren't enough female financial shamans. You can count them on the fingers of two hands. Oh, Ganesh, mate, I don't care how many hands you have. This is no laughing matter! Zoe and Ellen have definitely got what it takes to make it on the astral plane. So give them a chance. You can start off by blessing Voras. You know it makes sense.

Jon Block head of international trading in the Americas!

Yes, Nomura Securities has hired Mr Block as head of international trading in the Americas. Because there are two Americas. There is the America that everyone knows and loves: Elvis, apple pie, JFK, etc. Then there's the other America, the astral America that exists in our subconscious. Mr Block will be travelling between the two, physical and astral, a warrior in both worlds!

Is he qualified for this? Well, he worked at Goldman Sachs for ten years, so I should think so. He also worked at UBS. But that's not a problem. We all have things on our CVs that we would rather forget.

Good luck, Mr Block head of international trading in the Americas!

Eddington Capital is shutting down!

Sad news. Hedge fund firm Eddington Capital is going out of business and returning all capital to its clients. It couldn't get the cash inflows, you see. What a shame! I'm just worried about the team at Eddington - characters like Glenn Baggley, Duggie Hawkins, and Richard Sharman. What will become of them?

Actually, I'm not worried about Richard Sharman at all. Richie, the senior fund manager at Eddington, is a personal friend of mine, and I know he's going to be all right. I just wish he would get rid of that ridiculous 'r' in his surname. Everyone knows he's a financial shaman. He was born to be one.

But that 'r'! This is what he told me about it late last night when we were tucked up in bed (I mean, he was at his place, and I was at mine, talking on our mobiles. Do I have to explain everything, you filthy-minded toerags?): 'Mikey, man, I need that 'r'. I'm not as brave as you, you know. (Richie, man, what you talking crazy for? What are you going on about?) I don't want people knowing I'm a financial shaman. It's my little secret. (Oh, so you're ashamed? Lovely.) Mikey, I'm not ashamed. Don't get upset. It's just that I'm surrounded by squares. If they knew the real me, my career would - (Richie, mate, if they knew the real you, they would get you to sprinkle your magic all over Eddington and the firm wouldn't be going out of fucking business! Why are you hiding your light under a bushel, you daft prat?) I guess I don't have the confidence, man. Oh, how I wish I were like you! I see you burning madly without a care in the world. You float in the astral sky. You walk through the City like a king, a sublime mystic lord, almost a god! (Almost.) It takes my breath away, the way you live your life. You have absolutely no fear. I worship you, Mikey! (All right, don't get carried away. People are already talking.) Sorry, Mike. I just find it - (I know, Richie. I know how you feel. I've become a hero to so many City workers, shamans and non-shamans alike.) You must get mobbed whenever you're in the Square Mile. Autographs and that, yeah? (Oh, you don't know the half of it. They tear at my clothes, kiss me, touch me up - the women, of course. It's a nightmare.) I'm glad I'm at Buckingham Gate. My nerves couldn't take it, all those women crawling all over you. (But that could be you!) If only I had more confidence!'

Oh, if only Richard Sharman had more confidence!

Neil Woodford says shareholders should speak up

Yes, large institutional shareholders must speak up, unless they want to be ignored by the boards of companies. As you know, dear reader, Neil Woodford is head of investment at Invesco Perpetual, and one of my old students. He always used to speak up.

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

Master, why do I feel so lonely? My child, haven't you asked this question before? I'm getting a deja vu vibe over here, man.

But I feel so lonely in the night, and in the day, Master. My child, loneliness is the way of the shaman. How many more times? The desert is testing you. The gods of the desert are testing you. One day, the desert will love you, and the gods will love you, and your loneliness will pass; or, at least, you will not worry about it so much.

What about the ghosts of the dead financiers? Will they love me? That's a good question. As a rule, they don't have much time for whiny little fucks. But it's hard to say. You will really have to prove yourself if you want their love.

O Master, how can I prove myself, to be worthy of their love? Christ! You ask some questions, don't you? Er ... you could venture down to the lower levels of the astral plane and engage Jack's demons in combat, or even Jack himself.

Jack Pickles? Yes, Jack Pickles.

But he's an evil man! He will - He will tear you limb from limb. He will pull your head off and use it as a football. He's the wickedest man who has ever lived. Makes Aleister Crowley look like a big girl's blouse. But if you can give him a bloody nose, the ghosts will love you for it.

But what if I am killed, O Master?! Then the dead financiers will always honour your memory.

O Master, I'm not sure I'm cut out for this lifestyle. Maybe you should take that job at Invesco Perpetual.

Will I really work there one day, as head of investment? My child, it is your destiny. It is written. But remember, you will always be welcome in the desert of our love. And you should always carry the burning within you, wherever you go.

O Master, I will. The burning is so intense. My child, it is nearly time. Invesco Perpetual! Invesco Perpetual! Invesco Perpetual! Say it! Scream it!

Invesco Perpetual! Invesco Perpetual! Invesco Perpetual! Oh, the burning! Out of control! Wild flames! Aaaaaaaaarrrrgghhh!

Thursday, 12 August 2010

What does Morten Spenner believe?

Do we really care?

'Morten Spenner, chief executive at International Asset Management, believes credit and equity market conditions bode well for security selection and should in particular benefit long/short equity and credit managers.' Hedgeweek.

It's the same old story. We know from bitter experience that chief executives believe all sorts of things.

But let me tell you what I believe. I believe Morten Spenner is sick of this life.

Yes, he studied at Oxford, and the LSE. No surprises. He was an associate at Putnam Lovell Securities. Then he thought he would find the happiness he was searching for at IAM. Oh, the disappointment. Tears, and more tears.

Has Morten ever looked within?

This is what I believe: Morten Spenner has to let go. He is holding on to a world that doesn't need him, doesn't want him.

What would happen if Morten left for the desert tonight? Am I speaking of the astral desert within? No! The physical desert. What's the worst that could happen? It would be a serious challenge. A test of his strength. O Morten, just pack a bag and go! What are you afraid of?

O Master, it's his privileged background. A real handicap.

Okay, here's the story. I come from the gutter. I know that. I got no education ... but that's okay. I know the astral plane, and I'm making all the right connections. With the right woman, there's no stopping me. I could go right to the top.

You're not Scarface! And Gillian's married. Get back to Morten.

O Morten, go! Pack a bag, man! Go!

Go, go, go, said the nutter.

O my child, you're on thin ice.

Oh, I'm scared.

Michael Wise will have it made at Goldman Sachs

A very wise move. Michael Wise is leaving Morgan Stanley after thirteen years to run Goldman's financial institutions group. And that's not all. Goldman is making him a partner as well. A partner! That is more or less like being a capo in the mafia. Well done, Mr Wise!

I just hope he can cope with the culture shock. Morgan Stanley only employs twenty financial shamans at most. I would be very surprised if the bank had more than thirty. But Goldman is literally crawling with shamans and mystics. They're coming out of the woodwork. What will a square like Mr Wise make of it all?

And I'm not being disparaging, calling him a square. There are worse things you can be, just ask Keith Busby. We can't all be wild financial hipsters like myself, and a few of you. Yes, I know what some of you get up to. And you have my full support. It's the way of the future.

Is Man Group's AHL fund broken?

The AHL fund brings in most of Man Group's profits, but now various nutjobs are claiming that the fund is broken. Well, they might be right.

I don't know a great deal about this fund, but I do know that it is computer driven, and that's no good, I'm afraid. Computers cannot compete with shamans and mystics. Man Group has never been big on shamans and mystics, despite Jon Aisbitt being a major Ganesh freak.

Time to make a change, I think.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Liberum Capital came for them in the night

And snatched them away from MF Global. We are talking about Mark Edwards, David Thompson, and Paul Somers. Traders. Certainly not the sort who would be arrested in the Tottenham Court Road. Sales, apparently. It'll be analysts next. I just got a feeling.

O Master, I know your feelings.

What can you do with a man like Simon Stilwell? He thinks money souls belong to him in the night. Jack Pickles started off with the same attitude. These people never learn. This is the way that leads to hell. You cannot take a man from his bed [asleep, a corpse in a grave almost] and drag that man out of the window, through the bushes in the garden, then bundle him into the boot of the car like a sack of spuds. Where is the dignity in that? At least it wasn't an ice cream van. Imagine going out like a raspberry ripple!

O Master, I have imagined worse things.

Back to headquarters for reprogramming. Erase all traces of MF Global. Oh, the evil that men do! What horrors there must have been, far from the prying eyes of concerned ghosts. And they are concerned, you know. The dead financiers do have a heart. They share it. It was ripped out of the body of [nothing]. I will not be telling that story. I am approaching the edge. And there is a ledge beyond the edge. And that's something else, a ...

O Master, a tangent?

What did Liberum Capital do to the traders? How did Simon Stilwell break them down? Mark, David, and Paul were happy at MF Global. They didn't want to leave. Well, not like this. In time, they would have found new positions. There are no jobs for life any more. But these are jobs for death! These men are nothing but trading zombies now, going through the motions, with no spiritual action taking place within them. A human tragedy!

O Master, you want human tragedy?! How about Gabriel Azedo? No one knows who he is!

O my child, you are driving me insane with your fucking Gabriel Azedo! Does anyone know who anyone is? We are all strangers in a strange land.

All right, calm down, calm down.

You're making me laugh now. Don't do that voice.

Well, someone had to lighten the mood. So what will become of these traders? What does the future hold for them?

Oh, they have no future. Weren't you paying attention? What future could such zombies possibly have? But maybe they are the lucky ones. We are the ones who live with pain. Look at me. Every day my consciousness expands, but what good does it do me? I am the king of pain.

Sting is the king of pain, mate.


Robert Adair ain't made of money

People askin' me, is I gon' give my chain back. That'll be the same day I give the game back - Kanye West

Robert Adair ain't made of money. Though some people think he is. Advantage Capital can whistle for millions. Ha, ha, ha! Oh, Big Herb is a god made of money, with swirling astral sand in his balls. We watch pound notes and dollar bills come out, the wild orgasmic fun like fire from the desert sun! With a little tune: 'Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord. He is peeling down the alley in a black and yellow Ford.' Oh, he ain't got a car. He got a chariot! No matter. He is our lord of money, in the sky, out of the sky, and in our hearts too. He travels everywhere for free. It's a total freedom. A total heaven. And no one would sue. They wouldn't dream. They are incapable of dreaming. And he wouldn't let anyone sue him. He would remain so high above the courts, no matter how much money the animals wanted. He is a law unto himself. Understand and believe that. Oh, Robert Adair needs to learn a trick or two. Come to the desert, Robert. Leave the City behind! We ain't got no civilization, just more money than sense. We are outside the law with our lord. And we are honest, after a fashion.

Robert Adair ain't made of money. Not everyone believes that. Advantage Capital can whistle for billions. It ain't getting a penny. Our Ganesh is the big elephant god who's made of money. Our favourite Hindu god with a trunk that's out of sight. No one's ever asked me, what's he doing in the desert? Well, everything's jumbled up in my crazy head. It will only get clear once I've gone off to the other realm forever, a new money god wrapped in gold, plastered sticky with cash. I will be made of money and my love will taste like honey. It's gonna happen. I have faith, you see. Faith! I believe in the life to come. I wouldn't be doing this otherwise. There is a way to escape, and there is a place to escape to. For all of us. We won't have to explain ourselves no more. We're reaching for a total freedom. Few people have ever known it. It exists beyond reason, beyond the cold world. We are coming to a greater reality. Oh, here we come! There we go! Off, off, off, gone from this cold world!

We are still here. What a fantasy! We should be patient. It will take time.

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Larry Tekler: Wells Fargo to Citi Private Bank

This is how it happens. One minute, you can be working at Wells Fargo Family Wealth. The next minute, Steve Bodurtha can be on the phone, begging you to join him at Citi Private Bank. And you fly there, as in a dream. Like the Duc de Richelieu going after the Talisman of Set. Which, rather disturbingly, was a mummified penis. But we will not explore the private life of Mr Tekler. Each to his own!

O Master, please tell me who Gabriel Azedo is.

How strange life is! When Larry was a child, did he dream of Citi Private Bank? Or was his head full of fire engines and fighter planes? I would like to take him back in time to the innocent days of his youth. Eighteen or so. He was a late developer. 'Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth; and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth.' Happy days!

O Master, please tell me who Gabriel Azedo is.

I wonder if Larry ever went off on a mad fandango, like Kevin Costner in my favourite film. Did Larry ever jump out of a plane without a parachute? Did he lose his dream girl to his best friend? But we will not explore the mysteries of this man's life. He is a butterfly, caught in my hand. I must let him go. Farewell!

Does anyone know who Gabriel Azedo is?

O my child, take a day off, will you?

Diamond Dragon Advisors to be let loose!

Oh, this is scary! Not that I fully understand what the plan is. The company is all set up, ready to go and that. But we need clarification. Either Ed Greene intends to let loose a herd of diamond dragons that will be intent on advising everybody about funds and shit, or he is putting a team of advisers together whose job it will be to advise these mythical diamond dragons. Actually, they're not mythical. As you know, anything is possible on the astral plane, which is where I presume Mr Greene has based his operation. Let's hear no talk of Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Sydney. This is going to be an astral affair. It's got to be, what with diamond dragons and all.

This is absolutely terrifying! The more I think of it. Does Mr Greene have no sense of responsibility whatsoever? Even on our beloved plane there's going to be a problem with these two scenarios.

The first scenario: a herd of diamond dragons advising everybody

I can't think of anything worse, myself. Remember my story about the astral panthers? They were going to be prowling around the City of London, biting lumps out of people. You all thought I was crazy at the time. Thankfully, my worst fears were never realized. The FSA pulled back from the brink at the last moment. Dragons, though. Dragons can fly, can't they? It's all well and good saying that they will be restricted to the astral sky, but couldn't they break through to the physical sky? Who would bet against it? There was a time when many of us in the shamanism game thought that Jack Pickles would have to reside permanently on the lower levels of the plane after turning his back on all that was good and holy. But where does he spend most of his time now? He's living it up in the fucking Cayman Islands! He's probably shagging Naomi Campbell as I write this. The point I'm making is, these diamond dragons will find a way into the cold physical world; and they will be doing a damn sight more than advising. I mean, they're dragons! What do you think is going to happen? And they breathe fire. It's a fucking crazy idea!

The second scenario: a team of advisers advising the diamond dragons

They are going to die. Simple as that. They are going to die. I don't know what bullshit Ed Greene is going to lay on everyone to try and justify this nonsense, but if he hires a load of wet-behind-the-ears advisers to approach a herd of diamond dragons, there is going to be fucking murders. There's not much else I can say. Just this: I bet Mr Greene won't be going anywhere near the dragons himself. You mark my words, he'll be sipping cocktails and watching the carnage from his penthouse apartment. Bastard.

Morgan Joseph hires people with great names

Take a look at this! J. Sherman Bartley! Chesley Snider! Gregory Pizzitola! Oh, and, er, Todd Clark. Why do Americans have such fantastic names?

What wouldn't I give to be called Chesley Snider?! Just imagine me in downtown Acton, strolling into Morrisons: 'Hi, I’m Chesley Snider. Where do you keep the baked beans?'

These people are just so fucking glamorous. I can't compete. Of course, I have the astral plane. That is some comfort, I suppose. No one on the plane would bat an eyelid if I started calling myself Dufford K. Gaines, or Chip Martenson, or Bud Bulbrook, or ...

... but it wouldn't be the same. It wouldn't be physical life, you dig?

Was Francois Barthelemy being bullied by F&C Asset Management?

Or was he living in a world of dreams? That is the question. To the best of my knowledge he is not a whirling dervish. [Remember Gill?] No, he is a normal man. But normal men have been known to get confused. So have abnormal men.

But maybe we shouldn't worry about Mr Barthelemy. It's possible those F&C nutjobs were just doing what they thought was best for the business. It will all come out in the wash, or in court. I want to hear what Anthony Culligan has to say for himself. Maybe he was tied up and put in the broom cupboard. Will we ever know the truth?

Is bullying such a bad thing? I have seen neophyte shamans bullied in the desert by ghosts. It is never pleasant, but perhaps it is necessary. Some of the young ones are too scared to touch the sky. You have to force them. Some of the shamans will not let the fire burn within them. These feeble characters should really become money mystics instead. We can't all be financial shamans, just as we can't all be fund managers. A good man - or woman - always knows his limitations. Or hers.

It would be nice if Anthony could say a few words. Wouldn't that be nice?

I was not tied up and put in the broom cupboard. Although I often asked them to do it, do it, do it to me! They refused to comply with my deepest wishes. This left me feeling extremely bitter, so - unlike Francois - I did float off into a world of dreams. I wanted to forget - everything! The limited liability partnership? Oh, I did not care any more! It was so much rubbish to me. I just wanted to lay my weary head in the sand. Oblivion became my friend, my only friend.

Oblivion? I presume Anthony is referring to Mr Oblivion Smith. A very good friend of mine also. What a small world we live in, eh?

Goldman Sachs' trading losses and gains

No one can match my hustle as I soar through the sky. It feels so good. Traders at Goldman Sachs know this feeling, although they occasionally lose money. But I'm sure they make more money than they lose. 

Apparently, Goldman's traders lost money on ten separate days during the second quarter. That leaves a lot of days on which they obviously made money. So we should be celebrating those gains, not drawing attention to the losses.

Monday, 9 August 2010

Kip Testwuide, a man apart

Kip Testwuide. We see him, in dreams and visions, always alone, aloof, far from the dirty mob, the common herd, on a mountain top, or in a desert cave, working for the betterment of mankind. No one takes the trouble to thank him. Not that he would want anyone to do so. A man apart.

O Master, who the fuck is Gabriel Azedo?

Kip Testwuide. Manly, magnificent, proud, aristocratic (in a spiritual sense), hardy, resourceful, intelligent, adventurous. Not afraid to go beyond the reality of everyday life. Not afraid to risk his life for a bauble. A man apart.

A bauble? O Master, who the fuck is Gabriel Azedo?

Kip Testwuide. A warrior, a dreamer, certainly a visionary. Where did he come from? And must he leave the earth? Once he has floated off to the other realm, will mankind ever see his like again? A man apart.

O Master, who the fuck is Gabriel Azedo?

Kip Testwuide. Hero.

WAY Fund Managers and The Freestyle Growth Fund

Freestyle, freestyle, freestyle, that's the way uh-huh uh-huh I like it, and WAY Fund Managers knows the way, this way, with its Freestyle Growth Fund. It has a teary performance fee. The more investors cry with joy at making so much money, the more they are charged. Money goes around and comes around, and that's the way we like it.

But let's be serious for a moment. How far will this fund grow, and in how many styles? Paul Wilcox, Andrew Stevens, and Vince Hoare better come clean with us. Are they promising too much? What guarantees are they offering?

O Paul Wilcox, chairman, speak! O Master, can I call you Mikey? SPEAK! Mikey, I can promise anything, offer any guarantee, because I am not real. Touch me! Your hand goes through me like a knife through butter. But don't tell the investors! Tell the children! Yes, tell the children, but never tell the investors. They wander in darkness, on this cold earth. Should we not pity them?

O Andrew Stevens, chief operating officer, speak! O Master, can I call you the Space Cowboy? SPEAK! O Space Cowboy, listen to Mr Wilcox. He talks a lot of sense. Did you touch him? Well, touch me too! Sprinkle stardust all over me! I have seen you in astral nights, lost and happy amongst the stars, and I have wondered: What makes him so happy? What is his secret? That's one of the reasons we're launching this Freestyle Growth Fund. We want to be like you. We want to grow! We want to be free! O Master, we want to reach for the stars and land on the moon!

O Vince Hoare, technical director extraordinaire, and just as ambitious as the other two, speak! Lay it on me, baby! O Master, can I call you baby? You can call me Master. SPEAK! O Master, you got it right. You're so fucking perceptive! I am just as ambitious as Paul and Andrew. I want to slip away, out of my body, become a ghost of a man. That's the life! Ask Paul, he'll tell you. But of course, you know already! You're the man, the shaman, the world has been waiting for. Baby!

I'll let him get away with that 'baby'. It was silly to insist that he call me Master, anyway. We're all friends here. Strangers in a strange land, maybe, but we know each other so well, and that's what counts at the end of the day.

Good luck, lads!

Baring Asset Management has appointed Wayne Shum to the new role of head of institutional business for Asia

Y'all don't know my struggle, y'all can't match my hustle, you can't catch my hustle, you can't fathom my love dude - Kanye West

Oh, not another head! Hong Kong head! All these heads rolling around in my subconscious, staring at me with dull eyes, expecting me to help them. I am not happy to see Wayne Shum. Gerry Ng is, but I am not. Nothing personal, Wayne, mate, but I have more heads than I know what to do with.

How am I ever going to be able to concentrate on business with so many heads in my head? Oh, yes, I'm back to my idea of a twenty-four hour (eight?) news service. Ha! How long will this latest fantasy last? And there is no chance of control now. All my grand plans - flush them down the toilet! Chaos is back! And it will be with me forever.

Jesse Redmond and Justin Pawl: from an objective perspective to the wildness of astral fire

Cold men and women like to believe that the founders of Evolved Alpha are rational beings who always look at every financial situation from an objective perspective. And Jesse Redmond and Justin Pawl claim that to be the case themselves. Have a conversation with these charming fellows and there will be no mention of the wild astral fire that rages within them, distorting everything, making them see reality as a shattered window with coloured lights bouncing off the glass in all directions, leading them into utter confusion, the sort of confusion only a shaman can deal with. Alas, Jesse and Justin are not shamans, and they are far too proud to ask for my help. So they drift through life, one minute speaking of a multi-phase investment process; the next minute, a portfolio of liquid, secure and transparent alpha-return strategies. It is all emptiness, and they know it. They will not make any progress until they are able to confront the fire within. Come to terms with the fire, as it were.

Cedric Bucher: new ways, new answers

We are all familiar with Cedric Bucher. We have heard his name whispered on winter nights. We have even heard it on summer mornings. It is a name that floats around in the air like certain funds. We are not always aware of it, but it rarely leaves us. And just a whisper from a ghost can set us off. And, of course, we have heard the stories. We know the story of how Cedric fought the rolling heads that came after him at Barclays Wealth, thirsty for his blood. We know the story of how the short duration floating rate notes funds haunted him at night until sleep was impossible. But now there is a new story of new ways and new answers. Cedric Bucher is joining SEI as director of client investment strategy. Mark Rockliffe says Mr Bucher will contribute greatly to their existing investment proposition and portfolio strategy, and maybe that’s true, but there must be something else. Something that we are not privy to.

New ways? New answers? I am not convinced. Does anyone know what these ways and answers are? Is there a new way to money? I find it hard to imagine. There is my way or the highway. Can anyone answer a question that has not been asked? I am the only one who asks questions in the desert of our love, and I have not asked any questions - not lately. O my children, there are no new ways, there are no new answers. We are being deceived. Cedric Bucher is being deceived. I suspect that Mark Rockliffe is preparing an evil future for Mr Bucher. The new ways are the old ways of Satan. And the new answers come from the foul mouth of Jack Pickles. These ways will destroy us, if we are weak. And no one wanted these answers. No one questioned Jack Pickles about anything. Yet he has the demonic arrogance to supply us with answers. The man is an abomination!

They must think we're pretty stupid. Can you hear laughter coming from the bowels of hell? Well, we shall have the last laugh. Follow me, children. I am the only way. I am the only answer.

Note: I am the way to money, and money is the way to ...

Friday, 6 August 2010

Boudewijn Jansen and Sarah Newman: originators!

Boudewijn Jansen and Sarah Newman are joining Barclays Wealth as originators. They will search for investment opportunities. Boudewijn will become a confused head of private equity origination. Sarah will become a mad head of hedge fund origination. I can see it now - rolling, rolling, rolling! In desert sands, they will search forever, but what will they find?

There are other opportunities besides investment ones. We know that. They do not. It may be their destiny to roll in desert sands, but they will always be oblivious to the burning money around them. I have known this with many heads. And they will never see the ghosts of the dead financiers. What opportunities for advancement! But they will never see. Mindless heads rolling, they shall be.

They could take the burning money into their mouths. They will not. They could take the dead financiers into their hearts. They will not. What hope is there for Barclays Wealth with originators such as these?

Whatever happened to Tiraneh Tehranchian?