Weekend Diary: Jesus v Bankers

October 29, 2011 § Leave a comment


…..was a man with a straggly beard and long hair. The other has a slicked back haircut, dresses only in Cerruti suits and Church shoes. One ate bread and wine. The other only eats F&Mason olive focaccia and drinks A-Dan ‘Black’ bottled beer (no lime). One rode on a donkey (FFS!). The other drives an Aston Martin Cygnet. One barely earned enough to travel to Jerusalem. The other earns 700k per year in basic and bonuses*** and holidays in Jamaica.

This morning’s op-ed in the Telegraph reminds me why no one should ever read journalism. The man who wrote it is clearly bitter about his shoddy lifestyle, and his support for Jesus which shows that he is an inveterate Christian (not Laboutin) is f***ng annoying. Should a man with such deeply held religious beliefs be allowed to write for a newspaper?

This passage really riled me. “It is intensely annoying for such people – and for my taxi driver and the people who sweep the streets and serve in the coffee shops and keep the IT systems working – to find their City turned into a stage-set for a facile morality play.” I mean in among the disgruntled IT men, the sweepers and the latte pourers he goes on about, is there even a mention of us bankers? NO! FFS, OMG, FU IMHO.

Anyway…the so-called protestors are likely to go home this week. Merkel and Sarkozy have agreed a trillion pound bailout. And I’m off to the country this afternoon. So all will be well in the world. Or will it?

Secret Banker (Tim Green)

***By the way I only put the 700k sum as what an average trader would earn. Figures distorted by new hires and analysts who earn a lot less.


MarketWatch: Thurs 26th

October 27, 2011 § 1 Comment


9am: Market collapsing with laughter at deal put together by EU today. S&P up 15% this month. FTSE back to levels it was near Aug. Unfortunately I’d been short, which is a little troubling.

1pm: Desk view: long CHF, short FTSE and wait for European war to break out (see EU dead post).  Spoke to Mike at JP today. Says he’s laughing all the way to the bank (his own). Things have never been so good. I need to check escrow.

EU Crisis– A Laughable Solution

October 27, 2011 § Leave a comment

Yes us traders are laughing this morning.

As I opened my curtain I saw a squirrel (German) searching for nuts among the garden foliage. He’d just picked one up off the floor when an almighty squelch of white dropped on his head from a laughing magpie (Greeks) perched on the branch of the tree above. It was quite funny seeing the squirrel run around covered head-to-foot in the stuff. It couldn’t see where it was going and kept bumping into my garden furniture. Dunno what happened to it, probably got eaten by a cat.

What a great metaphor for the current union ‘solution’ which has had us in stitches today. Ashwin bet the exact 2% rise in the Dax, and I luckily followed his call and have scooped up a nice little packet. He has now posted a big sign above his Bloomberg saying ‘Sic transit gloria mundi,’ which roughly translates into the expression ‘buyer beware!’

In other words— shorts on! Hear what Soros says if you don’t believe me (fall of the Soviet Union).

Who do you believe? Soros or some beefed up political naifs (look it up) muching sausages and snails? Perhaps John Major’s eloquence in the FT this morning will further convince you.

I will be doing my best to update you through this ‘momentous’ day with my MarketWatch.

MarketWatch: Wed 26th

October 26, 2011 § Leave a comment

9am: Clouds still over EU summit, but markets up. Waiting for a firm signal. UBS results yesterday. Would’ve been $2bn more but for Kewku. Most of it taken up by unscrupulous brokers at…..yep GS!

1pm: Getting rumours that Merkel gonna let euro fall. You heard it here first!

5pm: O God! My escrow account has manifestly breached all risk levels. Will have to do some extra work this evening!!


MarketWatch: 24th Oct

October 25, 2011 § Leave a comment


9am: Markets up today as traders reacted favourably to that smirk!

1pm: Paul just been around. In good mood, says he got a new record at Troon on weekend, 11 over. Playing with Nick Faldo, who is one of most hated men on circuit. Saw him in changing rooms after, apparently hung like Linford Christie’s lunchbox.

Antiques Roadshow

October 24, 2011 § Leave a comment

They killed the EU vote.

The chance to break out has come and gone.

The man from the Economist on Newsnight this evening (spectacles, pink tie, Charles Tyrwhitt shirt, earns no more than 150k, don’t believe a word he says) says Switzerland is small, gets to be a parasite, a free rider. Don’t you believe this man for a second! The Swiss are the sneakiest big players in the room. Not the mouse, the elephant. Who ever heard of a war in Switzerland. Who ever heard of taxes in Switzerland. Who ever heard of due diligence in Switzerland. Boring, yes. Small no!

Its men like you pink tie who are confusing your average Joe or Ted.

Let me tell you of an experience:

I went to the antiques roadshow in Tupperton on Sunday. They were all there—Fiona Bruce, dressed like an old teabag, Bruce Dickison and Simon Wallesly or whatever…and the others.

I brought an old antique I picked up from a dealer in Paris a few years ago– a bottle in a ship. The bottle was olive green, quite nicely decorated, with a little watermark on the bottom; while the ship itself was beautifully done in a craft using complicated arrangements of wire and canvas. I was fairly excited about the day and when it got to our turn I presented it with much trepidation to Hugh Jackman, a slightly youngish guy with a stripy jacket. I was really interested in finding out a little more about its roots, where it had come from (the provenance), what the history was behind it.

I was lapping up his words, and was thrilled to hear that it was a Frenchy bottle, and the ship was also made in France by a tinker, or something. And then it came to the value — £1500!

I couldn’t believe it. I was adamant it couldn’t be. The man slapped my back with a chuckle, told me that he had been joking of course and that it was much more likely to be near £500.

Again I couldn’t bloody believe it. Where do they get these people from? I paid £7000 for it!

Anyway I can’t recall what else he told me, something about Lynn glass, etc. but I threw the bottle as hard as I could and smashed it on the ground. His expression said it all.

Weekend Diary

October 22, 2011 § Leave a comment

What a torrid day I had.

Was in the office till 7pm trying to unwind the fat-finger deal I did yesterday. It happened while I was reading the paper in the morning trading. Came across a rather fruity Times’ article about free gratuities on British Airway flights to Montserrat when I hit the zero button a couple more times than I intended to. I would have faced a bit of trouble if my friend Mike at JP hadn’t told me about it at lunch.

But fear not, total losses capped out at 15m which I was able to put in the escrow account.*

Anyway the major lesson to be learnt this week: Fat Finger syndrome, what is it, how did it originate and what to do about it (see thought piece).

*For those of you unfamiliar with escrow accounts these are private accounts that traders keep to put any accidental losses into. Its no big deal as the losses are wiped out by future profits. But it makes the business run more smoothly around bonus time (in a couple of months). Haven’t checked escrow for a while, will probably get around to it next week, if I have time.

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