September 30, 2015 § Leave a comment
What is a crisis? Is it losing a leg? An arm? An arm and a leg? Being the biggest investor in Glencore? Or is it being unable to afford your next car? Or maybe it’s your mortgage payment going into arrears?
The Greek word krino meant separate, judge or decide, and from it came the nouns krites “judge” – from which we get critic, and kriterion, a test to judge by.The related word “krisis” signified the preference of one alternative over another. The Day of Judgement is hemera kriseos. Most commonly, in English, the word signifies the climax of a disease. The point after which the patient recovers, or does not.
In 2008 the “crisis” involved a minor reshuffling of finances. It was a wound which led to a small death (cf Lehman). But the patient at large got up and recovered. Civil unrest, mass fomentation and revolution–these did not happen. Governments were not overthrown. High net worth wealth rose.
Now talk comes of another crisis, another disease, brought to us by the circling winds. China is battered and our Great Yellow Hope is going belly up. Greece, the cradle of all Western civilisations, falters. The Middle East remains a hotbed of infamy. And the Fed might raise rates.
But no, none of these constitute a crisis, dear readers. What is the real crisis? It’s the crisis that never ended. Debt.
Since 2008 debt to GDP levels have not shrunk. From Q4 2007 to Q2 2014 the global amount of debt outstanding increased from $142 trillion to $199 trillion. Household debt has grown at annual compound rates of 2.8%. Government debt is up 9.3% acr. It is a global credit bubble. And this is bigger than the last one.
But why are you getting so technical, Tim. This isn’t like you. We want to hear more about girls and murders.
Well let me ask you this–if it was debt that got us into trouble the last time, then what will happen now? This crisis is about not being able to afford your next meal. Not having a bed to sleep in overnight. Not being able to clothe your baby. It is a sickness, a disease, a lingering malady from which there will be no revival. Our real hemera kriseos. And if that doesn’t lead to murder then what will?
Change, revolution, deconstruction–whatever you wish to call it– it is coming. There are no tools to stop it.
In the meantime read the next instalment of “Anatomy” which details everything much more poetically.
September 21, 2015 § Leave a comment
I’ve been inundated with press calls. Bloomberg, Süddeutsche Zeitung, the NY Times they’ve all been jumping down my throat. Asking about the precise mechanics of the trade. Who is this Whale. Everyone wants to know.
Although I would normally turn down request from the media actually, right now, I’m open to comment. As is:
You will soon find out.
September 18, 2015 § Leave a comment
The Anatomy of a Trader– Part II
“I glance out of at the street, where men walk around with their umbrellas up, guarding against a chance of drizzle and the blackening sky’s lit by globes of lamplight, it makes the evening vague and dark and not a little sad. Seeing this gloom my mind is truculent. Like days, nights, are sucked up into a void and I feel there’s a gaping hole inside. It seems to me like something’s missing.”
So far the comments on this have been unashamedly homogeneous. Thank you. Nothing pleases me. Except more.
September 7, 2015 § Leave a comment
A long time have I been away. Things, as you know, have not been easy. The world turns in circles, but life has never spun more quickly. I apologise to those who’ve waited days for my release. Who’ve written to me demanding how I am. I couldn’t reply. You’ll soon understand why.
The following is my story, an explanation for my absence– my memoir, if you will. I would like you, my faithful followers, to read. To witness the depths I’ve plunged. The horrors I’ve seen. The style, you’ll find, is different. In reality I’ve worked with a ghost writer. If there’s any discrepancy please blame him. But the tale is all mine. Darker and more twisted than any you will have read.
I have smelt blood. I have drunk.
January 21, 2014 § 2 Comments
Many of you have been asking me about the book. Where is it Tim? We’re dying, desperate, to know what actually happened to you and Nakamura. What occurred when you took on the mightiest hedge fund in the world. Who won? Well we all know the answer to that last question. But rest easy, is my reply. After all trading the markets is a full-time occupation. The book’s merely what one might call, leisure.
In reality I decided to hold back on it as I didn’t want to draw fire away from the publicity currently surrounding the new financial megahit Wolf of Wall Street (Oscar-winner they say?). It is not my intention to step on anyone else’s size 9 John Lobb shoes. I believe that every dog should have his day and the Wolf (vulpini volpes), however tawdry an affair, needs its own publicity. Far be it from me to intrude on that.
So to cut a long story short– the novel is currently in post-production. It will be released in the not too distant future. Probably March.
October 27, 2013 § 4 Comments
I’m making a sniffing noise through my nose. The sort of noise a rabbit might make if it was congested. My intention is to show my approval of the joke Rothermere has just cracked. Lord Rothermere of Shitshow to give him his full title. Try as I might this is as best as I can do to signify my amusement. To be honest I don’t even know if it was a joke. It might just have been a snidey aside. Because most of his humour, like his personality, is rooted in a sarcastic sneering at the expense of others.
Why am I making this sniffing rabbit noise? Because Lord Shitshow has just closed a 60 pound deal with us. He’s investing it– a gift as he likes to call it.
Good grief, what a torrid time in the world this is. People want me to discuss finance but I can only look into the dark, twisting recesses of my mind and think– plague. I am plagued. I am shot. I am destroyed, I wish I was elsewhere. I wish I was dead. I truly wish I was dead rather than sitting here in front of this 75 pound dinner, with a chateaux de gateaux beside me, sniffing like a rabbit at jokes that suck and destroy the marrow out from my bones.
Rothermere has been telling us about his part in getting Gordon Brown out of power. He tells us that he hated the way Brown inhaled every time he’d finish a sentence, as though he had something or another. I don’t know. It’s rude. It’s like the bully at school who used to go ZAP! You’re dead– and then punch you in the back of the head.
Snakes crawl from under the tablecloth. The waiter comes over then immediately turns away and runs off. This table is giving off an awful aura. I wonder if, when I am dead, I will get onto the lowest rung of hell? Will I be one of those nightmarish souls that’s chained to a big pulley and have to go around in circles in the eternal mud of hellfire? Am I already doing that? Has my dignity faded? What worth is this dinner that would once have slipped down my gullet like oysters? It now feels like an eel, suffocating my windpipe. I feel falling. I feel ill.
I feel under the table, and there it is. The gun, strapped to the underside, just as I has asked. Now is the time. Without further ado, I rip it out and thrust it forwards shakily. I have shot a gun before– with Ross Kemp on the firing range. But I didn’t know whether it was real before. This one feels real. It feels heavy. This is what guns are for. I put the gun next to my temple. Lord Rothermere looks at me with a bemused expression. It’s hardly even shock. Certainly not disapproval. I mouth “I’ll do it.” He ducks under the table.
The next minute my finger twitches on the trigger. Click. Nothing happens. I try again. Click. Click. Click. Click. I look at the gun. But it’s not a gun at all. It’s a banana. It is the eternal hellfire of damnation mocking me. I try to fire the banana pulp, but it’s too late. The waiters have run over to me and pinned me down. I am screaming for them to let me go. “I just want to kill myself,” I scream. There is pandemonium. There are three of them. One each sitting on my arms, the other on my face. Choking me. “I just want to kill myself,” I whisper. I try. I tried. Then I wake up.
August 2, 2013 § 3 Comments
I am in Jermyn Street shopping.
I flit from shop to shop just like a butterfly. Past Hawkes and Boodle. Church’s. Turnbull & Water.
Finally I am outside the Dunhill boutique looking through the window wondering whether I should buy a new shirt (Mike, my broker, ex-friend at JPM, power reversal, wore a light herringbone weave the other day. Mike always used to be a barometer of fashion but, since his demotion, his mind has gone to seed. Still it looked quite fetching and I start picturing myself in it) when I hear a loud shout
I turn to see a figure haring down the street. He is quite unmistakeable— Nicholas “Handsome” Dunthorpe! I try and cower behind my umbrella even though it isn’t raining anymore but he comes right up to me.
“As I live and breathe, Henry (that is my school name) Green. How on earth are you?”
“Dunthorpe. You here?”
“I’m back. Was getting a bit bored of New York, so I got a transfer back into town. Just come to pick up a suit for the wedding.”
“You don’t mean you’re finally getting hitched?”
“Ha ha no not me. It’s my little sister’s wedding. I mean it’s unlikely to be me.”
I always suspected he might be gay. This is the man who is the most successful human being I know. At Harrow he won everything. Cleverest man in Pop. Best at the hundred yard dash. Fastest swimmer. Head of school. Charming. Generous to a fault.
In every respect a God. He has golden tousled locks, a square jaw and a grin that could fell a mounted steed from 100 yards. More Atlas than human. And his mind. He has a brain that can flit across every subject from literature to the liturgy. He comes from old wealth but never let that stop him from making his own pile.
At first he spent some time in father’s bank, but got bored and decided to open up his own currency shop. Within three years he had made enough to buy the bank. He got bored again and moved to New York where, I heard, he was the most eligible bachelor in the Hamptons. An heiress—one of the Rothschilds— threatened to shoot herself if he didn’t marry her. Women fall in love with him. Babies slaver over him. Dogs roll over and weep– that kind of thing. But every man has his fatal flaw. And it seems that….but I am brought out of my reverie
“God no. I just mean I’m starting a new chapter. No time for weddings and that kind of thing!”
“I don’t know. They said you’d kind of gone AWOL out there. But then the markets are a funny place. Always follow the money.”
“Ha, that is exactly what I’m not doing. Money no longer means anything to me.”
“Well I’ve gone back to school.”
“School? You mean Harrow?”
“No I mean I’ve become a teacher.”
I am goggle-eyed with amazement. I look him up and down and, for the first time, realise he is wearing quite unusual clothes. The crumpled canvas shirt. The linen jacket. The taffeta trousers. But most of all his shoes. Brown, fluffy, laceless.
I look at him quizzically.
“Yep, I decided to give away all my money and try doing something worthwhile. And do you know— it feels more liberating than I could have ever imagined.”
“You’ve become a teacher at Harrow?”
“No not Harrow. I teach at an inner-city comprehensive. In the Isle-of-Dogs.”
I’ve never heard of this place. I don’t know whether to believe him.
“Yes I teach maths to 12 to 15 year olds. They call me Sir. Can you believe it? I live in a flat in Putney and cycle to work every morning. And every day is worth it just to see the smile on their faces. To know that I’ve helped one of them learn something that they might one day use. In real life. You know the other day a kid, little Bangladeshi boy, his name was Altaf, came up to me and said “Sir you really inspire me to become mathematician.” I swear to you that was the happiest I have felt in nearly ten years. Anyway Henry, you’ll have to come and give a talk, it’d be a pleasure. Must dash.”
He turns away and runs off into the distance, a dim silhouette fading into the night. Like a bat.
I look at the Dunhill suit in the window. Somehow it’s lost its sheen.