Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Player: Lunch

"Nah, are you kidding me? Lunch is for wimps..." - G.G.

One of the most important concepts in the finance world is how you spend that period midday to recharge. What you eat, who you eat with, and where you eat all speak volumes about your role in the finance world.

All right I agree that some people in the finance industry are better suited for eating at their desks. We got it right with quants. Banks just locked the Trekkies into a windowless closet and told them, don't come out until you write a program for me that I can take credit for. I guess the dorks got their revenge by making absurd assumptions in their models

What's for lunch: A slice of Sbarro's pizze slid into the slot of the door.

Who you eat with: The other quant in the windowless room over, though you communicate through tapping Morris code in the wall

Where you eat: Basking in the light of your computer screen

The trader has a coke habit to curb his appetite and no fuckin time to leave, so he a) sends the intern b) spends 10 minutes outside getting food if he is not important enough or c) just shotguns a Redbull for a meal. If the trader were to eat:

What's for lunch: Chinese food. The boxes placed right under their mouths as they stare longingly into their Bloombergs.

Who you eat with: The guys around your desk. The dialouge involves a story of one of the traders regailing the croud of his trip to Brazil where he fucked a 17 year old prostitute.

Where you eat: Why would he ever leave his desk during daylight? Traders are reverse vampires.

Commercial/Corporate Bankers:
This is where the fabled three hour martini lunches come from. Unfortunatly, the booze usually has to wait til night but the lunch is still acceptably expensive. Who cares? Just use the corporate card!

What's for lunch: Goat cheese profiteroles and an arugula Caesar salad. For entrees, choice of swordfish meatloaf with onion marmalade or a rare-roasted partridge breast in raspberry coulis with a sorrel timbale. I know, I know, they really have had to pull back on the options in recent times...

Who you eat with: This is the genius part. If the banker doesn't have a client to take, they go out with the other bankers. Excuse me? I believe he ordered the cactus pear sorbet.

Where you eat: Any place that offers quail eggs.

Any capital markets organization that reminds me of the pedestrian AAPL deserves nothing better then a nice Mexican place. Speedy, so the screensaver does not come up by the time they get back.

What's for lunch: Burritos, tacos, bathroom in an hour food, etc.

Who you eat with: The team. The waiter has not realized there were so many various shades of Oxford blue dress shirts.

Where you eat: Anyplace that could use a five year projection assuming a growth rate of 10% sales increase, 5% G&A reduction, 6% tax increase in the third year...

Executive Management:
Suprisingly varied. Either a banker style lunch or a trader style one.

What's for lunch: Who am I firing again today?

Who you eat with: Deb, can you send in my twelve o'clock?

Where you eat: 21 club or McDonald's. Wherever the deals are baby.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Player: Daisy's "Beautiful Fool"

I declare after today's 300+ upswing that the bear market is officially over.......

Hahaha, what a crowd. 'Take my wife please.' Hey seriously folks, so I had a conversation recently with some brunette broad who strikes me as one who has a massively low self esteem (a friend's ex so despite the big boobs and low esteem, not desirable since its chartered territory. Amusingly, she currently works at her ex's firm.) It really came through to me when we were discussing a book that serves both as my Bible and autobiography, The Great Gatsby. In case you couldn't get my stong love for the novel by the pseudonym, Jay Gatsby is a big hero to me. Any book that starts, "'Whenever you feel like criticizing any one,” he told me, “just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.'" (Good point there, Nick) Anyway, it's more relatable to me then The Grapes of Wrath (Why do farmers' sons want to be farmers too? The superior subsidized job is clearly in finance.)

So this brunette chick asked me why guys prefered Daisy Bucchanan in the novel/life. It's so true. I want to put on my tux and go out with Daisy to parties. I wanted to say something like, "Guys want some dumb hottie to run around with and only will settle down when the sure thing is good enough versus rolling the dice at a bar." I realized this poor girl was so confused and unconfident, she was trying to analyze the male mind. My response was concise, since I was trying to be delicate about this, "She's...uh...blond." I mean, guys will say they want equal intellegence to theirs in a relationship but that's bull. Guys want a girl slightly to waaaaay dumber, so the guy can make the call about where to eat and when to fuck. Guys want a companion, not a warden. I love it when a girl is literally in awe of my views and capabilities. If you haven't tried dating someone dumber then you, try it. It's so choice. Who wants a chick to nag when you could get one of Daisy's "beautiful fools."

There are dangers to singling in on a Daisy. I have always emulated the playa profiteers in fiction and nonfiction; you got your Howard Hughes, Jay-Z, Ol' Heff, etc. in real life and the Rhett Butlers, Jay Gatsbys, Fransisco D'Acconda, etc in fiction. Here are the guys who made bank doing cool things like blockade or booze running and are pretty consistently saying swag one liners all the time. The reader should also note that the REDRUM to their pimping and happiness is always the one woman. I admit I myself am prone to screwing this up as well. Occasionally, I'll think consistent earnings in terms of pussy are good for ROE and get over involved with a girl. Ultimatly, I either I lose my patience or my mind, leading to the inevitable girl going/revealing crazy.

The break ups put me in my prime to get some though. As someone who knows only how to go big and without a bodyguard instructing me to not get another round of drinks, I'll push it. I'll also be more prone to hit on whoever the fuck I want and treat them like trash. It's like the guy in Forgetting Sarah Marshall. He doesn't give a shit about these chicks and says straight up how he just finds them attractive and wants to hit that. Suprising amounts of girls dig that complete disregard of risk aversion. I love being single. I'm out.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Player: Fall Back Plan

"Know the enemy and know yourself; in a hundred battles you will never be in peril."

-Sun Tzu

With this quote in my mind, I read two newspapers mainly. I hear what my friends are doing on Bloomberg, and thus know myself. I also glance at the New York Times occasionally to know the assholes. I like to keep a finger on the assholes...uh, I mean, enemy. Besides, it's always an ego boost. I see the Times lament idiodically about certain firms giving hard earned bonuses out for top performers, I skip the story and go straight to the unemployed intellectuals in the comments section. Some exerpts (notice the time of day. Oh so this is what people do when others are making it rain!):

  • March 9th,20091:09 pm
    How can these people be rewarded. My Smith Barney broker lost me half of my portfolio and did not protect my downside. He better not be getting a bonus!!!!
    — Posted by Mark Green

  • March 9th,20091:30 pm
    Did Pandit, Rubin, Weill get one too…and if they did, WAS IT A BIG ONE????
    — Posted by popskoenig

  • March 9th,20092:17 pm
    Greed to perfection, what else can you say.
    — Posted by Ed

Thanks guys. As much as you fantasize about being interviewed by Keith on MSNBC (equal to the number of fantasies of subsequently rubbing him off), those people worked when you were twittering on articles and maybe deserve the most for contributing the most. And no wonder the Times is now renting out its building to produce cash flow.

Here is the article in full:

Granted I think it's a bad joke that we cant go to the Bahamas anymore and now need to accept cash (one buddy said he spent his shitty bonus in one night at a legit strip club) or stock for being the best among coworkers (I'm sure the WFC employees ask can I get their stock reward in GS shares? Well, then again, the Cali bankers prob have never heard of a legit bank since Drexel). Knowing the current strength of my enemy (I mean, because of them, John fuckin Edwards had a shot at being prez), I have considered alternative roads in life. Call me crazy, but there may be more to life then banking. I can't live too long under the government's thumb as a civil servant who will be scrutinized for pounding a bright eyed college girl in Jamaica (traveling with parents mean high school? Eh, its all good) on the company retreat.

So another alternative to a job as an International Playboy would be: Bar Owner. I've thought about this occupation with similar passion to banking. Just pipe dreams at this point but who knows, maybe someday. I would probably name my bar Black Out. "Hey man, where you heading to tonight?" "I'm going to go to Black Out." Location is crucial. Probably some place warm would be appropriate. Or near a college scene. Something that leaves me with prospects as SB 2K9. The one challenge I would have would be the competitive advantage of the bar? If quality, then I would need to outclass every other bar at a high overhead cost. In times like these, I'd lean towards price. If price, its gotta be a complete dive. But I could see open bar if you pay the cover. It's a fun mental exercise, thinking about ventures like that. I'm so used to recommending capital structure and various financial advice, it would be fun to show state college reject bar owners how to cash flow a bar four times its initial equity investment. And the bonus would be that the Bar Owner gets to hook up with the help aka hot bartender college students. Shit goes wrong or you get bored, hire another one. And how sweet a pick up line is that? 'Have a shot, its on the house.'

I dunno, like I said, interesting exercise, to own a bar. Then again, maybe I'd rather just blitzed in one.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Nothing: Super Powers


Call me deep but sometimes I like to pause the game I run on the weekends to look around. I feel a need to compare myself to the competition. It's reassuring to look and to mentally confirm that I am indeed better than everyone around me. When I see a late thirty something in a trendy blazer talking to two hard bodies, my anxiety is mollified when I see he is wearing jeans. In my occasional glance of the scene, I realized looking around the bar on Friday that I overall I was keeping up with the competitors. After all, the brohams all think monosyllabically and therefore look the same. However, I did notice one thing. Besides the loudly striped button down shirt and spiked hair in the front, I saw that everyone had tanned skin. Well, tanned is a relative term. They all had the skin color of tomatoes. After asking one maroon bronze broham if he got sun that afternoon, he replied, "Nah, broham, tanning bed."

While reassured that the worlds' idiots would voluntarily kill themselves in pods emitting radioactive waves, I realized my office's florescent lights did not give me a healthy hue. Therefore, I spent Saturday reading the weekend Journal next to my pool with some SPF 15. After reading the Money & Investing and headlines, I discovered that there was this new film called "Watchmen" coming out this weekend. Instead of heeding the poor review, the concept piqued my interest.

I considered the pros and cons of being a superhero, and I must say that I am happy that we don't have 'em. First of all, why do I need others to be born with powers? I already have every desirable super power . I mean, would you rather have the power of flight or a pilot fly your G5 while you chat with the air hostess? I already have the power to read minds. It's called investing in emerging market trends and playing girls off each other in the bar. Finally, I also have the power to time travel, or 'black out' as I like to call it.

Ultimately, the concept of the comic is a fantasy for puerile high schoolers and middle aged virgins. The fantasy is based in the alter ego, being someone stronger and significant etc. One of the main types of alter egos for superheroes is what I am on the cusp of achieving. Your Iron Mans and Batmans are billionaire international playboys. Yet, these men do not feel fulfilled with their lives for some reason. As an escape from their wonderful lifestyle, they put on tights and run around at nights looking for clowns. The specious premise of the super hero is puzzling to me. What's the matter Bruce Wayne? Was the thrill of punching the high school dropout thug really greater than closing the LBO? Ridiculous. The other typical alter ego is also utterly incomprehensible. I refer to the Clark Kent/Peter Parker, mild-mannered newspapermen who serve the greater good as flying boy scouts. I never understood their motivation to help others, but then I realized these men actually want something. This superhero thing all is just a huge ruse to impress the top shelf Louis Lanes. Let's face it, Louis wouldn't think of Clark as a copy room fuck even if she was sloshed at a Christmas Party. Besides, Clark is too nice (read, there's an office rumor you like guys!) to ever take advantage, so he needs a baller alternative. The need for the mild mannered superhero is to get ass. Costumes are admittedly a great way to peacock.

At the end of the day, I feel flattered that these comic worshipping dweebs just want to be a little more like me. Whether they want to be billionaire playboys like Bruce Wayne or rail the hottie Louis Lane, it is certainly pitiable yet slightly endearing. Better to have a hundred jealous people rather then one who would pity me! I gotta admit, it feels great being a superman.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Player: Walk out

Another thing I enjoy about this melt down is the transfer of talent. You have to be a complete moron in the finance industry and not be thinking about the next step. Talking to bankers and traders, many have other offers set up. Look at this exec and now top performer compensation. Fuck you Fwank and Dodd!
For example, I heard that a group of traders got the same bonus for last year as the trainees of the firm. Are you serious? Everyone will bail or stage a coup. Capitalists don't put up with some socialists' bullshit. These guys have been there 25 years, and are workers. For example, they had a goddam fire in the building the other day on another floor and they kept at it until the smoke came in. Give me a break, they are worth the money and someone will pay if your broke ass firm won't. At least they will make up some sweet offers that they may be getting. Or if they leave, they will sue the company for all the 36 weeks of vaca that they never took...

Nothing: "A Dollar Can't Buy You Anything These Days"

While it's surely brutal to watch yourself lose millions in a day, in the words of Mel Brooks, "It could be worse...could be raining!" The weekend is supposed to be great spring weather, and while my net worth may be in half, it's still filthy rich by all standards. No need to get hyped up. Even Buffet calls the economy a quote unquote "clusterfuck" and the Firm said the recession will deepen (shall I send you a check for the fee on that one, fellas? It's in the mail...)

In all this you gotta look at it and laugh. Perfect example.

Now available on the McDonald's dollar menu: Citigroup!

This was the world's biggest bank! Why its still on the Dow eludes me, I spent more for my breakfast (a biscut and sausage $1.50 or so). Badadadada.....I'm lovin it!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Player: Having Pledges

Jeannie: This party so rocks, Richard!
Richard: This party sucks rectum, Jeannie!

Everything I needed to know about business I learned in a fraternity. Small and big things in fraternity life can be applied to a career. Whether it's knowing that closing a deal is easier over drinks, knowing how to manage Neanderthals who have one thing on their mind, or simply knowing people want to associate with others superior to them. (Say what you will about being the nice guy for getting business. But you genuinely care about someone and their well being and you will be stomped on. It's typically better to say a joke, act cold, and tell people what to do. They will appreciate your advice and love you for it.)
I occasionally check back in with the chapter every now and then. It's not like I care about the fraternity's organization and its history (I certainly did not when I was there). I just want to make sure the lazy shit heads don't fuck up so that the alumni god gets my 18 year virgin sacrifice at Homecoming each year. I was reassured when I called that we got 39 pledges that year which is pretty good I guess.
But being in a fraternity and being knee deep in slutty girls wearing camouflage hats means paying your dues and seeing if you have what it takes. Lots of things in life are like pledging, especially work. An internship is a time when you get treated like filth for the hope you get accepted as a brother/banker at the end of the trial. Some people don't make it through pledging or an internship. Take this one college guy I knew who was interning at a firm similar to mine when I also was doing my internship years ago. A smarter dude, he actually created value for his division by writing a program for the CDS desk. He got treated like shit and his ego got the better of him. He took a job at some puny i bank I never heard of.
Pledging in Greek and banking systems I found to be pointless (ie delaying the inevitability of me running things) but it teaches you the skills of silence and making your boss happy. You have to learn the tiny rituals that leaves your elders impressed, endure physical strain such as a lack of sleep, dress sharp, get drinks for superiors, pretend you are enjoying the most boring shit in the world, memorize the bullshit touting the greatness of the organization, and of course have a terrible self-esteem until you are deemed capable and worthy.
However, just as in the Greek world, if a bank don't get pledges that bank is gonna stagnate. I heard from the grape vine that BAC just canceled ALL of their interns for the summer. Shit, y'all are fucked. Not only does that speak volumes about how doomed that shit show is but I can't imagine who is going to get the BAC bankers' coffee and make their copies. One of the great pleasures of getting through pledging is that you can choose to be a complete asshole to the guys who want to join. Make the young guy stay late. Can you do this spreadsheet for me and I'll take credit for it? Thanks...oh, do you have something to say? No? That's what I thought.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Or Nothing: How low can this market blow?

About 6 months ago, I once asked a smart manager and trader what he thought of the market. He laughed at the question because he had been shorting the markets cleverly for some time. He said, "You know what I think. That's not the question. The question is, do you want it fast or slow?"
It's early in the polls but the Jounal has a poll for how low will the markets go? 29% say below 5000 and 30% say 6000.
The acceptance of the markets breaking through the psychological barrier of 7000 was so odd. It was so dead fish, orderly. It's almost like there is a resignation by finance folk. Lots of statistics agree with this orderly sell off. Walking through the banker and trader packs having their smoke break in the late afternoon, it was a hudled mass just listening. What's usually fuck this trade, there was a stony silence. And the guys are smarter than your average banker. These are after all, the survivors of multiple job cuts. They know their job and there was no fear, no greed, no emotion at all. These brave warriors giving the stiff upper lip; I almost saluted them and wanted to thank them for their noble service to capitalism. Their endurance is admirable and anyone can understand their mental strain. With options being bought more and more for the next two years, people are prepared for the worst yet to come.

The result of the housing being weak is banks. Since we apparantly cannot face the truth about all our assets needing to drop in price, we try to solve the banks. Are the banks insolvent or illiquid? Insolvent, if youre a realist. So nationalize then? How do you nationalize just one bank? You can't; short selling GS sharks will go to the next pool of blood. How do you sell the assets? You can't; this country is broke and Americans will be damned to have another country buy our banks. I'm not going to lamant that these questions are not ones that can be answered easily. That's for a failure history professor who sucks and cannot make it in the real world. The answer is let's see what happens when you drop Citi and AIG and whoever else is weak out the window. If I were to fall out, gravity would not be called systematic risk. But it's a fools hope. Cronism is too strong.

Well, the big dogs opted for slooooooow.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Player: Whoa! Free Boat Ride For 3!

Get the fuck up! This boat is real!
Isn't it fantastic when it all comes together? Today, the deal gods loved me. Finished, count 'em, two deals in the same day. When I'm gooood, I am goooood. Just about better than cigar time (Montecristo obvi) with one of my team members, there was that relief of the invisible weight lifting. Whenever I get done with big work deadlines, that sense of freedom and accomplishment is like doing a fifth day of Goose.
So after this shit was donezo, how to rejoice? No simple celebration that any banker can enjoy would do. Well, let's see. Any team of analysts can pool their money for a VIP table (incidentally that is vacant of women). A Saturday round of golf is for the seniors. And drugs are simply for those M&A's that need to escape from the fact that they are not great, despite doing everything elitists tell them.
No I play like a champion. A weekend trip seemed logical. Vegas? I bet on sure things. Mexico? Eh, they may have another peso crisis while I'm there. To ski? I do enjoy it but adjusting to the altitude makes blacking out lame. Florida? 80 degrees with seasonal college girls waiting to meet someone with a job, let alone a multi-millionaire. Deal!
Calling one of my boys, he was down like syndrome. He called around and we almost immediately had an entourage. One of the guys we pulled into our caper can run sic game and is in the Navy. With my typical exceptional fortune, he happens to be a certified sea captain. Anyone can drive a fucking 40 foot tug boat, I'm talking about captaining one more in the 80-100 ft range. He's a good pickup. Please keep in mind this is all like 6:00 pm on a Thursday for this coming weekend. Anyway, after making the necessary expenditures (first class has got choice free booze for a pregame), it looks like a weekend with my boys in vacation mode on my buddy's boat in the Gulf of Mexico. The only thing my life lacks is Andy's nautical themed Pashmina Afghan. Enjoy your weekend, hope you find something comparable. I hear your kids want to see the Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience. Or your wife wants you to get your taxes done. Or there might be a good basketball game on...

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Player: To Whom Much Is Given Much Is Tested

Senator Pat Geary: I despise the way you pose yourself. You and your whole fucking family.
Michael Corleone: We're both part of the same hypocrisy, senator...

It's always sweet when bankers are the ones who give the most money to campaigns for both political parties. Besides it being a commendable hedging strategy, the buying of every politician is such a delightfully incestuous game to me.

Game to run the universe goes something like this. Problem: Mr. Ty Hermes aka balla banker needs power. No one can imagine a smart guy like Ty who doesn't care about your feelings in office, because he can't even predict the stupid shit the American people will get fired up about next.

Few Examples:

  • Refusing to have a flag on your suit lappel made you un-American? Ty just thought thats what the retail cretins and BAC employees have to do.
  • Letting your VP candidate spend several thousand on clothes at luxurious 5th avenue? Ty doesn't understand. That bitch was hot. Good thing the press did not catch wind for the lingerie she bought for private banker fundraisers.
  • Allowing Madoff, Stanford, and other managers that are asshole thieves be unregulated? Let Ty know when you have the minimum $1.5 mill. to be an investor in a fund like that. 'Til then, check to see if Vanguard can handle your $40,000 life savings. Mind your own businees, driver.
For these things, we bankers are called out of touch by the American people. The banker understands that with his intellegence and overall disdain for all the Joe the Plummers that he needs to find someone who can communicate with them. You know, someone 'you could have a beer with.' Essentially, someone who is as dumb as you are. The prez may talk a good game about helping 'people and not banks,' but get him in the smoking room for his real thoughts:

Thanks bud. But I do think he may be a little sore that he didn't go to the Firm and instead went to be a community organizer, so he may come after us...

Monday, February 23, 2009

Player: Ride The Volatility Wave!

I'm sorry I'm not sorry for putting up the pic below instead of an extreme surfing pic with monstrous waves.

I remember a conversation in the summer of '07 I had with an investor whom was one of the most successful I know (No small feat. Incidentally, I also respect him. I know, a rarity.) This time was when things were really starting to cook up in the markets with 300 point swings a day. I always valued his thoughts so I asked him, what do you think the markets are going to be like in the future? He replied, "Volatile!"

The investor then went on to say that big market moves of 300 points a day were not such a big deal since the DOW was around 13,500. He literally said this, "It's not like the DOW is at 7,000 or 8,000 like a few years ago, where hundreds of points days mean as much..."

Say what you will about the markets but like a stoned surfer, duuuuuude I love the big waves. The intensity and raw power of the storm has got the waves of volumes, like, radical. Granted this is like the surfer who goes out in a hurricane for swells, but I scream, "Righteous! Righteous!"

A lot of players have wiped out (bankrupt) or watch from the beach (pussies with gold treasuries. Can't say flight to quality without SELL!) or broken their legs (about to hahaha...wipe out...denananana....) so if you are lucky enough to be on your board, this can be lucrative and certainly most fun. Call me crazy but everyday since 2007 have been so action packed, my job is just fascinating. Every person has to know their shit better now in any financial role. Grab a surfboard and fuckin get at it!

This one is a no shit call from that one meathead trader (I actually do like their breed on the whole) from CNBC's Fast Money. As an aside, Fast Money is the only show worth a damn from CNBC; I just don't get why it's on at 5 (when everyone is still working) and midnight (when everyone is asleep or blacked out).

In case you couldn't guess before, traders are buying calls on volatility (VIX). Fucking a, boys! Fortunes are being made and lost as stocks fluctuate 20% in two days. And whenever captains of the universe Pandit and Lewis say shit like:

"We see no reason why a bank like ours should be nationalized...there's no reason why a company that is profitable with strong levels of capital and liquidity should be considered for nationalization...speculation about nationalization is based on a lack of understanding."

The world's most powerful people, the CEO's and Presidents, cannot control these unforgiving swells. I gave up on their credibility and I'm not the only one. Control is an illusion.

I like to remind myself how much more significant and how much more accepting we are of these big volume days when a market was 14,000 not too long ago. So I do my best in my job/in my investments and raise my hands on the roller coaster. It's probably a death wish but I think the waves of the financial tsunami are awesome duuuuuude.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Nothing: Sign of the Times

From the Journal on Dubai losing a lot of real estate value and other problems:

"Los Angeles Times columnist Rosa Brooks shed no tears that "Dubai may be going down," finding it "hard not to be revolted" by a state that "doesn't really produce anything of value" but is a playground for "cold-eyed Russian oligarchs, coked-out London pop stars and the spoiled princelings of global finance." "

I particuliarly was fond of the 'spoiled princelings of global finance' phrase. I'd be jealous too if I was needing my monthly salary to pay off a mortgage. Not too worried. Self-interest is an unstoppable force and global wealth, the result, cannot be hindered forever.

I hear it's a good time to buy in the Hamptons now.

Nothing: The Capitalist's N Word



Permit me to demonstrate the horrors of bank nationalization through a contrast of myself and this tool I recently met.

I went to a black tie benefit event the other night and those charities always make me quite reflective. My prevailing thought was not how I could help the kids but how I would bang 90% of the chicks there. I also remember drunkenly looking up at the room's massive chandeliers, and reflecting about people who could not afford the event (there were probably some in the room with me).

The event itself was a bachelor / bachelorette auction and I enjoyed it immensely. Nothing like bidding on luxurious vacation packages that include dates with these beautiful women. I did not buy myself one though. It's like my grandma said, 'Why buy the cow, when you get the sex for free?' I met a nice blonde bimbo (hot pink dress and tan) and got inside of her in a conference room near the event. Easy as arbitrage! I'm not telling you this to impress you (though I can't help but be proud of it); I'm telling you this to establish the contrast in this story.

Anyway, after texting my boys about the big W and washing my hands, the event was winding down. I texted back these two girls (I'm waiting for the opportune moment to ask for a threesome) to see whaddup. (I love naive women, one had originally texted, "Stop passing out ur business cards at charity functions & come drink w/ us!!") Ladies were already at "Dorsia" for drinks. Though it was about midnight on a weekend and "Dorsia" was, well, "Dorsia," I strolled past the winding and unmoving line. Fortunately, the ladies sent down some dude to help me get inside instantly. Beats paying a cover and standing in the cold. They were glowing when they saw me, do you think it was the pimp 3 piece suit?

Then I met this tool, who was with one of my girls. This broad, she just broke up with her LDR BF of several years and I think this guy is her rebound. First of all, this guy was short. If history teaches us anything, it's that short people suck. Look at Napoleon. That fucker had to conquer most of Europe to get people to like him. And I figure people still didn't like Napoleon that much at the end of the day. I wish I could describe him more, regrettably he had no real personality or memorable traits besides how much he sucked. Get this. Turns out he's a trader at BAC. Christ, no wonder that bitch is insolvent. I told the future threesome girl #2 loudly that I had heard that BAC has height requirements for their traders. He definitely overheard me. And her response shook me to the core. She says, "But he's so baller!" I laughed loudly at this and would have loved to delve more into it with her but 'Livin on a Prayer' came on. Grabbed future threesome girl #1 and my Cape Cod to head to the dance floor. The opportunity cost was too great to talk sense with girl #2.

I think the reason I was so surprised by this statement of idiocy was the word choice. Baller??? Many words come to mind with this guy such as wimp or loser. But baller is the least likely word I would choose. I understand she's rebounding but no need to go slumming, she's a pretty girl with what seemed like decent judgment. Then I realized it. Just as some people think a farm boy from upstate New York is remarkable, others also believe nationalizing is baller. Cool, we can have these fucking lame government bankers with government salaries! Am I the only one who noticed FDR was literally too lame to stand? I'm pretty confident nationalization is going to happen since it's the easiest thing to do for the government. I remember the glory days where things that failed got eliminated. If you feel something needs to be done, loans to profitable banks maybe works.

I'm concerned that I caught a glimpse of these future baller government bankers through meeting this guy. Again, I should probably stress the contrast between the two of us. There is myself, the cutthroat banker wearing a three piece suit, Italian knit shirt, Kanye West glasses, and Vineyard Vines tie who just got his from some slut at a charity. Then there is this guy, who had no real muscle tone under his tan Gap sweater. His lack of intellect surely fits in well with the other meathead traders on his floor. It just worries me that bankers will have a real dip in quality and gives us all a bad name with nationalization. With further government intervention, women will completely not be able to judge bankers' ballerness correctly. Ultimately, there is one positive thing that can come of this. Though bankers will have to endure more tools like this guy in our bars, we know where we stand against them. With this nationalization, we get another layer in the finance hierarchy. I just have not decided which job is lower, government banker or bank teller...

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Player: International Playboys (obvi!)

"That's a fair thought to lie between maid's legs"
-Billy Shakespeare-
After talking to my boss (dont worry he's a rainmaker and we do team payouts) and watching other big boy bankers in our building, they seem...well, stressed. Don't get me wrong, what the fuck do you expect guy? I'm certainly not advocating anyone being a gapping vagina. The late hours are when deals are gloriously made. It's the miracle of economic life created by a banker and an Excel sheet (who love each other very much...). For the rated R version, the deal is the (sometimes unwanted) product of a one night stand. With Red Bull as the liquid to help your vision, the banker has to assert his dominance on Excel, an object that will do whatever he wants. Granted you have to know which buttons to push; let's be real if you use a mouse that’s like not being able to unsnap the bra. And if you stay late and know you made a deal that looks good, you feel like you just got off and all you want to do is go to sleep. I hope you know what I mean if you have done it. But like I said, this wave of stress is unusual. The cause is certainly obvious. My rainmaker manager says he is 'nauseous' looking at economic information, others are fighting for their jobs. OK, so a lot of banks hit their 52 week low today. Mine included.
Nevertheless, besides the usual wear and tear, I feel calm about this meltdown. I know where I'm at financially and in life (my resume is top-notch). If this thing goes to the shit house, I would be excited to pursue another title that I simply must achieve before I'm dead and gone: International Playboy. The hurdles are numerous. There's a lot of training required, the game never lets up, and the associated swagga just cannot fade. But it's been a dream of mine since seeing my first boobies on the silver screen. In retrospect, that red head on Titanic really needed to tighten a bit, but for my impressionable eyes, it was enough to spark the fire. Now listen, I know what you're thinking and I appreciate your sentiments. Your like dude, you already are very secure in slaying the hoes with a job in finance in addition to your enigmatic background, personality, etc. Why give up what you have? Certainly, it's not without risk. Concerning International Playboys, we all can't be Mr. Hefner. Just look at Larry Flynt (I am not even going to bother checking the spelling for that trashy perv's name. The Hustler mag guy. Enough on such disturbing items.)
The pitfalls are out there but I understand them. A womanizer attempting to be an International Playboy like Jack Nicholson can be perceived as sleazy and end up like Colin Farrell. Membership in the International Playboy club can be questioned when you get blown by Monika Lewinsky as opposed to Marylyn Monroe (To be fair Bill, there are no Republicans even being considered in the I.P. Hall of Fame. I humbly wish to be the first). The other major pitfall by being around and tapping pussy all the time is you lose your masculinity. You cannot tell me that pretty Tom Brady in all his photo shoots and man-purses is an unquestioned International Playboy. He needed to knock up that model to make the other Pats feel comfortable in the showers. And no settling down. I don't care if you are tapping Angelina or Beyonce, you lose your masculinity. Straight up. All the pussy on the side will not stop the constant fear of getting caught. Playas can't sweat that swagga.
Here's the deal. To be on top of the womanizing world, you need three things:
1. Some sort of claim to fame. You need a reason to convince people you are the man (bankers have disposition to do this already). If it's crooning like JT, charming like hedgie Arpad Busson, or pretending like Clooney, the International Playboy needs a unique identity.
2. Fool dozens to hundreds of top-shelf women into sleeping with you. This one seems intuitive but peel this onion of wisdom. There are hundreds of horny assholes around hot women whenever they go out, go to work, go eat. The International Playboy is able to fool women into thinking we not only listen but actually care about what is coming out of their prattling mouths. The smartest thing ever said about scoring was from a woman of all creatures. International Playboy Warren Beatty's sister, Shirley MacLaine, said about Warren, "He was able to make women fall in love with themselves."
That's it. The I.P. is great but is greater because he thinks you are great too! You dumb slut.
3. Pride. It's important for the world to know that you score pretty much every half hour. Girls respect that kind of honesty. Enjoy the life! That's my roadmap to success.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Player: UBS

These days, the tales of victimization is everywhere on the headlines. There's no doubt I've been fortunate in life but that doesn't mean I dicked around to be better than 99.99999% of all humans. I've worked my whole life, my game only elevating through school then finance.

I first went to a top tier private school to excel in squash. Initially, it was frustrating to lose. I will admit in my immaturity to even choking a teammate with my racquet while screaming, 'My life SUCKS!' until his face went red. I eventually learned to channel what my coach called a competitive drive.
An exceptional (private) university then followed where I had to run a most coveted fraternity. Here my analytical and objective-solving skills came into play. When to order the shuttles to not pick up guys, because the ratio was getting skewed (4:1 freshmen ladies: brothers). How to reason with lawyers, deans, or police who barely fathom what a Heaven and Hell theme means. Or how to make out with multiple girls on a dance floor at the same time (try this solution: Ice Cube Game-count the times the three of you can pass it around!).
Using father's connections, I received a posh internship on "Not Park Ave" in a city. After a summer of blacking out nightly, what would inevitably follow were occupations at banks with top comparative asset sizes, PE with no capital issues, then eventually straight world domination. Everyone has problems; it’s the ones who positively think about solving them that succeed.

This is why I don't understand all these 'victims.' Look at this lottery winner.

Not only did Stewie open the flood gates for other smokers, his $8 million was robbed from one of the most capitalist companies in the last century. If I ever consider a career in helping others, being a smoking lobbyist would be on top of my list. I love them (I would never smoke besides Montecristos, that shit kills). I'm just in awe of that company that can provide customers exactly what they want whenever they desire it.

Speaking of good companies helping people, I arrive to UBS. Evidently, the Swiss do banking now, which may be a solid way to diversify a GDP based solely on pocket knives and chocolates.

$780 million? Now we are talking on my level. This makes Philip Morris seem lucky. So this bank from Switzerland helped people keep their retirement money. Does anyone really feel like the IRS needed it more then you or me? Now the IRS is also a victim, the same IRS who I thought was the biggest asshole in the world. Splendid.

As long as the plebs continue to claim to be victimized by capitalists and bankers, I see no recovery in sight. Free markets are on my side baby. That’s like knowing God has my back (whose invisible hand did you think is bitch-smacking your laughable pension?)

In the description of the markets by a smart dude Carter Worth, chief market technician at Oppenheimer, “Basically the market's fair money, dead money, it just needs to wallow...We're in the apathy phase. All the long-only money is holding back and is in maximum cash. That's apathetic behavior. At the hedge fund level, they have their margin leverage reduced to record lows. That's apathetic behavior."

We bankers, hedgies, and capitalists will apathetically chill til y'all get your shit together. Look past your obstacles, you losers, to become high performers. It might be an idle hope though. If my success was easy, everybody would do it.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Player: "King of the South"

I was up in the club the other day feeling the flow on my Red Bull high and doing my perfected routine of 'trolling.' Back in my boyhood years, my family's ship captain Jacque taught me the fishing technique in the Caribbean. I nostalgically recall his French instructions, 'Le Petit Prince, just throw out ze line and wait for ze bite.' We would spend happy hours in the boat moving slowly yet purposefully until one of the innocent lines was bitten on. The similarities between trolling for ladies in the club and for Caribbean fish are numerous. Both are comparable in intelligence, look brightly colored, and can be easily lured with shiny bait. All I have to do is to move slowly yet purposefully until one in the school playfully snaps my suspenders or implores for a pic with my Kanye West glasses.
However, when I heard the glorious "My Life, Your Entertainment" thundering in the club, I was awestruck. I felt such kinship to the artist TI, I stopped my 'trolling' routine to research a bit more about the 'King of the South' on my Iphone. (Always an unorthodox banker, I feel that the Iphone offers me comparable services to RIMM. Work pays for either in any event.)

It was then that I discovered his new MTV show, 'Road to Redemption.' TI needs to show his altruistic side before he goes to jail (in order to shorten his sentence). The premise of 'Road' is that TI, the patron saint of public schoolers, shows misguided youths the error of their ways as hustlers, drug dealers, gang members, etc. In one episode, he saved a Mr. 'Pee-Wee' from a life of crime. TI did this by putting 'Pee-Wee' in a jail cell for a few hours, while TI went to go eat Mexican food. TI then offered his career advice, suggesting several occupations that require no education or marketable skills. 'Pee-Wee' took on acting classes to be a Shakespeare thespian; I only fear his illiteracy will prove to be a hindrance to his big break. In any event, after TI deters these wretched souls from a life of crime, they go on to lead blissful though unemployed lives.

I have since surmised that CNBC or Fox Business (Lord knows they need the ratings) could hire a banker to do a similar act. All the producers need is to find a banker facing insider trading or a John Thain seeking to improve his image. They are a dime a dozen these days.
I know several hipsters, mostly college students, who really need to change the path they are on or they will inevitably end up living in the projects. Take a college student in his junior that I know, called 'James.' The road he is on can only end up in vagrancy: the English major. James claims to be passionate about film. While this initially seems reasonable since there are plenty of reputable hedge funds that invest in profitable films such as "The Fantastic 4: The Rise of the Silver Surfer," James is not interested. He once told me he wants to be in film to 'make art.' Quite alarming indeed. It can be reasonably inferred this wayward student will go the way of the hustler: dead, in jail, or a Starbucks server. Another is 'Charles,' a senior-year physics major. Charles chose a major that was most compatible for smoking pot every day. At least it's a cheap drug. If he really applies himself and his calling takes him to the pinnacles of success, do you know where that takes him? Right where he is today: college. But as a prof, he won't be able to blast the freshmen ladies in the face. Okay, okay, not like he took advantage of that chance in college anyway but the opportunity was possible. Why would someone choose a job where the best car they can get would be a used Volvo? (token Democrat for president bumper sticker included!) Another life that will inevitably be squandered is 'Mary,' a senior-year communications major. She is someone who believes in living the life to the fullest, and I know this because she was partial to blacking out and hooking up with multiple dudes in one night. Some who she met that night. Ah, carpe diem! Mary so enjoyed being abroad in 'London' that her goal is to go back there to be a bartender. Again, she has poorly chosen her future path. My expectation for my waitresses objectively necessitates a tighter body than yours, Mary. Her big tits can only take her so far. I suppose her natural inclination to live life to fullest by hooking up with strangers will serve her well in her probable final career as a prostitute. If she can network well, minor success in porno is also possible.

With all these misguided individuals, wouldn't it be grand if a banker could show these idiots the dangerous path they are on? I guess the ultimate problem is that bankers are too self-centered on success and themselves to waste time on inevitable fuck ups. Oh, well. The world needs valets too.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Nothing: The Between Banks Bankers

There are several 'friends' that are between jobs right now and its pretty sad. I'm slightly uncomfortable calling them 'friends' sometimes considering they have no income. I would relate hanging out with them somewhat to community service, however, I have never been to a homeless shelter or Red Cross or whatever so there is no basis of comparison. One pal claimed to be victimized by a Credit Suisse hiring freeze. When I ask him how things are going, he claims he goes to the gym a lot and drinks in the afternoons sometimes to "spice things up." Another bankless bud seems to have lost hope. He has been moping at home all day and has gotten so negative and depressed, he will tell me things like, "Tell me how we are not fucked."
I respond reasonably that, "I'm not fucked. Sucks for you America."
He will emotionally spout statistics, "You'll be fucked when you are paying 70% tax and dealing with 20% inflation!" or something.
I did not have the heart to say that his lack of cash flow would qualify him for government support.

Another case said he would never apply for another bank because the industry was so unstable and that "there will be a day you discover money doesn't grow on trees." What a quaint expression, I had never heard of a proverb for frugality before. Nevertheless, I am a realist. I have understood and currently understand there are these black swan events. Just because my bank account has doubled litterally every month since I have started work does not mean that it will always be so. There may be the day that it gets cut off. Fine.
Banking is about intellegence and this is a survival game. One has to be mentally prepared for the 'fat tail' event. I'm not talking about quantitative distributions; I'm talking about the sobering morning of hooking up with a chick with a cute face but a lobster body (all the meat is in the back).

I want to encourage those downtrodden between bank bankers that life is all relative.
Oh, you are bitter you didn't get a bonus?
Take pride in the fact that you have Vineyard Vines ties of every pastel!

Oh, you are freaking out about your company falling apart? The stock price dipping?
Maybe you shouldn't have had all your retirement account in your one company.
But everyone knew the culture was such a competitive advantage!
Listen. You should believe in yourself over the convictions of a CEO from Queens or the assurances of the Treasury Sec from some 2nd tier Ivy in New Hampshire.

Oh, you are worried about your job security or lack thereof?
Yeah, I guess I would hate having the free time to take a trip with my boys to Cancun to plow the spring break '09 sorostitutes. You may be employed 5 days a year but that means you have 360 days off!

After banking, its not healthy to think your life has peaked at such a young age (though it probably has). The key to happiness for a banker or hipster is this: stop worrying about what you don't have and think about what you do have.
I may not have any real free time right now. Not upset. What I do have is a 50 foot boat docked in the Gulf of Mexico that I have never taken a trip on. Yet.

Player: Michael Lewis

Below is an emailed convo with a banker bretherin I'll call "Christopher" (Be sure to read the article by Lewis as well):

From: Me
Sent: Friday, February 13, 2009 9:10 AM
To: Christopher
Subject: bravo

This is an article I knew you would stand up from your chair and applaud.

From: Christopher
Sent: Friday, February 13, 2009 10:15 AM
To: Me
Subject: RE: bravo

OMG. This dude is awesome. I love this man. He is exactly like me….it's crazy.

From: Me
Sent: Friday, February 13, 2009 10:29 AM
To: Christopher
Subject: RE: bravo

I take it by calling Michael Lewis from Liar's Poker 'this dude' you are not familiar. In case you haven't read Liar's Poker yet, it is the nonfiction account of Lewis's road to being a baller trader a 'Salmon' in the 80s. You cannot call yourself a banker having not read this. Like you would get laughed at in some circles not having read this so I hope you have (it's a quick read).
FYI, I have treated myself to bottle services this weekend. Not at "Big Poppa Club" but a perfectly reputable place.

From: Christopher
Sent: Friday, February 13, 2009 10:35 AM
To: Me
Subject: RE: bravo

Obviously I know who Michael Lewis is. And no I have not read "liar's Poker". I am glad to hear that you had bottle service…I assume the ladies were impressed. I will be treating myself and my wife to bottle service tonight at a club called "Hypnotize Club" in "Life After Death City." Should be nice. How is work coming? Mine is coming very well. A lot business out there for the taking, if you have the skills to take it. Also, where did you get bottle service and how much did it cost? If it was under $200 doesn't count.
F.Y.I.-I bought my wife a long haired, full length mink coat for valentines day at a silent auction. It's all good because I have a swap deal that I should close this quarter and the fee income will pay for it.
-M.B.T.S.- I changed it from M.B.P.*, because the new initials for the intuitively challenged mean-more baller than Sherman.

From: Me
Sent: Friday, February 13, 2009 11:02 AM
To: Christopher
Subject:RE: bravo

Client and prospect meetings the next 5 of 6 business days. Have fun in a club with your wife. I would rather take my grandmother. I'm not worried about anyone fucking her and she doesn't care about me getting digits. Give me a call if you want to talk about bottle services this afternoon, but I assure you, it wasn't cheap.

Why buy a fur coat when clearly the winter is ending within a month? I would hate to see how you invest your money, or whatever is left.

Read Liar's Poker. You embarrass me.


Christopher called earlier and we discussed our respective costs of bottle service. I told him I dropped $400 plus 20% gratiuity and taxes. He said 'nice' but then did not mention his cost. We also discussed the pros and cons of prostitutes and strippers.

*Originally, Major Banker Player

Thursday, February 12, 2009

A player: This weekend

Ah, the life of a banker, raging on Goose and Red Bull for 72 hours with an occasional round of golf. A bond trader and good buddy is coming in this weekend (bottle service is a must) and has proposed such contest via excel of course:

1 First Makeout

2 total makouts

3 hottest makeout

4 First number close

5 Best lie (believed)

6 Best lie (not believed)

7 Most rediculous lie

8 Worst lie

9 Total numbers gotten

10 Hookup in Pool

11 hookup in car

12 hookup in most random area

13 wedding proposal

14 best fake accent

15 most random makeout spot

16 most rediculous makout spot

17 first to get thrown out of bar

18 best wingman act

19 fattest girl

20 funniest place to wakeup

21 cab ride hookup

22 hottest girl(as judged at time)

23 ugliest girl(as judged at time)

24 first to boot

25 boot and rebound story

26 best picture

27 dumbest thing you convinced a girl was true

28 best insult

29 best pickup line

30 worst pickup line

31 sketchiest action

32 womans clothing aquired

33 sloppiest hookup

34 best made up job

35 best shutdown

36 best picture

37 being called an asshole

38 being called a dick

39 being called a combination of explicts

40 slow dancing(with music)

41 slow dancing(without music)

42 getting slapped

43 slapping titties

44 drunk driving

This list is subject to additions and the points will be evaluated effectively at the end of said sic nasteeee weekend....

A Player: Brian Wesbury

Good points for Mark to Market:

Though the current system clearly is god awful, valuing these things is the soon to be $1 question. Any thoughts?

The way I see it, though Timmy didnt say much of anything, there are three ways to do this bitch.

1. Make sidepockets for these things as suggested by Soros. Check it on the Op-Ed WSJ.

2. Make a government program to take these suckers on the market.

3. The atom bomb. Nationalize it. The Tyler Durden theory of debt.

Nothing: Teachers

This is the closest this guidance counselor guy will ever come to banking. Those in with any finance experience should appreciate this dude's lack of understanding.
I got a text from a fellow banker, "I saw my high school teacher last night. I think he was jealous now that I make more money than him."

Keep pimpin, goddam, keep pimpin...

Nothing: Class war!

Gone are the golden days and in are the days of protectionism, populism, and pragmatism. Isms in my opinion are not good. I'm looking around for the heroes of my boyhood, the Gekkos, the Batemans, the McCoys.

Unfortunately, I'm surrounded by some Congresswoman who can only accusatorily and verbosely call bankers “captains of the universe.” Thank you Ken Lewis for proving that the shareholders haven't cut off your balls quite yet by responding with a little sass. These CEO’s are mired by some Masshole with epilepsy who wants to bring the creator of all the world's CDS into a hearing. I'm impressed you learned the acronym, though it is the politicians' forte after all.

But are you serious? What do you want Congress, some masked man? “It was I, you fools, Sherman Gatsby, who single handedly created all CDS's ever!”

I may have some disagreements with some bank CEO’s still having jobs, yet, I think they could have had a more productive day instead of the DC bullshit. Even the car company’s CEOs (which shouldn’t exist today) shouldn’t have to endure questions by Dodd on how come the companies never came up with more mass transportation plans. Give me a break.

Here’s a good follow up on Wednesday’s schenanigans:

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Value Proposition

This is a dark storm, no fucking question about that. The ships of all financial institutions are flooding if not capsized already. I've had friends who traded valiantly to their last until the blowhard wind of the Fed toppled the Lehman ship over. After braving wave after wave of job cuts, I've had enemies washed overboard with other ibankers at the H.M.S. MS. It is such a monetary monsoon that my fellow bankers at Smith Barney and even pitiable Wachovia do not even know the name of their boat. The bankers, those daring sailors, are gulped down by the dark current with more suck than the seamen swallowed by our gold digging go-to's.

Something has changed within me. It must be a result of this crisis. I have learned that my brain's frontal lobes, among other executive functions, can focus on the abstract plight of people I don't know. I believe the result is called pity.

Yet, I am still trying to reason through the concept of understanding unknown or incomparable people. This is simply because my life is exclusive to theirs. I asked one of my boys, who happens to be Indian, if it makes me a racist when I think every Indian must be a quant that I see during lunch. (To be fair, BAC has a lot of analysts in the adjacent building where I work and those fuckers travel in business casual packs. Losers.)

While he laughed it off, he texted back, "I like that everyone that is not a banker is a hipster to you." It's kind of true. Frankly, all my life I have had such privilege; my rarity of experience makes life different. One day my bank's stock price went down 7% and I giddily got bottle service for the weekend. Why the fuck not? Someone has to keep liquidity in this economy! I sometimes illusion myself as altruistic for the world economy, and my heart flutters at the concept of some drunk girl who needs to forget about her 401-k for a night. See? My sense of empathy is growing!

Ultimately, the value added of this blog is twofold. The first value I propose is for you to benefit from my thoughts and judgments. Let me tell you a quick story to illustrate my growing awareness of others:
Not a few months ago, I met a banker at a function who somehow managed to wear three different shades of black in his suit. His belt, blazer, and pants all were distinctly dissimilar. To top this monstrosity off, he wore a red shirt. I mean, this guy had it coming.
Then I saw his cute girlfriend. This feeling came besides the selfish lust. It was odd; I felt a need to let his girlfriend know what fucking a banker really was like. What an incredible feeling, I mean, besides banging her, knowing that she was benefiting from my personal generosity/doing whatever the hell I want. Yes, her squealing 'what do you want me to do?' a few times in my ear is exactly the kind of reaction I am hoping the reader will have after reading these future entries.

The second is me. You are a beneficiary but ultimately I am doing this for myself. I had a fellow banker tell me whenever I am in a meeting that wastes time, I get this look on my face (that I have since attempted to mask). He described it as “boredom and disgust.” I objectively judge events and people for a living. I suddenly feel a need to judge more.

So I give you ladies and gentlemen: A Player. Or Nothing. With the rarity of transparency and despite a thinning of the herd, I hope that I can offer some insight on whether something or someone is A Player (PE, Grey Goose Pear with lime, Kravis, Mack, Busson, watches that self-wind ie Rolex, Bulova, etc.) or Nothing (Retail obvi, people that leave the office at 5, lawyers, accountants, artists, most people...).