Saturday, May 31, 2008

Bust a Cap in your Ass

Trader 1: "Dude, did you come in strapped today?"

Trader 2: "Yo, I never leave home without my glock homie, I like the respect it gives me"

Trader 1: "Left mine at home bro, you think I can make do with just my fingers looking like a gun"

Trader 2: "Yeah dude,just keep your hands in your pocket at the next meeting, make them feel the fear"

Together: "Respecttttah"

Thursday, May 29, 2008

The White Stripes

I have seen a few too many young Asian tigers fail to get within mauling range of the great-white-hunters only because they approach them wrong. What follows is a rough guide to the types of white people found on a trading floor that hopefully make the difference between Republic Day and the Sepoy Mutiny:

1. Steven Seagal

This tough son of a bitch thinks he's Asian. Not Asian as in a lover of chinese food, women and culture. No, I mean he thinks he's slit-eyed, small-cocked, straight-haired proper Asian. This guy wants nothing more than to be told the secrets of your culture and language. Indulge him in his moronic quest for Eastern enlightenment and you will soon find yourself a VP. Then get together with the other Desis and the Triads and send him into retirement in Tibet.

2. Chuck Norris

This badly dressed, weather beaten monstrosity is from some obscure part of a Western country. All his millions have not changed his outlook on life or on personal hygiene. Despite management pressure and the racial integration guidebooks, he still thinks of Vietnam when he sees Orientals and Apu when he sees Indians. The best way to play Mr. American-History-X is to behave like the Asian manservant that he thinks you are. Eventually you'll find yourself doing so much of his work that you can fit seamlessly into his role when he retires to fuck cowboys down in Montana.

3. The White Chris Tucker

This harmless Westerner's only view of Asians are as comic fodder. There is no real racism in his mind, its just that we look/smell/sound fucking hilarious. He has no objection to working with Asians, eating Asian food or boning Asian women. In short, he is the perfect boss or teammate and you will eventually use him as the investor front man for your hedge fund.

Quote of the Day

Me: "Dude, why is Japan up 3% on no news?"

Director, in wise tone: "More buyers than sellers son".

Monday, May 26, 2008

Buying Self-Worth at IFC Mall

Once a month, atleast, the shocking truth of a trader's sole purpose on earth hits him/her/it in the head. We ask a simple, yet terrifying question of ourselves: why do I do this shitty job?

Well, its obvious. We work, and thus live, for the acquistion, storage and spending of money. The last of these three phases is the most important. Without this vital release, we are angry Monarchs, potent with pent-up purchasing power, straining at our emotions and our fears. Occasionally, we roar in fury and buckle the knees of the plebians and patricians of retail alike. We ride towards the city, our chariots kicking up the dust in the face of those who meekly follow.

The grand palace of the Hong Kong retail experience is the IFC Mall in the centre of the city. All the brands conceived in the minds of cynical style-mongers, genius homosexuals and every combination in between, is housed in this elegant intersection of glass, marble and steel. Housing thousands of people at any one time, it still exudes a reverent hush. For good reason. It is here that lives are given meaning.

My first visit was to my trusty Brooks Brothers store. I had noticed that every second managing director had checked shirts. Not the ones you can buy on the streets of Madras, but rather creations sculpted by warrior gnobes in the forests of Sweden. I settled for the non-iron, poplin produce of dexterous Filipino hands. Two window-pane shirts and HKD 1500 later, I was feeling the first head rush of retail emancipation.

In search of further freedom from mental slavery (didja catch the Marley reference), I entered the home of an old friend, Armani Exchange. I had not bought a whisper-thin, peruvian cotton, brazen be-logoed T-shirt since college and I picked up two just for old time's sake. I will wear them when I feel good about my body as well as my soul. I had fulfilled my quest, my heart was lighter and my spirit soared.

My last purchase was a pair of D&G aviator sunglasses. They were something I really did need. The sun shines much brighter up above the clouds.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Jungle Guides

Nobody is capable of making it through Wall Street without a jungle guide. Someone to help a hapless novice past the blood-sucking theta bushes, to avoid the poisonous vega snake and to get out of the way of the thundering commodity play. These are a few characters that have tried to mentor me in my short time on Wall Street (they all male because if you have a female boss on Wall Street, you are already too far gone to be helped):

1. The Mister Miyagi

This mild-mannered, yet deadly if fucked with, Asian man prepares you for the real world by forcing you to incessantly repeat inane tasks. You do nothing of any significance for your first few years on the job. Abruptly he will then shove you into harm's way, helping a client hedge his currency exposure in Pakistani GDRs.

Upside: The nitty gritty of your job becomes second nature, so your mind is completely free to concentrate on the important, strategic stuff. Like why you are balancing on one leg on a pole in the middle of the fucking ocean.

Downside: There is no way to hedge your currency risk in Pakistan. Your client, and thus you, are fucked.

2. The Gordon Gekko

This evil white man will put complete and utter faith in your intelligence, street smarts and complete lack of ethics to turn you into a ruthless money-making machine. You will learn how to rip off clients, fudge PnL and generally walk around like your dick is 8 feet long. The scraps off this man's plate will upgrade you from your student dive to a penthouse apartment overlooking the city crammed full of the best new toys.

Upside: You're rich bitch. Optional time-share of his leggy whore.

Downside: He punches you in the mouth, you sell out your father's firm and you become a rapper's bitch in prison. Soul is lost never to return.

3. The Simon Cowell/Tyra Banks

This bastard can be of any race/colour or creed. He will insist on making you look retarded for the smallest mistakes and his speech on what an idiot you are will take longer than simpler explanation of how to fix the problem. On the flip side, he runs an immensely sucessful business and the price of hanging on his coat-tails is you get hit by his shit in the face.

Upside: You develop skin of steel. Spectacle of your humiliation also draws attention to your group, increasing visibility and bonus pool.

Downside: He will always be making more money than you. He will also probably only keep you on the show for a few seasons.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Quote of the Day

"There is something reductive about the markets. You can be right for all the wrong reasons and wrong for all the right reasons, all the market sees are wrong and right. Compare this to a teacher who asks a class of young children to name two pronouns. Since noone speaks up, she asks Timmy who, frozen in fright, replies "Who, me?". Timmy might not get an A in English, but if this were the market, he'd be very rich." - A Mathematician Plays the Market - John Allen Paulos.

Bankers and Brotherly Love

I realised today that UN does not have shit on the average non-Japanese trading floor of an investment bank. We often speed through our day not noticing the individuals we dealing with day to day, but if we stop speeding through our lives, the white blur teases itself out into all the colours of human species. My day, in this vivid technicolour, is as follows:

1. Use friendship with Hong Kong Chinese boy to get a copy of Research in the neatly collated form used by Research (not the shoddy piecemeal shit they send to the clients and our desk).

2. Greet the head of our desk, a lily-white Canadian, and ask how his Korean wife is feeling after the flu. Pass him the research report. He flips over it, something catches his eye and he immediately calls up his Japanese-American broker in Tokyo.

3. Next to arrive is the Taiwanese-Chinese-origin, Canadian-born trader who handles Korea and Taiwan. He begins his day by going over night arbs with our Italian/Irish American staffed Asian Equities desk in New York. He opens his first e-mail of the day, the Korea derivatives summary, written by a young Frenchman.

4. Later still arrives the Indian and Pakistan trader, a North London lad of the best kind. He jabbers excitedly about his trip to see tigers in Rantanbore, forts in Jaipur and mujaheddin in Delhi. He complains that his Malay-Chinese-origin, London-born wife is harassed as all women are in India. He wonders how the locals keep their hands off Indian women, who he finds gorgeous. He spends the rest of the day speaking to several dozen Indian brokers, who first words are invariably "Arite mate?". But two of these calls are personal: an Indian broker's British wife is homesick, would he get something for her next time he goes to Australian broker fro Macquarie living in Mumbai calls in to boast about bowling to Sachin Tendulkar in the Mumbai Indians nets. Sachin pulled the rank long hop to Brisbane.

5. Last to arrive is our American-origin, British-born Hong Kong and China trader. He slides elegantly to his desk, his beautiful Malay-born, American-educated, investment banker girlfriend by his side. As they part ways, he remembers something, and he asks me:

"Mate are there any good places to dive in Sri Lanka? There is a boutique hotel there we want to check out"

A full cirle, world peace and a benneton ad. Bankers 1, Hypocritcal Hippies 0.

Question of the Day

If it rains summer, autumn and winter in Hong Kong, why are all the sidewalks paved in fucking slate or marble?

Monday, May 19, 2008

Quote of the Day

"To feel like a black man in New York, play a game of cricket in public - we put on white, to remember we are black" - Netherland by Joseph O'Neill

To feel brown for that matter.

The IIM interns leave next week

I will miss them. I dont even know their names, but I know I will. Long after the last gorah has left the building, we talk about cricket and Calcutta, about Sachin, Shoaib, Sanath, Satyam and SAIL. I will miss the smell of paratas and aloo gobi in the pantry during lunch time. I will miss having someone to help me with Excel macros. I will miss being the best looking South Asian on the floor, instead of the only South Asian.



Sigh. It was sweet in a moronic kind of way.

Why I hate the rain in Hong Kong

1. The beautiful people are all indoors fucking each other

Hong Kong is the city of high heels and 5,000 dollar suits. Neither of these armaments of sexual warfare fire well in the rain. Instead, the warring parties retreat into the jungle to clean their barrels and shoot their cannons. The rest literally spill over into the streets. The only people you see on the road in Hong Kong after a shower are fat people. Guts spilling over their belts or cellulite showing on their thighs, skirts and pants stretch to breaking point, the turkeys perch on the barstools normally occupied by the birds of prey. It is enough to make one take a rifle to the whole zoo.

2. The umbrellas are all fucking neck level

Getting hit in the eye by 10 umbrellas in the 15 minute walk home is not pleasant. I know the Chinese are jealous of occidental features, but this is fucking ridiculous.

3. The city drips

No rain actually falls on the streets of Hong Kong. It is all filtered through the concrete jungle, where hardwood giants are replaced by billboards and light fixtures and drainage systems. The sum effect is to feel like you are being pissed on by hundreds of 100 foot Ray-Js.

4. It looks fucking sleazy

The rain makes the neon stand out, bankers' gel slick their hair to their forheads, the women's clothes go from tasteful slutty to Girls Gone Wild and the associated human driftwood of the city suddenly chokes its waterways: South Asian restaurant touts braving the rain, Filipina whores gingerly stepping over puddles and Nepali waitresses carrying steaming kebabs over slick roads.

Transmission - by Hari Kunzru

When you run across a book by a London-born, Indian-origin, hip-enough-to-be-on-the-jacket-cover writer who is praised by the Financial Times, published in the New Yorker, you buy that shit..and quick.

A few bucks and several hours later, it struck me I was not reading. I was eating. I was dipping my eyes into a rich curry of language and filling my mind to bursting point. Since the meal was a short one, 300 pages of elegant spice and careful cooking, I thought I would savour the flavours by recounting them:

1. The base - creamy with the tales of white affluence: models, mercedes, marketers, masochism and masturbation, oily with the strivings of the Indian middle class: Delhi, Noida, cyber cafes, bollywood, call centres, pushy parents, virginity, Amerika.

2. The spices - a bollywood diva looking for a way out, a bollywood star looking for a way in- between every woman's legs, a lost Delliwallah trying to make his way in Silicon Valley, a virus, global communications meltdown, rich Arabs, Dubai match-fixers, blowjobs, sympathy sex, leggy whores,lesbian programmers, trippy hippy programmers, Bulgarians, Russians, Brussels, the EU.

3. The lamb - chunky, tender and full of flavour - a young boy in search of love, affection and touch, a young woman looking for a foothold on reality, a jaded mannequin of woman trying to be human again, a coked up entrepreneur trying to stop his life from slipping off the rollercoaster and a virus that does not mean to harm, but pause.

In short, one fucking amazing experience.

Now that I mention it, might have left a spoonful in the bowl. Will write soon, feeling peckish again.

Friday, May 16, 2008

If you are Indian, please read

As a Sri Lankan, I have never felt confident enough in my own culture to express its beauty outside my home. I am now incredibly fucking grateful that I come from a miserable little war-torn country. My people and I have been saved the embarassment of the following:

1. Using my local language with clients: "teek hai", "accha", "bol", "bahenchod", "chal", "choothiya", "haan" and so on are not really part of the trading floor vocabulary. Not because they are casual usage of Hindi...but rather because...THEY ARE FUCKING HINDI WORDS....and noone understands them.

2. Dress in head to toe in polyester: Your dad may own the world's largest rayon plant, but that is no excuse to wear it in to work. You know what else is made of rayon, industrial strength rope, find some and hang yourself with it.

3. Wear platform shoes (guys and girls): Guys, if you are short fuck and you know it..clap your hands. Girls, you gave up prostitution in Calcutta for this internship, haven't you read your contract? cant do other work while employed at the bank.

4. Getting the sock issue very fucking wrong, mindbendingly, my-god-look-at-your-feet, wrong: GIRLS...YOU...SHOULD..NEVER...FUCKING...BE....WEARING...SOCKS..INTO..WORK...i hope that was clear. Guys, white socks with work shoes, just make you seem like you borrowed those shoes from your dad. Which you probably did, but no need to advertise.

5. Sitting together in the pantry at lunch sharing 3 dozen rotis, a meat dish and 10 veg curries: This is not fucking Ananda Bhavan or wherever it is you pig out on campus in Ahemabad. You will eat at your fucking desk like everyone and you will eat the same fucking white-boy sandwiches that everyone else eats.

Now, dear Indian readers, say "yes, I understand I have been wrong".

NO, no, dont you give me that fucking "haan...teek hai". Sigh.

How you know when a trader is losing money

1. He starts listening to Research people

Research is the Appendix in the body of an Investment Bank. Noone knows how they really bring in revenue, but Investment Banks have always had Research divisions and they always will. A trader who has lost his confidence and is bleeding from every pore will suddenly cling to these model-loving morons. He will patiently absorb valuations, industry trends, technical analyses, economic forecasts etc. He will then lose more money...or..God forbid..he actually makes money..he will give the Research guy what he lives for...a "good call mate". The Research guy will get up, grab a copy of the relevant report and head straight to the loo for a quick wank. The trader will go back to ignoring Research people.

2. He starts working on "technology projects"

Traders who are making money use only 3 things: brains, testicles (female traders have them too) and a calculator to add up all the money they are making. However traders who lose money, suddenly load up on all forms of exotic technology. Valuation spreadsheets, trading algorithms, risk metrics and porn management tools. This ofcourse involves close interaction with the other unnecessary organ in the Investment Banking body: Technology...or The Tonsils. Technology is intended to help you solve problems and protect your business, but for some reason the department only seems to get bigger, get yellow and brown (from its inital days as pink) and eventually give you a sore throat from all the screaming. Technology people also generally love to get in trader's pants and give their nuts a good lick. Therefore a trader losing money can atleast see his reflection in his shrunken nuts by the time he makes money. The small joys of life.

3. He will start "managing" people

Traders often forget that they are upper management in a large company. They treat other traders like best friends and cover for them at every opportunity and they treat everyone else like dirt. A loss-making trader however, is a menance. He (oh alright, bloody hell it could be a she also) starts treating everyone like shit. Interns/analysts are put to work on the "projects" described above and learn sweet buggerall for the rest of their internship/first year. He examines the books of the rest of the team and "suggests" trades in markets he knows very little about. He sucks up to management making even his ever more frequent trips to the loo seem bonus-worthy. In short, he becomes an investment banker...a fate only slightly worse than death.

4. He starts trading options. Often.

Shortly afterwards, he is carried out on a stretcher by security. But only after every single man, woman and child (i.e. other traders) in the firm has given him a swift kick to the head (explains the stretcher no?).

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


*Girl walks past Chinese trader swaying her hips and batting her eyelashes*

Gorah trader: Dude, she's really into to you, how the fuck?
Chinese trader: Look at these pythons dude, its these fucking Vitamins I take, they give me glow in the dark pee and magical power.
Gorah trader: I dont see how you get chicks by pissing a lazer beam.
Chinese trader: Dude, its like a Street Fighter power, like the Hadooken

*whole desk does the HADOOOOKEN...with the double hand thrust*

Gorah trader: That was one fucking iconic game
Chinese trader: Street Fighter...and the Wheel...that's civilisation right there.
Gorah trader: The Wheel?...dont you mean the Wii?

Chinese trader: No dude, I meant the round wooden thing, but yeah the Wii's sweet too.

How Jokes run on the trading floor

Trader 1: Dude, KSX has been raided by the authorities!
Trader 2: Wtf, whenever the Government in Korea changes they start raiding people.
Trader 3 (the jackass that starts it all): Like breaks in and empties out their fridge.
Trader 1: Steals their beer.
Trader 2: The magazines from the loo
Trader 3: The Coke from the vending machine

Trader 4: Those bastards killed Kenny
Trader 5: Kenny Lee

The Mistake

It is not very often that I will admit to making a mistake. Instead I will blame it on technology, operations and most often, my gorah Director. But today, I fucked up, and luckily for me, I fucked up small. I was given an order to buy a million dollars of stock in the last 20 mins in HK. The is generally peanuts and I happily entered into my algo trading software. The price moved away from me a bit so I adjusted the limit. And again. And again. I was not in the least bit concerned about this order until I realised that the price of the stock was 3.X...and if I kept moving X up 10 bps, it adds up very fast.

By the time I told my Director that the price had moved and he, head clutched in pain, had told me to stop, I had ramped the price up 4%. In horror, we both watched the last 2 minutes hoping the price wouldn't plummet after we were done. It held steady for the first 10 seconds and then, down she went. I was weighing my options in manual labour when some kind and generous soul stabilized the price at only 1% below our purchase price. Saved.

Check it out if you have Bloomberg, 670 HK - China Eastern Airlines, the last ten minutes are me.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Mind of a Trader

Trader 1: Dude have you watched Finding Nemo?

Trader 2: Yeah, I found Nemo and dipped him in some fucking soy-sauce..

*Office passes out laughing*

Books and Desi Wives

After buying my 5th book in two days, it struck me that perhaps this habit was getting as expensive as priority 1: looking, feeling, smelling, being a BSDesi. As I reflected on this, it came to me that buying books is very much like dating an Indian girl:

1. Where you find them says a lot about who they are. Those from international stores are publicly available, popular, expensive, shameless sluts. Those from the British Council are overseas educated, refined and classy...yet at the same time (perhaps because of their wealth) and easy. Lastly, and barely worth a mention, those from the Public Libraries of our home countries, why they are old, fat and full of old news.

2. You can only take each type out to certain occassions: light and flirty to a coffee shop, intellectual or sexy to a nice dinner, passionate and intense to the bedroom and if you are a mannerless bastard, the cheap and disposable ones to the toilet.

3. If you can go over the same stuff over and over again, then she's probably a keeper. If she's nice but you are bored after just one go, you share her with your friends. If she wastes your money and gives you no joy, you make damn sure she stays on the shelf forever.

What makes this metaphor specially applicable to relationships with Indian women you may ask. Well, noone has sex with books.

Indian Market Comments

India opened stronger than most in the region, in wide ranging rally: financials, real estate, metals, IT, name it and they were horny. The Chinese market was reeling from the earthquake but India did the bhangra. The currency however was as weak as ever, pushing into 42 territory. The gorah MD and I sniggered to ourselves as we got out of our long positions, couple of hundred grand in the first 15 minutes. We began checking out pics of the World's largest swimming pool (in Chile) and biggest cow (6'2 at the shoulder, and like all fat cows, from England).

But apparently overweight cows aren't the U.K's only problem. They released the worst housing and inflation data in ages. As you might have realised, the European fund managers have been so badly burnt that they sell their grandmothers on the first sight of trouble. So the sell-off began, catching Mother India like a deer in the headlights of a speeding Land Rover. Stocks turned on a dime, and the leading sectors of half an hour ago were down 1-2%, the laggards, well the laggards were belted like a Tamil boy with bad Maths grades. The market closed on its arse-hole and we should see another bitch slapper of a day tommorow. Thankfully we were too busy laughing at the cow to add to our long position so we made it through the day with that first few hundred grand.

And the gorahs laugh when we say cows are holy.

Sectors to watch: Metals on a regional rip (Hindalco, Nalco, Hindustan Zinc...Sterlite is a pile of shite)

Sectors to stay the fuck away from: Fertilizers, Sugars, Oil and Gas (that game is OVER baby) and Refiners (oil fucks you both ways, it is a violent Arab bitch).


As I mentioned last week, I had gone and gotten myself some pimped out Brooks Brothers shirts and RL chinos (fuck you bankers, choke on your ties). I had also gone and gotten myself a Tyson Beckford haircut from the best shop in town. As I dressed this morning, I felt sure the day would be mine, I was looking and feeling like 10,000 barrels of oil (do the math, not the metaphor).

My high opinion of myself were confirmed by what were as close to wolf-wistles as possible from the all-male Convertible Bond desk. Exclamations of "sharp, nigger, sharp" wafted my way, borne on my fresh Chanel cologne. I logged into my Bloomy feeling all smug, surely noone would give a playa so fly any kind of grunt work especially not any accursed bookings. I took a satisfied sip of my black-as-brothers Starbucks and thanked my parents for their sexy genes.

I heard a distinctive cackle, and my director was grinning his square, gorah head off as he headed towards me. I could feel the love, and somewhere in my mind, the angels began to sing... "ohhh we wish you a merry christmas and no bookings this year". He set his coffee down, gave me another gay smile and said:

"Morning baldy...saw your head shining from across the room..I did a few trades yesterday...have you booked them already?"


Monday, May 12, 2008

Never...ever...believe CNBC/Bloomberg entertainers

Please bear this clip in mind whenever you are reading/watching financial news and something strikes you as odd. That tingle in your spine or that rush of blood to your brain is your inner reptilian screaming "they have no clue what the fuck they are talking about, RUN RUN RUN".

The 1996 Victory - as seen by Americans

Americans can make any scene from a 3rd World country look like a riot or terrorist uprising. Check out this video from ABC of the celebrations in Sri Lanka after the 1996 cricket world cup. To be fair, it does a fair job of filling me with pride, now all that's needed next time are some AKs pointing skyward.

Hillary in her bunker - fucking hilarious

Bloomberg Remote Login

Press my index and get finger-print recongition
Flashing lights and access codes put the beast in ignition

Live Financial data over the weekend
Or connected at world's end

Lawyers with their blackberrys
Can quietly suck on my black berries

Question of the Day

Why is Buddha's Birthday celebrated this Monday in HK and next Monday in India/SL/Nepal?

Bloody Chinese think they know more than us about everything. I'm sure the Buddha got more cake from our part of the world.

Book Purchases of the Day

1. "AK-47 - The Story of the People's Gun" - Michael Hodge, HKD 144

Why?: What kind of fag are you, its a book about the fucking AK-47 that's why.

How many pages: uncomfortable 60 c per page

First impressions: A quick flip through turns up the Vietcong, Palestinian fighters and Rambo..nuff said

2. "Gang Leader for a Day" - Sudhir Venkatesh, HKD 216

Why?: An Indian student inflitrates a Chicago street gang to find out how gangstas, crack hoes and pimps do their thaang and why they choose to live outside civilisation. Probably pissed off by his endless IIM-intern-like questions in his Tamil accent, the gangleader "J.T" gives Sudhir command of the gang for a day. He has to decide who runs which hoehouse and how much coke goes into the crak and finally whether or not to pop a cap in Otis' ass for skimming off the top.

How many pages? 290...again bahenchod 75 c a page.

Books rejected:

1. Inheritance of Loss : scenes of a man shoving a woman's head into a toilet
2. The other Amitav Ghosh book: its about an inter-racial pirate
3. Goldman Sachs, A culture of success: HKD 250 to read about why smart jews are richer than everyone else...fascinating
4. The Nick Leeson Story: Oh fuck off, you were a retarded who couldn't even trade futures properly.

The Quest continues for:

1. Cityboy, Beer and Loathing in the City: How London's traders ball it up...

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Equation of the Day

Oil Shock + Credit Crunch + Weakening U.S Demand + Asian Inflation = Really bad time to start work as an equities trader.

Damn you FICC bastards, FI for creating this mess and CC for profiting from it.

Comrades in Arms

Whenever I'm stuck booking trade after trade while my supervisor is cracking jokes without bahenchod booking his own trades, I think about why on effing earth analysts are given such shitty work in Investment Banks. I used to think this was was a form of ritual humiliation that was similar to ragging in Universities: you suffer to get into an esteemed inner circle. Just recently, I've been having my doubts.

There is no doubt an element of testing involved in the inanity of the work given to analysts. Here, big college boy, empty out my latrine bucket. Supposedly if you hold you nose through it all, you come out smelling like roses. The problem is, not all managers treat you like shit, they all just give you monkey work.

Another possible explanation struck me when I was reading about the relationship between Indian army officers and their orderlies (in The Glass House, awesome book, read post below). Orderlies were charged with taking care of the personal effects of their officers, right down to the proverbial latrine bucket emptying. However in the heat of battle, bullets dont know the difference between orderly and office and comrades trusted each other with their lives. It is here that I draw the parallel to the investment banking world. Every day we do all the little things that make our managers' lives easier. One day however, when he (she? haha) is under pressure or off the desk, then we have to step into the firing line. They have placed their tragic excuse for lives in our hands and we need to grab these moments of opportunity.

After all the jawan orderlies only got the Victoria Cross. We get get a monster fucking bonus.

Question of the Day

Why would you buy Tod's that do not have the rubber nipples?

They are the only distinguishing feature of Tod's and without them, you are wearing a really expensive Bata shoe.

The Flow of F.I.L.T.H

The term F.I.L.T.H was dreamed up by Hong Kong natives tired of gorahs packing up their excuses for careers in London and arite-mate-ing into the best jobs in the city. Failed-In-London-Lets-Try-Honkers is more than a joke, it is a sad reflection on the opportunities for lazy white people bred by racism at the very top of the corporate food chain. However this post does not bemoan this fact. It is Asian's own racism that creates this dynamic. Chinese and Indian businesses prefer to be served by a white investment banker and wealthy families prefer to trust a manager who has been born, bred and tested in London or New York (however irrelevant that experience might be to investing in Indian/HK small-caps).

On the lower rungs of finance, Asians prefer to work in London or New York. Indeed I am more depressed by this realisation, that F.I.L.T.H is a one way flow. The brightest minds of the east, Chinese, Indians, Singaporeans, Malaysians all rush to London, to study and then work in innumerable banks and hedgefunds that exist purely to feed on this ever-present pool of intellect and the capital they attract. Why? I've done a pop-survey among the friends I have working in London and New York and have gotten the following, retarded, reasons:

1. I hate chinky/indian people (by indian and chinese people respectively):

Before the British Empire forced us into increasingly moronic dvisions, most of Asia's trade was within the continent. Indian traders were to be found from Burma to Shanghai and Chinese traders settled in Colombo and Mumbai. Yet the new generation of the Asian merchant class has grown up with the West as the cultural ideal: where chicks have to have big boobs and give good blowjobs, people have to knock back 8 drinks to start off a night and a man's worth is measured by the size of his wallet and biceps.

My Indian friends refuse to work in Hong Kong and Singapore because, of all things, noone speaks English. They forget that when India was the richest country in the world, their ancestors plied their trades and made their fortunes on the plains of Africa, in the jungles of Malaya and the desert bazaars of Arabia, sharing no common language with the natives other than whatever passed for currency in those lands.

My Chinese friends refuse to work in Mumbai or Dubai because they feel it is beneath them as nationals of a growing power. They neatly forgetting that Indians are the richest minorities in the Western world and Dubai, run by Indians, provides the capital that is holding up bulge bracket Wall Street firms.

2. The nightlife is much in the West:

This complaint naturally comes from the people who's memories of Singapore, Hong Kong or Mumbai are of being led by the hand from shop to shop by bargain hunting mothers. Singapore is now a widely acclaimed culinary centre adding to its existing charms as a pub heaven and a repository of the finest Asian ass that is for sale. Hong Kong's flamboyant displays of wealth and debauched nightlife has attained mystical proportions and thousands of Chinese millionaires, gangsters, film stars and long-legged tai-tais steam in on a nightly basis. Meanwhile, Mumbai's mix of high finance, international crime and Bollywood is unmatched anywhere on earth.

The people of Asia are rich, beautiful and ball harder than any wannabe wanker analyst/associate trying to hit up fat HR chicks in dodgy London clubs.

3. I will have nowhere to spend my money:

Take your head out of your ass and start reading the newspaper. All major luxury companies report that their biggest growth is coming out of Asia. For some, Richemont and LVMH, it is the driving force of their business. Indian professionals drink nothing less than Black Label and the Chinese would sooner walk in their Gucci loafers than drive a fucking Ford. Dwell on these facts the next time you clowns are knocking back Jaegermeisters in a cold, damp Soho dive.

In my own harsh way, this is an appeal to intelligent Asians to please stay the fuck at home at the very least. You do not have to go to India if you are Chinese or vice versa. Just stay home and work has hard as you do in the West. Having left our economies to the gorahs, you will be judged more harshly than the kings and soldiers of the past, for whom defeat was inevitable. We are equally matched this time, stay and fight.

Calvin Klein Chuddis

I would never disrespect a book (or any reading material for that matter) by taking it into the loo. So on those long, lonely calls of nature I often have little else to do but stare at the clothing at my feet. My pants come from all kinds of brands made all over the world, but my boxers stay the same. They are made for Calvin Klein, in Sri Lanka and yes, if you have to know, I got them all free. But if I ever was to buy boxers (I dont, my family sends me 2 dozen every month from our garment business), I would still buy Calvin Klein. Why?...well read on motherfucker:

1. It is the ultimate chuddi brand. Hong Kong's old 20+ storey Ritz Carlton is covered on two sides by an effeminate black man in his underwear. Despite his obvious homosexuality, he draws the lust of the women and the jealousy of the men of the city to his an oddly bulging crotch. Every day thousands of the richest and best looking people in Hong Kong have their morning coffee staring at that poster. Glance a slightly higher and his underwear's waistband announces, in big, white letters, a brand that has a simple message: "Calvin motherfucking Klein is our name, and giving you a five storey cock is our game".

2. The other brands are just way too fucking expensive. Zegna, Hugo Boss, Versace and Armani all make very nice underwear, but at the cost of a fucking polo shirt. I am a great believer in nice things, but costly underwear does not feature on my list of essential shit. If a chick is seeing me in my underwear, I'd like to think that I've sealed the deal.

3. Following from point 2, chicks dont care about your underwear unless it is from fucking Genuiiiine Jockey. They take off your shirt, see a label on your elastic waist band and check off a mental list. As long as a. you arent chinese with a girl from another racel b. anything other than black with a black girl, you've pretty much impressed her as much as is required.

This concludes my short discourse on men's underwear. If you are the kind of guy who can get laid without expensive underwear, fuck you and dont judge us. All that gymming probably has left you unemployed and blueberry nuts. Make those blackberries.

Stock Tip of the Day - Oil Rigs/Services Companies

I've come to realise that I have very few friends and if readership of this blog is to expand, I need to give people a reason to type out the two dozen characters that lead to this blog. So I've decided to offer stock tips as often as a high conviction idea hits me. They will most often be on the Indian and Pakistani markets, which I help my friendly gorah MD trade.

Today's stock tip is to buy oil services and rigging firms. Oil companies themselves have rocketed in value and are now perched on the edge of a very slippery slope. They will tank even if the Nigerian rebels take a piss for too long. Oil services companies on the other hand have order books that are full up for years in advance and absolute pricing power. The Indian firms have been weighed out by the general morose climate in the Indian market and are trailing the HK firm China Oilfield Services. The firms are Aban Offshore (ABAN IN) and Great Offsore (GOFF IN). If you dont know what is in the brackets, then investment advice is wasted on you anyway.

A word of caution, these companies tend to piss away money as fast as they make it. Keppel Corp of Singapore which is the biggest makers of oil rigs in the world managed to make a lower profit this year on increased costs. The Indian companies however are looking relatively more cost concious (what else would you expect from Indians) and are aggressively expanding market share.

Let's not let the Saudis all have the fun.

My Own Book

I will get my own book,
By hook or crook,

I'm only at the start of my career,
A mere analyst they sneer,

But one fine day,
I'll make they pay,

I'll start my own fund,
And fuck Soros up his lund.

Rick Rolled

There is an interesting and annoying trend sweeping Youtube. You click on a video link on a blog, article or random web, and prepare your smile/frown/tears for the video you think you see. But something is off, slowly your eyes adjust to strange sounds and sights, you recognise them from decades past.

Some asshole has linked to a long forgotten music video from the 1980s.

You have been Rick-Rolled. The term describes the original incarnation of this retarded prank, a video of Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up".

Since then, there is only one reason people have diversified into other 80s songs: Rick Astley is actually very good. Millions of people, self included, have fallen in love with that song. One day when someone asks me where I got my wedding song from, I'll blush and say "errr...there was this internet prank".

The Glass Palace

Read Amitav Ghosh's "The Glass Palace". I am not going to explain, just trust me. After you are done, put the book down and take a deep breath. Check if you have a tear in your eye. If you dont, you are a cold machine who will die loveless and alone. Wipe the tear away, turn on the news and wait for the latest death toll from Burma.

If the number is higher than 100,000 please send a donation to Oxfram. I will. This book has made me feel like I have spent half my life in Rangoon listening to jokes, drinking tea, loving and suffering with the most beautiful, smiling, sarong wearing people on earth.

Wall Street Movies suck balls

I spent college watching movies like Wall Street, Boiler Room and the Lord of War. Of these, only Lord of War is now a fond memory. Wall Street has been exposed as a movie about an idiot who is conned into insider trading. Boiler Room deals with a bunch of small time chumps who make their money conning old ladies into buying dodgy Nasdaq stocks. Why I see these stories as pathetic is simply because my friends and I are now bigger ballers than these clowns.

It is a shocking pity that the real-life of a puny Wall-Street analyst is much more exciting than these so-called "iconic" finance movies. The only explanation I can think of for this depressing phenomenon is that directors have dumbed down these movies to please the box office.

Things seem to be turning around though. The guy who brought us Entourage is busy on a new series about a group of hedge fund managers and their lives and lifestyles. He has promised not to dumb down any details and let the dramas of high finance speak for themselves. I hope he succeeds, my brother is going to start studying Finance next year and I dont want him motivated by the same drivel I was.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Long live the Kings, the Kings are dead

Court jesters were often the sharpest minds in the land, offering sharp commentary on the state of the nation as they pranced around in their silly costumes. If you looked closely enough, you could see them scream out their opinions, snigger their criticisms and sing out their ideas in every minute mannerism. But all people see are their prancing and silly costumes, in short they were just performers putting on a show.

Court jesters remind me of Investment Bankers. They are much loved in popular culture, expensively dressed and comically overworked. They inhabit the folklore of finance. Undergraduates and MBAs alike are fed tales of the nocturnal exploits with the HR girls, strippers and hookers of every large city from Houston to Hong Kong. Their popularity has built up to a crescendo, every man and every woman who wants to be man, wants to be investment bankers: they want the big bucks, the big deals people say only investment bankers see.

If I met these "people" I would kick them in the head. Investment bankers are nothing more than number crunchers. So much so that Goldman has managed to outsource a large chunk of its investment banking business to India. This shows that there really is no need for the Hermes ties and Church shoes, but rather that these accessories are used to fill in a gaping hole in self-esteem. Like the court jesters, their indepedent ideas, their critical thinking and their incredible collective pre-banking intelligence is steadily washing down a spread-sink.

In contrast, the real players, the royalty of the finance world, are the hedge fund managers, private equity groups and proprietary trading desks of bulge bracket firms. THEY get deals done, deals pitchd to them by large groups of snivelling ECM bankers and they make the front pages of the WSJ. When you hear of an investment banker who makes as much as Warren Buffet or George Soros, please get in touch. Maybe I'll thinking of learning some Excel then.

But noone wants to be a trader. Traders are seen as overweight (check), badly dressed (fuck you), foul-mouthed (fuck you) and unintelligent (i.e. not from Ivy Leagues). In short, we live in a world where noone wants to rule. It should be plain as a sub-urban girl where the true opportunities in finance lie.

Brooks Brothers v.s Ralph Lauren

I like to think my readership is educated and so destined for atleast middle class prosperity. As such, you all probably run into the dillema I faced today, namely do I get my kicking digs from Brooks Brothers or Ralph Lauren. A discussion follows:

1. Brooks Brother is the absolute mac daddy of reasonably priced shirt making. They dont crease, they dont discolour, they do your Excel when you are tired.

2. Ralph Lauren is the single biggest lifestyle label on earth. They have made one leathery man a billionaire and the rest of us into horse lovers. However, examined closely, and there is no subtle way to say this "their clothes fucking suck". I made my first money peddling these shoddily manufactured cotton monstrosities and the quality has not improved since. Still the brand image stolen from the British Raj today reigns supreme over the crocodile and the knight.

3. Who the fuck cares, rock both these bitches

Today's shopping saw me pick up two pimp-tastic BB shirts and some funky pants from RL that could see be being fired before the week is out. But as the old saying goes, if they actually notices the threads in your pants.....

What is a BSDesi?

A BSDesi is a big, swinging dick of desi origin. If you think that I am referring to the girth of my genitals (which I might be) you are retarded and your readership will not be missed.

A new beginning

For someone who loves writing, starting a blog is like a shower on the weekend. It is something you have to do only for yourself, because noone else cares that your thoughts are bottled up inside of you making you reek with opinion. It is something that seems faintly pointless because an audience may not exist, to compliment you on your newly washed thoughts. Lastly, people who can write are quite often lazy, luddite fucks.

These impediments notwithstanding, I've decided to take this Sunday shower. I just hope I will have some readers to brunch with me afterwards.