Tag: traders

High finance deserves the middle finger

The bird is the word…

  • In a ‘who drew up the f-ing covenants’ moment, GM just received bailout money but is [insert still, perpetually, or if you feel like being witty, surprisingly] having problems getting labour costs in line. Bankruptcy filing, a certain middle finger to the public, is still on the table.
  • Long ring fingers as compared to index fingers may point to more success amongst traders. And a longer middle finger on the hands of bank CEOs gets the banks more bailout money too…
  • The same goes for the politicians when it comes to selling more US Treasury securities to unsuspecting investors, before sending out the default notices.
  • As for tech, analysts are giving the middle finger to Sony, and Apple probably isn’t far behind.
  • And on an unrelated note, today in People

  • Paris Hilton’s website is infected with malware. Information Week is actually telling the story instead of the tabloids, so if you’re a ‘Hollywood-type’ you can assume the headline isn’t just some codespeak for Ms. Hilton giving you the middle finger.

Adieu.

Changing the world: one app, one bubble, one ID, and one margin call at a time

Having 2,000 feed items stuffed in one’s reader when returning from even the shortest vacation has me thinking about how to put said reader on vacation as well.

  • MySpace and Facebook apps suck. That’s not what they really said, but The Silicon Alley Insider did point out how little they might really be worth. I’ve got no experience with MySpace apps, and my only brush with Facebook apps was getting some notification that a friend had installed one and I should do the same. My first impression – I’m getting spammed (and others share that feeling). I would never react to such a notice again, even if I was an active Facebook user. Hence, they are worthless to me too (or maybe I’m just worthless to marketers). Also of note: based on their numbers Facebook should be worth something in the neighborhood of $850 million.
  • The New York Times infers that things are getting overheated in Silicon Valley. I disagree – I think a lot more bets are being placed on a lot more companies, and I suspect those bets are generally a lot smaller than post-Bubble 1.0. There may be a lot of duplication of effort going on, but the best execution in each category is going to turn out a winner. The money is just trying to find each of those winners. Meanwhile, TechDirt had its take on the Dallas Cowboys backing out of a domain purchase, but I says its a simple matter of the rest of the world not paying much attention to the chaos.
  • Commodities traders are in short supply. As a general rule, the commodities business also retains far fewer numbers than its big sister on the securities end. I think the actual registered headcount via the CFTC is less than 200K, while the NASD numbers hover around 800K. Someone throw me a bone on those numbers (and if anyone needs a Series 3/30, drop me a line).
  • OpenID gets a victory in the fight against phishing, as well as some competition. I think the first part is great – now the challenge is getting anyone and everyone to embrace Information Cards. On the latter, I’m going to bet it’s a non-starter – too little, too late. Despite being widely embraced, even OpenID is having slow goings regarding consumption (both in systems and people). More power to SlashID if they can be more effective on that end, but I’m skeptical.
  • After consuming this, I dropped TechMeme from my reading list. I guess I can just read each of these every morning from here on out. That, by the way, is a joke.
  • Seems that debt problems extend beyond the government, those bought out, and even mortgagees. I thought much of the last year’s rally was purely cash-driven, but I guess I was wrong. Personally, I only use my margin account for short selling.

I think that covers last week.

Business and Trout Fishing

A few parallels worth mentioning:

  • The need for patience and persistence – Not everyone is going to buy into your idea the moment you deliver it. By the same token, neither is a trout. Be patient with people as well as finicky aquatica – adjust your presentation to achieve the intended objective. Quit too soon, and you might miss out on the opportunity of a lifetime.
  • Betting on your winners – Throw your all into the stuff that’s working. Successful entrepreneurs get a boost from small successes, and by directing attention to the small wins they often turn them into big ones. Commodities traders are particularly good at this – they generally double up their bets on their winners (and yes, I consider traders entrepreneurs). For trout, go for your favorite flies and favorite holes first – the ones you have confidence in as a result of previous successes.
  • Knowing when to cut your losses – You can turn a small business failure into a big one very easily. Just keep throwing good money after bad. You can turn stellar conditions into a “no fish” day as well – just stick to the same fly, or stand in the same hole. All day.

Major Bank Embroiled in Money Making Plans

A Guardian Unlimited report yesterday declared Citigroup embroiled in bond selling scandal. According to the report, a couple of traders on the other side of the pond purportedly exchanged a memo where they conspired amongst themselves to make some money. Can you believe it? Securities traders planning to make money. As far as I can see, the only stupid thing they did was talk about it too much before they actually did it.
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