Thursday, September 25, 2008


a famously priapic street sign.

The following is from a comment I left over at Dope City Free Press:

I heard the last part of a very interesting interview on the BBC World Service with a market speculator from New York worth $9.3 billion. His personal fortune, I gather. This guy was very candid and had a more pronounced New York accent than Joey Ramone. Or Arthur Kane.

He sounded like a stone cold killer. And no doubt that is a valid characterization.

He defined short selling something like this:

"It's a lot like walking through a burning warehouse. You think of 1,000 ways to kill a business - 2,000 ways - and you do the math. You get bloodied. Catching falling knives.

You buy up oil when everybody tells you it will never go beyond $40 a barrel. When it gets to $180 per barrel you grit your teeth. When it's $230 per barrel, you sell.

Sell it all.

You go to bed at night with headphones on. Listening to market analyses. You sit down and read an annual report instead of a novel. It's all about calculating how many ways there are to kill a business."

I was half asleep as I listened to him lay it out. He had balls, all right. A Wall Street assassin. I doubt that f@cker ever sleeps.

And if he does, you can safely wager it's with one eye open.

Like a crocodile.

That statue on Wall Street is so much bullshit. It's always the matador who steps out the ring; smiling. All the rest is just dead meat.


Unknown said...

What the eff'n Wall Street needs is this character I heard about from Bill Burroughs: "el espontanio" (I probably spelt it wrong, but...) leapt from the stands and whips out a hidden red cape, making a couple of passes at the maddened bull before getting bum-rushed to the ground...
Er... on seconds-later reflecting, I think it was a Benway "operating-room" story that the espontanio appeared, taking a few mad-slashes at the body on the table.
Eh, same diff'

ib said...

Quite. (Adopting a supercilious tone, while pulling on a counterfeit cigarette in an ivory holder.)

Actually, I found myself grudgingly admiring this sociopathic New Yorker. So much so, in fact, that I've decided to sell off my music and comic book collection to finance a correspondence course in market speculation and risk analysis.

The next time you hear from me, I'll be safely ensconced deep within my Dr. No island somewhere in the Pacific Ocean. A Ha Ha Ha! (neck tilts uncontrollably like the Crypt Keeper animatronic.)

Either that or I will be in the process of being conveyed to my office in Wall Street in a gilded contraption not unlike the Pope-mobile. Ferried by twelve eunuchs of varying ethnicity.


Löst Jimmy said...

"The Market bulls' got pockets full, view the world with American eyes..."

ib said...

I don't know that line, Lost Jimmy. Who by ?

Mike said...

Short sellers play a valuable role in financial markets. People like the WS guy who was interviewed help weed out shite businesses from real ones. And generally short sellers are crazy. It is a lot more difficult to make money as a short seller than it is to make money going long stocks. Why? Because over time the stock market goes up.

ib said...

Hey. Thanks for the education, Mike. But, that's the thing. Intuitively, I liked this guy. Or admired him. Whatever. He was like a prototype punk. A shark. I stand by my intuition; even though my understanding of finances and budgeting is woefully lacking. On the other hand....

ib said...

Four dots, there. I'm slipping. I'm losing it.

JustFrankie said...

Hey IB is there an arhive somewhere out there of that interview?


ib said...

There must be. It aired the day I posted this, or the night before.

Like I said though, I was half asleep so I missed the top of the programme with introductions, credits, etc, and I'm quoting from memory only; such as it is.