Monday, May 10, 2010
Today marks an important end....but also a new beginning.
This will be the last post that "Macro Man" makes in this space, the 1,024th step on a journey that began on September 13, 2006. It's been an incredibly fun ride, and I have been gratified at the response and readership that the site has generated.
Being Macro Man has helped me navigate the most fascinating market environment of my or anyone else's lifetime. Last year, it helped me deal with the stress of overcoming a serious knee injury. It's enabled me to meet people, both in person and online, that I hope to count as friends for years to come.
But now it's time to move on.
It's been a frustrating year, both professionally and on the blog. Although the past few years have provided ample proof, I have become a firsthand witness to the inefficiency of capital allocation in 2010. Despite excellent performance in 2008-09, particularly on a risk-adjusted basis, the fund with which I have traded had most of its assets pulled in Q1.
It's a shame, though of course it's part of the business, so there's no tears. Still, the upshot has been that I haven't been trading for four months, and haven't been going into the office for six weeks. So if you thought I sounded detached, now you know why.
When, at the same time, an almighty palaver erupted in the comments section over health care and other issues, it was frankly tempting to pack it in right there. There can be few things more frustrating than providing a forum by dint of one's own labour- unpaid, and with no other sources of income- only to receive a barrage of abuse from a horde of ungrateful commenters.
Fortunately, revising the comment policy eliminated the trolls, though at the cost of sacrificing a few regular contributors who were unwilling/unable to register. And so we've soldiered on, and fortunately in recent weeks there's been plenty to engage our collective interest.
But now I'm moving on.
On Friday, volcanic ash permitting, I will board a plane bound for JFK, from which I will decamp to the great hedge fund ghetto in Fairfield County, Connecticut. Next Monday, I'll be starting as a PM at a Tier 1 fund that shall remain nameless. It's a cracking opportunity, and I'm excited to get stuck in.
But you can't move on without leaving a few things behind. While my passport tells me that I'm going "home", in reality I'm leaving it. I have spent almost all of my adult life outside of the United States, and for the last 13 years I've lived in the UK and Ireland. It's ironic, really; I arrived two months after New Labour swept into power, spent most of the last decade complaining about Gordon Brown, and now I'm leaving just a matter of hours after they (hopefully) get the heave-ho from Number Ten.
And while I've had plenty of moans about British bureaucracy over the years, I am under no illusion that things are any different or better in the US. Certainly the regulatory environment is utterly bereft of what one might term, for lack of a better phrase, a "sense of humor."
Those of you who have seen my lamentable attempts at poetry over the years know that a sense of humour is a pretty important prerequisite for reading my stuff. Given that I have zero interest in landing either myself or my new shop in hot water, it is therefore with great sadness that I hang up my keyboard with today's final post.
I did, however, mention a "new beginning" in my opening sentence. Like the Terminator, you can't kill the Macro Man blog with just one shot. I am pleased to announce that I've assembled a small panel of guys that have agreed to contribute periodically and keep the space alive. I think you'll enjoy reading their stuff; indeed, all of them have commented from time to time over the years.
The updates, particularly initially, are unlikely to be daily; not everyone has as much free time as the original Macro Man! I'd also like to invite any other readers who think that they might have something to offer by way of semi-regular contributions to get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
At this point in a valedictory farewell message, it is usual to thank a laundry list of people who have helped the author along the way. Frankly, there are too many people to thank by name, especially as I would assuredly leave somebody out and offend them. So allow me to offer a blanket "thanks" to everyone who's read the blog over the years, and especially to those who have commented or gotten in touch offline. You have (trolls excepted) made this an incredibly rewarding experience.
Finally, and before I fade into the distance, I would like to extend a hearty invitation to readers to keep in touch offline (that's email@example.com. Operators are standing by.) This particularly applies to my fellow travellers in global macro portfolio management, and even more particularly to those located in NYC and especially Fairfield County. While I certainly plan to keep in touch with my old muckers in the London market, it would be nice to build a network in the US relatively quickly. The Macro Boys will face the angst of being the new kid in school come September; 'twould be nice if their old man didn't have to go through the same thing.
And that, dear readers, is that. It's been a blast, and I hope that you've enjoyed it as much as I have. Enjoy the new Macro Man Blog, and best of luck with your trading endeavours.