Friday, January 21, 2011
That was a tussle indeed yesterday. Just as the bears thought they had the bulls in a headlock and were already looking forward to winning the championship, the bulls broke loose and are looking fresh compared to the tired bears. We could be talking about equities or Eur/usd, the fights were so similar. We are standing by for them both to move higher...
But in the meantime the buy side invited TMM to take a tour through their Sell-side Menagerie... This is what they were shown.
Golden Saxum Obsequiousa
Smartly turned out with identical plumage making it very hard to tell them apart. Live in a hostile environment where the days can be 24hr long, but are genetically perfected to thrive in it. Rarely stray from the rest of their flock, probably just as well because other species rarely tolerate their company. Amass a thick store of fat in January or February to help them buy villas throughout the year.
Swarm creatures that work diligently cutting out other's thoughts or news items and pasting them into their own streams of unconsciousness. The items they choose are rarely selected on relevance or merit but tend to be cut from a source deemed more knowledgeable. It can be amusing to feed one of these creatures an artificial item and see how far it spreads amongst the community. Whole swarms can be effectively poisoned by feeding just one member an item containing a hidden word banned by HR or Compliance filters.
Normally found in buildings long after dark, furiously modelling solutions to problems that you really, really don't have. Gets very nervous outside of its environment and though you want to get closer to it as you think it looks cute, it's completely useless, verging on dangerous, in normal social situations. AVOID or leave in a dark box.
Appears to have little solution to anything other than meeting for eating. Spends most of its time eating, or proposing eating or fine tuning the arrangements for the next eating event. The rest of its time is spent filling in expense claims. Mostly harmless but make sure you don't get between one of them and its dinner. Normal habitat is distinguished by a "relationship management" sign at its entrance.
Yes this little fella is just as suited to the sell-side environment as he is as to the buy side. His tenacity and fervour make him a love or hate type of critter.
Smooth and sophisticated, but don't be fooled by appearances. Spends most of its day in a glass office lazing around having earned its territory by killing any young male foolish enough to challenge it. Will only venture forth if summoned by one of its juniors when there is a chance of a large kill. Will happily toy with its victim before deftly removing all of its arms and legs and then the shirt off its back. Will then return to its lair to fill in its Aston Martin spec.
Hardworking and diligent and able to lift above its weight, but massively let down by its environment. You do so admire its work ethic and ability but ... you know what? If it moved out of that sh1t environment and offered a less crappy product you really would deal with it.
No one quite knows how this breed ever came into existence, let alone why their numbers appear to be on the increase. An exceedingly dull animal that, once it's on your trail, you just can't shake off. Will constantly bother you for minute details about your private life before deigning to allow you to deal with its institution. Just when you think you have shaken the thing off it will turn up again asking for your mother's inside leg measurement on some pretext that it's current Know Your Client policy under FSA/SEC directive xyz.. at which point you will fall into a coma. VERY DANGEROUS.
Laughs all the way to the bank. Well, someone in your organisation tied you to dealing with this critter as he nets and manages all your company's positions and collateral. It doesn't make it any more pleasant though, when you see him tearing the flesh out of your tom/next rolls whilst guffawing with mirth.
Every time you deal with with this creature you just have this clawing doubt about how much it has nibbled out of your price. Has a habit of storing away points on any trade and although it tries to bury them, it's bloody obvious what's going on and no amount of cute back talk is going to make you believe otherwise.
This cunning creature will repeat back to you exactly what you have said to it, only in its own words. This is to give you positive reinforcement of your own ideas to the point of putting the trade on. It will never contradict or present the other side of your argument because, of course, it can't actually think for itself. It's just an illusion of intelligence.
These creatures use a cunning method to hunt their prey. They just hang around patiently and wait for the prey to come to them, before they just chip it down their throats. Their method involves trying to keep you in conversation on the phone for as long as possible in the belief that at some point you are going to HAVE to do a deal and when you do ... voila! There they are conveniently on the end of the line. Can be worth the engagement if the conversation is worthwhile and you have the odd couple of hours to kill, but more often than not it will involve a diatribe about their favourite sporting team's achievements.
Whereas most creatures are symmetrical and balanced in their views, this creature is hugely biased with all its views only ever on the one hand, never on the other. Preferred habitat is a commision-based equity brokerage. Its familiar calls are "earnings beats", "buy buy buy " or "..outperforms in the long run". Recent sub-species have evolved in the commodity markets with a new colony firmly established in "God's Country, mate".
Our old friend. Will adopt an air of knowledge and authority on any current global issue as if it had completed a PhD in the subject, when really it is typing to you with one hand and Googling like mad with the other. Is also normally the last salesman to start commenting on anything vaguely complex, and thus a perfect counter-indicator for risk aversion events driven by esoteric parts of the financial system.