Tuesday, November 01, 2011

So There We Were

So there we were balanced on a knife edge of confidence with a tweak of "you know what? They might just get through this at least 'til Christmas" when Greece, yes the place that has committed financial murder yet been given not only a reprieve but also a nice new home with a stipend for life, Greece, turns round as says "Hmmm..Though the idea of a life infinitely better than the horrors of the alternative may sound attractive, we'd like to have a think about it and will let you know early next year. That Ok?" What a bunch of typos of the name of an old English king that tried to turn the sea.

So there we were thinking that the last vestiges of the plague that was financial mismanagement had been eradicated from the banking sector in the aftermath of 2008, when up it pops again in a huge well known brokerage. Diagnosis to death in 4 days. THAT is frightening. If the positions being cited had been run up by a junior trader, that trader would currently be held in a police cell at the moment. As it was the boss that did it, he walks away with 12mil instead of 12yrs. Basically, their demise looks like a classic Investment Bank liquidity story. WILL YOU NEVER LEARN ??? What a bunch of typos of the name of an old English king that tried to turn the sea. It makes some of us feel like heading down with a tent to St Paul's Cathedral.

So there we were thinking that the break higher out of range would draw in more buyers as "Price Is News" turned sentiment indicators. And then came along all of the above which fell straight into the laps of those that no longer had positions but never lost the underlying bear faith and kaboom. Down we fall. Oh why didn't we take note of our favourite Wrong way first rule of rising wedges! (see FTSE). God we are a bunch of typos of the name of an old English king that tried to turn the sea.

So there we were this morning debating Kevlar glove usage and whether it was really worth trying to pretend to be technical or macro in the face of an old fashioned YOOUUURS panic, yet settled on a timing buy at our usual favourite "end of initial Euro-open panic, Asia go home" 9.30 London time. When we suddenly realised at 9.30 that we had missed it because as the clocks had changed it should now be 8.30am. Doh! But on reflection "Phew". On that point we thought a clock change was meant to make it lighter in the mornings. Well the London contingent of TMM can state that it's still pitch black when they get to work so what's the point of that? The sooner that someone works out that Scottish cows can't tell the time and that school kids are just as likely to be run over on the way home from school in the dark as on the way in, the better.

So here we are then. not as wealthy as we were yesterday realising that this has gone emotional again yet still playing the up side though not looking so clever.Now finally. Unfortunately the need for requiems is suddenly becoming depressingly regular and TMM are wondering if they need to start an official obituaries column. But for now will stick to their current trend of poetry. But in this case we were beaten to it by a friend of TMM's who penned and sent us this last night. So with thanks to him and apologies to WH Auden for playing with his classic Funeral Blues (Stop the clocks) we leave you with this.

Stop all the trades, cut off the telephone,
Prevent brokers from trading on the dog and bone,
Silence the cries and with muffled hum
Bring out the coffin, MFG are done.

Let vultures circle smirking overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message MFG are Dead,
Empty the bowels of the last share holders,
Let the FSA policemen wear rubber gloves.

They were my clearer, my broker the holder of all my cash,
My working week has turned to gash,
By noon, I'll know, if they settled my Won,
I thought that they would last for ever: I was wrong.

These fools are not wanted now: get every last one;
round up these 'bankers' shoot them with a gun;
Poured away oceans of money, couldn't see the trees for the wood.
For them nothing now can ever come to any good.


Sleeper said...

THEY told me, MF Global, they told me you were dead,
They brought me bitter news to hear and bitter tears to shed.
I wept as I remember'd how often Goldman Sachs
Sold you CDSes and told you to relax.

And you see now they were lying, my future Federal guest
For ISDA won’t declare default, at the ECB’s behest,
Still I’ll buy your long positions, and will not rush to end ‘em;
For the mark-to-market’s soared on talk of referendum.

jill said...

US banks are now guaranteeing 518 billion of PIIG debt via credit default swaps.

Of course they are reporting much less:

"My, don't you know we report less because we purchase swaps to offset ones we sell to other companies?"

There could never be a hard default. Never.

This modern day financial system is one be pile of crap.


Polemic said...

Beautiful, sleeper. Cory would be smiling!

Anonymous said...

You guys are all in the wrong jobs (and don't know it)

Corey said...

I'm not a history buff and a bit embarrassed to admit that I had to resort to google to interpret the full meaning of your post. Hilarious, love it when you make me work for it. Btw no donning of any gloves for this one. More likely to go toward the bottom of this range before one final bounce, possibly in time for the elvs as C suggested yesterday. One caveat, fade those little men w pointy ears hard or else it's dead parrots for all.

Leftback said...

LB was thinking what a tool we were last week, sitting on a very large pile of bonds. Now we are feeling a lot better and significantly less tool-like. Not in a rush to stand in the way of the steamroller, but it's a good time to eye some Kevlar glove targets.

The Original said...

What did I tell you boys about the EURO Convergence Unravelling, Non-Taxpaying Spivs in September? Is there a Greek legend about a PM who tried to refuse a bailout?

The Original said...

What did I tell you boys about the EURO Convergence Unravelling, Non-Taxpaying Spivs in September? Is there a Greek legend about a PM who tried to refuse a bailout?

The Original said...

What did I tell you boys about letting people comment who are not smart enough to aoid double-posting?

Leftback said...

Almost forgot. Quality choice of poem.
"W.H. Auden, another splendid bugger..."

Anonymous said...

MM do you still hate sovereign CDS?

Alen Mattich said...

Now you've done Auden (brilliantly, by the way), can you do Eliot?

Anonymous said...

♥ lmie

Leftback said...

... The Waste Land? Actually that was the poem for Jan and Feb of 2009, we are still working on bangs here, not whimpers.

LB actually couldn't care less about the market today, but the power going on again in Connect-A-Cut would be quite handy.

cpmppi said...

Anon @ 2:32,

TMM do not hate CDS. Life is too short for hatred. TMM just don't think they are particularly fit for purpose. Of course, if the Greeks unilaterally default, then TMM will happily eat their words, but the voluntary loophole still exists.

We see Sov CDS as the latest Vengabus.

Polemic said...

re Eliot we were looking at the "Hippopotamus" - but considering we have done that subject in Lady of Shallot .. we thought not

Leftback said...

It's worth noting that YET AGAIN, a large entity is going to blow up, not because of equity positions, but because of fixed income bets that went south. The culprit? As usual, excess leverage. MF was reported to be leveraged 80:1. Throw in the usual large dollop of hubris and you have EXACTLY the same old formula that caused LTCM to fail.

Owe said...

Just found a copy of your post here: http://www.theforextradingsystem.com/fx-news/so-there-we-were/ I suppose they have the necessary rights?!

Polemic said...

Owe.. we think so, there are a few old historic syndication sites we haven't tidied up. Binned seeking alpha as they kept changing things and generally annoying us.

As for Eliot... see latest post.