Tag Archives: The Goldman Sachs Group

Friday’s Free Association

For anyone who follows the market over a long period of time, one thing becomes clear. The search for clarity is nearly futile. I say nearly because delusion works wonders for some. The markets are like a mirror not only to our current sentiment, but to our expectations. The recent bounce higher in light of weak GDP data, Europe’s morass, and depressed home prices, brings out our most powerful of delusions. Maybe the onset of Spring has something to do with it? The irony of a rising Euro under a potential socialist French president, and the ongoing implosion at the European core speaks volumes.

Lloyd Blankfein, this week (on a victory tour) claimed that success was a risk, things might actually work out better than we expect. The banks might snap out of their slump and start lending, Europe might find a way out, and political ineptitude might somehow evaporate. It was another way to say ‘this time might be different’. The problem for anyone risking their (or others) money in this environment is timing. Obviously. Apple will go up, Amazon will rise on hope, demand, and crafty accounting, until they don’t. Goldman Sachs GS reaches globally into politics, enterprise boardrooms, central banking, and investment banking, their version of risk management is very different than mine. The cautious optimism of Mr. Blankfein was both reassuring and freakily scary.

Lacking Direction

This upwardly trending market, has me looking for direction.

The range bound back and forth between worry and optimism, GS publicity tours and European electoral politics leaves my normal confident self, unsure. I’m holding S&P short spreads for May expiration, waiting and watching.

The good thing about this ‘pause’ is I’ve had some time to play with the IB Java API which looks promising, if I can get anything interesting out of it, I’ll let you know. My GoogleDocs experience has been less than rewarding, like a teaser.

Long Natural Gas Futures are worth looking at, this has been under the radar for a while and is starting to come forward in the press and politics. 3 or 4 days over the 200 day moving average is triggering some interest.

So I’m long Natural Gas and short the market…

Good Trading.

Z@roHedge and F@ckedCompany

In THE heyday FuckedCompany was THE site.

Between 2000 and 2007 FuckedCompany kept an unofficial count of the imploding internet bubble while smiling at the same time. Philip “Pud” Kaplan had his 15 minutes of fame publishing internal emails and chronicling the human cost of bad internet ideas. The site was subversive and mocking, you paid for the good stuff and it shined a sarcastic light on the dissipating euphoria of the time. Geeks (like the Greeks today…) were having a good time, some were even getting lucky, technology was enlightening and more and more people felt they could change the world by giving stuff away free.

The mainstream media eventually picked up on the site, and “Pud” started getting sued and having to bath. But watching the implosion while working at a start-up was disconcerting to say the least. I’d go into the office every day, sit down on my Herman Miller chair and check first to see if someone had leaked an email with my name in it. And a few had… I would troll the leaked emails for crusty tidbits about the competition. You would see Enron and Citigroup carnage alongside Scient and Razorfish (Remember the 2 Billion valuation and 1800 employees?). Political correctness was mocked mercilessly. This is an email from Citigroup C under a subject ‘ Umm, buttfucked?‘.

From: GCIB Corporate Communications
Sent: 6/15/04 2:36 PM
Subject: Pride Month: Panel Discussion and Contest to Win Free Concert Tickets

To: GCIB & Smith Barney New York-area Employees
From: Patricia David, GCIB & Smith Barney Global Head of Diversity
Re: Pride Month Panel Lunch and Contest to Win Free Concert Tickets

What to say? What not to say? What if I display a picture of my same-sex partner on my cubicle wall? What if my employee puts up a portrait of his daughter and her same-sex partner and children?

For lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) employees, many social interactions involve a conscious decision on whether or not to be open about their status. It’s the same for many straight employees with LGBT children, siblings, friends, or colleagues.

In celebration of Pride Month, the GCIB and Smith Barney Office of Global Diversity invites you to attend its special panel discussion “Being Out in the Workplace: The Impact on Relationships with Colleagues and Customers.” The panel will feature several gay, lesbian and straight Citigroup professionals who, over the course of the luncheon, will share their experiences about being “out” at work. Among other things, the panelists will also share their views on the issues facing LGBT employees today.

This event will take place on Monday, June 21, from noon – 2 PM in the Greenwich Rooms, 388 Greenwich Street, 3rd floor. Lunch will be served and seating is limited, so please RSVP by sending an e-mail to Nancie De Almeida (nancie.dealmeida@citigroup.com) by Friday, June 18. As always, this event is open to all employees and promises to be a great opportunity for you to meet other Citigroup professionals!

etc…

I started thinking about FuckedCompany because I read ZeroHedge religiously. ZeroHedge has the intelligence to run anonymously under “Tyler Durden”, a character from Fight Club, and though ZeroHedge has a serious gripe against Goldman, GS it’s not the “occupy wall street crowd” writing the content. This is one of todays posts under the subject ‘European Mission Accomplished: Everyone is Now Thoroughly Baffled With Bullshit‘.

“Some time ago we suggested that in lieu of actual practicable solutions (and a promise to recapitalize several trillion worth of insolvent banks absent some magic money printing tree or gold coin defecating unicorn, is so stupid only the market ramping vacuum tube algos can believe, if only for a few hours), the only thing left for Europe’s leaders is to baffle absolutely everyone with relentless bullshit.”

The subversion strikes the same chord for me today that FuckedCompany struck in 2004/5/6. Insiders are sharing some crusty perspectives, perspectives that WERE available only to a very elite crowd. They’re smartly writing anonymously under 1st amendment protection, and they’re likely profiting very well from these morsels. I can’t help thinking conscience probably crept up on these contributors. Pud on the other hand was probably just trying to get lucky; his readers, even.

Never-the-less if this parallel has any merit, it’s worth thinking about. The internet hasn’t gone away though many/most of the high fliers have, the institutional markets won’t go away but the financial mafia might be in for some changes.

Thanks to the surely unauthorized efforts of fuckedcompanyarchives.com and of course ZeroHedge for it’s ongoing scepticism.

Time Out… “Pouce!”

Watching this soap opera, day-in and day-out while trying to make sense of possible interconnections is so obviously an exercise in futility. Though, it’s in equal measure addictive.

image stick out tongue Pictures, Images and Photos

Even before the market has opened today, I’ve stumbled on TO MANY confusing major themes:

  • A 2 Billion Dollar loss at UBS by a Rogue Trader (they’re always rogue). You can’t help but like his name “Kweku Adoboli“. Hints of more to come, key music.
  • Euro Strength on Political Posturing across Spain, France and Germany.
  • Gold weakness on who knows what (boredom perhaps or dollar strength?)
  • HFT explanations, excuses, and doublespeak.
  • A US Economic data barrage thats as bad as last month.
  • An explosion in the $EURUSD to 1.39 on ECB intervention.
  • BNP up 18%? Note to self: buy $GS today…
  • And maybe the funniest: Europe is in trouble because of Socialism (And the US because?)

Gold Vacation

Taking a little break for the next few days. Watching Gold from a distance.

Still managed to buy Sept. 115/100 put spreads on $GS after the pop this morning. I took it off the table at the close for about + 15%. Didn’t want to hold that type of spread overnight… The $VIX hit 40 and Friday should be an intersting one!

Good trading.