Monday, 9 February 2009

The Return of the Bankers

I want to become a financier. Not a banker. There is a big difference.

Personally, I don't really like bankers, even though one day I'll probably be one (briefly I hope). But for me, a banker is someone who juggles alot of numbers. I dislike numbers, even though, I can sometimes be quite good with them. But numbers are like people, torture them enough, and they will tell you anything. Just like the half empty/half full glass analogy. What I am really interested in is the true investing activity, know thy product, invest because you believe in something, not because you can shave off a 20bps profit here, and a 30bps there. That's just like a headless chicken running across financial markets.

Although those headless chickens, can have alot of sway when it comes to making, and wasting, money. After the credit crunch, everyone hates those greedy bankers who fucked us all.

But they will be back.

The credit squeeze started back in 2007, and here we are in 2009, and everyone is still talking about those bankers. Even with high levels of redundancy, losses and enough crap to last a lifetime, if you switch on the radio or the television, on the news, talk shows, comedy shows, theatre plays, you name it, everyone is either dissing or making fun of the bankers. [sarcasm ensues] . Today's world is a media world, and whoever can sell newspapers (or drive internet traffic- don't give me that Rupert Murdoch paid news argument - am for paying for content) will be in the news. The bankers, with their casino or wealth creation activity (depending on personal definition) are media darlings (no Alistair not you) - everyone loves money, and they are in the midst of it, so they are always in the news.

And they want to be.

It's like movie stars with a twist- the media easily makes and breaks stars, and these stars with brains of peanuts (exhibit A: Katie Price) are constantly pulling some shit- divorces, cheating, adoption- some crap like that its sole purpose is to keep them in the media, because bad or good publicity, it sells- and they make a bundle. Now with the bankers, its a twist because it creates a positive feedback loop - and the air of mystic that the Goldmans and the Hedgies like to create an aura around them - sure u can hate the big bonuses - but thats part of the game. Sure everyone may think ur the scum of the universe, but a master of the universe at the same time. I steal this line from an all time great movie, The Full Monty :"People don't look at u funny when u have a thousand quid in ur back pocket" and its the same with the bankers everyone loves to hate- but everyone wants to be, and they can pitch it as a way to "attract the best talent" bullocks, but the real trick behind that is that the way people with serious money when they see in "Young banker offers prostitute million dollars" is that they dont care about his morals, the silver linning is that such a young kid from mediocre background can have that much money, means that he must be making his employer a hell of alot, and putting a sweet 10 mill with them may not be a bad idea. Morals are negotiable when you are an ultra high net worth individual (excess of 30million that is).

So as long as we are hating bankers, as long as they are loving it- and so is the media.

I like financiers, they are the ones in the back. Reasons to follow.