Wednesday, June 5, 2013


I had a cocktail--0k, may it was a touch more than A cocktail--with Mad Max after hours one evening in New York.  Max was born a trader and most--if not all--traders are nuts.  Max was born close to insane but he was and is a great trader.  He's had his ups and downs, especially when he was trying to maintain the GDP of two Colombian provinces all by himself about 30 years ago.  He quit that as a result of a slight disagreement with an associate over payment for quality which ended up with Max  on the wrong end of a TEC 9 which instilled instant religion and a belief that his then present course might be bad for his health.  But that's another tale.  Max and Glenfiddich remain close friends, however, and Max was never one not to share his friends.

"Charlie, I've been in this business almost 40 years and I have never seen nothing like this.  This is Loonie Tunes, an absolute Walt f----- Disney production."

"Wow, coming from you that's saying a lot.  having trouble making a buck?"

"What!  Are you nuts!?  This is the easiest it's ever been.  Charlie, I've been really rich a half dozen times and pissed it all away but this time...I've never made so much so easy in my life.  Bernanke should run for God.  He'd win in a walk.  I absolutely love the man!"

"What!  you love the Fed?  Since when?"

"Since he ended markets.  Come on Charlie, don't b.s. me.  You've been around long enough to realize that the guy took all the fun out of it.  He tells you what he's going to do, he tells you for how long and he even tells you how much!  And this is to 'stimulate growth and job creation.'  Well, he aint done s--- with that but man has he stimulated wealth on the Street!  Charlie, you can't miss; you absolutely cannot miss and when money costs nothing---NOTHING--you can gear it up over your head an laugh.  Look at the banks...Morg, Citi, Goldie.  They're coining it, man, just coining it.  'Course they'll do something stupid along the line--they always do--but for now it's ride the gravy train."

"Best thing is he's got half the world doing the same thing.  You know the Japs, they're great at copying stuff?  Well, that little guy Abe's done him one better.  They're printing money 24/7!  Never seen anything like it!  And you ask, 'you still goin' to keep this up?'  "Hai" the little guy says so you short Yen and buy the Nikki tell yourself what a genius you are."

"Until he stops."

"Until he stops."  And then my friend you had better get somewhere else or better yet be someplace else.  This ain't for Wusses, Charlie, because it can move really, really fast but it's easy while the trade is on.  And my man, IT'S ON!"

"And does the Fed stop?"

"Sure, sometime. But not now.  They've convinced themselves this is going to work because if it doesn't the model or whatever the hell they use is wrong and of course these guys are never wrong.  But I see something out there that wasn't there before.  The trading range has widened.  Not a lot but it's not like 3 months ago.  People worried?  Maybe.    Inflation?  Who knows.  But no question it's different.  The talk about Bernanke pulling back is trader talk.  Couple of guys talkin' their book.  Don't believe it.  Not going to happen, not now.  And all the good news on the economy?  Yeah, here, we're doin' fine but what's it like where you are now?"

"It's better, even I can see it.  But good, much less great?  No, not by a long shot.  Real estate is better but that's because nobody's built a home in 5 years; and no body's planning on doing so."

"Funny isn't it.  All this easing crap is supposed to help the little guy but who does it help?  ME, and I'm no little guy!  Nobody in this joint is a little guy!  We all love Bernanke...and Abe and all those jerks in Europe!  One way traffic all over the world!  Charlie you got to get back in it, it's fabulous."

"Max, the problem is when I was in it, I always ran into you and that didn't work out too well."

"It did for me!"

"Yes Max, I remember."  But seriously, are you in long?"

"Hell no!  I'm too old Charlie.  I've made a ton the past couple of years, more than I really need.  Kids are grown, don't have any more alimony to pay..."


"Oh, I didn't tell you?  Yeah Kristen got remarried around Christmas.  Nice guy.  I call him my husband-in-law.  Anyway, I could dump it tomorrow, hedges and all.  What do you think?"

"Max, I just don't like it.  We've seen this before...hell we saw this just five years ago.  You said it yourself: it's one way traffic.  These guys don't learn aything.  If I be thee, I'd sit back and watch for a while, then again I'm not you."

"No you're not Charlie, but you've been around a long time.  I'll think about it.  Another drink?"

"You buying?"

"When haven't I?"

"Max you are a gentleman.  You are crazier than a bed bug but a gent."

Max called about three hours ago.

"Charlie.  Go down to the booze shop."

"What for?"

"There's a case of Glenfiddich waiting for you.  I  closed out Friday.  Thanks for the advice"

"Aw Max, that wasn't advice, that was just..."

"You want the Scotch?"


"Shut up then.  Bye Charlie."

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