Dead PCs and Financial Tsunamis

To say this week has been uneventful would be a massive lie. My PC crashed and being the procrastinator that I am, everything was lost. Well not everything. I do back up my work, just not consistently. And not all in the same place. Like I have my photos. Just on my Ipod. And not at full resolution. So that sucks.

Most of my stories, thankfully, are backed up with Eizwan. I am forever grateful to him for insisting on reading my stories. That meant that most of my stories, almost all drafts are with him, save for the last two chapters that I have not given him.

Grabbing stuff of various people is going to take a lot of time. Getting your music from your Ipod back onto your PC is a pain in the butt but at least all my music is there. So in conclusion, kiddies. Back up everything on your Ipod. Keep photos in full resolution on your Ipod, or you’d have massive problems. And err…be nice to your significant other. He/She might be OCD and keep every single copy of your writing and so, only a small part of you would die when your pc dies.

***

I was at the KL Hilton yesterday for a press conference when, by complete accident, I came across Anwar Ibrahim. Those of you of who know me well know I’m not too fond of this man. For many reasons, reasons I don’t feel like getting into on my blog. Last thing I want is to provoke an intelligent discussion (wanking, name calling, bitching) on this blog.

Two things. One, he looks a lot more polished and well, taller in real life. Which is unexpected, since on TV he frequently looks shabby. That might have to do with being dragged in and out jail but I digress.

Two. Daaaaamn, no one told me he was THAT good looking in real life. The photos don’t do him justice. He is one FINE looking man.

Dude, he needs to tour predominantly women areas. And talk about women’s issues. Trust me he’d get all the votes. Even though, he might be, well. You know.

***

So, S. and I met up for lunch which, as always, tend to rage on till tea which sort of rages on till about dinner time. It’s always a pleasure to meet up with S., she’s funny and smart, and has lots of stories to share. I’m sure the waiters however, find us such a pain for taking up so much time at the restaurant. They frequently shoot us dirty looks as they refill our glasses of water.

Today we discussed about the financial crisis. Despite leaving the industry for two years now, I can’t help but miss the industry. It’s silly too, since, most of the time I did not even know what exactly I was doing back then or how I was making a difference.

We were talking today about the various kids we knew, who lost their jobs from the recent onslaught. The shit is about to hit Asia too, so we were musing how it’s a bit like a tsunami, a finacial tsunami, and we’re just standing here, by the shores waiting for the financial waves to come crashing down on the real economy.

Twas a depressing topic, but I thought I might want to share this thought with you guys. The two of us were grousing about skills and the more we look at it, spending time in the corporate world, gives us, very little useful skills. Creating a power point slide isn’t skills, looking at numbers and coming up with an analysis on the state of a company isn’t skill (well, let’s face it, the numbers were probably made up by the company’s accoutants and the auditors approved of their mad skillz) and since most of us equity/bond analysts never actually ran a company, we know everything theoretically but fat lot of good theory does when everything implodes.

It never, ever occured to me that there would one day come a time where people like Econs graduates, Business graduates would be completely…useless! People make fun of lawyers all the time, but to actually be in the same boat as lawyers, gosh, that’s just shocking. One day, you’re king of the world, the next, well, you’re sweeping the roads you used rule (paraphrasing Chris Martin here) It’s a bit like your feet reaching for the ground and finding the ground had disappeared. So not only do you have a degree that does not actually give you real skills (economists can’t build buildings, can’t cook, can’t draw, can’t really help you with the economy either as the events of the past month have proven) and suddenly, it occurs to you, that if an artist and an economist were sitting by the road-side, panhandling, the artist has a higher chance for survival. At least the artist can paint something.  No one is going to feed you for economic analysis.

How depressing.

***

Bah, I think I’m falling sick. Which is annoying cause D. is coming over. Am I excited? Ridiculously so. Now all I have to do is lean my room so he doesn’t think it’s a right tip all the time. Just as I’ve done some shopping in Zara so I’d look fashionable, as opposed to the bum that I really am. Although I’m sure he knows that. Meh.

I am one of the few people in the world that is fortunate enough to have my boyfriend’s parents understand that I’m about to go on holiday with another man.

It’s that cracky. Really.

No More Greed and Fear, pls!

Angry finance-related ranting and raving ahead. Feel free to skip.

It has to be said. I never thought I’d actually say this but enough is enough. Too much praise have been heaped on the supposed “intelligent” investor, the creme de la creme. The investment banks who were the masters of the universe, the men (and the few women…most of them look butch anyway to survive in such a macho and mysogynistic industry) who made millions in a day. Graduate trainees who earned more than their parents’ in one year compared to their parents’ entire lifetime.

The stupid ideology coveted by the investment banks, the financial world must be stopped. There must be an end to this “Greed and Fear”.

CLSA’s paper is called “Greed and Fear”, as though these two qualities are something that should be prided in the financial world. Well, when shit hit the fan and investors, the same ones who entered the market with all that greed are running out in fear.

And they’re the same ones whining to the governments that they’re not doing enough with the bail out. The SAME ONES who were whining to the government a few years ago that there was too much regulation. Shame on the government who had forgotten that regulation is intended to protect the little man and not the fat cats who want a free hand in the stock market.

And enough is enough to high City bonuses. It was a sore point for regulators then (we earned shit and the traders earned triple my annual salary…and my job was to help them make more), and it’s still sore point for me now. And why on earth should we protect these people when the bail out came with a condition, cut down bonuses, the whine became “BUT MUMBAI AND SHANGHAI WILL GET THE REST OF THE MONEY ANYWAY!! WE CAN’T STOP EATING AT EXPENSIVE RESTAURANTS!

If you can think of intelligent ways of leveraging an entire nation to death, I’m pretty sure you can find a way to stop the bleed to Shanghai and Mumbai. Idiots.

I hope this will be a lesson to all that, only selfish idiots enter the financial industry. If they were so bloody talented and intelligent, this wouldn’t have happened. Was it not obvious that fundamentals count (Finance 101)? Was it not obvious that when an economy is not based on the real economy, it was BOUND TO FAIL (Econs 101)? And they call themselves the Masters of the Universe.

Personally, I feel the best way out of this financial crisis is to throw every single investor and trader around the world in jail and put people like teachers, farmers, or people with some semblance of logic (which would be everyone else) back there to just calm the markets down. Right now, there’s just too much panic and everyone is running out, there’s nothing that can be done.

Let’s face it, investment bankers (sorry my lovely i-banker friends, you are being lumped and stereotyped) are nothing more than glorified power-point makers and honestly, each and everyone responsible for this crisis, hedge funds etc, deserved to be shamed on the streets. Should make a scarlet letter like situation, , we’ll sew the letters IB in red on all traders to remind the public the sin they’ve committed.

No more coveting greed and fear. This must be curtailed. It’s not like there’s any benefit to this. It’s better to have smaller and more stable returns of 5 to 7% a year rather than 30%. Enough is just enough.

P/S: Let’s just get rid of short-selling, eh? It’s supposed to be used to manage risk, not create more risk. Like the Blackberry was supposed to help productivity, not to encourage workers to use it as an alternative to messenger. Lots of things work fine in theory, but become stupid in practice.

P/P/S: Err…Malaysia? The world is in crisis? Stop behaving like you’ll sail this one just fine.

P/P/S: Err…regulators? It’s YOUR fault too for succumbing to the I-bankers. Regulation must be thought through carefully, not let people who are making money dictate to you the rules of the game.

tl;dr. Cry moar people who suffered in finance. Finance boat is FAILBOAT!