When people ask me “what do you do” and I reply “global financial markets and managing money”, they stare a bit. What it means ? Well, investing and from time to time, you buy and sell x amount of bonds, equity, other assets and currency. When hearing the numbers, they blink their eyes, saying something like “I would never dare to do such a thing or have such a responsibility”. My sober final comment then is :”Whether you trade or invest 100, 10,000 or 1 mio eur or whatever, does not make such a difference. The technique is basically one and the same, only the numbers differ”.
Now when you have the power to push buttons and by this launching 500 bio or 1,000 bio in a split second, that must surely feel different. Not only having the liberty to execute this kind of operations but the liberty to conceive them. Imagine just pondering about a number in the range of the size of annual Benelux GDP. And then deciding “well why not, seems to be a good idea” and pressing the button. You must have a great sense of conviction, ego and guts. When you look at Warren Buffet, Albert Frère, Bill Gates, Ben Bernanke and Mario Draghi, do you have the impression they have great Egos ? Or do Kerviel, Leeson or Hamanaka resemble the Harvard MD certified trauma surgeon in the next extract ?
Scary ? Not really. What might be more scary is what happened to Irish comedian Dave Allen ( “I am an atheist, thank God !!” ). When he was a little kid and went to school for the first time, Sister Agnes opened the door and welcomed him as follows :
Believing, fearing or denying God, whatever. To that extent, I like Dave Allen as well. At the end of his show, he always raised his Irish whiskey and toasted as follows : Goodnight, thank you and may your God go with you. And if that doesn’t do the trick – because after all we are all doomed !!!! – then there is always plenty of comfort and consolation when listening to the following gospel song.
Cheers and have a nice weekend