One of the many things that differentiates me from all the losers in this place is that I am not troubled by notions of guilt or innocence. Most of them have some compelling excuses for their own shortcomings, and spend hours either justifying what they did or denying any wrongdoing. It was all a big misunderstanding, is a popular bleat. Yeah right you just happened to find that wedge of cash in your checking account and decided to spend it rather than return it. Get on the bus, Gus. The jury didnt believe you, and neither do I.
My case, however, is different. Since when was it a crime to try and make your clients a truckload of money? Because, ultimately, thats what this is all about. Strip out the problems with documentation, unreported trades, and a little bit of creative accounting, and what youve really got here is a genuine effort to make everyone richer than they were when they started. Isnt that the bedrock of the American dream?
Im having trouble getting my lawyer to understand this. He figures my best chance is to show remorse, admitting to errors of judgment and a loss of perspective. Excuse me? You look at some of the positions I took, the calls I made, and you will see that I was one of the few winners over 07/08. John Paulson may have got the headlines, but I wasnt far behind, if only Id been allowed to keep going.
No mistake, we all followed some cold trails. I was absolutely convinced that the Fed would rescue Lehman (as was Dick Fuld, judging by the look on his face after the firm was allowed to collapse). I also couldnt believe that a French bank could cause so much mayhem in the US capital markets, as BNP Paribas did when it launched its liquidity evaporation Scud missile on August 9, 2007, leading to a near-400 point fall in the Dow. Zut alors!
But we are where we are. Im stuck in the CC with a bunch of whining losers who have no idea of what it really takes to be a winner. I have a lawyer who is fatally pessimistic, even as he is sucking money out of my account. My former business partners continue to maintain that I was acting alone (something they didnt complain about when I was booking profits) and have formed a queue to testify about my character flaws.
Things could be worse. As far as I know, my boats have not been impounded and my wine collection is safe. I wonder if I can say the same about all those tropical fish in the reception area at our offices. I hope they got fed properly and found a good home (not at an investment bank, where theyd probably get eaten alive with chopsticks by uncouth prop traders).
I do need to set the record straight, starting now. Thanks to my buddy Richard Greensted (the finest writer of his generation, hes told me to say), I have put together assorted jottings, notes, e-mails and diary entries to come up with a journal of what happened to me, the markets and Curveball Capital. I will go back to Day Zero that fateful day in February 2007 when the market chose to ignore all the signs about sub-prime and merrily went about its business of buying overpriced stocks. O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!