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Just Shoot Me

Bala, 28, Gordon Gekko in the making, pseudo-intellectual, cynic, bibliophile, obsessive compulsive ranter...

WTF?

January 28, 2008

Why is Bill and Melinda Gates foundation buying shares in Geormetric solutions ??.

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posted by Bala, 7:02 PM | link | 0 comments |

I have a bridge to sell you..

When markets crashed last monday, a rumour started going around that some big bank has gone bust and was selling its positions in a firesale. Then another rumor came by that it was citibank and it was filing for bankruptcy.

Apparently it was due to the liquidation of jerome kerviel's positions by societe generale. Societe Generale is claiming that kerviel single handedly caused a $7 billion loss by taking up positions far larger than his trading limit. Apparently he managed to do this by his knowledge of the risk management systems and computer wizardry. If you believe that kerviel managed to fool the entire bank by doing a Nick Leeson then i have a bridge to sell you in Madurai. It is a prime piece of investment over vaigai, i assure you. For one thing risk management has come a long way from the days of the barings bank collapse, when they let Leeson settle and risk manage his own trades. While Leeson was doing some mildly complex option writing, Kerviel's position was nothing fancy - it was a simple long position in European indices: eurostoxx,DAX and FTSE with a non-existent hedge.

societe generale is claiming that a single trader took a $50 billion position without anyone finding out (which is incidentally worth more than the networth of societe generale itself!!). Even in a midsized indian brokerage house, there would be alarm bells ringing in the risk management division, if such a big position gets taken (if at all such a big position is allowed to be taken). The more i read on this, the more it looks like a badly scripted B movie.

--
PS : This reuters article describes what supposedly happened. Go figure it out.

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posted by Bala, 6:28 PM | link | 0 comments |

look who is here

January 15, 2008

Dear Constant Reader,

I know! I know!. I disappeared for the better part of a month. Wait till you hear the excuses!.The first couple of weeks, i was laid low by some mysterious bug and had to get well by going home and sleeping it off - viral fevers tend to make one weak and non responsive to any stimuli. so i did nothing but curl up in a near foetal position and bitch to my mom about the rice gruel diet she was feeding me. Now that was the uninteresting part of the month - last week was spent in a hospital in Chennai. Not as a patient, but the guy who gives "company" to the patient. The patient in question stuck his foot under the Nilgris express (i swear it is the truth!) and miraculously escaped with only(!) four fingers getting amputated. So the last week was spent in a tiny couch in the hospital room listening to the same story repeated to what looked like atleast a thousand visitors who came to "thukkam visarichify".

The best thing about being laid low is the amount of reading one can do. My spiral into the fantasy genre is now getting steeper and has got me into something called "urban fantasy". And after mucking around three or four authors and four or five series of books, i even ended up reading a couple of vampire romances. All this has added about a dozen books to the "to be bought when flush with money" list. (i read the ebooks first -go gnutella! - and buy the copy when i get around to save the money ).

And so dear CR thus began 2008 for me. mayhaps your year began more fortunately than mine.

PS : happy mattu pongal

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posted by Bala, 1:06 AM | link | 0 comments |