The Pained Trader: Scaramucci! Scaramucci! Will you do the fandango?

The Pained Trader examines the rapid rise and fall of a Wall Street type that's all too familiar

  • By The Pained Trader
  • 03 Aug 2017
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Aug3TPT2Even by my standards he had a bad week. Thunder and lightning. Very, very frightening.

He became a father, his wife sought a divorce, he was charged with one of the most prominent roles in global politics, he made more headlines than than the guy whose headlines he was meant to be be writing, he was humiliatingly sacked, he was accused widely in the media of having an affair and to cap it all off was handed a $16m tax bill.

I mean, I've had worse weeks but mine had a lower profile. Whoever shall exalt himself, shall be abased.

The public image of bankers was unflattering already. As if they were not unpopular enough after the global financial crisis, the rewards-for-failure scandals, the fat cat bonus culture and one rogue trading fiasco after another, along comes Anthony Scaramucci, to endorse every cartoonish stereotype of the evil banker and degrade our reputations even further. It seems as though it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than it is for for a stockbroker to have a decent social standing.

I don't know about you but I have enough on my plate as it is, what with the desperate, rearguard battle for my broking existence and my online MiFID training without having to spend every dinner party I attend convincing the laity that the White House's outgoing communications director was very much the exception and not the rule in our industry.

I always maintained that having no spokesperson to conduct good PR for the financial sector was one of the reasons public hostility towards its employees was so fierce but having seen who would most likely emerge to perform such a function — a jive-talkin', strut-walkin', street-fightin', gum-chewin', wise guy from Wall Street — I'm having second thoughts. 

When youre job is gone and you can't go on

Tasked with sustaining the open hostility of the Trump administration to verifiable reality, Scaramucci's 10 day reign at the White House was part Robespierre, part The Sopranos and described the perfect arc of an Aeschylean tragedy. His rise and fall exemplified the theory of nominative determinism.

Speaking of Italian jokes, the literal translation of Scaramouche — the stock character of Italian comedy — is 'little skirmisher'. He is  the faithful servant and pint-sized pugilist.

The real life US version came straight from the Vampire Squid — where else could fit this narrative? — with snappy suits, a whopping pair of aviators and the gift of the Goodfellas gab. All straight-shootin' and front-stabbin',he was the unacceptable face of finance which Joe Sixpack wants to punch. 

His type is instantly recognisable to anyone who has ever worked for an American investment bank. His is the kind of used car salesman patter which makes fund managers instinctively reach for their wallet to reassure themselves of its continued presence. He is a staple character from every trading floor in Manhattan and many in London, but his brief moment in the spotlight again confirmed the inevitable conclusion to the formula: Wall Street + Main Street = Shit Creek.

A show like that he just staged merely confirms that bankers and brokers will remain the piñata for politicians looking to curry favour with voters.


Though he has the mannerisms of Joe Pesci, The Mooch is actually the author of three books. I thumbed through his first, Goodbye Gordon Gekko which was published with the aim of proving that greed was no longer good and there was an ethical way to make a fortune from the stock market but The Mooch's career would appear to illustrate the exact opposite. 

I never dealt with Skybridge Capital (although that does not distinguish it from almost every other hedge fund) and even though we both started out on Wall Street graduate training programmes in 1989, he at Goldman, me at Salomon Brothers, our paths did not cross.

His priceless cameo demonstrated, if nothing else, that shameless sycophancy is not usually sufficient to ensure the lasting loyalty of the person upon whom it is lavished. 

This principle applies to anyone but particularly the coarse and short-fingered vulgarian in the White House who made a career from the catchphrase, "You're fired." 

I'm sure there are sentences scrawled on the toilet walls of the big house on Pennsylvania Avenue, appealing for help: "Lost: one tongue. Last seen somewhere near the fat arse of POTUS. Please return to careless owner."

No matter how often the story is retold, every time Icarus flies too close to the sun his wings melt and he falls from a great height into the sea. The Mooch did that and now his career sleeps with the fishes. Best place for it, and us, if you ask me.

  • By The Pained Trader
  • 03 Aug 2017

All International Bonds

Rank Lead Manager Amount $m No of issues Share %
  • Last updated
  • Today
1 Citi 416,634.23 1594 9.03%
2 JPMorgan 379,647.36 1732 8.23%
3 Bank of America Merrill Lynch 359,625.73 1304 7.80%
4 Barclays 267,126.92 1079 5.79%
5 Goldman Sachs 267,110.09 921 5.79%

Bookrunners of All Syndicated Loans EMEA

Rank Lead Manager Amount $m No of issues Share %
  • Last updated
  • Today
1 HSBC 45,314.03 193 6.64%
2 Deutsche Bank 37,536.19 138 5.50%
3 BNP Paribas 36,532.54 211 5.36%
4 JPMorgan 34,490.59 115 5.06%
5 Bank of America Merrill Lynch 33,700.87 110 4.94%

Bookrunners of all EMEA ECM Issuance

Rank Lead Manager Amount $m No of issues Share %
  • Last updated
  • Today
1 JPMorgan 22,398.41 104 8.67%
2 Morgan Stanley 19,092.40 102 7.39%
3 Citi 17,768.49 110 6.88%
4 UBS 17,693.89 71 6.85%
5 Goldman Sachs 17,256.05 98 6.68%