The Naked Broker

The Naked Broker was a weekly column that ran in EuroWeek and then GlobalCapital for six years until June 2014. Written by someone who liked to think of themselves as a city insider, it reported on the grimy underbelly of the broking world.

Read at your own risk.

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    • 05 Jun 2014
  • Nosebleed territory

    Today occasioned my one month anniversary at Chaucer Securities and it is only with immense difficulty and regret that I can tell you, Gentle Reader (as if you give a monkey’s), that these four weeks have passed more profitably and more enjoyably than I could have imagined or hoped.

    • 29 May 2014
  • Low Frequency Trading

    I was two years behind Michael Lewis on the Salomon Brothers training programme in the late 1980s. I’m light years behind him now and many millions of dollars poorer.

    • 22 May 2014
  • Gagging for it — the first chaucer lunch

    It had been billed as ‘lunch’ so I undertook some rigorous ante-jentacular exercise and skimped on breakfast in preparation.

    • 15 May 2014

    You, Gentle Reader, are fortunate. You are only subjected to The Naked Broker on a weekly basis but for fund managers, the unfortunate subjects of my importuning, the suffering is daily. I’m too often in their inbox.

    • 08 May 2014
  • Phoney war

    I'd been sitting in my new seat for half an hour or so, rearranging desk paraphernalia and familiarising myself with an environment which will become all too familiar very shortly, when I noticed a pair of arrows on the front edge of the tabletop.

    • 01 May 2014
  • Fingers crossed for the seduction-free vista of the future

    "Success", as Churchill wrote, "is moving from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm" and this maxim is uppermost in my mind as I enter the final week of gardening leave, scared witless by the enormous difficulty of the task that lies ahead.

    • 24 Apr 2014
  • I love expenses in the springtime

    A fortnight remaining until I make my debut at Chaucer Securities, and the clock is ticking. While anyone with a brain or ethics would be struck down with a terrible sense of inadequacy for the challenge that lies ahead and suffering from an intense bout of the heebie-jeebies, I have more pressing concerns: I need to take advantage of the greater resources and corporate infrastructure at my disposal and sort out a business jolly immediately.

    • 16 Apr 2014
  • Thinking outside the (post) box

    If Hamlet were a stockbroker, chances are he might have said, “There’s no such stock as cheap or rich but thinking makes it so”.

    • 03 Apr 2014
  • Accentuate the positive

    I'm going to walk onto that trading floor like the new manager of a football team strides into the dugout for his first match in charge, wearing the trademark sheepskin coat and a fedora. I'm going to exude an air of invincibility and omniscience. "Don't worry, lads, leave this to me. I'm in control now."

    • 28 Mar 2014
  • Slave to the rhythm

    It’s no good; I’m institutionalised. 25 years in the business (have I mentioned this wealth of experience before?) and as soon as I’m out of it, I’m like a fish out of water or an idiot bereft of a village. Until a few weeks back, my very idea of luxury was a little bit of a lie in and a leisurely breakfast, while reading a broadsheet newspaper cover-to-cover.

    • 20 Mar 2014
  • Criminal conviction? Only my stock picks

    July 24, 1989, was my first day in the broking industry. I had barely got through the door at Salomon Brothers than I was up in a room with the other 15 or so graduate trainees taking a maths test. There were 25 questions and most of those taking the test recorded 100%. The second lowest mark was 12/25 and that was the HR chap who just took the test to see whether it was difficult or not.

    • 13 Mar 2014
  • Chaucer Securities declined to comment

    I’m popular with financial journalists because, having no professional credibility to speak of, I’m happy to sound off on most subjects to anyone desirous of a quote on the markets.

    • 06 Mar 2014
  • Welcome to Chaucer

    Next stop: Chaucer Securities. My ambition: just make it to Christmas. Priority: getting those expectations down.

    • 27 Feb 2014
  • Valediction forbidding mourning

    If I discount the occasion I walked off the job at Knowsley Safari Park and told the fun fair manager where to shove his job manning the inflatable donkey, I’ve only had the luxury of resigning once before. That was three firms back at Salomon Brothers in 1995. And it may surprise regular readers to know that it wasn’t the dignified departure I had so meticulously planned.

    • 20 Feb 2014
  • Sold to the highest bidder

    A stockbroker is like a jockstrap, I suppose: you have to find the one that is just right for you. Clearly, judging by the commissions Subsistence Broking in Austerity Britain is generating at present, I am an imperfect or uncomfortable fit for most of the buy-side that studiously avoids all my efforts at engagement and finds ever more ingenious ruses to avoid paying for what I think of as product.

    • 13 Feb 2014
  • Stone the crow

    I never thought much of Ted Hughes’s poetry. He wrote no memorable lines and was an unworthy Poet Laureate, the post falling into his hands after John Betjeman’s death only because the best and most popular versifier of the late 20th century, Philip Larkin, ruled himself out of contention.

    • 06 Feb 2014
  • No goody new shoes

    I had a hole in the sole of my banker’s brogues which in this, the wettest January since records began, was another deterrent to walking out for a client lunch in the first month of the year. There are other deterrents, namely having no clients to speak of, the hardship of Subsistence Broking in Austerity Britain and the surrender of the asset class I (notionally) broke. With the January sales drawing to a close, however, it was now or never on the new scoobies front so I limped gingerly round to the shoe shop on the corner to confront the problem foot-on.

    • 31 Jan 2014
  • The Lamb of Chancery Lane

    The Wolf of Wall Street? How does the Lamb of Chancery Lane sound? For sure, one is a comedy and the other a tragedy but I don’t know which. I saw the former at the cinema last night and while it bore no resemblance to my own experience in the City these past twenty-five years, I nonetheless felt compelled to indulge in my favourite conceit and examine the parallels between Leonardo di Caprio’s portrayal of lupine excess and my own encounter with ovine mediocrity.

    • 24 Jan 2014
  • The shape I'm in

    The first law of sales-trading is that you can sit at your desk all day and do nothing but the minute you pop to the loo you will miss an order. Since Double O’Flynn my sidekick became Flyaway Flynn last week I am now more vulnerable than ever to this cruel but immutable rule. Either I need to patent some new form of seating which incorporates lavatorial facilities or I need to condition my notoriously incapacious bladder to withstand unbroken stints of equity salesmanship lasting almost 10 hours.

    • 17 Jan 2014
  • 2014: The Year in Prospect

    I’m nothing if not predictable and so following the unremitting tedium of the last Naked Broker, “2013: The Year in Review” comes this leaden-footed and witlessly misprognosticating “2014: The Year in Prospect”. It’s a title from which I excised the adjectives ‘grim’ and ‘bleak’ because one of my new year’s resolutions was to adopt a more positive mental approach but already this initiative has dissipated, in fact even more quickly than my other commitment to lay off the booze.

    • 10 Jan 2014
  • 2013: the year in review

    These are the terminal stages of subsistence broking in Austerity Britain. I've been labouring with an increasingly frenzied intensity throughout the year but, deprived of the oxygen of commission, I am starting to lose consciousness. While muscle-memory may keep me going for a little while longer it’s only a matter of time before I go the way of the dodo and disco.

    • 13 Dec 2013
  • Service or payment

    Yesterday morning I was lavishly slathering my breakfast bagel with butter when I remarked the close resemblance between its central feature – a big zero in the middle – and my commission revenues this week. The emptiness at the heart of my ring roll of salty bread bore a striking similarity to that at the core of Subsistence Broking in Austerity Britain during one of the industry’s Cyclical Downticks Bolted Onto A Structural Decline. It was time to take action.

    • 06 Dec 2013
  • Failure to comply

    Who monitors compliance? Who thinks about the thought police? This thought struck me today when I found myself reading with a mix of resignation and disbelief that some firms are planning to prohibit employees on the trading floor from participating in instant messaging forums and the like for regulatory reasons. This is because some market players have been found to be exchanging information, front-running each other, passing on sensitive details of client activity, manipulating asset prices and swapping bad jokes. In other words, this is because some people have been doing their job.

    • 29 Nov 2013
  • Headhunted

    Everyone on the trading floor knows it’s a headhunter calling because the name is unfamiliar and usually improbable. Your phone rings when you’re standing chatting, away from your desk. A colleague answers, there’s a furrowed brow and then often the caller will have to repeat his alias several times because not many Sebastians or Arabellas ring you in the normal scheme of things.

    • 22 Nov 2013
  • Burn-out? That's one problem I don't have

    I don’t know whether I should be envious of Goldman Sachs interns or sympathetic towards them. Sure, they are on a fast track to wealth, power and privilege but it’s an awfully daunting gauntlet they must run beforehand. Just imagine — if you can, I can’t — having to be told, via an official communiqué, that the firm has introduced a policy which strictly forbids you from coming into the office from 9pm on a Friday till 9am on a Sunday? I would have to be taken from my bed at gunpoint and frogmarched under armed escort to my desk if they wanted me in on a weekend. There is no way on earth I would ever come in of my own volition. I get a nosebleed if I’m at the desk after 5 o'clock.

    • 15 Nov 2013
  • The interview

    My list of active accounts has shrunk to such an extent that I have fewer customers than I have limbs. I decided I needed to change the paradigm of my working life and shake things up a little. It might not have sounded like it but I’ve actually been quite content over my near five years at Inn Securities. Now, though, Subsistence Broking in Austerity Britain is starting to get on my nerves, frankly so when an old market mukka of mine, Steve, told me about another shop that may be looking to bolt a little, low-cost emerging markets operation onto its existing developed markets platform I jumped at the opportunity.

    • 08 Nov 2013
  • My Number One Client

    It’s not much of an accolade. It’s like winning the tallest dwarf competition, or being the most endowed eunuch, but it’s the biggest tribute I can pay to the bloke who is almost single-handedly keeping Subsistence Broking in booze, I mean, in business. It is said — often by me — that every customer gets the salesman he deserves but in this instance it may not be true because heaven knows “Rude” deserves so much better. I know this may sound a bit rich but he is the grumpiest, most curmudgeonly, old croak out there on the buyside and I love him for it because, well, people say the same about me on the sellside. Rude: I salute you.

    • 01 Nov 2013
  • More than I can bear

    When you are in your 20s you can go out on a proper bender, get uproariously drunk, stay out all night, fight, vomit, copulate and when you wake up in the morning, you look absolutely fine.

    • 25 Oct 2013
  • Tales from the gutter

    There can be no more graphic depiction of the plight in which the stockbroking industry now finds itself than the email below which was sent to me last week. The sender is an erstwhile high-flyer whose career in The City was derailed, and as a consequence he found himself out of the market for a long time, unable to reinvent himself and get back in.

    • 18 Oct 2013
  • No room for sentiment

    When Jessica announced her resignation last week she handed me a laminated and extensive client list with names, emails, telephone numbers, birthdays, interest lists, inside leg measurements and the kids' birthdays. I should have known better than to have thought optimistically. My boss was very enthusiastic. "Call them", he said, "They need coverage" although clearly, the reason Jessica left was because they didn't need her coverage and since she was flogging the same product it was unlikely her client base would discover a sudden imperative to receive Inn Securities research and pay for it, especially when the new conduit for said analytical output was this rum cove.

    • 11 Oct 2013
  • The reluctant and unwitting pioneer

    I read an article in a financial rag this week entitled, “The Tale of Two Cities”. It detailed a job satisfaction survey which had been conducted among hundreds of workers in banking and fund management. It reached the not too staggering conclusion that most of those people on the buyside are relatively sanguine about job prospects, optimistic about the future, report good morale, feel secure, committed to their employer and the industry. Well, they would do, wouldn’t they? They have all the money.

    • 04 Oct 2013
  • From light, darkness

    There’s no danger of it happening, I admit, but nonetheless I never want it said of me that: “He lit up the room whenever he walked in.” In fact, because I have removed most of the bulbs and fluorescent tubing from the ceiling above and around my desk, I like to think I’m bringing darkness where before there was light, tenebrae in lux lucet, both in a literal and a figurative sense.

    • 27 Sep 2013
  • That sinking feeling

    I spent large parts of Monday engrossed by live footage of the salvage operation for the Costa Concordia. It didn’t make for exciting television but it was blessedly free from inane commentary and, with the volume turned up to maximum, I could hear the breeze flapping off the Tuscan coast — and was it my imagination or could I hear the seawater lapping with low sounds by the shore?

    • 20 Sep 2013
  • Harvest horror show

    “US non-farm payrolls data release falls short of expectations” was the wording hammered into a thousand keyboards by a thousand stockbroking hacks, including your humble correspondent, on Friday afternoon.

    • 13 Sep 2013
  • Not broked but broken

    A hallmark of Subsistence Broking in Austerity Britain is the lunchtime queue for the office microwave, snaking out of the kitchen and out onto the trading floor with hungry employees clutching their pathetic Tupperware containers of last night’s leftovers ready to be reheated and re-served like so much research analysis. And so, on Monday I queued patiently with everyone else who was eating al desko not fresco, with the remnants of Sunday’s barbecue waiting in my lunchbox.

    • 06 Sep 2013
  • Happy days

    “Happy Friday”. That was the last straw. I couldn’t stand it any longer. This guy had been sending me instant messages for several months and all of them were characterised by the same irritating and banal opening conversational gambits. Most of them were accompanied by those infuriating emoticons to which the half-witted resort if they are not confident of accurately expressing their thoughts or feelings in words.

    • 30 Aug 2013
  • Dog days

    Ah, Dies Caniculares! Dog days indeed! It's deader than a disco in the the City and business is drier than a deceased dingo's donger. Late summer 2013 has taken on an elegiac quality as the traditional August slowdown seems to become more deeply entrenched with each passing year and what was merely a quiet period has become something of a shutdown with investment banks almost mothballed for five weeks. The competition slips into a funk and gets a taste of what it's like to be a subsistence broker all year round.

    • 23 Aug 2013
  • Easy reading

    I know that if you work in the City, summer holidays are about recharging your batteries, forgetting about how far behind revenue targets you are and affording compliance the opportunity to ensure you have not amassed a large unauthorised position in equity index futures that you are concealing in an obscure file somewhere on your computer.

    • 16 Aug 2013
  • Injection dejection

    Desperate to avoid the “Home Thoughts From Abroad” clichés, I wasn’t planning to file a column this week. But two events in the last hour have persuaded me otherwise.

    • 02 Aug 2013
  • Czech mate

    A “business” trip to Prague. It was monkey business rather than legitimate money business though, and that’s much more like it.

    • 19 Jul 2013
  • The birdman of broking

    I’m not paranoid — ask that bloke standing behind me with a hatchet, if you don’t believe me — but what is the definition of a crank call?

    • 12 Jul 2013
  • Unintended consequences

    The start of the second half calls for a full psychological reset and I’ve completely adjusted my mental approach from the end of the last quarter: I’m now much more negative than I was before.

    • 05 Jul 2013
  • Q2 by numbers

    Long, boozy, all-afternoon lunches 0

    • 28 Jun 2013
  • Gentlemen versus Players

    The cricket team I play for is decidedly posh. We’re talking stockbrokers here — not the landed gentry, admittedly, but in a BBC survey they would show up as “metropolitan elite” rather than the “precariat”. At most matches, at least three of the XI will show up wearing cravats and, even with just the vestige of a regional accent, I clearly represent a rogue demographic of which I’m very conscious.

    • 21 Jun 2013
  • Cold Turkey

    Investors in Turkish financial assets were rightly alarmed this week when Prime Minister Erdogan warned them: “Those who tried to let the stock exchange collapse — if it collapses, you will also collapse with it. The moment we discover speculation, we will ram it down your throat.”

    • 14 Jun 2013
  • Two Minutes of Your Life. (Wasted)

    Dear Bob, Forgive the intrusion, which is born out of desperation. To my knowledge, we’ve never met or spoken, but you have been on my distribution lists for more than three years now, which has to be some kind of record — even if it’s a broken record.

    • 07 Jun 2013
  • The future is my enemy

    "Will you be in on bank holiday Monday?" the boss asked. "No, I bloody won’t," I replied.

    • 31 May 2013
  • Death and taxes

    The lengths to which Google, Amazon, Starbucks et al will go in avoiding corporation tax are as startling as they are sophisticated, but my own tax minimisation scheme is very straightforward: if you don’t make any money, you don’t pay any tax. Simples!

    • 24 May 2013
  • I’m on fire

    When the fireman made it up to the 5th floor, he looked rather surprised to find someone who had not evacuated the building because the alarm had been ringing hell’s bells for 20 minutes and the racket had driven everyone else out on to the street where they had gathered haphazardly at the designated assembly point.

    • 17 May 2013
  • The way we wear

    A friend of mine works for another investment bank and received the following internal communication last week. Keep a bucket close to hand if your constitution is less than robust. Come with me, let’s take a walk among the verbiage and read this together. It’s a classic of the genre, almost beyond satire. And when we get to the bottom we can conduct a little critical analysis.

    • 10 May 2013
  • Spring fever

    Call me a miserable bugger — and a lot of people do — but not everyone is enamoured with the sudden onset of spring. I have a confession to make: the rising of the mercury creates many problems, not the least of which is the regular rising of my pulse rate.

    • 03 May 2013
  • When I’m cleaning windows

    My former sidekick, a bloke with whom I worked on-and-off — but he was mostly off — for the best part of a decade, called me on Monday morning. He enquired as to how and what I was doing. I replied that I was still spiralling helplessly around my own private vortex of despair and my days were still stuffed with turd-polishing, sexual reverie and sub-tabular self-interference.

    • 26 Apr 2013
  • Gold, fingered

    All that glitters is not gold and if you’ve been invested in the barbarous relic this year you would perhaps be thinking a lot of what glitters is crap because the damned thing is down by a quarter year-to-date and a third since its autumnal peaks of 2012. What’s even worse for the holder of this alternative investment is that no one, not even the "experts" who recommended it in the first place, can explain the precipitous decline.

    • 19 Apr 2013
  • Thatcher’s Orphans

    You must be somewhere in your 50s if you were about for Mrs Thatcher’s Big Bang, or in your 40s at least to have invested, traded, banked or broked under her premiership. We were all Thatcher’s Children. We are all orphans now.

    • 12 Apr 2013
  • Bad pipe dream

    So the sun finally set on Q1 2013 without actually rising and three months of what I can only describe as "Attritional Broking" were finally consigned to the septic tank of history.

    • 05 Apr 2013
  • When the going gets good, I go on holiday

    It might have been a bad week if you were called Boris but it’s been a splendid week if you practice Subsistence Broking or if you are a teenage tech geek.

    • 28 Mar 2013
  • Making a deposit

    Cyprus takes its name from the ancient Latin word for copper owing to the abundance of the metal on the island when it was first populated. Now Cyprus is notorious for its brass. There are so many Russian prostitutes there that I’m not surprised it’s teeming with illicit depositors.

    • 22 Mar 2013
  • Bring me the stool of Ernie the bulldog

    I’m not religious but I am superstitious. That’s a ludicrous and indefensible position to adopt, but there you have it. After a business drought of sub-Saharan dimensions lately, I had an immense reversal of fortune this week — and I owe it all to Ernie’s stools.

    • 15 Mar 2013
  • Death of a Salesman

    He didn’t have "Here, Bullet" written on his forehead but he might as well have done because he knew it was coming and saw it a long way off. He did not type a showy, jocular email to all his colleagues and friends, saying: "I’ve decided that I would like to spend more time with my family. Just kidding — I was fired today."

    • 08 Mar 2013
  • Not making a Killing

    I sat down to write my EuroWeek column on Wednesday evening and after an hour and a half of intellection had generated the sum total of two phrases that constituted neither a complete sentence nor even two clauses.

    • 01 Mar 2013
  • Let’s dispense with the small talk shall we?

    See if you can spot the odd one out: chimney-sweep; knocker-up; weaver; dung-gatherer; beefeater; rag-and-bone man; subsistence broker.

    • 22 Feb 2013
  • Knackered

    There have been two outstanding narratives in the news this week and neither of them pertained to stockbroking. Or did they? (At this point, I sense the regular EuroWeek reader wearily sighing and acknowledging that yes, it seems in this column that everything pertains to stockbroking.)

    • 15 Feb 2013
  • Bone idol

    After reading of Richard III’s disinterment from a car park in Leicester (well, the skeletal remains of Richard III, at least. It would have been surprising for him to have leapt up, whispering "Have Henry’s mob with the halberds buggered off yet?" or, "Where is that bloody horse I asked for five hundred years ago?" Then again, it would have been a nice touch to have brought along two horses for the pleasure of exclaiming to the former King, "you wait half a millennium for one horse and then two turn up at once."), I speculated how several centuries hence, an economic historian specialising in say, the structural decline of liberalised capital markets at the beginning of the third millennium, might feel about finding my corpse.

    • 08 Feb 2013
  • Flight, but no entertainment

    As I walked out one midwinter’s morning (I’m thinking specifically of last Thursday’s), I wondered to myself how things might be if I were to disappear off into the snow, never to return. The family slumbering upstairs would half-hear the door closing, register the muffled growl of “Eff off, Fox” to the vulpine rummaging through the recycling bins, recognise the trundle of my rolling suitcase down the street and then what?

    • 01 Feb 2013
  • Going nowhere, fast

    Turbo-Paralysis is the optimal way of describing the predicament in which the Subsistence Broker finds himself at present. There is an angry revving of the engine and some furious wheelspin which carries the promise of imminent progress but, despite the row, there is no vehicular locomotion and the greater the energy input, the deeper the Subsistence Broker sinks into the mudflats.

    • 25 Jan 2013
  • In defence of The City, sort of...

    So Mervyn King thinks it’s "depressing" for bankers to delay their bonuses until April and the new tax year to avoid the top rate of tax? I hadn’t thought of this ruse and so I shouted over to the MD of Inn Securities: "Hey! What was my fourth quarter bonus again?" "It was somewhere between a negative value and zero." "Ok, can you delay that payment until April 7th so I pay just 45% tax on it rather than 50%?" "Sure. Whatever you want."

    • 18 Jan 2013
  • Your guide to what’s hot or not in 2013

    HOT: Survival NOT HOT: The Naked Broker. He is colder than a penguin’s gin and tonic.

    • 11 Jan 2013
  • A very merry Christmas

    Only if it’s a hangover of immodest proportions do I call a minicab in the morning to take me to work. It costs £35 to hire the services of an Afghan driver and his overheated Honda Civic to drive me from London’s SW suburbs to the City, compared to a fistful of quid for the whole commute palaver.

    • 14 Dec 2012
  • Bah, humbug!

    December is decision time. Do we participate in Christmas, party enthusiastically and power towards year-end with a pacey spurt all the way to The Finish? Or do we furrow our brows, disengage and push the Zimmer frame under the sign that says "Finished"? There are no prizes for guessing which camp I’m in. Get the Z-Celebrity sales-trader out of here.

    • 07 Dec 2012
  • Out on my ear

    By far the nicest thing that Inn Securities has ever done for me — other than offering me a warm seat where I can sit out of the cold and see out the twilight of my career (it has been mostly twilight) — has been to buy me a pair of shiny, red ear defenders. They are the oversized variety sported by workmen wielding pneumatic drills or operating forklift trucks.

    • 30 Nov 2012
  • Giving Thanks

    Time was when a Thanksgiving lunch in the City was a landmark in the social calendar of the crapulous broker, a springboard into the Christmas party season and a great excuse for a no-return bender of George Best dimensions.

    • 23 Nov 2012
  • Grim resignation

    It’s the shortest stay I’ve ever heard of. Three days! He only started on Wednesday morning, but by Saturday afternoon, there I was in Sainsbury’s reading his resignation email in astonishment.

    • 16 Nov 2012
  • You ain’t seen nothing yet

    Four more years of the hopey-changey stuff. At least upon re-election, President Obama did not resort to the old Ronald Reagan line: "You ain’t seen nothing yet" because that would be uncomfortably close to the truth. If I were to say that to the head of equities at Inn Securities he would readily agree with me. I’m into my fourth year here and he definitely hasn’t seen anything yet.

    • 09 Nov 2012
  • Disaster recovery

    In the damp and windblown aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, most City institutions are examining their Disaster Recovery contingencies and considering whether they are adequate to cope with a natural catastrophe of similar dimensions over here.

    • 02 Nov 2012
  • The Hot Seat

    As you read this at your desk, look down between your thighs and what do you see? No, I’m not referring to the contents of your trousers but rather the small triangular patch of cloth which covers the V of your seat between your legs. If it is anything like mine, chances are it is a historical menu of everything that has ever been eaten by the occupant of your chair.

    • 26 Oct 2012
  • Wake up and smell the Coffey

    Is no one safe? Is no career immune to the tragic parabola traced by those who soar initially but inevitably hurtle earthwards? With the (predictable) demise of Greg Coffey, the hedge fund manager once labelled "The Wizard of Oz", another Icarus who flew too near the sun feels his wing wax melt and plummets to a watery grave.

    • 19 Oct 2012
  • Barings-ING: My Part In Its Downfall

    If you have ever seen the logo for ING Bank, you will surely remember that it is a red lion. Rather disturbingly for an image meant to convey the corporate ethos, however, it’s not a lion rampant but a lion couchant. It’s less a magnificent, red Panthera Leo and more an orange, cuddly cat curled up without a basket waiting for a saucer of milk. I want you to think about this.

    • 12 Oct 2012
  • Blast from the past: the dreaded reunion

    Because I’ve never left a firm of my own volition and because I hold my grudges there has understandably been something of a scorched earth policy when it comes to my previous employers.

    • 05 Oct 2012
  • The other Fallen

    I walked through the door the other night and amid the usual hallway detritus — discarded shoes, takeaway pizza flyers, buff envelopes from HMRC, sacks of cash and cocaine, broken umbrellas and squatters — I found a charity appeal inviting me to "Join Our Salute To The Fallen".

    • 28 Sep 2012
  • Missing out again

    You may remember Bidaway Flynn, my somewhat over-qualified sidekick who recently secured the third part of the CFA. At 8.02am on Wednesday, he stood up and announced he was going downstairs to shower.

    • 21 Sep 2012
  • Fear and self-loathing in Leatherhead

    In the old Wild West there were bad men whose services could be bought as a Gun For Hire. At Inn Securities it is generally agreed that The Naked Broker is good for one thing and one thing only: "Glass for Hire".

    • 14 Sep 2012
  • 50 shades of regret

    I’ve heard it said that nature abhors a vacuum but what about my order pad? Two thirds through the third quarter and I’m almost halfway towards my target... for the first half.

    • 07 Sep 2012
  • Summer’s dying, and so are we all

    Oh, to be in the eurozone, now that autumn’s here. The Eurocrats are returning from the third summer of burying their heads in the sand and will be disappointed once again that the crisis has not faded bittersweetly like a holiday romance.

    • 31 Aug 2012
  • Collateral damage

    I just had to write a “Dear John” email. This industry’s Cyclical Downturn Bolted Onto A Structural Decline (or, more plainly, the recession) has just claimed its latest victim. No, not me, although you could be excused for thinking that — my gardener.

    • 24 Aug 2012
  • Sloppy book-keeping

    As if money weren’t short enough. I’ve hidden some and cannot remember where. Technically speaking, I have "mislaid" it, which is the expression I always use for my wife’s benefit when I’ve lost something and cannot bring myself to admit it.

    • 17 Aug 2012
  • What I know: sweet CFA

    Finally, we have something to celebrate on the Emerging Markets desk @ InnSecurities. Sadly, not a Large Unsolicited Discretionary Order, which, were it to arrive now, would probably prompt a cardiac arrest or a visit from the SFO. No, it is instead a long overdue accreditation of the financial expertise that resides in this department.

    • 10 Aug 2012
  • Carry on Broking

    It really is incredible how few sentences anyone commentating on, or participating in, the Olympics can utter before using that shamefully debased epithet "incredible".

    • 03 Aug 2012
  • Heroic ideals

    I was sitting under the shade of a beech tree in a French garden this morning having my first glass of the day (I have found a small glass of dessert wine at 11 circumvents the "no alcohol shall pass my lips before noon" watershed) and having one of those douceur de vivre in la France profonde moments when I got to wondering why it is that I toil in the City at all?

    • 27 Jul 2012
  • Tour de Farce

    A funny thing happened to me on the way from the office to lunch today. A pigeon, which was strutting across the pavement before me and not showing enough respect, was too slow when I skillfully flicked out the right shoe. And so I managed, for the first time in ages, to get my toe right up a pigeon’s arse and register a tiny victory in the war I am waging on unequal terms with the airborne rodents.

    • 20 Jul 2012
  • Nuclear summer

    "Name please?" I hate it when the barista shouts this out across a crowded coffee shop even if she is attractive, eastern European and just being cheery — as is their wont. I just want a white Americano with cold milk.

    • 13 Jul 2012
  • Unbloodied Diamond

    There has been barely one hack who has been able to refrain from trotting out the blindingly obvious "Diamond’s not forever" line this week. My preference is for "a diamond is a chunk of coal made good under pressure", although I’m sure Cap’n Bob wasn’t who Henry Kissinger was thinking of when he articulated that sentiment.

    • 06 Jul 2012
  • Slower, lower, weaker

    At around 7.30am the other morning, I cast a casual glance around the trading floor and noted with a mixture of wonder and alarm that possibly a quarter of those present were dressed in sports attire. There was more than a handful of hi-vis cycling jackets, an awful lot of lycra — sometimes bulging where it should and sometimes where it should not — and some dazzling, rainbow-hued footwear.

    • 22 Jun 2012
  • The greatest Pain Trade

    It was Keynes who said that markets can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent, but I’m proving to myself daily that I can also be irrational longer than I can remain solvent. When I was prop trading and a position was going sour (the tautologies abound) you would gradually adjust to the deteriorating situation in increments. You would first of all find yourself long in the middle of the spread, then matching the offered side of the market to come out flat, then it would trade down beneath your in-price. At this stage you doubled up and your loss was smaller but your position bigger.

    • 15 Jun 2012
  • No market for old men

    A bit like the BBC, for women d’un certain age, the City is No Market for Old Men. After a week’s holiday, The Tyranny Of The Alarm Clock reimposed itself with a vengeance this morning and as I limped to the bathroom, bleary-eyed and bilious, I thought to myself — not for the first time — this is a young man’s game.

    • 08 Jun 2012
  • They think it’s all over…

    It’s only just over a year since I was last a republican fugitive. On that occasion I was in flight from "the culmination of an extraordinary, fairytale, royal romance" but now, threatened with another nauseating display of invertebrate national lickspittlery, the Naked Broker has been forced to flee once more.

    • 01 Jun 2012
  • Of Greeks and Geeks

    One can only pity the Greeks: they survived for several millennia with the drachma but after just a decade with the euro they are tottering. Scaremongerers are talking as if we’re heading for "Our Big, Fat, Greek Divorce". It’s fortunate for the Greeks that they have thousands of years of history because it appears at present that they don’t have much of a future. They gave the world the Olympics but will they be able to afford send their athletes to London this summer? The Geeks made $100bn dollars from Facebook but the Greeks made nothing.

    • 25 May 2012
  • Not my world anymore

    Happy Birthday to Mark Zuckerberg, who was just twenty-eight years old on Monday. Luckily, he managed to coincide the anniversary with the final stages of the Facebook flotation, so that every year he will easily be able to remember when it was exactly that he crystallised his billions.

    • 18 May 2012
  • Bored games

    One of the downsides to yet another wet bank holiday weekend (the tautologies abound) was my kids’ discovery of a long-neglected Monopoly set in a cupboard and their insistence on playing the game, which could never reach a conclusion because of their stubborn resistance to any off-board horse-trading that would swing the odds decisively one way or another.

    • 11 May 2012
  • How to set up a hedge fund

    A mate of mine is setting up a hedge fund — or trying to, at least. He’s done everything that could be expected of a man in his position. He has rented some fabulously swanky space in Mayfair & St James, given his fund a pretentious name of ambiguous pronunciation, engaged the services of a receptionist of breathtaking beauty and insouciance, spunked a load of his money on ill-advised corner-cutting exercises and then spunked a whole load more backtracking on them, employed several loafer friends of his as advisers, managers and operational stock-wallahs and written an investment philosophy that gives pure wind the appearance of solidity. Now all that remains for him is the demeaning necessity of finding some money to manage.

    • 04 May 2012
  • Don’t sell, don’t trade — what do you do?

    It’s the question on everyone’s lips: "What else can you do?" Most people in the City who are honest with themselves (count me out of this category) freely admit that they came into it for the money.

    • 27 Apr 2012
  • Broking: coal mining for the middle classes

    April showers have brought an end to one drought but out there in the market it’s still as parchy as Karachi, with no end in sight to the bear market in broking.

    • 20 Apr 2012
  • Best of intentions, worst of results

    I came back from holiday with the best of intentions, I really did. I was determined to get the second quarter off to a promising start, hit the ground running and begin the next three-month cycle with unstoppable momentum. But nothing ever succeeds as planned and it is inestimably difficult to switch from reclining on a sunlounger under a palm tree with a piña colada to hand one day to squatting at the desk, sipping a styrofoam coffee the next.

    • 13 Apr 2012
  • Spring back, fall apart

    The clocks went forward this weekend but I certainly didn’t. It may be British Summer Time but I’m still trapped in a nuclear winter. Tired of playing whack-a-mole with any optimistic thought that sallies forth, I, moron that I am, sit here waiting patiently for the end-of-quarter surge in business that the voices in my head tell me is most assuredly coming.

    • 30 Mar 2012
  • What do you do all day?

    Where does the time go? That was the question my mother was asking me on the phone last night when I tried to explain to her that I was unlikely to be a beneficiary of the lowering of the highest rate of income tax and more likely to be one of those beloved of the Lib Dems, being lifted out of taxation altogether.

    • 23 Mar 2012
  • Why I am joining Goldman Sachs

    On Wednesday, the New York Times published an "iconoclastic", "whistle-blowing" resignation letter by a former executive director of Goldman Sachs whom I think could be legitimately described as embittered. Always thirsty for unflattering depictions of the Vampire Squid, the media seized on the editorial, sending it viral, provoking opinions of the most extreme variety and lopping $3bn off the Goldmans Sachs share price.

    • 16 Mar 2012
  • Gangsta’s Paradigm

    The end of the first quarter is only just hoving into view and already the heat is on. It’s on The Street. A friend of mine who works as the head of sales for an equity product at a big bulge bracket outfit — a proper shop you know, with every department trailing clouds of overheads and trying to ditch them on someone else — was hauled over the coals this morning.

    • 09 Mar 2012
  • “L-T, L-T-R, L-T-R-O, LTRO!”

    Never in the field of finance has so much guff been expended on a subject about which so many know so little. I conducted an informal poll yesterday of what the acronym actually stood for and was not surprised to see that many were unable to decipher the initials — and even fewer were able to explain the mechanics. (I was careful to consult the internet beforehand myself.)

    • 02 Mar 2012
  • Broker’s block

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not one to complain about a chance to do business. Subsistence brokers such as yours truly must take anything that comes along.

    • 24 Feb 2012
  • The Naked Broker: Not waiving, but downing

    I don’t understand this modern fad of waiving bonuses. I’m all in favour of waving them around if they’re any good, but just declining the opportunity to put some distance between you and the gutter on a matter of principle? Well, frankly, in the topsy-turvy world of the City, that’s immoral. Is this some weird display of financial machismo? The bigger the bonus, the more of a man you must be to turn it down? If so, pipsqueak me.

    • 10 Feb 2012
  • Not right said Fred

    As you know, there’s nothing I like more than a losing cause. I named my first-born after St Jude, the patron saint of lost causes. Subsistence Broking is a lost cause. Everton are a lost cause. The ex-Sir Fred Goodwin is a lost cause.

    • 03 Feb 2012
  • The Naked Broker: Not worth the candle

    After many years of commentating with unerring inaccuracy on things in my traditional sphere of Russian equities, I thought it was about time I paraded this talent for misprognosis on a wider basis.

    • 27 Jan 2012
  • We’re spammin’, we’re spammin’

    We live in an era of mass loquacity. We are bombarded on all sides by media in its various forms; print, social, televisual, EuroWeek and surely the most incontinent of the lot, stockbroking.

    • 20 Jan 2012
  • Hit the ground limping

    Here we are: 2012 and right back in the thin of it. It’s slowed down after a slow start and I expect things to slow down from here before coming to an eventual and perpetual halt at some stage this spring. I’ve been back in the orifice for three days now and it’s fair to say I’ve hit the ground limping. I’m already a week behind everyone else because I couldn’t actually face showing up to work those first few days in January.

    • 13 Jan 2012
  • The Naked Broker: Bah, humbug

    Rather like love poetry, The Naked Broker never runs to affirmation. Desolation, desperation and dislocation are its fundamental tenets and I apologise to those readers of EuroWeek who open the magazine (hopefully on page 69, the slot I’d like to call my own) on a Friday looking for something cheerful and upbeat.

    • 16 Dec 2011
  • That was the year that will be

    • 09 Dec 2011
  • Faithless, hopeless, charitable?

    I didn’t grow a moustache this Movember but I’m going to next year. Not because I’d like a bushy caterpillar clinging to my upper lip but because not having one this year has cost me a bloody fortune.

    • 02 Dec 2011
  • The Naked Broker: Let’s do lunch

    Lunchtime destination? Chosen very carefully. When choosing the location one doesn’t want the restaurant to be too far away from the portfolio manager selected because distance will only increase the chance of a no-show or a cancellation.

    • 25 Nov 2011
  • Liberty! Egality! Poverty!

    I’ve been experiencing chronic gastro- oesophagal discomfort for more than a week now and have only just managed to diagnose its cause: a rising tide of panic. The pharmacist had nothing for it. It began somewhere deep in the bowels last week and has been mounting steadily since as perceptions of a soft patch in my business cycle harden into something more structural and, therefore, more terminal.

    • 18 Nov 2011
  • The seven ages of sales trading

    If the ragtag assortment of anti-capitalists, student anarchists and random demonstrators want to avoid a sound kettling and divert the route of their march past Inn Securities off Chancery Lane, they would enjoy a spectacle of the first order. Yes, the first casualty of their protests, the first victim of their philosophy: neo-classical sales trading, its corpse lying bloodied in the gutter.

    • 11 Nov 2011
  • The Naked Broker: Encyclopedia Hellenica

    Here is an unscientific miscellany of facts about Greece of which you may or may not be cognisant, enumerated in no particular order.

    • 04 Nov 2011
  • The Naked Broker: No wealth, no tax

    With the family away on half-term holidays I used up one of my pink tickets to complete my tax return. (Fret not: I’m not losing my touch. The other pink ticket I cashed in for an evening of prototypical City debauchery.)

    • 28 Oct 2011
  • The Naked Broker: The mid-life crisis that has no end

    The bad news comes sweeping in during the night like rain through your open window. You’ve barely opened your eyes and the radio alarm is telling you that a rating agency somewhere has downgraded the outlook for you and some sovereign credit somewhere by not just one but "several" notches.

    • 21 Oct 2011
  • Diagnosis: murderous hangover

    Say what you like about The Naked Broker (an invitation most people readily accept without any thought for the consequences), but he’s no malingerer. Think about it: how many times in the last four years have you opened your copy of EuroWeek (don’t be rude) to find the equivalent of "Jeffrey Bernard is unwell"?

    • 14 Oct 2011
  • Hormonal havoc

    I, for one, was delighted when this Indian summer ended. It was playing havoc with my hormones, which were jangling like the tormented tin cans on a wedding limousine every time I walked out of the office on to the heat-hushed streets to observe the splendidly contoured and the scantily clad, I mean pick myself up a sandwich or a soup.

    • 07 Oct 2011
  • The Naked Broker: Leading Trader: I’ve met your type before

    When someone sent the email link for the BBC interview clip with the fatuously categorical Alessio Rastani the sender simply wrote beside it, "I hate idiots like that".

    • 30 Sep 2011
  • The Naked Broker: Exit, pursued by a bear

    If you want to be taken for a serious intellect in financial markets then it follows that you must be bearish. If you want to walk with Roubini, exchange emails with Gloom Boom Doom Faber and table-talk with Taleb, you must be convinced above all else of man’s original sin: being overly bullish.

    • 23 Sep 2011
  • The Naked Broker: A Swiss special

    What price happiness? Exactly Sfr1,000, I was told by the little Russian minx who’d sat down beside me — a coup de foudre — in a Genevoise Establishment Characterised By Moral Laxity.

    • 16 Sep 2011
  • The Naked Broker: A bully is felled

    One should not bite the hand that feeds, but one should take a bloody good bite out of that which smites. And I’ll tell you why.

    • 09 Sep 2011
  • Letter from Izmır

    Whoa! What happened there? One day it’s high summer, the mornings are light and the evenings never-ending. The next, it’s pitch black when the alarm goes off, and after work you leave the Headset and Hangover in gathering gloom after just a couple of sharpeners.

    • 02 Sep 2011
  • The Naked Broker: You’ll thank me one day

    To avoid a lawsuit from the desk junior — or rather the desk junior’s wealthy parents, who have access to formidable legal resources — after last week’s near fatal lift imprisonment (see EuroWeek 1,218), I have been designated as his mentor.

    • 26 Aug 2011
  • The Naked Broker: In case of emergency, sack the grad

    We’d sent the desk jubb out for coffees a good while earlier and as the caffeine deficit began to make people testy they were starting to whinge about the long wait. Possible explanations ran from the prosaic ("He’s chatting up the barista") to the desperate ("They’ve got no milk") and finally to the cynical ("He’s run off with the money").

    • 19 Aug 2011
  • The Naked Broker: The other alienated underclass

    Alienated by a society that treats them with contempt, sponging benefits but still unable to make ends meet, sodden with drink, inarticulate with rage, contemplating a future bereft of hope, hell-bent on wreaking violent destruction... some of those rioters could be stockbrokers.

    • 12 Aug 2011
  • The Naked Broker: The A–Z of sales trading

    A is for "A whole lot of nothing", which is what I started out with back in 1989 and most of which I still have left.

    • 05 Aug 2011
  • The Naked Broker: Hacked off

    The News of the World might have closed but, catering to the demands of the prurient, the world’s second tawdriest tabloid, The Naked Broker, is still going strong.

    • 15 Jul 2011
  • The Naked Broker: Do I know you? Yes, probably

    The City doesn’t work on six degrees of separation; it works on one or two at the most. People change firms as glibly as students exchange body fluids. So it’s rare to meet someone, especially if you’ve been doing something as incestuous as emerging markets for two decades, who doesn’t know somebody you know.

    • 08 Jul 2011
  • The Naked Broker: Conferences for the brain dead

    I thought I might have been invited by mistake. And within minutes of my turning up at the trading conference it was clear that this was indeed the case. Or perhaps I had been invited and then disinvited, because my name card was not among the hundred or so arrayed on the registration desk.

    • 01 Jul 2011
  • The Naked Broker: Chairman of the bored

    This week we feature an in-depth interview with the chairman of TheNakedBroker Inc, the worst-performing sales-trading stock year-to-date. We caught up with the prematurely bald, Tourettic executive, at his office as he took a break in between polishing turds of the grungiest hue with a buffer that frankly, was not fit for purpose. TheNakedBroker Inc has been downgraded by all the rating agencies and pretty much every analyst on the street has the stock as a sell, an immediate sell, or a grab-that-phone-and-it’s-a-screaming sell. Our interviewer pulled no punches. The chairman answered our questions with disarming honesty.

    • 24 Jun 2011
  • The Naked Broker: (Not) working from home

    I prefer playing away, but every so often I don’t mind a bit of "working from home". I know I go on about the good ole days and working by candlelight on the stock exchange floor. But honestly, there are aspects of the modern City which hold some appeal and foremost among them is that old chestnut, "working from home" — which is always enclosed within those little epaulettes when written or within the mimed speech marks thing when spoken.

    • 17 Jun 2011
  • The Naked Broker: The desk habits of unsuccessful people

    We had important visitors in last week who apparently made some unflattering remarks about the state of the trading floor. Like most of those in the City, ours looks sleek and jazzy from a distance, but when you get up close and personal it’s filthy and unhygienic — a perfect metaphor for the industry.

    • 10 Jun 2011
  • The Naked Broker: Worth its weight

    Gold! You’re indestructible. Always believe in... and so on and so forth. But nothing divides opinion quite like the yellow metal.

    • 03 Jun 2011
  • The Naked Broker: Fools and their money

    I read out loud from the sheet in front of me and relayed to my HIGHLY-VALUED client that in recognition of his LONG-STANDING SUPPORT for Inn Securities we were giving him a VERY FAIR ALLOCATION of one thousand shares, representing 1% of his STATED DEMAND for the latest IPO.

    • 27 May 2011
  • The Naked Broker: Maid in America

    If I were to rank all the clichéd costumes that are traditionally associated with titillation and are sported by the fairer sex to act as a bugle call to the galloping male libido, I would place the typical French maid’s outfit last on that list. The standard issue short black pinafore with a white chest-patch, sensible shoes and trademark feather duster, has never jangled these hormones.

    • 20 May 2011
  • THE NAKED BROKER: Food, but no thoughts

    Inspired by last week’s restaurant review in this here parish, I thought I’d send in one of my own from the opposite end of the spectrum. I thought I’d reassess the Headset And Hangover with a pair of fresh, bloodshot eyes.

    • 13 May 2011
  • A bad week for the dollar

    No matter how ardently Ben Bernanke attests to the contrary, you know it’s a real sign of the times when the world’s most wanted terrorist is hunted down in his lair and found to have five hundred euros, not dollars, sewn into his shalwar kameez.

    • 06 May 2011
  • The Naked Broker: Brace for boredom

    Given her family’s links with the airline industry, I think it would be a nice touch at this week’s Royal Wedding if, when Kate Middleton walks down the aisle, her path could be lit by those little illuminated arrows set into the floor that flash the route to the emergency exit on airplanes.

    • 28 Apr 2011
  • The Naked Broker: Shallow grave

    Earth receive an honoured guest; Chloe the gerbil is laid to rest. At half-past five last Monday morning, this neo-classical sales-trader with no veterinary credentials declared the family pet dead by virtue of the fact she was as stiff as a board and not moving when summoned or even when poked.

    • 15 Apr 2011
  • The Naked Broker: Old-school

    She was upside down, sliding down the chrome pole with a salacious grin on her wide, Slavic face, her breasts defying gravity and brazenly displayed. And so, dear reader, I did what any red-blooded stockbroker who had been drinking steadily for half a dozen hours would do at 3am when confronted with such an image. I fell asleep.

    • 08 Apr 2011
  • The Naked Broker: Give us a lift

    It’s an uphill struggle. Literally. The elevators ground to a halt on Wednesday last week and have been idle ever since — unlike everyone who works in the building and has been traipsing up and down the thickly-carpeted stairs like army ants.

    • 01 Apr 2011
  • The Naked Broker: A man in chaos

    I intended to start this week’s column with the ancient Chinese proverb, "May you live in interesting times" — because we do. But researching its origins I discovered it’s not that ancient and it seems to have no equivalent in Mandarin. It’s just something people say in a Chinese accent because it sounds portentous.

    • 25 Mar 2011
  • The Naked Broker: I’m missing that splinter of ice in the heart

    I was interested on Tuesday to see the president of the Tokyo Stock Exchange appeal for investors to "respond in a calm and orderly manner" to the carnage caused by the earthquake-tsunami-nuclear combo and the disaster unfolding up at Fukushima. Selling the index down 15% in short order implied not everyone shares his phlegmatic approach.

    • 18 Mar 2011
  • The Naked Broker: Do you know who I am?

    When I came down to the hotel’s breakfast room, my friend/office colleague/fellow oenophile was already sitting at the table with the FT spread out across the table, his BlackBerry to the right side of his plate and his mobile phone clasped to his left ear.

    • 11 Mar 2011
  • The Naked Broker: Eat what you kill

    When I arrived at work this morning, colleagues were already discussing what they were going to have for lunch.

    • 04 Mar 2011
  • The Naked Broker: I’m not as stupid as I look

    The frizzy hair, the redundant umbrella, the golf buggy, the mumbled incoherencies… it could have been Michael Jackson and not Colonel Gaddafi declaiming defiance and decrying stray dogs on television the other night.

    • 25 Feb 2011
  • The Naked Broker: How am I? Awful, thanks

    It’s almost a shame that Mubarak finally stepped down, because for a couple of weeks it made the moving wallpaper of financial television worth watching.

    • 18 Feb 2011
  • The Naked Broker: You’re no fun anymore

    The desk junior was delighted. He’d been asked at the last minute to provide us with a rundown of trading activity in China and Hong Kong during the morning meeting. He’s an enthusiastic and annoying little twerp and he took this as a vote of confidence in his abilities.

    • 11 Feb 2011
  • The Naked Broker: Of Mainwaring and market share

    February has started slowly but I shouldn’t worry because January started slowly too. Actually, no, I should be worrying because January ended slowly and there was a lull in between.

    • 04 Feb 2011
  • The Naked Broker: Engage brain before opening mouth

    I don’t think The Naked Broker would have lasted five minutes on Sky Sports but then again neither would most of the City.

    • 28 Jan 2011
  • It’s time for remorse - footballers, tube drivers, plumbers step forward

    When Bob Diamond invited opprobrium by telling the Treasury Select Committee last week that the time for banker remorse was over, I found myself muttering inwardly, "Go on, Bob. Tell ‘em how it is" and making a mental note to buy him a drink if I ever meet him. Or perhaps allow him to buy me a drink because his balance sheet has to be cleaner than mine.

    • 21 Jan 2011
  • The Naked Broker: Sobriety will be the death of me

    I’ve been off the pop for the longest period in my adult life/since records began. The past week has elapsed without even a sip of fermented grape juice passing The Naked Broker’s lips.

    • 14 Jan 2011
  • 2011 - more cowpats to be polished

    So the sun finally set on 2010 and we bade it good riddance and welcomed 2011 with open arms. In my final column before the festive break I picked over the detritus of the last baleful year like an archaeologist tutting over the ruins of Pompeii.

    • 07 Jan 2011
  • The Naked Broker: A year in naked review

    I’ve started receiving those dreaded Christmas round-robins in the post from the smug and self-satisfied, detailing the busy and fulfilling things with which they have filled the year and which made them so smug and self-satisfied.

    • 17 Dec 2010
  • Ho, ho, ho — and all that rot

    April may be the cruellest month but December is the longest. Every year, I say to myself: "Naked Broker, this Christmas, pace yourself. You’re not getting any younger."

    • 10 Dec 2010
  • The Naked Broker: Under scrutiny from all sides

    Wikileaks? Something of a misnomer if you ask me (no one does, it’s just a figure of speech).

    • 03 Dec 2010
  • The Naked Broker: How to escape the carnival of schmaltz

    I was sitting there at my desk, minding my own business, very focused/staring into space with an expression of bovine vacancy on my face (delete where appropriate) when suddenly the shout went up, "Buy China plays".

    • 26 Nov 2010
  • 15 milliseconds of fame

    Was it naïve to expect the offers and endorsements to come flooding in after my debut in the media? Obviously it was but I didn’t think so at the time.

    • 19 Nov 2010
  • Hang on a minute — I can do that

    Widescreen, flat-panel televisions are omnipresent across City trading floors. The jabbering sets are turned on all day and constitute the greater part of the noise on some trading floors and the whole part of ours sometimes.

    • 12 Nov 2010
  • The Naked Broker: It’s all about timing

    I’ve never been known for my Stakhanovite work ethic and I get a nosebleed if I’m in the office a minute earlier or later than I need to be. On Monday though, I passed a most confusing hour in the office on my own until I realised that I’d adjusted every clock in the house except my bedside alarm which had promptly gone off an hour early.

    • 05 Nov 2010
  • Nomad of the bitter pastures

    I’d spent seven minutes and 58 seconds on the phone retrieving £2.30 from Transport for London after my Oyster card was charged twice for the same journey to work yesterday morning and my boss had been standing behind me for most of that time.

    • 29 Oct 2010
  • The Naked Broker: Here’s to bookish calm

    Outside it feels like the first week of winter but inside here (the neoclassical sales-trader motions with his fist which he first clenches, then uses to clubs his chest, twice, right above his frozen, blackened, envious heart) it’s always a wintry scene.

    • 22 Oct 2010
  • The Naked Broker: Digging yourself into a hole

    When ‘Los 33’ emerged from their subterranean retreat, wearing the Stevie Wonder shades and falling straight into the arms of their loved ones and the president of Chile, I wonder what was the first question on their lips. What were they most burningly curious about after being entombed beneath 700,000 tonnes of rock for two months?

    • 15 Oct 2010
  • The Naked Broker: Mea culpa, I’m an idiot

    Why do people say rogue trader when what they mean is rubbish trader? If you study Jerome Kerviel’s physiognomy you don’t see anything even vaguely rogueish. He’s as clean-cut as they come and evinces arrogance rather than craftiness.

    • 08 Oct 2010
  • The Naked Broker: Dignity in termination

    I send out plenty of broking spam and I receive my fair share in retaliation. Most of it is the standard fare everyone receives: excitations for penis enlargement, elaborate swindles from banks in Nigeria or Ireland, stuff about loans and lately, most annoyingly, a constant stream of invitations from some ambulance-chasing, litigation-loving, low-life US lawyer to attend things called "webinars".

    • 01 Oct 2010
  • The Naked Broker: Seeking salvation

    I was one of those angry secularists against whom the Pope railed last week for scoffing at the beatification of Cardinal Newman for a miracle he performed on a deacon’s bad back more than a century after his death.

    • 24 Sep 2010
  • The Naked Broker: Out with the boys, in with the men

    It’s not often that one of my ideas is accepted and assumes consensus status but at a brainstorming session on the desk this week that’s exactly what happened.

    • 17 Sep 2010
  • Naked Broker: Sales traders of the world unite!

    It’s too awful for words but you know me, I’ll try.

    • 10 Sep 2010
  • The Naked Broker: The body’s not for sale

    I did something I never thought I’d ever do this week; I managed to get rid of the last of my business cards.

    • 03 Sep 2010
  • The Naked Broker: Last of the summer whine

    Pity the few fund managers who hang around the City in August. Those who remain are besieged like the British garrison at Rorke’s Drift.

    • 20 Aug 2010
  • In Ben We Trust

    I feel deeply for the chairman of the Federal Reserve. He can’t please anyone and that expression which shifts slowly between hangdog and apologetic betrays an immense stoicism.

    • 13 Aug 2010
  • The Naked Broker: Slow, heavy and difficult to manoeuvre

    I always used to think there was no finer sight in finance than the overpaid stockbroker shooting off early on a Friday afternoon in his sports car to his bolthole in the Cotswolds.

    • 06 Aug 2010
  • The Naked Broker: Unusual certainty

    I’m not sure how long it took Ben Bernanke to conjure up a phrase as vacuous as "unusually uncertain" — it’s not as if he’s unaware of the forensic examination to which his every gnomic utterance is subjected — but he needn’t have bothered.

    • 23 Jul 2010
  • The Naked Broker: There’s no business... like no business

    No one said it would be easy but neither did anyone say it would be this effing difficult.

    • 16 Jul 2010
  • The Naked Broker: Steady as she goes

    We outsource compliance at Inn Securities which means that, for the most part we can gamble on the trading floor, flout regulatory practices and call other people rude names (which I think counts as market abuse) as long as every quarter we all troop into the boardroom for an hour and listen, riveted (sometimes literally) to the obligatory compliance lecture.

    • 09 Jul 2010
  • The Naked Broker: Death becomes me?

    April through June was my second poor quarter of the first half and it was only at 3.29pm Wednesday afternoon, one minute before the market close, that hope stopped twitching inside and finally died. With a sigh I stopped humming Hot Chocolate’s "I Believe In Miracles", given that three months of Sisyphean toil were consigned to the dustbin and the realisation sank in: another effing write-off.

    • 02 Jul 2010
  • The Naked Broker: George’s Marvellous Medicine

    Never mind the Fed and their interest rates, I’ve been exceptionally low for an extended period myself and I’m seeing fewer green shoots than the US economy, possibly because I’m not getting any stimulus packages.

    • 25 Jun 2010
  • The Naked Broker: View from the cheap seats

    Forget the political idealism and the Rainbow Nation and all that stuff, the nice thing about this World Cup is its timing. It was very considerate of Fifa to lay on not one but two matches which span near enough the entire afternoon.

    • 18 Jun 2010
  • The Naked Broker: Fever pitch as broker enters World Cup sweep

    Productivity, never the greatest at Inn Securities, is about to take a severe dip over the next month as the whole trading floor forgets about the sovereign debt crisis and concentrates its considerable resources on The Rainbow Nation’s World Cup.

    • 11 Jun 2010
  • The Naked Broker: Making the break

    The Naked Broker's colleagues this week once again find themselves totally outclassed in the dark arts of desk diary manoeuvres.

    • 04 Jun 2010
  • The Naked Broker: Here we go again

    There’s no mistaking it: things have taken a turn for the worse again, haven’t they? As soon as people start bringing in their own sandwiches to the office you can intuitively feel the next crisis mounting steadily.

    • 28 May 2010
  • The Naked Broker: Buffalo broker

    I just made the 5.58am train to Waterloo on Monday morning, jumping through the doors with my bike in my arms, seconds before the driver, who’d seen me running, could shut them. Flustered and breathless, I wedged my bike in between two seats and took the nearest spot available, sitting down among the fish-grey, serried ranks of the commuting undead. I readjusted my testicles for comfort and symmetry and settled back with my copy of EuroWeek.

    • 14 May 2010
  • The Naked Broker: Vote for me

    The Naked Broker likes to think of himself as a psephologist’s conundrum. I came into the City as a socialist firebrand back in 1989 and fully intended to extend the battlefront of my class war to the trading floors of the banking industry.

    • 07 May 2010
  • The Naked Broker: Opinion, mis-priced

    It was When in April the sweet showers fall/ That pierce March’s drought to root and all" that Chaucer began his pilgrimage to Canterbury.

    • 30 Apr 2010
  • The Naked Broker: It’s all about timing

    In this business timing is everything. And, I don’t just mean getting out of bed early enough to make the morning meeting on time. From the macro to the micro, every recommendation made, every prediction foretold and every bargain entered into can look inspired or calamitous within a matter of minutes.

    • 23 Apr 2010
  • The Naked Broker: The sales-trader manifesto

    It seems like the UK election will be fought over a single issue: banker bashing — and whichever party makes the most bloodcurdling threats about what punishments they will mete out to the Cityzens will likely win.

    • 16 Apr 2010
  • The Naked Broker: Bankers and brokers of the world unite

    Alarm rose within me like flood waters in the Bangladeshi Delta this morning when I read that "star" fund managers at Gartmore were suspended for "directing orders".

    • 01 Apr 2010
  • The Naked Broker: Bang go the big bucks

    I woke up on Thursday morning immensely relieved not to have been arrested for insider trading because that’s a crime of which I’m guilty. Yes, I once was privy to, and traded on, material informat ion that was not available in the public domain.

    • 26 Mar 2010
  • The Naked Broker: The way we wore

    A few days ago I arrived in the office wearing a suit and everyone immediately assumed I was interviewing for a job somewhere else.

    • 19 Mar 2010
  • The Naked Broker: New ways to score a home goal

    Table football at Inn Securities is the latest casualty of the new era of financial Puritanism. Since I arrived here, the clunking and rolling and gasping and panting which accompanied the intensely competitive sport have been a familiar sound in the office.

    • 12 Mar 2010
  • The Naked Broker: Thud and blunder

    It may be spring out there but it’s still midwinter in my heart. And on my desk. Despair piles up like snowdrifts all around. Another long, dark winter of discontent drags on for longer than one feels it ought to and the Naked Broker’s first principle, that a turd cannot be polished, holds true even if the offending object is frozen and it can be rolled in glitter.

    • 05 Mar 2010
  • The Naked Broker: Talking utter Botox

    The City — or what the Mayor of London refers to as his leper colony — continues to lurch from one crisis to another like a drunkard hitting furniture on his way to bed.

    • 26 Feb 2010
  • The Naked Broker: Novel flights of fancy for Paulson, Trichet while Ouzo crisis unfolds

    So Hank Paulson (estimated net worth some $700m) and Warren Buffett (billionaire some 40 times over) — just a couple of regular guys — are nattering casually. Just as you would do in front of 2,400 punters paying $75 a head in the Omaha chamber of commerce. And they’re plugging Paulson’s book, see, because with only $700m in the bank Paulson still needs to shift some copies of On The Brink.

    • 12 Feb 2010
  • The Naked Broker: Left down Greek Street

    I don’t know if Main Street caused the problems on Wall Street or vice versa but one thing’s for sure: over here in Euroland we’re up Shit Street as a consequence and we should not have taken that left down Greek Street on the way.

    • 05 Feb 2010
  • The Naked Broker: Birthday treat

    This Wednesday past occasioned the 66th anniversary of the lifting of the siege of Leningrad, the 254th anniversary of Mozart’s birth, the day that Thomas Crapper (who, according to Wikipedia didn’t invent the toilet, he just made it more popular, which surprised me because I would have thought that it was always relatively popular) kicked the bucket exactly 100 years ago and, more plainly, The Naked Broker’s birthday.

    • 29 Jan 2010
  • The Naked Broker: Class War

    Goldman Sachs just doesn’t employ people like the Naked Broker. And President Obama doesn’t bother to berate people like him either. But with class war looming between the prop desks and the politicos, perhaps they overlook him at their peril.

    • 22 Jan 2010
  • The Naked Broker: Suicide sales-trading

    To my colleagues here at Inn Securities and you out there on your yachts or your estates it may not look like I’m trying very hard.

    • 15 Jan 2010
  • The Naked Broker: Endurance in the bleak mid-winter

    The first day back at the coalface in January is difficult enough as it is but the Deep Freeze which began on Tuesday has demanded the endurance of Shackleton to struggle through the ice and snow to the office.

    • 08 Jan 2010
  • The Naked Broker: Yo ho ho and all that rot

    I’ve had a good year but this wasn’t it. I think I’ve said that before. I think I’ve said that every year for the past two decades in fact which begs the question: when was that good year? (Note to self: research that.)

    • 18 Dec 2009
  • The Naked Broker: O’ Alastair Darlin’, there ain’t no pleasin’ you

    It was Chas ‘n Dave, those "lovable cockneys" (ahem) who penned the following lyrics:

    • 11 Dec 2009
  • The Naked Broker: ‘Tis the season to (pretend to be) jolly

    It’s my first Christmas bash of the 2009 party season this evening and it is with heavy tread that I trudge there. Last year people partied like it was 1929 not 1999. There was a fin-de-siècle recklessness to the period as bankers caroused like the Russian aristocracy in the last few months before the Bolsheviks came and proved that between the revolution and the firing squad, there was indeed always time for a glass of champagne.

    • 04 Dec 2009
  • The Naked Broker: A turkey is not the only bird

    The cleaners at the last shop were hefty steatopygous in the extreme. I saw them every morning in various states of undress and physical duress, most often when after climbing the 40 floors or so of staircase to my desk I would strip off to the waist and lie down on the floor while attempting to get my breath back.

    • 27 Nov 2009
  • Get it while you can

    While I’m blowing bubbles, central banks the whole world over are creating them as they attempt to stave off the next globalfinancialcrisis. You’ll notice that I employed the definite article there — as opposed to the indefinite "another globalfinancialcrisis".

    • 20 Nov 2009
  • Look at that tortoise go

    I polished, for once, not a turd but my shoes before a Very Important Meeting yesterday afternoon because, of course, I wanted to make a good impression.

    • 13 Nov 2009
  • The Naked Broker: New talent

    There’s a fairly competitive table football league operating in the office at Inn Secs with most occupants of the trading floor participating to some extent — except me. Everyone else plays during idle moments, for respite in between periods of intense activity, frantically executing orders.

    • 06 Nov 2009
  • The Naked Broker: The City is a foreign country

    The discerning fund manager can tell what kind of broker they have by whether they were neglected this week or last. Like it or not, on this side of the fence, when your children take half term holidays defines you.

    • 30 Oct 2009
  • The Naked Broker: Indoor work, no heavy lifting

    So the pay cuts demanded from the seven firms who received taxpayer-funded bailouts should be the model for all, according to Kenneth Feinberg?

    • 23 Oct 2009
  • Liberty! Fraternity! Egality?

    I was on the receiving end not of a punch for once, but of some high-quality, unsolicited, discretionary, institutional business this morning and I’m still trying hard to quell the rising tide of excitement.

    • 16 Oct 2009
  • Biting into a bigger slice of a smaller pie

    This time last year I couldn’t remember things ever looking so bad but here I am this week and I can’t remember things ever looking so good. I’m speaking from a market perspective, naturally, because from a personal standpoint it’s very much like the weather forecast for Scotland: it looked bleak, the bleakness was fulfilled and there’s more bleakness forecast.

    • 09 Oct 2009
  • The Naked Broker: Comes, brokes, weeps

    The final question on University Challenge on Monday night was very easy: "Who is the chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, also known as the sage of Omaha?" A student knew the answer quick as a flash but pronounced Warren Buffett, "Boo-fay", as in "all-you-can-eat-buffet" as opposed to "Buff it" as in "See that turd: buff it".

    • 02 Oct 2009
  • The Naked Broker: No room for complacency

    There’s a lot of complacency knocking about at the moment. Watching the media "looking back" on the financial crisis "one year on", it’s clear that many observers already consider it to be a thing of the past rather than something that’s still very much with us.

    • 25 Sep 2009
  • The Clever Bloke's Mate

    I accompanied a strategist to a client meeting yesterday. He’s a clever bloke. He possesses a superior intellect, certainly superior to mine, and was able to extemporise fluently about markets for a solid hour without contradicting himself once or stuttering or filling up the time by saying erm. All observations fitted together into a coherent whole rather than shearing off into clouds of unknowing. He spoke undeviatingly, answered questions unerringly and the whole episode left me wondering just what exactly have I been doing with my last 20 years in the City to be so ignorant.

    • 18 Sep 2009
  • The Naked Broker: Squeaky bum time

    For once this pasty Northerner has returned from the Mediterranean modestly tanned and looking less like the consumptive Keats dying beside the Spanish Steps in Rome than he usually does.

    • 11 Sep 2009
  • The Naked Broker: Panic attack

    While disrobing a tad flamboyantly this morning, a flailing arm caught the red cord and I inadvertently set off the panic alarm in the disabled toilet. The bad news for anyone who is genuinely handicapped is that the promised "instant" response took some 15 minutes.

    • 21 Aug 2009
  • Irony in the soul

    I still don’t understand this media obsession with the bonus culture in the City. Rewards for failure? That would be nice. I’ve failed: where is my reward?

    • 14 Aug 2009
  • Mission statement madness

    Among the consolations of under-achievement is the sense that all unearned suffering is redemptive.

    • 07 Aug 2009
  • Keeping up appearances

    • 31 Jul 2009
  • How to have a dream start to a new job

    • 24 Jul 2009
  • The Naked Broker: St Tropez? Cornwall? More like Butlins at balmy Bognor

    The handicapped toilet here at my new employer Inn Securities is not as good as I thought it would be. At my old shop there was not just a handicapped toilet but also, in a recess, a very vigorous shower which possessed amazing restorative powers.

    • 17 Jul 2009
  • The Naked Broker: A new job, a clean slate but the same old broker

    Being out of the market these last few months, I’ve had the chance to sit back and contemplate life and revisit all the places where my career went wrong; it seems like that’s everywhere I’ve ever been.

    • 10 Jul 2009
  • The Naked Broker: The Naked Broker has lost his Blackberry

    I’m not sure if I should be apologising for last week’s airwave silence or you should be thanking me for it but I’m sorry nevertheless.

    • 03 Jul 2009
  • The Naked Broker: Love thy neighbour

    During the idle moments between 9am and say, 5pm in this early summer interim between jobs, I indulge in no small amount of speculation while not doing anything on the long list of constrictive things I could be doing.

    • 19 Jun 2009
  • The Naked Broker: Comings and goings but mostly goings

    The first rule of success is to follow a failure. And apparently the chap that replaced me sales-trading submerging equities has done exactly that and got off to a flying start.

    • 12 Jun 2009
  • The Naked Broker: Look back in anger

    Now that I have a job the last thing I want to do is start it.

    • 05 Jun 2009
  • Hired glass

    All this greenshootery talk has finally been justified; I have a job. Do not order more powerful spectacles, rub your eyes or promise to lay off the booze; you read correctly. The Naked Broker is back in business, back on the phone and back on expenses.

    • 29 May 2009
  • The Naked Broker: In the limelight (in my dreams)

    Even if this column wasn’t anonymous and the name of The Naked Broker was widely-known you wouldn’t see it bandied about in the "People and Markets" section of this magazine which details the comings and goings of the players, the hitters and the rainmakers.

    • 22 May 2009
  • The Naked Broker: Spend, spend, spend (somebody else’s money)

    It would be hypocritical of almost everyone in the City — and definitely me — to try to occupy the moral high ground after the scandal surrounding MPs’ expenses in the UK.

    • 15 May 2009
  • The Naked Broker: Freudian slip

    "I’m quite close to being able to tell you that I’m on the brink of being in a position where I may be able to tell you for whom I may be working if the contact ever comes back to me and I ever get to interview there."

    • 08 May 2009
  • The good life

    • 01 May 2009
  • Knowing me, knowing you

    • 24 Apr 2009
  • Tomb of the unknown broker

    • 17 Apr 2009
  • ‘Bugger!’ is not enough

    • 03 Apr 2009
  • The ebb and flow of human misery

    • 27 Mar 2009
  • Finding harmony in the supermarket checkout of life

    • 20 Mar 2009
  • The sap is rising but my career is sinking

    • 13 Mar 2009
  • The morning after the dinner before

    What is this obsession with security? I mislaid my ID card on the way into work this morning — or on the way home last night — and was repeatedly made to pay for the oversight throughout the day.

    • 06 Mar 2009
  • Anyone who had a heart

    • 27 Feb 2009
  • Unhappy Valentine

    • 20 Feb 2009
  • The Top Dog

    • 13 Feb 2009
  • There’s no business like snow business

    • 06 Feb 2009
  • Attention deficit

    • 30 Jan 2009
  • Not like on the telly

    • 23 Jan 2009
  • One for the road

    • 16 Jan 2009
  • Off piste

    • 09 Jan 2009
  • Demotivational speaking for profit

    • 19 Dec 2008
  • To your very good health

    • 12 Dec 2008
  • Ho Ho Ho and all that rot

    • 05 Dec 2008
  • Forgiving is for quitters

    • 28 Nov 2008
  • Down the pan

    • 21 Nov 2008
  • Samizdat

    • 14 Nov 2008
  • ‘Do they know it’s bonus time'

    • 07 Nov 2008
  • The Naked Broker: Brave New World

    • 31 Oct 2008
  • The Naked Broker: Party like it’s 1929

    Oranges are not the only fruit and oblivion is not the only refuge: there’s always the handicapped toilet. I spent long periods in there this morning, wrestling with a dogged hangover, enjoying the warmth and comfort, the impossibility of being fired (in there at least; out here, it’s odds-on), the infinite possibility for sexual reverie and self-interference, the antiseptic calm.

    • 24 Oct 2008
  • The Naked Broker: Waiting for Godot

    In a career constructed almost exclusively from low points, this past week must have marked the nadir of mine and hopefully that of every other emerging marketeer.

    • 17 Oct 2008
  • The Naked Broker: “What did you do in the crash daddy?"

    What’s been happening around the world makes it look as if president Mugabe hasn’t done such a bad job with the Zimbabwean economy after all.

    • 10 Oct 2008
  • The Naked Broker: Toast

    In these straitened circumstances the first question on everyone’s lips most mornings is, "What’s in your sandwiches today?" Answers vary from banana to spam and other recessionary fillings but there’s rarely anything exotic in between the sheets — I mean the slices — at present.

    • 03 Oct 2008
  • Postlapsarian sales-trading

    • 26 Sep 2008
  • The Naked Broker: On the box

    • 19 Sep 2008
  • The Naked Broker: They think it’s all over

    Excitement in the office! Talk on the floor is of a capital injection to, umm, bale out the most infamous purveyor of buckets in the City. No one here really gives a damn about the long-term survival of Buckets-R-Us or shareholder value but everyone is most keen that a foreigner with wonga should arrive to shore up the bonus pool.

    • 12 Sep 2008
  • Bottoms up!

    The only things worse than the weather are my interim bonus and the markets. The old adage, "Sell in May and go away; don’t come back ‘till St Leger Day" has evolved into, "Sell in May and go away; don’t come back ‘till New Year’s Day".

    • 05 Sep 2008
  • Falling through the cracks

    • 29 Aug 2008
  • Unhappy holidays

    • 22 Aug 2008
  • The Naked Broker

    The Naked Broker is taking an ill-earned holiday while the Buckets-R-Us compliance unit reconciles his expenses claims.

    • 15 Aug 2008
  • The Naked Broker

    The Naked Broker is taking an ill-earned holiday while the Buckets-R-Us compliance unit reconciles his expenses claims.

    • 08 Aug 2008
  • The Naked Broker

    The Naked Broker is away

    • 01 Aug 2008
  • Whiling away the undertime

    Now that the dog days of summer are upon us, everyone needs to develop their own way of negotiating the interminable afternoons when the only noise that can be detected above the hum of the air-conditioning is Dolores filing her nails and the occasional fly bumping up against the window.

    • 25 Jul 2008
  • The Naked Broker: Pride comes before a ballsed-up interview

    Last week, dear reader, you left me nobly drawing myself up to my full height in the basement of Renta Coffee, Bishopsgate, as I summoned all the disdain I could muster to spurn the sneaky recruitment approach from Desperate Dan the headhunter.

    • 18 Jul 2008
  • The Naked Broker: The headhunter always rings twice

    At my shop, when there’s an incoming call from a headhunter few of us feel the urge to whisper. No matter if it’s the same no-hoper again from the Wishful Thinking Recruitment Consultancy, who operates from a telephone booth in Liverpool Street station.

    • 11 Jul 2008
  • The Naked Broker: Camera-shy on the trading floor

    Thursday evenings are dedicated to client entertainment. Promoting bonhomie that will eventually yield commission is the stated aim, but when the Naked Broker goes out he has three things on his mind: drinkin’, fightin’ and philanderin’.

    • 04 Jul 2008
  • The Naked Broker: There’s no such thing as a useful free lunch

    The corporate hospitality season is in full swing and even though the Naked Broker approaches most aspects of this industry with a healthy mixture of cynicism and apathy, this is one element of the business in which he participates with determined gusto.

    • 27 Jun 2008
  • The Naked Broker-Make my own luck? You’ll be asking for ambition next

    Bad news is coming in like frontal systems, buffeting me on all sides. The phone brings more grief than joy and every time something goes ping in my inbox it’s like a huge boxing glove emerging from the screen to thump me.

    • 20 Jun 2008
  • Assume the position — we’ve come to search your cell

    There’s a precipice before me and wolves behind. The FSA are in tomorrow and it’s fair to say I’m bricking it.

    • 13 Jun 2008
  • The Naked Broker: Whose name is on the bullet?

    I exited the handicapped toilets on Tuesday morning after what I confess was a longer than usual sojourn and adjusted my testicles for both comfort and symmetry.

    • 06 Jun 2008
  • The Naked Broker - What’s wrong with post-modern irony?

    My first outgoing call on Monday morning (I say my first but actually the experience was so dispiriting it also became my last) was a sure thing.

    • 30 May 2008
  • THE NAKED BROKER - Playing away from home

    Arriving back from the Champions League final this morning, I witnessed some uncomfortable scenes going through customs at Heathrow.

    • 22 May 2008
  • The Naked Broker: There’s no business like no business

    Summertime and the broking ain’t easy. My stocks aren’t jumping, only expenses are high. The trading floor here at Buckets-R-Us, purveyors of securities to the hoi polloi, is starting to resemble the Raft of the Medusa as the Naked Broker and colleagues float off into oblivion, wilting and perishing in The Great Heat.

    • 16 May 2008
  • The Naked Broker: Tantric broking

    It’s been another week of Tantric broking — plenty of exquisite build-up but no relief. I just have to face up to the fact that the world isn’t ready for Post-Modern sales-trading. Hard-assed American hedge fund managers are most certainly not ready for it.

    • 09 May 2008
  • The Naked Broker: Successful salesman! How do I hate thee? Let me count the ways

    You arrive at work on time. You swing by the office, clutching your skinny latte and the FT, which you have dutifully read cover-to-cover on the train, despite it being the most arid publication in history.

    • 01 May 2008
  • The Naked Broker: The plankton of the financial world

    EuroWeek introduces its new columnist. A mystery insider at a leading City firm (at least in its own opinion), he will be reporting weekly on the grimy underbelly of the capital markets.

    • 25 Apr 2008

All International Bonds

Rank Lead Manager Amount $m No of issues Share %
  • Last updated
  • Today
1 Citi 29,333.03 101 7.94%
2 JPMorgan 27,208.83 91 7.37%
3 Barclays 23,714.00 55 6.42%
4 Bank of America Merrill Lynch 20,332.10 65 5.50%
5 Goldman Sachs 20,005.21 49 5.42%

Bookrunners of All Syndicated Loans EMEA

Rank Lead Manager Amount $m No of issues Share %
  • Last updated
  • Today
1 Mizuho 299.85 1 21.73%
1 ING 299.85 1 21.73%
1 Commerzbank Group 299.85 1 21.73%
1 BNP Paribas 299.85 1 21.73%
5 UBS 60.22 1 4.36%

Bookrunners of all EMEA ECM Issuance

Rank Lead Manager Amount $m No of issues Share %
  • Last updated
  • Today
1 Goldman Sachs 1,607.28 5 23.03%
2 Credit Suisse 1,301.65 4 18.65%
3 UBS 970.80 3 13.91%
4 BNP Paribas 522.35 4 7.49%
5 SG Corporate & Investment Banking 444.17 3 6.37%