Monday 27 April 2015

Who would I like to be?

I am 30 years old and I was employed as a trader 4 years ago in the repo hair cut investment business by a large bank. We had learnt about the crisis from 2008 up to 2016. No big deal. We had different products and better systems now and we have caught up with ourselves. We look for cheap stocks. We were good at what we did. I could talk the talk and had a certain feel for numbers. My goodness we made money. Life was great. Fast cars, the night life, alcohol and birds. Fantastic. I had a great apartment on an avenue overlooking the Hudson River. My bank offered me a cheap mortgage. I had all the latest designs and best cut suits. I could not wait for my next bonus to get that Porsche. God I was good even a column was written about me in Traders magazine. It was great marketing and a perfect platform that once I had made enough money I was out of here.
My bosses told us we were great and making a great contribution to our firm. You see we had little respect for neither politics nor the regulator as they had little understanding in what we did. In any case I always found a way around them. They were in their own cloud cuckoo land as far as we were concerned.  We were the ones who knew how it worked and we monopolised the market. You see my work was looking for cheap small companies on the internet. I was not sure entirely what they did but I just relied on my intuition. When it felt good we took them over with a small cash injection with the liquidity we had and with strings attached. We set up our own products and securitised them and sold them on to other FI’s and our perspective clients.

Somehow we controlled the markets. It was a great business, although often stressful as our incentives were linked to this.  The playing hard was my release mechanism. You see one of my great inspirations was from that film in the 80s. Wall Street and that Gordon Gekko character and I also lived off this Anglo Saxon motto ‘work hard and play hard.’ I also had this Ford Mustang from 67. It made a hell of a noise and that way I could make a hell of an impression. I had everything I could wish for. Awesome!

It was one Tuesday morning back in 2016, we had a problem. Alarm bells! It was something to do with a computer glitch in our systems. Things were not right. We had a call from the Feds. We were not sure what that meant. Did we do something? It was not my fault. It was my bosses, they took me on. …Writs from clients….My goodness, what on earth is happening in my life?.... My parents had abandoned me long ago and gone their separate ways. I’m so scared.  I don’t want to get fired. It was not my fault. My life is falling apart. I had no one. No one loves me. I should have listened to my conscience. I can’t take it anymore…..

Lack of love, lack of duty and lack of meaning

I am 30 years old. I was employed by Bank 4 years ago. A great place to work with awesome colleagues.  I was known as a scouter. I did not like the word as it sounded like the football world. You see, I had to search for small ideas that were innovative. These were ideas that were in line with our leadership thinking in line with the EU commitment for 2020, in reducing carbon emissions. I loved this idea of thinking. It gave us meaning. It meant that we could live in a more sustainable world that respected our environment and nature. We were all in it for the long haul. I had to scout for new ideas. I found many people on online social media. You see our bank was committed, it had the liquidity and it had the political backing and in turn I respected my leaders for this. I found so many new ideas that I could propose to my bosses for investment opportunities and our 2020 fund. It was very cool. I found people in garages, their back gardens or at colleges working on environmental ways in reducing plastic packaging, improving food standards, improving emissions in transportation, agri business, biotech, improving clean water and renewable energy. One guy had developed a way to transform household waste into some biomethan which could supply his house with his own energy needs. Some of these people were geniuses.  With my passion I was able to ask some very good questions in their interest. This gave me understanding in so as I could connect the dots with the eyes.

I felt I had a duty to be committed. It just made sense. You see I was taught at school how the financial crisis and the great recession had come about from short sightedness and greed and how so many people were driven by money and how unhappy their lives became. We were also taught that big margins from many big companies, therefore big marketing budgets made no sense due to the social, health and environmental hazard caused what with the lack of quality in products and the harm it had done to the empty fabric of a debt driven consumer fuelled society.
A book that really had inspired me was ‘One day in the life of Ivan Denisovich.’ A Russian writer called Solzenitzen who was imprisoned in the Siberian prison camps under Stalin. It was a story of humility, survival and how small things mattered in life which kept him going. This for me was my starting point. I was looking for small things small ideas, the simplicity of life how we could help develop and give a helping hand that was totally in line with the vision of our firm. I tried to lead a simple life and one of my few pleasures, I inherited a Ford Mustang from my father from 1967 and through my scouting knowledge I found a genius that converted the engine and now it is solar powered. It made that small quiet purring noise. Wow!

I had suffered from the divorce, the mistakes and selfishness of my parents and yet I had learnt to accept them and found my own peace. I am now happily married with a small growing family. Yesterday I had a call about my next promotion. I could not be happier.

Love, duty and meaning…?

Hmm……one can only wonder....

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