Few excerpts of my meeting with my investment banker friend last week –
Me: Dude!!! How you have been?
Him: I am fine. You say? Being long time, isn't it?
Me: Yeah, just been a little too busy off late.
Him: Yeah, the baby must be keeping you busy at home. But you can always meet me during the office hours. You are never busy at work.
Me: No Dude, its work.
Him: Hehe. You work for a rating agency. I know how much work you do. Give your client some alphabets, claim that he needs to keep them for a long term and ask him to come back next year.
Me: Seriously. This slowdown is killing the happiness of my life. The way everyone is declaring losses, our annual exercise has become quarterly.
Him: But ratings are supposed to be a long term view, isn’t it?
Me: But we have to monitor them more frequently now.
Him: Oh, so you give a long term rating with a three month horizon now.
Him: Still better and easier. In capital market, our view changes thrice everyday. One - when I get up and see how Dow Jones closed, two - when SENSEX opens and three - when UK opens. Life is tough for me. Than there are Japans and Australia of the world.
Me: You are an investment banker. You are supposed to be busy.
Him: No longer, I am into private equity now.
Me: Oh, and what does a private equity guy do?
Him: Tell me if you know someone who needs money.
Me: You can always count on me.
Him: I am not a bloody moneylender in your hometown who lends chawanni athannai to a bank clerk. I am into private equity.
Me: Ok. Who do you lend than?
Him: Tell me if any of your clients need money.
Me: Well, no one I know of such kind in particular. But almost everyone is making losses and is tight in terms of liquidity. You can approach anyone.
Him: Come on, we need some who can get us return also.
Me: Oh, that is harder than finding a window seat in 6:46 Virar Local. BTW, what do you say? When will the situation improve?
Him: You tell me. Let me see if you have learnt anything other than data entry in excel.
Me: Well, I think where would be a world war. WW – III.
Him: Breaks into laughter. And why so if I may ask Mr. Nostradamus?
Me: See, there has been too much consumption and greed for it. Where as the resources, I mean natural resources are always on decline. This creates a mismatch and the huge gap is being exposed by this slowdown.
Him: So? Countries will attack each other to kill consumers. Obviously, since those who die will not be able to leave their greed here, the greed will also go with them.
Me: Yes, balance is the rule of nature. Right now what is required is a balance. It either has to come through nature or us. This will certainly come through us before nature brings it to us.
Him: So there will be a world war. Again breaks into laughter.
Him: As you would agree, the biggest requirement for any war is at least 2 parties willing to fight. Who will they be?
Me: Could be any one? I heard that China and Russia are challenging supremacy of USD in DAVOS. They would be the two poles – communists versus capitalists. Religions could be a decisive factor for creating poles. It could be anything. But war is certain.
Him: You and your conspiracy theories. That is why I doubt if you have any work in office. Only an empty mind can think of such stupid things. You must change you job which expects you to be conservative. But conservative is turning into pessimism.
Me: Ok, what is your view?
Him: See, Obama has started his reign. He has come up with a USD819 billion bailout package. He will soon bail out everything. He is a symbol of hope. In fact, he is hope.
Me: What is so special about him that everyone is thinking as if a messiah has come to save the world? I do not understand.
Him: How can you, he is a symbol of hope whereas you are a pessimist. See, one more bailout and we will be back on track. Recovery can be expected in second half of 2009 and 2010 will be the year of new highs. We need to create demand which will be created. Once again world’s biggest consumer will drive the world to safety and prosperity.
Me: Huh!!! BTW, are these bailouts not like giving more loans for the loans which have already gone bad?
Him: You should know this better. You are on the credit side.
Me: But you are supporting this concept.
Him: I am not supporting anyone. I am looking for people who need support.
Me: Well, I do not know anyone apart from me who needs support.
Him: Useless you are. Ok, give me 15k I heard you got your bonus.
Me: Dude, I thought you were looking for people to take loan. And, my bonus is yet to arrive. And it is almost same as what you are asking.
Him: Yeah, Yeah. Don’t change the topic. Give me 15k, I will return in a week. Take it from someone and give it to me.
Me: Hey, but it’s you who is supposed to get fat bonus. The investment banker...err... Private Equity guy. You loan me some money.
Him: Why do you need it?
Me: I bought some stocks of KLPD Ltd. as you suggested. It kept going down and in order to reduce my average cost, I kept buying. Now my average cost is twice of the market price and my money is stuck. I need some money till the time its price spurts and I can get rid of my liquidity crunch. Why do you need money?
Him: Huh!!! I have got a reliable tip. KLPD is going to crash next week and I want to go sort on it.
Hangs up the phone abruptly keeps me wondering if I should sell KLPD at a loss and go sort on it. May be I can recover something there. Well, may be.
Disclaimer: Above is a work of pure fiction and any resemblance to any person/stock/job profile/ company is purely coincidental.