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Memoirs of a Minyan: Trading Places


The purpose of the journey is the journey itself.

I wasn't a partner, however, a fact I was reminded of often. In one of our morning meetings, I noted that Russia imploded and offered that it could pollute the U.S., a thought dismissed by the partners.

A few days later, global markets were infected and stocks began to cascade lower. It was an expensive lesson as unforeseen systemic forces overwhelmed my stylistic approach to risk management.

After the downdraft, the market rallied in response to the coordinated agenda by central banks around the world. That won the battle for Alan Greenspan and he was lauded as the best Federal Reserve Chairman of all-time.

History would teach us that his policies forever changed the DNA of the marketplace and laid the seeds of sorrow that eventually collapsed the system.

Nobody cared at the time-investors around the world were too busy enjoying the feast before the famine.

Back to Life, Back in Reality

The intelligence and information in that small room on East 57th Street was matched only by the size of the egos. They profited in good times and bad as I crafted derivative strategies that maximized gains and stemmed losses..

I focused more and more of my attention on the big fund, certain that it was my meal ticket to bigger and better things. As 1998 drew to a close, I was finally going to cash in.

If you told me while I was growing up that I would make six-figures in my twenties, I would have been thrilled but my sights were set on a new benchmark. I wanted to be a millionaire by the time I was thirty.

There were six partners at Galleon and more than enough profits to go around. I couldn't help do the math in my head.

I could smell it-extreme affluence was right around the corner. I sat down with Gary, exchanged pleasantries and awaited communication of my reward.

The terms of my employment were very clear, he explained. While they appreciated the work I did managing the overall derivative risk for the flagship fund, my compensation was based on my smaller trading account. That was my deal, take it or leave it.

My bonus was a big, fat zero.

Green With Envy

I'm not proud to admit this but I began to covet while at Galleon.

The partners made insane money, the type of money that superstar athletes and famous actors won't see in a lifetime. They were taking it home each year, facilitating lavish lifestyles, enormous homes, private jets and a garage full of expensive cars.
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