“From the Trader’s Desk”:
Bobby Axelrod – a Man and his Music

There are many things that Bobby Axelrod and I have in common: New York born and bred; working class backgrounds; very non-traditional road to Wall Street; our love of gambling lead us to our career paths. However, the one thing that has always been my favorite commonality is our love for heavy metal bands and their music. Heavy Metal is not the most well known genre of music, so let’s explore Bobby Axelrod and his music, and what it says about him.

In each season of Billions, at least one episode has featured a song and a t-shirt of a metal band that must be Axe’s favorites. The writers of Billions don’t do anything just to do it, so we know that these choices are there to tell a story, shine light on who the character is, and to set a tone.

Metal is very misunderstood: devil worship, drugs, biting the heads of bats, or just screeching guitars may come to mind if you say the words “heavy metal”. But, it is so much more than that! Last season, I used Black Sabbath lyrics to open (and in some cases close) my “From the Trader’s Desk” recaps. In most cases, if I hadn’t referenced it to Sabbath, you’d have wondered what philosopher or poet I was quoting. Metal lyrics are some of the best I have ever heard; they tell stories of pain, loss, confusion, success, etc. – lyrics that would certainly resonate with a young man from Yonkers who’s Dad has up and left, and whose home life is full of conflict. Continue reading ““From the Trader’s Desk”: Bobby Axelrod – a Man and his Music”

Luxury Bunkers, Cryo Chambers, Eating Ortolan: Things I Never Knew Existed Before Billions *UPDATED*

Damian Lewis talks about the current perception of billionaires and their wealth in an interview with Prestige Online:

“I think there’s a greater suspicion about billionaires and about wealth and accumulation of wealth. People are asking for the first time, “Excuse me, how did you become a billionaire exactly, because I just lost my house?” So I think it’s an interesting transitional point.

Having said that, I think there will always remain a certain rock ’n’ roll element to the guy with the money and the fast car.”

Continue reading “Luxury Bunkers, Cryo Chambers, Eating Ortolan: Things I Never Knew Existed Before Billions *UPDATED*”

Here Comes The Cheapest Man in America: “Dollar” Bill Stearn in Billions

We first meet “Dollar” Bill Stearn  in Billions Pilot where he tells Bobby Axelrod he is not uncertain that Axe Capital has to short Superior Auto. His boss agrees with his assessment while he calls him the cheapest man in America! And as we find out over time that Bill is a very colorful character from his two families to his love/hate relationship with Spyros, as well as a very loyal Axe Capital employee from his fake fight with Axe to him dropping his pants in front of Axe to prove his loyalty – Bill’s signature personality trait stands out as, well, cheapness! And the thing is the man has no problem with that. On the contrary, from his lucky dollar bill that he won in a poker game from Carl Icahn to the giant dollar sign in his garage, Dollar Bill OWNS his cheapness! Continue reading “Here Comes The Cheapest Man in America: “Dollar” Bill Stearn in Billions”

Wags by the Dozen, Part II

Guess what time it is? It’s time for Wags Words of Wisdom, season three. Did you miss our first dozen that covered seasons one and two? Catch up by reading that here.

As I pointed out last time, Mike “Wags” Wagner, played by David Costabile, is my second favorite character on the Showtime hit series Billions-Axe being the first of course. Sure, he’s an acquired taste for some but we gladly claim Wags as our rapacious scumbag. He’s still that pinky ring-wearing, Michter’s whiskey drinking, vintage Mercedes driving, petite handlebar mustache sporting, sharp-dressed man with a childhood affinity for Yosemite Sam, as proven by his ass tattoo of said gun-slinging cartoon outlaw.

Continue reading “Wags by the Dozen, Part II”

From The Trader’s Desk: Where Does Your Loyalty Lie? Recapping S3 Ep12 “Elmsley Count”

Is this it? Can this really be the last “From the Trader’s Desk” for this season? Sadly, the answer is yes. I have enjoyed writing about Billions from the “Wall Street” side of things, and hope you’ve enjoyed my posts as well. I also hope I helped with the “fin-speak” and in understanding the world of finance. On a personal note: I didn’t know if I would be able to contribute to FanFun when Billions started in March, after being diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma last summer. But, not only did I contribute almost every week, I feel I have done some of my best writing. Thank you Damianista, and everyone who reads our blog for helping me get back to normal!

Instead of a basic recap, I’ll look at the two relationships that were the backbone (from the financial side anyway) of this episode: Axe-Taylor and Taylor-Wendy. I know there was a flurry of “fin-speak” at the Spartan-Ives Capital Introduction Event at CitiField (my second home on many Saturdays!), but I won’t go into details about it. I don’t think they were relevant to the overall episode (as opposed to other times when it was the meat of the story). I have updated the Billions:Glossary with all the definitions, and as always, if there is something you’d like me to explain or give examples of, please let me know. Continue reading “From The Trader’s Desk: Where Does Your Loyalty Lie? Recapping S3 Ep12 “Elmsley Count””

Billions on Showtime 3.12: Elmsley Count

It’s cap raise time for Axe Cap and everyone gets more than they bargained for in Billions Season 3, Episode 12, “Elmsley Count”. The season finale promises to be a doozy with so many threads to tie up.

Continue reading “Billions on Showtime 3.12: Elmsley Count”