From the Trader’s Desk: Winning Ugly Billions S3 Ep4

Happy Earnings Season from the Trader’s Desk!

This week’s episode of Billions was aptly named “Hell of a Ride”, and it certainly was one (maybe not so much for Craig Heidecker!!). We’ll also see how a win’s a win, even if it’s ugly.

Before I get into the meat of my recap (Axe and Taylor) some observations: Wendy’s look at the Yale reunion was amazing! I have never thought this about her before, and I guess it’s why it stood out for me. Her hair and make-up was great. She should keep that look – get that hair outta your face girl! Continue reading “From the Trader’s Desk: Winning Ugly Billions S3 Ep4”

From the Trader’s Desk: Attack of the Quants!! Billions Recap, S3 Ep3

Greeting’s from the Trading Desk! This week’s recap will be broken down into three parts: the first part will be a bit of a rant before the actual recap, the second, on Axe Capital and the attack of the “Quants”, and last, but not least on the dealings of Axe and in keeping with his God Complex, how he gave two people their “lives” back.

Rant: I need to address Ira and his girlfriend. I usually don’t veer off into the non-financial aspect of Billions, but it was the opening scene, and it pissed me off and had me yelling at my screen.

Ira, if that chick doesn’t want to marry you when you’re broke, why the hell would you want to marry her when you’re loaded? She basically told you she was a gold digger! And, she knows you are in financial trouble, but still orders those damn truffles? GTFO with her. Maybe your revenge was giving her that fugly ring? Ira, go out and get yourself a real woman, not a money grubbing Barbie. It’s women like that who give us GOOD women a bad name.  OK, end of  first rant. (If anyone who knows me and just read that in my 100% Brooklyn accent, thank you!!) Continue reading “From the Trader’s Desk: Attack of the Quants!! Billions Recap, S3 Ep3”

Billions on Showtime, Season 3 Episode 3: A Generation Too Late

Talk about twists and turns — Billions is on fire!

As Ira and his girlfriend are having dinner at Craft, the new Halls are sitting at the next table recording their conversation. We do not know if it is her ordering $14 a gram white truffles, 20 grams of them, on her Tagliatelle with Guffanti Butter from Emilia Romagna (the region of Italy which I believe has made the most sacred contributions to human kind: prosciutto, parmigiano-reggiano, and balsamic vinegar)  but Ira hesitates to propose.  Since he has lost all his savings in Ice Juice, they cannot have the wedding she deserves, cannot go to the honeymoon they discussed and cannot even afford the engagement ring he has picked for her. He can barely give her truffles! Ira is in love and probably expecting his girlfriend to say she would marry him no matter what, but guess what, she wants to wait! Is anyone marrying for love anymore?  Continue reading “Billions on Showtime, Season 3 Episode 3: A Generation Too Late”

From the Trader’s Desk: Billions S3 Ep2: Young Grasshopper vs Master Po

Happy Friday from the Trader’s Desk.

The title of my post comes from the TV series “Kung Fu” which features a student (Grasshopper) and a teacher (Master Po). I couldn’t help but think back to this reference throughout, and especially at the conclusion of this episode. Has the Student become the Master?

Axe behaves like a full blown addict in this episode. Some people are hooked on drugs or booze. Some on food or shopping; Axe is addicted to the thrill and control that trading, and making  big moves brings to him. It’s late at night, and he can’t sleep. It’s his first night of withdrawal, and he’s aching. You can see it on his face “what did I just do?” He needs to talk to the only person who can get him through this, and that is Wendy. Wendy is his sponsor in the AA of trading. Continue reading “From the Trader’s Desk: Billions S3 Ep2: Young Grasshopper vs Master Po”

Billions on Showtime, Season 3 Episode 2: The Wrong Maria Gonzalez

Axe needs to stay away from trading. He does not. Chuck needs to stay away from the Axelrod case. He does not. As both suffer from insomnia and operate behind the scenes to remove any uncertainty in their way, I cannot help think they have so much in common that they could have been BFFs in another life.

We find Axe where we left him at the end of the season premiere: His terrace. No wonder he said he might as well give up his license to breathe when advised the only way to make Axe Capital liquid immediately was for him to give up his license to trade. Axe feels suffocated and his phone call to Wendy in the middle of the night brings nothing but an idea that this is an opportunity for him to realign who he is.  Continue reading “Billions on Showtime, Season 3 Episode 2: The Wrong Maria Gonzalez”

From the Trader’s Desk: Billions S3 Ep1: “Tie Goes To the Runner” – The King without a Crown?

“Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown…”

Greetings from the Trader’s Desk!

Before I dive into the episode, I would like to thank the writers of this episode, Brian Koppelman and David Levien. As a New Yorker, kid of the 80’s and a trader, I can tell you they bring the realness of all three of those things of which I am and hold dear. From the mid-town Manhattan office of Axe Capital, to the setting of my favorite place for pierogies, (Veselka) to having real hedge fund managers (Marc Lasry of Avenue Capital and Michael Platt of BlueCrest Capital Management) at the idea dinner, a line from the movie that changed my life (“Wall Street”), to a beautiful view of the Freedom Tower, they continue to not just make this one of my favorite shows, but bring it home so authentically. By Season 3 some writers would be phoning it in, but they certainly don’t. Continue reading “From the Trader’s Desk: Billions S3 Ep1: “Tie Goes To the Runner” – The King without a Crown?”