I am sure that, by now, you have got to know me quite well. Yes, I’m a little bit (ok, ok more than a little bit) obsessed with Brody… All roads do not lead to Rome, they all lead to… yes, Bravo, to Brody!
Now, I love William Keane, too. I LOVE him.
Did you know that if there had been no William Keane, there would have been no Nicholas Brody? I mean there would have been some Brody in Homeland, but not our Brody! Can you imagine? Continue reading “How Keane gave us Brody and How Brody gave us Axe *UPDATED*”
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”
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””
Rivals all across the land
He kills them with his knife in hand
He’s the meanest guy around his town
One look and he will cut you down
Johnny Blade – Black Sabbath
Hello and welcome to the second to last week of Billions from the Trader’s Desk. This week I’ll be breaking down “Kompenso” in 3 Acts: Comp Day, The God of War, and Revenge of the Quants.
Before I get into my analysis, I’d just like to say that I love the casting of Patti D’Arbanville as Momma Axelrod. She’s a born and bred NYC girl, and that comes across in her accent and mannerisms playing Axe’s mom. Perfect casting Mr. Koppleman and Mr. Levien! Continue reading “From the Trader’s Desk: Is Axe Ares the God of War? Recapping S3 Ep11 “Kompenso””
You’re searching for your mind don’t know where to start
Can’t find the key to fit the lock on your heart
You think you know but you are never quite sure
Your soul is ill but you will not find a cure yeah
Your world was made for you by someone above
But you chose evil ways instead of love
You made me master of the world where you exist
The soul I took from you was not even missed yeah
Lord of this World – Black Sabbath
It seems this episode has a lot of lost souls – will they be missed? Characters we thought we knew dive even further into the abyss. For some, its par for the course; for others (at least in my opinion) it’s a bit of a shock. In the world of “Billions” if you’re not part of the Triumvirate, you are not seen as anything but usable. Even though our trio weasels their way out of their mess, it seems like a Pyrrhic Victory.
Nobody knows what they are capable of doing in a stressful situation. We all say we won’t cross an imaginary “line”, but when faced with jail, the loss of your freedom, and the pain that would inflict on your family, your “line” can and will move. Continue reading “From the Trader’s Desk: We Sold Our Souls, Recapping Billions S3 E7 “Not You, Mr. Dake””
“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?”