Billions on Showtime, Season 2, Episode 5: Currency

source: Showtime

How to save a quarter? How to bag a wolf? We learn from the very best in this week’s Billions episode 😀

Wags arrives at Axe Capital in his vintage Mercedes in the opening scene of Currency. He looks GOOD for a change. And he has something important to tell Axe but the other does not let him speak because it is not his turn to speak. While Wags was MIA for the last couple of days “learning the Yaqui way, or how to run like the Tarahumara” Axe has been fighting the “Battle of Thermopylae” frequently cited as an example of a patriotic defense where the small Greek army was able to defend its land against the huge Persian army in a three-day battle.  Continue reading “Billions on Showtime, Season 2, Episode 5: Currency”

Billions on Showtime, Season 2, Episode 3: Optimal Play

source: Showtime

I could not be happier that a game theory term makes it to the title of this week’s episode: Optimal Play. Optimal Play, also known as Best Response, is the strategy that produces the most favorable outcome for a player, taking the strategies of other players in the game as given.

Given that the entire hedge-fund industry is under siege and that he needs to adapt, Axe’s optimal play is to venture out of the city walls and straight into the NFL. We learn from his chat with NY Giants chairman Steve Tisch that Axe grew up with football on a “24-inch Trinitron knock-off” and his first ever football game in a stadium was in Tisch’s box. As Tisch shares with him that he needs to jump through quite a few hoops to impress the NFL, Axe is pretty confident about his bid and already trying to figure out where his seat will be at the stadium. Not here at MetLife Stadium, of course. NY Giants is not for sale 😀 Continue reading “Billions on Showtime, Season 2, Episode 3: Optimal Play”

“From the Trader’s Desk” Ep. 2: Dead Cat Bounce

Welcome to “From the Trader’s Desk” and my recap of “Dead Cat Bounce”. (I’m just going to say this upfront: I hate that term, but only because I’m a cat momma!)

We open up at the Spartan-Ives sponsored “Thought Leaders” conference, which costs $3,000 to attend. These types of conferences are common, and can be market movers. Certain managers will mention a stock they like (or don’t) and it will move the stock price as they are speaking.

Source: Showtime

Continue reading ““From the Trader’s Desk” Ep. 2: Dead Cat Bounce”

From the Trader’s Desk: “Risk Management”, Episode 1 Season 2 of Billions

Welcome to “From the Trader’s Desk” for the 2nd Season of Billions! The original concept of these posts was to recap of 2-3 episodes from my point of view as a trader, and to help with any confusion with “fin speak”. However, “Risk Management” was so meaty; I had to dive right in. So now, without further ado….

”Trading is gambling, legalized gambling.”

source: Showtime

Damianista will tell you that I told her that on one of our first meetings. I think she asked me how I got into the financial industry, and I told her I loved to gamble, and this was a way to do it legally.

How fitting then is it that we open Season 2 with Axe sitting at a racetrack! Now, I’ll admit, I didn’t know it was Yonkers Raceway. I thought it was Belmont Park, a place my grandfather would take me to as a kid. Axe tells Bach “this place made me”, and I totally get why. Continue reading “From the Trader’s Desk: “Risk Management”, Episode 1 Season 2 of Billions”

Billions: Fly Away, Fly Away

This blog has been a long time coming. Damianista and JaniaJania have been wishing to see it up for a long time. I wanted to wait until I had seen all 12 episodes before posting.

We had devoured all the early promos for the show and have been blogging about Billions for over a year. We attempted to get a feel for the characters as early as we could and this helped immensely as we discussed what we thought about Bobby and Wendy. Even early on, it was clear those two had a connection. After Naming Rights, we were having one of our discussions and I mentioned that I thought there was some Peter Pan in Bobby and Wendy. I was encouraged to investigate this further as Jania Jania said “Peter Pan is an archetype now…the boy who doesn’t want to grow up.” Investigate I have and there is a fair bit of Peter in Bobby. I am not saying this was intentional on the writer’s part, but that I had fun digging through the book looking for it. .

Quotes from Peter Pan by J M Barrie are in italics. The other quotes not in italics are from Billions.

Bobby and Dr Mojo/Peter & Wendy with sprinkles of lost boys and Tink

Bobby even has his own Wendy, (hereinafter referred to as “Dr Mojo”) and he has built his house around her.

source: Showtime
source: Showtime

“She knew of no Peter, and yet he was here and there in John and Michael’s minds, while Wendy’s began to be scrawled all over with him. The name stood out in bold letter than any of the other words and as Mrs Darling gazed she felt that it had an oddly cocky appearance.”

Dr Mojo’s mind seems to be scrawled all over with Bobby Axelrod and Bobby Axelrod is quite as cocky as Peter Pan. Dr Mojo knows what Bobby is, but she stays by his side for a very long time. She forgives his transgressions and mistakes.

Continue reading “Billions: Fly Away, Fly Away”

From “Emergency Deodorant” to “Coach K”: Why We LOVE Billions’ Sense of Humor

“There’s a lot of humor in this — a lot of playfulness, which I was not expecting.” — Damian Lewis on Billions

source: Showtime
source: Showtime

Humor derived from life and delivered at the right time and place can make a TV show! And, I believe, it is Seinfeld that perfected the delivery of small but precise details of daily life on small screen! George double-dips a chip in a bowl of dip at a wake and you laugh not just because of what he does but also because you remember the guy who double-dipped at the last party you attended. Elaine’s new boyfriend is a serious close talker and you laugh because you remember the close talkers in your life. Jerry believes you don’t need any extra incentive to kill your dry cleaner and you laugh because you remember the last argument you had with your dry cleaner about the remaining stain on your favorite pants. These are the scenes that stay with you for the longest time because they all come from real life!

Many dramas, as they try hard to stick to drama, forget about this kind of humor; which, given at the right time and place, may be one of the most delicious moments of an episode and can even send a serious message home. We applaud Billions for not shying away from giving us such moments. Continue reading “From “Emergency Deodorant” to “Coach K”: Why We LOVE Billions’ Sense of Humor”