“From the Trader’s Desk” – Horsemen are Drawing Nearer! Billions S5 E9 Implosion

The Horsemen are drawing nearer
On leather steeds they ride
They’ve come to take your life
The Four Horsemen – Metallica

Happy Friday from the Trader’s Desk. Once you add Wendy (who I think will be majorly pissed at Axe for his role in Tanner flying the coop) Chuck, Prince, and Taylor will officially become the Four Horsemen who will be riding to finally bring Axe to his demise. I’ll get into why I believe that the bullseye on Axe’s forehead is rightfully earned, but first the tranya!

That Rian is still wearing those high waters! UGGGH! I know I’m harping on it but growing up if you wore high waters you got made fun of mercilessly! Being called Noah or being asked “where’s the flood?” was one of the most embarrassing things anyone could say to you. It meant you couldn’t afford new clothes, which for a teenaged girl is mortifying! The fact that someone wears them as a choice just boggles my mind (and not in a good way).

Second week in a row we get a Van Halen reference (last week “Diamond” Dave Lee Roth got the shout out), and it’s always appreciated. I know Brian Koppleman loves Van Halen (who doesn’t?) and I was so happy to hear a VH song in this episode, especially after the untimely passing of Eddie Van Halen last October.

I was happy to see that Mafee and I have very similar ticker symbols (VTR, DG, ULTA, GPS) on our watch/trading lists. Perhaps I could become an Axe Capper after all!

I guess the “new” Chuck didn’t last long. He got Prince to do his dirty work with the Delaware AG, and now that Axe got his dad the kidney, he’s got blood in his eyes. In Chuck’s mind, Axe took the one thing Chuck is always searching for: validation from his dad that he is “good enough”. Chuck couldn’t come through with an organ donor, but Axe could. (I can’t wait to hear Senior riff about that turn of events!) Chuck is a man with nothing to lose, which makes him dangerous.

I must address the back and forth between Chuck and Prince regarding wealth. It really got my dander up! Chuck implies that Prince must be a bad guy by virtue of how much money he has. If he has made that much coin, then he must have done that much wrong. If he has that much wealth, he must be inherently guilty.

Tony Iommi – Net Worth – $75M
Brian May – Net Worth – $210M
Ozzy Osbourne – Net Worth – $220M
Bob Dylan – Net Worth – $375M

What’s with the list you ask (besides it being an excuse to list my favorite guitar players)? Well, here is a short list of very wealth men, who grew their fortunes through music. Was how they accumulated that wealth wrong? What exactly are they guilty of? I’m sure for thousands of people, the music created by these men helped them through difficult times; was a source of comfort, strength, and happiness for so many. So for every wealthy person who may have made their fortunes unscrupulously, there’s the Keith Richards of the world (Net Worth – $400M) to balance it out. I don’t know where is whole “money=evil” thing started, but it’s just plain fucking wrong and at this point has become just a performative narrative for people who are just plain jealous of success. Fight me on that!

Captain Caveman is alive and well and living in the body of Nico Tanner. He wants a “girl”. Well, Wendy is a woman, and his frail ego just couldn’t handle her. And that temper tantrum of ripping up that “art”? Loser. Let’s hope we have seen that last of that dirty hound.

As I said above, the Horsemen of the Apocalypse are coming for Axe. Let’s see just how we got to this point.

For a while, I have been trying to pinpoint why exactly Axe hates Prince so much. Axe has had his rivals in the past, but we knew why: the Axe-Chuck competition was basically good old cops vs robbers, and his dustup with Taylor was because he saw them as being an ungrateful upstart. But Prince is something different. And it’s more than Prince being too big to fuck with. We have seen Axe be on very friendly terms with other titans in his industry. What is it about Michael Thomas Aquinas Prince that gets under Axe’s skin?

Well, I think I finally put my finger on it, with help from Chuck (who knew I’d ever write that!) and Brenda Fells. They both agree Prince thinks he’s better than everyone else. No more calls please, we have a winner! Axe’s whole “chip on the shoulder” is because growing up, he was determined to show all those people with their Ivy League education, and country club memberships that they were no better than him because he was smarter! For the most part, he has made his point. Then, here comes along the seemingly goody two shoes Prince who not only is Axe’s equal but wears a saintly halo on his head. Prince publicly challenged Axe to “be better” at The Mike last season, and the carnivorous monster that Axe is will not let that slide. Axe’s only plan of action against someone who thinks they are better than him is to annihilate them. And we know with Axe, and win is not a win unless it’s a kill.

Axe’s actions over the last two episodes prove this vendetta against Prince is not about money at all. Making sure he didn’t get the ambassadorship was all about dinging Prince’s reputation (if Prince lost money in the process, that was gravy). Not wanting to purchase the companies that were tanking because Prince was having a fire sale was not a smart business decision. Axe of Season 1 would have certainly made those trades, then bragged about how much coin he pocketed when the stocks rebounded. No, he wanted to kick Prince when he was down and decimate anything with any connection to Prince, even if that meant dragging Taylor down as well. Axe never thinks of or cares about collateral damage. These moves are all emotional, and in the past when Axe makes emotional choices, he comes out on the losing end. He is making decisions with his heart and not his head (or wallet), and no good trader ever does that.

These choices (and the “giving of life” to Chuck Sr.) have brought together a rogues’ gallery, the Horsemen if you will, of Axe’s enemies with one shared goal:

“How are we going to take down Bobby Axelrod?”

These three (and again, I think Wendy may join this motley crew) just may have the smarts, power, and determination to do what no one else has been able to do so far – vanquish Bobby Axelrod.


So gather ’round young warriors now
And saddle up your steeds
Killing scores with demon swords
Now is the death of doers of wrong
Swing the judgement hammer down
The Four Horsemen – Metallica

Author: Lady Trader

"Lady Trader" is a Brooklyn girl, and a Wall Street lifer! Recently fought cancer, and won! I love heavy metal, history, sci-fi, oh, and blogging about Billions and it's great lead actor, Damian Lewis!

3 thoughts on ““From the Trader’s Desk” – Horsemen are Drawing Nearer! Billions S5 E9 Implosion”

    1. Thank you so much for reading. I don’t publish my watchlist, as I’m not registered as a CFA, and the list changes often. My watchlist is usual names I don’t currently have positions in, but are watching for an opportunity to get into one.

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