We are extremely happy today to have our lovely Lady Trader blogging for us in defense of Bobby Axelrod. Lady Trader is not just a fan of Billions, but she has been living and breathing the world of Bobby Axelrod with 20 years of experience in the securities industry. For 8 years, she was a software and media equity analyst in asset management at The Bank of New York and Weiss, Peck & Greer. In addition, she was responsible in supporting the portfolio managers in portfolio construction and risk-control. She previously worked for 6 years at the American Stock Exchange as a special assistant in the Finance and Information Technology Departments. Prior to that, she was at Dean Witter Reynolds in the Retirement Plan Operations Division.
Dear Lady Trader, we cannot thank you enough for sharing your expertise with us over the months and it feels wonderful to have you share your own perspective on Axe and his doings, particularly in the wake of 9/11, in your own words.
Damianista’s note: I wrote this post after watching The Pilot. And I have now updated it with all the new information we have got in the last two weeks. Are things as black and white as they seem… or are they gray? You decide. I just want to applaud the show creators for making us think about such a sensitive topic, and think about it hard.
Billions is first and foremost a New York show. And there is nothing more natural than the darkest day of the city, September 11, still shadowing the lives and relationships of our characters even after 15 years. Obviously the darkest day in the history of the nation, September 11 is also a very dark day for financial services firms many of which had offices in the World Trade Center. I remember Cantor Fitzgerald losing two thirds of its workforce on 9/11.
One of the first things we learn about Axe in Billions is he is a 9/11 survivor. He is, in fact, the only partner that survived the terrorist attacks because he was out of office on meetings while most of his colleagues and friends died. And seeing that Axe Capital is now located in Westport, Connecticut, we also learn Axe Capital is among the financial houses that chose to move from Wall Street to neighboring Connecticut or New Jersey after the destruction of downtown NYC on 9/11.
We then find Axe in a conference room at Axe Capital with the widows and kids of those friends that died on 9/11. Axe has been giving college scholarships to these kids for years. He has been keeping it private that there has never been a press release or an interview with him about it. It is, in fact, a reason for him to leave an interview.
Two of my MOST favorite things, Damian Lewis and the New Yorker came together at the New Yorker Festival in October. I wrote earlier here about the proud fan moment I had thanks to Damian making not one but two appearances at my most favorite festival! Just to re-iterate briefly, I’ve been reading The New Yorker quite religiously for more than a decade now. I don’t remember how many subscriptions I gave to friends as gifts over the years and it is still one of the few subscriptions that I receive in the mail every week. And, the New Yorker Festival feels like the pages of the magazine literally coming to life for a weekend throughout the city with talks, conversations, readings, performances, panels with individuals that are at the top of their game in their respective fields — including arts, sciences, politics, sports, theater, music, literature, film, TV, food and more… As someone that attended quite a few events at the festival over the years, I can confidently say that, independent of the context, all events share one characteristic: intelligence. The festival participants are without exception endowed with some real brainpower. They are, in The New Yorker‘s own words, “some of the most talented and influential thinkers about topics ranging from politics to pop music, science to cinema, and so much more.”