How Loyalty Rules Bobby Axelrod’s Billions *UPDATED*

source: Showtime
source: Showtime

Regardless of the context it is set in, a good TV show is ultimately about human relations. It is the complex characters with exciting and compelling relationships in their personal and professional life that MAKE it great. And we can’t have enough of them in Billions.

I live and work in a world, academia, that cannot be farther away from the world of Axe Capital. Thus, I am fascinated by this world that is ALL NEW to me, and, in particular, by how Axe runs his business. Here’s my take on what it takes to be king with many thanks to Lady Trader who kindly read the post and gave me the thumbs up earlier.

Bobby “Axe” Axelrod is running a 15 billion dollar worth hedge fund. He is, in Chuck’s words, “an icon of the wealth of our age.” Thanks to his power and influence on the markets, Axe is the king that he is. Revered. Respected. Envied. However, as Pete Decker points out it is a zero-sum game and “these guys are like kings. There is always someone coming to assassinate them.” So… how do you run a business in a setting where there is always someone, say it is the US attorney, the SEC or another hedgie, trying to mess with you? Yes, exactly like a king, you have your close circle, you have your fixers. But one keyword stands out in Axe’s tight network: Loyalty.  Continue reading “How Loyalty Rules Bobby Axelrod’s Billions *UPDATED*”

Billions on Showtime, Episode 9: Where the **** is Donnie?

source: Showtime
source: Showtime

I know why Episode 9, directed by Susanna White, who also directs Damian Lewis in the coming soon Our Kind of Traitor, does not open but just closes with Townes Van Zandt’s Waiting Around to Die.

“Sometimes I don’t know where
This dirty road is taking me
Sometimes I can’t even see the reason why
I guess I keep a-gamblin’
Lots of booze and lots of ramblin’
It’s easier than just waitin’ around to die.”

Because you feel it.

It was certainly an aha moment to see Donnie frantically hiding his pills during the FBI raid in his house in Episode 8. I have been uneasy since Axe rewarded him for his loyalty: tripling his stack and giving him 200K shares of Rubinex despite the fact that the guy was not able to deliver! But the pills last week and Wendy noticing his weight loss this week and… I knew… Donnie is seriously sick. And this makes a few other things make sense for me. Continue reading “Billions on Showtime, Episode 9: Where the **** is Donnie?”