From the Trader’s Desk: Billions S3 Ep2: Young Grasshopper vs Master Po

Happy Friday from the Trader’s Desk.

The title of my post comes from the TV series “Kung Fu” which features a student (Grasshopper) and a teacher (Master Po). I couldn’t help but think back to this reference throughout, and especially at the conclusion of this episode. Has the Student become the Master?

Axe behaves like a full blown addict in this episode. Some people are hooked on drugs or booze. Some on food or shopping; Axe is addicted to the thrill and control that trading, and making  big moves brings to him. It’s late at night, and he can’t sleep. It’s his first night of withdrawal, and he’s aching. You can see it on his face “what did I just do?” He needs to talk to the only person who can get him through this, and that is Wendy. Wendy is his sponsor in the AA of trading. Continue reading “From the Trader’s Desk: Billions S3 Ep2: Young Grasshopper vs Master Po”

From the Trader’s Desk: Billions S3 Ep1: “Tie Goes To the Runner” – The King without a Crown?

“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?”