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Myths and legends of the market

The JC’s guide to the foundational mythology of the markets.™

Mr. Nosferatu discussing passive investment strategies with a client yesterday

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Known to followers of the Good Man as the Dark Lord of the Swaps, Nosferatu was a Romanian noble, in charge of his family office, headquartered high in the Carpathian mountains, at the top of a winding road not far from Făgăraș.

He — or it — was a market maker for Lehman brothers and MF Global. It had a long and magnificent history, first clearing Transylvanian futures for the Medicis and Rothschilds, only to meet a sticky end when tulip mania finally broke in 1637. But, miraculously, the Dark Lord was short. Nosferatu lived on, in boxes of sacred earth, only to wreak a similar hell on undercapitalised American brokers in 2008.

He — I mean it — then disappeared again, but is rumoured to have been long cultivating an undead army of phantom ISDAs who lie upon the dead earth as spores, and the prophecies of the Good Man make plain will, in a sign of the forthcoming day of summary judgment, once again rise up and lay unholy waste to the Godless capital markets of the world.

If you find a chap with Arthur Andersen, Enron, Lehman and MF Global on his CV, don’t call him Lucky. Call him Phantom der Nacht.

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