Archive for the ‘Bertie Bassett’ Tag

The Killing Floor (8)

traders-work-at-their-desks- 

“What’s that all over your desk?”

“What does it look like?!”

“Well… Liquorice allsorts er; obviously…”

“Literal and correct – as always… you never disappoint.”

“Okay, where’s this going exactly?”

“Ah; I’m just reminiscing – that’s all.”

“Never had you down as someone who was remotely sentimental – let alone a sweets kind of person.  Always the next deal: coffee; more than the odd cigarette… oh; and plenty of booze after work of course – but sweets?  Nah…”

“These represent a turning point in my life if you must know.”

“What… remembering when you first ate them as a kid?”

No… first day on this job I was given a lesson in economics at a nearby bar by the late, great Marcus Cousins – dealer extraordinaire and all-round great white shark in the murkiest of waters.  Biggest there was in his day.  And it just so happened that in imparting his considerable wisdom he used a bag of Liquorice allsorts.”

“Why?”

“They were to hand… he stole them from a kid on his way to work… the corner shop was fresh out of Jelly babies… How the hell should I know?!”

“Hang on… Cousins?  Bit before my time – I was still at Uni deciding what my career options were…. but wasn’t he responsible for that insider dealing scandal?  If I remember he nearly brought down a Tory Minister and a couple of blue chip companies…”

“He did… shafted them all – and the Minister’s wife for good measure…”

“Classy guy then?”

“Like I say the late, great…”

Right… fled to some Pacific island dictatorship with no extradition treaty and oodles of other people’s cash.  A real crook by all accounts.  Let me guess… What did he see in you?”

“Natural talent…”

“So he taught you everything he knew with his bag of Liquorice allsorts?”

“Not quite taught… I didn’t need that much…”

“Of course not – silly me: as if?”

“He mentored me if you must know… you’ll understand that given all those corporate bonding exercises you insist upon going on – he pointed me in the right direction.”

“A life of crime?”

No… he knew a great dealer in the making…”

“So much so that he offered you his bag of Liquorice allsorts?  Didn’t your mother warn you about sharks offering sweets?”

“Just have a sweet and shut up will you?”

Oooh yes – I’ll have one of those… Mmmm that’s good; though they’ve gone a bit soft under all these strip lights… aaahmmmm…. alright; put me out of my misery and tell me what he taught you… mmm….”

“When you’ve quite finished?”

“Oh er; sorry… this one’s stuck all over my teeth… sorry… carry on; ahem…”

“Okay… Let me see if I can remember it all near enough… like I say it was a long time ago now – a different world… Each one of these sweets represents a deal.”

“Okay got that… mind if I have another one?  Mmmm lovely… So what about this one the solid round liquorice?”

“That’s a basic commodity deal – What You See Is What You Get.”

“Er… What about the round liquorice one with the white centre?”

WYSIWYG is true – but not always: sometimes there is hidden leverage to be had in the deal or another to be struck.”

“It’s good this – I’m beginning to get the drift – so how about the sandwich?”

“A complex deal on more than one level so take care you don’t get caught in the middle.”

“The multi-sandwich?”

“An extremely complex deal on a whole number of levels – but with the subtlest rewards like the flavour of this one in the bag.”

Okay… this is fun!  The round coloured coconut one with a liquorice centre?”

“Beware of some deals… they’re surrounded by so much hype and PR that it’s a while before you can get to the core of the matter.”

Mmmm… I like coconut.”

You would…”

“Okay; so what about these – the aniseedy, chewy ones with the scores of little nobbly bits on them; you don’t get many of them in a pack.”

“Precisely… some deals are very rare – especially where you can make hundreds of thousands on them.”

“The Bertie Bassett?”

“Never had them in the pack back then but if I had to hazard a guess – they’d represent the  financial regulator: never needed them; never wanted them – never asked for them.”

“And the special red Bertie?”

“Oh I don’t know – the financial regulator with the scent of foul play in his nostrils and the government of the day up his arse?!”

“Are the different colours relevant?  After all there’s pink and yellow for the coconut ones and those chewy aniseed drops come in blue and pink… and…”

“Only in as much as deals come in all shapes and sizes I suppose… ”

“Oh…”

“What’d you expect – pink for the girls and blue for the boys?”

“No… just that it would have made it more interesting if…”

“Look!  They’re a metaphor – not a bloody handbook!”

“I just thought that…”

“Well don’t!”

“Alright, if each one represents something – is a metaphor like you say – then what about the pack as a whole?”

“A warning for being too greedy maybe?”

“How?”

“By wanting it all too quickly…”

Mmmm… mind if I have that last coconut one?”

“Go ahead… eat as many as you like… yeh; that’s it…”

“What?”

“The metaphor for the whole bag… No one can have it all – if you try and do all the deals at the same time you’ll end up with a nasty taste in your mouth and equally nasty stains in your trousers.”

“Still like to know what the man himself thought… Anyway – I’m off…”

“Coffee run?  I’ll have an Ethiopian – three shots as usual…”

“No!  I’m going the other way… there’s a 24-seven on the corner by the Tube… you’ve actually inspired me for once – I’m going to get some Haribo mixed and see if I can’t bring this up to date in time for that team building weekend in the Lake District.”

Sweet Jesus… It takes all sorts…”

Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: