The Street Before Christmas 2013

Mod Note (Andy): Because we miss @"Edmundo Braverman" so much I'm posting up his past "The Street Before Christmas" posts for those who haven't seen them. Here are the links to the previous ones:
2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012.

Merry Christmas Monkeys!

The Street Before Christmas 2013

by Eddie Braverman

'Twas the Street Before Christmas 2013
Just two days before the Wolf hits the screen
Spinning the tales of sex, drugs, and bucks
of a penny stock hustler who gave zero f*cks

It's been a slow year, all things being equal
No Bernie Madoffs; No Wall Street sequels
What we had plenty of was insider trading
and a Justice Department hell-bent on raiding

They went after Stevie with unrestrained glee
They harried, harrassed; they extracted a plea
They seemed bound and determined to make him a beggar
And bust up his firm like a high school kegger

This Shirt Might Change Your Life

We've seen a lot of really cool stuff come out of Kickstarter, but this might be something you can use everyday. I'll let the video speak for itself, but this might handle the problem of fitted shirts being too tight and regular shirts being too baggy.

Ex-Wife Airs JeffCo Banker's Dirty Laundry

Ahh...the good old days. Who among us hasn't come home completely zorched and shit the bed?

From Gawker:

Wife Claims Investment Banker Drunkenly Pissed, Shit All Over Bedrooms

She detailed a staggering drug intake that included cocaine, ecstasy, heroin, ketamine, Molly and magic mushrooms. She also identified in court papers 20 of her husband's friends, including many fellow brokers, who she claimed regularly joined in his drug-taking escapades.

This Homeless Guy Gets More A$$ Than You

Interesting lifestyle choice. And you guys are killing yourselves 80 hours a week for 300 square feet you go home alone to.

Meat on the Street

Mod Note: Blast from the Past - "Best of Eddie". This one is from October 2010.

The worst trading error of my career (if you don't count my second marriage) was in Natural Gas, and it was a doozy. I don't remember the exact circumstances, but I screwed the pooch somehow and before I knew it the loss to the firm (for which I was personally liable) was well into the five figures. This wasn't me being wrong about the direction of the market, mind you, because that happened all the time. This was a bona fide, fat finger trading error - which almost never happened. I got called into the big man's office and he sent me home while he decided my fate.

He called me later that day and told me to meet him for dinner at Morton's, where we would discuss "my future with the firm". When I arrived at the restaurant I saw him, his second-in-command toady, and our research director out of Miami, a truly gigantic specimen who went almost 400 pounds. Whatever. I sat down and ordered a Mount Gay on the rocks, some bacon-wrapped scallops, a rare prime rib, garlic mashed potatoes, and a very nice Meritage to wash it all down. If I was about to get the ax, at least I'd have a full belly and a decent buzz.

Quitting Investment Banking

mod (Andy) note: "Blast from the past - Best of Eddie" - This one is originally from February 2011. If there's an old post from Eddie you'd like to see up again shoot me a message.

Ask anyone who has been in the business awhile and he'll tell you that investment banking isn't all it's cracked up to be. The hours are long, the job security for the past four or five years has been pretty shaky, and there was that whole bailout thing in 2008 that basically turned investment bankers into lepers, conveniently blamed for all of society's ills. Some days you just want to throw in the towel.

Walking away from banking isn't common by any means. Let's face it: it's hard to get paid this much anywhere else, especially when you consider what it really is a banker does for a living. But sometimes the grind just gets to be too much, and some people just quit. I know, because I was one of them. Sure, things worked out for me in a big way before I bailed, but I'd promised myself before any of that happened that I'd pump gas for a living before I spent another year of my life trading.

The Dumbest Email I've Received in a While

Mod note: Blast from the Past - "Best of Eddie." This one is originally from August 2012.

I get a lot of mail and PMs from you guys, and I know I'm not always as diligent about responding to them as you'd probably like me to be. Just know that if you send me something and I don't respond, it's because you're asking me something about which I have no background and, rather than waste your time with a non-answer, I just trust that you'll seek out a more appropriate source.

However, every so often I get something really off the wall. Now, I expect that because this is the Internet after all, so it's usually no big deal. But the other day I got an email from a WSO user that crossed the line, and I'm going to re-print it here in its entirety so you guys can see a good example of how not to approach a stranger on the Internet. I'm not going to name and shame, because that's really not my style - but you know who you are.

Without further ado:

WSO Exclusive: Legerdemath - Anatomy of a Banking Trick

Mod note: Blast from the Past - "Best of Eddie" - This one was originally posted in March 2011.

The following is an exclusive guest post by Omer Rosen, author of the controversial Legerdemath, originally published in the Boston Review. Omer is a former Citigroup corporate derivatives guy, and this latest piece explains the monkey math that was used to pick clients' pockets by confusing them with yields instead of prices. The scheme's elegance is in its simplicity, as the corporate derivatives desk convinced clients to compare apples to oranges and by doing so think they were getting a square deal.

Omer has graciously agreed to respond personally to your questions and comments in the comments section for the first 24 hours this piece is posted. His blog is located at and you can (and should) follow his Twitter feed at @omerrosen. Without further ado...

Your Cold Email Just Got A LOT Warmer

Mod Note (Andy): Best of Eddie, this was originally published May, 2013

I try to let you guys know about it when I find something cool or useful, and today I've got something that can make a huge difference in increasing the hit rate on your cold emails.

One of the things that can make cold emailing especially difficult is not knowing when to follow up after you've sent a cold email. Follow up too soon or too often and you look like a desperate stalker; follow up too late or not at all and your prospect thinks you're a flake or that you don't care. The key is to follow up at the exact right time when you know your prospect is interested in hearing from you again. But how could you possibly know that?

Allow me to introduce Yesware, a brilliant Gmail extension that will change your life if you use it properly. Intended as a sales productivity tool, Yesware provides you a wealth of data on the emails you've sent out - and it does it all for FREE.

How does it work? When you send an email to a prospect and you mark it to be tracked, Yesware embeds an HTML pixel into the body of your email that is invisible to your email recipient. What that pixel allows Yesware to do is tell you exactly when your prospect first opens your email, and how many times he or she has since read your email. And it works even if they've disabled read receipts. So how does that help you?

Uncle Eddie Gets in the Tank

Best of Eddie, this was originally posted November 2013

I mentioned last week that I was going to try an isolation tank for the first time and a bunch of you asked me to write about the experience, so here goes. Rather than write a really verbose post about everything from start to finish (this post might run long anyway), I'm just going to go off the notes I took immediately following the experience. Still, if you don't have the time or inclination to read the post, here's the tl:dr version: it was absolutely incredible and you should do it as soon as you're able.

Why did you do it?

Before I get into the specifics of what it was like, it's probably helpful if I cover my reasons for wanting to do it in the first place. There were many, and first among them was curiosity. Ever since I saw Altered States in high school, I've always wondered what it was like and how much of it was just Hollywood bullshit. Was it a life-altering head trip or an hour-long bath? I wanted to find out.

Second, I needed access to the more creative facets of my mind, and if there was even a small chance I could access that it was worth trying. I've recently tripled my workload, and a part of that increase requires a great deal of mental bandwidth. I need to find solutions which don't now exist to problems that do, and that requires maximum creativity. I've read and heard numerous accounts about isolation giving you access to the most creative parts of your brain, parts that only come to the fore when the mind is untethered from the body. Again, it was worth checking out for myself.