Uncle Eddie Rides Again

Eddie Braverman's picture
Eddie Braverman - Certified Professional
Rank: The Pro | banana points 21,114

It was a happy coincidence when Patrick emailed me a couple weeks ago to check in and see what I've been up to, because I've been thinking about you guys a lot lately. It's been a couple years since I was with y'all every day, and at the risk of sounding like a big softy, I've missed this place.

The past couple of years have been a bit of a whirlwind for me, and that's why I had to step away from WSO. The smoke is clearing, though, and Patrick and I discussed my coming back to write a weekly column for WSO if you guys thought it was a good idea.

Who the Hell Is Eddie Braverman?

I realize a lot of you don't know who I am, aside from the occasional repost of some of my older stuff and my name on the list of Top Monkeys. For those of you who've joined WSO over the past couple years, here's my story.

I started writing for WSO back in 2008, just as shit was going nuclear on Wall Street. It was a crazy time. The site was only a couple years old, and no one had seen anything like what was happening. Every day was worse than the one before, but we got through it.

WSO went through a true baptism by fire to become a formidable community. This became the place to share horror stories, validate rumors, pass along leads, and generally make sense of the mayhem happening on a daily basis. If you go back to the 2008 boards, you'll read some of the best insight on the crisis that you'll find anywhere. I was proud to be a small part of that.

The site continued to grow, and we got Internet famous. Patrick was featured in a bunch of different venues, ranging from the NY Times to Mixergy. He even did some TV, if I remember correctly. I made the cover of Playboy magazine in 2010 and wrote a book in 2013.

As for my background in finance, I started in the boiler rooms in the early 90's when you could still walk in off the street (think Stratton Oakmont). I busted my ass and learned everything I could, eventually becoming a commodities trader at a well known (but now defunct) boutique. I hit my walkaway number a couple weeks before my 30th birthday and resigned the day my last paycheck cleared. I've never looked back.

From there I started a couple companies, invested in a bunch of esoteric stuff, adopted a couple kids, moved to Europe, moved back to the States. You know, the usual.

So what have you been doing the past couple years?

  • I took a job for the first time in a long, long time. I don't get why you guys want one so badly, they're awful. Seriously. Even on a good day it's pretty bad, and the good days are few and far between.
  • I moved my family back to the States, which I'm surprised to admit has been a pretty profound culture shock after more than six years in Europe. While it feels like everything here has changed, I've come to realize that it's me who is different.
  • I sailed in one of the first yacht races to Havana in more than 50 years. I think we logged around 800 miles underway, and Cuba was incredible. I've been wanting to get there for a long time, so it was nice to see it before the cruise ships disgorge their cargo of diabetic Americans and the island becomes another Caribbean trinket shop.
  • I partnered with NASA to commercialize a bit of proprietary rocket valve technology. This was probably the most fun I've had since being back (aside from Cuba, of course), because I got to work with some incredible minds throughout a truly iterative process. My normal process is to find a problem and then devise a solution for it, so it was really interesting to work in the opposite direction (start with a solution - the valve - and then find the problem it solves in the world outside of rocketry).

Some other shit. What can I say? Two years is a long time.

What I'd Like To Do Now

Here's what Patrick and I talked about. I'd like to have an open discussion based around an original long form piece once a week. There's plenty of coverage of the day to day stuff on the site now, what I'd like to do is cover the macro stuff, the stuff that has long term economic effects on everyone, and to discuss the impact that stuff has on the career of a modern finance professional.

I have selfish motivations for wanting to do this. WSO has been a resource for me to bounce ideas off of for a long time, and I always get thoughtful feedback from you guys. Not to be overly dramatic, but there are storm clouds on the horizon, and I think together we can figure out how best to adapt to them. I'm talking about the inevitable end to the current bull market, the disruption caused by technology (especially fintech in our case), the viability of economic mechanisms like Universal Basic Income, and the seemingly unpredictable nature of modern American politics (and how it impacts finance).

So I'd love to hear what you guys think. Does that even sound interesting to you? Because you could save Patrick and I considerable time and effort if it doesn't. I happen to think it could be something really valuable. When I think back to 2008, some of the discussions were like reading tomorrow's paper today. That's what I'm hoping to achieve with this; a resource we can all reference and contribute to as these events unfold.

What say you, monkeys?

Mod Note (Andy): Best of 2016, this post ranks #13 for the past year

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Comments (81)

Jul 26, 2016

Eddie, I came around a bit after your time but have enjoyed your content. welcome back, I love the idea

    • 1
Jul 26, 2016

Yeah

"There's no reason to be the richest man in the cemetery. You can't do business from there." - Colonel Sanders

Best Response
Jul 26, 2016

Similar to brofessor, you date even me by a long shot, but it's great to see you back. The more posts that aren't highschoolers wanting to know what the most prestigious backpack brand is and if it varies at all by ivy league university and exit opp goals the better

    • 7
Jul 26, 2016

*Jansport

Jul 27, 2016
CRE:

Similar to brofessor, you date even me by a long shot, but it's great to see you back. The more posts that aren't highschoolers wanting to know what the most prestigious backpack brand is and if it varies at all by ivy league university and exit opp goals the better

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Jul 26, 2016

Seeing your posts on the front page every few days was definitely one of the highlights of WSO for me, along with old guard like MissInd, bankerella, CompBanker, BlackHat, etc. Glad to see you back.

Jul 26, 2016

I like the idea of weekly posts regarding the impeding shit-hurricane. I don't know jack. I'm green. Ripen me, bro.

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Jul 26, 2016

welcome back Uncle Eddie! Excited to see how this goes :-)

Jul 26, 2016

WSO's COO (Chief Operating Orangutan) | My Linkedin

Jul 26, 2016

A million times yes!

Metal. Music. Life. www.headofmetal.com

    • 1
Jul 26, 2016

Eddie is the #1 reason I have been at least semi-active since the iBankingoasis days, which probably dates back 10-12 years(I had a different login back then). The combination of my day-to-day job and the watered down/less applicable (to me) content has caused me to be a pretty infrequent visitor lately. I (sarcastically) feel like it's fate that I checked today and I welcome Eddie back with open arms.

As to your actual question, I will read anything you post that is relative and, preferably, starts a conversation. I find you to be one of the most engaging writer anywhere and I'm sure that no matter what you do it will be the most read and talked about content on the site.

Will there be a way to get notifications when Eddie posts?

twitter: @CorpFin_Guy

    • 2
Jul 26, 2016

you can click the little follow button next to his username and check your feed http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/tracker/my-feed when you are logged in to see any new content from members you follow. hope that helps!

Jul 26, 2016

Awesome, I remember you from the glory days, although I was mostly just a creepy lurker back then... Welcome back!

Jul 26, 2016

Welcome back Eddie!

Jul 26, 2016

I'm excited, sounds like a great idea with a lot of potential. Welcome back!

Jul 26, 2016

Welcome back! I've been waiting for you to get back here. Always enjoyed reading what you had to write. Looking forward to everything to come.

Jul 26, 2016

This is such an obvious yes.

    • 1
Jul 26, 2016

did you bring midas back too?

If the glove don't fit, you must acquit!

    • 3
Jul 26, 2016
WalMartShopper:

did you bring midas back too?

^^^^

    • 1
Jul 27, 2016

ditto

Snootchie Bootchies

Jul 26, 2016

If only...that'd be too much good news for one day. NSFW Reboot!!!

Metal. Music. Life. www.headofmetal.com

Jul 27, 2016

if bankerella returns, would that be a good enough consolation??

Jul 26, 2016

This too, is acceptable to me.

Metal. Music. Life. www.headofmetal.com

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Jul 26, 2016

I'm going to get straight to it and start asking your opinion on a few different things: 1) The current state of the long term debt cycle, and how you see returns looking into the future as a result. 2) This one is a can of worms, but what are your thoughts on the Student Loan situation in the U.S.?

Jul 26, 2016

Abso-fuckin'-lutely.

    • 1
Jul 26, 2016

I'm totally down with this idea!

Jul 26, 2016

Alright, alright, alright!

Jul 26, 2016

Fuck yes.

Jul 26, 2016

Can't wait

Jul 27, 2016

Browsing through some of your past topics... fantastic stuff. Am always up for solid content.

Jul 27, 2016

Welcome back Eddie.

Over the years I've really enjoyed your content and contributions, specifically your stories. I'm excited to have you back.

Jul 27, 2016

I joined many years after and have been admittedly a lurker on the site as opposed to a poster, your ideas for what sort of discussion you would like to do (and have done post those days pre-30s) would draw me out of my shell.

Your second paragraph under "What I Would Like To Do Now" echoes many topics I have been trying to discuss with friends and family who are immediately dismissive.... Can I get a role-call for finance professionals in favor of Universal Basic Income?.... (Hopefully I can expand on this in the near future)

Jul 27, 2016
Cav21x:

Can I get a role-call for finance professionals in favor of Universal Basic Income?.... (Hopefully I can expand on this in the near future)

+1

Jul 27, 2016

Would be awesome if you wrote a weekly piece. I'm at the point in my life where a house in the 'burbs is a looming unfortunate reality, so, selfishly, I'd love to hear your thoughts on what you think home prices will do over the next couple years given what's on the horizon.

Jul 26, 2016

wait. at least where I am and in the surrounding states it's a seller's market. there will be a better time to buy in a few years

Jul 27, 2016

Excited to see it. You could make basic accounting sound interesting.

    • 1
Jul 27, 2016

great idea

Jul 27, 2016

Whatever happened to midas mulligan magoo?

Jul 27, 2016

Yes!

Jul 27, 2016

Welcome back! I have been busy lately but will try to troll you on occasion.

    • 4
Jul 27, 2016

you are the main reason I really started to follow the site about 4 years ago, welcome back, look forward to seeing your posts

What is the answer to 99 out of 100 questions?

Jul 27, 2016

I've missed you

    • 1
Jul 27, 2016

Do it!

Jul 27, 2016

longtime lurker, rare poster here. I thoroughly enjoyed your content back in 2008 which was one year after I graduated college. pretty confident that everyone on this site would benefit from your insights on the market. welcome back and I look forward to a weekly read and your commentary.

Jul 27, 2016

I think it's a great idea. So yes.

    • 1
Jul 27, 2016

Welcome back Uncle Eddie! Loved your posts and have definitely missed them the last few years. Sounds like a great idea for the weekly post, looking forward to it.

Jul 27, 2016

Now Eddie, we have to ask - who are YOU voting for this election?

    • 1
Jul 27, 2016

Nostalgic, thanks Eddie... btw did Brady graduate from HBS

    • 1
Jul 27, 2016

Welcome back Eddie! Looking forward to reading your weekly posts.

    • 1
Jul 28, 2016

Welcome back! I've been around since (likely before) you were active, and although I've left banking several years ago, I still like to check in to see what's trending. I've jumped ship to the startup world, but it's great to see you back.

Jul 28, 2016

"Looking good, Billy Ray!"

Welcome back. It simply hasn't been the same.

Jul 28, 2016

Welcome back. Read and enjoyed a lot of your threads. I wonder if swagon will also make a return

Jul 28, 2016

I was around back when you were active and I seem to recall other tidbits of your story that you didn't mention above:

  • You were in the Marine Corps back in the day
  • You got sued and went on the lam in Mexico for a bit

Not trying to dig up any dirt on you, but stuff like that really added to your legend status and made me really look forward to your posts because you weren't the typical guy with the sterile Wall Street background. Good to have you back.

Dec 20, 2016

Not dirt at all, just abbreviated for brevity.

Five years in the Corps to include the first Gulf War and 13 months on the lam in Mexico and the Pacific Rim when my old firm came after me for $14 million. Can't make an omelet without breaking a few eggs.

    • 2
Jul 28, 2016

Getting the band back together, love it.

Jul 28, 2016

Absolutely, I appreciate all the advice you've posted and the private stuff as well.

...

Jul 28, 2016

Welcome back Eddie! Loved your old content, can't wait to see some new stuff

Jul 28, 2016

It will be great to have you back Eddie, I still look at some of your posts time to time especially the 9/11 one

    • 1
Jul 29, 2016

I've stayed away for awhile as I've gotten older, but would absolutely return to read your stuff. Welcome back!

when you're accustomed to privilege, equality feels like oppression

    • 1
Jul 29, 2016

hmm with Eddie back in town, seems like @DickFuld isn't the WSO Alpha anymore.

    • 3
Jul 26, 2016

@Eddie Braverman Don't forget to throw some fun stuff in there too once in awhile--any random story you tell from the boiler rooms to the levees is worth hearing.

Metal. Music. Life. www.headofmetal.com

Jul 26, 2016

was hoping under the "So What Have You Been Doing The Past Couple Years?" header it would say:

-"Started plans to open a float tank center..." :-)

ps i haven't been in about a year, finally made an appointment to go this coming Tuesday, can't wait

WSO's COO (Chief Operating Orangutan) | My Linkedin

    • 1
Dec 20, 2016

I do think about opening a center from time to time, but I think I'm going to wait until weed is legal and make it a one-stop shop for trips to the edge of reality. I'd want it to be a real spa experience like the centers in Paris and Amsterdam, and not just a converted office space with a couple old Samadhi tanks. I'd want to offer cryo as well.

    • 1
Jul 26, 2016

sounds like a good plan, and 100% agree about the "full service" amenities.

in the mean time, if i break ground for one in Washington I'll let you know...

WSO's COO (Chief Operating Orangutan) | My Linkedin

Jul 29, 2016

EDDIE IS BACKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK

Dec 20, 2016

Hope you're well, brother.

Jul 26, 2016

Now if we could only find Midas.... @Midas Mulligan Magoo

Dec 20, 2016

I'd start with the non-extradition countries...

    • 1
Jul 29, 2016

Welcome back!

Jul 30, 2016

Ok - the comments read like a fucking love letter here. Makes me want to puke. I joined around the time you joined and I've come back to WSO as I switched career - WSO is great for that.
I wonder what the opinions of someone who has been out of the market for so long have to say... Time will tell.

    • 2
    • 1
Jul 31, 2016

Glad your back. Followed your stuff for a long time.

Jul 31, 2016

Welcome back, I remember reading your story and comments here back when I was in 10th grade and trying to ascertain your cash flow and net worth, lol.

    • 1
Aug 1, 2016

Yes please! I loved reading your book.

Aug 2, 2016

Welcome back Eddie, really enjoyed all of your stuff from the past!

    • 1
Aug 2, 2016

Welcome back! Haven't been around during the 2008 turmoil, but I can see a lot of value in discussing the events around the corner with you and the WSO community.

    • 1
Aug 3, 2016

About time you got back on here, welcome back!

    • 1
Aug 4, 2016
Aug 5, 2016

I hope this is better than the last batch of shit you gave me. Produced more wood than Ron Jeremy. I don't want you to yell, "Reco!" anymore. Know what you should yell? "Timber!" Yeah, Mr. Fuckin' wood.

Aug 19, 2016
Jan 1, 2017