Many of us City folk start the new financial year in January, but others of us have to face April 1st as the day of reckoning too.
This is when the profit and loss account from the previous year is set back to zero - and we all start again.
The previous year’s tally has been digested, assessed and regurgitated to some extent in the form of the annual bonus - at least if you work at one of those few remaining shops that still pay cash. It’s a curiously liberating feeling. One minute you’re sitting on your profit, or store of sales credits, like the evil dragon Smaug basking on top of his pile of gold and treasure, the next you're staring at an empty blotter and waiting for the phone to ring, or for a trade to come off and put you back in the black. It’s like an infernal game of Blackjack- you just want to be the first to get ahead.
I was looking at the inventory positions Tuesday morning when an enquiry came in. Could I offer 25 million bucks of a particular 3 year bond. Well yes, we were axed, and my client had seen this on the runs that I send out daily. There then ensued the usual market nonsense when you try to split the atom on the price, your client ends up being a 'dick for a tick', and you both go off feeling that you’ve missed out - especially the sales rep, me!
My trader wouldn’t budge - and neither would my client despite my wheedling. Feeling low I looked at a few other ideas, when suddenly I heard my colleague on the next desk asking the trader about the same bond. He’s a great guy and is starting out, so I was pleased for him when he got the trade done, but I couldn’t also prevent a stab of jealousy. I needed that trade!
I was still registering a big fat zero when another guy I've been trying to on board came over the chat. ‘Hey mate. We…can… TRADE ! ;-)'. Sudden warm fuzzy feeling. He immediately asked me to quote a ton of US Treasuries and off we went to the races. This turn of fate was as auspicious as the entrails of a Roman chicken. It just goes to show - you can be down, but not necessarily be out. And there's another 364 days left till the profit clocks go back to zero again!