I found this wonderful piece in the FT, which confirms my remarks from my previous post "Lehman was killed by Sharks". And, although calling bankers idiots is quite a harsh thing to say, I'm sure bank shareholders, and most of us that got hurt with the banking fiasco, would certainly agree.
But, they're not my words, but Andrew Lahde's, a high rolling hedge fund manager with a 1,000 % return record, making tens of millions for himself playing the other side of the banks trades, who has decided "to spend more time with his money", taking a permanent leave of absence from the markets.
Indeed, he was not nice to bankers, here are some highlights of his remarks, in his must read goodbye letter:
"The low hanging fruit, i.e. idiots whose parents paid for prep school, Yale, and then the Harvard MBA, was there for the taking. These people who were (often) truly not worthy of the education they received (or supposedly received) rose to the top of companies such as AIG, Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers and all levels of our government. All of this behavior supporting the Aristocracy only ended up making it easier for me to find people stupid enough to take the other side of my trades. God bless America.”
Like I mentioned before, banks —like Lehman— stupidly exposed themselves, mostly through the unbridled selling of CDS. But, some noticed this weakness, and acted accordingly, good for them!
Is GM next in line to default on its debts?
But there's more, he has some dire predictions:
"I have no interest in any deals in which anyone would like me to participate. I truly do not have a strong opinion about any market right now, other than to say that things will continue to get worse for some time, probably years. I am content sitting on the sidelines and waiting. After all, sitting and waiting is how we made money from the subprime debacle. I now have time to repair my health, which was destroyed by the stress I layered onto myself over the past two years, as well as my entire life – where I had to compete for spaces in universities and graduate schools, jobs and assets under management – with those who had all the advantages (rich parents) that I did not. May meritocracy be part of a new form of government, which needs to be established."
And some advice... in reference to Soros and the government:
"My suggestion is that this great man start and sponsor a forum for great minds to come together to create a new system of government that truly represents the common man’s interest, while at the same time creating rewards great enough to attract the best and brightest minds to serve in government roles without having to rely on corruption to further their interests or lifestyles. This forum could be similar to the one used to create the operating system, Linux, which competes with Microsoft’s near monopoly. I believe there is an answer, but for now the system is clearly broken."
And some very interesting remarks on marijuana...
"The evil female plant – marijuana. It gets you high, it makes you laugh, it does not produce a hangover. Unlike alcohol, it does not result in bar fights or wife beating. So, why is this innocuous plant illegal? Is it a gateway drug? No, that would be alcohol, which is so heavily advertised in this country. My only conclusion as to why it is illegal, is that Corporate America, which owns Congress, would rather sell you Paxil, Zoloft, Xanax and other addictive drugs, than allow you to grow a plant in your home without some of the profits going into their coffers."
In conclusion, an independent thinker. I like that. Wish you well Andrew.