Recent Posts


By Derek On October 26, 2011

Update: Early feedback indicates that “Stories” as the title of this new section blows and I should change it. Henceforth, we will call it “Failed Trades.”

I am adding a new section to the website today called “Stories,” for lack of a better word. In finance where there is a lot of money, a lot of travel and a lot of personalities, there are naturally a lot of stories. Some are good, some bad and some are just in bad taste. I like all of them and will try to post those I remember and come across.

Note: These are not stories that necessarily happened to me. In fact, none of the three I am posting now had anything to do with me – I swear!  They are just tales of misadventure from the recent past that I have heard from friends in the business. I hope to post more with names always changed to protect

Click here to continue reading

Mission Impossible

By Derek On October 25, 2011

From: Derek Hillen
Sent: Monday, October 24, 2011 11:53 AM

To: Derek Hillen
Subject: Mission Impossible

The good news is that, according to the Obama administration, the rich will pay for everything. The bad news is that, according to the Obama administration, you’re rich.” – P.J. O’Rourke

And the good news out of Europe is anything but. Here is what you need for when it is formally announced:


We also have the latest news out of China and for property speculators it is not good. Premier Wen over the weekend said that property market controls will continue. Li Keqiang, the current vice premier and likely Wen successor, is the guy responsible for housing policy in China. In the run up to leadership change in China in 2012, Mr. Li is going to want to be seen as having beaten the crap out of and tamed the wild housing market so

Click here to continue reading

What is Insider Trading and Does it Hurt?

By Derek On October 15, 2011

Raj Rat Goes to Jail

Sybil Fawlty: [about Manuel's rat] Perhaps it would be best to have it put
                        to S-L-E-E-P.

Basil Fawlty: Who, him or the rat? Might get a discount if we have them both

Manuel:         ‘Spleep’?

Today Raj Rajaratnam was sentenced in New York to 11 years to be spent in a cage without a wheel after being found totally guilty on 14 counts of conspiracy and securities fraud. You may remember him as the self-made billionaire founder of hedge fund Galleon Group and whom prosecutors now refer to as “the modern face of illegal insider trading.” Raj, Sri Lankan by birth, studied engineering in the UK before moving to the US to get his Wharton MBA. He started out in the business as a loan officer at Chase Manhattan Bank where his clients were high tech companies and then moved to do research

Click here to continue reading