Monday, May 07, 2007

Bull Market Decadence In Manhattan--Signaling A Major Market Top? by marketsurfer&annaland

Flashes of 1920's style excesses flashed into my mind, as Anna and I entered Club Macunudo on Manhattan's Upper East Side, for Trader's Monthly Magazine's "Top 100 Earning Traders" celebration. Trader's Monthly is the premiere lifestyle magazine of the trading industry. It is both vilified and respected for showcasing the over the top lifestyles and missteps of the financial world's elite. One needs to have earned a minimum of 25 million dollars last year in order to even be considered for this honor, with many earning many multiples of this figure. Giving a nod to Tom Wolfe, these are the new Masters of the Universe.

Arriving early, we pushed our way thru a phalanx of media types milling about the front door and were quickly whisked into the main party room. Large movie monitors played endless video loops of private jets and high end resort destinations on both sides of the room. Sponsors quickly descended on us offering property ownership and private jet leases. Although somewhat aggressive, they were highly professional and classy quickly backing off when given suttle hints of non interest. The club began to quickly fill to capacity, as cigars, high end liqueurs and unusual hor d'orves flowed freely to the gathering of predators, their groupies and various wannabees. One of the more well known Hedge Fundees in attendance ( who shall remain nameless) rose to notoriety due to his habit of leasing jets for the express purpose of entertaining the world' wealthiest people to obtain funding for his latest hedge fund project. Conversation swirled at deafening levels focusing on markets and deals.

Not surprisingly, Manhattan's ubiquitous blond gold digger tribe was well represented in their short dresses and impossibly high heels, intently milling about to latch onto anyone who gave them a second glance. The room soon became uncomfortably over crowded making navigation and interaction a difficult chore. The collaborator and I rounded up our gang including a well known fund manager, a top computer programmer who designs trading platforms and a rising NYC based actress to find a more peaceful spot to continue our lively conversation. We ended up at a lovely and scrumptious Italian restaurant/pizza joint on 61st indulging in home made pasta and talking long into the night........We then left Gotham for even more peaceful surroundings and deeper talks on various esoteric and not so esoteric subjects......

On May 1st, Trader's Monthly held a grand opening party at Bulgari's flagship store at 57th and
5th. My raven haired, eastern European co-conspirator looked positively scrumpdelicious in her
long black dress and perfectly shiny leather pumps. After negotiating the substantial velvet rope at the entrance, we began to explore the babbles and nick knacks of the ultra rich. The store quickly filled to capacity with an assortment of wall street characters, deal makers, traders, cubicle cowboys,and various media types. The crowd appeared to be much more refined and interesting than the previous party.

We quickly made our way upstairs, finding an observation spot on a bed/couch type thing asthe crowd ebbed and flowed around us. While closely lounging we partook of well made excellent Martinis and snacked on superb finger foods. We were introduced to multiple other attendees. One gentleman was wearing Bono style sunglasses and had multiple mystical amulets hanging around his neck, so ofcourse an entertaining conversation was struck up, others were more conservative but everyone was having a great time. There was a thick, bull market positive vibe filling the space and we stayed almost to the end. Upon leaving, the swag bag contained various pieces but the full-sized bottles of Bulgari perfume or cologne added an additional layer of class to an excellent event. We quickly made our way to our current favorite restaurant to chat and hang with the supreme beings of leisure types who normally populate the joint at this hour. The food was fantastic, but we were seated too close to several Upper East Side Mavens who were overtly keen on our every word. The rain began to all in earnest when we left for the office, a cold, heavy spring thunderstorm. The co-conspirator and I were soaked to the bone on the 10 block stroll in the pelting icy rain. On the upside,I was awarded the wet pink shirt contest during this romantic, lightning aided walk. Drying off a bit in the office, during a quick game of Foosball and shooting some baskets--which I won of course, we then left Gotham ending another unforgettable night during, what may be, the greatest bull market in history.


I believe this type of celebration of the trader is
signaling a near term top in the US equity index
markets. Market fever is so wide spread, Ciro
Cipriani has installed 2 near life size wall street
bulls outside his downtown location in Soho. One
is in antique gold and the other in platinum, it will be interesting to see how long these remain
during any type of market correction.

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