I had just started iBankCoin 2 months prior to the meltdown. You can say iBC was born in the fires of the country, as its financial apparatus crumbled to a cinder. My business was humming along, but I suffered egregious losses towards the end of 2007. If you recall, the market soared to new highs after the Bear Sterns scare in the summer of 2007. I remember being in Lake George, NY–watching the carnage from a low speed internet connection. I even blogged about it, something to do with Important Matters of Mountain Vacations or something.
I knew, with every fabric of my being that the market was in serious risk of going lower. For awhile, I played the game and traded the long side, just to keep my ax sharp and my knife bloody. Moreover, the general consensus of all tabbed bloggers was for a lower, much lower, stocked market. I believe I penned my first bearish piece on 8/14, following Cramer’s retard attack on CNBC.
So I had these big short positions in December of 2007 and I was down large. The odd part about those underwater double inverse (triple inverse wasn’t invented yet) positions was that I didn’t have a care in the world about them. I had conviction.
January of ’08 came and hit the market like a bag of rocks upon the heads of disabled old men in wheeled chairs. I cleaned house. I was on my way to making a fortune.
I’m not sure if you know it or not, but Cronkite (the news guy on iBC) and I used to work together. Despite his interests in space rockets and Kennedy conspiracy theories, he has a really good grasp on the general market trends. We’d go over the internals every morning and afternoon, almost in shock by the absoluteness of the decline. But we’re both gentlemen of the first order and always maintained a certain cool demeanor through it all–naturally. I recall the market crashing, literally, and at the same time feeling depressed about the turn of events, despite being 250% short (leverage). I was thinking ahead and felt that the money I was earning by betting against banks and everything else was going to be pointless. It was to be a giant exercise in futility if our way of life collapsed. Clients would lose their jobs and take all of their money back, providing the dollar was still relevant.
Cronkite and I would marvel at blue chip stocks trading in the low single digits, saying “this has to be a bottom or else we’re all going to die.” It felt like the end, especially at the bottom.
Food wasn’t going to be delivered because credit was on the verge of being a thing of the past–vapor lock. I showed a much more jovial face to the public, on iBankCoin, bragging about killing people on my way to work and snatching the purses from old ladies who were trying to cash their social security checks.
It was a dark time for the world and I profited from it. My book of business went to new highs. I stopped accepting new clients and told my small ones “to go play with a bag of marbles” and to leave me alone or else I’d kill them. I had work to do and it had to be done.
Then the government started to intervene, which made shorting stocks very, very dangerous. One day they banned all short selling in banks, because they could, which completely screwed over the inverse ETF racket. That same day, the market was down huge and SKF down 20% too. Go figure. There was a liquidity crunch in the ETF because it was illegal to short. People got mugged that day.
CNBC served as a propagandist network, on behalf of the federal government. They’d leak information to Charlie Gasparino, who’d time his rumor mongering at 3:30, just to cause a squeeze in the markets. It worked every single time and it was never fair.
It went something like this (no large marge).
The market once soared by over 900 points (that’s 11%!) on news that the government would bail everyone out. It was impossible to short the market, which is why the market bottomed out and went speed chopping carrots with balls on the table to the upside in 2009.
iBankCoin took off. Readers all made a King’s ransom and we all lived happily ever after–at least most of us did.
Sometimes I am grateful for the manipulation in the market (sometimes). I’d much rather stay my execution, than suffer from the firing squad now.
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