“Sin City” & Roman emperors – Zak Mir’s closing thoughts of the week…

2 mins. to read

One of  my favourite dramas on television as a child was I Claudius, the story of the Emperor’s of the Roman Empire when it was at its greatest. There was a murder, cruelty, skulduggery, intrigue, incest and debauchery, sometimes even before the opening titles. But, given that that the winners in this particular game of life would be ruling the world, I suppose you could argue that such antics were understandable. Placing a pinch of arsenic in your uncle’s breakfast or smothering your grandfather with a pillow would probably be about right it given how much work was at stake.

Fast forward 2000 years to the City of London and, as has been detailed on this blog with various antics in the small cap world in particular, it is unfortunate, but we see similar unsavoury aspects in the City of London and the attempts to rule the financial world. But, what is interesting here, is the way that to an outside observer like myself there would appear to more intrigue, shock and horror associated with people pinching the databases of clients or what commissions brokers charge rather than the really big stuff like Libor or Iranian sourced money-laundering – both of which have hardly caused anyone to bat an eyelid, largely  because most of us do not understand or care about issues that apparently do not affect  us directly.

Of course, for me personally, it would have been just dandy to be a part of the great  amoral Gentleman’s Club that is the City and be on a six or seven or figure salary. Unfortunately, not being a  gentleman, a shiny salesman or  part of the play up and play the game crowd, my efforts at making millions in the City as a broker in the 1990s amounted to about half a bus driver’s salary per year in commissions! It perhaps did not help that I told my advisory clients not to trade if I felt they might lose money – how naive of me!

Therefore, I chose the rather more genteel pursuit of advising others through charting and try to help them make money in a quasi philanthropic / saint like away. This involves attempting  to clamber on moral high ground and be content with modest payment in return. But the irony of the City today is that even if you throw your morals out the window, it doesn’t actually guarantee that you will make big money. There is always someone who can sink lower than the next man, a situation exacerbated by the seemingly eternal “financial crisis” we find ourself still mired in…

Zak Mir


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