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Quotes of 2021

Well, here we are: so close to the end of the year that just about everyone has decided “it can wait until next year”. Important seasonal traditions are underway: Christmas parties are taking their toll on fitness goals and intellectual horsepower, and hedge fund PMs are calculating their performance fees and devising new and creative ways of keeping it from their analysts.


Speaking of traditions, for the last 5 years I’ve collected quotes I hear: witty repartee, insightful comments, and withering remarks and I publish them at year end. Most have been made anonymous, some have been edited so they make sense out of context… and some have followed the mantra “never sacrifice a good story in the name of truth”. I hope you enjoy them.


Have a merry Christmas and a happy new year,


James


p.s. if you hear anything good, do send it my way.


***


<On Twitter>

Bernie Sanders: We must demand that the extremely wealthy pay their fair share. Period.

Elon Musk: I keep forgetting you’re alive


***


Equity sales: I’ve got an interesting company for you <PM>

PM: Mate, have you ever called me with an uninteresting company?

Equity sales: … Come on mate, you know the game


***


I recommended Peloton at $90, then they started killing kids. Add here


***


If you think a company is a fraud, and it has a $2bn valuation. All you can say for certain is they’re really good at fraud


***


1: How’re you mate?

2: Any better and I’d be dangerous


***


That makes as much sense as a vegetarian crocodile


***


At Green Park underground:

1: Where is 3?

<3 having a drunken conversation with a rat>

2: He confers with his kinsman


***


1: What to you going to say when people tell you you’re flogging a dead horse?

2: Well, I suppose I’ll tell them that as the horse is dead, it won’t mind the flogging


***


There’s no conspiracy. In my brief experience of it, the British state has never been competent enough to mount or organise such a conspiracy, and indeed if it were so in the present climate plans for that would have leaked already


***


He believes in a meta conspiracy: there is no evidence of his conspiracy theory, which he takes as evidence of an even deeper conspiracy



***


1: She’s a succubus.

2: I think she was born in July?


***


1: Do you think I’m the olive oil or the balsamic in this relationship?

2: Balsamic: good in small doses

1: You’re olive oil: common and overrated


***


You’re one of the people who makes me miss lockdown


***


You flatter me... keep it up


***


1: May I have a word?

2: As many as you like, mate. Given your vocabulary, I imagine it’ll be no more than 3


***


Does he get drunk?

Twice a week: once for three days. Once for four, and twice on Sundays


***


No one is infallible, which is why peer review is important


***


The plural of anecdote is not data


***


1: Why have you only got 170 followers?

2: Jesus only needed 12


***


1: Why don’t you tell him he did a great job?

2: Because I refuse to shovel coal on the bonfire of that man’s ego


***


1: You used to have principles, 2

2: I used to have a teddy bear too


***


I’m steaming harder than a kettle full of Red Bull


***


His name is “Angus”. The G is silent


***


Every time I talk to a crypto expert, I feel like I’m listening to a used car salesman


***


An empty cab pulled up in Mayfair and <PM> got out


***


Trying to sell short in this market is like being run over by a train that's going to derail a mile down the track


***


Shorting in this market is like mocking the gods on top of a skyscraper in a thunderstorm


***


<On selling your winners> Don’t hit a home run and forget to run the bases


***


To remove the messenger from the message, ask yourself “If it was Mr Smith saying this, what would I think?”

***


Brit: If you added ham to this, it’d be a carbonara

Italian: Yeah, and if my grandmother had wheels she’d be a bicycle


***


When talking to experts, ask them what their framework is for interpreting the problem. What’re you looking at, what are you seeing, what aren’t you seeing, what would be positive to you, what are negatives to you, what are caveats to that?


***


I swear there isn’t a full set of chromosomes between them


***


If you don’t have a plan you’ll be going with what your brain says at any particular point in time. In other words, if you allow psychological discretion to invade your behaviour. you’re going to capture the worst return segments of the path of prices and miss the best return segments of the outcome of prices


***


I'd rather keep my money on a 5" floppy disk on top of an MRI machine, than in dogecoin


***


In every sunken boat there’s a chart room


***


<enters room>

Judging by the painful silence, I can only conclude you’ve just told a joke.


***


The index of today is very different from the index of 10 years ago. It doesn’t represent the economy. It’s mostly tech stocks. Most of the economy is service-based


***


You’re all hat and no cattle


***


My methods differ from Buffett’s, which is not to say his are inferior


***


Your daughter looks a lot like her father… not so much like you though


***


I’m so contrarian I even disagree with myself


***


OPEC is basically a confederation of bond villains


***


Asking for feedback creates a critic. Asking for advice creates a partner


***


He’s not rich, he’s just a poor man with money


***


Prepare for trouble - failing that, create trouble


***


I read in the paper that the discovery of a woman’s body in a suitcase is being treated as “suspicious”. Glad to see the spirit of Sherlock Holmes lives on


***


You can create your own Melbourne in two steps: take hell, add people


***


1: You need a fake tan

2: I can’t, I’m allergic to the chemicals

1: What’s your hair’s excuse?


***


A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory


***


Has this desk got bigger… or have you got smaller?


***


1: What did you tell your boss about your interview today?

2: Nothing: treat ‘em mean, keep ‘em keen

1: That’s women

2: Like you’d know…


***


I’m more man than you’ll ever be, and probably more woman than you’ll ever get


***


1: Is he good looking?

2: He’s a 4.5/10… in a balaclava


***


Angry PM: You’ve got three options:

Reach for the phone and call the sell-side

Reach for your useless spreadsheet,

Or reach for your ankles


***


Being trapped is a position, not a fate


***


I could carve you a better man than Matt Hancock out of a banana using a blunt knife in my left hand. It wouldn’t take long


***


1: My PM told me I have the wit and intellect of a donkey

2: That’s outrageous… unless it was a particularly stupid donkey


***


“Buffett says” is no excuse for intellectual laziness


***


What’s he like?

Just like his waistline: incredibly thick.


***


There are two types of people in the world:

Those who give 110% and

Those who understand mathematics


***


I’ve got a joke about how Robinhood trades are executed… but I have to tell Citadel first


***


The only people at his funeral will be there to ensure he’s really dead


***


I have two types of positions:

1: profitable positions

2: long-term holdings


***


And this gem from Ryanair:


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