Tell a Bullshit Story
Rules: 2,000 words max. The story must contain at least one load of bullshit and you must figure into it somehow. You own the copyright and grant us non-exclusive rights to publish it. We must be able to contact you but you may remain anonymous in print.
Here is an example:
by Brooke Allen
In the early 1990’s I ran an index arbitrage trading desk for Merrill Lynch in Tokyo. I spent my days looking at the relationship between the stocks that traded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange and Nikkei 225 futures contracts that traded in Osaka and Singapore. If they got out of alignment I might buy a basket of stocks and sell the futures contracts, or perhaps I’d do the opposite.
Every day shortly after the market closed an analyst from the research department would wander onto the trading floor looking for an explanation of the day’s market moves. I can’t remember his name, so I’ll call him Bob.
Bob did this because every day he produced a report carried by a radio station in New York. It was called something like “The Tokyo Market Minute.”
Because my desk was the closest to the door he would always ask me first, “What’s going on?”
I would would always say, “I have no idea.” This was the truth.
Then he would wade into the rest of the trading floor until he found something to say.
One day I made a mistake and sent orders to sell at the close every one of the 225 stocks that go into the Nikkei index. The market had hardly done anything all day but when my orders were executed they knocked the index down more than 1% in the final second.
This time when Bob came on the floor I had something to tell him.
Bob asked, “What’s going on?”
I said, “Typo.”
He said, “What?”
I explained that the entire day’s market action was due to a typographical error on my part.
He said, “I can’t use that,” and went on to find someone else to talk to. Eventually he came back to inform me that so-and-so said the market was down because Japan was an export-driven economy and investors were skittish about where the exchange rate was going.
What a load of bullshit!
It was a typo.
I know because I typed it.