Categories Billions Print Media Recap

From the Trader’s Desk: Winning Ugly Billions S3 Ep4

A Win Is a Win, Even If It’s Ugly

by Lady Trader | Fan Fun with Damian Lewis | April 20, 2018

Source: Showtime

Happy Earnings Season from the Trader’s Desk!

This week’s episode of Billons was aptly named “Hell of a Ride”, and it certainly was one (maybe not so much for Craig Heidecker!!). We’ll also see how a win’s a win, even if it’s ugly.

Before I get into the meat of my recap (Axe and Taylor) some observations: Wendy’s look at the Yale reunion was amazing! I have never thought this about her before, and I guess it’s why it stood out for me. Her hair and make-up was great. She should keep that look – get that hair outta your face girl!

Source: Showtime

The sub-plot in the episode was Wags and his final resting place. It was a total “Wags” type of story and you just knew he would win out in the end! I always love when I can make a personal connection in the show, and this week it was Wags offering the ambulance chaser a place in a mausoleum at Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn.  This historic cemetery is located in the neighborhood I grew up in, Sunset Park. All the guys in the neighborhood (even my Dad) worked at one point or another for the cemetery when they were teens, seasonally cutting grass and taking care of the grounds. It is a beautiful place, filled with unique monuments, and is the final resting place of historical figures like Boss Tweed and Leonard Bernstein. It sits on 478 acres of rolling hills in Brooklyn, overlooking New York Harbor, with gorgeous views of lower Manhattan. They offer historical tours during the spring, summer and fall. If you are looking for something very unusual to do on a visit to New York, I would highly recommend it. (It’s 20 minute subway ride from mid-town Manhattan). One other observation on this sub-plot: Wags asks Axe if he could use Axe’s “ninjas” to help find the person who pinched his plot; Axe hesitates, but then says yes. It made me think back to Axe’s birthday party, when he said no one at the party was his friend. Well, Axe, are you theirs? A real friend wouldn’t have hesitated, especially to a man like Wags who is without a doubt 100% loyal to you. You demand loyalty and complete obedience. That usually doesn’t result in friendship.

We find Axe at a World Aid Foundation charity reception. A contribution of $10 million gets him on the Board, so if he can’t trade, he might as well schmooze!

Source: Showtime

At the reception, he meets Oscar Langstraat. Langstraat is hoping Axe can help him get the Board of World Aid to get into venture philanthropy, by way of investing in Rayveon Solar, a company that manufactures solar panels that can be used to cool tents in Africa, and help with famine on the continent. (Foundations are just beginning to get into the venture philanthropy, in which the foundation invests in small companies or start-ups not just for profit, but that directly help the cause they sponsor. It’s a way to not have to continually seek donations. Since investing in start-ups can be risky, foundations are very cautious on where they place their money.)

“Toxic” Axe is not the most influential member of the Board right now, and can’t offer much in the way of helping Langstraat. However, Axe is the man with a plan, so he’ll see what he can do. If he can convince the Board to invest in Rayveon, the stock will rise.

Never one to let an opportunity to make money go to waste, Axe decides he wants Rayveon in the main fund at Axe Capital. The only issue is how he gets the idea in front of Taylor without them knowing it was his. Wags suggests Ayles pitch it, as it will look like it is coming from the Axelrod Foundation, therefore trying to do “good” instead of just making money. What if Taylor does not take the bait?

“Well, all depends on what has the greater pull – fear or money.”

When it comes to Axe, we already know the answer: money. Axe is essentially fearless right now. Yes, he is covering his tracks on all his behind the scenes moves, but just the fact that he is making those moves proves he’s willing to take the risk of getting caught, which could mean going to jail, paying huge fines, and most of all, giving up his ability to trade ever again, shows the greater pull is the money. I don’t necessarily think it’s the actually dollars, but making the moves that make the money that is the pull. I hope that makes sense. Is Axe testing Taylor? Eventually, all will become clear.

Read the rest of the original article at Fan Fun with Damian Lewis