Categories Billions Print Media Recap

From The Trader’s Desk: Guess Who’s Back, Back Again?

Billions Season 7 Episode 1 ‘Tower of London’

by Lady Trader | Fan Fun with Damian Lewis | August 18, 2023

Now this looks like a job for me
So everybody just follow me
‘Cause we need a little controversy
‘Cause it feels so empty without me

Without Me -Eminem

Hello and welcome back to the Trader’s Desk. I won’t lie – I didn’t think we would be back here again, sharing our Friday’s discussing Billions, but I am so glad we are!

I will most certainly get back to quoting heavy metal lyrics to begin my posts (as one does) but to start us off, the above lyrics from Eminem just seem so right.

A job needs to be done that only Axe can do, and things just did feel very empty with The Big Man!

There was only one instance of fin-speak this week – Semi-Strong Form Efficiency – which I will talk about to start (and has been added to our Billions: Glossary )- so just to ease us all back into these weekly posts, I’ll just talk about some observations I had about “The Tower of London“. Think of it almost as a stream of consciousness.

A toasted Mafee spots a trading style he is positive is “Big Red” or as we more commonly know him, Axe. “Fast, aggressive, sure footed” – yep, that certainly does sound like Bobby Axelrod. It’s a Semi-Strong Form Efficiency style of trading. The thought behind this type of trading is that stock prices reflect all public information, and that excess returns cannot be achieved using technical analysis. I would understand why Axe would use this as a flare, but I have two issues with this: 1. I seriously doubt a gambler like Axe is a follower of Fama or Malkiel. The whole point of running a hedge fund is to produce excess returns using technical analysis, fundamental research, and to some extent, gut instincts. This type of trading is basically indexing, and why would anyone pay a fee for that? 2. This type of trading is the opposite of the type of strategies I trade. We look at each individual stock’s historical behavior and each day’s nonsystematic behavior profile is compared to similar historical circumstances to determine trades. We are specifically looking for anomalies to trade on.

And speaking of trading/investing styles I despise ….

I am so glad they are shutting down Taylor’s ESG fund. Not that I don’t like Taylor (any long-timer reader will know how I feel about Taylor) but ESG was always just words and a fad (I would use the term scam, but I can be a bit harsh). Asset managers were touting ESG funds, charging higher fees, and then just mimicking the S&P 500 (and underperforming). They were closet indexing and raking in the dough. Now that 19 state AGs are questioning the biggest abuser of this rouse, Blackrock, I have a feeling that the ESG jig is up. Taylor is too smart to stay in a strategy that is going nowhere. “I just want to keep building my war chest, just keep making money and strengthening my rep” The beauty of those words! If that is what Taylor really wants, ditching ESG is the way to go.


Because I didn’t have the time (or will, to be honest) to watch S6 I had so many questions: Why is Chuck being prosecuted? Who is this new AG? Why is Kate working at MPC? Who is this guy who is trailing Taylor like a puppy? I’m hoping that some of this will become clearer as the season progresses, and that some of it won’t really matter, as I do believe that this final season is going to be focused on the major characters and the storyline going forward.

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