Thursday, February 26, 2009

Memories of the bull market

Citigroup (once Salomon Smith Barney) in Sydney used to have the biggest and best Christmas parties.  

Picture this: a balmy Sydney night and the investment banking clients and the whole 30ish Sydney investment banking crowd converge on a warehouse on the docks.  Girls in bikinis serve champagne to blokes in suits with no ties and that dishevelled look you get when you have drunk too much.

There is always a band.  A big name band – but the identity is kept secret until about 10.30pm when the act comes on.

One year it was Jimmy Barnes.  That might not mean anything to an American – but he is the iconic aging rock-and-roller here.  His original band (Cold Chisel) sang the Vietnam song that still gets everyone singing around a party (Khe Sanh).  But in his solo career his biggest hit was a song called "Working Class Man".

My single most enduring memory of the bull market is a thousand drunk investment bankers howling at that song and the top of their voice:

"well I’m a working class man
oh ma ma . . . . . . . I tell you I'm a working class man".

You can enjoy Barnsey belting it all out again courtesy of You Tube.


Anonymous said...

aren't u too early to recall bull market memories. i mean, we are only maybe quarter way thru at most. The worst case is a decade of bear market in us a la japan. what is ur estimate.

Anonymous said...

Here I thought you might know something about good music, then you drop this one.

I get the irony of it, but wow, really bad.

Is that "Norm" from Cheers in that video? 1:04 in.

John Hempton said...

I don't much like the solo Jimmy Barnes - but Cold Chisel was darn wonderful.

One of the best acts I ever saw.

Oh - and do click Khe Sanh.


Anonymous said...

Ahhh... Smith Barney Christmas parties... I remember... or maybe I don't remember... they set up a VERY generous bar! Where did those 90's expense accounts go?

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