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Saturday, 17 March 2012

Van McCoy - The Hustle (Investment banks hustling us?)

Growing up during the disco era of the 70s, I remember hearing this tune everywhere. Catchy tune I must say! 

According to  wikipedia:

Hustling is the deceptive act of disguising one's skill in a sport or game with the intent of luring someone of probably lesser skill into gambling (or gambling for higher than current stakes) with the hustler, as a form of confidence trick. It is most commonly associated with pool (and to an extent other billiards-family games), but also can be performed with regard to other sports and gambling activities. 

Recently, a not so happy junior executive of an Investment Bank aired publicly the dirty linen about the "hustling" that goes on in his bank.

I don't know whether to laugh or scratch my head when I read the Rip-Off-Factor (ROF). Who says customer is king?

Now Investment Banks' customers are usually institutions like: Companies (including blue- coloured ones); Pension, Mutual, Hedge funds; "sophisticated" high net-worth investors, etc.

Even professional investors working for institutions had their eyeballs ripped-out by these Investment Banks. I guess pretending to believe you understand complex products or know better than "salesmen" had its pitfalls. Ah! Hustling!

It's interesting to see Wal-Mart got taken for a ride too. But big companies can afford lawyers to sue for their money back. Lucky them! Or not, lawyers ain't cheap... (I think the 2008 credit crisis was boom time charlie for lawyers!)

Whenever I see new "investment products" being peddled to me, my mind will play this  "The Hustle" song.

Sometimes being simple and recognizing one is simple can be a blessing.


  1. pool? hestler? haha you are looking at one.

    the first thing you do is to praise that person into thinking he is very good, always. never say he is bad. if he lose, say he is out of form or bad luck.

    second, look for those with very strong ego or pride.

    third, never play with those that are better than you.

    forth, never win too much or else that will be your last game. know when to "Ta lad".

    you can never believe that some joker will keep coming depite every time they lost.

    boy good old times.

    1. oh one more, never disclosed the exact amount you have won or lost. deflate the winnings and inflate the losses.

    2. Coconut,

      Did you upgrade from pools to golf?

      I wonder in "atas" (gentlemen) sports, do people gamble like we do in the working class for "sports" like pools and bowling?

    3. no, my biz partner introduce me to golf, after my very first sweet 5 wood drive, i'm hook!

      sports are all the same, we are trying to be competitive. trying not to be better but trying to beat our opponent.

      talk to any golfer, they will tell you your opponent is more often yourself rather than your golf buddies. thats a lot similar in trading where you try to "beat" yourself rather than other traders. playing golf can be very enjoying but also very frastrating, much like trading or gambling.

  2. in trading, almost the same but you have to play the role of that the hestler and the sucker.

  3. hustling is a way of life. not just in investment products. everything!

    you can say that i hustle my wife in believing me to be a good husband. i have no problem with that haha.

    1. I am thinking now who has hustled who ;)

    2. ya, i'm thinking that too haha.

      the point is we got a match. thats a trade in trading terms, a buyer, a seller and a price!

      in marriage term, me, my wife and our babies!

      so, trading is not about just making money, is about creating money. there is a different.

  4. still listening songs at this late hours, this song for you.


    still remember singing to my wife (hustling her)

    1. Your wife must be thinking what you trying to hint?


  5. knn wrong (honey) this one haha



    1. Ah, Words don't come easy!

      I am now trying to picture you in white high waist pants (super tight; no belt) and unbuttoned stylo (or orbid) floral long sleeve shirt.

      70s & 80s are crazy analogue times. Fashion sense a bit weird too!

    2. Ya, why almost everyone of us has to "sell ourself" when we open our my mouth to talk? So Gentleman sells, Crook hustles. Actually, you can hardly see the difference. And most of the time, you can't.

    3. Temperament,

      Hee hee, we are all salespersons!

    4. quite true, but i call it show off.

      anyone dare say he is not showing off please come forward.

    5. so you know, if you don't come forward, you admit you are showing off.

      if you do come forward, thats showing off too haha.

    6. sad, why human have to invent so many words to discribe the same thing, same feeling.

    7. Wow!

      Coconut you very philosophical tonight.

      You can say show off; I can say I taking pride.

      With the right words, armies can be raised ;)

    8. only tonight? yes i got you. look at adolf hitler and his germany.

      as usual, i pick up my wife from her favorate beauty saloon this afternoon. don't ask me how she hustle me into believe her it is cheaper to get a package which cost couple of thousands. sometime i have to close my eyes and cheer to the salesman or woman.

      when i look at her i can't stop laughing. "whats wrong dear?" with a smile. "what did they do to your face?" i ask seeing so many black spot on it.

      "you see, ........". "ya right!" i thinking in my mind. so i decided to interupt her by asking, "they suppose to beatify you! so how long will these urgly spots disappear?"

      "one week only".

    9. Alamak! You like woman!

      Praise her look pretty today, and she shoot back - Only today?


      I believe women are wired differently when it comes to spending money. See honey? I've saved $XXX for you by spending $XXXX!

      Next life, I must come back as woman. I curious what they do in the bathroom with all those bottles and creams! I only have 1 toothbrush and 1 shaving blade.

      Ha ha!

    10. she once says (i believe not once but many times) i'm the most unromantic guy on this planet. i'm made of gold plated mouth (too expensive to talk haha). come to think of it, i'm truely lucky to have my wife.

      i have no problem with woman, but what i see is now a days, so many man are acting (show off) like woman!

  6. Hi SMOL

    I've read Michael Lewis' books, "Liar's Poker" and "The Big Short". It really opens up one's eyes to the 'real' world of investment banking.

    "Hustling" is being done all the time in varying degrees. By my daughter who can fake puking sounds when she doesn't want to eat any more of her meal as well as colleagues and bosses at work who tell you one thing and mean another.... :-P

    Be well and prosper.

    1. Panzer,

      I'm a nightmare when it comes to meal times when I was little. Very picky on the kind of food I eat.

      But after BMT, got sand, got ants I also eat! Field camp was a great therapy for curing a ex-fussy eater like me.


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