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Friday, December 30, 2016

Friday Feature Movie Review: Arbitrage: Richard Gere (Hedge Fund Thriller) キング・オブ・マンハッタン : リチャード・ギア

Money, Sex and Power are all here. Our hero is a hedge fund manager wanting to sell his business. Nothing wrong with that, but he has to sell. That is never an easy place to be. Life is good at the top, but when a mistress ends up dead, and the police start asking questions, life even at the top of finance, gets complicated.

Richard Gere plays the patriarch of a family owned investment firm. It is large and well established like the Gabelli Funds, but without the brightness of a younger generation. We first see the public face on CNBC and other channels, but his life behind the scenes is not for public viewing. Manhattan is full of flash and affluence, but the people serving the rich, are also part of the same world. Good people you need to rely on. Loyalty from long-term staff can never be overestimated. It can even be life saving.

There seems to be a hole in the balance sheet, not a stolen money hole like Madoff, but more a funding hole caused by Russian markets. It is a big gap that needs to be filled by a Ultra HNWI loan. Help that gets frustrated when the 2 week period takes longer longer than expected to repay. When trying to pass a final audit, that kind of loan is the type that is best not found.

How can you sell after an audit investigation when the accounting books are questionable? Drama and tension continue all through this story, and never seems to let up much. It may look wonderful from the outside, but the life of this hedge fund manager, at the center of the story, is far from comfortable, and never easy.

Susan Sarandon plays the wife, poor in the early days like her equally hungry husband, but monetary success came ultimately. She was tolerant of affairs as the money came, but everything has a limit. When cash flow trouble over a medical charity donation gets delayed, a backup plan begins. 

It is every money manager's worst nightmare, a divorce lawyer, with no pre-nup, enters the story. That is true fear when you are over 60, a founder trying to sell, looking at a retirement exit, and not getting much room to maneuver. Major markets can be scary when you need to make money, not just desire to do so. Emerging markets can also be the most scary due to unexpected events. Every experienced market player knows those risks, and often has the scars to prove it.

The Top 3 Takeaways from this book that really impact any reader are:

1) There is a lot to learn about how to be a long-term successful rainmaker, and no single profit stream with last forever.There is no single way to success, so keep open to every new trading opportunity.

2) The best rainmakers know how to make money and keep doing what they do best by observing key decision makers and possible patterns. Knowing what buttons to press to close a deal at the best price is the EQ magic that many lack, not IQ, that only gets you to the table.

3) When becoming a successful rainmaker, your emotional strength from family at home, may help you perform on deals at work. Every person has a personal life, so the more empty or fulfilling it is, the more that can creep into personal performance. It cannot be denied.

The police detective played by Tim Roth, is spot on. He brings the most raw and tasty character to this big screen movie. There are many curious moments in this New York financial story when he is on camera. The old style face to face sale of the firm and how it goes down, is classic and very much old school. If you get a chance to watch it, it is worthwhile viewing. Highly recommended for all staff at an investment bank, hedge fund or asset manager. It is all realistic, and portrayed wonderfully by an excellent castAn amazing movie that is perfect for the holidays, highly recommended!


Please visit us for our Friday Feature Review where TMJ Partners will review books, movies, services and anything else with a financial theme.  Follow us now for our free weekly updates, just click hereThank you for reading and learning more about how money is made in finance!

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