The Secret Broker: The winner of our ‘wish we had shorted this one’ award, and more
The Secret Broker
The Secret Broker
After 35 years of stockbroking for some of the biggest houses and investors in Australia and the UK, the Secret Broker is regaling Stockhead readers with his colourful war stories — from the trading floor to the dealer’s desk.
Well, it’s that time of year again.
Roll out the red carpet and polish up those diamonds, for tonight it is the annual awards of awards night.
Luckily for me, after having had numerous pulled faces and rejections, I managed to get my suit into the dry cleaners. Sir Les Patterson’s ex dry cleaners to be precise.
They have obviously been under financial stress since his passing so they organised to have my trousers taken out by an inch or so too, due to my Christmas over indulgences.
It was nice to be able to help them out and if you look in your goodie bags, you will find a very handy little voucher from them, so please don’t be shy, no matter the stain.
They have seen it all!
Well, as ever, it has been an interesting year.
A couple of wars here and there and the re-emergence of old orange face, ahead of the US Presidential elections, should see these dramas continue on into 2024.
We only have to wait till 5th November to find out who the winner will be, so I bet you all can’t wait to see all the online click bait stories to pop up on your phones.
I’m bored of it already, as I am sure most of you all are as well.
But let’s not be distracted by these upcoming events and concentrate on why we are all brought together on this night of nights.
Firstly, I would like to thank tonight’s sponsors, namely No stain, No Gain Dry Cleaners, Moonee Ponds and also the Betty Ford Clinic, for their generous after party ‘next day’ discount vouchers, which you will also find in your goodie bags.
So, let’s get the night rolling, oh and before I forget, a big thank you to our panel of judges, without whom these awards would not be able to happen.
I won’t name names here but you will be able to spot them via their very large and overloaded goodie bags on wheels, which of course are made in China and are a speciality.
The winner of tonight’s Muddy Waters ‘wish we had shorted this one’ goes to the ASX-listed company Phoslock (ASX:PET).
The judges were impressed by how this company, whose purpose was to clean up dirty industrial waste water ways, managed to get themselves bogged down in their own dirty mess, to such an extent, that they are now heading for liquidation.
Having reached a high of $1.50 in 2019, the company got suspended at 2.5c. The only lock in Phoslock just so happened to be its loyal shareholders, unlike the Chinese officials who they bribed with even larger goodie bags than even our judges are struggling to wheel home.
Now, moving on. Our next award is the ‘Sir Les Patterson Politically Correct Award’ and this year it goes to a charity owner chap, by the name of Samuel Joel.
His tirade against women via his LinkedIn account would have made Sir Les blush.
Having set up a crypto charity for the homeless, he would eventually apologise for his words and blame it his remarks for, well, being homeless, one of which included ‘assuming I wanna bang you, because let’s be honest – you look Fat’ to a fellow Linkedin member.
His very moving apology also included that he now plans to ‘attend therapy sessions to address his sexist and sometimes misogynistic behaviour, towards women’. In the words of Agnes Brown, ‘that’s nice’.
The Arthur Daley Award for being ‘caught with your pants down’ goes to yet another crypto player, Changpeng Zhao, and the U$4bn fine that the U.S Department of Justice shoved under the door of his company Binance.
Zhao basically ignored International Anti Money Laundering Laws so he could continue to collect billions of dollars in commission, but when he was finally cornered he pleaded guilty to all charges and now faces a hefty jail sentence.
Next up is the Larry Grayson ‘backdoor listing of the year award’ which goes to the advisors behind the Chemist Warehouse (backdoor) listing, as normally the ASX would normally just say ‘shut that door’ but somehow they have let it through, which is good to see.
Now we have the Michael J Burry ‘short of the year’ award. It goes to Zoe Foster Blake, who sold 50.1% of her skin care business to the then listed company BWX for A$89m and bought it back this year for A$21.8m.
I always thought that BWX should have turned the ‘W’ around and changed it to an ‘M’ as this is what they ultimately did to their investors.
They took them on a very steep downward BMX mountain bike track, which ended with a spectacular crash when KPMG were appointed as administrators.
Now, let’s turn our heads toward the Infrastructure industry as we announce this years winner of the Clint Eastwood ‘Spaghetti Western of the Year’.
It goes to the $20bn WestConnex Rozelle interchange, which managed to do completely the opposite of what it was built for and instead of speeding up traffic, brought it to a grinding halt.
The Working Dog team behind Utopia were meant to be here tonight to hand over the award but I have just heard over my earpiece, that they have taken the wrong tunnel under Anzac Bridge and are now heading towards Canberra instead of Sydney. Let’s hope Rob and the team get here in time for the after party drinks, as they only have 16 kilometres of tunnels left to go.
Our next award is sponsored by the charity ‘Benevolent Fund for Lawyers who earn less than $1m a year’. who, according to their website, ‘offer much needed support to lawyers and their families who struggle financially and mentally to make ends meet, when their income is below $1m a year’.
I have to be careful not to tear up now, as the winner of this year’s award is none other than Ben Roberts-Smith, whose pursuit of defamation claims against Nine Entertainment ended with the Judge saying ‘Nine Entertainment’s claims of unlawful killings and bullying by Roberts Smith were substantially true’.
This finding has left his backers with a $35m legal bill to pay and the Benevolent Fund is truly grateful for this, as it will help many lawyers lift themselves above that $1m a year poverty line.
And finally, as we come to the last award for the night and head towards the after party, I have to thank the ‘We Can’t Reach Hospitality Group’. Their policy of only employing bar staff who are under five foot tall, is a much needed solution in our industry, especially on a night like this. They can only serve tap beer and wine as they literally can’t reach the top shelf and as we have an open bar policy, it will save us from financial damage as well as your livers from damage as well. A win win, all round.
So, now to the final award of the night.
The winner of the Tommy Cooper ‘Now you see it, Now you Don’t’ award goes to the directors behind Chat GPT, who sacked the company’s CEO on the Monday and then managed to go through three CEOs before ending up with the same CEO it started the week with, on the Friday.
Sam Altman was sacked by the board, who forgot to tell their biggest investor Microsoft before announcing his departure.
Seeing as Microsoft had just dropped a lazy U$10bn investment into the company because of Sam, you could kind of feel the heat from the telephone discussions after this event. By Saturday, the old board ended up being sacked themselves.
Oh the irony!
We have reached an agreement in principle for Sam Altman to return to OpenAI as CEO with a new initial board of Bret Taylor (Chair), Larry Summers, and Adam D’Angelo.
We are collaborating to figure out the details. Thank you so much for your patience through this.
— OpenAI (@OpenAI) November 22, 2023
And on that note I now declare the bar open.
Goodnight and Thank You for coming and supporting our charities and please don’t forget your vouchers!
See you in 2024.
Feel free to contact him with your best stock tips and ideas.