Right, President Obama is safely installed in the White House, but how come things haven’t changed?
No, I don’t mean an overnight ﬁx to the US economy, and anyone connected to it, but the way Wall Street is annoying.
After ﬁve hours’ sleep, at 8.30 a.m.—half an hour before it’s kosher to call businesses here—I get a call from Robert from a Wall Street ﬁrm trying to ﬂog me Honeywell shares.
Since it’s summer here, the chances of my having my extra half hour after getting rid of him on the phone were down to nil.
It’s not so much I took a call at 8.30, but that the caller did not understand English.
‘It’s Robert [surname] from [Wall Street brokerage]. We called you a few months back [really?] and said we’d keep you up to date on opportunities. Well, Honeywell has announced it could take over United Technologies—have you heard of them?—and we want to get all our investors on it.’ (You’ll have to bear in mind that my recall is not quite 100 per cent. Robert was trying to compete with that fast-talking guy off the FedEx commercial.)
‘Robert, what time is it? Eight-thirty. I’ve had ﬁve hours’ sleep. I ﬁnished at three.’
‘What would be a better time to call?’
‘I’m not interested.’
‘What are you doing with your money then?’
‘Not putting it into your exchange, for starters.’
‘Yes, but the Dow was at 11,000, and it’s now above 8,000, so it’s a great time to buy. So, Honeywell is planning to merge with United Technologies, and we’re going around our clients …’
‘Robert, I’ve had ﬁve hours’ sleep.’
‘What are you getting at?’
‘I’m not going to say yes to a guy who calls me at 8.30 in the morning after ﬁve hours’ sleep.’
That’s it. Silence. No apology for waking me, no goodbye, nothing.
Here’s how this call would have gone in the rest of the world. And by ‘rest of the world’ I even include most of the US and the states added in 1959. And I certainly include the rest of the English-speaking world such as the UK, India, Australia and New Zealand.
‘It’s Robert [surname] from [somewhere a bit more honest than Wall Street]. Honeywell has announced it could take over United Technologies, and we want to get all our investors on it.’
‘Robert, I’ve had ﬁve hours’ sleep.’
‘Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t realize. Is there a better time to call you?’
‘Really, I’m not interested.’
‘OK, I understand. Sorry to have woken you. Thank you for your time.’
‘You’re welcome. Bye.’
See the difference?
Robert’s ‘Em’ at the end of his call bugs me and it has been one thing that has always got me about doing business in the US: that people think it’s OK to end a call without a goodbye.
If you’re calling outside the 50 states, it isn’t. It’s downright rude.
But that’s a small point. I’m prepared to give some leeway because of cultural differences and the fact that no American TV show features a caller saying goodbye. I like to think I’ve converted my American friends who used to do this.
I just wonder what the American terminology is to be able to get the right reaction from the real Robert, because clearly, ‘I’m not interested,’ now means, on Wall Street anyway, ‘Keep talking and ask me private questions about my investments.’
So, is it: ‘If y’all call me again I’ll hunt you down and I’ll shoot ya’?
Or: ‘I ain’t buyin’ in the NYSE, not while there’s a n***** in the White House’?
Or: ‘I don’t give a f***. It’s why I don’t have an ulcer, because I know when to say, “I don’t give a f***”’? (I have seen Lethal Weapon 2.)
I wasn’t in the mood for debating but I was the guy who said many years ago that the Dow was overvalued if it went over 7,000; and who saw the energy crisis coming; and I certainly do not recall ever dealing with this Wall Street brokerage who decided to call an unlisted number.
I was prepared to put up with sleep deprivation yesterday, New Year’s Day, but not two days in a row.
It’s more reason to dislike Wall Street—and you just know that the markets there have not done any of the soul-searching it was supposed to have done in 1987. Posted by Jack Yan, 20:49
Hey Jack. You might not know but my background was in investment banking, corporate finance and stock broker. These calls you get just hang up on them. Seriously. Either you know your broker and the broker knows you and has personally met you. These are the requirements of the rules of both Canada and the USA SEC. Think about this>>>I never sold anyone a stock I did not know<<<
and when I was financing and taking companies public I knew who my seed was and who my institutional was. My guess is your on someone's list and are being approached by a "real" broker trying to break into the business or you are being "boiler room" blasted. Call me if you want to talk about what I really know.
Hi, Michael: no, I didn’t know that was your background. I’ll deﬁnitely keep this in mind because I have been approached in the last 12 months by three brokerages, none of which I knew. I am probably being boiler-room-blasted because I do not think I know the ﬁrm at all, and they were counting on my dealing with a lot of ﬁrms that I wouldn’t remember who was whom. Thank you for your offer—I think I’ll know what to do in future.Post a Comment
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