Why did the market recover its bearings today? I’m thinking it’s because so many traders were happily playing the Euromoney Champions League of Investment Banking 2007. When I got the e-mail from the London-based financial magazine this morning announcing the new game, I figured it was some sort of investment bank fantasy league, along the lines of the brilliant (if largely incomprehensible to those of us who aren’t international relations scholars) Fantasy IR league that was launched in January.
That would have been way too much of a time investment, but it turned out just to be a funny little online soccer game. I chose to be ABN-Amro’s Rijkman Groenink, partly because he was the default option and partly because I’m very pro-Dutch. (Rijkman means “rich man,” by the way, which is surely the best name for a bank CEO ever.) Then Rijkman/I had ten chances to kick a moving soccer ball into the goal.
I didn’t recognize the goalie, but the defenders included Lloyd Blankfein of Goldman Sachs and John Mack of Morgan Stanley. I scored one goal on a ricochet off Mack’s face, and he was very rude to me after that. When I missed, he would say denigrating things like “Are you Commerz in disguise?” and “S*#t bank, no fees.” Blankfein simply said “Donkey!” a couple times.
Anyway, I think I scored four goals. The game tabulated my score as 445, but I have no idea what that’s supposed to mean.