The First Day of the Rest of My Life

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


I think I realized big business isn't for me. I learned this on a Monday.

Yesterday, early on in the day, a client called asking for information on a stock, ASCA, Ameristar Casinos. At the time, the stock was up around five or six bucks from where it closed last Friday, about a 20% jump, and the client was wondering what was up. On my computer system, I saw two items of interest.

The first was a press release announcing the death of the company's CEO. That was released at 9:00 a.m. The other was an upgrade of the stock to "buy" by KeyBanc Capital Markets, stating that it was now a takeover target since the company's largest shareholder (a person who was opposed to selling the company) was deceased. That came over the wire a little bit after 10 a.m.

For those of you playing along at home, that makes the elapsed time from the announcement of someone's death to an announcement of how to parlay that news into a money-making opportunity approximately sixty minutes.

After I wrapped up that call, I had to excuse myself. I could not believe how cold and calculating the whole process was. Yes, I realize life goes on and all that jazz. But it just seems to be a bit too mechanical to issue a note so soon after the news.

And that is why you won't be seeing me on Wall St. anytime soon.


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