The Biggest Trade of My Life

The man who has begun to live more seriously within begins to live more simply without.

Every man’s life ends the same way.  It is only the details of how he lived and how he died that distinguish one man from another.

There is nothing to writing.  All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.
– All Quotes by Ernest Hemingway

The Biggest Trade of My Life

If all goes according to plan the next time you hear from me I will be settled in my new home of Boulder, Colorado.  This is a huge move for me as I have essentially spent my entire life aside from college and a semester in Spain living in NYC.  When I resigned from my prior job in January of this year I didn’t know what to expect.  I was taking a huge risk walking away from a very comfortable life and income.  Nevertheless, I knew that stage in my life had run its course and it was time to open my life up to other possibilities.  More than anything else I wanted to see how I would feel and what would happen if I just let all the things that were tying me down fall away and experience total personal freedom in every way imaginable.  What has happened is that I have just lived the most fulfilling year of my entire life.

Crucial to my personal evolution this year was driving across America for five weeks this summer.  Up until that moment (although I had become considerably more independent) I was still pretty much staring at screens all day.  Being on the road for that period of time after having worked on Wall Street for ten years straight was an enormous shock to the system.  There were many places I fell in love with on my journey but nothing jolted my soul to its core more than the American Southwest and the Rocky Mountains.  The landscape presented me with some of the most powerful scenery I had ever seen.  Nature dominates everyone and everything.  Rather than man dominating nature or nature dominating man there is symbiotic relationship that permeates the entire culture.  I felt alive and connected out there.  The people are infectious.  As I rushed back from Bozeman, Montana to Montauk, New York for the July Fourth Weekend in a four day caffeine infused blur, I had this very uneasy and profound sensation in me.  I felt uncomfortable heading back east.  The closer I got to NYC the more I didn’t want to be back there.  I knew I had to seriously consider a move.  My lease was set to expire in two months and the only thing I knew for certain is that I couldn’t sign a new lease.  I arranged for a three month extension so that I could make sure this wasn’t just a brief emotional spasm that would dissipate after a few weeks.  It wasn’t.

New York City is Committing Suicide and I Can’t Watch It Happen
One thing I do not want this article to be is a giant bashfest of New York City.  I love this place.  It is where I was born and it has shaped my personality in every way.  The energy is like nothing else on the planet and it will always hold a spot near and dear to my psyche.  Who knows, maybe I will return.  That said, the current leadership in this city, and by that I mean the financial services industry and the TBTF banks in particular are destroying the city to such a degree that I think it could take a generation to recover.  I hope I am wrong on this, but the longer the paper ponzi pushers control this town the worse the devastation will be.

I grew up in Manhattan and I can recall the professions of my friends’ parents.  I am sure there were plenty of financial industry parents but I can’t remember any.  The vast majority of my friends’ parents owned small businesses, worked in the garment district, were lawyers, psychiatrists, or medical doctors.  I bet that if you went to my high school now 50% of the parents work in the financial services industry in one way or the other.  This is a complete tragedy and is killing the long-term future of the city I love.  What 2008 should have resulted in was a changing of the guard in the United States and in New York in particular.  Yes it would have been hard but if we continue in this direction we will end up with a nation where financial terrorists control all the wealth and power and then fund a police state where the only jobs left will be working in the prison system or the police state grid as a TSA type worker that fondles their fellow citizens as if everyone is guilty until proven innocent.

The hardest part about living here now is that most of my friends work in this industry.  They are not bad people and they are not fleecing the American public on purpose.  They are trying to provide a decent life for their families and afford the ridiculous and unsustainable cost of living that this city and the surrounding areas demand.  It is not the rank and file folks on Wall Street that are the problem it is the executives and then the financial “leaders” like Warren Buffett and Lloyd Blankfein that are the problem.  These people have proven that they are ego maniacs and greedy beyond belief.  They rarely if ever stop to think about whether or not the system that made them so fabulously wealthy is fair or moral.  They could give a crap.  They are cancers not leaders and until they are discredited and put into positions of zero influence, the United States and NYC in particular will continue to suffer and move further into bondage.

So at the end of the day I feel very uncomfortable in New York City right now.  It and Washington D.C. are at the heart of the gulag state and I have chosen to physically remove myself from it.  Even if none of this was happening, I still feel like I eventually would have found myself out West.  It just feels like the journey I am meant to take.  The lower taxes and open spaces aren’t so bad either.

P.S.  Nothing will really change from my end.  I will continue to manage money and write.  I may even experiment with new tools like video blogging down the road.  Also please take the time to watch my latest interview with Max Keiser that was posted on Wednesday.  Here is the link, I come in at 12:45 but the whole show is great as always.  As one of the comments proclaims:  “It’s the best show not on TV!”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EjIWH7CSP8U

See you out West,

Mike

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