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Greeks bearing options

Last National Bank of Boot Hill,
Moorgate, London EC2

I have to keep a straight face when Holey Buckett comes barreling into my office first thing Monday morning, well, first thing for Holey, and tells me: OK, Herbie, I resign, it is like they say in my regiment, better to fall on your sword than sit back on your bayonet.

This has to be the ultimate shock bulletin from Hillboot Intergalactic, which Holey runs until now, setting out on his lonely path armed only with a fat incentive package and a massive overhead and a mission statement setting out to be among the world's top ten investment banks.

Over the years our mission gets held up, we have this trouble with Blue Boomerang when most of our guys finish up in the dock, and their lawyer with them, but we keep on pouring money into Intergalactic and sometimes it seems to respond, until three days after we post our last year's numbers Holey comes up to me and says he has a problem.

Nothing serious, he says, it is one of our traders on the options desk, who moves out the other day to join Bear Essentials on the promise of an even bigger bonus, and the guy who takes over his books cannot make them add up, which is strange, because this trader brings a lot of business to us, tho' you never think so just to look at him, a runt of a Greek called Danaos Donaferentes.

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