Saturday, October 13, 2007

Heart of a Dog

This Chihuahua with the heart on its fur makes my daughter say "aahhh soo cute." It's probably how the banks in Europe felt when they bought the AAA SIV notes, before they caught the mortgage virus.

But right before the bell on Friday, financial regulators and the money center banks proposed the cure, whereby the NY banks would pool $100 billion into a "Super-SIV" (structured-investment vehicle) to provide emergency funding, and keep these assets off their balance sheets. Here's what you need to know about SIV's.

Citigroup (47.87) traded up a buck in the afterhours, as it has $100 billion of SIV obligations, but that wasn't the catalyst for the move. It was the confluence of two factors. 1) Deutsche Bank's Mike Mayo criticized Citigroup's CEO, Chuck Prince in a blistering piece, and said he has to go. 2) Jim Cramer, of CNBC's Mad Money, said Prince would be gone by the end of next week. That led the market to believe they were leaking in NY, as they are in Washington DC, and dancing Chuck, would be shown the door. (Read my August 11 piece on Prince here)

So the street is attempting to contain the SIV virus, unlike the SIV virus Serge Voronoff started. He was the Russian surgeon who after observing the aging of eunuchs, began practicing "greffes testiculaires" or grafting monkey testicle tissue into man, qualifying him as the first surgical anti-aging Doctor. Lucky he practiced in the 20's so he wasn't writing scripts for HGH at Signature Pharmacy or George Mitchell would be investigating him. But now you know why the AIDS virus had a primate origin. (SIV Simian immunodeficiency virus).

Philip Philippovich Preobrazhensky, is the professor in the 1925 Russian Novel, Heart of a Dog, who transplanted human testicles, into a dog, in the fictional version, of the real life Voronoff. But the author, Mikhail Bulgakov, was known for his naming etymology. Philip's alliterated name means transfiguration, and Bulgakov's had his in his masterpiece, The Master and Margarita, his most acclaimed work.

But Wall Street has never taken to Chuck Prince, and has hoped that the Prince in Arabia, Alwaleed bin Talal, Citigroup's largest shareholder, would move to remove the Prince in NY. That hasn't yet happened. But when Margarita, made the deal with the Prince of Darkness to be reunited with the Master, at the spring ball of the full moon, the cat resigned the chessmatch with Woland and said: "I am unable to play in an atmosphere of persecution." I think Chuck will have words like that this week.

And dancing Margarita's directions to the ball were, "straight to the tulips." And at this price, I think the ukulele players will be buying the stock. And when Prince leaves, Citigroup's transfiguration begins.


Voronoff said...

hm. well, i had never heard of siv until reading this, but of course the Voronoff theory is one possible lead on the origin of aids, creepy as it seems. learn more about the man at


Palmoni said...

very interesting stuff and pictures on your site!