The Party Indicator
- Joshua M Brown
- June 19th, 2012
The idea that bubbles can't be predicted and measured is one of the biggest lies told by our monetary and political authorities. There are the standard checklists, of course, a good example can be found here: How To Spot a Bubble in Real Time (TBP)
And then there is my Party Indicator, an infallible tool for bubble detection and measurement.
How did we know that private equity was in a bubble just minutes away from popping in 2007? How about that grown-up Bar Mitzvah that Stephen Schwartzman threw for himself in February of 2007, complete with Patti LaBelle singing happy birthday and Rod Stewart popping out of the cake for 350 guests at the Armory on Park Avenue?
The lending and loaning free-for-all? I submit to you the gala event held by Rodman & Renshaw, a balls-to-the-wall celebration of PIPE deals and reverse mergers and all things lower-tier financing-related. Again, for some reason I was invited to this, I have no idea why. That's what happens when money suddenly and temporarily becomes free for a particular industry, I suppose.
There were the legendary Predator's Ball parties at the peak of the 80's junk bond boom held by Drexel and, more recently, the Snoop n' Ludacris appearances at Roth Capital's MicroCap Conference events.
And the real estate bubble, who could've seen that coming? I don't know, but for some reason I was invited to the Tischman Speyer annual summertime bacchanal in 2006, an event at which all of Rockefeller Center was swarmed with real estate developers, brokers and assorted douchebag hangers-on. And every guest was double-fisting free lobsters on their way out the door (I'm not even exaggerating).
Each of these extremes represented the height of something that was unnaturally financed, inordinately fetishized and alarmingly close to Empire State Building-esque peaks of activity and obsession.
And so with that in mind, I direct you to the latest overwrought circlejerk, complete with string quartets playing Rihanna songs...
The occasion was F.ounders, a networking event that has been dubbed the "Davos for Geeks", after the elite conference of power brokers held in Switzerland each year.
My god, right down to the unnecessarily cute "." in the middle of the word Founders...
Head over for details from the last great social media/startup backslapping sleepover of the era that is now passing:
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The Reformed Broker is a blog about financial markets and the economy. Joshua Brown is a New York City-based investment advisor for high net worth individuals, charitable foundations, retirement plans and corporations... More.