Red Ink and Green Beer
Red ink never flows on Rocky Humbert’s trading desk.
The paucity of red ink does not mean Rocky’s trading is flawless. Rather, Rocky prohibits red pens for the same reasons that others avoid walking under ladders, crossing in front of black cats, or opening umbrellas while indoors.
Twenty-four years ago, Rocky acquired the no-red-ink-in-the-trading-room superstition from Mr. Michael O’Brien — a talented foreign exchange trader and wonderful fellow — who made billions for Goldman Sachs as he rode the dollar trend from 1985 to 1986.
Mr. O’Brien had a taste for Guinness, and an ear for laughter. One never knew whether the no-red-ink rule was a farce, but Rocky accepted the dictum without question; and religiously follows it to this day.
Rocky recently stumbled across a recipe for “green beer” (to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day,) and immediately thought of Mr. O’Brien.
Mr. O’Brien taught Rocky that the proper way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day is with BLUE, not green. In fact, “St. Patrick’s Blue,” was the original color, and the “wearing of the green” only recently became popular. (In the 1750’s.)
So tomorrow evening, while the riff-raff quaff their green beer at the bar, you’ll find Rocky sipping a “Blue Martini” in a quiet booth at the rear of the pub. (And he’ll write his day’s trading tickets in blue, rather than the usual black ink.)