Monday, September 22

Nomura to the rescue

The news is out, Lehman Brothers' Asia-Pacific operations is being bought out by Nomura Holdings, Japan's largest brokerage house. Is this coming full circle or what? After having been in Tokyo for over nine years, I've moved to Sydney just to have my American company go bankrupt and then get bought and saved by a Japanese company. Wow.

The details are still sketchy but for now it seems to mean my job is safe for the short-term. What will happen to the Australian offices in the long-term no one knows for now but having Nomura buy out Lehman's Asia-Pacific offices is probably the best possible outcome out of this whole saga.

Does that mean I might be going back to Tokyo?

Related news articles:

Nomura wins battle for Lehman's Asia business
Nomura Wins Bid for Lehman's Operations in Asia

Friday, September 19

Disappearing act ...

No real news today on my job. We're still in Limbo waiting to see if we will be bought out by another company, shut down, or ... One piece of good news is that today was pay day and we got paid!

I hope to find out soon what happens. Being a foreigner in Australia I am here on a 457 working visa sponsored by my company. If Lehman Brothers Australia goes under I lose my sponsorship and have 28 days to find another job and sponsor or have to leave the country. Not much time ...

Strangely enough this is one area where I never had to worry so much in Japan. My work visa there was not so tightly tied to my employer. Never thought I would have to worry about being kicked out of the country ...

Wednesday, September 17

Lehman Brothers - Update

News flash, Barclays has agreed to buy the core Lehman Brothers US franchise. There seems to be some interest in buying some of the Asia assets but it's not clear if this will really happen or how Australia would fit into this.

Keeping my fingers crossed that Barclays decides to buy out Lehman Brothers Australia ... will keep you updated as I find out more.

Here is a good write up on Barclays purchase of Lehman Brothers's US operations.

Monday, September 15

Lehman Brothers files for bankruptcy

Most of you have probably heard the news by now, my company Lehman Brothers, has filed for bankruptcy in the US. What does this mean for me? To be honest I don't know yet. The US parent company is under Chapter 11 protection but the Australian subsidiary is still running. But having said that, our trading privileges on the Australian stock exchange have been suspended so it's not clear that we can actually still do any business at the moment.

So for now all I know is that I am going to the office tomorrow and find out more. Wish me luck. If things don't turn out then I'm hoping to go back to Tokyo.

If anyone is interested here a nice summary explaining the collapse of Lehman Brothers.

Saturday, September 6

Phuket nights

Some of my friends have been asking me to tell them all about the more 'fun' things I did while in Phuket. Reading about how nice the beach was of the good food is nice but what they really want to know is what my nights in Patong were like.

Well this is a family blog (not really but some of my family do read it) so I can't go into all the seedy details that the friends I left behind in Tokyo want to hear. But I can say that I did have one or two fun nights.

So who's the girl in the picture above? Her name is Ayako and I met her and her friend Ayano in the pool at my hotel. They are from Kobe. Ayako is singer and is about to start a radio show when she gets back. Ayano is a photographer also from Kobe. I invited them out to go explore the Phuket nightlife and they were up for it.

The first place we hit was a club call Lime. We went thinking it was a club but it's more of a lounge bar will loud dance music. It wasn't a bad place to start at though. There was an event on (organized by a Canadian!) and the entrance was around 600 baht including all you can drink for the next two hours. When the all you can drink time was up we headed out for our next place. We weren't too drunk but drunk enough to pose with Ronald.

The next place we hit was a club called Seduction. This was a proper club, unfortunately it was also dead. There were many 5 Thai girls in there and that was it. We stayed long enough to use up our one free drink coupon. The one I can say about the place though is that they have a nice upstairs lounge. That's where I took the of Ayako on the sofa you see at the start of the post.

We were then off to our next, and last, stop, Tiger. Tiger is a pretty famous club and quite big. It has one main dance floor and a second floor around that where you can sit and watch people gyrating. It offered a great view on what people where up to down below and allowed me to take this this pic of some pole dancers.

That was probably my most fun night in Phuket. Having two fun girls along definitely made it memorable. If I were still living in Japan I'd definitely go and visit them.

Monday, September 1

Is this a geocache?

Most people wouldn't think twice at seeing this building while holidaying in Phuket. But if you were me (or Scott), the first thing you'd think is geocache! Imean it's just too obvious, no? There must be one right there. Well, I searched and couldn't find one. Damn.

I thought about making my own and placing it here, but after having looked for a cache I realised that there wasn't any easy place to put one. No metal around so can't make a magnetic cache and no convenient hiding spots. Shucks, would have been great to put this one up on the net ...