A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from October 03, 2008
“When the ducks quack, feed them” (Wall Street proverb)

Wall Street is in business to make money; when investors want to buy something (such as an initial public offering), that something is offered for sale. It doesn’t make any difference if Wall Street knows in its heart of hearts that that something (such as an IPO) is overpriced.

“When the ducks quack, feed them” is a Wall Street proverb cited in print from at least 1991. The adage became especially popular with internet IPOs in the 1990s.


May 1991, Financial Executive, “Where can the middle market find capital?” by Nancy J. Huggins:
In other words, “When the ducks quack, feed them,” as the head of First Boston’s equity desk is fond of saying.

Google Groups: misc.invest.stocks
Newsgroups: misc.invest.stocks
From: (Threadgill)
Date: 1995/08/06
Subject: Re: NETSCAPE FAQ (frequently asked questions)

Remember the restaruant stock IPOs 2 years ago?
“When the ducks quack, feed’em”

Google Groups: misc.invest
Newsgroups: misc.invest
From:
Date: 1996/06/14
Subject: Market Astrology ?

Judging the success rate of Wall St.’s Professional Analysts, why not Astrology instead of say, darts! What’s the old Street saying “don’t mistake a bull market for brains!” Hey, have fun. Make a couple of million off the suckers. Many of my fellow brokers do it every day. Another Street saying “When the ducks quack, feed them.” Usually followed by a large dose of not even marginal IPO’s.

Forbes.com
The buyback monster
Matthew Schifrin and Stephen S. Johnson, 11.17.97
HISTORICALLY, when stocks are high, corporations sell stock to the public. Its the old When the ducks quack, feed em syndrome.

Google Books
The Psychology of Investing
By Lawrence E. Lifson and Richard A. Geist
Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons
1999
Pg. 76:
Alas, Wall Street knows this too well and responds in its own special way. It says, “When the ducks quack, feed ‘em.”

Google Books
The Global-Investor Book of Investing Rules:
Invaluable Advice from 150 Master Investors

By Philip Jenks and Stephen Eckett
Published by FT Press
2002
Pg. 65:
“When the ducks quack, feed them.” This is an old Wall Street adage relating to initial public offerings.

Google Books
500 of the Most Witty, Acerbic and Erudite Things Ever Said About Money
edited by Philip Jenks
Published by Harriman House Limited
2002
Pg. 23:
“When the ducks quack, feed them” (trad. Wall St. saying)

Google Books
Roadmap to Entrepreneurial Success:
Powerful Strategies for Building a High-Profit Business

By Robert W. Price
Published by AMACOM Div American Mgmt Assn
2004
Pg. 47:
The old line with investment bankers on Wall Street is, “When the ducks quack, you feed them.”

Washington (DC) Post
Treasury Shouldn’t Duck Longer Bonds
By Allan Sloan
Tuesday, March 14, 2006; Page D02
One of the rules of Wall Street is, “When the ducks quack, feed them.” In other words, give the customers what they want. If technology stocks are hot, you sell people technology mutual funds. If investors fall in love with biotechnology, you sell as many initial public offerings of biotech firms as you can manage. This generally doesn’t work out terribly well for the buyers—but it’s great for the sellers.

Denver (CO) Business Journal
Friday, January 25, 2008
Personal Finance
Street yields to ‘when ducks quack, you feed them’

by Richard Todd
Special to the Business Journal
Interest rates have decreased dramatically through the years, and interest-rate spreads between high-grade and low-grade instruments have narrowed significantly.

Investors—both institutions and individuals—have clamored for more yield, and Wall Street obliged. After all, the old adage, “When the ducks quack, you feed them,” has been the Wall Street rallying cry for years.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityBanking/Finance/Insurance • (0) Comments • Friday, October 03, 2008 • Permalink