Seeking Alpha

Eric Kelly's  Instablog

Eric Kelly
Send Message
Trader and money manager, graduate of the University of Michigan with dual degrees in Finance and Accounting. I have with interest in all global markets, assets, and trading styles. The analysis and opinions conveyed in my articles are my own, not that of my employer.
View Eric Kelly's Instablogs on:
  • Lubrizol and Warren Buffett: Insider Trading? Short-Sell Opportunity?
    Lubrizol, warren buffett, trading, short selling, acquisition, calls, options, insider trading, illegal, berkshire hathaway, mangement, fundamental, value investing, bloomberg, march, stock surgeLubrizol call volume sky-rocketed to suspicious levels March 9th.


    HedgeFundLIVE -- Early during Monday trading hours, it was announced that Warren Buffet's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. will be acquiring Lubrizol Corp. As always when Mr. Buffett gives his seal of approval to a company, the stock price surged, in this case 28% today. However, suspicious call volume was traded on March 9th. An excerpt from a Bloomberg article:

    "Call trading surged to 2,931 contracts on March 9, and open interest for the April $110 calls jumped to 2,654 from 41. A block of 2,168 April $110 calls traded for $2.35 each on March 9, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Lubrizol’s four-week average trading volume is 413. The April $110 calls advanced almost 11- fold to $24.70 today..."

    As the article goes on...

    "...Lubrizol call volume rose to a record today. More than 20,000 calls changed hands, 49 times the four-week average and five times the number of puts to sell. The most-traded contracts were the September $135 calls, which accounted for more than four-tenths of all call volume. A block of 2,650 April $110 calls traded at 9:51 a.m."

    This is very suspicious behavior, someone with inside knowledge of the deal is most-likely the culprit. The question becomes, is Lubrizol now a short-sell candidate? Warren Buffett, will surely not want his name or his company's name tied up with an insider trading scandal. If the calls were purchased by employees at Lubrizol, Buffett may kill the deal. Buffett, is known to be a fundamental investor and that includes valuing a company's management as a portion of the it's worth. With the huge stock price surge today, it may be possible to make money by shorting the stock, until this debacle is sorted out.


    Mar 15 12:27 PM | Link | Comment!
  • Japan Earthquake: Currency Trading with the Yen, Aussie, and Loonie -- The Japanese earthquake has hit every global market at this point, including the currency markets. Japan is the world's third largest economy according to the IMF, just behind the US and China. The country itself is a volcanic island, which means natural resrouces are limited, by default such a large economy must also be a natural resource importer. Major imports include iron ore, bauxite, and aluminum. This all means that a near-term collapse (it won't be permanent) of the Japanese economy will spell trouble for the Yen and for commodity currencies like the Aussie and Loonie. Following are some ideas, to play against the USD, not each other. All of these strategies bet on USD strength and counterpart weakness.

     AUD/USD, aussie, Australia, Bank of Japan, canada, central bank, China, commodity currency, Crude oil, donate japan, Earthquake, easing, economy, hedgefundlive, IMF, iron ore, japanese, loonie, natural resources, Oil, risk averse, usa, USD, usd/cad, usd/jpy, YenAUD/USD chart over the last 6 months.

    Australia is one of the world's largest natural resources exporters, and Japan is one of its biggest clients. Australia exports massive amounts of iron ore to Japan, to be used by auto manfucturers like Honda and Toyota. A massive setback in the Japanese economy will cause the Aussie to relatively weaken. The Aussie is already dealing with downward pressure from massive flooding in January. Look for weakened numbers to hurt the Aussie in coming months. To the right, is a chart of the AUD/USD pairing, it has typically reached resistance near parity $1.02, over the last few months and shot down. Expect to see more of the same.

    The Loonie, is another example of a commodity currency. Canada is a huge exporter of lumber, oil, and other natural resrouces. It should be noted that the Canadian economy does not have outstanding problems, like Australia's floods, so the weakness here won't be as dramatic. When investors become risk-averse money tends to flow from commodity currencies to safe-havens like the USD. Lately, the Loonie has had similar price action with crude oil. Look for the Loonie to struggle this week, however, world oil demand isn't changing drastically, so there shouldn't be long-term weakness. In the long-term, the Loonie will strengthen based on oil prices and that it can be an OPEC competitor (if there is such a thing).

    The Yen, should weaken overall. The Japanese economy will be crippled for at least a few months. An article on Bloomberg states:

    "The Bank of Japan injected 5 trillion yen ($61 billion) into money markets today to secure financial stability after the March 11 temblor, the country’s strongest on record, and ensuing tsunami. The central bank also said it will offer to buy 2 trillion yen in Japanese government bonds through repurchases."

    Typically when a central bank injects money into an economy the currency weakens in the short-term. This tactic will also battle deflation problems that have been a nuisance for Japanese bankers, as the easing tends to spur inflation. Hopefully the quick action by the Bank of Japan will help. All of these strategies should be played against the USD based its forecasted strength. The USD should see strength mainly due to Euro weakness, US economic strength, and risk-averse investing.

    If you make any profit off of these strategies, please feel free to donate to Japanese relief.

    Mar 15 12:23 PM | Link | Comment!
Full index of posts »
Latest Followers
Posts by Themes
Instablogs are Seeking Alpha's free blogging platform customized for finance, with instant set up and exposure to millions of readers interested in the financial markets. Publish your own instablog in minutes.