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George Acs  

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  • Dissociative Identity Disorder Is For Markets Too [View article]
    Whatever it is, that money hasn't been trickling down as far as anyone can tell. We may find out a little more this week, though. I think I would put more figurative stock in the experiences from Macys, Kohls, Target and others than I might from official Retail Sales reports.
    May 10, 2015. 03:57 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Dissociative Identity Disorder Is For Markets Too [View article]
    Had unfilled orders on those FAST calls on Friday, but was looking at Aug 2015. I don't like doing DOH more than one or 2 weeks and FAST is only has monthly options.

    Going out to August covers the next earnings and another dividend.
    May 10, 2015. 03:54 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • That Ship Has Sailed [View article]
    It's still in the editing queue, although this time around, I didn't submit it until early yesterday evening, as I forgot to push that final button.
    May 10, 2015. 11:51 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • That Ship Has Sailed [View article]
    It's a big ocean. There are lots of strategies to fit lots of different temperaments.

    Which comment or what in the article suggested that day to day volatility was being traded or being promoted as a trading strategy?

    It seems that you've just selectively parsed some words to meet your own needs and biases and to share a tested strategy of buy low and sell high.
    Fortunately, you appear to have the secret for timing and recognizing those inflections that are necessary to get it right on both ends of the transaction. It must be nice to have that kind of certainty and to leave the concept of hedging to those who have the need to fill in the void due to their inability to have the same confidence.
    May 10, 2015. 09:26 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Dear FTC: There's Never Been A Better Time To Deal With Herbalife [View article]
    There is no accusation, at least not on my part, but I believe that it's reasonable to wonder about the issue of manipulation of markets, as both sides have alleged that numerous methods are being employed.

    You are incorrect in saying that I believe "the author is being paid by third parties and that this piece lacks the required disclosure."

    As I have said, if the author is simply an individual investor with a short position, then the disclosure already made is wholly satisfactory. However, if the author has any connection, directly or indirectly to Pershing Square/Bill Ackman or other associates, and is in any manner acting as a conduit to disseminate information or mis-information, whether with remuneration or not, that would be appropriate to disclose to the readership.

    Some people may stand out more than others with regard to the question of their independence by virtue of their activity, although that isn't a sufficient reason to make an accusation. For me, however, it is sufficient reason to register suspicion, while recognizing that outliers may still have entirely legitimate motives.

    Your suggestion as to what may be an appropriate approach to address the issue assumes that there are only mutually exclusive ways of addressing concerns.

    The original title of this article was very clearly an effort to manipulate and mis-lead the readership and potential or current investors.

    I believe that the editors came to see it in that manner, as well, and subsequently required a very substantive title revision.
    May 8, 2015. 03:49 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Dear FTC: There's Never Been A Better Time To Deal With Herbalife [View article]
    If I knew anything with certainty I would not have used the wording as I did, which is quite non-committal.

    If it is only a question of an independent investor having a short position then the disclosure is complete, as it is currently. One would not, however, be entirely off base for wondering what potential other connections could be at the source of generating a volume of work in the course of the past year (and more) that even a public relations firm, being paid to generate such material, would think was (unusually) substantial.

    Since the charges of manipulation have now been levied by both sides, it may also be reasonable to suspect that there may be numerous means of manipulation being undertaken, some perhaps being cloaked or of greater distance from their true source.
    May 8, 2015. 01:47 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Dear FTC: There's Never Been A Better Time To Deal With Herbalife [View article]
    To be precise, there were actually 95 articles in the most recent 365 day period ending a couple of days ago on HLF by this author.

    Most authors on SA, in one form or another attempt to manipulate the reader toward some kind of an opinion, or possibly even toward an action. However, these HLF articles are as egregious in that regard as you can find.

    These articles, whether you are in agreement with the overall thesis regarding HLF or not, smack of the kind of manipulation attempts that both Herbalife and Pershing Square have accused one another and may belie a need for greater disclosure by the author.
    May 8, 2015. 12:13 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Dear FTC: There's Never Been A Better Time To Deal With Herbalife [View article]
    Good to see that the title of this article has now been changed from its original "FTC: There's Never Been A Better Time To Arrest Herbalife" to "Dear FTC: There's Never Been A Better Time To Arrest Herbalife."

    You certainly wouldn't want to mis-lead anyone by having suggested that the FTC was behind such a statement or action, as ludicrous as it may have been.
    May 7, 2015. 05:08 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • HLF: Ackman And Acolytes Have Shot Themselves In The Foot [View instapost]
    I am recently long an HLF position, but have no real opinion as to the merits of longstanding complaints against the company.

    I have made the mistake, in the past, of commenting on some HLF articles, usually reflecting upon the clear and seemingly unsubstantiated biases present in those articles and comments. I did so before having established a long position and was stunned by the emotion and rage.

    Now that I do have a long position I would really think twice before calling into question statements made in articles or subsequent comments.

    While I understand the important role that short sellers play in market liquidity, the back and forth allegations regarding market manipulation, as recently included in Herbalife's 10-Q filing, may also call into question some of the potential manipulation by some SA authors.

    Your pragmatic reality was refreshing to read and I believe should be presented to the editors for their consideration. It is nice to see well reasoned and thoughtful opinions in a sea of hyperbole.

    As a contributor, to one degree or another I may seek to manipulate a reader by laying out a reasoned explanation for a particular action and may also try to create a provocative article title, but there are some limitations.

    However one author, having written 95 Herbalife articles in 365 days, the most recent, to which your comment was directed, really had me at a loss.

    It wasn't the first time, though, that I've been non-plussed by the flagrant bias and the unflagging assault. That kind of emotion, even if ultimately proven correct, leads one to be blinded to the unfolding process around them.

    The title alone to that article, "FTC: There's Never Been A Better Time To Arrest Herbalife," seemed to me to suggest that the FTC was actually behind such a statement or sentiment, although you would certainly question the concept behind an "arrest (of) Herbalife."

    That title has since been changed to "Dear FTC: There's Never Been A Better Time To Arrest Herbalife," coincidentally perhaps after I contacted a senior editor.

    Could it get any more manipulative? Could the article have been filled with any more distortions or mis-leading comments?

    Thank you for your response to some of the issues raised.
    May 7, 2015. 05:05 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • That Ship Has Sailed [View article]
    I'm actually surprised that the Open Interest came in at zero this morning. I follow the phenomenon of early assignments as they relate to dividend capture fairly closely and there are always irrational players or ones that simply lost track of something.

    I am sometimes amazed when a position isn't assigned early, particularly when there may be little benefit to be gained from continuing to own or trade the underlying long call option, But at the same time there are times when an early assignment is made that is so antithetical to the idea of being long a call and puts the exercising call contract holder at increased risk and with a loss of leverage.

    I think in this case there was likely a very, very small number of parties with positions still in that particular option and probably no disengaged parties or casual parties among them.
    May 7, 2015. 02:10 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • That Ship Has Sailed [View article]
    Actually, if you look at the Open Interest for the 5/15 $10 strike, you'll see that it is now zero. Open Interest reporting is delayed a day.

    That means that people who already had long and short option positions simply transacted with one another because the longs had no vested interest in staying in the position and the shorts had a vested interest in keeping the dividend.
    May 7, 2015. 01:01 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • That Ship Has Sailed [View article]
    Not only do those pennies keep adding up, but it also brings me another day closer to receiving my SS check.

    For my part, I'm just fine being a passive bystander on this one.
    May 6, 2015. 09:55 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • That Ship Has Sailed [View article]
    That person on the other end of the trade, because there is no advantage from immediately selling shares, is likely to hold on top them in the hopes of some capital appreciation on the shares.

    What made this particular transaction different is that there was only intrinsic value in the option premium, despite having nearly two weeks of time value.

    When shares are deep in the money and offer a large dividend in absolute terms (rather than simply looking at the yield), in a low volatility environment, you will see less and less time value, making early assignment more and more likely, because they won't be likely to leverage their money on the option side of the trade, so they try to amass as many different components as there are - the dividend and then the shares.

    The likelihood is that the person buying your calls believed he was getting a bargain on the option because he probably believed that shares were heading higher and he didn't have to pay for time value.
    May 6, 2015. 12:16 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • That Ship Has Sailed [View article]
    It was Cecile.
    May 5, 2015. 02:57 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • That Ship Has Sailed [View article]
    To make matters worse, I meant $20.71, not $20.76
    May 5, 2015. 02:08 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment