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  • Shock expressed as Greece has no new plan [View news story]
    After all these years, I'm "shocked" that the market is shocked. I've repeatedly suggested that put ratio backspreads were low cost strategies to take advantage of the obvious human fragility. Puts have been dirt cheap.
    But, alas, I am greatly comforted to see that humans remain tethered to that ancient reptilian brain.
    Jul 7, 2015. 12:04 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Oil Falls Off The Chart, Crushes Hopes [View article]
    Well, I was underwater on SCO until recently, but I cashed out yesterday and bought more USO. And I'll buy more as it drops (ever play an automatic 2 down press?)- at the same time, I'll sell triple calls for every 100 shares- yes oil is manipulated, but all things are manipulated- whether by man, nature or both.
    It is not within the realm of possibility to play a simplistic one- dimensional game. What was it about Nash's theory that earned him a Nobel?
    Jul 7, 2015. 11:50 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • ISM Non-Manufacturing Index at 56.0 [View news story]
    Yes-and people loading up on zirpy bonds.
    'Once upon a time, in a land far, far away,
    An economic experiment, called ZIRP
    Haunted the good people day after day,
    Until the fat lady did sing and burp.'
    Jul 6, 2015. 12:12 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A New Deal For Greece [View article]
    I thought humanity figured out centuries ago that debtor's prisons are counter-productive. No? Feed them brats!
    So, Zorba should have been a corporate executive-history would be different.
    What say you Plato?
    Jul 6, 2015. 11:56 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is The Fed Making A Bad Bet Right Now With Zero Rates? [View article]
    Jimmy got a discount on "Billy Beer" so he wasn't really attuned to inflation. Besides, he had to contend with 'lust in his heart' and the Iranian hostages. But, despite the cosmic malaise that seemed to represent his four years upon the stage, college grads could still expect to find decent employment opportunities. There was still an innate confidence and even vibrancy across the political spectrum-and the people. I mean, a society can't feel too gloomy if it invents 'Disco Duck' and '...breaker, breaker, we got a convoy.' Alvin proved to be the prophetic voice, and "Future Shock" has shaken traditional perspectives and opportunities. The global economy has demanded central planning from banks-not statesmen. We see that today-in spades. Big banks that owe their existence to the people now demand punitive reparations from... the people. We've allowed our politicians to pick winners and losers-anathema to the very core beliefs so eloquently expressed in "Wealth of nations" and "The Declaration of Independence." So, we now have a mutated gene within the double helix of free enterprise and basic fairness.
    Perhaps we should commission the Fed and ECB to rewrite Jefferson's masterpiece: "When in the course of a financial crisis (created by large banks), we should endeavor to provide funding for Goldman Sachs and General Motors..Notwithstanding the pain and suffering of small business..."
    It doesn't quite resonate, does it? Well, Jefferson also noted that 'the price of liberty is eternal vigilance.'
    Jul 6, 2015. 10:59 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Thinking About Small Business Perceptions [View article]
    You must be old enough to recall a really vibrant Main Street. In the time before WMT, HD, TGT, MCD etc family- owned small business thrived. Bill's Meat Market, Jones Hardware, Goodson's Drugs- now just a memory.
    This has played out millions of times throughout thousands of small towns. The damage has been done- the repercussions are next.
    Jul 5, 2015. 10:53 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Has Deceleration Returned To Home Prices? [View article]
    I have consistently advocated shorting ITB (not XHB) at 27.50 and doubling down at increments above that point. All one has to do is scan my comments on the subject.
    What confuses people ( I guess) is that there are geographical pockets of high performance. But, remember that one can drown in a stream with an average depth of 6 inches. Further, there are tectonic changes, which are easy to gloss over, but refuse to go away. One of the obvious is that an economy can't sound the clarion call of recovery where median income has declined from post-war levels. Despite the lollipop and rainbow purveyors of the evening news, one can move all the deck chairs from the boiler room up to the top deck, but the gaping hole is still gushing water.
    Jul 3, 2015. 01:33 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why I Think World Acceptance Will Go Bankrupt [View article]
    The mere fact that loan sharking lite has proliferated is an indictment against the economy as it is. If an average citizen can't go to an average bank with the reasonable expectation of being treated in a professional manner, what conclusions can we derive as to the current state of the economy?
    When I was 16 years old, I set up a checking and savings account in one of those big marble, high-ceiling, museum looking banks-I even got a car loan, and repaid the loan ($16/week).
    When traditional education and values are discounted as 'so yesterday' we can expect extended battles between the cobra and the mongoose.
    Jul 3, 2015. 12:51 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Guts of jobs report weaker than the headlnes [View news story]
    Our government is so astute with its central planning that I'm confident that by July 4th, 2018 the unemployment rate will be the same percentage as the 30 year bond.
    The economy, of course, will continue to 'recover', hell will freeze over and political correctness will be an amendment to the US Constitution. Brave New World indeed.
    Jul 2, 2015. 03:27 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Volatility Surges 35% On Grexit Fears: It's Time To (Start) Shorting The VIX [View article]
    Well, I closed the shorts when the market opened on my 'don't be a little piggy' philosophy. Now, I'm using iron condors to 'trap' volatility within a bottle-that's the 'time in a bottle' concept.
    Rationale: Volatility fluctuates at this point as it seeks a slightly higher equilibrium. Option premium rich enough for time decay gains.
    I agree with TBT referenced above-all you need to know is how low will rates go?
    And, this game will never get away-I use TBT short put spreads with width a function of recent price. Monday, for instance, was a day for wide spreads (again, rates can't drop below zilch). Furthermore, it's easy to roll the short puts out, or take assignment and sell calls-or just double down (or both).
    Some of you seem to be waiting for ebola and avian flu to mutate into some kind of conjoined DNA strand before you short volatility. You don't have to plunge into the deep end of the pool-just get in the wading pool and put on your water wings.
    Jul 1, 2015. 01:05 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Whipsaw Wednesday: Greece Up, China Down [View article]
    China should let Steve and Sheldon operate their stock market for them.
    Jul 1, 2015. 10:32 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Volatility Surges 35% On Grexit Fears: It's Time To (Start) Shorting The VIX [View article]
    Sold UVXY calls before close on Monday- did the DD ( double down) Tuesday morning. Futures indicate large gains.
    I don't know what's easier- shorting volatility or buying NFLX on dips.
    Jul 1, 2015. 08:49 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Partying Like It Is 2007 [View article]
    I think the game will continue, only the players will come and go.
    Jun 29, 2015. 06:50 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Greece threatens to sue Europe [View news story]
    "Consult how we may henceforth most offend
    Our enemy, our own loss how repair,
    How overcome this dire calamity,
    What reinforcement we may gain from hope,
    If not, what resolution from despair."

    Paradise Lost
    John Milton
    Jun 29, 2015. 06:43 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is All Hell About To Break Loose? [View article]
    For quite a while now I've suggested using put ratio back spreads as a low risk play for an event like Greece. Today was the big payoff.
    Now consider call ratio back spreads to profit from a rebound.
    Don't just wait to pick a bottom- that's much too difficult AND you give up the present value of the gains derived from playing the down draft.
    If this is new to you, just try a very small SPY position- selling one in the money call to buy two or more long calls. A sharp rebound will be profitable, and a continued drop in the market will be marginally profitable. A very small uptick in the market might create a very small or marginal loss- much depends on the set up.
    Jun 29, 2015. 06:32 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment