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  • Understanding CME Group's Very Attractive Economic Castle [View article]
    Very impressive, but...
    Has anyone noticed the CME put options trade with a higher volatility than the calls? Should there be a significant default in the futures market, they have to pony up the difference to injured parties. Then they have to collect from the defaulters, which could take years.
    Yes, they have significant borrowing power to withstand such an event. Still, it would not be pretty. Also, the market in general could look at any default as a black swan event.
    Would Putin do that? Probably not. I'm just saying that the odds are higher than most people would think.
    Dec 23, 2014. 10:17 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Great Northern Iron Ore confirms Trust termination [View news story]
    Except for any final dividends, the shares are worthless. With the decline in iron ore prices, that will much less than $19.00.
    Dec 23, 2014. 10:03 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Oil's drop has punished Icahn, Paulson [View news story]
    My ?? is, who are the big sellers of crude futures? If we ignore hedge fund piggy piling, could it be Russia's oil companies? If so, will they deliver it?
    I have noticed the parallels between Putin's actions and Machiavelli's "The Prince": "The promise given was a necessity of the past: the word broken is a necessity of the present." And: "To understand the nature of the people one must be a prince, and to understand the nature of the prince, one must be of the people."
    The CME will have to make good on contracts if Russia fails to deliver. This would be a black swan event.
    Dec 19, 2014. 10:58 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Big bounce for junk, but some CEFs still at big discounts [View news story]
    Let's not forget CET, Central Securities. 16% discount as of 10/17. They will post their year-end dividend on or about Nov.5. Last year it was $3.50. This year? My guess is 1.50.
    Oct 22, 2014. 02:17 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Habit Restaurants files for IPO [View news story]
    It's a good place to eat high-end burgers. The menu is rather limited, but compares well with Sonic and In-And-Out. Habit would be the first of the 3 to go public.
    Habit pays higher than minimum wages, and is labor intensive; that is to say, nothing is hands-off automated.
    Oct 16, 2014. 11:31 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Rare (of late) selloff for the greenback [View news story]
    I think he meant Labor Day.
    Oct 6, 2014. 03:51 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Fast pace of sales continues at Kimco [View news story]
    I wish I could swallow this as gospel. I invested in KIM and other real estate reits during the real estate boom in 03 thru 07. I cashed out when Sam Zell did. (But did not follow him into his Tribune investment.)
    The office & mall reits are a technical and fundamental value trap for the time being. Their time will come around again. It isn't right now.
    Oct 3, 2014. 02:55 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • LookSmart -27.3%; SA Pro author calls company "a failed business" [View news story]
    Good luck borrowing a $1.65 stock.
    Oct 1, 2014. 12:10 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • WP reporter writes a "hit piece" on (gasp!) Mr. Feuerstein [View news story]
    The WP, AF, The Street, and Seeking Alpha, are all in the same biz: attracting eyeballs. AF, however, is often over the top.
    Sep 30, 2014. 11:06 AM | 11 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Russia, Ukraine may be nearing gas agreement [View news story]
    Golden opportunity for Greek shipping companies, like GLOG.
    Sep 26, 2014. 02:26 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Air Berlin cancels $5B order with Boeing [View news story]
    Just a small example of what a strong dollar will do companies that import or export. On the other hand, Airbus planes might be a better deal to stateside airlines.
    Sep 26, 2014. 11:44 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Pimco's Total Return Fund under investigation [View news story]
    Umm, let's think about this for a moment. To what advantage would it be to over price a net asset value? It would result in a loss to Pimco if investors liquidate at an inflated price. It might also attract more new biz, if the returns are higher than industry benchmarks. However, as Madoff found out, inflows cannot be sustained forever. If they got a good deal from an underwriter on a bond, isn't that something that should be reflected in the NAV? It sounds like a distracting tempest in a teapot to me.
    Sep 24, 2014. 01:01 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Nervous feet over Starbucks? [View news story]
    I was looking for a smoking gun among the option trades for Friday. There is nothing unusual; the trading in the Sept 19 75 put was not high enough to suggest that the trade had options tied to it, or that it was an options market maker trying to hedge opening contracts.
    Sep 13, 2014. 03:43 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Nervous feet over Starbucks? [View news story]
    Barron's reports that Hedgeye Rick Managemet analyst Howard Penney put SBUX on their best ideas list as a short. Yes, the sale could have been an opening position. The block trade was for less than 5% of the outstanding shares, and so may not trigger a 13D filing. Still, it is more likely that this was an outright long sale.
    Sep 13, 2014. 02:56 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Nervous feet over Starbucks? [View news story]
    I'd like to ID the seller of the block trade. It smells of a margin call or liquidation to meet a large withdrawal from a hedge fund. A hedge fund needing to meet a call has to sell about 7 times the call in marginable stock. If there is blood in the water, I'd like to buy some bargains from the carcass.
    Sep 13, 2014. 02:47 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment