Thursday, April 17, 2014

Covering Shorts, Closing (some) Spreads and Selling Puts

Essentially calling a local bottom of sorts here with weakness and uncertainty not getting resolved necessarily in 2014, but good value/beta-mining trades possible… (e.g. INTC, sold yesterday after good earnings)

Daily: Daily vs Weekly: Weekly

http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2014-04-15/how-much-trading-should-there-be

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Muni Bonds?!

(This is me, calling a bottom?)

Holding callable munis yielding >7.5%  At these yields, they go back to the issuer(s) at par with ytm ~6-6.8% thru ~2021.  That means these bonds are yielding ~3x the current 10 year treasury through 2021 where the only worst possible scenario is default.

Conclusion: I think my bond holdings are at least relatively undervalued right now…  (know that frankly means “end of the world” on some level – that QE has/will ultimately fail to create sustainable growth/inflation? -- but still happier holding excess claims and ~zero debt right now than claims on “growth” or far-worse holding leverage…)

20% short
20% cash
35% bonds
25% long stocks (mostly via sold cash secured puts)
http://www.stockoptionschannel.com/symbol/?symbol=IBB&month=20140621&type=put&contract=185.00

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Tesseract vs Online OCR

Take google at its search results: there was a site: newocr.com that $craper once used to convert P&F charts to text after stockcharts.com stopped emitting same (code reads text more easily than images).

Thus $craper could (for months after stockcharts’ change) OCR chart images to text from urls.  And newocr was open – no “captcha” boxes…

Then newocr went away…

96 hours later, $craper has switched to local (client side) OCR using tesseract under Win 7 x64 with Cygwin for bash shell scripting under Windows (as a retired 20 year Oracle DBA in mostly Windows/Office environments at various small-to-huge agencies/corporations I’m probably strongest “coding” today in Linux/bash, Win/VBA and Oracle/plsql).

  • wget: download chart image
  • convert: upsize image from ~300p to 1024p (tesseract-ocr works best with larger, flatter/monochrome images)
  • tesseract: convert image to text
  • $craper: load text (MS Access db still sufficient here for this – stock picking – purpose).

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Now What?!

OK.  So Marx was as correct about socializing Capital as Jesus was about socializing Love.

But could the problem really be... Oh, I don't know... (lack of) Evolution resulting in mass ignorance, mean stupidity, overpopulation and economic collapse (deflation/depression) trying to unwind insane levels of personal and “democratic” (govt) debt?

(Read more: House GOP: How many have paid for Obamacare?)

So when the Obamacare exchanges finally opened for business in October, of course the tens of millions of insurance-starved Americans stampeded over each other to sign up and finally get covered.

Except they didn't.

The reality has been shocking even to the biggest Obamacare detractors. A McKinsey Report estimates that just 10 percent of the roughly 4 million enrollees in the ACA are people that did not previously have health insurance. Just 1 in 10!

Those 40 million to 50 million Americans just clamoring for health coverage that the Democrats have been telling us about since the 1940s have turned into just about 400,000 people who have bothered to sign up so far. And how much do you want to bet that those 400,000 will end up making up the lion's share of the up to 900,000 enrollees who have failed to actually pay for their new coverage?

(Read more: Who are these people? Insurers scope out new enrollees)

The experts have come up with several good explanations for the lack of interest among the uninsured. They point to the expensive premium and deductible prices, confusing rules, and of course the failed Healthcare.gov website launch.

But here's something no one seems to be addressing, and it's truly the elephant in the room when it comes to people who refuse to get covered now, refused to get covered before Obamacare, and will continue not to get covered forever: You can't fix stupid.

We spend a lot of tax money in this country trying to stamp out stupid with varying degrees of success. But no matter how much we spend and how hard we try, millions of Americans will still smoke, drink to excess, drink and drive, eat unhealthy food, and refuse to be responsible enough to tend to their health and health coverage. And there isn't any website, commercial, or funny viral video on Earth that will change their minds.

So we should stop trying so hard.

(Read more: Obamacare ha-ha: So Obama walks into an interview with Galifianakis...)

The universal individual mandate has always been the weakest operational and theoretical aspect of the ACA, so much so that Chief Justice John Roberts had to come up with the crazy idea of reclassifying the entire thing as a tax just to keep it alive. It's a ruling most Americans and Roberts himself will regret for decades to come.

Our Constitutionally guaranteed freedom in this country isn't just a slogan. It means the freedom to succeed and the freedom to fail. The freedom to be smart, and the freedom to be stupid. And just because you can't fix stupid, it doesn't mean we should try to fix or amend freedom.

Unfortunately, that's just what Obamacare does by taking money from the responsible portion of society in an attempt to force feed responsibility to another. That's the thing about responsibility: It can't be imposed or transferred from one to another.

President Obama has unilaterally changed the rules of the ACA several times in the past 12 months. There will be more changes to come, including a possible long delay or outright abolition of the entire individual mandate. When — and if — that happens, don't pay attention to all the inevitable excuses that will address everything from blaming bad websites to anti-tea party conspiracy theories.

The real reason will be that the government can't fix stupid without killing freedom. And, as far to the left as America has drifted lately, we haven't quite gone off the deep end.

— By Jake Novak

Jake Novak is supervising producer of "The Kudlow Report." Follow him on Twitter @jakejakeny.

http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2013/09/alan-weisman-inquiring-minds-population-countdown

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Sure Signs of the Apocalypse? (High Yield CDs…)

Caveat Emptor: higher yielding CDs (circa 2008?  lure of FDIC “insurance”) (banks need dollars, again, now!?) are back...
________________________________________
<your broker> is participating in the FDIC Insured* Goldman Sachs Bank USA Callable Step-up CD offering.

Offering details:
Issuer:    Goldman Sachs Bank USA
Rating:    FDIC Insured*
Order Period:     Now through March 25, 2014 (expected)
Coupons:    Steps: 3.25% till 03/26/2021, 3.50% till 03/26/2024, 4.00% till 03/26/2027, 5.00% till 03/26/2028, 7.00% till 09/26/2028, 9.00% till 03/26/2029
Maturity:    March 26, 2029 (15 Year)
Payment Frequency:    Semi-Annual - First Pay 09/26/2014
Call Status:    Callable March 26th, 2015 (Semi-Annually thereafter)
Survivor's Option:    Yes - up to applicable limits
Price:    $100.00

*The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) insures CDs for principal and accrued interest up to $250,000. Included in this coverage is any other amount an investor may have on deposit with the bank or institution that issued the CD, for the same account ownership category. Investors need to make they know the extent of their FDIC coverage and that they monitor their entire deposit with the issuing bank to ensure it does not exceed the coverage limit.
________________________________________
Callable step-up investments have a predetermined schedule of coupon rates, which usually increase gradually, or “step-up”, over the life of the security.  Typically, step-up investments are subject to redemption on a specified date or dates at the sole discretion of the issuer.  Risks of callable step-up investments include, but are not limited to: (1)an uncertain date of return of principal due to the call feature; (2)if called early the total return on the investment may be less than if it had been held to maturity; (3)investors may be unable to reinvest the funds at an equivalent rate to the original investment, and; (4)if sold prior to maturity, the value of the investment will be subject to market and interest rate risk. These investments have greater sensitivity to interest rate changes due to longer maturities.
________________________________________

Friday, March 7, 2014

Philosophical Friday…

Most people don’t really understand capitalism, which explains why they like it so much.
Whereas most people fully understand socialism, which explains why they hate it so much!

Sell The Rip, Buy The Dip (e.g. solar/alt) later

Selling calls (TRN) and taking profit (TAN) on too fast(?) runners…
http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/business/2014/03/february-jobs-report-shows-surprising-strength/

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Upside Energy?

See again that $craper Upside Energy indicator correlates fast-over-slow turns, Slow Sto(chastic), this chart:
(just interesting to confirm the same technical signal via different means… i.e. that selectively tuning $craper to become more technically oriented essentially succeeded)

Friday, January 31, 2014

Travis Bickle + University + QE = Rust Chole

"This whole drama was never more than a gerry-rig of presumption and goodwill..."

Correction: S&P 1650
Apocalypse: S&P 500
Playing for a correction, initially.  (Remember: TARP/QE flows if rich people’s money really goes…)

Friday, January 10, 2014

Nature’s Revenge Is the Normal Distribution?

http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm

74K (that's bad) non farm payroll (jobs) created in December...
347K left the workforce.  Leaving the workforce is now a kind of Social Movement? (I submitted my resignation yesterday at 52--not sure it's going to help anyone’s children though…)

I now estimate the probability of virtual asset loss greater than 50% at 50% for the rest of my lifetime--i.e. the probability of money/system failure is now equal/greater to the probability of outliving the money I consumed most of my life saving to live on now…  (even this estimate – living to see 75% on the “back end” – is arguably overly optimistic, see title)

Friday, January 3, 2014

Buy, Write, Rollup?

EOS long term golden cross setup (retail investors)?

eos

eos

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Thursday, October 24, 2013

On AAPL…

Paraphrasing Carl Icahn: "Tim Cook and the Apple board, cannot be allowed to sit on 170 billion at 0.25% interest forever..."
DO SOMETHING, AAPL, OR SELL TO CARL, WHO WILL!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Can TINA Last Forever?

The only thing keeping this wave alive would seem to be TINA (there is no alternative -- to equity) but how much longer? Bastardizing Keynes (possibly correctly): TINA can stay in effect far longer than you can stay (short and) solvent!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Friday, August 16, 2013

8/16/2013

8/16/2013 6:23:25 AM
$craper Alpha...
==============================
TXN TSN LYB JNJ BX SLM KEY AFL UTX QCOM CHK DOW COP JCI TWX BA PPL PBI GSK WAG
Yield = 2.69
Gain = 6.359201
==============================

$craper Gorilla/Cash...
==============================
AMGN ATVI CBS GS GT HUN IPG MS PFE SLB SU XLNX
Yield = 3.283333
Gain = 7.197197
==============================

$craper Top Screens...
==============================
FLEX
Yield = 0
Gain = 21.05625
==============================

$craper Ex Div Players...
==============================
JNJ FNF BAX CA ATI CCL NEM MCHP LMT WU NVE WEN
Yield = 2.966667
Gain = 7.501238
==============================

$craper Income...
==============================
TXN LYB FGP HRS JNJ BX WDC EOG DOW COP CAG PPL TWX GSK WAG FNF ADI NOC GT PFE
Yield = 4.025
Gain = 4.992351
==============================

Monday, August 5, 2013

Big Daddy Makes a Lifelong Promise to Himself (TSN)

“You will run out of either Time or Sanity, long before you run out Money…”

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Beverly Hillbillies History Lesson Part 1

First, I must admit it’s been a truly lovely party… while it lasts (and before I learn to stop worrying and love peak oil…)

Reagan/Thatcher Years:

  • Prudhoe Bay comes into full production...
  • North Sea oil comes into full production...

Clinton/Blair Years:

  • Financialization (Part 1: New World Order—Trade means: cheap for us; jobs for you) comes into full production...

Bush/Blair Years:

  • Financialization (Part 2: Too Big To Fail) comes into full production...
  • 911 is followed by repeat wars in/near oil producing regions…
  • Nice period to sell a house, but not as it turns out, to buy one…

2005:

  • Peak Oil production rate is achieved, gradual, obvious decline ensues...

2007-2008:

  • Financialization (Part 3: Too Big To Fail—Fails Anyway!)
  • Various bailout scheme(s) (TARP, etc.) concocted by/through ad hoc(?) global banking “conspiracy” to recapitalize a reserve banking system in shock from peak oil and trillions in debt from (see Financialization Part 2...)

2009-?

  • Financialization (Part 4: Quantitative Easing)
  • America Begins "Inventing" Money a k a "Quantitative Easing" to monetize debt instead of oil.   Almost immediately, "Real Equity" realization drives stocks, farmland—“permaculture” assets of every shape and stripe, higher in dollar terms...
  • Still, oil cannot go to $300.00 per barrel (or much below $90) so that potential problem-saving/solving GDP "growth" remains ever stymied…
  • Future debt creation is at risk (lenders want higher returns to compensate for higher default risk)
  • Sequestration a k a “austerity” (England/Europe) emerges as a last resort to consciously reducing government spending ergo public debt…
  • Detroit, et al declares bankruptcy…

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Is Four Percent A Solution?

Peak (cheap) Oil reality is steadily descending upon cheap-fossil-fueled modernity, even on classical “growth” economists…

This means 4% annual growth/income from a large, diverse, market-timed portfolio (>600K) seems a realistic (perhaps optimistic, long term?) target for any “pension fund” including mine/yours!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Bernanke Reiterates Necessity For QE

http://www.forbes.com/sites/afontevecchia/2013/07/10/bernankes-latest-magic-trick-unemployment-is-high-and-inflation-too-low-we-need-more-accommodation/

7/10/2013 5:52:50 PM
$craper Alpha...
==============================
XRX AIG F JNJ YHOO XLNX HPQ MRK MS FDX CHK SPLS FITB COP KEY BX AMAT PEP CSCO EMC
Yield = 2.335
Gain = 13.3549
==============================

$craper Gorilla/Cash...
==============================
CBS GE IPG PFE QCOM SLB TJX TWX WDC
Yield = 2.033333
Gain = 6.291369
==============================

$craper Ex Div Players...
==============================
CAT PFE NI
Yield = 3.266667
Gain = -2.596898
==============================

$craper Income Hot...
==============================
GT AET JNJ XLNX GCI CSC BAX MRK TRV MS ESRX EOG OXY CHK CA FITB ITT BX COP OMC
Yield = 3.295
Gain = 11.20579
==============================

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

When The World Is Running Down…

Arguing a bit with friends/coworkers this morn as regards various investing courses…

Said I would instead recommend studying/developing macroeconomic probability and modeling scenarios... instead of learning stock picking.  Because Stock Picking can’t stop what’s happening (e.g. peak oil; peak everything; overpopulation; 33M people in the streets in every country on Earth, eventually...)  Mass displacements/ crises/starvations/migrations/etc... ?????

Ergo, there are more pressing Questions I want Answers and Probabilities for:

  • How will this impact me directly?
  • What can I do (if anything) about it, in practical (household furnishings—lol) terms?
  • Meanwhile, how to live more cheaply (same thing as sustainably, really) under unending change and, at least to some extent, decline (though frankly life before seemed rather stupid, bloated and pornographic in nature—i.e. the world we 1st world pigs grew up under is over now—probably that’s a good thing anyway…)

http://www.extraenvironmentalist.com/2013/06/30/episode-62-land-grabs/

In short, I must acknowledge that Peak Oil is no longer as “acute” as late arrivers to reality, like me, might otherwise think, but here are a few basic facts:

  • Climate Change
    • The Jet Stream has shifted ~275 mi Northward in just 10-12 years.
    • o New Mexico has not had ground measurable precipitation in ~12 years—the “statistical average” used to be like Helena, MT (my home): 12-16 inches of precip annually.
  • Peak Oil
    • Peak Oil is old news now (today, for now, it’s little more than an “investing” opportunity – i.e. no longer at the “crisis” –TARP=THEFT— stage…
    • U.S. oil consumption has declined to the point we’re almost in accord with Kyoto (which the U.S. refused to sign under George H.W. Bush, 41).
    • But, every drop of oil the U.S. is not consuming is needed, subsumed by the (developing) Emerging Economies, where it is used 5-20x more efficiently to elevate living standards.
  • Unpredictable Markets (essentially, at times, unknowable—except to various bankers… lol)
    • Production of oil peaked in 2005, that is the real reason (not mortgages) there was a “capital crisis” between 07-09 (essentially we must now face the reality that the mortgage crisis was a scam perpetrated by Too-Big-To-Fail banks internationally, essentially to try and augment/make-up for sagging/changing wealth creation under peak oil, going forward...)

Ergo, we will (all?) undoubtedly adjust to this, new normal, future

We can all remain confident in that—but the consequences, of failure to adapt, for those (1/10 to 9/10?) who cannot or will not—those consequences and probabilities rise every single day…

Start preparing now!

Meanwhile… bought more Jan 2014 calls yesterday, trying to leverage the recent pullback(?)…

  • IEO
  • TSN
  • QLD

Friday, June 28, 2013

Friday catch-up

6/28/2013 5:14:21 PM
$craper Alpha...
==============================
CSCO UNM WMT XRX MSFT SLM STX MET XLNX MRK LNC MRO KEY BX SYY TSN MU UNH FL JNJ
Yield = 2.515
Gain = 11.27509
==============================

$craper Gorilla/Cash...
==============================
AFL CA CAH LMT NEE SPLS TRV UNP WDC
Yield = 2.844445
Gain = 11.55994
==============================

$craper Ex Div Players...
==============================
CSCO SYY VZ UDR
Yield = 3.55
Gain = 5.326868
==============================

$craper Income...
==============================
CSCO WMT XRX MSFT SLM XLNX MRK EOG BX SYY FGP CA JNJ LMT CAH WDC AFL NEE SPLS TRV
Yield = 3.285
Gain = 9.564262
==============================

Monday, June 24, 2013

The Mother Of All Credit Crunches Has Begun?!

The last 100 years’ of life on this planet can best be described economically as “the monetization of cheap/free crude oil to produce modernity.”

This implies that interest (future dollars) is really future oil.

This implies that creditors/lenders want a 5 year break even, now, on ten year bonds (because the debtor may default in <5 years under contraction/deflation as oil can no longer be extracted for <$60-80/ba ergo its price must be sustained at/above $100/ba which today appears unsustainable under gradual/endless net credit contraction—see Catch 22).

Credit: see China, see Brazil, see all “emerging markets” is getting harder to come by.  It won’t get easier, without more intervention from The Fed and China!

Debtors, instead of revolving financing, are now paying debt off—deleveraging continues—the credit expansion (investors buying up foreclosed homes) was a mirage?!

Cash Is King (dollars only, of course)

One day in future we may be talking physical dollars (not those left unprotected with your too-big-to-fail bank/broker…)

Friday, June 21, 2013

After The Selloff…

Things look much the same…

6/21/2013 8:53:39 AM
$craper Alpha...
==============================
F AFL CSX OXY DOW LNC CDNS MET APOL CIEN UTX HON ATVI GLW SPLS CSCO LUV SBUX UBS XRX
Yield = 2.04
Gain = 9.340076
==============================

$craper Gorilla/Cash...
==============================
AMAT BX CA INTC IVZ MON MRK MRO MSFT NLY NVE PLD QCOM RAI SU TEVA
Yield = 3.75625
Gain = 4.703769
==============================

$craper Ex Div Players...
==============================
DOW SPLS CSCO XRX JPM NUE MMC CAH EIX GIS
Yield = 2.93
Gain = 5.351943
==============================

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Truth Will Tear Us Apart One Day

(with all apologies to Joy Division)

What is Ben so afraid of?!

TRUTH, Rick!  Truth will tear us apart, one day.

Just what kind of "clown" are you, anyway?
"The crying on the inside kind, I guess..."

  • 1/3 cash (5% yielding CDs)
  • 1/3 bonds (corps holding up, munis losing badly)
  • Less than 20% stocks…

But it still hurts...

Fair Trade?

Come On, People!  If I have to build the 2nd half of my life from the Garbage leftover from the 1st half…

Then Your Jesus Has Got To Go!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Ben Is Right: Equity Must Now Trickle Up!

We Need Trickle Up Now more than anything—and the only mechanism I know for that, under late stage capitalism, under peak oil, is equity, not debt.

That is why Real Estate and Farmland (real equity) is rising in value even faster than the (stable, last resort—or else… virtual equity, a k a) The U.S. stock market.

In short, now, More (nominally) people must be enriched (through equity not debt, and fast, to get them spending, somehow)—or else!

Overweighting equity in the form of stocks and dollars (always coming into or out of dollars…) for now.

Besides, we already have >=1/4 in bonds (muni/corp debt) ~6% yielding…  And we (very nearly) own our 3 houses outright.  Ergo, there will be no more bonds (no more credit issued by me to debtors of any stripe) anytime soon…  Debtors must pay more!  (Interest is, after all, essentially future oil, an ever diminishing, physical commodity.)

Finally, as readers know, I have a big chunk coming back as dollars from 5% CDs beginning August.  GUESS WHERE THAT’S GOING?! (dollar cost avg, buy dips, buy calls, call spreads, put spreads…)

  • Cash (dollars) Is King
  • Equity (physical/virtual—still working) Is King
  • Debt Is Death, Don’t lend any more until the rates match the risk…
  • Rates Will Rise (already have, inside your brain)(see Debt Is Death—lending is down—same thing as “no one is lending, any more…” because future debt that will not now exist was going to be new money for new people and new jobs—that is what peak oil induced contraction and/or collapse looks like; that is WHY we have QE, dummy…)
  • Or Else (see Riots/Revolutions: Syria, Brazil, Spain, …)

Friday, June 14, 2013

You See Fear? I See Strength

Hello?! You mean you were silly enough to believe that all the Drones looked like oversized Paper Airplanes...  The new (unmanned) fighters are landing on carriers now…
http://www.examiner.com/article/netherlands-ufo-not-faked-says-expert-on-ufo-sighting-over-castle
http://news.yahoo.com/u-launches-drone-aircraft-carrier-205352636.html

I see a golden cross.  I see higher lows and higher highs.  I see money out there, somewhere, hiding but wanting to be more…
http://stockcharts.com/h-sc/ui?s=$BPNYA:$CPCE&p=W&yr=3&mn=0&dy=0&id=p17346722243

Under rising rates (lol), I see the 1% having to put all that money somewhere…  Always follow the money!
http://www.mortgagenewsdaily.com/05212013_california_real_estate.asp

Yes, yes, yes... so all profit is booked only on the sell side…  Then what?!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

FAX (China/Japan/Yen-Carry) bottoming?

Down about 15% on small posn in one of my favorite CEF monthly div payers…

So… Decision Time?  Are we setting up (healthy correction) for a huge deep-in-the-money call buying spree this fall? (as predicted but not adeptly enough played in retrospect: Jul 2012 - Jun 2013)

IOW: the yearlong rally is obviously over (stalled?)... but how much over I can't say, yet.  Put:call says a bull wave/cycle is complete but still seeing evidence (trend sustainment) in the form of higher lows?

Long run, I stand by the "Stocks... Or Else" dogma driving multiple expansion (YTD 2013) in the face of mostly depressing (for humans, but not necessarily corps) macro economic news.

If I was really optimistic about 2013 year end through Jan 2014 I'd be selling unsecured puts like crazy here—never really, ever that optimistic though (losing even small $$$ daily does that to a miser), having sold puts earlier this year, still safely out of the money, but increasingly leveling/losing value relative to my sold (shorted) prices (short puts = bullish) only a month or two earlier.

6/6/2013 6:29:01 PM
$craper Alpha...
==============================
ESRX CI WDC CHK HTZ KSS KR LYB TER AFL LNC MET TGT PBI XLNX BA MRK AIG COP TRV
Yield = 1.96
Gain = 14.47
==============================

$craper Gorilla/Cash...
==============================
ADI CSC GILD GS GSK HUN INTC IVZ MSFT NCT NVE PPL SU TJX
Yield = 3.65
Gain = 8.842921
==============================

$craper Top Screens...
==============================
AES APOL FL GES HPQ SFD UNH
Yield = 1.414286
Gain = 16.27737
==============================

$craper Ex Div Players...
==============================
KSS MRK XRX HUN CAH NEM NYX
Yield = 3.042857
Gain = 3.692848
==============================