Sunday, April 27, 2014

We’re Not In The First Inning Anymore…

  1. First Inning
    • 1867: Marx denounces and predicts inevitable failure (diminishing returns, dystopian future) for what will eventually become global, neoliberal, algo-capitalism
    • 2005-7: “too big to fail” peak-oil/finance/debt/“trust” failure/crisis
      • QE spawned (assets inflate but confidence is not restored)
      • QE fails (trust crisis ensues: deleveraging, depression, crime/violence, class/military-war, bankruptcy, restructuring, austerity…)
  2. (You Are Here)
    • Here is where markets and arbitrage, as the only truly successful human “philosophy” other than the scientific method, have clear roles to play…

Friday, April 25, 2014

2014: Revenge On The Nerds?

"I could give you some head-and-shoulders..."

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