The Spirit of Arnold Ziffel Leaves Wall Street Unhedged ~ The Risk Averse Alert

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Spirit of Arnold Ziffel Leaves Wall Street Unhedged

Short squeezes founded on a single technology company whose earnings are reported — using a classic, Goebbels-like, phraseology — "better than expected," but whose revenues are down 15%, year-over-year, simply should not impress any risk averse investor in a time when profound structural imbalances continue threatening the core of the financial system.

I get the gig now, though. You write covered calls against your bloated inventory of overpriced equity, bid futures up, and hope that, in the short squeeze you precipitate buyers of your calls will exercise their right and take some of that dead equity off your hands.

It's not difficult to gauge just how effective this strategy is...


There simply are fewer and fewer takers. The risk to those holding the bag right now, attempting to offload "assets" whose depreciation over the next five years is as close to a sure thing as ever comes in this game, is that some shock event will leave them trapped in positions they might wish they had more aggressively unloaded.

One thing is certain. Many a long equity position is not being hedged. The thinking probably is, "who can afford it?" Yet it might better be, "can my firm really afford not to?"

To many the attitude probably rhymes with, "why bother, bottom is in!" Good luck, Arnold.


Well, well, no widening of participation in price recovery on the Pump and Dump. We'll see what develops over the next couple days. With a ton of overhead resistance at last autumn's gap in COMP there presently is little to fear about any runaway move to the upside.

Fast Money
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Anonymous said...

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TC said...

Thank you, Patricia!