Avoiding the overly optimistic market today (with the exception of $GC_F), I’ve cleared out my spreads and will be taking a bit of a break. To my credit I cleared them out at the right time. So I’m staying in some long dated puts, and watching gold closely, as I mentioned here, and here, gold under 1650 is worth trading. But otherwise the SPY ranges have fully broken to the upside. I’ve been fighting a bad strategy over the last few expirations, I would have been better rolling bull spreads.

I read a great quote today from a friend who calls memory, ‘hindsight speculation’, which is perfect. In other words, had I worked more on my bull spreads and bailed on my calendar spreads…

Falling into this hindsight speculation trap would be a mistake, so I’ll use the time to think about something completely different.

For people living in Paris, driving is a luxury (atleast outside of Paris). In fact for years I didn’t want the bother or the expense of managing a car and motored around on two wheels instead of four. There’s really little need for a car, the trains are excellent, and a motorcyle or scooter might get you killed but you won’t have to pay for parking, Acquiring a drivers license is like a daily visit to the dentist.

In any case there’s an intellectual gymnastic which Americans are expected to go through when they drive (or buy) a car in France. The French measure gas milage in liters per 100 kilometers. Try it. How many liters does your Honda Civic consume over 100 kilometers? Or that nice new Mercedes? After a while I acclimated, like getting used to my height which is 1M90 not 6’2″. Or a more context appropriate example for this blog would be calculating a delta neutral position. How many March 140 calls do I have to sell to be delta neutral on my April 135 calls? If you’re unfamiliar with option greeks, you throw up your hands. It’s the same trying convert liters per ‘cent’ (LPC) to MPG, eventually you throw up your hands or adapt.

Note to potential tourists: “LPC” doesn’t exist, I’ve just invented it.

I started to wonder why did this measurement evolve so differently? And lets face it the metric system is far better than the US system of gallons and fluid ounces. This must represent a very real cost for international manufacturing and trade, so where’s the problem?

Wikipedia does a great job.

The French Revolution gave rise to the metric system, and this has spread around the world, replacing most customary units of measure. In most systems, length (distance), weight, and time are fundamental quantities; or as has been now accepted as better in science, the substitution of mass for weight, as a better more basic parameter.

Metrication is complete or nearly complete in almost all countries of the world. US customary units are heavily used in the United States and to some degree Liberia.


My car gets 7.5 LPC or 31.4 MPG

Here’s all you need:

  • 1 gallon = 3.78541178 liters
  • 1 mile = 1.609 kilometers

And for those worried about $4.00 per gallon gas, and for fun:

  • 1 liter ~ 1.60 euros
  • 1 euro = 1.31 dollars

Gas costs $9.69 per gallon in Paris

By coincidence this morning I found this:  La voiture trois fois plus chère en France que les transports en commun.

Do you think AFP is reading my blog?!