Monthly Archives: December 2011


In 3 hours, if Fitch leaves me alone, I’m taking some time off. The calendar spreads worked well this month, but it’s now time to sit on the sidelines until after the new year.

I wish all of you, Happy Holidays.


Moped Santa

Santa at Kmart

Forget Corzine for 2 weeks.

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The young father stood in line at the Kmart layaway counter, wearing dirty clothes and worn-out boots. With him were three small children.

He asked to pay something on his bill because he knew he wouldn’t be able to afford it all before Christmas. Then a mysterious woman stepped up to the counter.

“She told him, ‘No, I’m paying for it,'” recalled Edna Deppe, assistant manager at the store in Indianapolis. “He just stood there and looked at her and then looked at me and asked if it was a joke. I told him it wasn’t, and that she was going to pay for him. And he just busted out in tears.”

At Kmart stores across the country, Santa seems to be getting some help: Anonymous donors are paying off strangers’ layaway accounts, buying the Christmas gifts other families couldn’t afford, especially toys and children’s clothes set aside by impoverished parents.

The full story is here.

Corzine, MF Global

Someone knows who and why customer funds where ‘unsegregated’ on the broker-dealer side of MF Global… And they’re not telling us. A fascinating hearing on CSPAN.

And an update from the CME Executive Chairman which contradicts John Corzine’s testamony.



December SPY Straddle

I just saw a large December 123$SPY Straddle cross. That’s a very short-term bullish option trade and looks something like this:

SPY Straddle

You can pick up this trade for about $3.10. The chart above is with 10 contracts.

The trade I saw had 8100 contracts for a cost of about 25K (which would be the max loss). The trader is betting that before Friday of this week the $SPY will trade over 126 or under 120, the two break-even points.

I personally don’t like this trade, but thought I’d point out a large bullish option bet.

Good point…

This is a quote from ZH, and it does get you thinking. (Highlights mine.)

Have you noticed that all the “hot” initial public offerings (IPOs) being hyped by Wall Street are all marketing companies? The big IPO that has everyone on the Street salivating is of course Facebook in 2012–the ultimate “social media” marketing machine. What’s striking about these heavily hyped Social Media companies is that they make nothing, and their service is either free (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) or a “free” marketing mechanism (Groupon). When was the last time a company went public in the U.S. that actually manufactured a good? When was the last time a “hot” company went public selling a service that had nothing to do with marketing and that actually performed a valuable function?

Stylish Autolib

Autolib has launched and is starting to get some international press.

Here’s a story from the BBC written by a Style Blogger here in Paris (link).

If you’re a Brandnet visitor you know that I like this business, my earlier post isĀ here. For some unexplained reason the American press is picking up a bunch of these French-American blogs recently. Maybe it’s a conspiracy!