William and Kate’s Big Day

Seems like only yesterday that I was attending the Royal Bris of Prince William, the future King of England.

Lots has happened since then, most of which explains why I didn’t receive an invitation to the Royal Nuptials.

My comment at the time that the Royal Moyle should have snipped a bit of Prince Charles’ ears was not taken in the humorous vein that I had intended.

Heh, heh. Royal Moyle. Sometimes I amuse myself.

And I swear that it wasn’t me that requested a courtesy flush from the Queen, although it’s a fact that she has digestive issues.

My backdoor plan to be the Syrian Ambassador’s “plus one” was foiled, when the House of Windsor withdrew the invitation due to sensitivity over events in Syria.

At least that was the official story.

Nonetheless, today, I am still very excited.

Sure, sure, it’s the wedding thing, but I’m just an onlooker there. But even moreso it’s that E*Trade has finally unveiled its weekly options trading platform.

I can’t wait to get going with that since the original Option to Profit newsletter and its recommendations were all based on final week options cycle trading.

Now, I can do it every week.

More commissions for E*Trade too, as if my $10,000+ in commissions last year wasn’t enough, but it’s all well spent and reciprocated with good service and execution.

That’s why I had to economize a bit on William and Kate’s wedding gift. Although I’m certain when “Famous Dave’s” opens up its first location in England, they will delight in using their gift card and chowing down on the frozen Cornwall on the Cob.

The weekly options are perfect for me to deal with the holdings for which I haven’t quite found the right regular options opportunity. I do get frustrated when I’m sitting on shares that aren’t generating some kind of return. This month, and fortunately it’s a 5 week options cycle, I still have about 5 holdings that are not bringing home the fish and chips.

After a couple of unemotionally charged up days that seemed to have little to no conviction, I’m expecting a lower close for the week, despite thepre-open futures numbers.

What post-press conference Bernanke Bounce there may have been should soon be dissipated.

For my sake, I hope so, as my ROI so far this month is lower than the S&P. That doesn’t happen very often, but is the risk you take when you sell call options ahead of an upward moving market.

Still, there’s 3 weeks still left in this cycle and if all goes to script there’ll be a market drop before then.

Listen, if the Divine Creator can allow a Prince to find a commoner from among a sea of non-royals, he/she sjhould be capable of a little market gyration.

Speaking of which, Queen Elizabeth does a mean hula once she’s had a couple of Boilermakers.

 

 

I Don’t Understand Currencies

Since no one else will say so, I will.

I’m a pretty smart guy.

Two degrees from Harvard, living a pretty good life, only working if I want to and having a Sugar Momma go off to work 4 days a week.

Not bad. Kids are out of the house, dog is low maintenance and the coffee is fresh.

But as hard as I’ve tried, I really don’t understand currencies. And let me throw in bonds, too.

All of this talk about the dollar, interest rates, currency exchanges just leave me dazed.

Forget about concepts like the Japanese Yen Carry Trade.

And yet, all sorts of morons are extolling their insights into the FOREX and willing to sell you a piece of their underdeveloped cortical lobes.

But at least I do know that the sanctity of the value of the US Dollar is a heated area of discussion.

In fact, yesterday, Art Cashin, while on CNBC, referred to Tim Geithner’s statement regarding his defense of the value of the dollar as being a “Pinocchio statement”.

Then there’s the perennial Ron Paul crusade. Gold, dollar, consipracy. Whatever. Today he used the word “collusion”.

SantelliBut this morning, just as I thought that I was at least beginning to understand the sides, comes RIck Santelli to upend my tenuous comfort zone.

As he was very patiently and uncharacteristically listening to the question set-up, he started his response by calling Chairman Bernanke an “honorable man”.

The cynical me would have interpreted that somewhat akin to starting a response with the preface “With all due respect…”

But the rant never came off.

He actually did not diss Bernanke.He did not come to bury him.In fact, hestated that he believed that Bernake was a good American and had the interest’s of the country heart.

I ascribe this to the fallout from Obama’s full birth certificate being released.

Who knew that so much venom could be controlled by a single piece of paper?

Maybe the next thing to occur will be Trump changing his hair style.

But getting back to my ignorance, and mind you, I’ve always been very good with numbers and math theory, even having read Irving Adler’s book on mathematical theory in 9th grade, yet still the currency thing escapes me.

Yes, I understand the inverse nature of all things interest rate related. I know to think backwards when it’s called for. I even know not to end a sentence with a preposition.

I understand that as the Euro strengthens, the dollar may weaken (leaving out the further complication of the Swiss Franc).

But I like the idea of being able to pare down our deficit by taking advantage of a weak dollar. Isn’t that also good for our exports? Or is that something that needs to be considered as the inverse of the inverse?

But again, Santelli honoring Bernanke?

That really throws things into a tailspin.

I’ve checked my Harvard degrees. They are irrevocable, not like those honorary pieces on faux parchment.

My best explanation, until proven otherwise, is that this was just another dream.

The idea of Santelli being respectful of Ben Bernanke is more ludicrous than KrispyKreme sending Herb Greenberg a box of free doughnuts daily, in thanks for his thoughtful and insightful analyses of their business practices and accounting.

It could happen.

 

 

Too Much?

I’m at that age that I don’t dream that much anymore.


Maybe I still do, but if so, then I don’t remember much.


Ear hairAs you do get older, I think that it’s just a natural tendency to ascribe everything to the aging process. I recently covered the phenomenon of “ear hair”, but there’s really no shortage of changes, that one can only assume are age related.


But last night I did have a dream, a very vivid one at that. With the exception of the dog slobber, though, the bedding remained dry.


 


Interestingly, the dream was about Bed, Bath and Beyond.


 



Okay, maybe not so interesting.


I’ve never even been a shareholder, although admittedly, I do enjoy trying to maneuver a shopping cart through its narrow and maze like aisles, while following my wife as she hunts for “tchotchkes”.


Amazing how that word is making the auto-spell go berserk. I tyhink the CPU is starting to smoke, as well.


Anyway, the essence of the dream is that I was, indeed, a shareholder and extraordiarily disappointing quarterely earnings were released, resulting in a stampede to sell.


My reaction while in slumberland?


“Bed, Bath and Beyond?. I don’t think so. More like Bloodbath and Beyond”.


And that was it.


The whole dream turned out to be nothing more than a soundbite or a pun that no one, including me, would appreciate. The greatest likelihood is that it’s not even original.


And besides, what kind of normal person dreams about earnings reports for a stock that he’s never owned?


Too much?


Too much!


I suppose I coujld be doing things that advance society wity all of my spare time, rather than sitting, sipping coffee, watching CNBC and looking for trading opportunities.


Yeah, and then this blog and those damn addicting Tweets.


But then I hear things like Boone Pickens saying “An economist is just a CPA without a personality”. Well, it’s those little throwaway snippets that make it all worthwhile, never mind that my youngest son just declared Economics as his major and my nephew is graduating next month as an Economics major.


No offense taken.


Of course, then my mind was equally entertained when a photo of Ron Pauil was shown, announcing that he was the on-deck CNBC guest and in the background they were playing the refrain “Tramps like us…” from Springsteen’s “Born to Run”.


I don’t quite get the connection, but it gives me something to think about.


And then, did I hear it wrong, or did Art Cashin call Geithner a liar when he referred to his recent defense of the dollar as a “Pinocchio comment”.


Whoa, let’s see Geithner’s birth certificate. Althoiugh given his less than dynamic personality, I think they may even have difficulty in dredging up a Certificate of Live Birth.


Meanwhile, the first real thing I did this morning, this second week of earnings season, was to check when BBBY was scheduled to report earnings.


They’re still 2 months away from their next report. So then I looked at their 1 year price chart and that was followed by the May 2011 options tables.


That’s a bad sign when I start letting dreams direct my investing activities.


Luckily, it’s still an hour away from the opening bell and there’s plenty of time for rational thought to take hold and prevent me from doing something irrational.


Besides, if you’ve bought the OTP book, you know that I keep a list of about 50 “Old Reliables”, stocks that I trade in and out of as appropriate. I rarely vary from that list.


BBBY isn’t on the list.


Not quite the same entrance criteria as used to be used at Studio 54, but at least I’m still standing and I’m very grateful that Puff Daddy didn’t turn state’s evidence on me.


I’m afraid that today’s market actions will be muted and not because of the uncertainty of my dreams.


I think that absent any great earth shaking news, literally and figuratively, the world is waiting to see what Bernanke will say at the much heralded press conference.


I’m betting that he’ll admit to a series of unsolved murders in the Southwest.


Maybe he’ll announce that he’s a finalist on “The Voice”.


Sure, I know, some of you are probably replacing “The Voice” with “The Biggest Loser”, but I’m not in that category. Besides, I’ve seen the Chairman’s birth certificate.


I happen to use my own Bernanke indicator.


I look at the thickness of his “Talis Bag”.


For some of my readers, you may as well Google that, along with “Tschotchkes”.


I used to use the velocity of the graying of his beard to assess our economic status, but these days there’s no longer any velocity.


As always, the talking heads are taking all sides on the reasons for this unprecedented press conference, as well as the outcomes on the day’s trading.


My guess is that somehow he will affirm the seriousness of S&P’s warning last week, while balancing that with statements pointing to an improving economic picture.


He’ll mention the balancing of increased revenues with spending cuts as being first steps toward a resolution of the debt crisis.


Or he may just talk about the NFL lockout.


Watching Ron Paul, I’m certain that Bernanke won’t admit that he’s finally converted to Paul’s gold position and the currency. and the role of the Federal Reserve.


Not that I’m a conspiracy theorist, but it was interesting that Ron Paul’s satellite feed seemed to go out just as soon as he started his rant.


Besides, Ron Paul’s Talis Bag is might thin.


So who are you going to trust?


 

Life is a Zero Sum Game

I really do believe that.

It starts from the very beginning. Ashes to ashes and dust to dust.

Yin and Yang.

From what I can see, based on my lost earnings opportunities since my recent addiction to Twitter, they must really be worth a fortune.

I assume that many people that post regularly on Twitter are giving up some income opportunities. Well, in a zero sum game, those have to go somewhere and it looks like that series of tubes in sucking it all in.

As much as I’ve been amazed at the reach of Twitter and how it really does level a playing field, after all, I can “talk” to Rainn Wilson, it has also bought distress into my life.

For, you see, today I lost my first follower.

Although, it would probably be more appropriate to say “followers”, since I lost the wannabe French twins, whose names I forget, although they did rhyme.

I’m not quite certain why they would have been following my stock related posts, but I admired their exclusivity, in that you could not follow them if your were below the age of 18.

I hope they check more carefully than the liquor stores near my son’s campus.

Granted, maybe I should have reciprocated and sought to follow the twins, but if I’m going to get caught up in some internet based pornography thing, I think I’d rather do it at the local library, where it’s legal and I can see my tax dollars at work and gyrating.

Rainn Wilson, on the other hand, can be followed regardless of age and tax bracket, but may be inappropriate for all ages.

Although Szelhamos taught me to never talk about sex, politics, religion or money, immediately before viollating his own principles, usually in the form of a joke, I found Wilson’s picture on a Baha’i faith site, as he is a follower.

I like their principles.

But I must be losing some of my own irreverence, as last night, I didn’t find too much humor in Bill Maher’s “Mormon Underwear” stuff on Letterman, last night.

Mind you, I’ve been intrigued in the past and have done my own bit of Googling (as in searching, not as in the other thoughts going through your wretched minds)

Dave bit his tongue. I, perhaps out of reflex, scratched my crotch.

I’ll be seeing the new Parker – Stone play in about a month and am somewhat saddened that it is purported to be a somewhat sweet look at Mormonism, a religion that they have admittedly been fascinated by, but I really wanted asthma inducing laughter and Mullah inspired Fatwas to be promulgated from Provo.

Now, back to business.

Patience paid off for Textron. I was able to re-sell the May $26 call options, netting a nice extra bit of income. Interestingly, the trading in the call options was really light, as I noticed that most of the open interest was actually my own positions.

Also the bid-ask spread was pretty high, but we ended up splitting the difference and both buyer and seller eschewed greed, which is a good way to do business.

Now, I remain patient for JPM, GS, HPQ, GE and BP.

But let’s face it. All of my thoughts are on how I can get the twins back and to understand “Rainn”?

 


I’m a Rock Star

Ben Bernanke is, undoubtedly, a rock star in the financial world.


If I had the inclination, I would actually check to see if he was ever Time Magazine’s “Man of the Year”, but Ben Bernankethat’s really not all that important. It takes alot for me to make an extra click or two.


Usually rock stars made public speeches when they’re giving their version of legal events or as part of a court ordered community service program.


Although I haven’t checked the newswires this morning, I think Bernanke is misdemeanor free.


Fortunately, the felony charges were dropped when the nany proved to be an unwilling witness.


What is important as the whole world is talking about the first ever press conference held by a sitting Chairman of the Federal Reserve is that he not act like a rock star.


It’s hard to believe that it was nearly 50 years ago that John Lennon let out with his infamous words.


Given Bernanke’s lineage, it would be newsworthy if he were to proclaim himself to be “Bigger than Jesus”.


I don’t think that he’s likely to do that, but you never know what happens once you get on stage. Strange things do happen, but don’t count on it.


In the meantime, we have two days before the big event. In my eyes, that’s a much bigger event than the upcoming royal nuptials.


I still remember being at work and making my rounds watching ceiling mounted televisions with everyone transfixed to the screen when the previous generation’s royal couple made it legal.


How’d that one work out? Better than Arthur Burns.


Although the New York Times seems to believe that American’s think this one will be a yawner, I’m not quite as certain.


My own wife, who will be in the very early stages of jet-lag will be in California and she is planning to watch the festivities, although she is by no means a royal watcher.


I’ve tried to get her to be a stock watcher for years and even that hasn’t really interested her, but it’s good to know that while she is awake at some ungodly hour in California, I too will be sitting in front of the television, albeit watching the market’s pre-open news.


Somehow that will unite us through the cable ether.


Come Friday morning, I’m hoping that the market won’t still be abuzz from some Bernanke slip. That would really be a Black Swan event and would take some of the wedding’s mojo.


Since I’m nearly fully hedged at this point, although still waiting on Goldman Sachs, British Petroleum and some other opportunities, I’m hoping for a nice market drop.


It’s fairly likely that he’ll face more germane and probing questions than typically posed by the grandstanding morons front and center at periodic congressional hearings.


Maybe when faced with real questions Bernanke may borrow from the obtuse phrasebook of his predecessor.


Instead of being bigger than Jesus, he may utter something alluding to the fact that he may be of a proportion that is at once on scale, but clearly larger than any deity put forth by civilizations old and new, while accepting the human nature of the duopoly between the Federal Reserve and the Treasury.


I hope that Bernanke lets slip that he’s been embezzling trillions from the Treasury and invested the money into the Libyan movie industry, just as long as the markets recover within 2-3 weeks.


Again, not likely, but these rock stars do wierd things.


Have you seen the tabloid pictures of Bernanke’s trashed hotel suite?