Having squandered my fortune in bad investments I feel uniquely qualified to discuss shorting stocks. As I understand it, shorting means you “borrow” someones shares at today’s price with the promise to give the same number of shares back on a certain date. The gamble is the shares will be worth a lot less on that specified date.
So if you borrow 1000 shares of Enron today at $100 each and sell those shares you’ll pocket $100,000. Then when the specified give back date of October 15 comes around you’re required to return the shares. If the October value of an Enron share is $50, you pay $50,000 to buy 1000 shares and return them to the lender. You’ve made $50,000 on your bet.
If the stock has gone up to $200 on October 15 you are still required to return the shares you borrowed. You’d pay $200,000 for 1000 shares and be out 100K. I’ve never understood who the sucker is who’s “lending” the shares in the first place.
It’s the kind of trade that only a savvy investor can pull off. And it’s also a trade that is ripe for fraud if you are an insider with knowledge of a stock’s imminent demise. There are severe penalties for that kind of activity. If the Securities laws were ever enforced which is not going to happen in the current administration..
But it’s easy to imagine a cozy 1600 Pennsylvania dinner on a cold January night with Agent Orange, his Alfalfa looking sons, and his embalmed beauty of a daughter. (Melania is upstairs getting an emergency Brazilian. It’s role play night: he’s the Cyber Bully, she’s the desperate for attention Facebook user.)
Over their quarter pounders flown in from Mar-a-Lago at taxpayer’s expense, Daddy instructs which stocks to buy for their “blind trust.” There’s a crash a comin’, he tells them, Trump heirs will be set for several generations. And no one ever needs to know because privacy laws now preempt any civil or criminal statutes.
As I laid here last night waiting for house arrest to go into effect at midnight, it was extremely quite outside. Then around 11:30 there was a half hour of screeching tires, a woman screaming, and what sounded like heavy equipment coming off the Octavia freeway ramp. I was convinced the coup had started, the tanks were rolling in. To quell resistance a good place to start is taking away the right to assemble.
I’ve since talked myself down and decided to focus my efforts on entertaining you, dearest reader. But it does feel like one of those Doris Lessing novels I read but never understood back in the 70’s. Disorder and chaos are the norm, paranoia abounds.
There have been clearer moments like reading this Zach Carter article yesterday on corporate bailouts. If this is sorbet moment and we’re cleansing, we can’t buy into this “too big to fail” crap that Jamie Dimon and his cohorts were peddling the last time.
Speculation means you lose when you make bad decisions. You don’t panhandle the taxpayers for another trillion to cover your losses. Let the airlines collapse and let’s start over with new, more competitive companies. The current cartel have turned travel into a truly miserable experience. They’re too big to keep around.
Finally there’s this Tina clip that Youtube selected for me over morning coffee. I’ve heard this song hundreds of times but don’t remember this performance. Look at what she and the Ikettes do at about 1:20. Bent over backwards and in heels.
A reason to continue on.