Thursday, 26 March 2009

L: 5% S:58% G: 63% N: -53% ~ $D -34% $G 13% $V 0% $P 4%

The rally in oil continues with spot looking like its going to hold above $50. Its got a long way to go before it catches up with gold's inflation and risk premium. The E&P firms still look like the "cheapest" (its highly sensitive to the long term average price of oil) firms in the market, although they've not moved up anywhere near as much as the financials have in this rally.

As any readers who watch his risk numbers will note, the Raven has bought some options (1month upside calls and some 2m downside puts). Again this is more of an action hedge so that he doesn't chase the market, the upside calls look far too cheap given the nature of bear market rallies, in addition the downside puts like he's buying them at cost, for sure he's going to be spunking some cash on theta in the next few days, but its better than doing it over trading and then being reluctant to get into a real move.

The Raven has also taken off the majority of the HSBC spread on yesterday's close, it might well have more to go, but the risk reward just doesn't look as cracking as it did. He's also added to his Ladbrokes position, the stock has held up well when the markets tanked and participated mildly in the rally, its ratio of idiosyncratic risk to market risk is also a bonus. Its also dirt cheap, its sales bullet proof and its been trading well.

EUR/USD really looks stuck at this resistance level, the chart looks like its going to make another big move higher, but its pretty hard to see what the catalyst will be.

The Raven has to admit to having read the evening standard yesterday and was quite disgusted with one story in particular. It was a two page spread about some crackpot called Knight, who was planning protest for Wednesday with slogans like 'eat a banker', he'd been making guy fawkes type figures to hang from lamposts. He was also quoted as saying that he doesn't have any problem with forcing their way into buildings and that damage to property was acceptable.

This comes after yesterday's news that Fred the Shred's home had been vandalised. I'd like Gordon Brown and Obama to make a public apology for whipping up this maelstrom of confusion and hate. While the Raven acknowlegdes that when something effects a large number of people they will always look for a "cause" and somebody to blame, he would have hoped (however naively and idealistically) that politicians would look to calm this, rather than encourage it and point it in a direction.

Economic cycles happen, recession are a natural consequence of growth, we are all equally culpable, from the speculative buyers of houses, to the business without enough working capital or poor inventory management, to the credit card company, BUT especially the consumer. Financial intermediation didn't make people have two holidays a year, it didn't make them buy a huge plasma telly, it didn't make them buy expensive clothes and go out for dinner twice a week, it didn't make them buy a car. No politicians or public figures have the balls to stand up and say it though. If anyone is to blame in the financial world its shareholders short termism, and those looking for retribution and punishment should perhaps look at the return on investment those shareholders have been given. I'd say loosing your entire investment is better than a public flogging.

Oh and a 40yr gilt auction failed yesterday, yawn! anyone that has a 40yr liability and some cash sitting around? uhm no, perhaps thats the reason. It reminds the Raven of a great phrase he heard the other day. "The world ends only once, so its probably best not to trade or live like its always going to happen tomorrow".

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