locking in a profit

17 results back to index


pages: 200 words: 54,897

Flash Boys: Not So Fast: An Insider's Perspective on High-Frequency Trading by Peter Kovac

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

bank run, barriers to entry, bash_history, Bernie Madoff, Flash crash, housing crisis, index fund, locking in a profit, London Whale, market microstructure, merger arbitrage, prediction markets, price discovery process, Sergey Aleynikov, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, transaction costs, zero day

They figure that if the stock goes up, they take the profit (and pad their bonus), and if it goes down, they have a cushion of five cents before they have to report a loss to their bosses. That is old Wall Street. But economists and risk managers would beg to differ. They would say that your decisions about the future should only be based on your expectations about the future, not your past performance. The fact that you locked in a profit of five cents a minute ago doesn’t say anything about your ability to make another penny trading in the next minute. If you now lose another four cents, you lost another four cents – you can’t say that you “still made” one cent on the trade. Remarkably, old Wall Street still thinks this way, probably because at the end of the day the trader often reports the net profit of his trading and the customer’s subsidy of his trading – so a four cent loss trading is cushioned by the customer’s five cents, and the trader reports a net profit of one cent.


pages: 280 words: 73,420

Crapshoot Investing: How Tech-Savvy Traders and Clueless Regulators Turned the Stock Market Into a Casino by Jim McTague

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

algorithmic trading, automated trading system, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, Bretton Woods, buttonwood tree, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, financial innovation, Flash crash, High speed trading, housing crisis, index arbitrage, locking in a profit, Long Term Capital Management, margin call, market bubble, market fragmentation, market fundamentalism, naked short selling, pattern recognition, Ponzi scheme, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, Renaissance Technologies, Ronald Reagan, Sergey Aleynikov, short selling, Small Order Execution System, statistical arbitrage, technology bubble, transaction costs, Vanguard fund, Y2K

Some large players left the market anywhere from 5 minutes to 15 minutes, whereas others left for just 30 seconds. The bottom line was that stock prices fell like an avalanche because few people wanted them at that moment.21 Initially, the pickup in velocity was due to “stop loss” orders. These are like ejection seat buttons in a jet fighter. If the jet is falling to earth, the pilot ejects to save his life. Some investors place stop loss orders below the current price of a holding, to lock in a profit. Let’s say the stock is at $30 and the investor paid $20 for it. If he’s suddenly feeling bearish about the market, he could place a stop loss order to sell at the market if the securities price should drop to $28. A market price is the best price available at the time. If the investor is lucky, he’ll get “stopped out” exactly at $28. But if there are no buyers for his shares at $28, he’ll get the next best price, depending on his place in the queue.


pages: 202 words: 66,742

The Payoff by Jeff Connaughton

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

algorithmic trading, bank run, banking crisis, Bernie Madoff, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crony capitalism, cuban missile crisis, desegregation, Flash crash, locking in a profit, London Interbank Offered Rate, London Whale, Long Term Capital Management, naked short selling, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, risk tolerance, short selling, Silicon Valley, too big to fail, two-sided market, young professional

An internal review of a WaMu loan office in Southern California revealed that 83 percent of its loans contained instances of confirmed fraud; in another office, the figure was 58 percent. And what did WaMu management do when it became clear that fraud rates were rising as housing prices began to fall? Rather than curb its reckless practices, it decided to try to sell a higher proportion of these risky, fraud-tainted mortgages into the secondary market, thereby locking in a profit for itself as it spread the contagion into the capital markets. The second hearing showed that OTS had failed abjectly to regulate WaMu and to protect the public from the consequences of WaMu’s excessive risk-taking and toleration of widespread fraud. Although WaMu accounted for 25 percent of OTS’s regulatory portfolio, OTS adopted a laissez-faire approach. OTS’s front-line bank examiners had identified the high prevalence of fraud and weak internal controls at WaMu, yet the OTS leadership did virtually nothing to address the situation.


pages: 297 words: 77,362

The Nature of Technology by W. Brian Arthur

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Andrew Wiles, business process, cognitive dissonance, computer age, double helix, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, haute cuisine, James Watt: steam engine, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, locking in a profit, Mars Rover, means of production, railway mania, Silicon Valley, Simon Singh, sorting algorithm, speech recognition, technological singularity, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions

For decades before banking was computerized, it could design simple options and futures: contracts that clients could purchase allowing them to buy or sell something at a fixed price in the future. Such contracts allowed a farmer planting soybeans in Iowa, say, to sell them in six months’ time at the fixed price of $8.40 per bushel, regardless of the market price at that future time. If the price was higher than $8.40 the farmer could sell on the market; if the price was lower he could exercise the option, thus locking in a profit at the cost of purchasing the option contract. The value of the contract “derived” from the actual market value—hence it was called a derivative. In the 1960s, putting a proper price on derivatives contracts was an unsolved problem. Among brokers it was something of a black art, which meant that neither investors nor banks in practice could use these with confidence. But in 1973 the economists Fischer Black and Myron Scholes solved the mathematical problem of pricing options, and this established a standard the industry could rely on.


pages: 289 words: 77,532

The Secret Club That Runs the World: Inside the Fraternity of Commodity Traders by Kate Kelly

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Bakken shale, bank run, Credit Default Swap, diversification, fixed income, Gordon Gekko, index fund, locking in a profit, London Interbank Offered Rate, Long Term Capital Management, margin call, paper trading, peak oil, Ponzi scheme, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, side project, Silicon Valley, sovereign wealth fund, supply-chain management, the market place

(It was much the same principle that worked for Glencore’s oil marketers, who sourced crude oil from producers in far-flung locations and then shorted crude through the futures market as they waited for the physical shipments to arrive, albeit with more complicated storage and financing fees tacked on at the end.) Then the aluminum-owning hedge fund could sell its warrant to another party, who might wait for aluminum spot prices to rise, locking in a profit. The LME’s increased load-out rate had done little to assuage Coke and other aluminum users. Premiums had gone from about 6.5 cents in 2010 to 11 cents by then, and would rise to a record of nearly 12 cents by the summer of 2013. While Metro was thriving, Goldman’s commodity traders were grappling with a major setback. In 2010 a powerful Dodd-Frank provision known as the Volcker Rule, after former Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker, had essentially promised to make the sort of house trading that had launched the careers of Jennifer Fan and Pierre Andurand illegal, forcing the firm to divest itself of some of its most successful trading desks.


pages: 741 words: 179,454

Extreme Money: Masters of the Universe and the Cult of Risk by Satyajit Das

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

affirmative action, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, Andy Kessler, Asian financial crisis, asset allocation, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, banks create money, Basel III, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Black Swan, Bonfire of the Vanities, bonus culture, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, capital asset pricing model, Carmen Reinhart, carried interest, Celtic Tiger, clean water, cognitive dissonance, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, debt deflation, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, discrete time, diversification, diversified portfolio, Doomsday Clock, Emanuel Derman, en.wikipedia.org, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial independence, financial innovation, fixed income, full employment, global reserve currency, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, happiness index / gross national happiness, haute cuisine, high net worth, Hyman Minsky, index fund, interest rate swap, invention of the wheel, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, job automation, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, Kevin Kelly, labour market flexibility, laissez-faire capitalism, load shedding, locking in a profit, Long Term Capital Management, Louis Bachelier, margin call, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, merger arbitrage, Mikhail Gorbachev, Milgram experiment, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, Network effects, new economy, Nick Leeson, Nixon shock, Northern Rock, nuclear winter, oil shock, Own Your Own Home, pets.com, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, price anchoring, price stability, profit maximization, quantitative easing, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, regulatory arbitrage, rent control, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Thaler, risk-adjusted returns, risk/return, road to serfdom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Rod Stewart played at Stephen Schwarzman birthday party, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, savings glut, shareholder value, Sharpe ratio, short selling, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Slavoj Žižek, South Sea Bubble, special economic zone, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, the market place, the medium is the message, The Myth of the Rational Market, The Nature of the Firm, The Predators' Ball, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, Turing test, Upton Sinclair, value at risk, Yogi Berra, zero-coupon bond

It looks good, at least in Excel spreadsheets. The short gold position protected any investor from a sudden unexpected fall in the gold price. If the gold price fell, then the shares would also fall, as MG’s gold reserves would be worth less. The fall in prices would create profits on the short gold position, as you could buy gold at the lower price, deliver it to the buyer at the agreed higher price and lock in a profit. The loss on the shares would be offset by the gain on the short gold position. The position is hedged, free of risk, at least in theory. “My analysis shows that the positions were highly risky.” Mailer is all smiles at my unrelenting assault—he likes offense. The investment strategy is based on the relationship between MG shares and the gold price. What if MG had already locked in the price of the gold by agreeing the price for future sales with buyers?

This would negate any benefits of additional borrowing, which consists mainly of the lower cost of debt when compared to the cost of equity. The process was driven by arbitrage. Classically, arbitrage took advantage of price differentials between two markets. Assume cocaine is trading at $1,000/ounce in London and $1,100/ounce in New York, and the cost of transportation between the two centers is $25/ounce. An arbitrager could purchase an ounce in London, transport it to New York, and sell it to lock in a profit of $75 ounce without any financial risk. In an arbitrage-free world, where the value of a firm’s debt or equity differed from its intrinsic value driven by its earnings or cash flows, Modigliani and Miller showed that investors would take advantage of any discrepancy in market prices. By investing in different combinations of debt and shares, the investor could create a future income stream of the same size and risk.

Mathematics for Finance: An Introduction to Financial Engineering by Marek Capinski, Tomasz Zastawniak

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Black-Scholes formula, Brownian motion, capital asset pricing model, cellular automata, delta neutral, discounted cash flows, discrete time, diversified portfolio, interest rate derivative, interest rate swap, locking in a profit, London Interbank Offered Rate, margin call, martingale, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, random walk, short selling, stochastic process, time value of money, transaction costs, value at risk, Wiener process, zero-coupon bond

Once again, increased demand for their services will prompt the dealers to adjust the rates, reducing dA and/or increasing dB to a point when the profit opportunity disappears. We shall make an assumption forbidding situations similar to the above example. Assumption 1.6 (No-Arbitrage Principle) There is no admissible portfolio with initial value V (0) = 0 such that V (1) > 0 with non-zero probability. In other words, if the initial value of an admissible portfolio is zero, V (0) = 0, then V (1) = 0 with probability 1. This means that no investor can lock in a profit without risk and with no initial endowment. If a portfolio violating this principle did exist, we would say that an arbitrage opportunity was available. Arbitrage opportunities rarely exist in practice. If and when they do, the gains are typically extremely small as compared to the volume of transactions, making them beyond the reach of small investors. In addition, they can be more subtle than the examples above.


pages: 318 words: 87,570

Broken Markets: How High Frequency Trading and Predatory Practices on Wall Street Are Destroying Investor Confidence and Your Portfolio by Sal Arnuk, Joseph Saluzzi

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

algorithmic trading, automated trading system, Bernie Madoff, buttonwood tree, corporate governance, cuban missile crisis, financial innovation, Flash crash, Gordon Gekko, High speed trading, latency arbitrage, locking in a profit, Mark Zuckerberg, market fragmentation, Ponzi scheme, price discovery process, price mechanism, price stability, Sergey Aleynikov, Sharpe ratio, short selling, Small Order Execution System, statistical arbitrage, transaction costs, two-sided market

Quickly, every algo trading order in a given stock follows each other up or down (or down and up), creating huge, whip-like price movements on relatively little volume. This has led to the development of predatory algo trading strategies. These strategies are designed to cause institutional algo orders to buy or sell shares at prices higher or lower than where the stock had been trading, creating a situation in which the predatory algo can lock in a profit from the artificial increase or decrease in the price. To illustrate, use an institutional algo order pegged to the NBBO with discretion to pay up to $20.10. First, the predatory algo uses methods similar to the liquidity rebate trader to spot this as an institutional algo order. Next, with a bid of $20.01, the predatory algo goes on the attack. The institutional algo immediately goes to $20.01.


pages: 311 words: 99,699

Fool's Gold: How the Bold Dream of a Small Tribe at J.P. Morgan Was Corrupted by Wall Street Greed and Unleashed a Catastrophe by Gillian Tett

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

accounting loophole / creative accounting, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, Black-Scholes formula, Bretton Woods, business climate, collateralized debt obligation, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, diversification, easy for humans, difficult for computers, financial innovation, fixed income, housing crisis, interest rate derivative, interest rate swap, locking in a profit, Long Term Capital Management, McMansion, mortgage debt, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, Renaissance Technologies, risk tolerance, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, short selling, sovereign wealth fund, statistical model, The Great Moderation, too big to fail, value at risk, yield curve

But given the growing globalization of banking and how many players in the world economy had complementary needs and different expectations about future market conditions, the bankers had a wealth of options. Some players needed deutsche marks, while others wanted dollars. Some wanted to protect against expected interest-rate increases, while others believed rates were likely to fall. Players also had different motives for wanting to place bets on future asset prices. Some investors liked derivatives because they wanted to control risk, like the wheat farmers who preferred to lock in a profitable price. Others wanted to use them to make high-risk bets in the hope of making windfall profits. The crucial point about derivatives was that they could do two things: help investors reduce risk or create a good deal more risk. Everything depended on how they were used and on the motives and skills of those who traded in them. By the time the J.P. Morgan swaps team gathered in Boca Raton in June of 1994, the total volume of interest-rate and currency derivatives in the world was estimated at $12 trillion, a sum larger than the American economy.


pages: 369 words: 128,349

Beyond the Random Walk: A Guide to Stock Market Anomalies and Low Risk Investing by Vijay Singal

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Andrei Shleifer, asset allocation, capital asset pricing model, correlation coefficient, cross-subsidies, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, diversified portfolio, endowment effect, index arbitrage, index fund, locking in a profit, Long Term Capital Management, loss aversion, margin call, market friction, market microstructure, mental accounting, merger arbitrage, new economy, prediction markets, price stability, profit motive, random walk, Richard Thaler, risk-adjusted returns, risk/return, Sharpe ratio, short selling, transaction costs, Vanguard fund

Perhaps for this reason the Merger Fund has only 5 percent of its deals hedged using options—the remaining positions are taken by trading in stocks. There are, however, three conditions under which options might seem attractive. First, if there is significant risk of failure, then the option can limit the loss. Second, an option may be used to lock in gains already earned. For example, if the target in a cash offer has appreciated from $20 to $25, then buying an at-the-money put option would lock in a profit of $5 (less the put premium). Third, in the case of stock mergers, if it is not easy to short-sell, the investor can buy a put option on the acquiring firm’s stock. Other than these special cases, trading the underlying stock is a superior strategy. USING MUTUAL FUNDS Mutual funds that specialize in merger arbitrage are the simplest vehicles for taking advantage of this mispricing. There are four mutual funds that use most of their assets for merger arbitrage: the Merger Fund, the Gabelli ABC Fund, the Arbitrage Fund, and the Enterprise Mergers and Acquisitions Fund.


pages: 349 words: 134,041

Traders, Guns & Money: Knowns and Unknowns in the Dazzling World of Derivatives by Satyajit Das

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

accounting loophole / creative accounting, Albert Einstein, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, Black Swan, Black-Scholes formula, Bretton Woods, BRICs, Brownian motion, business process, buy low sell high, call centre, capital asset pricing model, collateralized debt obligation, complexity theory, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, cuban missile crisis, currency peg, disintermediation, diversification, diversified portfolio, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, financial innovation, fixed income, Haight Ashbury, high net worth, implied volatility, index arbitrage, index card, index fund, interest rate derivative, interest rate swap, Isaac Newton, job satisfaction, locking in a profit, Long Term Capital Management, mandelbrot fractal, margin call, market bubble, Marshall McLuhan, mass affluent, merger arbitrage, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, new economy, New Journalism, Nick Leeson, offshore financial centre, oil shock, Parkinson's law, placebo effect, Ponzi scheme, purchasing power parity, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, random walk, regulatory arbitrage, risk-adjusted returns, risk/return, shareholder value, short selling, South Sea Bubble, statistical model, technology bubble, the medium is the message, time value of money, too big to fail, transaction costs, value at risk, Vanguard fund, volatility smile, yield curve, Yogi Berra, zero-coupon bond

The 30-year bond consists of 60 interest payment (semi-annual interest coupons) and a final principal payment (the corpus). DAS_C06.QXP 8/7/06 4:43 PM Page 169 5 N The perfect storm – risk mismanagement by the numbers 169 They could buy the coupons and corpus separately at a lower price than the 30-year bond itself. They did precisely this, buying the components separately, and selling the 30-year bond short, to lock in a profit. The arbitrage group’s trade made money. Gutenfreund’s trade – which quickly gained the soubriquet ‘the Whale’ – lost a similar sum. Coats, a competitor of Meriwether’s in the battle for succession within the firm, was furious. The trades themselves marked a bundary. The purchase of the bonds represented the old – traditional trading. The arbitrage group’s quantitive and research-driven trade represented the new world of trading.

Stock Market Wizards: Interviews With America's Top Stock Traders by Jack D. Schwager

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Asian financial crisis, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Black-Scholes formula, commodity trading advisor, computer vision, East Village, financial independence, fixed income, implied volatility, index fund, Jeff Bezos, John von Neumann, locking in a profit, Long Term Capital Management, margin call, paper trading, passive investing, pattern recognition, random walk, risk tolerance, risk-adjusted returns, short selling, Silicon Valley, statistical arbitrage, the scientific method, transaction costs, Y2K

If this is the case, a consistent arbitrage becomes available, wherein a U.S. investor could sell the stock to an Italian investor, establish a hedge, and after the dividend has been paid, buy it back at terms that would be beneficial to both parties. It almost sounds as if you are performing a service. If I understand you correctly, you find buyers and sellers who have different costs or returns, due to a distortion, such as differences in tax treatment. You then devise a transaction based on this difference in which each party ends up better off, and you lock in a profit for performing the transaction. Exactly. The key word you used was service. That's one of the key reasons why the results we have delivered are so different from those of traditional investment managers, who buy and sell and then hope for the best. How could you ever lose in that type of transaction? Very easily. It is very important that there is a real economic trade in which the Italian investor actually buys the shares and is the holder of those shares at the time of the dividend payment.


pages: 840 words: 202,245

Age of Greed: The Triumph of Finance and the Decline of America, 1970 to the Present by Jeff Madrick

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

accounting loophole / creative accounting, Asian financial crisis, bank run, Bretton Woods, capital controls, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, desegregation, disintermediation, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, financial deregulation, fixed income, floating exchange rates, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, George Akerlof, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, index fund, inflation targeting, inventory management, invisible hand, laissez-faire capitalism, locking in a profit, Long Term Capital Management, market bubble, minimum wage unemployment, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, mortgage debt, new economy, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, oil shock, price stability, quantitative easing, Ralph Nader, rent control, road to serfdom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, shareholder value, short selling, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, technology bubble, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, too big to fail, union organizing, V2 rocket, value at risk, Vanguard fund, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus, Y2K, Yom Kippur War

Risk arbitrageurs sold the high-priced shares in one market and bought the low-priced in the other. They leveraged those gains by borrowing money. Arbitrage opportunities were found in other kinds of securities as markets developed, especially in options and futures contracts on government bonds and international currencies. Mergers gave rise to this riskier form of arbitrage. An arbitrageur could lock in a profit when one company offered shares at a premium for another. The arbs could buy the target company’s shares and sell the acquirer’s shares, thus locking in the spread. (They typically sold short—that is, sold shares they did not actually own but merely borrowed at an interest cost with the promise to give them back even if the price of the shares rose.) The risk was that the deal might fall through if, for example, antitrust authorities stopped the proposed merger.


pages: 829 words: 186,976

The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail-But Some Don't by Nate Silver

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

airport security, availability heuristic, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, big-box store, Black Swan, Broken windows theory, Carmen Reinhart, Claude Shannon: information theory, Climategate, Climatic Research Unit, cognitive dissonance, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, complexity theory, computer age, correlation does not imply causation, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, diversification, Donald Trump, Edmond Halley, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, en.wikipedia.org, equity premium, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, fear of failure, Fellow of the Royal Society, Freestyle chess, fudge factor, George Akerlof, haute cuisine, Henri Poincaré, high batting average, housing crisis, income per capita, index fund, Internet Archive, invention of the printing press, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, locking in a profit, Loma Prieta earthquake, market bubble, Mikhail Gorbachev, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, Monroe Doctrine, mortgage debt, Nate Silver, new economy, Norbert Wiener, PageRank, pattern recognition, pets.com, prediction markets, Productivity paradox, random walk, Richard Thaler, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, savings glut, security theater, short selling, Skype, statistical model, Steven Pinker, The Great Moderation, The Market for Lemons, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, too big to fail, transaction costs, transfer pricing, University of East Anglia, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, wikimedia commons

And in the sixth, back in Portland, they fell out of rhythm early and never caught the tune, as the Blazers marched to a 103-93 win. Suddenly the series was even again, with the deciding Game 7 to be played in Los Angeles. The prudent thing for a gambler would have been to hedge his bet. For instance, Voulgaris could have put $200,000 on Portland, who were 3-to-2 underdogs, to win Game 7. That would have locked in a profit. If the Blazers won, he would make more than enough from his hedge to cover the loss of his original $80,000 bet, still earning a net profit of $220,000.9 If the Lakers won instead, his original bet would still pay out—he’d lose his hedge, but net $320,000 from both bets combined.* That would be no half-million-dollar score, but still pretty good. But there was a slight problem: Voulgaris didn’t have $200,000.


pages: 598 words: 169,194

Bernie Madoff, the Wizard of Lies: Inside the Infamous $65 Billion Swindle by Diana B. Henriques

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

accounting loophole / creative accounting, airport security, Albert Einstein, banking crisis, Bernie Madoff, British Empire, centralized clearinghouse, collapse of Lehman Brothers, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, dumpster diving, financial deregulation, forensic accounting, Gordon Gekko, index fund, locking in a profit, mail merge, merger arbitrage, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, Potemkin village, random walk, Renaissance Technologies, riskless arbitrage, Ronald Reagan, short selling, Small Order Execution System, sovereign wealth fund, too big to fail, transaction costs, traveling salesman

It was called riskless arbitrage, and it was widely understood and accepted among the professionals on Wall Street in that era. Riskless arbitrage is an age-old strategy for exploiting momentary price differences for the same product in different markets. It could be as simple as ordering cartons of cigarettes by telephone from a vendor in a low-cost state and simultaneously selling them over the phone at a higher price in states where they are more expensive, thereby locking in a profit. Or it could be as complex as using computer software to instantly detect a tiny price differential for a stock trading in two different currencies and execute the trades without human intervention—again, locking in the profit. What distinguished riskless arbitrage from the more familiar “merger arbitrage” of the 1980s—which involved speculating in the securities of stocks involved in possible takeovers—was that a profit could be captured the moment it was perceived, if the trade could be executed quickly enough.


pages: 819 words: 181,185

Derivatives Markets by David Goldenberg

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Black-Scholes formula, Brownian motion, capital asset pricing model, commodity trading advisor, compound rate of return, conceptual framework, Credit Default Swap, discounted cash flows, discrete time, diversification, diversified portfolio, en.wikipedia.org, financial innovation, fudge factor, implied volatility, incomplete markets, interest rate derivative, interest rate swap, law of one price, locking in a profit, London Interbank Offered Rate, Louis Bachelier, margin call, market microstructure, martingale, Norbert Wiener, price mechanism, random walk, reserve currency, risk/return, riskless arbitrage, Sharpe ratio, short selling, stochastic process, stochastic volatility, time value of money, transaction costs, volatility smile, Wiener process, Y2K, yield curve, zero-coupon bond

Let’s first summarize our price data in Table 2.8. 52 FORWARD CONTRACTS AND FUTURES CONTRACTS TABLE 2.6 Profits from a Short Forward Position in Wheat Ft,T Wheat Spot Price @ Expiration $7.315 /bu 5.8 Profit to a Naked Short Forward Position in 500,000 bu. of wheat 5.85 5.9 5.95 6 6.05 6.1 6.15 6.2 6.25 6.3 6.35 6.4 6.45 6.5 6.55 6.6 6.65 6.7 6.75 A little scenario analysis will serve to illustrate what is going on. Scenario 1 First, suppose that the spot wheat price drops to PT()=$5.85/bu at the end of 4 months. Compared to the current wheat spot price level, that is a loss of 500,000*(+PT()–Pt )=500,000*(+$5.85–$5.9875)=–$68,750. Fortunately, the farmer was hedged in the forward market where he made a profit of, 500,000*(+Ft,T–PT())=500,000*(+$7.315–$5.85) =+$732,500. Overall, his position locked in a profit of $732,500–$68,750=$663,750. HEDGING WITH FORWARD CONTRACTS TABLE 2.7 53 Profit from the Fully Hedged Spot Position Wheat Spot Price @ Expiration Profits from a Naked (Unhedged) Long Spot Wheat Position Profit To a Naked Profits to the Short Forward Position Combined (Fully in 500,000 bu. of wheat Hedged) Position: Long Spot, Short Forward 5.8 –93750 757500 663750 5.85 –68750 732500 663750 5.9 –43750 707500 663750 5.95 –18750 682500 663750 6250 657500 663750 6.05 31250 632500 663750 6.1 56250 607500 663750 6.15 81250 582500 663750 6.2 106250 557500 663750 6.25 131250 532500 663750 6.3 156250 507500 663750 6.35 181250 482500 663750 6.4 206250 457500 663750 6.45 231250 432500 663750 6.5 256250 407500 663750 6.55 281250 382500 663750 6.6 306250 357500 663750 6.65 331250 332500 663750 6.7 356250 307500 663750 6.75 381250 282500 663750 6 TABLE 2.8 Price Data Summary Current Spot Price Pt $5.9875 bu Current Forward Price Ft,T $7.315 /bu Ultimate Spot Price PT() ?


pages: 1,042 words: 266,547

Security Analysis by Benjamin Graham, David Dodd

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

asset-backed security, backtesting, barriers to entry, capital asset pricing model, carried interest, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, corporate governance, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, diversification, diversified portfolio, fear of failure, financial innovation, fixed income, full employment, index fund, invisible hand, Joseph Schumpeter, locking in a profit, Long Term Capital Management, low cost carrier, moral hazard, mortgage debt, p-value, risk-adjusted returns, risk/return, secular stagnation, shareholder value, The Chicago School, the market place, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transaction costs, zero-coupon bond

., the assets, earnings, dividends, definite prospects, as distinct, let us say, from market quotations established by artificial manipulation or distorted by psychological excesses.” (p. 64) He himself had gone from the ridiculous to the sublime (and sometimes back again) in the conduct of his own investment career. His quick and easy grasp of mathematics made him a natural arbitrageur. He would sell one stock and simultaneously buy another. Or he would buy or sell shares of stock against the convertible bonds of the identical issuing company. So doing, he would lock in a profit that, if not certain, was as close to guaranteed as the vicissitudes of finance allowed. In one instance, in the early 1920s, he exploited an inefficiency in the relationship between DuPont and the then red-hot General Motors (GM). DuPont held a sizable stake in GM. And it was for that interest alone which the market valued the big chemical company. By implication, the rest of the business was worth nothing.