Oct

11

holidaysWhy do you hypothesize the Tel Aviv market rose before the holiday? Yom Kippur prayer, as Prof. Schnytzer suggested? What else do they know?

Adi Schnytzer comments: 

I simply couldn't come up with a better hypothesis. I guess you get so low that up is the only feasible direction left, right?

Nigel Davies responds: 

I think there's a flaw in this logic. The concern here is 'system failure,' which if it happens can mean that the profits from being short may be worthless anyway. Who knows, under some kind of post system martial law, short-sellers might even be rooted out and put on trial…

In my view there are two long bets; long the system's surviving and long personal/familial survival in some post-apocolyptic nightmare. So the most reasonable hedge is to buy survival items like freeze-dried food, blankets, medicine, weapons, a horse, some chickens and a couple of goats.

Anatoly Veltman adds:

A VeltmanYou are thinking of V-shaped bottom. Of course, other shapes of bottoms have occurred in history of every contract.

V-shaped bottom's dilemma is that environment created in course of a rout doesn't facilitate one's large reversal position - even if one correctly times reversal. The entire ecosystem deflates; so due pay-off will not be mathematically possible in favor of the bottom picker.

Theoretically, this should not be the case vis-a-vis a trendfollower, who correctly stays short all the way down, possibly even pyramiding. Except in 2008 — when shorting became restricted.

Sam Marx adds:

I agree regarding Cramer but in this downdraft we don't know how far it will go even if stocks are undervalued now. But stocks have a tendency to overshoot at opposite ends.

In '87 when there was a one day sell off of approx. 23% I was clearing through a firm that had its start in commodities and the head of the firm was almost in tears claiming that the stock market was vicious compared to commodities. He gave up clearing and bought a bank in Chicago.

I saw Mike Huckabee on Cavuto's Saturday program say that a "knowledgeable" friend of his suspects "economic terrorism" is behind this sell off.

In the end, undervalued stocks with growth potential will come back in price. That's the basis of Buffett's large purchase of KO (Coke) in '87. The stock was driven down by being part of an index where arbs bought the index future and sold a stock basket that included KO.

In '87 on the floor after that big one day down, I sold overpriced far month out of the money calls and bought an equal number of shorter month calls at the same strike price. Both were grossly overpriced. The plan was when the volatility dropped because of time the spread decreased and I unwound them. As a saving grace if the stock started to move up the volatility would've dropped and I could also unwind at a profit.


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3 Comments so far

  1. lon evans on October 12, 2008 5:21 am

    Nigel, Quite possibly due to foreknowledge. Think Jonathan Pollard. lon

  2. Mark on October 12, 2008 4:08 pm

    The action today in the TASE is very interesting.

    I assumed since the market was up prior to Yom Kippur, that it would be down a very large percentage today. Amazingly not so, after a large down open the TA 25 clawed its way back to a 3.8% loss and that is after missing 4 trading days.

    Here is an interesting comment from the CEO of the TASE from an article today in the Globes that sums up Nigel’s question..

    Levanon continued, “The market’s fairly calm at the moment, which demonstrates investors’ maturity. They’re not panicking and dumping everything they’ve got. Every day during recent weeks, the TASE has tried to do two things: imitate what previously happened abroad, while simultaneously trying to anticipate what will happen at the opening of the next session. That’s what seems to be tipping the scales today.”

    So does this foreshadow good things for tomorrow? Obviousley it seems too easy, but if the world was going too fall apart tomorrow I believe the TASE would be down much more, but who knows with this market.

  3. Sasha Shavit on October 13, 2008 5:36 am

    Israeli market is very small and can be “taken care of” by one stock in the Tel Aviv 25 index which is Israel Chemical (ICL or in hebrew כיל ). The difference between TASE and Dow on Friday’s close was 18%. We fell in Tel Aviv only 8% and then went up all because of ICL stock that ended up in a positive territory. It was clean to a lot of investors that 8 down days in a row was too much for the market and the short term bottom is near, but those who bought the market yesterday took a huge risk because of the 18% difference between the US and Israel.

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