China Friday


Sentiment Watch:  with a touch of  and fear that  could be just around the bend. Nice day yesterday and as such the movie quote for Friday is ~

 Thank you sir! May I have another?!

Food for thought for the day: Profits aren't profits until they're booked. As I have hefty weightings in a several September positions including some Bakken leveraged names that tagged 2009 highs yesterday I'm keeping this thought front and center today.

China Watch: August Eco Data.

  • Industrial Output: 12.3% vs expectations of up 12%; this compares to a gain of 10.8% in July
  • Exports: 23.4% decline vs expectations of a decline of 19.6%; this compares to a decline of 23% in July
  • Lending: 410.4 billion yuan vs expectations of 320 billion yuan; down from 356 by in July
  • CPI: Down 1.2% vs an expected decline of 1.3%
  • PPI: Down 7.9%, in line with expectations. 
  • Asia closed up modestly.


Your Tax Dollars Out To Lunch:

"Current tax breaks for oil and gas production distort the market, leading to over-investment in domestic fossil fuel production," Alan Krueger, Assistant Secretary for Economic Policy and Chief Economist, US Department of Treasury, told a an energy subcommittee of the Senate Finance Committee. "Because there will be little to no effect on the world supply of oil, removing these subsidies would have an insignificant impact on world oil prices,"


In Today’s Post:

  1. Holdings Watch
  2. Commodity Watch
  3. Natural Gas Preview
  4. EIA Oil Inventory Review
  5. Stuff We Care About Today - ROSE ops update
  6. Odds & Ends


Holdings Watch:

  • $10KP II:
    • $11,700
    • 17% Cash

Yesterday's Trades:

  • Added (2 to start) NFX October $45 Calls for $0.75 with the stock at $40.50.


Commodity Watch:

Crude oil cautiously edged up $0.63 to close at $71.94 yesterday after the EIA released what was viewed as a mix bag of inventory numbers (see below). This morning crude is trading off under 20 cents.

  • Mexico Watch:  Pemex' new head, Suarez Coppel said, “Chicontepec has a great potential, and we have to keep investing to find a way to exploit it in a profitable manner.”  Chicontepec initial production has already been revised lower. This onshore field was seen as Mexico's way of offsetting steep declines at was until recently its largest offshore field, Cantarell.
  • Dollar Watch: Dollar index continues to slump, now in the mid 76s.

Natural gas rocketed up $0.43 (13%) to close at yesterday at $3.26 after the EIA released a slightly better than expected injection (more next section). This is the fourth day of the short squeeze that began last Friday and this was the highest volume day yet in the run. Gas is now up 30% off its lows last week. I don't think gas has the ability to get back to $4 and the best I would think it could do is break the relentless tide of downward trading and try to hold $3 through the end of injection season and if not that, then the lows, again set last week.  This morning gas is trading up a nickle.

Natural Gas Review

Zcomment: The surplus to the five year average and year ago levels continues to slowly ebb. Over the next six weeks we face increasingly easy comps from last year and somewhat easy comps from the five year average so this ebb will very likely continue, both as a function of the comps and a function of curtailments. This report's smaller than expected injection was probably the result of higher demand and production curtailments. I continue to see peak storage arriving in the 3.7 to 3.85 Tcf range. 




EIA Oil Inventory Review

ZComment: In short, a last hurrah for big oil drawdowns this side of Fall maintenance season. This higher than expected utilization at refiners led to the "surprise" builds in both gasoline and distillates. Volume for products wasn't bad considering the continued sluggish nature of the economy and YoY gasoline demand was above year and five year averages for a second week. Yes, it's holiday related but nice to see people still went on holiday. Gasoline will likely build seasonally from about here through year end unless the refiners really stick to their guns and depress utilization well beyond normal levels during maintenance season. Of course, if they do do that, it will mean a slower seasonal descent or even flattening of crude inventories. Given where distillate stocks are, fat, bloated, ginormous (insert your own word here), not only in the U.S. but floating about the globe's seas, I don't see a reason why the refiners won't push utilization to extremely low levels. This is the sum total of my thoughts at present leading me to the view that while distillate demand will likely creep higher as trucks actually start rolling and the Fall planting cycle gets under way, crude prices will remain somewhat capped under the $80 mark through year end, aside from brief spikes higher. 













Stuff We Care About Today

ROSE Operations Update and Financial Brief:

  • Big Picture:

    • Reiterated Guidance of 130 to 140 MMcfepd for 2009
    • Balance Sheet Improved as of end of August:

      • Cash of $55 mm, up from $49.5 mm at mid year 
      • Debt at $288mm, down from $298 at mid year, debt to cap here is under 33%
      • Liquidity stands at $240 mm
    • Hedges:

      • 2009: unchanged at ~ 40% of expected gas production @  ~ $7.75.
      • 2010: added 5 MMcfgpd in the back have at $5.72, still lightly hedged in '10.

Area Updates:

  • Eagle Ford Shale:
    • Spring Ranch 1H (100% Working Interest) - southwest La Salle County (in the area now called the Hawkville field)

      • 4,000' horizontal, 10 stage frac
      • No IP given but it had a seven day average of 5.5 MMcfgpd with day seven production of 5.2 MMcfgpd
      • In their words, the well has "met or exceeded our expectations"
      • No EUR given yet but its obviously early and this looks like an average well for the area, no mention of condensate due to its location on the southwest portion of the field.
      • They have 13,000 acres in this area. (HK) recently completed a 13.2 MMcfgpd IP well fairly close by.
    • Gates 05D #9H (100% WI) - northwest Webb county - this is just a small jump to the southwest of the first well.

      • 3,700' horizontal, frac planned for early October.
      • They have 10,000 acres in this area.
  • Bakken: (Alberta Basin, Montana)

    • Tribal Gunsight 31-16H Well .

      • 4,600 foot vertical, may go horizontal depending on results of core program
      • Coring of Logdepole, Bakken, and Three Forks underway
      • They have 230,000 net acres in this area.
      • We should see a second well spud here before year end.
  • Sacramento Workover Program:

    • Added incremental production of 6.7 MMcfpgd (4.6% of 2Q production levels)
    • This is a low cost alternative to drilling where they have plenty of running room.

Nutshell: Good start on emerging plays, proceeding on planned financial course. Honestly, not a lot of new meat here other than the first E.F.S. success. They are proceeding on plan, building cash and burning down debt while using low cost methods to maintain production all the while exploring two new plays (the EFS and the Bakken) which give the story zing and more liquids potential.  The name continues to trade at inexpensive multiples of forward cash flow and offers something many of its peers don't... meaningful upside catalysts in the near term.  This section has been added to the ROSE notes on the Reports Tab.

Odds & Ends

Analyst Watch:

  • NFX upped to Outperform from Neutral, target upped to $47 from $30 from Macquarie
  • ROSE price target upped from $15 to $17 at FBR


191 Responses to “China Friday”

  1. 1
    BirdsofpreyRcool Says:

    z — your first line had me spewing coffee all over my keyboard… if you see typos later, it’s not my fault. Keys are sticking together.

    U r funny!

  2. 2
    zman Says:

    Tropics watch:


  3. 3
    BirdsofpreyRcool Says:

    You may not like it (if you’re short); you may not believe it (if you’re watching the unemployment lines), but the Credit Market Recovery marches grimely on. Even the Money Center Bond desks can’t believe the price action.

    Typically, September sees a monsterous supply of new (pent up) issuance from companies seeking to raise debt. This year that supply has exceeded even the most optimistic of volume expectations. And — usually — in the face of all those new bonds, trying to jam into the market, existing bonds sell off a bit (just like a stock goes down, when the company announces a 2ndary).

    THAT is what makes this week’s price action in Junk Bonds so jawdropping. Junk bonds have rallied. And rallied hard. Money is gushing into the sector and companies can’t sop up the liquidity fast enough. If this keeps up, the stock market WILL continue to rally. Deny this at your own risk.

    IG +109 bps

    HY 91 5/8 pts… it just won’t go down!

  4. 4
    bill Says:

    from tudor:

    Taking time to remember 9/11 – We have not, do not, and will not forget.

    For those in uniform (both civilian and military)..we give our heartfelt thanks.

  5. 5
    BirdsofpreyRcool Says:

    TechTrader, feeling chatty today —

    Switch game plans for the Friday spill over cash rally. Go Long on the morning pullback, usually early, and on any pullback near 10:45 and 11:15, for a rally into lunch. Look for a few points with below average odds of 55/45. Mainly because every one in Chicago is playing this same pattern every day. And once even the cab drivers know it, it usually quits working. Gamblers: The real gamble today is holding long positions after 1:30. The most common times for new highs are 3:45 and 4:00. The most common times for new lows later are 3:00, 3:35, and 4:15. So know your stops well trading in the last hour. The pit will be super thin.

  6. 6
    BirdsofpreyRcool Says:

    IBD: Natural Gas Spike May Be Short Squeeze 2009-09-10 23:33:30.442 GMT


  7. 7
    BirdsofpreyRcool Says:

    FedEx on the tape… showing that capitalism is alive and kicking. FDX sees 1FQ eps of 58c… had seen 30-45c. This is extending the gains in futures.

  8. 8
    BirdsofpreyRcool Says:

    9/11 — Remebering, Respecting, heartfelt gratitude to our people in uniform.

    We all lost friends, colleagues, and relatives in that unfathomable tragedy.

    I think the BEST WAY to show respect is to Never Let Them Get Us Down! Capitalism, freedom, optimism… THAT is what they hate. And THAT is what the U.S. is good at. Keep those hearthfires burning. We are a Great Country. As a collumnist put it recently, those of us who were lucky enough to be born here won the Birthday Lottery. It’s good to remember and it’s good to love ourselves and our country.

    Never let them get us down!

  9. 9
    zman Says:

    RE 6 – thanks for posting. I’ve been calling for a rebound for awhile. The net short position is actually not as large as it was earlier in the year. Charted it last night but decided not to post as it does not correlate at all with natural gas prices. Still, it is large (smaller I’d bet than it was last week) and that should provide quick rallies at times, like we’ve gotten. I am perpetually amazed by natural gas guys who point to storage now and say gas should fall. Gas has fallen. This is a futures market. It discounts the future. Get over it.

  10. 10
    zman Says:

    8 – Well put.

  11. 11
    BirdsofpreyRcool Says:

    High Yield Index continues to march ever higher…

    HY 92 1/2 pts now… up a full 1 3/8 pts. That is like a +400 day on the Dow.

  12. 12
    zman Says:

    Raymond James on ROSE. Said basically the well was small to HK’s (yes, the rate is lower but it was 7 day average, not first day peak like HK reports). Went on to say they will be watching Bakken effort closely. Maintained Underperform. It is the good analyst who doesn’t let his current rating cloud his view of current events.

  13. 13
    zman Says:

    Crude up $0.50; NG up 11 cents (3.4%) with 10 minutes to go to the bell.

  14. 14
    Nicky Says:

    Morning all.

    Indices: time and price are getting close for me. I personally think this is so overstretched on very poor fundamentals that a correction could be pretty severe now they have ramped it so high without one! As Art Cashing said this morning something doesn’t feel quite right and it is now very reminiscent of 1987 although he concedes he has been wrong up until now.


    I still think the Dow will top in the 9700 region although it could run to 10,000 in which case the SPX will be around 1051. Next level would be 1062,1070 – 80.

  15. 15
    elijahwc Says:

    Your AM Kass sighting:

    When In Rome?
    9/11/2009 7:32 AM EDT

    If value is in the eyes of the beholder, I need glasses.
    Still, I was dead wrong in my recent call for a market top.
    Mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.

    Confiteor Deo omnipotenti, beatae Mariae semper Virgini, beato Michaeli Archangelo, beato Joanni Baptistae, sanctis Apostolis Petro et Paulo, omnibus Sanctis, et tibi pater: quia peccavi nimis cogitatione verbo, et opere: mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa. — Mass of the Roman Catholic Church, Confiteor (“I Confess” or “Mea Culpa”)
    The expression “When in Rome do as the Romans” has never been so true as it is today in the context of implementing a profitable strategy in the world’s stock markets over the past few weeks.

    The liquidity that grew out of the massive government stimulation and the growth in the monetary base is reaching the equity market and our economy. It has been greeted by almost unnoticeable, brief and shallow pullbacks in stocks — producing a degree of price momentum reminiscent of the “good old days” in 1999.

    If value is in the eyes of the beholder, I need glasses — the recent surge in euphoria and share prices has left me out in the cold.

    My bearish thesis has been that investors would look through the “statistical” domestic recovery in the improving earnings cycle and in the temporary or artificiality of the numerous stimulus policies (that we’re borrowing from 2010), and look ahead at the nontraditional headwinds that pose a threat or at least a degree of uncertainty in a self-sustaining recovery outcome.

    By contrast, many market participants appear to be growing increasingly comfortable with the certainty of a self-sustaining recovery. Possible … but in my view we face a broad array of consequences (some good, some not so good!) in 2010-11.

    Last night’s richly informative CNBC town hall meeting with the Treasury secretary reinforced that heavy lifting lies ahead and that the outcomes are uncertain. As Timothy Geithner emphasized, the easy part of bringing the system back from the abyss has been accomplished, but “recovery and repair” will take time and will at times produce “uneven” results. (A repeated theme of The Edge echoes Geithner — corporate managers and investment managers face an extended period of lumpy and uneven growth. It will be a difficult playing field to navigate).

    As much fun it is making money in a down market (read 2008 and early 2009), it’s even more discomforting not to be participating in a ramp like we have witnessed.

    Jim “El Capitan” Cramer published a thoughtful multi-part series on his view of the State of the Market, which made the positive case far better than I ever could. (It’s one of those pieces that you print out, save and reread). So far he is spot on: For whatever reason, stocks are marching higher as investors are impervious to merchandise that grows more expensive as the year passes.

    I pride myself, unlike my perception of some “talking heads,” as being honest. When I am wrong in my market/economic/stock judgments and opinions, I confess.

    I was dead right in my variant call for a generational low in the first week of March.

    But, confiteor and mea culpa … I have been caught flat-footed and dead wrong in my recent call for a market top.

    Stated simply.

    That said, while I might feel stupid, I do not feel pressured in managing other people’s money by committing aggressively to an asset class (like stocks) because that class is on a tear. Rather I will always seek “value” at an attractive price.

    In summary, while some of the market’s strength is Greek to me, I see no reason to act like or follow the other Romans.

  16. 16
    Nicky Says:

    Nat gas looks to have completed its low. It satisfied cycles and price on the downside. The move up off the lows looks impulsive. Yes, even if the low is in you will see a retest but we should not take out those lows.

  17. 17
    zman Says:

    Eli – Please make sure those Kass comments are from the public domain. Last thing I need is his gnome suing me. Thanks.

  18. 18
    Nicky Says:

    Geithner gave me no comfort at all. He flatly refused to answer questions at the hearing and then again at last nights Town Hall he pretty much stuck to a script all the way. It was all a total waste of time. What he did say however, and I played it back as I could not quite believe he had said it was that we were STILL at the edge of the abyss.

  19. 19
    zman Says:

    Nicky – agreed. I was beginning to feel like a stuck clock as middle of last week I kept writing that the bounce was near and it just wouldn’t come … until last Friday. Settling above $3.50 at month end would be a gift to a number of gassy E&Ps as far as redetermination season goes. I am working up a list of those who have exhausted their revolvers and who may get a little pinched on liquidity in October (they will be looking at equity and or debt deals before then).

  20. 20
    elijahwc Says:

    17 – hear ya

  21. 21
    BirdsofpreyRcool Says:

    Kass is brilliant (and rich) and I love reading him. But, for the situation here and now, I will put my Bond/Credit Market up against his Gnome. Until bonds tell me this is over, it ain’t over.

  22. 22
    Nicky Says:

    Z – re 19 I couldn’t believe that people were still recommending shorting it at those levels last week. Even Phil Flynn had a trade recommendation to go short at 2.70 with a stop at 3.10. As he was stopped out he today has suggested going long at 2.70.

  23. 23
    zman Says:

    Nice open – let’s see it hold.

    HK filling the deal gap.

    ROSE approaching 14

    Bakkens onward and updard

  24. 24
    zman Says:

    Nicky – I’d comment amount PF but I stopped receiving those hangman drawings from his traders in my email box of me with ZMAN underneath with the stick figure with x-out eyes and I kind of like it that way.

    Ahhh, fudge it. He’s full of charts and one-sided information and is on FOX business which is beneath even CNBC. Let the hate mail flow!!! 😉

  25. 25
    zman Says:

    Bill FYI on ATPG – from SMH

    We are downgrading ATPG from Accumulate to Neutral, based strictly on valuation and are withdrawing our $14 price target.

  26. 26
    zman Says:

    ATPG = wow

    WRES approaching its highs, am not adding here.

    BOP – glad to give you a chuckle but I wrote that just for Dman. If this works out, the posts could be condensed down to emoticons and exclamation points which would save me a lot of time.

  27. 27
    West Says:

    Cum Oil: 26226 Cum MCF Gas: 11377 Cum Water: 9553 Pool Date Days BBLS Oil Runs BBLS Water MCF Prod MCF Sold Vent/Flare
    BAKKEN 7-2009 30 5851 5724 1759 0 0 0
    BAKKEN 6-2009 27 7771 7808 2121 5415 0 4740
    BAKKEN 5-2009 24 12604 11845 5673 5962 0 5362
    Cum Oil: 14266 Cum MCF Gas: 8597 Cum Water: 3456 Pool Date Days BBLS Oil Runs BBLS Water MCF Prod MCF Sold Vent/Flare
    BAKKEN 6-2009 28 4454 4188 768 3057 0 2357
    BAKKEN 5-2009 31 7855 8392 1610 4365 0 3590
    BAKKEN 4-2009 5 1957 1028 1078 1175 0 1050
    IP Test Date: 6/21/2009 Pool: BAKKEN IP Oil: 711 IP MCF: 604 IP Water: 880
    Pool Date Days BBLS Oil Runs BBLS Water MCF Prod MCF Sold Vent/Flare
    BAKKEN 6-2009 8 4186 3548 2571 2168 0 2068
    All other Missouri River Basin wells are on confidential status (CS)so no reports are required for the first 6 months. When these wells come off CS you can read well file online with premium service. Most interesting reading is that on MOCCASIN CREEK 16-34H
    they encountered a fault with several feet of offset and had to cement of almost a 1000 feet of the lateral and redrill lateral steering into pay zone .If you compare the 2 MC wells you note that this well has avg 323 bopd and the offset has averaged 222 bopd. http://www.kodiakog.com/pdf/KOG-Sept2009.pdf….. quick link to site. This would be their #2 well, which has been their best well on a per foot of horizontal lateral that we have production available. In Lynn’s presentation yesterday it was of interest that he mentioned that down south COP did a multi-stage completion in the Baily Field that was more than twice the ip of MRO’s single stage frac completion. I continue to believe that larger multi-stage fracs will prove to recover larger ultimate EURs than single or single digit ms fracs. Natural Fracturing would of course improve all type completions barring fracture into water zone that is one problem that they have in the Barnett…Also they actually drilled the #
    8: CE 1-22-23H , 6621 feet and will do a 13 stage frac. Previously this was to be a 4500 ‘ lateral which to me says they had good shows while drlg, very encouraging.

  28. 28
    zman Says:

    Jerome – WRES looks like breakout mode to me, hows the PF look?

  29. 29
    Jerome Blank Says:

    Hi ZMAN…WRES is actually still on a P&F sell signal, it prints a buy at $3

  30. 30
    BirdsofpreyRcool Says:

    U of Mich Confidence at 70.2 vs 67.5 expd and 65.7 last month

  31. 31
    zman Says:

    West – thanks. Any sense if #9 represents a change in thinking? Instead of drilling two wells from a pad, drill 1 twice as long. Has worked well for WLL on 2 section units. In dev mode they could still drill 2 wells per pad, opposite directions, 2 miles long each.

  32. 32
    BirdsofpreyRcool Says:

    Jerome — any comments on the KOG chart?? thanks!

  33. 33
    jiveyjr Says:

    I tried all day yesterday to fill an add on to WRES at 2.55…saw a few prints there but I didn’t get any…

  34. 34
    zman Says:

    Thanks Jerome. Looks like it gets there but it takes a market …

  35. 35
    BirdsofpreyRcool Says:

    July Whsl Inventories droped 1.4% vs 1.0 expected.

  36. 36
    Jerome Blank Says:

    Hi BOP…KOG did reach major P&F resistance this morning at $2.25,(short term trader price objective) KOG might take a well deserved breather and consolidate here, longer term the P&F price objective on the buy signal remains at $3.25

  37. 37
    jiveyjr Says:

    volume on WRES already above 50 day moving avg…

  38. 38
    jiveyjr Says:

    I’m an idiot…I did get filled on late WRES print yesterday…guess calling and cussing the broker helps now and then

  39. 39
    BirdsofpreyRcool Says:

    Thank you again, Jerome.

  40. 40
    West Says:

    #31 , They want to drill this well and evaluate how close they may be to the PINK line. At some point over this way (east) we hit the edge of the productive zone. They are going to head back up North of the river after this well. This will give them a chance to evaluate other’s wells that are now being drld.

  41. 41
    1520sbroad Says:

    just heard that the coast guard opened fire on a boat in the potomac river in DC.

    Might explain the soft spot the market has hit in the last ten minutes.

  42. 42
    zman Says:

    That just came across market watch…

  43. 43
    zman Says:


  44. 44
    reefguy Says:

    Movie thread- NYT review of “Whiteout”.
    Opening scene has Kate Beckensale in shower. Movie goes downhill from there.

    Seems to me Energy equities go downhill from here with current NG prices…

  45. 45
    zman Says:

    Reef. What’s that last part? Lost you after the word shower.

  46. 46
    zman Says:


    WLL – Sold half of my September $50 calls (WLLIJ) for $6.30 (on the mid), up 435% with the stock at $56.20.

  47. 47
    reefguy Says:

    That was the producer’s plan…hook them in and so what no substance, kinda like the Obama plan…

  48. 48
    1520sbroad Says:

    coast guard was running a training exercise.

    Same guy that planned the low level fly by’s in NYC with Air Force One clearly was on the planning team for that one.

    9-11 with the president nearby is probably a poor time to run live training.

  49. 49
    1520sbroad Says:

    Remember the innocent people that died, thank all those that came to help, support our troops and never forget.

  50. 50
    zman Says:


    CLR – Sold half of my September $40 calls (CLRIH) for $3.50, up 74%, with the stock at $43.20.

  51. 51
    zman Says:

    RJ – reiterating strong buy on CLR. I like the company and will reposition but it has run and it was not cheap in the first place, mulling sale of the second half of my position.

  52. 52
    zman Says:

    … and staying with the whole “profits” concept outlined at the top of the post.

  53. 53
    zman Says:

    ROSE – Cannaccord Adams ups target from $13 to $17.

  54. 54
    baylor3217 Says:

    Chk really concerning me. Up $4 in a week? Really feeling like I need to be taking profits. Thoughts?

  55. 55
    jiveyjr Says:

    looks like WRES may hit that P&F buy level today…maybe before I can type this post

  56. 56
    zman Says:

    Baylor – In general I am raising a little cash. Been doing that mostly because my oily names have run and I’m long September calls which don’t have a lot of life yet. I own some CHK common and am in for the long term. It really depends on what your goal is but since I don’t give advice but instead just tell you what I’m doing, I’m afraid I can’t help. Used to be an IA before I was an analyst but am happily out of both of those businesses.

    With that said, CHK has been suffering under a high debt load and falling gas price regime. Their growth is completely governed by available cash flow and the ability to monetize non-core assets. To this end they have done a very good job. People don’t trust Aubrey but he is well hedged and is sitting on a vast pile of probable and possible reserves. He’s moving better this week in part just to play catch up to his peers. We know another VPP is out there and he has been monetizing at high $/Mcfe levels and that may be providing some impetus to buyers as well. In the recent past, he has been his own worst enemy – he’s found too much gas and he’s decided to grow through the trough … part of this is due to lease necessities, part is due to a willingness to crush out some conventional players who are higher costs and less hedged. In the long run, I think he goes through the old highs, say in 2 to 4 years. He would make a nice gas subsidiary for a Major should the environment in the U.S. towards natural gas become more amenable but I don’t see that happening in the near term.

  57. 57
    VTZ Says:

    Lots of action for a Friday.

  58. 58
    RMD Says:

    CHK comments that long lived reserves and production allow cos to know their costs longer term, which enables cos (CHK and others) to write ong term supply contracts to utilities and industrial cos. Notes if gov’t tightens regulation of futures mkt, long term contracts may replace futures.
    Gray hairs will remember take-or-pay contracts and their ensuing problems, but that is a long way away.

  59. 59
    zman Says:

    Jivey – its fun to look at their monthly chart.

  60. 60
    jiveyjr Says:

    no kidding re: that WRES monthly chart….

  61. 61
    VTZ Says:

    Nicky – Does this feel much like what’s going on??:

    “Here is a cheat sheet on how to react to market data releases in a 1932 type equity market rally:

    Weak data = Fed ease, stocks rally
    Consensus data = lower volatility, stocks rally
    Strong data = economy strengthening, stocks rally
    Bank loses $4bln = bad news out of the way, stocks rally
    Oil spikes = great for energy companies, stocks rally
    Oil drops = great for the consumer, stocks rally
    Dollar plunges = great for multinationals, stocks rally
    Dollar spikes = lowers inflation, stocks rally
    Inflation spikes = will inflate all assets, stocks rally
    Inflation drops = improves earnings quality, stocks rally”

    Too true…

  62. 62
    zman Says:

    RMD – I used to model take or pays. Muchos funnos. And VPPs which I think you will see more of. Given their history (as KCS), I’m surprised you don’t see a VPP per quarter out of HK.

  63. 63
    zman Says:

    VTZ – yeah, the only days you have really gotten plunges are when the U.S. has no scheduled economic releases.

  64. 64
    zman Says:

    ROSE – Johnson Rice saying they like what they see so far re EFS, saying ROSE is the cheapest EFS name, reiterating Outperform.

  65. 65
    bill Says:

    bop 8 Well said!

  66. 66
    bill Says:

    z ty for 25

  67. 67
    zman Says:


    CLR – Sold the second half of my position in the September $40 Calls, (CLRIH) for $4.00, up 98%, with the stock at $43.70.

  68. 68
    baylor3217 Says:

    I own about 800 shares of chk. I’ve never written covered calls. Thoughts of using this strategy?

  69. 69
    kyleandy Says:

    z – cud u pls look at DNE this week=end? thks

  70. 70
    zman Says:

    Kyle – yep, got started, then got busy.

  71. 71
    zman Says:

    Oil testing 71 from above.

  72. 72
    BirdsofpreyRcool Says:

    baylor — are they in an IRA-type account?

  73. 73
    zman Says:

    Covered calls. In general my thoughts are , best to employ after a run and with a willingness to give up your shares if the run continues.

  74. 74
    cargocult Says:

    Can’t trade options in an IRA.

  75. 75
    baylor3217 Says:

    72 – no. In my Ameritrade account

    on a side not here. Looks like we’re rolling over in hk. Missed my chance to take 30% profit in my sep 24 calls due to a mtg. Now I’m back in the red just below my .65 avg cost. Arghh!!!!!!

  76. 76
    BirdsofpreyRcool Says:

    cargo — you can write covered calls in an IRA… and you can write uncovered puts, as well (as long as you have the cash position to back it up). Takes an additional agreement with your broker. But, that law was changed a yr or so ago, to include “low risk” option strategies (covered calls, and cash-backed naked puts).

  77. 77
    1520sbroad Says:

    #76 – correct. Covered calls are writable in an ira. most brokers have online upgrades now for options. i’m happy to lend any thoughts about cov calls if you have questions.

  78. 78
    BirdsofpreyRcool Says:

    cargo — just confirmed with my broker… you have to fill out more paperwork, but you can pretty much buy and sell both puts and calls in your IRA now. Covered and naked.

  79. 79
    cargocult Says:

    bop-muchas gracias por la informacion

  80. 80
    bill Says:

    i sincerly apologize in advance for this:

    ONE: Single Payer System

    One single payer system thats what we intend to get
    One single payer system perhaps not all of it yet
    Something that Bill and Hillary could not do
    Well just abolish illness with you-know-who

    One single payer system everybody gets their share
    But well never have to ration care, no way son
    Hell, folks he can heal the planet
    Disease, well, well simply have to ban it
    Cause hes the one

    One single payer system like our neighbors the Canucks
    One single payer system but ours will be real deluxe
    In one fell swoop were solving the health care crunch
    Whos says that we dont believe that theres no free lunch

    One single payer system lets do it for Uncle Ted
    Pretty soon hes dead, its time to get it done
    This is change you can believe in
    Trust me, you know we aint deceiving
    Cause hes the one.

    One single payer system might be kinda tough to sell
    One single payer system wont leave it up to Michelle
    Harry and Nancy you folks can calm your fears
    And hell get coverage that will fix those ears

    One single payer system covers every healthcare need
    No time to read the bill just pass Obama Care
    But it sounds a little socialistic
    This pig is gonna need some lipstick

  81. 81
    baylor3217 Says:

    1520 based on my description of my chk position above, what cc thoughts do u have? I’m dca’d at about 29

  82. 82
    Dman Says:

    From the department of “Nothing exceeds like excess”.

    Wells Fargo execs partying in foreclosed house:


  83. 83
    zman Says:

    Strong move in KWK, holding the Septembers over the weekend.

    Housekeeping Watch: Just a friendly reminder. What happens at Zman’s Energy Brain stays at Zman’s Energy Brain. No sharing. No free lunch. I just got an email of some of my stuff from a friend who got it from a friend who is not a subscriber. That is very uncool.

  84. 84
    bill Says:

    I write covered calls in my ira

    The strategy works best in a flat to rising market.

    The premiums dont protect you much when stocks sell off and you obviously dont get the upside (like this week ) when stocks soar

    But if you intend to buy and hold , its a good way to generate some income

    For example

    buy 100 shares atpg at 17.00 and write 1 oct 15 call for 3 net investment is 14 and if its above 15 in 5 weeks you make 1 buck on your 14 dollar investment which is an annualized irr of 50 %

    You dont lose money unless the stock falls below 14 and you dont make more than 1 if the stock soared to 35

  85. 85
    bill Says:

    ive seen some of your stuff on blogs but i dont have any friends ,lol, to share

  86. 86
    cargocult Says:

    I own HGT. Anybody know what’s going on?

  87. 87
    zman Says:

    Thanks Bill. Seeking Alpha gets the occasionally free post. This gets syndicated out to a variety of places. These are almost always (99% of the time) the company specific pieces. If you see a regularly daily post or a part of it somewhere else let me know and I will pursue it. I work pretty hard on this site and I take stealing very seriously.

  88. 88
    kyleandy Says:

    z – did u listen to LINE yesterday?

  89. 89
    baylor3217 Says:

    Thoughts on chk $26 puts in sept? About .75

  90. 90
    zman Says:

    Kyle – Not yet. Should be nothing pressing there, stock holding this level pretty well. Boring is good.

  91. 91
    zman Says:


    HAL – Added (10) September $26 PUTS (HALUI) for 0.60 with the stock at $26.

  92. 92
    bill Says:

    oil is down 2 bucks and ng is now off

    oil/ng stocks appear to be falling

  93. 93
    zman Says:

    That HAL trade is likely to be a quick one, maybe over the weekend, maybe off later today. May add October puts as well.

  94. 94
    zman Says:

    Heating oil rolled over and when the market went, so too followed oil, then natural gas. Bit of profit taking in each. Interestingly, NG looks like it wants to fight off the decline and is down half that of oil on the day. Possibility that that W. Gomex cloud pile gets organized over the weekend could be entering into their thinking.

  95. 95
    zman Says:

    Or you can take it from market watch, that oil is heading lower over demand concerns. Spin the headline rolodex to the red zone (demand soft, big discovery, opec compliance down) when oil falls and when it rallies spin it to the green zone (economy turning up, CHINA, evil speculators). Man, I gotta get me one of those reporting jobs.

  96. 96
    zman Says:

    CLR back to even on the day. Not adding those back. Not rolling longer just yet, probably Monday.

  97. 97
    Dman Says:

    bill, if government healthcare is so bad, why are all the medicare folks screaming that they wanna keep every last bit of it?

    In all developed countries with government health-insurance (= all developed countries except the US), why aren’t their populations getting all up in arms about wanting the fabulous US-style system?

    How about this: because they see (with incredulity) that people actually die in the US purely because they don’t have health insurance. They get sick & simply won’t be treated if they don’t have it. Which could because they can’t afford it, or were thrown off it retrospectively or whatever.

    Even people who *do* have health insurance in the US get taken off intensive-care treatment too early because the insurance company overrides the doctor’s judgment & as a consequence, some of those people die.

    Wow! Why isn’t Germany or France or Switzerland or Australia or Norway or Singapore demanding *that* kind of system??

    Why would the people in those countries lynch their politicians if they even *thought* about moving to a US-style system?

    (Note: I guess Singapore isn’t a democracy really, so I don’t know what would happen to the politicians there. But in all non-US Western countries, the politicians would get lynched if they tried that).

    In all those other countries, health insurance isn’t a big topic of conversation. Because they have it automatically. In most of those countries, if you want more (i.e. private insurance), you can get it. Maybe not in Canada, but in a lot of countries.

    They aren’t interested at all in a system where the first thing that gets checked at emergency is your insurance cover.

    So to have a real discussion about health care, why not start by looking at the countries where it works really well? There’s a lot to choose from. Germany might be a good place to start. I mentioned Singapore because Jim Rogers says that like most other things there, the health care is excellent.

  98. 98
    zman Says:

    Only got a half fill on my HAL puts it seems, going to take second half if the stock inches back up.

  99. 99
    md Says:

    are you looking at VLO Puts

  100. 100
    1520sbroad Says:

    baylor – sorry i was having lunch and didn’t see your #81.

    I look at cov calls on a monthly return basis. If i am going to sell a call i need to get compensated at least 1% per month by the buyer to make it worth my while. I typically like to write calls i have small to medium sized gains in but i also will on long term holdings that i am underwater slightly. For CHK (which i don’t own but have in the past) I would look at or slightly out of the money. I would like look at the January 2010’s for a couple of reasons – 1. Jan’s are usually the most liquid options – particularly this time of year – spreads are tightest etc. 2. If i wrote a call and it finished in the money and i was going to take a gain on the stock it would bump into next year’s tax year. 3. If i write a january now i have the flexibility in december of this year to buy it back, take a loss or a gain etc. 4. I would get 2 divs (i think CHK has end of june, sept, dec, mar ex dates).

    As far as what strike goes – if you wanted to rake off as much premium as possible, you think the stock is going to stall or pull back or you just want as much cash in the bank i would write a slightly in the money or at the money call. $2.70 for the $26’s is pretty decent premium. 2.70/25.65 = about 10.5% over 4 months = 2.63% per month. Or you can look at it like youa re agreeing to sell it at $25.65+$2.70 = $28.35 (or pretty close to where you are dca wise).

    I would likely write the Jan $30’s if it were me. $1.30 in premium for 4 months works out to 1.26% per month in premium. It would also get my sale price above the dca price.

    Obviously there are a lot of ways to skin the cov call cat. Fire an questions back i am around all afternoon.

  101. 101
    zman Says:

    No, I’m not actually been looking at TSO calls. See the Tuesday post for my shifting sentiments in the refining patch. Not ready to do anything just yet.

  102. 102
    zman Says:

    Thanks for your last 1520.

  103. 103
    Nicky Says:

    VTZ – re 61 – that is very good!

    Oil I think maybe done. I had thought higher highs but it had really been struggling with the 72 level so likely what we saw was a wave ii retracement and the top was already in and we were just correcting the first wave down. If there is any bullish count in play then it would really need to explode to the upside from this area. A move below 67.50 – 68 area says its done.

    This would tie in with the broader market also forming its top. Indices say today is likely a iv and currently c of iv. Early next week (could start later today) we see v up and then we will be done.

    USD – hmmmm missed with that 76.60 with the low so far at 76.45. Very close to a low. Looks like its ending as a bullish wedge. Likely to go a touch lower yet.

  104. 104
    1520sbroad Says:

    baylor # 89 – my opinion on puts is that they are a more aggressive way to protect your position. I think if you are going to spend the money and buy a put against a position you are thinking that there is a very good chance that the stock is going to fall hard, soon. There is definitely a place for this in portfolio management but in my opinion puts are a bit more difficult to manage – you have to be willing to move quicker as the volatility can work for an against you.

  105. 105
    1520sbroad Says:

    one last thing about cov calls and brokers – today many brokers offer cov call and other options strategy tools/calculators live on their trading platforms. Some of this is really useful stuff – well worth spending a few hours figuring out how you can apply it to your trading. Also a lot better than having to build those tools using Excel like i had to in the dark ages.

  106. 106
    zman Says:


    EOG – Added (20) September $80 Calls (EOGIP) for $0.25 with the stock at $76.30. Higher risk given the short time to expiry; adding to a small position I have here.

  107. 107
    zman Says:

    NG looking like it wants to test $3 now., down 5% at $3.10. A hold today and Monday will likely lead to another short cover spike.

  108. 108
    BirdsofpreyRcool Says:

    From HeadTrader…

    Kass’ gnome is now saying $3B dervi loss at a large Japanese bank

    last week it was a US Banks failure

    3 weeks ago it was a 2B currency loss at a US bank

  109. 109
    Denise Says:

    Good afternoon-BOP this chart is in your camp!

    Here is a interesting chart of individual investors average allocations to stocks over the last 21 yrs. Says we are not done yet.


  110. 110
    Nicky Says:

    BOP I guess sooner or later one of these rumors will be true and will likely be the catalyst we need for the correction.

  111. 111
    zman Says:

    Gee, I don’t recall reading about those losses actually coming to fruition. But maybe I read different papers (like Upstream). Did I miss that in the financial press. I do seem to recall he’s been short for about 3 weeks. Nothing like rumoring your book.

  112. 112
    Denise Says:

    BOP-he is always early!

  113. 113
    Dman Says:

    Covered calls – I agree with Z: I use them to provide some protection against a selloff after a decent run in a stock, whilst still providing some further upside. I sell mainly 3 months out because front month doesn’t provide much protection and selling further out tends to lock you in much further than the crystal ball is good for.

    So it’s kind of a way to take profits without having to bother buying back in after a correction (but if the calls drop enough, ya might as well buy ’em back). The easiest call-buying decision is buying back some short calls 80% below where you sold ’em.

  114. 114
    zman Says:

    Denise – I hear ya. He’s a smart guy. But the rumor stuff is cheapening him in my book. Don’t get me wrong, like to hear what he’s saying.

  115. 115
    zman Says:

    Dman – not to mention its the highest odds in the house!

  116. 116
    1520sbroad Says:

    #113 & 115 – bingo.

  117. 117
    bill Says:

    dman if it is so good , why are govt workers expempt from it..and for that matter social security as well?

    Roll it out to them, first, and if it works well, id be more open to it

  118. 118
    apbd Says:

    From yesterday
    Stratfor has had no recent thoughts on Iran. In the past they didn’t see Israel being able to do anything without the US giving them tacit approval and support, ordinance, etc. Stratfor thought US was reluctant because of Iran”s ability to mess up the Strait of Hornmuz, unleashing terrorists, etc. I’ll let you know when something comes across.

  119. 119
    BirdsofpreyRcool Says:

    Thing is, any of those comments from the Gnome could be true… but still not be a reflection of the overall economy or mrkt direction. It could just be a REALLY BAD trade that a Prop Desk sat in for too long. It’s happened before. It will happen again. But, it’s not a systemic problem (like we faced, this time last year). That said, it could trigger a Bad Hair Day (or two) in the mrkt. People are jumpy in Sept and Oct.

    Just my two-cents. And worth about half that.

  120. 120
    Dman Says:

    bill, not sure I follow #117, feel free to expand on it.

    Z – agree on Kass’s gnome. I think he needs to wonder if the gnome has an agenda!

  121. 121
    zman Says:

    Big volume WRES, a bit of a concern from a markets standpoint. We’ve seen similar signs of “people trading tickers”, not stories or fundamentals over the last week. That a compunction to jam the shorts repeatedly has me liking cash again. I don’t think the market or oil is done or toast but a pullback is probably in order. I have no trouble holding something like WRES long term and through such a pullback as I don’t see it is as a good trading vehicle but instead as just an underpriced asset. Same for KOG really although it’s closer to what I see as NAV. The action there today is just profit taking noise in my book but it should put a thought in Lynn’s head as to extraneous variables taking away his chance to do a deal >$2. If oil does fall back to $65 which would not be unreasonable given the coming shallowing out of the slope of the decline in crude stocks, KOG could easily trade back to $1.50 and then you get the pop (back to here maybe) for wells 7,8. As always, just thinking out loud.

  122. 122
    Dman Says:

    BOP – I’ve heard all sorts of technical analysis patterns, but the Bad Hair Day is a new one (insert one of Z’s fancy new smileys).

  123. 123
    BirdsofpreyRcool Says:

    My Gnome told me to buy some KOG trading shares at $1.98. Minor fill, only. Still have my hand out.

  124. 124
    zman Says:

    FRED is going nowhere fast and expected to weaken.



    NEXT 48 HOURS.

  125. 125
    zman Says:

    NG just cracking back down through $3.

  126. 126
    BirdsofpreyRcool Says:

    Dman — yep. Short of “Standing On the Edge of the Abyss” and “I Can’t Believe where the TED Spread is Trading”…. BHD is about as tough a day as you can have in mrkts.

  127. 127
    zman Says:

    LINE – just tooled through presentation, no audio available from Barclays.

    No change in top line guidance, no change in hedges (still 100% hedged through 2011)

    Distribution coverage ratio remains above guidance so no near term risk of them cutting the dividend.

    Increased focus on the Stiles Ranch area (granite wash) in the presentation. In the post NFX announcement era this makes sense and could be a very viable source of production guidance and therefore distribution guidance upside. They have blocks of acreage all around the NFX 10 to 25 MM/d IP wells. (good map on slide 23)

    Nothing but good stuff in my book, nice yield, I continue to hold it and get paid while I wait for gas prices to recover. Their hedges are higher through 2011 for gas than I would be we see in the market. They could however monetize some of their oil positions should those prices rise more next year. Recall these guys are pretty balances O vs G.

  128. 128
    zman Says:

    Bluehorshoe loves WRES. Up 21%. Pretty silly, all in one day, action.

  129. 129
    zman Says:

    Oil down 2.70, NG down 31 cents with 15 minutes to the close of Nymex. Going to be an interesting close.

  130. 130
    zman Says:

    Rig Count Watch:

    Oil down 7 to 288 vs 413 a year ago
    Gas down 2 to 699 vs 1606 Yoy

    Horizontal: up 4 at 430 vs 638 year ago

    Big drop in Texas, down 15. This has been rising of late. Now 373 vs 949 a year ago. No way that production stays flattish.

  131. 131
    1520sbroad Says:

    #128 – pardon my ignorance – who is bluehorshoe?

  132. 132
    zman Says:

    blue horseshoe loves Annacott Steel?

  133. 133
    BirdsofpreyRcool Says:

    1520s — movie rental for you… “Wall Steet” with Michael Douglas. (which you have probably seen, but are forgetting a few key phrases…)

  134. 134
    1520sbroad Says:

    i thought there was some new blog/ trading site (like Terranova, Dr. options guy, minyanville, etc.) using that nickname. Even lenny dykstra used to give advice online…

    i did see wall street – ha – i am not that clueless. i would insert appropriate emoticon thing if i knew how.

  135. 135
    nifkin Says:

    just a heads up – the UNG roll starts Monday and goes through Thursday. http://www.unitedstatesnaturalgasfund.com/ung_rolldates.html

  136. 136
    BirdsofpreyRcool Says:

    1520s (which is why i added the parens… i just KNEW you had seen it)

  137. 137
    BirdsofpreyRcool Says:

    z — is there a smiley-face-thingy with it’s eyes squeezed shut, sticking it’s tongue out, blowing a raspberry? I think 1520s could use that one.

  138. 138
    1520sbroad Says:

    that’s the one. My kids have that one perfected.

  139. 139
    BirdsofpreyRcool Says:

    wow. It’s like,playing Ring the Short’s Bell… with WRES on deck today.

  140. 140
    1520sbroad Says:

    what i really thought was that someone was actually using bluehorshoe now in this CNBC day and age as the name of their site/blog/column. I was going to declare that to be really poor form.

  141. 141
    zman Says:

    Thanks to Reef for the Whiteout trail recommendation. Time well spent.

  142. 142
    BirdsofpreyRcool Says:

    AHHHHH… that makes sense.

    Best name I’ve seen for a Hedge Fund — Capitalist Pig. For some reason, I didn’t think that was poor form.

  143. 143
    zman Says:

    Just got the other half of my HAL put order filled at $0.55.

  144. 144
    elijahwc Says:

    CQP question: Has something happened to change these folks fortunes? Does anyone even follow this name? Thanks.

  145. 145
    zman Says:

    Eli – I don’t know them. I do watch the other Chenierre, LNG.

  146. 146
    zman Says:

    WRES up 82 cents, 32%. Wow.

  147. 147
    elijahwc Says:

    thanks Z. Might have the answer. Just noticed a first call cue and believe that Citi is the only coverage so I’ve got a place to go. Big yield if do-able.

  148. 148
    jiveyjr Says:

    I’ll borrow Jane Fonda’s line and say “I never had so much fun with my clothes on”…

    damn trading WRES and KOG has been fun

  149. 149
    BirdsofpreyRcool Says:

    jiveySR must be very very proud of you.

  150. 150
    BirdsofpreyRcool Says:


  151. 151
    PackMan Says:

    Z – you (or anyone else here) know anything about OMNI ? Any color appreciated.

  152. 152
    zman Says:

    Pack – Not I.

  153. 153
    bill Says:

    BOP this is for you

    click on 5/29/2009 speech. Similar comments as you on Crysler. Also , what do you think of Moody AAA ratings and his thesis of short selling moody’s


  154. 154
    BirdsofpreyRcool Says:

    bill — how do you know i’m not David E?


    What date? (5/20 = no go).

    Without hearing what he has to say, i will say that AAA (except for the US Govt) is a stupid, useless rating and a terrible burden to bear. A2/A is just about the sweet spot (as a company) if you are going to use a lot of LT debt and issue commercial paper to manage your checkbook.

    Again, without hearing what he has to say, i will tellyou that Moody’s (and S&P) f*’d up during the Housing Debt Orgy. They are the ONLY ONES who REALLY should have known better. For that reason alone, i would short the sh*t out of Moody’s.**** Everyone else was just stupid (congress) or riding the Gravy Train (Wall Street, mortgage brokers, congress again) they all knew was heading for a wreck (but, oh what a RIDE while it was going). Not condoning, by the way. Just stating facts.

    ***(Editorial comment: some types of firms should NOT be public… I-banks, law firms, money management firms, and rating agencies top my list.)

  155. 155
    BirdsofpreyRcool Says:

    typo (blame z’s comments this morning)… i meant to say “5/29 = no go”

  156. 156
    jiveyjr Says:

    amen to that last sentence in 154

  157. 157
    bill Says:

    meant to say 5/27/2009

    Maybe you are David E, lol, you and him share the same opinion’s, His Chrsler comment echo’d yours at the time

    He has shorted MCO, lomg gold and long spx puts balanced with some longs

    In energy he is long atpg, pten and bj services

  158. 158
    bill Says:

    but its ok to call bush a liar


  159. 159
    zman Says:

    ROSE approaching $15
    WRES at $3.40 up $0.83
    So much for efficient markets …

  160. 160
    PackMan Says:

    BOP; you can’t blame Moody’s … more blame (by far IMO) goes on the bankers who conceived, packaged, sold the paper and the buyers for buying ratings and not doing due diligence.

    Ratings or no ratings, you have to do your homework…. any reasonably intelligent buyer should have figured out that when you package up a bunch of S–t, you still have pieces of s–t, not precious metals.

    I am biased as my better half works for MCO and I know first hand that they take their work very seriously.

    Now, clearly their structured finance group probably went off the reservation; but those folks are now gone along with their depts. IMO the company values its reputation and franchise, but its an easy target and GS is happy to deflect blame to ratings agencies.

    I don’t see the rationale for shorting the rating agencies; unless you think lawsuit liability will get them, and it never has (why shouldn’t it bring down GS or MS instead and first ?). They still have a good high margin franchise; and unless they are regulated out of business, that should continue. Regulating them out of business would be stupid as you

    Finally, many companies shop the rating agencies; and usually away from Moody’s, because moody’s is considered too tough !

    FWIW, from my perch I have seen how they conduct themselves and I think they do a credible and serious job. Now you may not think their services are necessary; and that is another matter; if not needed, then they would be a short. I am no industry expert on this, but I don’t see it (tell Einhorn to stuff it).

    But frankly, nobody does it better and as you know, a lot of bond buyers, particularly of high rated credit, are dumb ass buyers and need someone credible passing judgment.

    Who would do it better (and don’t say Egan Jones … too small).

    As for Buffet, he sold down from 20% to about 16%. He had originally been at 15%, and MCO had an aggressive share buyback program. Buffet didn’t buy more, but his stake rose to 20%. I don’t know if he intends to sell out or not, but its possible he is just trying to get down to about 15%. If he wanted to sell out, he could have done so by now.

  161. 161
    bill Says:

    the health care debate has taken cap and trade off the table for the moment but lets hope common sense prevails


  162. 162
    Hoss Says:


    Did HK quietly have their base expanded to 1.5B from 1.1B?

    Looking at the recent 8K/A


  163. 163
    zman Says:

    Did not notice it but it could have been contingent on the equity deal, will check. I sort of thought that after the end of 1Q it was at that level when they sold something, again, late on Friday, will check.

  164. 164
    Paul in Kansas City Says:

    WRES = Happy Subscriber Z!!! Nice work; other than reserve values i have no clue why the price action today.

  165. 165
    Hoss Says:

    Thanks Z – Have a good weekend

  166. 166
    bill Says:

    bop and packman good color and comments– i think you both made good points

    >I don’t see the rationale for shorting the rating agencies; unless you think lawsuit liability will get them,

    I think thats part of the “shorts” case

    also , the concern about objectivity

    >Finally, many companies shop the rating agencies; and usually away from Moody’s, because moody’s is considered too tough !

    if they are too tough they lose their fees and the question of objectivity comes up when their fees are on the line

  167. 167
    zman Says:

    tequilathirty. have a great weekend.

  168. 168
    bill Says:

    i think floyd mentioned that the line went up to 1.5 b

  169. 169
    bill Says:

    nice pick on wres

    the little guys have really moved

  170. 170
    Hoss Says:

    Thanks Bill

    See it now in the presentation – if it was a snake, it would have bit me.

  171. 171
    PackMan Says:

    Bill … I wouldn’t bet my case on the lawsuit angle; although I suppose it can never be off the table.

    The recent “news” on that front left 1 of 12 legal issues open; but still a long shot.

    Einhorn is overhyping it IMO at this stage. I think he’s just happy to take a couple of points profit on hype and then re-short at higher levels.

    There have to be better fundamental short targets in this market than MCO !

    Bill … too tough is all relative, I was simply saying the perception in the market generally is MCO has the most stringent criteria (and S&P also at times) which is how Fitch and others have managed to win business by being less rigorous.

    It just means that they value their brand and reputation which is in contrast to the gratuitous bashing that you see on TV and in Congress.

  172. 172
    BirdsofpreyRcool Says:

    PackMan — and and I agree, more than it would appear on the surface.

    It used to be part of my job, to present in person to Moody’s and S&P at least 2x a year. Went to them for some tough ratings on some structured product in the early 90s too. So i DO know how professional and serious (and downright scary) Moody’s can be. But, that was also before Moody’s became publicly-traded (see my comments above).

    That said, given how highly I regard Moody’s, it made it just that more disappointing (need a stronger word here, but can’t think of one) how their structured product group handled the subprime CMO ratings. They are too smart to have F’d up that badly. Oh… sorry… Forgot. They were making $$ hand-over-fist at the time, rating the torrential flow of that sh*t.

    You can’t blame Wall Street for selling securities people wanted to buy. You can’t blame the mortgage brokers for getting people loans they didn’t qualify for. You can’t blame people for buying more houses than they should have. That is all human nature. Everyone knew they were doing some at least a “little” (or a lot) bad (including John Q Public, who lied on his mortgage application). Given that Congress told concerned lawmakers to “back away from reforming Fannie/Freddie” (see Barney Frank’s comments, pre-mortgage meltdown)… who was going to point out that the Emperor had no clothes??

    Moody’s should have. That is what they are PAID to do. And they have the SMARTS to do it. WHY they didn’t… that will forever be a mystery to me. But, i’m not a Moody’s insider, so I don’t know the whole story.

    However, I was a Moody’s admirer. So, that makes it even tougher to forgive them. One is always tougher on the ones they loved and trusted, eh?

    I don’t know if Moody’s is really a short. I do know that their era of fee-driven, volume-driven, structured-product driven ratings is over. At least for now. Maybe that makes them a short. I don’t know.

    But I appreciate and totally understand your comments. Ask your better half about Hal Goldberg. Presenting to him was the closest thing a living human being can have to presenting their case to God. And you don’t lie to God.

  173. 173
    Dman Says:

    bill, if the guy believes Obama is a liar & he says so, then he should substantiate the accusation and make a big deal out of it. Instead he apologizes in public while complaining in private, according to your article. What’s that supposed to be? Not someone you’d follow into battle. He makes an accusation, then apologizes & then privately sort of unapologizes. Wow, inspirational leadership material.

    Now your man Bush that you mentioned: he publicly claimed (after the war was going badly) that the reason he went to war was that Saddam refused to allow weapons inpectors in.

    In reality, if you remember or if not, just look it up: Saddam did allow the inspectors in and they were going all over the country, getting in wherever they wanted. Who ordered the inspectors to leave? Your man Bush, that’s who.


    Now that is a categorical lie, one of a cluster of lies that cost the lives of thousands of US troops, maimed tens of thousands of them and killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqis.

    Oh and did I mention: it cost about $3 trillion & counting. Even in the TARP era, that’s a lot of money.

    But I don’t recall a single media outlet calling Bush a liar. A lie doesn’t come any plainer than giving Saddam credit for Bush’s own expulsion of the inspectors. But no one called him on it (certainly not the Democrats, btw).

    If a Democrat had stood up and called him on the lie, maybe the culture of lying with impunity that saturates Washington could have been punctured. A lot of things might have gone right that actually went wrong. You can’t expect anything to work if truth is a banned substance.

  174. 174
    zman Says:


  175. 175
    PackMan Says:

    BOP; thanks for the comments. And I basically agree with all that you said except that they, and they only, should have been the whistleblower on all this. The responsibility lies far and wide, and certainly they deserve a share of the blame.

    And to be clear; I have much less knowledge about their structured finance group. From what I have read in the public domain, it seems like there were some fee driven cowboys there; including a couple in senior mgmt of the company.

    Whether the entire leadership of Moody’s knew what was going on there, I don’t know. The place is very structured and political (as in corporate; not my cup of tea).

    As for the stock; it never should have been at $70, but at $25 its reasonable; perhaps a little cheap; and barring getting destroyed as a political and legal scapegoat, I think they have a good core, international, and high margin business.

    BTW, its hard to claim they were driven by compensation, because except for top management, the pay at Moody’s is not so hot. And the bonuses absolutely suck.

    My better half is very highly respected in her market area (a part of public finance) and can get paid far more money at an I-bank, buyside, or a financial consultant. As in multiples of what she makes at Moody’s. The funny thing is I know far more about bond market than she does; she knows credit; and operations.

    I usually know more about MCO than she does.

  176. 176
    PackMan Says:

    Dman, I could not disagree more about your comments about Iraq; and also about media outlets calling Bush a liar (let alone folks like Harry Reid, Dick Durbin, Al Gore “he betrayed our country !”, and virtually everyone else in the Democratic party. You really must be joking about that.

    But I’ll leave it at that … have a good weekend everyone.

    As for the guy that yelled Liar at Obama, well, he is right. He apologized for making the comment in the venue; not for the comment itself. But whatever.

    Go to my political blog; read some of yesterday’s articles I linked to if you want to see where and how Obama is completely disingenous in his statements. Had he been Bush and not Obama, he would have been run out of town by now.

  177. 177
    PackMan Says:

    Hey, what happened to UNG after hours (down 6%) ?

  178. 178
    PackMan Says:

    Z – 174 – oh yeah !

  179. 179
    zman Says:

    They have an 8K out Pack, describing when they will issue more creation baskets.

  180. 180
    zman Says:

    The U.S. does not get a lot of its oil from Russia. That may change:


  181. 181
    PackMan Says:

    Dman … just google “democrats who called bush a liar” — lots of links for you; media too.

    Just a couple of Examples:

    BTW, Harry Reid never apologized; rather stood by his repulsive comments. Neither did any of the other Dems. BDS ruled (and apparently still does).

    Zman … my apologies for this. Done.

  182. 182
    PackMan Says:

    179 – thanks Z … should not affect the stocks then I would guess.

  183. 183
    bill Says:



  184. 184
    bill Says:

    good links pack man on 181– where can i find your blog

    have a nice weekend folks

  185. 185
    zman Says:

    re 183 – yeah, I had that near the top of the post today. Boggles the mind. Perhaps all oil works should form a union. Then their jobs would matter. (hey, if you guys can go political, so can I 😉 :0 🙂

  186. 186
    zman Says:

    Bill – adding to 183, the story I read quoted that administration economist as saying the net impact would be a 1 penny rise in oil. Per gallon. I don’t about you but it tells me something when you are obviously using the wrong units and trying to make your number look small by doing so. Let alone, being able to come close to accurately predicting the impact of such a thing which has about 100 variables and for which you have obviously been told to say it won’t matter. Recall that several months ago, the Interior Secretary said changing the royalty rates and structure of leases in the Gulf would not have a “significant” impact on the upcoming Lease Sales. And then the lease sale showed the most paltry showing in my recollection. I say, if you are going to tell a lie, at least bother to be convincing, don’t just insult me.

  187. 187
    PackMan Says:

    Thanks Bill — here are some links:



    Regarding Iran (hopefully energy relevant), Iran expert Michael Ledeen today:

    Appeasement Runs Wild in the West

    “The seriousness of the West has been tested once again, and once again the West has chosen dishonor. Today that grand master of appeasement, Javier Solana, announced that Iran’s proposal for broad talks has been accepted, and the State Department tells us that the talks will take place in December.

    In other words, when we announced that we would give Iran until September to fish or cut bait on their nuclear program, it was a hoax. All we wanted — all the Obama administration has ever wanted — was the chance to sit down around a table with the Tehran tyrants. If you haven’t actually read the Iranian letter, you should. To say that it is unresponsive to the endless ultimata issuing forth from the “Five plus One” (meaning France, Britain, Germany, China, and Russia, plus the United States), and all the leaks promising “tough sanctions” if the Iranians didn’t actually take action to stop their nuclear program, would be a colossal understatement. It’s pure pablum, unworthy of a smart sixth-grader. Five and a half pages of cliches and slogans without any real content.

    And yet the State Department’s spokesperson, Mr. Crowley, has the gall to say that we shouldn’t be concerned, because our diplomats will “assess where (our) diplomatic approach stands.” Not to worry, he says, “Iran’s willingness do deal with the nuclear issues in the proposed new talks will be part of that assessment.”

    In simple English, President Obama, Secretary Clinton, along with Messrs. Holbrooke, Mitchell, and Ross, will suck their thumbs between now and the end of the year.

    Dark thought for the day: There is an acrid smell in the air, as if we had decided that the best outcome is to have the Israelis do our dirty work for us. And then we’ll come down on them really hard to make them stop building apartments in Jerusalem.

    You really couldn’t invent this world. Not even Charles McCarry could.”

    There is also some other stuff on Russia & China opposing sanctions …. (shocka)

  188. 188
    VTZ Says:

    Good week Z. Have a good weekend.

    Thought I’d point out that this is the highest weekly close for gold ever.

  189. 189
    VTZ Says:

    One suggestion for the 10KP page and some of the other spreadsheets you have on the site is to use google docs to embed them. It would be easier and quicker to update.

  190. 190
    Jay Says:

    Updated Haynesville Shale Drilling map.
    Interesting shows completions vs “waiting on completions/fracs”.


  191. 191
    bill Says:


    see page 9 re atpg

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