The March Of War

Timidity begets aggression.

There are two primary takeaways over this weekend.

The first takeaway is, everything you have ever been told about empathy and compassion leading to a more peaceful world is a complete crock of shit. Six years into this nonsense, if anyone following this code still believes in it, do us all a favor and off yourself.

At this stage, we aren’t even “uninvolved”; but our prior actions were so discrediting, it’s going to take a discontinuous push to shock people back into order. The cost to us, whether we embrace the challenge or give up, will be great either way.

I can appreciate the desire to keep US lives out of harms way, but on the other side, those few thousand volunteers who tragically lost their lives were keeping at bay something much worse. They were heroes and deserve the designation.

And past the immediate body count, tell me: what do you suppose the long term cost will be to having such an important piece on the board like NATO getting publicly emasculated in front of an audience of seven billion people?

What do you suppose the cost to peace will be when no one is left who trusts NATO’s guarantee of defense to allies and members? Russia is targeting this covenant on purpose.

The second takeaway is, despite the USA cutting our own balls off, people are still very afraid of us. Why else would so many plans be put into motion in the middle of a US holiday weekend, when our citizens are distracted? US public opinion can still turn the tide, but only if we can shake this internal depression that has crippled us into a state of sloth.

Watching Russia casually declare that neighboring countries were never really countries at all, as they roll back the clock manually with tanks; I can’t help but worry about where this takes us. I very much do not want the USSR reincarnating itself – the Russians are dicks and deserve to be treated as such. I’ll treat them with respect when they craft a form of government not predicated on keeping an iron toed boot on their people’s throats.

Too many hardliner nationalists in Russia seem to feel it is their God given right to create terrifying empires that lay waste to entire continents; as if this is somehow a privilege for the rest of us.

The place that should be most up in arms about this – Europe – has so far more or less lain down and is waiting to be dominated. The Europeans have spent the past fifty or so years fattening up, condemning self-defense, dismantling their armies, building a state of submissiveness. They’ve put social concerns like personal health & safety or identity politics before national security, eroding their own identities in the process. Now, no one will be safe.

Before this is over, I won’t be surprised if all of Europe is faced with a terrible choice of throwing off the safety nets, or being ensnared by them. Re-militarizing will put a strain on state programs. It will be very hard and painful; rediscovering one’s spine.

The only bright light is that much of the damage here is reversible. Not that this is any comfort to you if you’re under the curtain. But the places causing the most trouble are also the least self-sufficient and most prone to terrible accidents. I have trouble seeing Putin succeed for very long; his country’s legacy was assembled from the willing, back when the ideal of communism was embraced by millions. It collapsed in disillusionment. He’s trying to reassemble the unwilling with violence. That is a sure recipe for rot.

But why should this be happening now at all? If not for the weakness of wannabe leaders, it wouldn’t be. They threw away a century of hard fought gains, for ridiculous, self-righteous reasons.

Sold Completely Out Of PSEC – 7% Loss (Update)

I completely sold out of Prospect Capital Corporation in a rather gay four day about-face. This four days resulted in a 7% loss on the position which, thankfully, only resulted in a .35% loss to my book.

PSEC is a remarkably cheap, very interesting possible play that I would like to remain only a possible play.

In the future, I may – and in fact most likely will – revisit this position. But the more and more I think about it, the more I do not want a leveraged financial play that has recently expanded leverage by about 40% and openly admits to yield hunting… anywhere near my book right now.

Fall is coming, you fools. And the dreaded seven year mark is upon us.

Beware the number 7.

Update: I also trimmed 15% off of my HCLP position, which is up 188% over the past year. Just a little F-U money in case a buying opportunity should present itself.

I followed that with “hedge trimming” sales of everything else.

Cash stands at 35%

The Melt Up Is Upon Us

There is no limit to the benevolence of my portfolio today. HCLP spurred out the gate and is now closing in on $70, +5.4% in the first half of today’s trading.

CCJ and BAS are second runners up. Most everything else is green, with only new half position PSEC and NRP breaking the pattern at the moment.

No one wants to hold short into the Labor Day weekend. Bears have been conditioned over the past five years that long weekends deal death to misers.

My account is up +2.3% today. I’m tempted to take a few sales at lunch, just to prepare for September (the biggest dick of all the months).

The world is my tainted oyster (which is only an odd statement if you knew that I don’t like oysters). Now, as you were.

ETP Receives Vote of Supreme Confidence

Energy Transfer Partners has an outstanding offer of merger/acquisition with Susser Holdings Corporation. The good shareholders of Susser were each given voting opportunity to elect their method of being bought out. They could receive a) an all cash offer, b) a mixture of cash and ETP shares, or c) all ETP shares. The results were published yesterday upon closure of the window.

85% of all outstanding shareholders said “give me the ETP stock”.

That’s not even a contest. Only 1% of Susser’s shareholders took the cash buyout offer. 7% took the mixed bag. How’s that for a vote of confidence?

Obviously I had hoped more would get bought out – because I expect good things here. But still, I can’t blame them for refusing to leave.

New Position PSEC Takes A Day One Nosebleed

This is actually more typical than you would think; I announce a new position, it gets walloped in the public square. We all have a good laugh…except for a few of you pricks, you have a little more than a good laugh.

But you’re never around when I’m up huge, I noticed.

I had thought there was a chance that PSEC would see earnings per share surprise – they have vastly increased investment activity. Admittedly all but ~6% of that was financed from at-the-market share offerings, but I had hoped there would be a pass through. Instead, it dropped and so 4% down day.

Thankfully, it was, as I said, only half a position, so the effect is muted (by definition, I consider a full position in a stock no less than 10% of my assets).

On the one hand, it is cheap. And the payout seems, at the moment, well secured. Growth prospects are debatable. It has grown immensely, but then that hasn’t really helped shareholders out lately. It’s a complex quagmire of financial legalese (which is the very worst kind there is). But is there even a major tradeoff at these prices?

I’ll see what happens tomorrow. There are parts of PSEC that I am very much not in love with (and actively hate). So it may prove to be a short lived detour on the road of life…

New Half Sized Position: PSEC

I took a half sized position in Prospect Capital Corporation today for $10.97.

I am going to tell you this once and only once (actually, at least ten more times from now).

This is black magic calculus. If you are honed in the dark arts and know how to keep from losing your vitals, you may do what you like. However, if you do not immediately know what this company is doing (and I use this very sparingly, as in reality they are so deep in financial muck no one truly understands what they are doing, likely not even them…) then you would have to be some kind of jackass to just mindlessly follow this trade.

I like the company for their extreme growth and absurd cheapness, but the market does not trust them with a multiple for a reason – this company is everything people learned to hate in 2009. Also, the immediate issue of interest rates rising (near term catalyst) will create headwinds for them. There were also recent bouts with the SEC and a boat load of lawsuits from shareholder groups.

I am simply assuming that the companies employees are living beings that will adapt to these problems. And that they can continue growing at the rate they have been for a little while longer, while managing to pay me more than 12% annually.

This may not work out, but I’m up enough this year to gamble a little more.

Don’t be stupid.

The March Of War

Timidity begets aggression.

There are two primary takeaways over this weekend.

The first takeaway is, everything you have ever been told about empathy and compassion leading to a more peaceful world is a complete crock of shit. Six years into this nonsense, if anyone following this code still believes in it, do us all a favor and off yourself.

At this stage, we aren’t even “uninvolved”; but our prior actions were so discrediting, it’s going to take a discontinuous push to shock people back into order. The cost to us, whether we embrace the challenge or give up, will be great either way.

I can appreciate the desire to keep US lives out of harms way, but on the other side, those few thousand volunteers who tragically lost their lives were keeping at bay something much worse. They were heroes and deserve the designation.

And past the immediate body count, tell me: what do you suppose the long term cost will be to having such an important piece on the board like NATO getting publicly emasculated in front of an audience of seven billion people?

What do you suppose the cost to peace will be when no one is left who trusts NATO’s guarantee of defense to allies and members? Russia is targeting this covenant on purpose.

The second takeaway is, despite the USA cutting our own balls off, people are still very afraid of us. Why else would so many plans be put into motion in the middle of a US holiday weekend, when our citizens are distracted? US public opinion can still turn the tide, but only if we can shake this internal depression that has crippled us into a state of sloth.

Watching Russia casually declare that neighboring countries were never really countries at all, as they roll back the clock manually with tanks; I can’t help but worry about where this takes us. I very much do not want the USSR reincarnating itself – the Russians are dicks and deserve to be treated as such. I’ll treat them with respect when they craft a form of government not predicated on keeping an iron toed boot on their people’s throats.

Too many hardliner nationalists in Russia seem to feel it is their God given right to create terrifying empires that lay waste to entire continents; as if this is somehow a privilege for the rest of us.

The place that should be most up in arms about this – Europe – has so far more or less lain down and is waiting to be dominated. The Europeans have spent the past fifty or so years fattening up, condemning self-defense, dismantling their armies, building a state of submissiveness. They’ve put social concerns like personal health & safety or identity politics before national security, eroding their own identities in the process. Now, no one will be safe.

Before this is over, I won’t be surprised if all of Europe is faced with a terrible choice of throwing off the safety nets, or being ensnared by them. Re-militarizing will put a strain on state programs. It will be very hard and painful; rediscovering one’s spine.

The only bright light is that much of the damage here is reversible. Not that this is any comfort to you if you’re under the curtain. But the places causing the most trouble are also the least self-sufficient and most prone to terrible accidents. I have trouble seeing Putin succeed for very long; his country’s legacy was assembled from the willing, back when the ideal of communism was embraced by millions. It collapsed in disillusionment. He’s trying to reassemble the unwilling with violence. That is a sure recipe for rot.

But why should this be happening now at all? If not for the weakness of wannabe leaders, it wouldn’t be. They threw away a century of hard fought gains, for ridiculous, self-righteous reasons.

Sold Completely Out Of PSEC – 7% Loss (Update)

I completely sold out of Prospect Capital Corporation in a rather gay four day about-face. This four days resulted in a 7% loss on the position which, thankfully, only resulted in a .35% loss to my book.

PSEC is a remarkably cheap, very interesting possible play that I would like to remain only a possible play.

In the future, I may – and in fact most likely will – revisit this position. But the more and more I think about it, the more I do not want a leveraged financial play that has recently expanded leverage by about 40% and openly admits to yield hunting… anywhere near my book right now.

Fall is coming, you fools. And the dreaded seven year mark is upon us.

Beware the number 7.

Update: I also trimmed 15% off of my HCLP position, which is up 188% over the past year. Just a little F-U money in case a buying opportunity should present itself.

I followed that with “hedge trimming” sales of everything else.

Cash stands at 35%

The Melt Up Is Upon Us

There is no limit to the benevolence of my portfolio today. HCLP spurred out the gate and is now closing in on $70, +5.4% in the first half of today’s trading.

CCJ and BAS are second runners up. Most everything else is green, with only new half position PSEC and NRP breaking the pattern at the moment.

No one wants to hold short into the Labor Day weekend. Bears have been conditioned over the past five years that long weekends deal death to misers.

My account is up +2.3% today. I’m tempted to take a few sales at lunch, just to prepare for September (the biggest dick of all the months).

The world is my tainted oyster (which is only an odd statement if you knew that I don’t like oysters). Now, as you were.

ETP Receives Vote of Supreme Confidence

Energy Transfer Partners has an outstanding offer of merger/acquisition with Susser Holdings Corporation. The good shareholders of Susser were each given voting opportunity to elect their method of being bought out. They could receive a) an all cash offer, b) a mixture of cash and ETP shares, or c) all ETP shares. The results were published yesterday upon closure of the window.

85% of all outstanding shareholders said “give me the ETP stock”.

That’s not even a contest. Only 1% of Susser’s shareholders took the cash buyout offer. 7% took the mixed bag. How’s that for a vote of confidence?

Obviously I had hoped more would get bought out – because I expect good things here. But still, I can’t blame them for refusing to leave.

New Position PSEC Takes A Day One Nosebleed

This is actually more typical than you would think; I announce a new position, it gets walloped in the public square. We all have a good laugh…except for a few of you pricks, you have a little more than a good laugh.

But you’re never around when I’m up huge, I noticed.

I had thought there was a chance that PSEC would see earnings per share surprise – they have vastly increased investment activity. Admittedly all but ~6% of that was financed from at-the-market share offerings, but I had hoped there would be a pass through. Instead, it dropped and so 4% down day.

Thankfully, it was, as I said, only half a position, so the effect is muted (by definition, I consider a full position in a stock no less than 10% of my assets).

On the one hand, it is cheap. And the payout seems, at the moment, well secured. Growth prospects are debatable. It has grown immensely, but then that hasn’t really helped shareholders out lately. It’s a complex quagmire of financial legalese (which is the very worst kind there is). But is there even a major tradeoff at these prices?

I’ll see what happens tomorrow. There are parts of PSEC that I am very much not in love with (and actively hate). So it may prove to be a short lived detour on the road of life…

New Half Sized Position: PSEC

I took a half sized position in Prospect Capital Corporation today for $10.97.

I am going to tell you this once and only once (actually, at least ten more times from now).

This is black magic calculus. If you are honed in the dark arts and know how to keep from losing your vitals, you may do what you like. However, if you do not immediately know what this company is doing (and I use this very sparingly, as in reality they are so deep in financial muck no one truly understands what they are doing, likely not even them…) then you would have to be some kind of jackass to just mindlessly follow this trade.

I like the company for their extreme growth and absurd cheapness, but the market does not trust them with a multiple for a reason – this company is everything people learned to hate in 2009. Also, the immediate issue of interest rates rising (near term catalyst) will create headwinds for them. There were also recent bouts with the SEC and a boat load of lawsuits from shareholder groups.

I am simply assuming that the companies employees are living beings that will adapt to these problems. And that they can continue growing at the rate they have been for a little while longer, while managing to pay me more than 12% annually.

This may not work out, but I’m up enough this year to gamble a little more.

Don’t be stupid.

Previous Posts by Mr. Cain Thaler