We got the dollar drop over the weekend that I was expecting. There was no way that the war was going to start before Obama gave his speech on Tuesday and congress votes yea or nay later on.
So when the missiles failed to show by the Monday morning opening, they took Texas tea down a full buck. The Charlie Rose interview with Bashar al-Assad, where he blamed it all on the rebels, also cast more doubt on the prospect of immediate hostilities.
Don’t kid yourself. There is going to be a war. Over the weekend, I did manage to get a peek at the classified proof of the sarin gas attack, thanks to some senior military sources at the Pentagon.
It includes recordings of radio transmissions from Syrian generals ordering the use of poison gas to teach a lesson, and other recordings of radar tracks showing the missiles flying from a Syrian army base to a Damascus neighborhood. You are not going to get a better smoking gun than that.
The Russians were not given access to this data to keep sources, methods, and the advanced state of our monitoring technology, secret. Besides, relations with the Ruskies have been pretty rocky lately. This is why President Obama said at the St. Petersburg press conference that he was elected to end wars, not start new ones, based on false information, a jab at the originators of the 2002 second Gulf War.
However, it’s time to use this window to cut our losses on our United States Oil Fund September, 2013 $39-$42 in-the-money bear put spread, which is now out-of-the-money, if just a touch. Think of it has folding your hand and losing your ante when the dealer has an ace showing in Texas hold’em.
Everything that can go wrong with a trade happened with this one. My initial assumption that Egypt would go to sleep in the wake of the army massacre of 1,000 protesters proved correct. At first, my oil short made money, as oil fell from $108 a barrel to $105, taking the (USO) down with it.
Then Secretary of State John Kerry made his blockbuster, saber rattling speech, ramping up speculation about a new war in Syria by a quantum leap. Oil soared to $112.50. Since then, it has been all back and fill, based on the totally unpredictable headline du jour, with most of the movement occurring in an untradeable daily gap opening.
There are only nine trading days left to expiration on this position. We would make money with an expiration at this level with the (USO) a mere 25 cents in-the-money.
But the risk/reward of continuing has gone asymmetric against us, meaning that we are risking a lot of money here to make just a little bit. It is not worth it. If things suddenly go against us, like missiles actually flying, a 1.18% loss could turn into a sickening 10% one very quickly. And with nine days to expiration, there is not enough time for conditions to turn right for us once again.
It easier to take a loss when your overall profit reaches another all time high. As of now, the Trade Alert service of the Mad Hedge Fund Trader is up a hefty 41.48%, thanks to my major short in the Japanese yen. I would hate to lose a quarter of this on a single rogue trade, thanks to some Middle Eastern warlord.
I already have plans on how to spend this money, like buying a second Tesla, the four wheel drive SUV model X, which will probably set me back another $100,000. I am not going to let oil pee on my parade.
When war does break out, and then escalates, and we get the spike up to $118 that many are predicting, then you’ll see me re emerge as a seller once again. If anything, the underlying supply/demand dynamics are getting worse, with the precipitous size of the Wall Street long position in oil rising, while underlying demand is melting away like an ice cube in the desert. For explanations of the fundamentals here in eloquent and florid detail, please read “Why I Sold Oil” by clicking here and “Why I’m Keeping My Oil Short” by clicking here at.
On to the next trade.