Archive for February, 2007

The Three Little Pigs

In the fall of 1968, the combined Anti-Tank and Recon platoons were sent on a forty mile trek to the site of the 106mm recoilless rifle range. Forty miles on dirt roads in a spleen numbing trip. We had a combined 9 Recoilless rifles mounted on jeeps and were given three 2 1/2 ton trucks to transport several hundred rounds of boxed 106mm rounds. The total complement of the two platoons was 56 men.

The range was on the edge of a farm with a large cliff set about 1000 yards across a gravel field. There was no permanent cadre, each unit was on their own.

Upon driving onto the gravel field, we had all the vehicles pull into a tight formation. The troops quickly unloaded large spools of concertina wire and placed the wire around the outside of the bunched vehicles. Once this was done, we proceeded to set up tents for the three night stay.

Within 30 minutes two decrepit trucks came racing out from the nearby village. They pulled up just outside our small compound and proceeded to disgorge twenty to thirty young and not so young ladies. For the next three days we were surrounded. The young and virile troops quickly learned that they could clear the concertina fence by getting a running start and sommersaulting over the wire.

For the next several weeks the two platoons had a heightened incidence of VD.

First thing the next morning we drove the jeeps with the mounted 106mm recoilless rifles out of the fenced area. We left several guards inside the concertina and closed the one opening. We spent the rest of the morning shooting sighting rounds from the 50 caliber rifle mounted on top of the 106mm rifle. In the afternoon we started firing the 106’s at targets set against the cliff roughly 1000 yards away. To ensure the safety of the resident civilians, we posted red flags at either end of the cliff. After we had fired the first several rounds, we saw a group of small and medium size boys come running out from behind some boulders near one side of the cliff. We quickly called for a cease fire and watched the boys scrabble around for the pieces of metal from the fired rounds. The lieutenant in charge drove down to the cliff area and with a Katusa(Korean Augmentation to the US Army- little Choi of Honey Pot fame) acting as interpreter, worked out a system to ensure the safety of the boys. After every three rounds, the troops would stop firing for a period to enable the boys to pick up the metal. After a few minutes we would beep our horns and the boys would leave the target area. In spite of the danger, the system worked and nobody was killed or wounded during the next two days. We were all impressed with the ingenuity of the Koreans. Any waste was recycled to become a useful product. Brass cartridges became plates which were sold back to the US troops, coke cans became chimneys for the charcoal fires that heated the houses in winter(these didn’t work to well as there were occasional deaths).

At the end of the training days we had expended all the rounds and had accumulated a very large pile of raw wood boxes.

After several radio calls, a single deuce and a half came driving down the road. The driver told us that the other trucks were not available and that we were to make do as per the Battalion Transportation Office. We piled as many of the 56 platoon members into the nine jeeps and our small truck. The balance piled into the deuce and a half. Concertina wire was looped around the 106’s. Once all was loaded we still had a very large pile of wooden ammo boxes with no place to put them.

The LT made the decision to leave the boxes and return his men to the Battalion area 40 miles away. Four hours later, the LT was severely reprimanded for having left the wooden boxes. Two additional trucks were rounded up and the LT returned to the range to get the boxes.

Imagine his horror when the three truck convoy rounded the corner and the gravel field and small farm came into view. There was not a single box to be seen.

The local farmer, when queried, swore that he had seen nothing.

The Lt. radioed the situation back to Battalion Hq. and was informed that he might have to pay for the wood. At a base pay of $202 a month this was a daunting prospect.

The decision was made to return to the platoons home base. As the convoy pulled out of the gravel field, the Lt. saw what appeared to be a brand new 15 by 15 hooch, newly painted. It appeared to be made out of raw wood. The family moving in appeared to be happy.

ETF Seed MoneyProblem?

With the recent listing of 40 ProShares ETFs, the ETF seed issue has become more front burner. Roughly $400 million was seeded by three Amex Specialists between January 26th and February 22nd. While the some of the products are starting to gain traction, the three specialists are paying in the vicinity of $70,000 per day in financing. This charge is incurred 365 days a year, no relief on weekends or holidays.

The result of this release and a large number of other recent issues is raising the angst of other issuers who face the prospect of getting smaller seed commitments for their future listings. Historically, the logjams have broken up beforereal problems have occurred but at the least it appears that the level of seed for new products will be lower in the months ahead. Products that once drew $50 million in seed are now drawing in the $10-15 million range.

Snapshot 2/23/2007

American Stock Exchange Equity Volume 56,744,980

Seat Prices: Bid $360,000 Offer $390,000

Several seats have traded recently in the $400,000 to $420,000 range.

VanEck

Improved sales in SLX over the past two weeks. A great product which now appears to be getting some recognition.

GDX 1,077,200 shares Amex share 25.88%

SLX 17,900 shares

EVX 3,100 shares

Powershares PGF 31,000 shares Amex share 24.52%

Powershares/DB Commodities

DBA 698,100 Amex share 34.75%

Claymore EEB(BRIC) 143,500 Amex 39.37%

CVY(HOG) 35,600 Amex 27.81%

DEF 5,900

WisdomTree(6 new Amex listings)

Listed Friday-First day volume 194,800 shares-Impressive.

EXT, EZY, EEZ, EPS, EZM, EES.

Two biggest winners were EPS(500 Earnings) and EES(Small Cap Earnings).

WisdomTree 30(NYSE)

985,800 shares NYSE share 62%.

Barclays (NYSE-8 Debt)

219,700 shares 19% NYSE market share.

GVI 107,900 shares

SSGA

RWX 194,700 Amex share 81%.

CWI 43,800 Amex share 21.23%.

Barclays EEM-recently moved from the Amex to NYSE.

Comp volume 9,055,400 shares NYSE(Primary) 651,300 7.19%, Amex(UTP) 777,400 8.58%.

ProShares DJ Sectors(22)

192,000 shares. URE and SRS(Real Estate Double up and down are the two volume leaders).

Amex Seats:

$403,000 bid offered at $415,000

2 sales at $425,000.

This in spite of the fact that Amex was down for over an hour today.

Equity volume  34,000,000.

Snapshot 2/9/2007

Amex Equity Volume 49,095,792

VanEck

GDX Comp. 917,900 Amex 206,600 22.51%

SLX Comp. 8,200 Amex 4,900 59.76%

EVX Comp. 1,700

Powershares PGF

Comp. 39,100 Amex 18,000 46.04%

DB/Powershares Commodity ETFs Comp. 270,900

DBA Comp. 174,200 Amex 98,900

DBB Comp. 12,800 Amex 6,200

DBS Comp. 7,000 Amex 3,500

DGL Comp.12,100 Amex 11,600

DBP Comp. 10,400 Amex 8,600

DBO Comp. 12,100 Amex 5,300

DBE Comp. 42,300 Amex 9,700

Claymore 7(old) Comp. 211,600 Amex 73,200

EEB(BRIC) Comp. 99,800 Amex 27,200 27.45%

CVY(HOG) Comp. 36,200 Amex 20,800

UCR Comp. 5,400 Amex 2,300

DCR Comp. 5,000 Amex 4,200

Claymore (new)

DEF Comp. 27,800 Amex 17,800

CSD(spinoff) Comp. 6,600 Amex 2,600

OTP(Patent) Comp. 4,200 Amex 2,400

ProShares 12(oldest) Comp. 11,534,600 Amex 2,134,700

ProShares 6(Indices) Comp. 129,100 Amex 49,900 38.6%

ProShares 22(Sectors)  Comp. 158,200

UYG(Financial-up) Amex 10,000

SKF)Financial-down) Amex 13,000

URE(Real Estate-up) Amex 11,000

SRS(Real Estate-down) Amex 26,000

ROM(Tech-up) Amex 9,400

REW(Tech-down) Amex 12,000

WisdomTree 30(NYSE) Comp. 836,000 NYSE 565,500 67.6%

RYDEX Comp. 8,800

Barclays

DSI Comp. 10,000

IWB Comp. 173,300 Amex(as secondary) 22,200 12.81%

IWR Comp. 350,100 Amex(as secondary) 81,500 23.28%

SSGA

CSI Comp. 12,900 Amex 4,300 33.33%

RWX Comp. 243,600 Amex 202,500 83.13%

BArclays 8 (new debt-NYSE)

SHV Comp. 25,400 NYSE 13,700

IEI Comp. 2,000 NYSE 2,000

TLH Comp. 2,700 NYSE 1,100

CSJ Comp. 3,400 NYSE 2,000

CIU Comp. 2,200 NYSE 1,000

CFT Comp. 1,200 NYSE 600

GVI Comp. 7,500 NYSE 7,500

GBF Comp. 1,100 NYSE 600

D

Snapshot 2/5/2007

AMEX new AEMI system crashed at approx 3:30 and equities did not reopen.

Seats: $391,500 bid, offered at $410,000

Last trade on 2/5 at $400,000.

VanEck

GDX Comp. 197,000 Amex 35,800.

SLX Comp. 29,800 Amex 3,200.

DB/Powershares Commodity ETFs

DBA Comp. 214,500 Amex 134,200

DBB Comp. 19,500 Amex 15,800

DBS Comp. 4,300

DGL  Comp. 5,200

DBP Comp. 2,500

DBO Comp. 22,100

DBE Comp. 20,500

Claymore

EEB (BRIC) Comp. 119,200 Amex 39,200

CVY (HOG) Comp. 36,900 Amex 18,200

UCR Comp. 2,900

DCR Comp. 2,200

DEF Comp. 36,000

CSD Comp. 9,900

OTP Comp. 900

ProShares 18

 Comp. 4,659,800 Amex 928,400

WisdomTree 30 (NYSE) Comp. 750,400 NYSE 475,300 63%.

Rydex Comp. 6,500

Barclays

DSI Comp. 400

IWR Comp. 236,000 Amex(as secondary) 32,400 13.73%.

Barclays 8(new debt NYSE) Comp. 45,300

CSJ 26,200

SSGA

RWX Comp. 380,200 Amex 113,600

One trade of 200,000 went up away from the Amex.

ProShares 22 DJ Sectors Comp. 146,000 shares spread fairly evenly over the products.

Snapshot 2/2/2007

Amex Equity Volume 37,000,000

Seat Market $365,000 bid, offered at $390,000.

VanEck

GDX Comp. 640,900 Amex 107,200 16.73%.

SLX Comp. 16,200 Amex 7,700 47.53%.

EVX Comp. 800.

SLX has shown dramatically increased volume during the past week.

Powershares PGF: Comp. 32,900 AMex 200 .61%.

DB/Powershares Commodity ETFs:

DBA Comp. 109,400 Amex 64,000 58.50%.

DBB Comp. 39,100.

DBS Comp. 5,800.

DGL Comp. 2,300

DBP Comp. 9,900

DBO Comp. 55,600 Amex 18,900 33.99%.

DBE Comp. 7,500.

Claymore 7(old).

EEB(BRIC) Comp. 92,600 Amex 24,800 26.78%.

CVY(HOG) Comp. 27,300 Amex 10,000 36.63%.

UCR Comp. 5,800.

DCR Comp. 6,500.

Claymore4(new).

DEF Comp. 14,800

CSD(spinoff) Comp.11,600

OTP(Patent) Comp. 1,800.

ProShares 12 Comp.6,090,800 Amex 1,034,600 16.9%.

ProShares 6(Russell and S&P 600) Comp. 56,300 Amex 31,300.

ProShares 22 (DJ Sectors) Comp. 25,000.

WisdomTree 30(NYSE) Comp. 720,000 NYSE 420,300 58%.

Rydex Comp. 5,500.

Barclays

IWR Comp. 468,800 Amex(secondary) 44,700 9.53%.

Barclays8(new debt NYSE). Comp. 64,500.

SHV Comp. 35,400

IEI Comp. 6,800

TLH Comp. 6,100

CSJ Comp. 5,100

CIU Comp. 100

CFT Comp. 300

GVI Comp. 8,200

GBF Comp. 2,500

SSGA

RWX Comp. 270,900 Amex 222,700 82.21%.

ProShares 22 (Sectors) Comp. 25,000

SRS(real estate) 1,800

ROM(Tech) 10,000

REW(Tech-Ultra Down) 8,000

DIG(Oil and Gas Up) 2,500

USD(Semi Conductor Up) 2,500