Jury Duty

Happy Birthday to J. Bartholomew Pick
I’m a fairly boring guy. I don’t think I’ve ever initiated a social interaction in my life. Which works out well with my sedentary lifestyle that has me tethered to the La-Z-Boy, only occasionally reaching out for my keyboard and mouse.
The fact that La-Z-Boy stock surged today didn’t do much for me as I’ve never owned the stock, only the lifestyle.
Yet, despite immensely enjoying my sedentary lifestyle, today I learned that there are consequences. Seeing a family of field mice escape from my stomach folds while I was being measured by a tailor for pant alterations was embarrasing, but it’s not as if I’ll ever see that tailor again.
At least, not if Immigration and Naturalization arrives before next Tuesday, 5 PM.
The very idea that my elastic banded Jorts weren’t going to fit me for life hasn’t really caused my to rethink the physical aspect of sedentary life, just as long as that cognitive part keeps on moving.
However, that comfort and solitude promises to be disrupted as I’ve received my first ever notice to be called for jury duty.
Since I went to a high school that was focused on math and the sciences, that didn’t leave too much time for civics lessons. My guess is that a class mate of mine, David Viniar who has served as CFO of Goldman Sachs did find the time to take Civics classes in secret, because I’ve heard no one impugn his name or reputation over the past few difficult years over at Goldman.
But yeah, I know that it’s my responsibility. Yeah, yeah, I’ve heard it before.
Here’s the thing.
Not that I’m complaining, but the county that I live in has almost no meaningful crime.
Sure, if its your mailbox that’s been knocked over it’s pretty major. But if I’m going to do anything, whether it’s social or civic duty related, I want it to be exciting.
The one potentially exciting and seedy case that our local newspaper reports will be starting next week is one that I would have to recuse myself from, as the defendant used to attend cub scout meetings in our basement a dozen years ago. Sugar Momma was a Den Mother and my youngest son was in the troop.
Glad I have that excuse and won’t have to pull out any of the other excuses I’d prepared nor display any of the tics that I’ve been working on.
But that’s exactly why this week has been sort of maddening. We’ve had alternating days of real excitement in the markets punctuated by real snoozers. I want excitement all the time, unless it’s the one way excitement of falling off a metaphorical cliff.
Thursday was one of the snoozers, other than for the field mice discovery. I didn’t make a single trade and never even came close.
My hoped for drop in Silver prices never materialized, nor did falls in Visa or Green Mountain Coffee Roasters occur in response to my wishes.
Small drops in Halliburton and Caterpillar were only symbolic and won’t do anything to stave off those who are there to exercise their options.
In Green Mountain’s case, despite all of the controversy, I may end up doing something unusual tomorrow.
Controversy? It’s not even a Chinese company.
I’m on the hook to have my shares assigned at $52.50. For that particular lot of shares, that would represent a loss of $17 per share. That figure doesn’t take into account the additional lot that I bought after the big earnings related price plunge and subsequently had assigned to me with a small capital gain and a nice options premium.
More importantly, that loss doesn’t include $12.66 per share in cumulative option premiums since the position was opened 5 weeks ago. If you add the capital gain from the other lot and the $1.56/share options premium from using the Having a Child, Save a Life strategy the loss isn’t terribly onerous.
Although I can justify taking the loss on the underlying shares by taking advantage of the tax loss, the speculative side of me is saying that despite the bad press and accounting overhang, Green Mountain still has upside. To allow the shares to be exercised would eliminate the tax deduction in the event that I repurchsaed the shares with the terms of the wash sales rule.
Instead, I may end up closing out the options position by buying back the calls.
The upside? A tax loss on the options trade and the opportunity to continue holding shares for either capital gains or more option premiums.
The downside? A capital loss on the options trade and the potential for the bottom to fall out from underneath the shares.
See? That’s exciting
Sedentary, yes. But exciting.
In general, Monday tends to be a busy trading day for me as I add new positions to replace assigned shares and try to sell as many call options as possible.
Then Thursdays tend to be busy as well, as I look for any opportunities to squeeze pennies out of whatever positions remain unhedged. Those weekly options are just great for that kind of activity.
But not today and I don’t see much happening tomorrow, either. You would have been reasonable to think that China’s report of a decreased PMI, as a measure of industrial activity, for the first time since their hosting of the Olympics would have been a little reason to take profits.
Instead, we’ll just have to await official employment numbers tomorrow.
I hate to be curmudgeonly, and I certainly want to see people being able to find employment, but despite calls for a good number, I’m hoping that the market reacts negatively.
Or positively.
First of all, the numbers are always in arrears and are always subject to revision. Those revisions are consistent and sometimes significant.
Lately, there’s been much anectdotal evidence that “things are getting better.” That may be more meaningful than tomorrow’s report.
While the reporting of aged employment statistics may yield bad news, it’s sepia compared to 16 million colors, as far as snapshots go.
From my perspective, I usually like up Fridays if my sold options are out of the money and down Fridays if they’re in the money.
Tomorrow, I’m equally split.
On most Mondays that I’ve had lots of calls exercised I like to see a big downwrd move so that I can repurchase shares at less than the price at which they were assigned.
Again, I’m equally split.
I feel like a little kid having a tantrum, not really knowing what he wants.
Although my body does well with a paucity of activity, other than the insidiously developing midriff bulge, my brain begins to smoke when being torn in opposite directions.
Whereas the comparison of sepia to 16 million colors clearly favors the accuracy of the details contained in colors, my mind prefers black or white conditions.
Guilty or innocent?
Hmmm. Maybe this jury thing won’t be such a bad idea after all.
I wonder what model La-Z-Boys that have in the jury box?